To be clear, just because I’m not writing Camelot 2050 now doesn’t mean that there will never another installment. Camelot 2050 was part of my life for a long time but it was always going to be a trilogy and there are other projects I want to get on with.
Camelot is my debut series but not what’s described as a Trunk novel (that being an unpublished manuscript that sits in a trunk in the attic). It shares some aspects of the trunk novel though, it was during Camelot that I discovered and refined my style, voice and approach to writing. You can see that as you read through. So why did I stick to writing a Trilogy? We’ve heard of the ‘Trilogy in five parts’ (Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy) and there are other debut series that carry on, The Dresden Files was Jim Butchers debut but he had plans for the Codex Alera and Cinder Spires series. Despite that the Files carry on currently standing at fifteen novels with a sixteenth on the way and with numerous short stories set in the chronology.
I love a good series. The Dresden Files, the Honor Harrington books, the Discworld novels. A good series lets you really get to know a set of characters. It allows the reader to really get invested in their journey but, to my mind, once you get beyond five or so books it becomes harder and harder to put them down either as a reader or a writer. It becomes harder to step away from them maybe because of habit or loyalty both to the books themselves and to the fans who read them. I’ve come across a couple of book series that I had to step away from. In those cases it was because the authors went through dramatic events in their lives and the tone and character of the books changed into something I didn’t enjoy anymore.
I love the works of Gail Carriger, the Parasol Protectorate series and the Finishing School trilogy are joyous but they are also well contained within their run length. The PP runs at five and the Finishing School series is a trilogy along with it’s follow-up the Custard Protocol. Each series or trilogy is set in the same world with familiar characters but to read one doesn’t absolutely require knowledge of the rest.
So, back to the initial question, why no more Camelot (for now)? Although I have (and may again) put pen to paper on orbital short stories from before, during and after the Le Fay Campaign I want to broaden my writing horizons. Lest we forget that even Terry Pratchett stepped away from the Discworld on occasion to pen works like the Bromeliad Trilogy, Strata and co-authored such works as The Long Earth series and Good Omens. Camelot is adventure and militaria with a scattering of fantasy, horror and sci-fi. I want to explore those genres more deeply and flex my imaginative muscles as a means to get better at what I do. As I’ve mentioned before a ‘pure’ Sci-Fi novel is on the way as is a Horror with a twist on the well walked ‘zombie survival’ theme. Beyond that is my planned Urban Fantasy series influenced by the British Gangster genre.
Once all that is done (or even while I’m doing it) I may return to Camelot 2050 (or 2060) should a new story emerge from the depths of my brain. I’d like, at some point, to explore the possibilities of a comic series or RPG based on the setting but that’s beyond my personal talents. I’ll hold out hope for a Netflix series but that’ll be a ways away (if it ever does happen). The main reason to keep tapping away at the keyboard is to get my stories out to the audience who’ll enjoy them.