Updated: Dec 22, 2021
In celebration of the release of DRAGON’S HUNT (Assassins of the Underworld, Book One), the first book in an all-new series launching this Monday, I thought I would drop a Q&A blog post to clear up some of those burning questions you have been dying to ask…or, that I have been neglecting to divulge even though you never asked in the first place, lol. Enjoy ;)
How did I come up with the idea of the “Common” and the series Chronicles of the Common?
Although I had been dreaming and imagining Eva’s character for a few years, I didn’t immediately think I would write a book about her. Life has a way of throwing a few punches at you until you eventually realize that it’s been trying to align you with your purpose. Sometimes we ignore the signs, like I did for a few years, and sometimes we embrace the new direction. Once I decided that I wanted to write a book and Eva would be my heroine, I began thinking about where I could take her. Luhcean, and his relationship with/to Eva, emerged during my first brainstorming. Obviously, I prefer character driven tales, because the Common was still far from imagined.
My former professional career was in brand management and franchise development. So, I knew from the beginning that whatever I wrote would be a series, and not a stand-alone novel. I wanted my writing career to be entrenched in a single fictional “universe,” where all of the series I write would be connected by a common theme, enemy, and environment.
As I continued to explore my characters and how I wanted to approach writing, I also knew that it would have to be in a genre that appeals to me personally. I believe that you have to love what you write; or what’s the point? My two passions are science fiction and paranormal romance, and neither is more valuable to me than the other. So, I needed to make a universe that had both! But how?
Those first few brainstorming days were quite a challenge for me. I had never written anything substantial before, and I stumbled into the typical dilemma of being paralyzed by the notion that “it’s all been done. How can I possibly be original?” And then it hit me: all of the tales have already been told! There have been stories of vampires, aliens, and gods among most populations on Earth, and many of them have common similarities. How? Why? Where did they come from? What if even those myths and tales aren’t original at all? What if they were real?
And that was the genesis of the Common, a place beyond Earth’s reach, where all of the monsters and myths are real. I tried to divide up the most popular creatures, myths, and religions and give them their own solar systems, cultures, and histories. Sometimes they blended together, and sometimes they stood on their own. But here on earth we digested these tiny bits and made them our own. The idea was a bit like the game "telephone" or gossip; a fact is shared, and as it's passed down from person to person it begins to twist and change and take on a life of its own. Humans are familiar with myths about vampires, and they have also heard about a succubus, but they don't understand that there are ten different types of them and they are all one species in the Common.
I continued building this universe, and halfway through extensive world building I had to stop and just write. To anyone who tries to create an entire universe for their books, my recommendation to you is to set a deadline and don’t go past it, or you’ll fall down a rabbit hole and not a word will be written six months later. Once I had the basics, I had to trust that as I progressed with this universe the rest would fill itself in eventually.
And so I went back to my two main characters and created a story for them, as well as a story for my universe. I plotted out the first few books and developed a very rough outline of how I wanted my universe to grow, but all of the stories in between are still constantly moving and shifting as each new book is written and published. So, in some ways, the end is a partial mystery to even me.
Will there be more Chronicles of the Common books?
Absolutely! How many? That I can’t yet answer. At a minimum, there will be eight, though I had originally planned for twelve. I would love to do twelve, but to some degree it all depends on how well the series sells. My hope is to keep the original twelve as planned, and pepper them between other series over the next few years.
Why start a new series?
I grew up on Star Wars movies, and they had a big impact on how I viewed stories and franchises. I knew that I wanted to create a tale that would transpire over several parts. Some of those parts will include Eva and Luhcean, with new stories in the Chronicles of the Common series. And some parts will exist outside of the Chronicles, similar to how Rogue One and the Mandalorian enhance the overall Star Wars franchise, but they are still great tales by themselves. Everything I write is planned to be in the same universe, and the people in this universe are all experiencing similar adversities and challenges.
The Chronicles of the Common had a natural pause point at the end of “UNCHARTED.” They did what they set out to do, find a new home for the hybrids of the Common. The next stage in their tale will require more plot to happen outside of their little bubble of reality. The new series, Assassins of the Underworld, will explore that plot which is unseen by Eva and Luhcean.
Also, after spending an entire year with Eva, Luhcean, Kai, and Issy, it was a perfect time to take a much needed break from them and to explore new characters.
How do the Chronicles of the Common and Assassins of the Underworld series’ relate?
There are several connections between both series. Indira, our first assassin seen in “DRAGON’S HUNT,” had a very brief cameo in the first book, “UNCOMMON,” where she was leaving Ancient Agbi’s shop and her hair smacked Luhc. She and Z were then seen in “UNCHARTED,” as fellow prisoners to the pirate queen Kadea. Little details like this are spread through both series, linking them together.
Assassins of the Underworld will also continue to unravel the mystery of Synergis. Our rogue assassins will encounter challenges and events throughout the Common and the Underworld that will eventually have an impact on what Eva and Luhcean are attempting to accomplish in their newly discovered solar system of Hahttavaya. Both series can be read independently, and I will do my best to tie-up storylines and brief new readers wherever possible. However, I can’t deny that they were intended to be read in a certain order, bouncing from one series to the next, and back again.
How many books will be in the Assassins of the Underworld series?
I have planned for a six book series, but that number isn’t concrete. There will be a minimum of four books, and I suspect the series won’t continue longer than eight books. But even if the assassins novels stop at eight, the characters will continue to be seen in other series and novels planned for the future. I do have the next two spin-off series already brainstormed for after Assassins of the Underworld, and the ultimate goal is that all of these characters will contribute moving forward the overall progression of the Common’s story.
When will new books be released?
First, my apologies, I am not a fast writer. I do my best to get books written as quickly as possible, but sometimes that is longer than even I would like. The next Assassins of the Underworld book will release this summer (roughly the end of June). After that you can expect a new book approximately every 3 months. I may break up the releases of the Assassins of the Underworld series with one or two new Chronicles of the Common books, and then go back to finish it, but that hasn’t yet been determined.
I know everyone reads at different paces, so while you are waiting between my books, I will start sending out notices to recommend books and authors I like or who have new releases you might want to check out. I may not be able to fill your fix, but I will do my best to try ;)
If you have questions for me as an author, or about any of my books, I would be happy to create another post with your specific reader curiosities. Please do not hesitate to send them (EliseNightAuthor@gmail.com).