Six Down and A New Series to Go

A little over two weeks ago, I sent Moscow Airlift off to Penmore Press. Hopefully they’ll take it on and we’ll get it out around the first of the year. Assuming the novel gets published, it’ll be book six in the Josh Haman series and there’s one more, almost ready to go. It’s called The Simushir Island Incident and it will be the last in the series.

Originally, I thought there would/could be nine books in the series, but after I finished the last draft of The Simushir Island Incident, I thought the ending of the story was perfect way to end the series after seven books. More on this book once I know what happens with Moscow Airlift.

                  So what’s next? Flight of the Pawnee and Manpads are going to be the first two in a new, more contemporary series built around the adventures of a new hero, Derek Almer. The only similarities between Derek Almer and Josh Haman are they are both Naval Aviators and helicopter pilots. While Josh was a career Naval Officer, Derek leaves the Navy after eleven years and becomes a contract pilot for the CIA.

Converting Flight of the Pawnee from a Josh Haman story to one featuring Derek Almer took a lot more than just using ‘find and replace’ for the names. The Josh Haman version took place in 2002 and the Derek Almer based manuscript happens in 2015.

The historical context had to change because the story in the original manuscript occurs in 2002 and the Derek Almer version occurs in 2015. In 2002, the U.S. hadn’t invaded Iraqi and bin Laden was still alive. In 2015, the U.S. is still engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan and bin Laden is dead.

All of the backstories having to all be changed. References to prior actions in Josh’s career went into the trash basket and new stories and characters along with their relationships to Derek have to be researched and written. Little things such as references to computer and phone technology have to be updated. For example, in 2002, the first iPhone was still five years in the future! In 2015, the iPhone 6 and 6S were on the market.

Location research also has to be updated. Simple things like new roads, buildings, airport updates, new models of cars, etc. all had to be factored in while keeping the plot the same. Al Qaeda wants revenge for the killing of Osama Bin Laden and wants to kill more Americans than died on 9/11. To do so, they send one of the top bomb makers to the U.S. to plan and carry out the attack.

All in all, I think I probably re-wrote about forty percent of the book. Next step is for me to read it out loud to my dogs to proof it and then it is ready to go to a publisher. In a later blog, I’ll talk more about the plot of Flight of the Pawnee and the new guy, Derek Almer.

Marc Liebman

July 2017

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