The Journal of Austin Sommers is probably my most well known work thus far(I promise to deliver something 10x better and more famous, GUARANTEED). The interesting part about it was that my first book that I had planned was not going to be The Journal of Austin Sommers. The plan was for something more elaborate and unique.
My first book was supposed to be Escape From Farmsville. How generic, unadventurous, and plain. The book was in the same vein as The Journal of Austin Sommers and the upcoming books in the Mason City. But it still was different. Escape From Farmsville was supposed to be a two or three hundred page choice style book. The objective of the book was to escape Farmsville alive while the city is overwhelmed by a zombie outbreak. The book was going to take place over several days. There were going to be plenty of chances to die.
Over time, I slowly transitioned out of the original planned format of Escape From Farmsville. The first big change was to remove the vagueness of a choose your own adventure. To do this I needed to get rid of the obtuseness of an open ended main character and avoid the prevalence of inconsequential major decisions. There were a number of ways that I could of did this including offering more options and more character details(my work, more time exhausted).
Personally, I feel that most books that are choose your own adventure style tend not to be very intimate and personal. From my experience, most choose your own adventure style authors seem to try to maintain an ambiguous main character with little to any character development(there are exceptions). Or other authors project there morals and views into forcing the reader into a certain behavior or view.
I chose to resolve the ambiguity issue by allowing the read to choose between three characters. The book wouldn’t be a choose your own adventure novel but it still would be a choice book. One would be limited to the choices that the character would make. A nice guy would have options that a nice guy would make. A selfish character would have options that would be suitable to him. Since it was three characters I came up with the idea and possibility that they would come across each other in the book. An interesting concept that will eventually happen in the Mason City series.
The next great change that I made was that the book should be more detailed about what happens throughout the day since it was now three characters instead of one. This lead me to coming to the conclusion of separating the book into several books. Each book would be one day.
As I worked on the book even more I came to a simple yet obvious solution. Can I do better than Escape From Farmsville? I did, I came up with the Mason City series. The name sounds a lot more epic. Eventually around the same time, I came up with the idea of companion books. Smaller books which would introduce characters that would show up in the next day. This is how I came up with the Xavi Jones story(I will rewrite it sometime soon, PATIENCE) and the three Mason City Day 1 companion books. As such I came to the conclusion, why not do a prequel? A prequel that explains where the zombie outbreak originates. This lead to The Journal of Austin Sommers.
As you can see as I worked on Escape From Farmsville more and more, it slowly became a universe of its’ own that I created. I think it has been a little over two years since I thought about writing Escape From Farmsville. Now it is entirely something different. Recognizable but different nevertheless.
Well, as you can see this great project has a lot of ambition. It has been very taxing and overwhelming for me. I tend to believe my editors enjoy it and so have my readers. I hope it is all worth it in the end.
I just can’t wait to release the long awaited Mason City Day 1 book and the other three books. Stay tuned for more information.