Tag Archives: sequel

Prodigy Eternal – Chapter One

The highly anticipated sequel to the cult-classic Prodigy will be available in eBook stores soon!

One year has passed since Alexandra Gray became the symbol of hope for society. Sheathed in the undercurrent of Tokyo, Alex has remained out of the public eye, desperately trying to reclaim a piece of her old life, all the while searching for her purpose.

Becoming close with a group of rogue hackers, Alex is offered a chance to escape the burdens of fame and slip back into a life she once knew. But upon placing her trust in the hands of people with ulterior motives, she discovers the misstep could have serious repercussions on the world — consequences far more dire than even her betrayers may realize. Now it is up to Alex to contain the situation and undo the damage that she has inadvertently caused. Standing in her way is an elusive and powerful foe who will stop at nothing to avenge a wrong that has been committed against him.


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Chapter One

Tokyo — 2119

The constant awe and admiration of staring eyes had become too much for Alex to bear. She had been hiding for the past year, moving from place to place and trying to find purpose. While discovering what the world had to offer beyond the confines of her home in Megalopolis, Alex mainly ended up in population-dense cities since they provided the best cover.

With a proper disguise, she integrated inconspicuously among the people without the risk of being identified. There were a few instances where savvy pedestrians would stare at her face for a little longer than she felt comfortable with. Their curious eyes would study her flawless bone structure and wonder if they had inadvertently stumbled upon the famous and elusive Alexandra Gray. But before they settled on a conclusion, Alex would vanish like an apparition, leaving them with nothing but doubt and a fleeting memory.

Reports of sightings would invariably emerge with people claiming to have had genuine encounters. Tall tales and rumours travelled through close circles of friends and eventually spread out like a virus, infecting the ears of anyone with an interest. With each story and occasional blurry image that was captured, her legend grew stronger. Having one of the most recognizable faces on the planet didn’t make lying low any easier. Even the best disguises were not immune to the diligent observation of those who were on the lookout for her.

Hiding behind large sunglasses and a full head wrap, Alex approached a market in the busy Shinjuku district of the Japanese metropolis. Fully immersed in the orderly chaos, she slinked her way through the crowds of people until she reached a vendor selling frozen fish. Amongst the chatter between customers and merchants, haggling over prices, Alex heard a siren in the background and tensed up. She was not wanted by the authorities, but the discomfort of knowing she had broken several laws with impunity never left her. The sirens faded and the voice of a shouting man flooded her ears.

“Miss, hello, do you want to buy?” the vendor asked.

Alex snapped out of her daze and regained her focus.

“You want to buy fish?” the man asked.

“I’m just looking, thanks,” Alex said politely.

“Next customer, please!” the man shouted.

Everything about Tokyo was unique. It was unlike any other spot she had been, and she felt more like she had landed on another planet than in another city. The customs and behaviour of the people were noticeably different. Despite what she had learned at the Facility, the once touted ‘global super-culture’ was showing signs of divergence. The architecture was similar to her home of Megalopolis, but distinctive at the same time. Tall glass-covered structures stretched up beyond the clouds and out of sight, while colourful lights and floating holograms sparkled across the night sky.

Alex manoeuvered past the fish vendor and squeezed through a barking herd of customers. As she made her way to the subway, a familiar face on a large screen caught her attention. The sound from the news broadcast poured out from concealed speakers and into the crowd, but no one seemed to be paying any attention. Alex stopped and watched, even if it would only be for a few moments.

“Hi, I am Marika Martens for the Global News Network, and we are gearing up for what will be a historic event this weekend. This Saturday marks the one-year anniversary of when our planet was saved by the heroic Alexandra Gray. There have been many rumours and speculation as to Miss Gray’s whereabouts, but one thing is for certain, history will forever remember this young prodigy.

“Joining us live is one of Alex’s closest friends, Milo Rion. Milo, welcome to our program.”

“I’m happy to be here, thank you for having me.”

“Milo, you are one of Alex’s closest friends and have become somewhat of a celebrity yourself. How has your life changed since that fateful day, and how do you intend to celebrate this Saturday?”

“I appreciate some of the spillover attention I’ve received, but that has mostly died down now. I get the odd person recognizing me here or there, but honestly my life hasn’t changed all that much. I’m still picking away at my school requirements with the hopes of graduating soon. As for how I intend to celebrate — I don’t know, I haven’t really given it much thought. I’m just thankful to have had Alex as part of my life for as long as I did. So I suppose more so than other times, this Saturday I will be reflecting back on some of the special moments we’ve shared together.”

“I’m sure you get this question all the time, but I have to ask — where is Alex?”

“You know, I wish I knew, but we haven’t spoken in a long time. I hear the rumours just like everyone else and am left to wonder where she is and what she has been up to.”

“If she is watching this, is there anything you would like to say to her?”

“Alex, if you’re watching, I just want to say that I miss you very much and I hope you are safe.”

A single tear emerged from behind Alex’s glasses and rolled down her cheek. She wiped it away and sniffled.

“We’re now going to play a clip from Alex’s last public appearance, where she addressed millions of adoring fans all over the world.”

I stand before you completely humbled. I didn’t ask for any of this attention and praise, but I am truly honoured you herald me as your saviour. The truth is, I was just one small part of a much larger operation. I could not have done it without my mother, her friends, as well as my two best friends…”

As the footage played, Alex was nowhere in sight, having dispersed into the crowd like a whisper in the wind.

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Finally, a Prodigy Sequel!

Prodigy - Edward MullenAfter months of planning — plotting out the characters and story arcs — I finally sat down last Monday and began writing the sequel to my futuristic techno-thriller, Prodigy. I’ve been working on it nearly every day and currently have roughly 14,000 words. I wanted to make a post answering some questions that may come up about the book.

Why a sequel?

While I like to leave the endings of my books open to allow for sequels, I never planned on writing one for Prodigy. However, due to the popularity of the book, I have reconsidered my position. The book I planned to write this year will have to wait until next year… no big deal.

The great thing about Alex is that she is young, so there’s so much about the world she has yet to discover. Diving back into this world has been a lot of fun. Once I started, I was super motivated to find out what happens next. I even designed the cover art, which is something I usually save until the end. Needless to say, I am brimming with creative juice on this project.

When’s it coming out?

Since I write full-time, I should be able to finish the book in the next four to six weeks, depending on my schedule. The actual writing of the book doesn’t take too long (if I work on it 70+ hours per week), the most time-consuming part is always the editing. That can take many months. So if I finish on schedule, and the edits go smoothly, the book could be out before the end of the year or early next year. We’ll see how things go and I will continue to post updates on my social media channels.

1069921_10100669193867131_531800510_nWhat’s it about?

I don’t want to give any of the plot away at this time, but I can assure you if you’re a fan of the first book, you’ll like this one. It takes place one year after the last book ends and addresses some of the craziness Alex would expect to face as she transitions back to her life. I’ve added a new cast of characters and brought in some of the old ones as well. So far I’ve tied in many elements that made the first book special so technically you could probably read the sequel without having read the first book.

The main challenge for me was to come up with a story that is equally as epic as the first novel. After what went down with her in the first book, I couldn’t just have some regular Tom Sawyer fence-painting adventure, it needed to be able to compete with the first book.

Writing is like a puzzle to me in that I don’t necessarily see the big picture from the beginning. Even yesterday I was struggling to fit certain pieces together, but I did not get discouraged. I slowly picked away at it and arranged more pieces. Once those pieces fell into place, I had another chuck I could add to the whole. That’s what it’s all about for me, showing up each day and arranging my ideas and words in a way that assembles something greater than the sum of all its parts. I guess what I’m saying is that at this point I have an idea what it’s going to be about, but I’m discovering so much along the way, stuff that would be difficult to sit down at the beginning and plan for. Once I start writing, the story almost takes on a life of its own and could turn out drastically different than what I originally intended.

What about other Prodigy projects?

I am currently working on a Prodigy audio book, as well as a Prodigy graphic novel. The audio book takes a lot of time to do well. It’s currently on hold while I have some people record their voices. Once I get those recordings, I just need to piece it together.

The situation regarding the graphic novel is this: I hired a really talented artist, inker, and colourist to help me bring my vision to life. Eventually, I’d like to direct a big-budget feature, but I have to pay my dues first and gain more of a following. But for now, a graphic novel seems to make sense. Anyways, I’m paying to produce this book out of pocket and it’s not cheap. To tell the full story may end up costing around $100,000. From a business perspective, it would not make much sense spending that kind of money without first testing the demand for the book. So what a lot of people do, and what I am also doing, is creating a first issue in a 22-page comic-book. If people like it and sales permit, I will produce a second one and so one.

A few more things…

As always, thank you for your support. If you haven’t already liked me or subscribed to my various channels, I would appreciate you doing that. It’s a simple thing to do, but cumulatively it can change a person’s life. The more followers and support one receives, the more doors begin to open for them.

Also on that note, 5-star reviews are extremely important – heck I’ll take 4-star reviews! The reviews let others know about the books and encourages more people to check them out. Often times when we like something, we don’t leave a review, but if we hate something or have had a bad experience, we lash out. It feels good, almost like we’re righting a wrong that has been done to us. What can end up happening is those negative reviews give other readers a false perspective of the quality of the book.

Art is subjective – something may be loved by someone and hated by another. So if you like comedy flicks but hate horror, then it doesn’t seem fair to give the horror flick a scathing 1-star review… It may be the greatest horror flick ever made, but it wasn’t made for you, it was made for an audience who likes that sort of thing. Please keep that in mind for reviewing in general, especially my books. Thanks.

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Edward Mullen

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The Pursuit of Happiness

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We’ve all heard the phrase ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’—the idea that the neighbour’s lawn always looks better than yours from the opposing side of the fence.

This phrase is often used more generally to describe our tendency to downplay anything positive in our lives and focus on the negative, especially when comparing ourselves to others. From the opposing perspective, other people’s achievements seem to stand out much more than their failures causing us to feel bad about ourselves.

While there is most likely some evolutionary advantage for why humans do this, I also think that we are nurtured this way. Society places a lot of undue pressure on us to perform to impossible standards. It seems to be ingrained in us to forget about any prior successes we may have had and to judge our worth by our most recent work.

This ‘what have you done for me lately?’ attitude is seen throughout society and can be the cause of debilitating depression and feelings of low self-worth. Even when people put out recent masterpieces, rarely does the feeling of adulation remain for very long. You can spend a decade creating something akin to Avatar, but as soon as it’s done, people will ask you what else you’re working on.

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Recently, I was getting down on myself for not achieving certain goals that I had set. It took a conversation with my friend to reveal all the things that had gone right for me. After realizing this, I began to consider how my happiness was connected with my perception. Two things stood out for me:

1.)    Having self-respect. For me, having self-respect is a matter of developing myself until I have confidence in my skills and abilities. This is one way to combat ‘the grass is always greener’ syndrome. Whether it’s becoming more educated, skilled, healthier, more giving… I need to put in the work or else I’ll feel miserable, especially when comparing myself to others. Whenever I am unhappy, it usually has to do with some shortcut I’ve taken in personal development.

2.)    Living purely in the moment. This phrase gets kicked around a lot, almost to the point where it has lost all meaning. If you look at the common thread in most cases of unhappiness, it seems to stem from an emphasis on the uncertainty of the future.

Notice that both of these things are largely within your control.

There are times when I wanted something badly, but despite working hard, I still came up short.  Of course whenever that happens it’s disappointing and not a good feeling to have. However, I find solace in the fact that there are a lot of special, talented, and deserving people in the world that are all vying for the same things I want. If the better person wins, then I need to work harder. Sure, some success is attributed to luck, but there will be times when the luck goes in my favour too. For my take on luck, see my article titled: Create Your Own Luck.

My process of happiness is this:

  1. Personal development to gain self-respect.
  2. Focus on the positives.
  3. Don’t worry about what the neighbour has or may think.
  4. Live purely in the moment.
  5. Repeat.

Most of these steps are simply a matter of altering your perception, not about money, fame, success, or pleasing others. These things can give you momentary pleasure, but not long-lasting happiness. What’s the difference? Pleasure is the type of thing that a junkie gets from getting high, but it isn’t sustainable. The junkie gets high (or in your case, a promotion, new car, a win of some kind…) which is inevitably followed by an equal or even greater low. To mitigate the low, the junkie tries to counterbalance it with another high. As Socrates said, this is like trying to fill a leaky bucket.

leaky bucket

By chasing these ‘highs’, you are creating a benchmark in your mind—some arbitrary target that you aim for. However, once you reach that target, you simply raise the benchmark higher. You will never be satisfied, and will spend the majority of your life in the ‘non-happiness zone’ chasing highs.

Pleasure operates according to a law of diminishing returns—the more you pursue it, the harder it becomes to attain. Happiness on the other hand is a much longer lasting and sustainable state of mind. Which one are you pursuing?

Article by Edward Mullen

Author of The Art of the Hustle and Destiny and Free Will

Host of The Edward Mullen Podcast

www.EdwardMullen.com

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