Shared Universe

Shared Universe

Years ago, I began the Ragnarok Rising Saga, starting with the first book in the series, Ragnarok Rising: The Awakening. Little did I know that I was taking the first steps on a journey that would take me far beyond my wildest expectations. It would become more than just my beginnings, it would become the vehicle that would shape the course of my career as an author.

Originally planned to be a trilogy, I found that the story was evolving beyond that. Part of it was my doing and part of it was just the nature of the story, itself. You see, Ragnarok took on a life of its own and there were times where I felt like I was just along for the ride.  And what a ride it’s turned out to be.

When originally published, the series spanned five large volumes, each totaling around 150k words, give or take, or roughly 500 pages. When the series was picked up by J. Ellington Ashton Press, I had the task of changing it from five large books to ten smaller books. Their publishing model is based on a roughly 250 pages per book. If you have the original five books, thank you for joining me on the journey then. If you haven’t read the new ten book series, you might find a bit more details and a fresh edits, plus some additional content to make the transition to the new format a bit smoother. However, the overarching story didn’t change.

The story. That’s the big thing. I wanted to tell something epic. Something worthy of the word SAGA. You can read any of the books and be entertained. At least, that’s the plan. However, if you read the entire series you’ll find that it tells one story, much bigger than any of the books, themselves. You’re part of a journey that takes ten books to completely tell. It’s something I always wanted to do. Like the Tolkien “Lord of the Rings” books. You have to read all of them to experience the entire story. It’s epic. That’s what I tried to capture with the Ragnarok Rising Saga.

There were characters that I never intended to keep who grew to be instrumental, characters that I didn’t know at the time would become more than originally intended and some that left long before even I expected it. This series above all else, is alive with characters. Characters with distinct personalities, all their own. Characters that sometimes surprised even me.

For example, Chrissy “Spec-4” Wilder. Most people don’t know that I had no intention of her surviving the initial battle at the roadblock where she was first introduced. I had originally planned for Wylie to survive that fight alone, then have to find his way back to the others. Then, something unexpected happened. She just seemed to jump out of the pages at me. I loved the dialogue between her and Wylie and found that I liked the character. So much so that I kept her around. Little did I know that she would become such an integral part of the story. It simply couldn’t have been told without her.

Then there’s White Bear. He’s introduced later in the series, but fills a much needed role. Then, later, when I needed a character in another series to fill a similar role, there he was again. While doing research for the Apex Predator Series, I found that he just seemed to be already there, as if waiting for me to catch up. I’ll give you all a little hint. The Lakota word for White Bear is… you guessed it… Matoskah. Jay Matoskah is White Bear. Something that had been part of the Ragnarok Rising Saga was again taking on a life of its own.

Enter the book, Lakeview Man. The Main Character is a man named Daniel Clark. He’s a small county deputy who stumbles into something bigger than himself. Something he doesn’t fully understand. As the story evolved, Clark needed help. Needed knowledge that he couldn’t find anywhere else. He discovers a way to get the knowledge and meets… yet again… Jay Matoskah. Enter the White Bear.

When writing Lakeview Man, I had planned on making it a standalone book with no bearing on any other series. But, somehow, the characters and events took on their own life and guided the story in a way I hadn’t expected when the book was conceived and started. It set itself up for a new series. It set the stage for the Wild Hunt.

From Lakeview Man, Daniel Clark is recruited by the Wild Hunt to help them hunt monsters. A task he’s already shown a great aptitude for. As they history of the Wild Hunt team was being created, I found that it played right into the growing theme throughout my books. In the history of the team, another thread linked back to… yet again… Jay Matoskah.

With this common theme running through all of my books, there seemed to be a pattern forming. A shared link. A shared universe? Hmm. That would mean that all of these stories are not only linked, but share a universe. The timeline might be interesting, but it’s there. That means that the Ragnarok Rising Saga takes place after the events in these other books. That means that they are somehow linked. That means this SAGA is much bigger than I ever planned, yet here it is.

Do I know where it will all end? Well, that’s an interesting question. I know more than I’ll say, and more than you suspect. But there are elements, characters and themes that even I might not have fully anticipated yet. There are things moving through this universe that haven’t fully revealed themselves.

If you read all of the books, I think you might see patterns forming. Certain characters emerging that have significance across the universe and across multiple series. I’ve already told you about Jay Matoskah, but who are the others. Yes, there are others. Some might be more obvious than others and some might still surprise both of us.

As this universe continues to evolve, more will be revealed. More will appear and some might not. Can you spot the key appearances? The characters that will span the greater universe? More will be revealed as books are written and stories are told.

What does that mean for the future? Well, it means that everything has a hidden meaning and nothing has truly ended. It also means that we haven’t seen everything there is to see. Ragnarok isn’t finished quite yet, now is it? There might be stories that haven’t been finished there. Now more than ever, my tagline takes on more significance. Find out what that means as the books evolve. Join me on this journey. Let’s see where it takes us, shall we? After all…

The End is Only the Beginning.

Thank you all.


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