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PIECES OF DESTINY - the finale

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I'm pleased to say that, after a six-year struggle to complete this novel, I have finally finished the first draft of all 16 chapters of my time-travel story, Pieces of Destiny. With luck, chapter 15 and the finale, Chapter 16, will be up on AD in the next few days.

I have to thank my friends and advisers, Cole, VWL, and The Dude himself, for providing lots of feedback and behind-the-scenes criticism that helped shape some of the story's fine points. This was a very daunting experience, partly because of the relatively large amount of research I had to do in order to understand the world of 1864, but also to find a way to get a fairly complex story down on paper. I think I had writers' block for a solid two years just because I was overwhelmed at the sheer amount of detail I had to cover in the final four chapters. (That, plus a career change and some personal setbacks, none of which were simple or easy.) My friend and fellow author Luz Rojo, along with my partner Roddy, were instrumental in prodding me at every opportunity for me to complete the story, and I'm glad to say we finally crossed that finish line.

All of it is told through the eyes of a gay 2013 teenager, so this is not so much a historical novel as a combination romance, coming-of-age story, and also a mystery with several (I hope) surprising twists and turns. The ending gets fairly dark and violent, but I always knew we were headed in this direction. And I think I've taken care of every loose plot end -- and there were quite a few, plus some I'll deal with in the next book.

I am planning at least a second book, which will continue the adventures and I think will finish the time-travel side (for the lead character, anyway), and will veer far away from rural America and go out West, and eventually to the East coast of 1865 America right after the Civil War. But... I say no more. We'll see if and when the sequel happens.

For now, I'm working on a minor rewrite which will smooth out a few of the rough edges and also fix certain details caused by the extended writing schedule. I should also thank my fellow author and friend Luz Rojo, to whom I verbally told the outline of the story back in 2004 (incredibly enough). Luz encouraged me to keep going with the novel, and since he's as much of a SF fan as I am, did poke me occasionally to see it to the bitter end.

I'm mulling over creating a downloadable book-formatted PDF version (roughly 120,000 words), so we'll see if and when that happens. Thanks to all who have commented, and please let me know what you think of the story when you finally get to the bitter end.

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So Pec, it looks like I will live long enough to read the final chapters...oh wait, there's going to be a book two?

I have enjoyed the story very much and I can see where the research you did bolsters the authenticity without making the story into a documentary of the past. The characters in 1864 all convey a sense of being the ancestors of people we can see or know, in today's society. So far our time has not been changed by the Jason's journey in the past. That is quite an achievement in itself.

I look forward with much anticipation to reading the latest chapters.

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Yes, I plan to at least start a second book, but this one is pretty much self-contained.

There's three or four elements of history that I think have never been written about or shown before, and I hope to jump into some of those in the second book. One is the world of magic in the circus carnivals of the 1860s, the second involves life among the native Americans in the plains, and the third involves several real-life historical people of 1865. In all cases, there's an ongoing question of how much you can change the past before you break the future. And my hope is to cover all this in a very fast-paced way with a lot of conflict and drama, and maybe try to inject a little humor when I can.

Plus a little sex and romance, but that goes without saying... :wave:

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  • 9 months later...

And just to update this thread more than six months later: I have started working on the second book of the series, which we're calling Shattering Fate. This continues the setup from the last page of the first novel, continuing on only a few days later.

The link for the first chapter is here:


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Ah, and my thanks to my partner Rod and also Cole above for helping out with proofreading and editing. It was hard getting back into the groove, but I think I have a grasp of where the story is headed now. Now, all I have to do is to get there!

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Guest Dabeagle

I've read the original now, and it was a lot of fun and very hard to put down. I loaded it onto my tablet and took it to work and to my son's TKD class which made both more enjoyable.

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I need to revise the PDF one more time, but yeah, it was a lot of fun to write -- only took me, what, five years to finish? I love these two characters, and I have plans for some interesting adventures in 1865 for both of them. The current thing with the carnival is going to have some surprises.

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I hope they're enjoying the sunshine! Our cat was ecstatic at the beautiful weather today. She enjoyed going after the birds (from inside her screen door). I may just write her into the story, to keep this thread on topic! :alien[1]:

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