I wrote a prequel to the Mark Taylor Series. Okay, confession time, I didn't spend my summer vacation working on the book. I spent it at Chula Vista WaterPark resort in the Wisconsin Dells with my family, but after that, I wrote most of this prequel.
A lot of my time for this one was spent researching Afghanistan and how it was in 1999. In No Good Deed, it was mentioned that Mark bought the camera in Afghanistan while helping his friend, Mo take photographs for a book Mo wanted to publish. It was a worthy project and Mark agreed to go. We didn't learn much about the trip in No Good Deed. In fact, we only got hints of how Mark acquired the camera, learned about its power and how he met Jessie.
It wasn't oversight, as I wanted to go into detail but I had so much story to tell about what happened to Mark after he attempted to stop the horror of September 11th, I decided to start No Good Deed several months after 9/11, to coincide as much as possible with the real life timeline of what was going on in regards to enemy combatants.
After No Good Deed came out, readers wondered about a sequel. I hadn't thought far ahead when I wrote No Good Deed. In my mind, I was going to be happy to have a few people read the one book. It didn't occur to me that people might want more of the character. When they asked for more, I happily obliged, but the next two books take place after No Good Deed. Meanwhile, I kept thinking about Mark's back story.
In Mark Taylor: Genesis, we learn more about Mark and we are introduced to Mohommad. Mostly though, I wanted to show how Mark was when he was just the regular guy and hadn't been put through all the trials in the other books. What made him tick and what drove him to use the magic of the camera the way he does in the other books. I hope I planted the seed.
So, I finished the book a few weeks ago and it has been through a few rounds of edits and betas. It is now with the editor, and barring any major re-writes, should be good to go in the next two weeks. I hope readers of the series will be as excited about it as I am.
As a side note, because the prequel is a bit shorter than the other three books, I am also going to include one or two deleted scenes from other Mark Taylor books, most notably, No Good Deed. (It's the one I had to cut the most from.)
These scenes were cut because I decided to alter the plot, or as in the case of one, it was a nice scene, one of my favorite post-detention scenes with Mark, but it didn't move the plot forward, so I had to cut it. In addition, I have a few drabbles and at least one flash fiction --if I get the guts to put it in there--it's really dark.
Some readers may also be interested in some information on my research, so I'm going to include a few tidbits from that as well. The enemy combatant research was the most interesting, but I, sadly, found some horrifying stuff on Afghanistan when researching this book as well. A lot of it has been in the news before, but reading about it and seeing video of some of it actually happening was a real eye opener for me.
So, if you're a Mark Taylor fan, be on the lookout for Mark Taylor: Genesis. It should be available in the next few weeks. I'll post information here as I know it. If you're not a Mark Taylor fan yet...I hope you'll soon become one. I think you'll like him.