The Hangman Returns is in the publisher's hands. A few more steps and everyone will be able to share in the wondrous world of the Hangman Universe (HMU) again. So, I was trying to figure out what I should do while waiting for the book to be published. I honestly wanted to take a long and overdue break from writing. I felt like my action scenes were getting stale until I reread the book and fell in love all over again with the Hangman and its characters. But I still didn't know what I wanted to do. So, I still decided to take a break. Yeah right! I had so many ideas rolling around in my head that I had to jot down them all. That led to writing more. Before long, I was knee-deep in my passion again.
I started off dusting off my space opera, Travel Through the Stars. The door was open to so many possibilities that I got lost. However, I usually write the final chapters to all my books. It's my style. It helps me remember where the book is headed and stay on the path. But I wasn't feeling Travel just yet.
Then I stumbled on an idea for a character from Travel Through the Stars. Her name is Hut-Yo Cull. She's a badass bounty hunter and I decided to explore her roots. She was a character that my friend and business partner Panhnha Tran came up with. There was so much to explore from her humble beginnings that I started working on that project, Hut-Yo Cull: The Hunt Begins. At the same time, I couldn't pull myself away from the Hangman Returns. Having to edit and reread it, made me want to see the next stage in the saga. The Hangman and The Hangman Returns are novels. They represent Stage 1 and Stage 3 respectively. The other books are novellas and center on the supporting characters from the Hangman books.
That made me reach out to Mr. Tran again, the brains behind The Grand Librarian character, Alexander Merryweather. I asked Mr. Tran if he had any more ideas of what Alexander will do next until the Hangman 3 is written. Alexander and his new bride, Emma, had just given birth to twins in The Hangman Returns. Not wanting to interfere with the Hangman's timeline, I decided to jump to the future, when Alexander's children are just realizing that they too possess the wizarding gene. Mr. Tran took it from there and came up with a plot for Alexander in the future. So, for now, the working title is The Grand Librarian: The Future Wizards. I have invested all my writing abilities to bringing this story to life. I bring back characters from The Grand Librarian: Life of an Immortal, including his teacher Merlin. Together, they set out on a mission that will change the HMU forever.
I felt burnt out until this story came along. And now, I'm re-energized to continue writing. Even though it's a novella, I think this has the chance to be some of my best work. From there, I have two more novellas set to be written following the events from The Hangman Returns. My new character, Susan Taki will have her own story. Then the Death Brothers, the vampire slayer Jericho Caine, and the demon hunter Father Tom Padilla, will have a combined story. Those three novellas will bring Stage Four of the HMU to a close and set up Stage Five, which will be the third novel featuring the Hangman. Overall, that will bring the HMU to nine books, three novels, and six novellas. Phew! What's this talk of a break?