Last April, I got accepted by Booktrope Publishing. As one could imagine, I was relieved. Self-publishing had become an extra weight on my that I could no longer bear. At 17, I made a very quick and irrational decision, signing on, having no idea what to expect.
On April 29,2016, every author and team member for Booktrope received and email, letting them know that Booktrope is closing its doors.
We are deeply saddened to share the news that Booktrope will be ceasing business effective May 31, 2016. This decision was not reached lightly and we will share as much as we can with the community over the next few weeks.
When I read the email, I was shocked, but not really. Devastated. Hurt. Angry. But most of all, I was left with a heavy uncertainly hanging on my shoulders, as are so many who are being hurt by the loss of the company. As of May 31st, 2016, all four of my books will be removed from Amazon, no longer accessible to readers.
Due to this, May 3-7, I believe, I am offering all of my books for free. I wish I had an answer as to what’s coming next. I wish I could say that the books will go right back up because I’ll self-publish them, but it’s not that simple.
Booktrope offered me a way. A way to be a student, to meet some amazing people, and to live my dream that I’ve had since elementary school. I’ve grown so much because of them and everyone I’ve met. My teams put so much time and effort into my books that I can never repay them fully enough for.
After graduation from high school in June, I will be starting college in the fall. I’m starting to see that maybe this is a sign that it’s not my time. I wish I had better news, but at the moment, I do not.
I’m not giving up on my dream forever. I could never do that. But right now I’m at a loss for words and ideas, and it’ll take some time and thought to fully come up with a game plan.
I just want all of my friends, family, and most of all, my fans, to know that this is not the end of the line for me. A hiatus, maybe, but certainly not the end. While I do not know about everything else, that is the one thing I am certain of.
I hope to see you guys again soon.
Alec John Belle
*SPOILER ALERT FOR SHADOW PEOPLE. DO NOT CONTINUE IF YOU HAVE NOT READ IT.*
With Shadow People’s release December 14th, I know people who read it probably have a million questions running through their minds. I’ve seen a few other popular authors do this, and so I decided to do one myself. Below are questions readers may have, and the answers I can provide you with at the current moment. Since this wrap-up post is on Shadow People, be warned that there are SPOILERS. I am telling you this again as a warning, so whatever you read beyond this point is not my fault if it spoils anything. I hope you enjoy. 🙂
1. “If Hayden’s Dad is really a Fallen Angel, wouldn’t he know whether God approves of homosexuality or not?”
I know this is a bit of a touchy subject, but in the realm of The Forbidden Darkness Chronicles, there are Angels and then there are Guardians. Angels live in Paradise, but Guardians protect Paradise and have a more personal relationship with God. One might assume that an Angel would know every detail, but similar to humans, they do not. Guardians are who have all the answers of the Universe (and yes, I do mean all) because of their relationship with God. It’s a storyline that’ll play out over the next few books and you’ll learn more about it as the story goes on.
2. “Will we see more of The Council in the future?”
The basic answer to this question is yes, as they rule over the Monster Hunters. I can say you’ll learn part of the reason why everything has been kept a secret in the third book, Fiery Passion.
3. “Are we ever going to see Kristen’s brother and father?”
Yes, Lucas and Mr. Mason are in Fiery Passion after Lena’s death.
4. “Speaking of Lena’s death, it seemed as though she knew more than she let on prior to being murdered. Will we ever learn what it is that she knew? If so, when?”
This is a bit of an iffy question. The reason I say that is that Lena may not have known as much as you think, or she may have. I left it vague for a reason. We know that she was involved in Heather’s kidnapping, so she obviously knows something in regards to that. Lena is a pawn in a game that she wasn’t really aware was going on. She knows something, it’s just a matter of how much she knows. You’ll find out more in Fiery Passion.
5. “Lena made a discovery about the demon Ziminiar at the end of the book. When will we find out what it is?”
Lena knows who Ziminiar is. She knows this person outside of being a demon, and whether you’ve met this person or not is still a mystery at the moment. This is also a mystery you will uncover in Fiery Passion.
6. “Fiery Passion is supposed to be the end of arc 1. What exactly does that mean?”
As you’ve seen from my previous answers, Fiery Passion answers a lot of the questions that you have. Even more than Shadow People did. The reason why is that there’s an overall storyline that’s been happening in the first three books that will be resolved by the end of the third book. Obviously the series will continue beyond that point, and there may be a couple questions remaining to go into arc 2, but for the most part, the questions that have been formed since Forbidden Darkness will be answered. It’s an exciting time for me because you will finally get to know something I know that I’ve been waiting to share for over a year.
7. “At the end, Kadin and Heather shared a moment. Is this foreshadowing a future love triangles?”
I can’t tell you what exactly that means yet, but I can say that there will be no love triangle. The answer as to who Heather is meant to be with is right in front of you. It’s just a matter of whether you can figure it out.
8. “Kadin matured a lot in Shadow People. Will we see more of him throughout the series?”
Kadin is a character that’s not going anywhere any time soon. In fact, he has a point-of-view in Fiery Passion.
9. “Why must you torture us with cliffhangers?”
I actually really like cliffhangers. I love them in series that I read, and I’m also in love with Pretty Little Liars, which is the Queen of Cliffhangers. So I have a bit of a love for them, which is why I use them. It’s not meant to be a torture mechanism LMAO. It’s just something I enjoy doing for writing purposes.
10. “When can we expect book 3?”
While there is no definite date, it is scheduled for sometime this summer.
In light of some recent discussions, I made the decision that the sequel to Before I Break, which was titled Once I Fall, will no longer be written.
Originally, Before I Break was going to be a standalone novel, but late last year I announced it would not only have one sequel, but two. I was putting off the sequel for a very long time due to the subject matter, which was going to focus more on the T in LGBT. Because of the transgender attention in the media and literature, I was excited, albeit nervous, to write the sequel.
Unfortunately, after some consideration, I do not feel as though I am the right one to write this story. I have cancelled the project for Once I Fall because of many reasons, a lot of them personal. With lots of debates such as locker rooms, pronouns, sex changes, and more, I realized the transgender route is not right for me, and I want to leave room for other authors to write theirs.
With that being said, you may be wondering if Until It’s Done, the third book, will still be written. At this moment, I am unsure, as some key events were going to make Until It’s Done what it was. The cancellation of this book really is not something I want to do, but I think by default, it may just end up happening and I do not want to lead fans on thinking it may happen.
So for now, both sequels are cancelled and will not be pursued. This does not mean I’m done writing contemporary young adult, as I have many more plans for the future. I hope that you all stick with me on my journey into 2016, where I’ll be releasing my next contemporary, The Long Road Home.
2016 is going to be a big year for me. Aside from writing books, I will also be graduating high school and starting college. I’m looking forward to the next step in my life, and I’m also really looking forward to the books coming out.
Most of my writing will probably be done in the first half of the year, and after some planning, I have three books I plan on releasing next year, one of which I’m already almost done writing.
- The Long Road Home (Contemporary YA): Brooke never meant to survive. She hoped that the suicide attempt would end all of her suffering. After years of rejection, pain, and heartbreak, she feels as though she’s not good enough for anyone. Now she’s stuck in a hospital, being forced to take antidepressants and is getting therapy for her issues.And she hated it until she met him.Now Brooke must remember the past in order to better her future, while trying to keep her feelings for the new patient in check. In this heartbreaking novel, a young girl will laugh, cry, and fight to find her way home to the one place she’s never really let anyone in–her own heart.
Expected Publication Date: March 2016
- Fiery Passion (The Forbidden Darkness Chronicles, #3): This book has a synopsis, but I don’t plan on releasing it until some time next year, after Shadow People (December 14, 2015) is out. What I can say is that this book will be much darker than the first two books and will focus on some on Heather’s personal relationships.
Expected Publication Date: Summer 2016
- Untitled (The Forbidden Darkness Chronicles, #4): This book is actually not untitled, but since the title is somewhat spoilery, I will not be revealing the title until after Fiery Passion comes out. This will be the end of story arc 1 in The Forbidden Darkness Chronicles.
Expected Publication Date: Winter 2016
As you can see, 2016 is going to be a good year for books, as well as a good year for my personal life. I have no guarantees that this will stay exactly the same, as things come up and can interfere with my writing life, such as this year. I am not making any promises, just goals, and I think that goals are a very good thing.
I look forward to heading into the new year with you and I hope you all come along with me for the ride. 🙂
For those of you who don’t know, I am currently writing a novel called The Long Road Home (Spring 2016), about a young girl sent to a mental institution after trying to attempt suicide. The realization hit me the other day that this is the first Person vs Self book I’ve written since Before I Break, and that book wasn’t even entirely Person vs Self.
So what is a Person vs Self novel? Well, it’s exactly as it sounds. If you don’t remember, there are different conflict types of conflict in literature. Some examples are Person vs Society, Person vs Nature, Person vs Man. All of these are different types of stories that help figure out what the conflict is in the story. The big situation that needs to be resolved (or, most of the time, should be) by the end of the book or story.
Person vs Self deals with a character whose main conflict is dealing with some internal conflict. I’ve seen a trend that often young adult novels that deal with mental illness are of Person vs Self conflict, something that’s never really occurred to me before.
I may be a bit biased, but it seems as though Person vs Self novels are often character-driven novels. This is not to say that a P vs S novel can’t be plot-driven, but it just seems as though with Person vs Self, your characters are running the story, especially your protagonist, as opposed to the plot. Character-driven stories mostly deal with your main character moving the story forward in some way by their actions.
Now, my paranormal young adult series, The Forbidden Darkness Chronicles is not only plot-driven, but falls under either Person vs Person (or Persons) or even Person vs World (if that’s even a thing, because I doubt it is).
I am no literary expert, and I’m learning just as much as you. But you may be wondering why you just read all of this and what the point of this blog post actually is. In fact, I’m not even entirely sure where I was going with this post, other than to say that Person vs Self plots tend to be more character-central.
One thing that’s hard for me is writing a story where the main character is her own conflict. Questions constantly run through my head, such as Will people like her? Will people feel extremely depressed after reading this? Am I possibly making a mistake?
But I always have to remind myself that those things are not true. Yes, the book is sad, similar to the way that Before I Break ripped many peoples’ hearts out. One thing I know for sure is that this book, The Long Road Home, is going to change lives. It’s going to show people that they’re not alone, and that they’re not the only ones dealing with internal conflict. We all do at some point, although some are worse off than others.
Brooke is a character that is changing my life, and I hope she changes yours. When the book is finally out for the world to read, I hope that you have a better understanding of her struggles if you have not gone through them yourself. I hope that you read her story and that it changes your heart as much as she’s constantly changing mine.
Okay, so obviously BEFORE I BREAK (my contemporary YA) and FORBIDDEN DARKNESS (the first in an 8 book paranormal YA series) are my top priority right now. Let’s be real.
Unfortunately, because of the fact that both of the books are being republished and will be in editing for TWO MONTHS, it’s kinda hard to write sequels when I don’t even know entirely how much will be changed in the edits. This means that I’ll have a couple months where I won’t be writing anything. And, well, I’m a writer.
You see the dilemma?
So today I am beginning a new project, and no, this is not an April Fool’s joke. Because I have no idea whether I’ll go through with publishing this or not, I’m keeping it to myself for now. Who knows, maybe it’ll suck.
What I can say is that it’s another contemporary YA novel, similar to BEFORE I BREAK, but darker. I’m really excited to get into it.
It’s also a standalone, so if I do decide to do something with this, it’ll be one simple little book.
Time to get plotting.
A lot of you have finished reading Forbidden Darkness and have felt a little betrayed. I haven’t gotten many complaints, but I do know the book ended on a huge cliffhanger and left lots of things unanswered. And I really do mean a lot.
The funny part is, that was entirely unintentional. When I planned the first four books, I knew the first book was going to raise a lot of questions, and because it’s a series, I couldn’t possibly answer everything in one book. It would have dragged the book out if I did that, which is why the book was as short as it was (which is less than 44,000 words).
Here’s what I can tell you. Each book, especially the first four, have a designated goal. Take a look at this.
1. Forbidden Darkness
This book, I like to call, The Book of Questions. As I said above, this book raised a lot of questions as to where the series is headed and took a twist at the end. Even with that, there were a lot of things unresolved. That was the goal of the first book.
2. Shadow’s Wings
I like to call this The Book of Answers. In this book, you’ll get answers very early on, and I mean within the first few chapters. Some of the things you’ll find out are:
- What is Kadin?
- What is Hayden?
- What was the Shadow that visited Hayden?
- Where is Kristen’s father?
- Why was Heather kidnapped as a kid, and what does her birth mom have to do with the story?
All of those things will, in fact, get answered in the second book. Right away you start getting the truth, and so far it’s playing out in a very real and authentic way.
3. Fiery Passion
This book is what I liked to call The Book of Romance. Just in the title alone, you can suspect that this book focuses more on the romantic elements of the series than the first two books did, and this book also has a major twist ending you probably won’t be coming.
4. Frostbite’s Fury
This is The Book of Climax. Right from the beginning, this will be the turning point of the series that changes the course of the books, which is why the series will continue for four more books after this point.
That’s all I can say for now, but I can promise you, answers are coming and you won’t regret reading once you do. Right now I’m working on the first draft of book two, and will definitely have it out some time this year. Thanks for being such awesome readers, and I hope you stick around for the long run.