"1776: His army clinging to New York by a thread, a desperate General George Washington sends Lieutenant Jeremiah Creed behind British lines once more. But even the audacity of Creed and his band of spies cannot stop the British juggernaut from driving the Americans from New York, and chasing them across New Jersey in a blitzkrieg fashion. Realizing the imminent loss of one of the new nation's most important states to the enemy, Washington sends Creed into the war-torn Hackensack Valley. His mission: recruit and train a gang of rogues to work behind British lines."
As you can tell from the lead in above, my second novel, The Cavalier Spy, is now out. I have a full page on The Cavalier Spy posted on this blog, but thought that a post on it appropriate just a few weeks after its release. Those who follow me on Twitter (@SWOConnell) or on Facebook (S.W. O'Connell) have been bombarded with a stream of promos, nuggets and tidbits. You may thank me later for all that. Seriously, this work was much more difficult to produce than my first novel, The Patriot Spy. Going into it, I thought it would be easier. But I was wrong.
Writing the The Patriot Spy was a first venture so I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had no timeline and only a vague idea where it would go when I started. The Cavalier Spy, as a sequel, was more challenging. For one thing, I had to remember everything I wrote in the first book just to make sure I did not repeat anything unintentionally. Second, I had to repeat enough scenes from the first book, intentionally. Why is that, you ask? Because I wanted The Cavalier Spy to also be a "stand alone" work. That way readers who had not read The Patriot Spy would be up on things. And of course, I had to do that without giving away any nuggets from the first book. Ice cream headache time!
The other challenge was how do you follow the largest battle of the war and all the excitement and intrigue went with it? How do you make it more interesting? As it turns out, that became easier as I went along and I got into the rhythm of the plot. Things started to happen. I read several new works related to the period following the loss of New York and before long I had several interesting things to build the action around. And a new piece of the Revolutionary War struggle to reveal. And just to juice things up, I have multi-chapter flashback providing more insight into the main protagonist, Lieutenant Jeremiah Creed. As I paced through it, new ideas and characters developed. A fictional town. A British plot. Political intrigue on both sides.
About half way through the story I knew where I would end it, with an iconic scene out of America's history. But you'll have to read the book to learn more about that.
Shameless plug: The Cavalier Spy is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com right now. In December, it will be available as a paper book at those locations and selected stores around the country.