When I began writing Noble in the spring of 2010, I had no intention of turning it into a trilogy. In fact, I didn’t see much potential for a continuing franchise at all. It wasn’t until after I started reading the book reviews that I realized there was an opportunity to create more stories in that universe.
One reader in particular felt quite bullish about the book and would send me emails from time-to-time with plot elements that he wanted to see continued. Although I didn’t share his vision about what might come next in the story, it got me thinking about it nevertheless. Before I knew it, a rush of new ideas flooded my brain and I began outlining Noble: Bloodlines.
About half-way through Bloodlines, I started to wonder if there was enough story left to write a third book. It seemed silly to me to be two-thirds of the way to a trilogy and not do it, but based on the direction Bloodlines was headed, I didn’t immediately see a meaningful way to keep the story going. I also didn’t see the point in making Noble a trilogy if the third act would not be compelling.
I waited about six months after the release of Bloodlines before I sat down and started to brainstorm ideas for a third book. I felt as though I had taken Miller Brinkman’s arc as far as it could go, and no amount of contemplation could change that. I also felt that a lot had happened in the story in a short amount of time, and that even the most ambitious villain takes some time off after a colossal defeat to lick their wounds and regroup.
I considered several options when it came time to select a character for Miller to pass the torch to. I wondered if Puckett would be the right choice. I loved his character, and he felt like the most natural fit to take the reins. Then I wondered if Mosley might be a better choice. She’s young and gifted, and I am a huge proponent of wanting to see more strong female characters in the literary world. She received a pretty big promotion from Puckett, after all, so I saw an opportunity to thrust her into the spotlight and turn her loose.
In the end, however, I couldn’t shake the feeling that it was time to bring the Noble universe into modern day. All of these events had been happening in secret since the turn of the twentieth century, and I wanted to explore what impact that would have on today’s day and age. What if those secrets began to bubble to the surface? What if the evil that happened in the shadows had finally stepped into the light?
In order to bring Noble into the twenty-first century, I had to create a brand new protagonist. I wanted a character that felt organic to the world I’d created, but that would not come across like Miller Brinkman, part two. It was important to me that this new character have charisma—after all, the reader will be spending over 300 pages with them—and be likeable in the same way that Miller is, but in no way should they outright resemble each other.
This thought process led to the creation of the new protagonist for Noble: New World Order: Desmond Kalish. I’ll be getting more into Desmond’s character in a later blog post, but he is a twenty-five year old police officer for the Charleston, West Virginia police department. How that relates to the Noble universe will unfold as we continue this blog series. 🙂
As you noticed, I did ultimately choose a male lead protagonist instead of a female. While I whole-heartedly believe what I said earlier about the need for stronger female characters, having this protagonist be male presented more options for plot ideas that I wanted to explore in greater detail. That said, Noble: New World Order does indeed have a strong female character. Several, in fact, but more on that later.
Thanks for reading! I’ll be back soon with the next installment in the Noble blog series.