I have officially started on what will be the third Julius Corbin gothic adventure novel, titled Black Apples.
Six years ago, while in Saudi Arabia, I had started this novel but didn't get far due to other projects. Recently I've been hankering to get back to Julius Corbin, likely fueled by the pre-production development of the Secret of the Amazon Queen movie. However, making this blog active again has had something to do with it, as well. After three years of a non-fiction project, writing a time travel novel and publishing other writers' works, I'm ready to revisit my favorite creation, the lonesome hero Corbin. I think I also needed those six years for the story to cook a little more. It is the fulcrum of the saga, originally envisioned as a five book series, so when completed will take me beyond the halfway point. But Corbin fans shouldn't think that's all there is because the novels are set nine years apart, leaving plenty of room for more Corbin adventures in between the novels.
Essentially, I look at the five first novels as the framework. When they are done, you will have a beginning, middle and a definite end. Corbin will die in the last novel, set in 1908. Interestingly, the movie is set in 1909, the year after the last adventure of the books, but you're gonna have to live with that. If more than one movie based on the books is completed, they will likely be set only a year or two apart. The story in the SOTAQ film is such that a sequel will pick up moments after the first film ends. Tropic of Despair would then take place around 1910 or so, probably prior to the sinking of the Titanic.
Black Apples has Julius Corbin assigned to a protective service duty, helping a young lady deliver much needed medicine to her ailing father living in an arctic outpost.
Along for the journey is a pharmacist who sees a potential fortune in the very special remedy that is found in only one place: the ancient underworld beneath the American west. Naturally, there will be the usual expeditionary fun, eerie horrors, and pulpy thrills you've come to expect with the saga -- with one difference: This one is probably the least sexy of the books so far. (But don't worry, the book that follows this brings erotically charged adventure back to central stage...)
I'm looking forward to the writing of Black Apples. This story has Corbin in a different environment than the first two. Yes, there is the subterranean world, but it's a different brand than the first two, and a little more fleshed out. What I'm really looking forward to is having Corbin in the American west and Canadian northwest. Corbin has mostly been in tropical settings thus far, save for the short episode in Antarctica in Tropic of Despair. This one has opened with Corbin in an explorer's club with two good friends, smoking pipes and catching up...
So, I will provide updates as I write this novel. I plan to keep within the limit I set, bringing the book in at around 200 pages or less in published form. I wrote the first two books longhand because I was traveling and couldn't have my laptop with me, and I like that so I'll be writing this one by hand with a pen in a notebook. It seems fitting.
Black Apples, the new Julius Corbin adventure, is slated tentatively for release later this year...