Following the exodus from rising floodwaters, the surviving descendants of those who came to create a society on a planet far from Earth have struggled to rebuild within the remains of an ancient temple. Now, as disease and an unfamiliar environment threaten to destroy them yet again, everyone seems to have an opinion about what to do next. Miriam and Tobias Page, newly married, believe there may be a possible home beyond a distant canyon. Their journey with a quarter of the population doesn’t start well and soon nature and their own humanity will conspire to end it all. Meanwhile, Miriam’s two cousins, Joel and Micah, have different ideas. Joel is convinced the best course of action is to return to the mountains they left to mine for the ore that would make a great return to Earth possible. Micah hopes to stay, learn all he can about the temple’s previous occupants, and prove both of them wrong. But soon, he and his new partner Patience realize that no option is truly safe. As the transits of three different groups get underway, new dangers and surprises emerge from within the rainforests, mountains, and deserts of the planet…and one of those may have followed them from Earth. While a final home is a dream away, present nightmares must be dealt with first if any of them are going to survive.
Patience tried to count the number of people left in the temple at Manoach. Three hundred, three hundred fifty? Many of those had already revealed their desire to follow Joel when he returned from the Barrier Mountains. There might be a few more or less, but her calculations sounded right given the number of people who followed Miriam to the west. Of those not going with Joel, maybe a handful would be willing to pack up and leave Manoach.
Would Micah be one of them?
A cry of alarm rose from a scout to Patience’s right. She looked over and saw Theresa Atkins, a woman slightly older than Patience, wave a lit torch indicating a potential threat. Patience looked out beyond the wall and tried to focus her eyes on several shapes she saw moving out of the tree line. At first, there were three. Then four.
“Lord, help us,” she whispered.
Another alarm rose to her left. Levi Barrett, one of the newest scouts Patience had been training and still only fifteen, waved his torch back and forth. Fearing the worst, Patience looked out toward the tree line in front of his part of the wall.
Fifteen rychat, approaching from two directions, silhouettes in the dark creeping through the brush.
What do you love most about self-publishing?
First of all, the control I have over my work is amazing. I get to choose the cover design, the distribution channels, everything. It means that my book truly represents my vision and creativity. It has been a journey learning what and what not to do in these areas, but a little hard work (and a whole lot of help) has given me a better idea. I have gained valuable friendships because of this process.
I can also put my book on sale in just a matter of weeks. That's a huge difference compared to waiting months or years with a traditional publisher. Plus, getting my work into the hands of readers faster means I can start building my audience right away. I'm a rather impatient person. I think if I when through traditional avenues of query to agent to publisher to editor, etc. I would still be waiting for my first book to be released. Did I try? Yes. Two of my books were released the "traditional way." I waited nearly eighteen months for their release, and have always felt the publisher abandoned me.
Another thing I love is the creative freedom. I can take risks with my writing and try out new styles and genres without feeling pressured to conform to what a traditional publisher wants. That means I can truly express my creativity without any limitations. I have written literary fiction, magical realism, science fiction, dark fantasy, and nonfiction...all in my own name. I’ve heard I “should have” used pen names for each genre, but I got to choose. I love that freedom.
And last but not least, I love the direct connection I have with my readers. Thanks to self-publishing, I can connect with them through social media, book signings, and other events. It's hard work, but that's part of the process. Being an author is not just about writing for me. Instead, it's about everything that goes into getting the words out of my head and into the reader's hands. Would I like help from a publisher's marketing department and their budgets? Of course, but I like to reach out directly. It's a great way for me to build a fanbase and get feedback on my work, and it's helped me grow as a writer and make meaningful connections with my readers.
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Benjamin, a speculative fiction author, ran with scissors when he was five. He now writes, paints, uses sharp woodworking tools and plays with glue. Sometimes he does these things at the same time.
Benjamin lives with his wife Jesse in Colorado.