I mentioned a while back that I was excited to be asked to write in a fun new project and I'm super excited to finally be able to share the details!!! The photo above is the cover for the first installment of a fun new serialized ongoing novel that will release one installment a month. The first 5 installments were written by the SHINE Universe creator and bestselling author, William Bernhardt. He invited several other writers, including yours truly, to also write in the fabulous SHINE Universe, which will come out sometime after the first 5 installments.
SEE! I told you, exciting!
Even better, this first installment to release THIS Thursday, is absolutely FREE for the 1st 5 days!!
After Monday, each one will be only $0.99!
There is also a really cool trailer for it. It isn't a comic book or graphic novel, but fully prose, each at novella length. Bill just really likes comic books and so the trailer was made in that fashion. If you'd like to check out the trailer, go here!
The cover and trailer not enough? Here's a little more about followed by a little Q&A with the SHINE Universe creator himself.
In the near future, a few young women manifest extraordinary abilities called "Shine." Each girl's ability is different. Some develop extraordinary mental abilities. Some become physically strong. Others have powers that defy description. But the world does not embrace these Shines. It fears them.
Aura was only trying to use her healing powers to help a small child. But when she Shined, something went horribly wrong--and all of Seattle was destroyed. In the aftermath of this disaster, the government institutionalizes Shines in "rehabilitative treatment centers." Aura is sent to the Transforming Your Light island rehab--but to her it seems more like a prison. The other Shines hate her. The people running the place are out to get her. And she feels certain more is going on here than "group grope" and twelve-step programs. But when she tumbles onto the horrible secret beneath the rehab--she realizes just how great the danger to her and all the other Shines really is.
Aura resolves to escape before it's too late. But she can only do that if she organizes the Shines, persuades them to work together, and overcomes the deadly opposition she only barely understands.
Here's the Q&A that appears at the end of the first installment:
Q&A with the Author
1) Where did you get this crazy idea of breaking the story up into serialized segments?
From Charles Dickens. I got my Masters in Victorian Literature and studied Dickens extensively. He serialized most of his novels in magazines called Household Words and All the Year Round before he published them in book form. Dickens was the most successful writer of his day—and self-published. He owned,edited, and wrote most of the magazines, often using pseudonyms to disguise the fact that he wrote most of it himself. Occasionally he would let another writer contribute a story, and in this way, he launched many writing careers, although he introduced a new Dickens novel regularly to maintain reader interest. I think Dickens would've loved the Internet and the eBook revolution and the opportunity it gives writers to reach their readers without being dependent upon publishers (or giving away most of the profits).
2) Why are you making this saga so inexpensive?
Again, Dickens. He wrote for the people, not the snobs and the critics, and yet his works are still admired and studied a hundred and fifty years after his death. He always made sure his work was available in affordable editions and library editions so that anyone who wanted to read them could do so. I’ll do the same thing.
3) How long will this story go?
The first main story arc is about a hundred thousand words long. After that, I've invited some writer-friends to create Shine novellas, and those will appear while I write the next big story arc. We’re working in close collaboration, though, so don’t think these novellas will be side shows unrelated to the primary story line. They will be closely intertwined and the novellas will provide many clues for the attentive reader about what is to come. They will also introduce characters that will become important later in the main arc. And don’t make the mistake of assuming the stories not written by me won’t be as good. I've only invited top-flight writers to participate. I maybe sorry I did. Some of their novellas may blow my stories right out of the water.
4) If these are prose novels and stories, why are the covers and the trailer done in comic-book style?
This simplest answer is: Because I love comics, always have, always will. I've also read Shakespeare, Joyce, Dickens, Woolf, Faulkner, etc. I’m not a snob. I like good stories regardless of how they are told. But I've always wanted to do a comic-style story, so this is my chance to play in that sandbox, in prose form. Here’s the sad truth about modern comics. Some of them are excellent, but they cost $2.99 or $3.99 each and you can read them in about five minutes. Sure, you get terrific art (sometimes), but not that much entertainment value, time-wise, for your money. With the Shine series, you’ll get a terrific bargain, at least a night's worth of entertainment, for an extremely small amount of money.
5) Will these stories ever appear in print editions?
At some point, yes, but for now, I’m focused on eBooks. I think that’s the wave of the future, and as long as I keep the price low, anyone can enjoy them and no one need be tempted to search for illegal downloads. This is a more than fair price, so I hope you will give it willingly and enjoy what you get in return.
6) Does this mean you won’t write your Ben Kincaid series any more?
No. I always prefer to do another book or three between Ben books.
7) Will there ever be a sequel to The Black Sentry?
Yes. But don’t ask me when.
8) Will you do any more books on writing?
Yes. I've done three books in the RedSneaker Writers series and I’ll release three more in 2014.
9) How long do you plan to do these Shine stories?
So there it is! Did you catch that reference to 'top-flight writers' in question #3? *wiggles eyebrows*
Seriously though, I'm extremely honored that Bill asked me to write in this amazing world and I'll hope that you'll tune back in Thursday to check out the FREE first installment. I know you'll fall in love with the SHINE world just like I did.
What do you think about the cover for installment 1? Did you go over to Bill's Facebook via the link I shared and check out the trailer? Does the blurb above have you intrigued? I hope so.