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July 2017

The Story Behind: RELIC

CITY OF GOLD

Relic was one of those books that sort of happened by accident. After finishing SIREN, the so-called short story (nearly 200 pages in print) ended up ending leaving me with not so much a cliff-hanger, which I hate, but with an ending that was begging for a sequel.

I wrote Relic in a couple of weekends over a two-week period. In the meantime, my editor who is also a talented graphic designer was tossing ideas for book covers at me left and right. Honestly, I rejected all of them, but when I saw to golden-red cover with the Aztec-looking ziggurat and the huge being in the background, not only did I know that this was the cover I wanted but she also ended up in a roundabout way helping me create the end of the story I hadn’t finished writing yet.

Relic has become one of my faves in that it has some big backstory reveals of what will be coming in the main series, and also who some of the people are that have been a bit of mystery so far.

I loved the character development as well and some of the surprise “ships” that happen within the story.

Just so you know, I’m not done with these people: Liam, Tori, Monica, Mac and the crew of the Neptune. There’s gonna be more … stay tuned!

NEW! Awakened Chronicles

Awakened Chronicles: Epic Short Stories

They’re here! The first two books of Awakened Chronicles have been released!

As the Awakened series has progressed now into six books published, and three waiting to be published, needless to say that there have been numerous ideas and stories that have made it to paper (so to speak) but are not really full-length books advancing the backstory. But they were such great stories that i just couldn’t let them go without being told.

Awakened Chronicles were created to satisfy my literary Attention Deficit Disorder. Harley Austin never met a story I didn’t want to tell in my own inimitable way. I am an avowed relationship junkie. I love “shipping” people within the Awakened universe that end up making really great stories.

“Harley, 200+ Pages Is Not a Short Story.”

My editor groaned. Okay. She’s right. It’s not. Harley Austin apparently has another problem, I’ve discovered that I cannot write a 100-page story. Siren was supposed to be just a small, short 100-page novella that advanced some background about the Awakened Universe. Nope. It came in at 200 pages in print. Relic was nearly 300 pages in print.

Okay, so in the future, look for Awakened Chronicles short stories to be between 100 and 300 paperback pages.

When Should I Read These?

As a general rule, unless you don’t mind spoilers, don’t read an Awakened Chronicle before you’ve read the last book the chronicle is supposed to before. Here’s what I mean …

Each Awakened Series novel takes place about a year after the last one in the epic story: Legacy (book three) takes place about a year after Dominion (book two), and  Dominion takes place about year after Awakened (book 1). These three books then span three years of time in the main series. That’s a lot of time between stories.

Awakened Chronicles books attempt to fill in some of these fairly large time gaps between the novels in the primary Awakened Series. Siren takes place between books two and three of the main series. You may not want to read Siren until you’ve read Legacy, book three, of the main series.

The other interesting part of Awakened Chronicles is that aspects of these stories have already begun to manifest themselves in upcoming novels. There are elements from Awakened Chronicles that manifest themselves in later novels, like Paradisus (book 6).

Where To Buy Harley Austin Books

All of my books can be found published exclusively on Amazon.

The Story Behind: SIREN

A SIREN’S CALL

SIREN was one of those stories that was supposed to be a “short story” to introduce my new Awakened Chronicles. But at just under 200 pages, it ended up the length of a typical mass-market paperback.

The truth is, I really don’t know where a new book is going until I’m into the thick of the story. By the end of SIREN I had discovered a rich new group of people within the Awakened universe that I really liked and wanted to continue. Without using a cliffhanger (I really hate it when authors do that) I deliberately left the ending of SIREN wide open for that eventuality.

For me, SIREN introduced, quite by accident, some different relationships that I honestly had not thought about exploring within the main Awakened Series. I always tell people that Harley Austin does not write books, I simply introduce fictional people into a book and let them tell their stories; all I do is write what happens. That is exactly what happened with SIREN.

SIREN came together in a couple of weekends and I almost immediately began working on the sequel, RELIC. Who knows, maybe there will be a third book that continues following this crowd.

I sure hope so. It’s like a series within a series now.

AWAKENED CHRONICLES

Awakened Chronicles is part of the Awakened Series created to satisfy my literary Attention Deficit Disorder.

With the Awakened Series now into its sixth published book, and with the seventh, eighth, and ninth book completed, and a prequel on the way, I found myself with a handful of really cool and rather interesting ideas that fit within the series’ milieu but didn’t really fit within the series’ main storyline. Most of these story snippets were becoming distractions within the main series; but I found them intriguing enough to put them to paper, so to speak, and flesh them out into their own novellas.

At this point, I have no idea where these various short stories are going, but suffice to say that all of them will tie into the Awakened Universe in ways that add background and even some bombshell intrigue to the original epic.

One of the criticisms I’ve been receiving from fans of the Awakened Series is that Harley Austin never met a new character I didn’t like. There is some truth to that. I am an avowed relationship junkie and I love the idea of introducing new ships and new people into the grand story.

The problem is, after six books, Awakened has close to a dozen (of what could be considered) main characters within the story. It is, to say the least, a personae-rich environment. This to me is just perfect, but to casual readers not thoroughly invested in the Awakened Universe, it is bordering on confusing. Rather important people show up in later books that were introduced perhaps three or four novels ago. Many readers simply don’t want to follow the lives of this many people. One of my beta readers, in fact, warned me, “If you introduce one more new couple I’m going to stop reading.”

Okay. Message delivered.

Awakened Chronicles will now become the Harley Austin playground for snippets of stories that wholly intersect with the primary series, but don’t actually further the main story—they simply build detail upon it. These chronicles are the lives of the people on the periphery; people deeply affected by the events unfolding within the main story, but who do not, seemingly, add to the overall events unfolding within it.

I am going to have some fun with these! I hope you enjoy reading them as well.