Godspeed, Carry My Bullet is my first full-length novel. Style-wise, it’s a bit of a departure from my previous work. My first three releases (The Camaro Murders, Lady in Flames, and Power in the Hands of One) are all novellas published by Untreed Reads. They are somewhat artsy and experimental, and they don’t fit a genre mold very well. This was all intentional, of course. First and foremost, I want to be creative.
With Godspeed, Carry My Bullet, I found myself writing a straightforward thriller. Though that doesn’t mean it’s formulaic. One of the things that keep this story engaging is the character development. Sure, there are page-turning elements such as gun fights, car chases, abductions, and protagonists on the run, but the characters drive this story just as much as the plot.
Another differentiator is that I chose to release Godspeed on my own. This was partly because the decision to write the book was made on a whim. At the time, a few of my coworkers and I had imagined ourselves as characters in a somewhat dystopian version of the United States. It became something of an inside joke, and I told them I would write a book about it. I was thinking it would just be for fun, so why not try self-publishing? It wouldn’t be any skin off my back in the sense that the premise wasn’t an idea I cared about that much. At least it didn’t initially consume me the way other story ideas have.
Then I got into it. I outlined and plotted, soon finding that though my coworkers’ characters remained in the narrative, some of them were now playing supporting roles. New characters assumed the lead, and their stories took on a life of their own. Against the backdrop of economic collapse, there is a would-be assassin nursing wounds from the past, a nomadic survivalist trying to forge his own path, a single mother struggling amidst financial distress, a novice undercover operative working to restore Constitutional government, and an itinerant preacher turned vigilante tracking a predator who kidnapped a young girl. The sub plots weave together in unexpected ways and keep the reader turning the page.
Back to the inside joke– our fictional premise began with two politicians who display public animosity toward one another despite the fact they are actually in collusion. We were thinking that politicians from both of our government’s parties are really two sides of the same coin, and so the idea was born that Godspeed should stand as an allegory for failed partisan politics. This theme underpins the book in the form of two illegitimate governments: the Directorate in the East and the United States Valiant in the West. One rules with an iron fist whereas the other rules through social engineering.
Normally, I avoid anything with a political slant, but with the election season ahead of us and many people already disgusted with our options, I really wanted to get the book out there in the world. My hope was that others would commiserate with me and agree that at best, partisan politics is divisive and prevents us from solving real problems. At worst, it’s a method of control by the elite that pits me against you. If all we do is squabble about an issue that really only has two sides upon which to fall (how convenient…two parties pushing two sides of an issue), we’re blissfully unaware of what’s really going on. We’ve already lost. And the worst part is that many times these issues are things that government doesn’t have any business being involved in at all.
For readers who are looking for pure entertainment value, don’t worry. The narrative is nowhere near as heavy handed as the preceding paragraph. Godspeed, Carry My Bullet is a thrill ride from start to finish. And it will leave you wanting more. For those readers who like a moral to the story, it’s in there too. The book is the first of a two-part series that will hopefully see completion in 2018. I have to thank Pronoun.com for providing such an intuitive, feature rich, and affordable (it’s free) platform for self-publishing. They really sealed the deal.
So what’s next? You should pick up a copy of Godspeed, Carry My Bullet, of course. Let me know what you think. I really value readers who take the time to leave a constructive review. I want to know what worked and what didn’t. Where did it shine? Where did it fall flat? I want to continue to hone my skills as writer, and you as the reader play a big part in that.
About the Author
Ian Lewis prefers not to be bound by a particular genre. Though the inspiration for his work varies, it often finds roots in something he dreamt. He strives for a gritty realism and maintains an interest in the humanity of his characters. His hope is that readers find themselves haunted by his stories in the sense that the narrative sticks with them long after they’ve finished reading, leaving them with a subtle restlessness for more. Mr. Lewis is the author of The Camaro Murders, Lady in Flames, and Power in the Hands of One, all novellas. His first full length novel, Godspeed, Carry My Bullet, was released in April of 2016. He has been writing since 2002.
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