The Blog/Diary of Novelist Sam Batterman

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Back in the "Writing Saddle"

It has been a while since I posted here. This is mostly because of my commitments to a number of other things in my life. Back in January I was asked to help our youth group at church as a youth leader.

“How hard could that be?” I thought. Silly rabbit…

I made a choice that outside of my work as a programmer for Microsoft during the “day hours” I would use my talents for the Lord and build something for our youth group on the web. This turned out to be one of the most amazing and most rewarding things I have ever done and it’s like a cross between a digital bible and a social network. While it’s a closed environment (on purpose) it’s my hope that someday all Christians will have access to a tool like this. This project essentially consumed every moment outside of work, family events and finishing the editing for my next book.

During the summer I managed to get Maximal Reserve, my next work, edited with Rachel Starr Thomson and ready to go for a February 1, 2011 release. I just saw the typeset version and I must say that it looks great. I am so excited about sharing this story with you all. It’s very different than Wayback – a different premise, a different set of heroes and villains and more contemporary in its approach.

This morning, after dropping my daughter off for a drama practice at school I headed to a local college library to continue writing on the long awaited sequel to Wayback. It’s a quiet environment that gives me the concentration that I need to write.

I have struggled with the working title for this book and it’s lurched from various titles such as The Pact of the Fallen to Mid-Cycle (it is the second book a three book series) and finally have arrived at the title that I am happy with: Insurrection. It’s a single word, like Wayback, not a lot of books with this title exist and it has dual meaning, much like Wayback did (going Wayback and finding a Way Back).

I am now referring to Insurrection as “The Big Scary.” This is a term that I saw Tosca Lee (the author of Havah and Demon: a Memoir) use for her upcoming story of Judas Iscariot, which is coming in 2012. “The Big Scary” is a good way to describe a book that you know will challenge yourself—not just the mechanics, but in the big ideas that it challenges in both yourself and your readers.

Why call it “The Big Scary?” Well, this is the third time I am rewriting this story. I really thought I would bring this sequel to market before Maximal Reserve, but some early readers were disturbed by the content. After more than a year of research into the concept, I was blown back to the drawing board. As you know, research is a key part of my books and I like to educate on the way to entertainment. I shelved the idea and kept researching coming to the same conclusions that I had early on, but with new ideas for the approach to take to get the idea across.

This idea will be controversial and in the months ahead I will share my raw research with you and we can talk about the conclusions that I have come to in the two and half years since I started this manuscript.

Until that point, think about what your feelings are regarding the following:

• How advanced was man before the Flood?
• How advanced was their technology?
• Was any ruin left that might give us a hint of how advanced man was before the Flood changed the face of the planet?
• Did man get help from another source with this technology? If so, what was the payment for the exchange of this information?
• Why did God have to destroy the entire human population of the planet, including animals that breathe through their nostrils?
• What did God mean by the phrase that “Noah was pure in his generations?”
• What does the mysterious set of versus that frame the reason for the flood in the early part of Genesis 6 mean?