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And so ends Series One of The Shadow Wars.

Countdown was also a title where I didn't have a preconceived notion of what was going to happen. I had to mostly come up with it on the fly, and kind of quickly, too, since I was putting out stories and chapters at a pretty brisk pace back then.

I feel like I've been saying this too often, but I suppose it makes sense, given how I view my own work, but I'm surprised Countdown came out as well as it did. I don't really think it's particularly good, but I thought it would be worse. Plus, I got to write about the Shadow things for the first time, and those are fun.

When I finished this up in mid-2015, I knew I needed a break. Of course I ended up penning Dead Skies instead, but then I took a real break for several months. And of course I wasn't finished. I still had ideas, and Drake still hasn't gotten Enzo yet, and there's that huge setup for Anomalous Operations.

So obviously there was going to be more.

It was fun to experiment with a somewhat new style of storytelling for this one, although I was nervous. In the beginning there was just one protagonist, one setting, a straight shot like a survival-horror campaign. Then I had to diversify a bit and follow multiple people across the same campaign in Snowblind. Then I tried something else and followed two different storylines.

And then there was Countdown.

Obviously not groundbreaking storytelling, but it was certainly new for me. I spent basically my whole life up to this point writing about one protagonist at a time. So now, on top of multiple protagonists, I had them hopping across the galaxy, instead of sticking to one place at a time for the whole story.

I hope it turned out well.

Now, as for what comes next. Obviously, I had to be a little complicated about it, instead of straightforward.

First, there are two short stories you should probably read. They take place in between Chapter 17 and the Epilogue of Countdown. The first, WARM MEMORIES, is about Greg going to visit his parents in his hunt for his lost memories. The second, LAID TO REST, features Allan confronting his past and finally laying it to rest. If you're only going to read one, I'd say read Laid To Rest, it's definitely the better of the two.

But if you don't care, then up next is NECROPOLIS 4: TERMINAL. Because of course I'm writing The Shadow Wars 11 - Necropolis 4: Terminal. It picks up roughly six months after Countdown and features some old, and brand new, protagonists. And, you guessed it, zombies.

If you've liked the series so far, I think you'll really like this next one.

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