Announced recently on Twitter, The Warriors of God is a new project. Less than a week old in fact, and one that is dependent on a few things.
The basic plan is to write 12 connected short stories (or episodes) between 8000-10,000 words long based on the Secret War universe. These "episodes" will concentrate on the lives of several monks of the Order of Saint Sallian - as described in the first two Secret War books -and will follow the monks through six months of campaigning and training, basically to Hell and back - sometimes literally.
The stories will feature some of the main characters from the novels, such as William Saxon and Engrin Meerwall, but as supporting characters only. The intention of the series is really to build an arc for the monks of the Order that I can bring to the table when I write the next two books of the Secret War series (Traitor of Light, and The Fortress of Black Glass). Essentially, it's an opportunity to develop characters that I couldn't under the constraints of the first two novels which were largely relentless adventure romps.
To that effect, the episodes won't be page to page adventuring and action; in the best traditions of the mini-series, there will be episodes of contemplation and character building, just as there will be those big action set-pieces. The characters, I hope, will be intriguing and colourful. By concentrating on the relationships between the monks rather than being plot-centric I want the readers to care about these characters so when they arrive in the last two books, their emotions will already be invested. Which is important to me.
As I said in early posts for The Fortress of Black Glass, this final book will be bleak and not everyone will make it through to the end.
I plan to write the stories over the 12 months between September this year and Summer 2011. In October 2011 these stories will be published on the MFW Curran website at a rate of one per week for 12 weeks until Christmas, with the first episode/story hopefully appearing elsewhere on other blog-sites, writing-sites and maybe even in a short-fiction magazine (tba).
Then, depending on the success of these 12 stories, I plan to publish them as a collection either through a small press publisher or via self-publishing, along with the e-book.
But this project is all dependent on time. To succeed I'll need the time and space to write a short story a month as well as write the drafts required for the Traitor of Light. It won't be easy, and I've learned enough in the last year not to over-stretch myself, so I'll be playing it by ear - as ever.
And I'll be philosophical if it doesn't work out (a writer can be nothing but) - though if it does work out, then this could mean you'll be seeing a lot more of the Secret War in the future, folks...