Some people may not understand what I’m doing here. The Vaulan Cycle has science fiction elements, but it is no more concerned with science than it is with fiction. There is no genre for my work. Though it may carry the legacy of certain authors (or not–I may be a delusional narcissist), it is not a copy of them, and it belongs in the science fiction stacks no more than their work does.
A criticism was leveled against A Chair Between The Rails that things come out of nowhere and for no reason. When I was 18 or 20, a deer came running across a road at night and hit my car before I could stop. Similarly, I have twice had alarming and incredible visions of what I believe was some real manifestation of God. I did not will these experiences to happen. Otherwise, believe me, I would have continued to will that beauty into existence every day since. These elements in God’s narrative of my life were rather poorly plotted, coming with no foreshadowing, almost like a random string of events slashed with strange bursts of clarity here and there. Guess God hasn’t yet learned how to write tightly-plotted fiction with commercial appeal.
For those who are confused by the two published books of the Vaulan Cycle, I hope you’ll try multiple readings, and reading them in order. (Book I, then Book II, not publication order!) Believe me, there is a lot there thematically and narratively that you might miss the first time around. All books of the cycle will, by nature, have to reference each other, and this (admittedly) may make a given book difficult to understand on its own. I left the Vaulan Cycle in a difficult state because I respect you all too much to teach you the inner workings of this story. Believe me, you can figure it out, but you may have to give it more than one cursory beach reading. Hey now, respect yourselves as readers, and trust me as an author. 😉 It’s all there. You just have to unpack it for yourself.
I will warn you, though, that Make Worlds With Me (Book III) is going to be even stranger than the other two. It starts right at the end of The Tower of Babel, as Austin et al. have just come through the portal to a paradisiacal planet. Everyone is now immortal. They’ve become gods, and they have the power to accept or reject certain divine transformations that have been given to them. The story doesn’t inhabit a linear timeframe, but rather something like a stack of layers of time, or stacked circles of time that reference past, present, and future in endless reverberations. I did not invent this feature; it came out as I continued to unpack what the text wanted to be. You are not going to understand it on the first read. Heck, I can barely understand it as I try to channel it. Still, I’m pretty stoked about it.
Finally, to those of you who know me personally, I hope I’ve never pressured you to praise my work or made you feel that you had to spout false platitudes about it. If the Vaulan Cycle leaves you saying “huh,” I’m really not offended. I am not writing these stories for recognition, fame, praise, or money. I am writing them because they come to me. They are so huge, you have no idea. I carry them with me everywhere, all day, every day, and all through the night. They give me incredible amounts of anxiety and unexpected glimpses of joy. If they mean something to you too, that gives me another kind of joy entirely. If they mean nothing to you, simply pass them on to someone who may like them. Or trash them! It’s up to you. But the Vaulan Cycle goes on.