The Camelot Project: What a Great Fail!
Back in 2013, I found out exactly what National Novel Writing Month was. I had heard of it, tried to participate but didn't know you signed up. I got dared (not directly) passive-aggressively by fellow writers to write outside my genre. I wrote exclusively fantasy and decided the opposite of that was sci-fi. Well, I failed. As you will soon see, The Camelot Project is not sci-fi. These are a few fun facts about the journey of mankind to the planet Camelot!
Sometimes when you start to write an experimental project, you call it something like "The Sex Book" (yup, it's on my hard drive) or "that one with the witch in the jungle". Stand in names. We use them for characters, places, series--everything. When I realized I could not willingly write science fiction, and being told I don't know science well enough to do that, I knew I had to use NaNoWriMo to get my butt into gear! I don't remember if I outlined or not, but NaNoWriMo is the thing that pulled from being a pantser (which you have seen me vehemently preach against) to being an organized writer. I didn't know what to call this piece at the time and decided: The only way I can write a sci-fi is to write something I know. I know classic Arthurian literature and myth like the back of my hand! Plus, the tagline wrote itself: King Arthur, but in space!
I knew I would need more than one book to tell that story. Especially since I wanted to start with Augustine and Constantine (that changed). I planned out 5 books. I made a folder and still didn't know what to call this thing. It was just a project, a work to test my writer's strengths. I just called it the Camelot project because that's what it was! By the time I finished the first draft of the first book, the name stuck. And it fit too, which was great. Now the title speaks more to the plot of earth's destruction and a few people who got together to launch mankind's last hopes into space. The Camelot Project turned from being a stand-in name for a writer's project and became a very real event in the book's history.
Not enough Arthur! I complained a LOT while writing "A New Home" that a lot of Arthurian legends, stories, and movies were not about Arthur. I loved the king. His might, mercy, power, how he struggled to do right by his people. It wasn't until I was halfway through writing "A New Home" (which, by the way, was called The Camelot Project until I transferred the name to the series) that I realized, I was not going to get to Arthur in this first book. Alas, my king, I failed you once again. But I didn't mind. I told myself it's okay, you'll get him next time. But like most planned stories, it just kept evolving until things were getting mixed up (just wait for the sequel!). But I had to be fine with it. And then something weird happened. I fell in love with Uther. Uther, "A New Homes" protagonist, became the king I wanted Arthur to aspire to. Uther tried so hard! But we all know the story...So while the main character has shifted focus, I hope it works still for other readers loyal to the once and future king.
I hated it. Oh, how I hated The Camelot Project! The first book, I paid no mind too. I finished. I wrote a sci-fi (only later to realize I did in fact not write a sci-fi). Five years later, I knuckled down and wrote the sequel. And I hated it even more. I can't tell you why and I have tried to figure it out before now so I could tell you! But no luck. When I decided to finish the series, cutting it down to a trilogy (for now, mwahaha!), I re-read the first two that I knew I hated. But this time around...I was amazed. What did I miss while writing? What bugged me? I have no idea! The first book is so lush, realized, each character so defined! Everyone had a unique voice. The action moved. The lore rocked. What the heck was 2013 Abi thinking?? The Camelot Project is unique. It's short but very cool. It's got tons of drama, action, old Arthurian lore, and giant mechas! I really don't think I have written anything this cool before. That's all I'll say for now. After all, there is more to come in this series! If you enjoyed "A New Home" please consider leaving a review for it on Amazon and Goodreads. And always reach out to me via the social media to ask questions!