Betera’s Legacy Begins
As the page on the website says, Betera’s Legacy wasn’t supposed to happen. When I finished Betera’s Factor, I swore I was through with the universe I’d built. I was afraid of being a one-trick pony. What if this was all I could write? And how long would it take to get all the other ideas I have out of my head? Add those questions to the growing anxiety of whether this first book was even good and I was faced with a recipe for disaster with my writing career. Somehow, my friends who beta-read the novel felt it was not only good, but it was worthy of a sequel. Thus, Betera’s Legacy was born. I had given myself the green light to explore the adventures of the characters beyond the first book. So what would happen next?
Crawford Steps Back (Warning…Spoilers Ahead)
If you haven’t read the first novel, you may want to stop reading here as I will talk about one of the major characters, Crawford Lear. Crawford’s story arc is the most important in Betera’s Factor. He is your quintessential reluctant hero, albeit completely gung ho at first. For the most part, Crawford was easy to write and his dilemma seemed the most straightforward. Betera’s Factor is his story though not his alone. Without Crawford, the plot would make less sense and a sequel would not be warranted. In crafting his personality, I drew on several actual people know. I wanted Crawford to be steadfast, yet vulnerable. A prisoner of his circumstances but a rebel at the same time. He begins as a confident man before descending into an angry mess over the circumstances of his life. And in the final reveal, he discovers he is not as important as he thought.
There are several excellent supporting characters in his story. Some who deserved the spotlight as much as Crawford. I tried my best to ensure their stories received as much weight as the main protagonist. Little did I know, by balancing their stories against Crawford’s, I set the stage for a sequel where Crawford didn’t have to be the center. Others would be able to take up the “burdens of command” and emerge as heroes in their own right. Thus for Betera’s Legacy, we will see Crawford share the stage and power with two other characters whose existence is vital to the sequel.
Zelda Steps Up
Betera’s Legacy provides me with another golden opportunity. The first novel is heavily centered on male protagonists. With Betera’s Factor, I sort of thumbed my nose at the current trend of women taking the lead in science fiction (young adult mainly). I believe that both sexes are qualified to helm these stories, but there seemed to be a preponderance of female leads in dystopian fiction. This, of course, was my opinion as I haven’t read every single science fiction book out there. Nonetheless, I didn’t want to ride what I perceived to be a trend, rather I sought to go against it. Again, if you’ve read Betera’s Factor, you are familiar with the character of Zelda. Zelda is the de facto leader of the Fordham sentinels in the novel. She also happens to be the strongest. Zelda’s role is intrinsically tied to Crawford’s fate and the success of his mission. In the sequel, her story grows. Tremendously.
Zelda is probably the most important character in Betera’s Legacy. This is owing to her origins, which you discovered at the end of the first novel. Probing deeper into her role was necessary for the sequel to be successful. There couldn’t be a sequel without Zelda and the novel could not culminate the way it will without her. I never suspected how important Zelda and her back story would be. I hope readers continue to be amazed by this force of nature.
Last but most importantly, Betera’s Legacy is Betera’s story. Through this novel, we will learn more about the machinations of this character whom we rarely saw in the first book. Without Betera, this universe would never have existed. The model for Betera was my mother. My mom was the most amazing parent so I had to imagine what her personality might be like if it were shady. I took the best points of my mom, her desire to protect and care for people and I pushed those traits to the extreme. I really can’t say more about Betera as it would mean giving away the entire plot of both books. However, I will say this…never underestimate anyone’s abilities. People will always fight for what they believe is right. As the tagline of Betera’s Factor says, “Anyone can be weaponized. Family. Friend. Foe.”
Now we have a new tagline. “The truth will rise. Dark. Deadly. Devastating.”