What about Lee?
[SPOILERS AHEAD - IF YOU HAVE NOT READ TERMINUS YET, PROCEED WITH CAUTION]
Many of you, upon finishing Terminus, have asked if this is the end of Lee Harden, or if there is more to come. Well, as I was about midway through writing the rough draft of Terminus, I had an idea that I just couldn’t turn away from. I’d just done a bunch of learning and studying about the character archetypes, as made famous by Joseph Campbell’s Hero With a Thousand Faces, and explained to me by the mellifluous voice of K. M. Weiland on her podcast Helping Writers Become Authors. Despite the name of the podcast, the information she shares is phenomenal, whether you’ve been in the writing game for a while, or are just starting out.
To avoid boring you with a master class lecture on the archetypes (though, if you’re interested, I highly recommend listening to Weiland’s podcast series on it), I’ll give you the quick and dirty rundown: Each of the archetypes, upon concluding their respective character arcs, become the next archetype in line. The “Maiden” becomes the “Hero,” the “Hero” becomes the “Queen,” the “Queen” becomes the “King,” and so on (while the names are gendered, the concept of each archetype applies to both male or female characters), until you end up at the “Mage.” The Mage is the final archetype, and represents a character that has successfully gone through all the trials and tribulations and journeys of all the other archetypes.
And who’s been through more trials and tribulations than Lee Harden and his salty crew? As I began to look at his story, from the very beginning when he left his bunker, to the very end when he leaves Briggs’s, I realized that I had unconsciously worked Lee through every single character archetype, and that he was, in fact, becoming the Mage.
And what does the Mage do? Well, the Mage travels about the land, lending his wisdom and experience to new sets of Maidens and Heroes and Queens and Kings. The Mage finds trouble wherever it lurks in the “kingdom,” and solves it. If you’ve finished Terminus, then you probably see where I’m going with this.
If you’ve been with me for a while, you might remember that I grew up on—and still adore—Louis L’Amour’s great westerns. They’re all rather similar, which in no way detracts from how great they are, IMHO: A mysterious stranger shows up to a town in trouble, helps the town solve their problems, and then rides off into the sunset. Just like a Mage.
I became enamored with the idea of Lee Harden and his small band of operatives doing just that, and so I used the end of Terminus to set up my next long-term project: Lee Harden standalones.
And so it is with great excitement, that I now officially announce what I’ll be writing next: The first Lee Harden standalone. Now, I haven’t actually begun to write the manuscript just yet (I’ll start on Monday, because I hate starting new projects mid-week), so, as usual, I won’t be giving out many details about it until the story gets much further along in the writing process. But I will tell you that some of the questions left unanswered in Terminus were left that way on purpose—there’s still so much left to tell in The Remaining universe, and I can’t wait to get started!
[END OF SPOILERS]