It may have been 10 years in the making, but three Wellesley-area authors have finally published their first novel, and they have big plans to expand it into a trilogy in the coming years.
A unique combination of fantasy and science fiction, Galaxy 2,000,000,000 Darkness Falls was written by Andrew Kipp, Jack Crowston and Kyle Golubovic.
“The idea of this book isn’t just one genre, it’s a hybrid of classic fantasy with knights slaying dragons blended in with modern science fiction,” said Kipp.
The book documents the rising rebellion against the evil Blood Emperor Nars-Klan, who rules with an iron fist the reptilian planet of Rilles and the Gensheen people who inhabit it.
Gex, a veteran of a tactical military force called the Gensheen Agency Academy, rebels against the Emperor with his twin brother, Garntelth, a convicted criminal and mercenary for hire who has just escaped from the inescapable Harfell Prison.
“The book starts with Garntelth’s escape from prison, meanwhile Gex and the army is getting ready for a rebellion against their tyrannical overlord, who has been ruling for 300 years,” said Kipp.
Darkness Falls has certainly been a labour of love for the trio. It started out as just a fun activity for Kipp and Crowston, now 21 and 19 years old respectively, to do together while on the playground of Wellesley Public School in the second grade.
Eventually, Crowston suggested they start writing some of their ideas down, and by Grade 7 Kipp had grand plans to turn their idea into a movie – a thought that was quickly quashed.
“I realized that was unachievable because YouTube didn’t exist yet, and I had no idea how to start,” recalled Kipp.
“So this was the next best step, and I started off by writing short stories of 40 or 50 pages which slowly progressed into a full chapter book.”
When Crowston and Kipp started attending high school at Waterloo-Oxford District Secondary School they met Golubovic and he joined the writing team before the year was out.
The story is a blend of historical and cultural elements with clear science fiction influences. Kipp said he spent a lot of time studying the tactics of World War II, as well as Roman history and aspects of Japanese and Canadian culture, all of which are evident in the text.
The events of the book are revealed to the reader through a combination of letters, journal entries, flashbacks and real-time events.
The authors also relied on their exposure to science fiction and mass media like Star Wars, video games and comic books to inspire them.
Three years and three re-writes later, Kipp was sitting in the library with Crowston looking over a draft of the story when fate struck – along with one well-aimed book.
“I looked up at Jack and said ‘I’m going to rewrite it again’ and then he hit me in the head with an atlas and said ‘Stop it. Just work on that one.’”
Last February Kipp finally took the finished manuscript to a professional editor in Paris, and four months later they had their final draft which they sent to Volumes in Waterloo for printing.
The trio also had a book signing at the Coles bookstore in Conestoga Mall in August and again on Nov. 20, and they were among the best book signings the store has ever had.
Two more novels are in the works to complete the trilogy – they are already hard at work on book two and hope to have it done within two years.
They meet every Tuesday night over coffee to hash out ideas and concepts – and even get a little writing done.
“Sometimes we get a lot of work done, other times we get really far off topic and don’t get any work done,” said Golubovic.
As for the main characters in the book, the authors caution readers from getting too attached to them.
“In most shows or books most people know that the main characters can’t die, but in this book that isn’t so,” hinted Crowston.
Galaxy 2,000,000,000 Darkness Falls is available online at www.amazon.com or local book stores.