Prequels, in both literature and film, have been wildly successful in many cases. Some others not so much. I decided last spring to write a prequel to the Jesse McDermitt series to answer many questions my readers asked about the characters' back stories.
Originally, I'd planned it as a short novel and intended to price it lower than the others, both to entice new readers and as a thank you to my existing fan base and answer their questions. When release day came around, I set the price a dollar less than my other books. It was a huge success and I received a lot of fan mail thanking me for answering questions people were to timid to ask.
Fallen Out is a short novel, or long novella, depending on how you look at it. It can be read in about five or six hours, the perfect beach book. It starts on the day the main character retires (falls out) from the service and quickly moves through two years, highlighting the important parts of his (and many other characters) backgrounds.
Quite a few characters that appear in later books have cameo appearances in Fallen Out. I tried to write it just like the others, so that it could be read as a stand alone story, before or after any other book in the series. Many have said they loved reading it after the others and many others have said it's best to read it before the others.
It's my favorite of the five so far. It takes Jesse back to a simpler time, when he was nothing more than a "wet behind the ears landlubber", as his best friend Rusty would say. In this prequel, the reader learns exactly how Jesse came to be a charter boat captain, how and when he bought his tiny little island north of Big Pine Key, and how he came to own the ugliest truck in the Florida Keys.
Writing it was so much fun, because I only had to devolve everything from the other books. In fact, it took only six weeks to write and another week to have it edited and the cover made. The first chapter starts with Jesse waking up on the day of his retirement.
When most people think of someone retiring, they envision gray hair, wrinkles, and shuffleboard. But, military retirement can come as early as twenty years of service at age thirty-seven. Retiring and playing shuffleboard weren't a part of Jesse's plans, though. With no relatives or friends back home, he headed south to see an old friend he'd served with early in his career. Along the way he decides he wants to buy a boat and live on it, taking out the occasional fishing or dive charter for fuel and beer money.
I won't give away too much of the plot here, because I know a few who read this might have read the other books in the series and not be aware of this fun prequel. It's been available on Amazon since late May, but still hasn't sold as many copies as what used to be the first book in the series, Fallen Palm, so I know a lot of people have missed this one.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Fallen Palm will be free on Amazon, while Fallen Hunter, the third book in the series will be only $.99, for a year end promotion. I wanted to make Fallen Out free but Amazon says it's not eligible yet. It'll be free in March for a few days, but why wait? You can get the first three of the five books in the series for less than $4, with a sixth one due out in late January. If you haven't read these yet, I'd like to invite you to grab
a copy, light a fire and cozy up to it for a little fun in the south
Florida sun. Start with Fallen Out and bookmark my blog so you can come back on Tuesday and get the others in the series at the special promotional price.
The links are on the right.