Serpent Catch Series
When I wrote my first novel, On My Way to Paradise, it got rave reviews, won a Philip K. Dick Memorial Special Award, and stayed on the science fiction bestseller list for five months. Afterward, my editor at Bantam Books asked, "So, what do you want to write next?"
I answered, "I'd like to write a big fantasy, something like Lord of the Rings."
She looked me squarely in the eye and said, "David, you just became a bestseller with a huge Latin American Cyberpunk novel. You've gone further with one book than most do in twenty years. We don't want a fantasy from you."
So I was ordered to write a science fiction novel, but I've never been good at following orders. I decided to write a fantasy that . . . kind of felt like science fiction.
I took some of the things that I'd loved as a kid--dinosaurs and Neanderthals--then mixed them with things that fascinated me about the sciences, such as space travel and genetic engineering--and devised a story that excited me: a fantasy about a young Neanderthal who lives in the far future, in a world that has been terraformed and then populated with plants and animals from Earth's ancient past.
The book was meant to be one monolithic piece at first, something like Lord of the Rings, but with no breaks. My publisher though, thought it would be too large to even be bound, and suggested a two-part series.
The first book in the series was called "a masterpiece" by some reviewers and sold very well, but then trouble struck. A new company bought out my publisher and decided to scrap the entire science fiction and fantasy division. So when they released the second half of the series, they slapped on a dark cover, printed only a few copies, and I went on to publish elsewhere. Oh, I got nice reviews. The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction said, "In this book,
But the book was not a huge success. Only one in four people who bought the first volume got to see the second at all.
More importantly, I was very ill when I wrote the books. I had chronic fatigue syndrome, and part of the time when I was working on the novels, I barely had the energy to write. Since I had small children and a full-time job, I felt strained to the max, and I feared that my prose wasn't as polished as I would like.
Then e-publishing came along. Suddenly I had this old book, one that I loved and had good critical success, and I had an opportunity to put on that final polish. I also had twenty more years of writing experience, and a lot more awards under my belt.
I've always felt that anything worth doing is worth doing well.
So I've rewritten the novels. I've expanded many scenes, and put in others, so that the books became significantly longer. I've cut out any wasted prose, polished the rest. Now I feel that the series is a powerful as I'd first hoped that it would be.
So I'm presenting the new version of the tale, along with my author's notes at the end of each book. I'd originally wanted to call the novel "Spirit Walker," and so I changed it to that. I'd wanted to call the final volume "Path of the Crushed Heart," and so that is now corrected.
In other words, this now follows my artistic vision to a much greater degree.
This month we are putting up the first book, Spirit Walk, as a feature in the Truly Epic Fantasy Storybundle. The other authors in the group are spectacular, people like James Artemis Owen, Neil Gaiman, Brandon Sanderson, Tracy Hickman, Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Among the group are Hugo and Nebula Award winners, World Fantasy Award Winners, an Eisner Award Winner, a Newbery Medal winner, and a host of New York Times bestsellers. Just to name the honors won by these authors would take five pages.
But I wanted to offer the rest of the books in this series, too. So for a limited time, you can buy the following books here for only $5 total:
Path of the Crushed Heart
I really do hope that you will enjoy reading them as much as I have writing them.