One of the coolest, but more tedious things I've had to do in writing The Paladin is fleshing out an entire universe. It's really fun, but kinda sad because I feel like 75% of it will never reach the page.
To make sure that processes flow naturally and characters act organically, I need to know what is happening outside of the narrative of my novel. That means that while my story takes place entirely within one geographical area, I've had to map out what things are like across the country. In The Paladin, the main organization is, of course, the titular Paladins. They operate across the country and across the world, but my story only focuses one state. Still, to know why people are where they are, why the organizations operate they way they do, and to make sure it all flows properly during the story, I need to know what Paladins on the opposite of the country are doing. I need to know what their superiors are doing. I need to know what the political climate in the US was like when the Paladin Order was forming.
Because of this, I have a lot of side story potential. Without giving too much away, I even have a little one shot story in my mind that takes place back in the 1910s and involves Teddy Roosevelt killing werewolves. Bully! Another involves a hunter listening to Queen as he fights his way through a horde of zombies (Don't Stop Me Now.) It's honestly overwhelming sometimes, but I know that if I'm going to get to any of that stuff, I have to make sure the first story gets out there and is well received.
So, if you're reading this, I hope I've excited you for the world I'm putting together. I hope when you read this story and see how wide it reaches, you'll think about how Paladins might operate in your neck of the woods. And, mostly, I hope you'll enjoy the journey of Jonathan Sutter as he learns about the Order and the crazy world hidden around all of us.
On that note, I hope to have my first three chapters up soon and available to read. I'm going over a final edit and I want to make sure their as polished as I can get them!
Keep your eyes open for my debut novel, The Paladin.