From a thought in his mind to the pages of a science fiction novel, Des Allemands' Lee Stephen pushes extraordinary characters to the edge in the second installment of his book series
When intruders from other worlds invade Earth, Scott Remington - a soldier enlisted with the Earth Defense Network, takes on more than just extraterrestrials. He comes face to face with the greatest obstacle he’s even known.
“Without giving away too much, Scott’s world gets hit hard in more ways than one,” said Stephen.
“My first book, Dawn of Destiny, revolved around the literal aspects of war, whereas Outlaw Trigger revolves around a personal one. Hence the tag line, ‘Not all wars are waged on the field,’” said Stephen.
When it came down to writing the second volume, Stephen says that it was extremely crucial for him to make an easy transition from one book to the other.
“You can literally finish Dawn of Destiny and pick right up with Outlaw Trigger,” said Stephen.
“My goal is for each book in the series to be that way - a continuation of the book before it.
“Each book has its own story, but the full scope of the series is something much larger - hence the series title, Epic.”
Stephen says that the subject matter of Outlaw Trigger is much more serious than the first book and points out that his biggest challenge this go around was writing with honesty.
“It hurt to write Outlaw Trigger in more ways than one,” said Stephen.
“If I shortcut anything, if I hold back anything that needs to be projected for the story to come full circle, then I’m cheating the reader out of something so powerful.
“I knew that when the book got into the hands of the readers it would change everything about the Epic series, but that’s the way it had to be done.”
Stephen’s series is noted as being extremely character driven, and he says that getting the core set of characters into rhythm was the easiest part of writing Outlaw Trigger.
“A lot of readers don’t realize just how many characters were in Dawn of Destiny,” said Stephen.
“The first book definitely had a plot, but it was more like an extended character introduction - it was like layout out the groundwork for things to come.
“I didn’t have to reintroduce any previous characters in Outlaw Trigger. I just picked up where I left off.”
Published reports indicate that Epic is currently the top-ranked independent science fiction series on Amazon.com.
And Dawn of Destiny is no stranger to the No. 1 spot in the general science fiction category - it’s climbed its way to the top, and readers seem to like it.
“The vast majority of the feedback I’ve received has been great,” said Stephen.
“I believe that the personal story of the series has really done something amazing, which is to connect with readers outside of the science fiction genre.
And as far as negative feedback goes, Stephen says that most has been from people who don’t like to read about God.
“The character Scott Remington is a man of faith and that seems to make some people uncomfortable,” said Stephen.
“Even though Epic isn’t a Christian series, I’m very open about my Christian beliefs.
“I write decent books without onslaughts of profanity. Some people hate that, and that’s fine with me. I don’t plan to apologize or change.”
Stephen says that he realizes that a lot of science fiction books aren’t for everyone, but points out that Epic definitely has mainstream appeal.
“This is a series with heart - with a few guns and explosions, too,” said Stephen.
The Epic series, which sold nearly 1,000 copies in its first year, is carried by Cherry Books in Thibodaux, Borders in Metairie and online at Amazon.com.
For more information on Outlaw Trigger, visit www.epicuniverse.com.
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