Reading e-books before bed.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tour Stop: Destined by Ali Cross

Writing a Trilogy/Series
by Ali Cross

Thanks so much for having me on your blog today, Nickle! I love book hoarders. ;) And anything owl-ish is pretty much awesome!

So you asked me to talk a little about writing a trilogy or series. Somewhere in the process of writing book two in the Desolation series, I had the opportunity to talk to a bunch of book bloggers and heard over and over again some form of "we hate trilogies!". Needless to say, I was a bit freaked! I mean, I was in the middle of writing one!

But I think the heart of their complaints were, 1) having to wait forever between installments and 2) feeling like book one had an arbitrary "false" ending, book two was just a "connector" book and the last book, which had become the focus of a lot of hype and hope, might inevitably let you down. And I couldn't knock them for thinking those thoughts--I thought them too!

I tried really hard to avoid these pitfalls, but I'm certain there will be readers who will think I didn't succeed. Which is sad, but I can't please everyone--even though I wish it were otherwise! Still, I considered myself super lucky that I could try to take these complaints to heart and use them to improve my own storytelling.

I try to think of writing a series like living a life--each book has to have its own complete "arc", it's own story to tell. I think it's a lot like life, really. Think of your life as if it were in three stages--your childhood (birth to, say, 20), your adulthood (20-60) and your senior years (60+). When you were a kid, you experienced everything the world had to offer, everything you could. You made good and bad choices. You learned and grew. The choices you made defined who you were as a 20+ adult.

As an adult, you can look back on your childhood choices and think you'd never make those choices again if you could go back--but would you, really? Perhaps you made the best choices you could based on what you knew THEN. So you live your life as an adult, within a framework of what you learned as a child. You make decisions and act on where you are now, the information you have, lessons you've learned. Those choices define who are as a senior.

And as a senior, hopefully you've lived enough life, learned enough lessons (good and bad) to be able to make even better choices. You've grown and matured, you're wise. Now, if only you could have been that wise when you were in your youth! But you can't because where you are now, as a senior, is only possible because of the choices you made up until this point.

For instance, in Become (Desolation #1), Desi makes her first choice and succeeds--she chooses good over bad. In Desolate (#2), she makes her second choice and it goes badly--she chooses bad over good. And finally in Destined (#3), she uses everything she learned in books one and two and makes a third and final choice--one that could only be made if she'd had a full experience, chosen well and unwisely, lived with the consequences of both a good and a bad choice. Desi wouldn't have been able to make the choices she does in book three if it hadn't been for the Desi she'd been in book one, and in book two.

See how that's so much like life? I might regret some things I did (or didn't do) in books one or two, but there's nothing I can do about it now but try to make book three as awesome as possible. I try to make the lessons learned--both as my characters and as the author--count for something. I try to make it all add up to something satisfying.

Sure, the first book might leave things hanging a bit--I want you to come back for the rest of the story, after all! And yeah, book two gets you from book one to book three--but I hope you find in it a new growth for Desi, a reason to want to know more. But I think book three will be satisfying for my readers. I think they'll discover a mature Desi who's capable of making the choices set before her, who will draw on everything that's come before to make something wonderful--to fulfill her own destiny.

Whew! That got long. I hope I managed to address some of what concerns readers when they're faced with a trilogy. At least with indie publishing you don't have to wait years between installments of your favorite books! So, try to think of a trilogy or a series as a great opportunity to keep the story going, to be able to read and read and read about your favorite characters and to really get to know them. I think that's worth a couple cliff-hanger endings.

Thanks Nickle!


Thank you for that wonderful story, Ali. Your fans will surely love it. I can't wait to read your books too. :)

Now here's a few information about Destined and where to purchase a copy of all 3 books.

Title: Destined
Series: Desolation, book #3
Author: Ali Cross
Published: December 12, 2012
Destined (Desolation, #3)

Choosing is a bad idea, because Desi always makes the wrong choice, and sometimes there are no do-overs. Certainly not this time, when all has been lost and Desi can’t even save herself, let alone her friends. For Desi, the hardest thing is letting someone help her, to accept their sacrifice on her\behalf. But that’s exactly what she’ll have to do in order to save the worlds from Helena’s destruction.

The goddess of Helheimer, long imprisoned by Desi’s father, Loki, is free at last, and she’s bent on reclaiming what once was hers. The nine worlds will be drawn into war, over Hell, over Earth, with innocent humans as meaningless collateral.

While Michael and the Gardians of Asgard, along with the golden-armored Valkyrie, lead the battle for freedom, it’s Desi who holds the destiny of all the worlds in her hands.

Can she set aside her doubts, once and for all, and claim the gifts that are hers to bear? Can she accept the sacrifice that is made for her and Become all that she was created to be?

Her final choice will define not only her future, but the fate of humankind, forever more.

Using my links to purchase your copy sends a percentage commission on my account. It would help with keeping this blog site open and service you better. Thank you!

Author Bio

Ali Cross is the sensei of the writer's dojo where she holds a black belt in awesome. She lives in Utah with her kickin' husband, two sparring sons, one ninja cat, two sumo dogs and four zen turtles. Ali is the author of the Desolation series, a young adult paranormal romance about the kick-butt devil’s daughter and her search for a destiny of her own choosing.

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The Ultimate Desolation Fan Prize Pack!

Personalized, Signed copies of BECOME, DESOLATE & DESTINED
Silver Desi Necklace, original design & hand-created by Gail Zuniga
Desolation Tote Bag
Desolation T-Shirt
3 Desolation Bookmarks
Celtic Knotted Heart bracelet made my ali

The Ultimate Digital Reader Prize Pack!
Kindle Paperwhite
The Desolation Trilogy
Twenty-five additional books by awesome indie authors

Twelve Signed Books! 

And Each Blog on the Tour will Give Away a Desolation (e) Trilogy!
Available in any format
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. That's probably why each of my books jumps ahead twenty years - it shows the main character in a different place in life. And since I never intended to write the second or third book, none of them leave anyone hanging!

  2. Great post, I love the cover of this series, thank you for the giveaway!


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