The Lifehack series began as a short story of unrequited love of a girl for another girl, and nanotchnology being abused to create (among other things) zombies. The story eventually grew into a book, Lifehack. It was intended as a one-off…
However, I saw the chance to tell more stories in the fictional country introduced in Lifehack, and their troubles with nanotechnology abuses. I surprised myself when I completed writing a book, but suddenly it didn’t seem so impossible. Leaving the main characters of Lifehack alone, I turned to new characters in the same world.
Compared to the action-filled first book, I had much more personal goals for Watching Yute. Where Lifehack has scores of deaths, they are mostly statistical nameless victims. Watching Yute suffers from some of the after-effects of Lifehack, but doesn’t scream “I’M A SEQUEL!!!” In fact, it’s so different in tone that it really is the ‘middle child’ in a lot of ways. I warn potential readers all the time. Don’t go in expecting more of the same. Don’t expect large-scale battles. Don’t expect a happy ending. Expect emotion. Some are the kinds they don’t make greeting cards for.
In Watching Yute, I kill very few people. But you get to know them. Half way through writing Watching Yute, I realised that it was the ten year anniversary of a friend’s suicide, and I had subconsciously picked her first name for a character. After that realisation, the book became a whole new beast to me. As such, it is my favourite of the three.
When Watching Yute was done, I knew I had to bring back some of the action and chaos that Lifehack enjoyed. I also had a handful of characters who needed loose ends tied up.
I wrote Echoes of Erebus to be readable without having read the others, but I suspect that having read the other two would add more meaning to many of the concepts in Echoes of Erebus. In some ways, Echoes of Erebus is a bit of a sequel to both previous books.
There are a few minor characters who play a part in all three books, and the heroes from previous books make brief appearances, but on the whole, each book is about someone else, dealing with their own issues, and slightly different manifestations of nanite abuse.
With Echoes of Erebus, the series ends. I’m not saying there will never be another book in that world,
but I don’t see the need for it. there might end up being a spin-off series…