The Upcoming Sequel to Fairlane Road

As a writer who is still new to being published, it is continually surreal to receive feedback on my books.  This is especially true of my second novel, Fairlane Road.  Released in August of 2017, I have received a wide array of positive reviews and feedback on it.  Recently, I was honored to have the website Authors Reading review Fairlane Road, saying such things as this:

"Author Cody Lakin follows up his first novel, Other Endings, with a spellbinding story of good vs. evil. This thought-provoking tale, Fairlane Road, captures the reader's attention as the search for a murderer plays out on the pages. As you read through the story you will find yourself pausing throughout to contemplate the conversations and insights of the characters as you learn more about them.
As the story unfolds, you’ll be transported to another realm; another world. With each new discovery, a new appreciation for the complexity of Lakin’s style of writing is revealed. Each layer that is peeled away brings a better understanding of the core of the story
."  (You can read the full review here.  And please leave comments: https://www.authorsreading.com/fairlane-road_330.htm)

This review reflects a consistent theme in some of the things I've heard from readers: that it is as much a page-turner as it is something worth frequently pausing and rereading to reflect on and contemplate.  Never did I imagine I'd be receiving this kind of feedback on my second published novel--and in many ways, it's unreal to me to receive such positive feedback on my work at all, considering that simply being a published author is unreal to me).  And I am perpetually, overwhelmingly grateful to those who have read the book, who have told me and discussed with me what they thought of it, how it affected them, whether in reviews, in reaching out, or even in person.

When I first finished writing Fairlane Road a few years ago now, it was with a deep breath of relief.  It's a short novel, but it took me roughly as long as any other book I've ever written, which is roughly a year.  I don't plot out my books, never have, so for me it is a process of discovery, of following the story's rhythms while creating at the same time.  And Fairlane Road took so many unexpected turns of character, many of a philosophical nature, that it was difficult to write.  I found myself gaping at the weight of the story, how it was turning into a philosophical grappling both in a metaphorical sense and within the diegesis of the story.  One reader--an author named Edan Epstein, whose book The Anteater I recently read and highly, highly recommend--said he came away from Fairlane Road feeling the story was about our personal and broad quests for knowledge and understanding, even if the routes we take are often misguided.

I finished writing the book and set it aside, completely unsure of how I felt about it despite how much effort had gone into finishing it.  At one point I even took a break from writing it, and took some time to write short stories, through which I discovered, "Oh yeah, writing is fun," and was then able to feel refreshed and return and finish Fairlane Road.  As the next few years went by, as I grew as a writer and storyteller, as my first book Other Endings was published, I began to revisit Fairlane Road and see it from a new perspective.  Rereading it, I found it to be strange and original and unique.  Something very much my own, though certainly not without its influences, and something worth polishing and trying to put out there.  Which is how it became my second published novel.

The end of the Authors Reading review says this: "As the loose ends all come together with finality, you are left longing for more. “Fairlane Road,” is one of those novels that leaves you satisfied while hoping for its sequel in the near future."

I'm happy to announce that the sequel officially has a due date: January 17th, 2019.

Not long after I finished Fairlane Road a few years ago, I remember how the characters lingered with me for a long time.  It had been such a hard story to finish, yet after finishing it I kind of wanted to return to that world and those characters.  I couldn't forget how great it had been writing the character of Charlie Knox, the dark prophet whose depths went beyond what I ever could have predicted.  I couldn't forget cynical but increasingly open-minded Andrew Jean.  I especially couldn't forget Jezebel.  I knew there was more of her story to tell.  I even tried to write the sequel, but ended up realizing that I didn't know what I wanted to do with it, where I wanted it to go.  So I abandoned it, promising myself I'd return to it one day.

Years later--two published books later--and the sequel to Fairlane Road, titled The Girl with a Fairy's Heart, is on its way to being my third published novel.  It is another strange work, one that clashes and blends genres in wild ways, and delves far deeper into the philosophical grapplings and questions that the first one scratched the surface of.  Plus, it has what I think is the best antagonist I've yet written--certainly my personal favorite, anyway.  But as always, with my writing, the line between good and bad, right and wrong, is far from being easily definable.  And there is so much more to Jezebel's story than I had ever previously imagined.

I can't wait for you all to read it.  I'll go into this further as the release date continues to approach and I go through my final edits, but I will say that for newcomers to my work, The Girl with a Fairy's Heart is a sequel, but it is also a book that can easily be read as a standalone work, I believe.

For now, cheers!  Happy reading and happy writing!

Literary Fiction vs. Genre Fiction

To some, the line between literary fiction and genre fiction is not only distinct, it is a considerable divide.  I work in a bookstore and witness this all too often, where the shelves differentiating genres into respective areas in the store are more than just physical in their separation.  Many people refuse to read a certain genre for any number of reasons, occasionally for no reason other than some kind of snobbery.  Even I'm guilty of this, to a small degree.  Which is to say, there is almost always reasoning behind the distinctions between genres and types of books--whether it's the simple distinction between mystery fiction and science fiction, or broader, such as teen fiction and adult fiction--but there is a strong point to be made, one I agree with, that most of these distinctions shouldn't shape our view of a book, especially not in a broader context.

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