The Writing Path Not Taken


At the heady heights of the Twilight movies success and as The Hunger Games movie was beginning to grip everyone as well, a friend suggested that I should attempt to write a similar series of books. Young adult for all intents and purposes but with mainstream crossover potential and, most importantly, with film adaptation in the forefront of my mind.

Perhaps for those who aren’t writers, it seems that writing a successful book series that becomes a successful movie series is as simple as having the idea and seeing it through. But knowing what will strike a chord with young adult readers and Hollywood producers at any given moment is almost impossible – I’m still trying to figure it out.

I had a go anyway. In fact, I had several goes because I came up with a number of ideas and directions that weren’t pursued.
Anyone who has read the first chapter of my upcoming novel, Black Spot, will know that Livia Black ended up being a teenage amnesiac whose mother died in the car accident that stole her memories. But recently, as I was checking old files on a handful of USBs, I came across one of the earlier ideas for the character named Livia Black. This wasn’t the first idea (which had to be abandoned when it was realised that somebody had already written the series of books I was intending to write – more common in this writing caper than non-writers might realise) but it was the idea I pursued and developed the most before eventually abandoning it also in favour of who Livia Black actually became.

Immediately, this discovery got me thinking about the writing path not taken. I’m extremely proud of Black Spot. I wrote it is less than six months and it tells a story that even I didn’t realise I had in me. Now I can only wonder whether I would have had the same speedy success in creating a compelling story if I had pursued an earlier incarnation of Livia Black.

I guess I’ll never know. The blurbs I created (which I’ve included below) seem interesting and had they been written, they’re probably the type of young adult with mainstream crossover potential books I would have chosen to read. Perhaps in an alternative dimension there’s another version of me who continued down this writing path. But unless I’m sucked into some kind of Joss Whedon type wormhole to bridge that gap, we won’t be able to compare notes. I’ll just have to trust that I made the right decision for this dimension.

Black Death
Livia Black lives in Murphy, a small town with a small population. While her fellow high school classmates are preparing to leave for college, she has no plans to go anywhere. All she wants is a quiet life.

On the final day of school before graduation, people begin dropping like flies. Something is making them sick. And soon everybody in town is affected… everybody except Livia.

She quickly becomes the most shunned and the most wanted person in town. The townspeople think she may be responsible. The CDC think she may be the cure. And Livia thinks that maybe, just maybe, this might be the beginning of something much, much bigger…

Black Death is the first book of The Livia Black Chronicles.

Red Heart
Livia Black has a front row seat to the end of the world. Her entire town is already dead. And now the thing that killed them is spreading across the state. Eventually, unless someone can stop it, it will infect the whole country and then the whole world.

Dr Sebastian White is desperately trying to find a cure. After helping Livia escape the clutches of the CDC, he finds himself on the outside looking in. For some reason, Livia is immune… but she’s not the only one.

When other immunes begin turning up murdered, Sebastian realises someone is willing to sacrifice them all to keep the virus safe. And if he doesn’t get to Livia first, she could be the next victim…

Red Heart is the second book of The Livia Black Chronicles.



White Light
Livia Black and Dr Sebastian White are in the fight of their lives against an opponent they can’t even see: a virus that is killing the world. And there are people who will do and say anything to keep the virus safe.

These people have convinced those in power that Livia is the reason the epidemic began and that eliminating her is the only solution.

Sebastian realises that he and Livia are the key to the true solution. They track down Patient Zero to discover the real source of the infection… Livia’s father, now dead from the virus but once a brilliant scientist.

But when they finally come up with a cure, they both realise that they might not want to stop the virus after all…

White Light is the third and final book of The Livia Black Chronicles.


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