On slaying the dragon...

Hi all! — Wanted to give an update on the Active Measures Trilogy. I'll try to keep this short, but then again nothing with this trilogy ever winds up "short."

So… There's good news and bad news.

Bad news first: I am definitely still working on Part II of the trilogy — I know I haven’t talked much about much recently, but I've never not been working on it. Frankly there hasn't been much to say. Progress is slow, slower than I'd like it to be, but no matter how hard I try to press on, the demands of this story tend to bog me down (or often it's just petty, boring life that stops me dead in my tracks). I'm not going to boast of a word count or try to rattle off how many pages I've completed as of today; the fact is, I don't really keep track, and the exact numbers are rather fluid: some chapters are what I'd consider rock solid and complete, almost all of them will require revisions in later drafts, a few are just disjointed fragments of scenes, and a handful will be either rewritten from scratch or thrown out entirely.

Either way, let me make it clear — Active Measures: Part II, when complete, will be a very, VERY large book. Like… a massive book. Seriously, you'll be able to bludgeon small rodents with it, although I wouldn't recommend that. There's a reason I've taken to calling it "the Monstrosity," or "the Goliath," or "the Dragon," or "King Kong," or "That fucking nightmare." From the first page, we pick up mere seconds from where Part I ended and keep marching forward, watching as helpless bystanders while the world moves inexorably toward war. There are huge character moments coming around the bend, some that are perhaps anticipated and still more that may come as a complete shock—and not to mention a healthy dose of political intrigue, espionage, and action on a scale I feel the spy genre hasn't seen in a long time. The original lure of this trilogy, what first drove me to write it all those years ago, was to tell a story on as large a canvass as possible, one with hundreds of characters and dozens of plotlines stretched across the globe—to truly be constrained only by the limits of my imagination. Nothing has changed in my approach to writing the next volume of this saga. Part I promised a lot, and it is my sincere hope that Part II will deliver on those promises by orders of magnitude greater than what readers expect. 

Some days as I'm writing I feel completely exhausted, like I've bitten off far more than I can chew. Other days I'll sit back at my desk, look at what's on my screen and feel giddy, barely able to contain my excitement as I imagine readers experiencing this story for the first time.

There is still clearly a lot of work ahead. I won't begin to guess when the book will be finished—I feel that to lazily pick some arbitrary deadline would be unfair to you all, and not to mention seriously test my sanity! I'm just one guy—a kid with a laptop and a Starbucks card—but I need you to know that I'm working, that I'm striving every day to give you the best damn novel I can produce.

Now for the good news…

I'm almost ready to share a sneak peek with you guys!

Early this fall I will release the first "official" preview chapter of Active Measures: Part II on my website. I've been rewriting this chapter on and off for the past year, and, I dare say, it's a doozy. For real—buckle your seat belts when this one drops. There is no firm date on when the preview will be released (I'm still nailing that down) but if you would like to be among the first to know when it happens, I'd strongly encourage you to sign up for my mailing list if you haven't done so already.

I cannot thank you all enough for supporting my dream and I hope you'll stick with me in this journey. It would not be possible for me to continue without the enthusiasm you've shown for these characters and this story. As Ryan Freeman forebodingly said in the closing line of Part I, “This was only the beginning.”

All my best,

- Matt