I wanted to delve into some of the great mysteries of our current world and I felt like the mystery of the Lost Continent of Atlantis would be an interesting way to lead into those subjects.
I live near the beach in Southwest Florida and some of the locations I used in the books are places I visit now or have frequented. Especially Anna Maria Island, FL. and The Bridgetender Inn. Beautiful place which is perfect for how the books begin starting with The Atlantis Codes. I have spent a lot of time there over the last 20 years. I have also spent time at Boca Grande, FL and Cape Coral where the Nauti Mermaid is located. However, this story is a moving vehicle. In Critical Mass, the story moves to eastern Kentucky near Morehead where I spent most of my youth playing in those hills and hollows. Many of the other locations such as Coast Guard Station Key West, North Bimini Island, No Name Harbor, CIA headquarters, and McLean, VA, I found through research and learned enough about them to write as if I had been there. The internet is a great tool for writers today.
They held personal interest for me was part of it and I love writing about places I know well. Second, I wanted the books to have a mysterious yet tropical feel at times. I think people like picturing boats on a beautiful day, dolphins, pelicans and conversely…a beautiful ridge in the Appalachians with all that goes with that. Kind of gives the readers a diversity of experiences and feelings.
The Atlantis Codes took me 5 years to complete. I rewrote it probably 12 times. It acted as the novel writing course that I never had. I wrote a while and I read a while and continued to compare what I had written to the good books I was reading. I read books on writing by Stephen King and others that I respected and followed the advice that I felt pertained to me. I also followed a great quote from the famous writer Richard Bach…”A professional writer is one who didn’t quit…”. It’s easy to become overwhelmed and give up. The blank page is a worthy opponent on some days.
It took me less than a year to write Critical Mass, the sequel to the Atlantis Codes. I learned a lot writing that first book and the more I wrote, the more fluid I became. I plan to write Book 3, which I have tentatively named “The Covenant”, in 6 months or less.
At the moment, I have written two and have began the process for Book 3. I will have choices by the end of Book 3, No Turning Back. I can finalize the story (I think) even though it is a big story that widens and deepens in Book 3, or I can leave the ending open to further books in this series. I think I will make that decision as I receive feedback from my readers. If I think people want more of this saga, I will continue to write in the series.