Robert Selfe edited the first two novels of The Z Redemption Trilogy and contributed sections in the novel, Corvette Nightfire, as an author as well. Here is his interesting article on how we changed course when we were deciding what the second novel would be about. The original idea may surprise you!
The Road Not Taken, by Robert Selfe
For those of you who missed it, my first “blog” dealt with being dragged, kicking and screaming, into editing the story of David Wilson James, the lead character in The Z Redemption. This collaboration with Daniel Wetta led to the second novel, Corvette Nightfire, in which I took a more active role writing sections of several chapters at the end of the novel. My sections dealt with the poker aspect, and my writing was merely supportive. Daniel’s vision drove the novel, and I contributed my limited experience playing Texas Hold’em.
Readers know that Corvette Nightfire is the sequel, but they do not know that it was not the original idea for a sequel. When we first discussed a second novel, I had suggested a prequel: David’s background fighting the cartels in South America. I started researching the cartels while Daniel finished writing The Z Redemption. My research led, quite naturally, to the most famous drug lord of them all, the “King of Cocaine,” Pablo Escobar. There is a wealth of information available about Escobar, and when I saw that he was born in 1949, I knew our plot. Daniel and I were both born in 1949, and that was reflected in the birth year of David. I suggested parallel stories of the rise of Escobar through the drug cartels and the advancement of David through his military and government career. The sequel was set. Or so I thought.
At the end of The Z Redemption, both Daniel and I were emotionally spent. There was little humor in the novel, reflecting Daniel’s grief after the death of his friend, Israel. When we discussed the character of David, we decided that he would have a dark secret and that we would only hint at his inner demons and need for redemption. Between finishing the novel and my research into the second one, I found myself getting depressed. The more I thought about developing what David had to do while infiltrating the cartels to eventually assist in the downfall of Escobar, and the thought of having David do things which would take him through the hell of that experience, I knew I couldn’t spend a year in this state. I made the phone call to Daniel.
I should have known that Daniel would understand my situation, and, within a short period of time, he told me about the germ of an idea he had: “A gambler named Corvette Nightfire would be walking, early in the morning, into one of the large casinos in Vegas, when a beautiful young woman would come bursting out of the casino, rush to Corvette, and hand him a bag before sprinting off…”