by Nicholas Downing, Author of Talon’s Test and the Shield of Faith, Book One of the Talon Trilogy
Tomorrow is Christmas Day 2015. The day I initially planned to release Talon’s Tribe and the Sword of the Spirit, Book Two of the Talon Trilogy. Unfortunately, things don’t always go according to plan. This year, I’ve certainly learned this lesson the hard way.
If you’re a fan of Talon’s Test and the Shield of Faith, there is a good chance you’re not very happy with me. Especially if you purchased the book when it was first released nearly two years ago in November 2013. I get it. You want to know what happens next. This desire pleases and saddens me at the same time. I’m thrilled that you care enough about these characters to want to know what happens to them but not so happy to report that I’m not yet ready to deliver the next installment. Many readers have contacted me directly over the past two years, asking me when the sequel is coming out. I’m sad to report that Talon and Naomi’s next adventure is at least another year away from being publicly released.
It’s not that I want to disappoint anyone. It’s not that I’m lazy or that I’ve lost interest in telling this story. Believe me, the last thing I want to do is to leave anyone hanging.
But I feel I need to be honest with you. Cranking out this sequel is not my number one priority in life right now. It can’t be. I’m a husband and a father to four beautiful children, one of whom was diagnosed with Autism last week. Writing is my lifelong passion but being an author in an obscure and little known genre like Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy doesn’t exactly afford me the opportunity to quit my day job. Like many of you, I work hard to support my family. I also work a lot of weekends continuing to serve my country through military service. I’m no longer on active duty, but being a reservist is a much bigger commitment in time and resources than most realize.
Talon and Naomi’s battle against the forces of darkness must come secondary to Brecken’s battle against Autism. That doesn’t mean I’ve stopped writing; it just means you’re going to have to wait a little bit longer to find out what happens next to the heroes I’m honored to know you care about.
Time for me to share a second truth.
I’m genuinely struggling with getting this sequel right because in order to take the Talon Trilogy where I believe God wants it to go, I need to show a different side of Talon than you’ve seen before. Book One introduced you to an awe-inspiring warrior driven by devotion to the Lord, a genuine hero with an indomitable spirit fueled by a seemingly unbreakable faith.
But as Scripture tells us, “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Talon Vance is only a man. And even the mightiest warriors and holiest preachers stumble and fall short. In Talon’s Tribe and the Sword of the Spirit, I’m deliberately taking Talon into a darker place and I need you to trust me that there is a reason for this excursion. I need you to see that even in the midst of darkness, light still shines. More importantly, I need to see this.
Ironically, the reason I find this sequel so difficult to write is because I myself am stumbling through the darkness lately. I know there is Light and I even know its source. But I am painfully cognizant of the fact that the light I see in the distance appears much dimmer lately than I’ve been accustomed to for quite some time. And when the light is dim, I grow afraid. My courage devolves into fear and I find myself struggling to breathe.
Please pray for me. Please pray that my real life struggles will help me better illustrate Talon’s imaginary ones. Otherwise, I think we’re all headed for much more disappointment than a missed book launch date.
Most of all, please pray for our beautiful daughter Brecken. She is so precious to us. We believe that God can heal her and like Talon, we are unwilling to concede defeat. On the contrary, the battle has just begun!
“I lift my eyes up to the hill, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and Earth.” – Psalm 121