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Happy One Year Anniversary to "Atomic Beasts and Where to Kill Them"
...the second book in the "Barbarians of the Storm" series
*technically, tomorrow is the anniversary, but I tend to not post on Saturdays because those posts get overlooked and ignored over the weekend.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since Atomic Beasts and Where to Kill Them was released. Then again, a lot has happened since then - like three additional books in the Barbarians of the Storm saga. Also, I was struggling to make my mark then but have since had pretty solid success, even if the last month or two have been underwhelming. Regardless of the recent stagnation, I am much further ahead than I expected to be at this point.
Atomic Beasts was a strange experience, as the future was very uncertain for me as a fiction writer. However, it cemented the fact that I was indeed going to write a series of books and not just leave Dan the Destructor as a one-off pulp adventure, which it very well could have been.
This book also presented a new challenge because it was the first fiction book I started with the intention of it being a book. As I’ve stated before, Dan the Destructor was originally going to be a graphic novel but I reworked that script and expanded on it to turn it into a pulp novella.
If I am being honest, I am not 100 percent in love with Atomic Beasts and it is my least favorite book in the series. I still like the story and the things it adds to the overall lore quite a f’n lot, but it really was a trial and error learning experience for me. Without it, however, I wouldn’t have penned Swords Against Bastards, which I thought was a much better body of work that compliments Atomic Beasts incredibly well, and brings things in the series to a really great place.
Atomic Beasts, even though it is wedged chronologically between Dan the Destructor and Swords Against Bastards, seems to be the most overlooked book I have released. I think that it has more to do with the time of its release than anything else, though. The follow-up release was the prequel horror anthology Eyes in All Shadows & Other Stories and that one did pretty damn good upon release. So, with that, new fans went back and started buying Dan, as well. Then Swords Against Bastards came next and that one exploded right out the gate and maintained its strength for several months. Fenrik 1984, while it had the best first week of any release, tapered off really quickly. That could be because it is a “side quest” or its in a very different setting. Still, Atomic Beasts is the book that tends to get the least attention.
It is what it is, I guess. As I continue to publish more books, grow a solid fanbase, and time moves on, it’ll be interesting to see how it is perceived by those who stick with the series.
I like the book a lot, it allowed me to really explore and establish the lore at a deeper level, while allowing other interesting characters more room to breathe and develop. Despite it being my least favorite, it does feature some of my favorite scenes in the series. It’s kind of a hub of all the things that surround it, bleeding into its pages.