Fierce Competition, the precursor to Fierce Rebellion, was a story that grew out of a couple of different ideas I had in my mind and from my “graveyard” of forgotten short stories. One of these forgotten stories took place on a college campus and included two guys and two girls getting together within my Awakened Series. The college part of the story sort of fizzled with me but I really liked the people in the story which included Thad, Jean-Luc, Misty and, of course, London.

The working title for the first book was something I just pulled out of thin air: “Fierce Competition”. I sort of had an idea of where the story was kind of going with the above four people, but as I began to get deeper into the story, someone else emerged, a fifth character, from the story that took me completely by surprise—Peter Fierce, after which the whole book and then series was ultimately titled.

I have always adamantly said that stories should be allowed to tell themselves. I will start out writing a story in one direction with thoughts and ideas about what’s going to happen, but then the story itself takes control and I allow the story to tell itself through the lives and events of the people living within it.

Fierce Competition did just that. However, in doing so, it became and kind of odd story in that while the book was titled after Peter Fierce, the majority of the story was actually more about the four young people, while Fierce was on the periphery of the main characters.

My editor very much liked the novel, and made it very clear that she wanted to see more of this Peter Fierce. We really only got to see glimpses of his life in Fierce Competition. So, who is he? My editor was thoroughly captivated by the corporate espionage thriller that became the Fierce Competition story. She started tossing out all kinds of new titles, Fierce this and Fierce that …

There was also a not so subtle criticism that came out of the first novel—some of my readers really liked the story but where was the paranormal sci-fi Harley Austin is famous for? “I read Harley Austin because I love the paranormal stories!” one reader told me.

Alright, message delivered.

The truth is, there is some paranormal stuff happening within Fierce Competition, but it is very subtle, barely noticeable, and yes the Fierce novels do indeed tie into my Awakened universe.

Fierce Rebellion picks up where Fierce Competition left off. We get to see some familiar faces, but also some new ones as well. If Fierce Competition left you feeling like you really missed seeing some of the Awakened, Fierce Rebellion returns to its Awakened roots by delivering my typical paranormal sci-fi in spades.

In many ways, the main Awakened Series tells stories from the perspective of the awakened gods. What I liked about The Fierce Professions Series is that it tells stories from the perspectives of the people finding themselves now having to deal with these new gods and their knowledge.

I hope you really like The Fierce Professions Series and all of the rest of the Peter Fierce novels to come.

~ Harley

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