Fun Facts About the Shadow King Series

combodealI have decided to document some fun facts and draw a few comparisons that I noticed between book one, A Fractured World, and book two, A Fractured Truth.

Let’s begin with Word Count: A Fractured World sits at just over 68,000 words while A Fractured Truth is hovering just short of 101,000 words, about 32% longer.

Characters: In book 1 we are introduced to 14 characters who play some active role within the pages, while in book 2 there are 19 characters who play a part by the time we reach the last chapter. Of these 19 characters, 14 are new. This means that only 5 characters have played a consistent role in both books.

Target Market and Profanity: Book 1 originally began to be targeted for Young Adult readers with limited profanity and zero sex. Book 2 is not designed to be Young Adult, but with the understanding that many young adult readers may have picked up the first book and wish to continue the series. Therefore, profanity has been omitted from the pages. Both books say “dammit, son-of-a-bitch, and hell” in many situations. Book 2 has only one line insinuating sex but is left to the discretion of the reader — and “Asshole” found its way into the later pages. Considered to be quite mild in today’s standard, expect to ride out the rest of the series with limited profanity and practically zero sex.

Style and Chapter Setup: Both books switch between time periods as the reader makes their way through the chapters. This has led to sudden topic changes, from a strong military setting to an action-filled adventure story. Although not set in stone, expect to see this style through the remaining series. With both books, readers have experienced a “looping effect” which, for the most part, resolve itself within the current volume. As not to provide spoilers, there are unanswered events that may have taken place near the beginning of a book which eventually gets explained (or resolved) by the end of the book, adding to a fun mystery setting.

A Fractured World has 46 chapters and an Epilogue, whereas A Fractured Truth has 59 chapters, making up 4 parts.

Rearrangement and Last Minute Changes: A few days before A Fractured World was released, the first two chapters swapped positions. Initially the lead off chapter entailed David and his friend Johnny walking out on the old railroad tracks in 1958. Instead, we find Jack Redman alone in 2031 about 12 hours after a major attack against the U.S. as he tries to make his way toward a good friend’s house to ultimately determine her fate.

In A Fractured Truth, the entire first chapter (which also contains the entire 1st of 4 parts) was designed to be a fairly lengthy Prologue. After the final edit, it was changed. In addition, the second to last chapter had originally been written and designed to be the Epilogue, but by the final-edit it, too, was changed, as I tucked into the book as just another chapter.

In A Fractured World there is a scene where one of the main characters sings along to the Beach Boys. Even after the final-edit, the scene contained several lines of lyrics to the song Kokomo, but just hours before publication, the lyrics were quickly removed in fear of stepping on toes and to avoid copyright infringement.

Writing it: The idea for the first chapter of A Fractured World had been written about fifteen years ago but the original document went missing (Lost in an attic perhaps?). Although written by memory, the setting is exactly the same, where we find Jack Redman alone after an enormous blast. After this, the complete rough draft was written in about 3 weeks before undergoing major editing and rewriting. While crafting the rough draft, the most productive day consisted of writing 7,000 words, but overall I averaged anywhere between 3,000 and 5,000 words per day.

A Fractured Truth did not take 3 weeks to write but rather 3 months before undergoing extensive rewriting and editing sessions. The most productive day while writing the rough draft was closer to 4,000 words but the average day consisted of 2,000 words.

Random:

– Did you know that the first two words and the last two words of A Fractured World is Jack Redman? It’s true. Look again.

– Did you know the word “shards” appears twice in A Fractured World and was planted there as an ongoing inside joke I have with someone.

– Did you know that over ten years ago I had mentioned Slim Jim in a co-authored book I wrote with my father about growing up and hunting in the Maine woods. My proud grandmother wrote a letter to Slim Jim alerting them to this fact. In return, I was mailed a gift certificate by the company as a thank-you. Out of gratitude, both A Fractured World and A Fractured Truth have scenes where someone is munching on a Slim Jim.

– The Junior High playground in A Fractured World was described just how I had remembered my middle school growing up in Bethel, Maine. Also, a quick story in A Fractured World mentions a place called Ghost Rock, which was inspired and described similarly to a place I frequented with friends as a child called Step Falls, located in Newry, Maine.

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