Mars: Whispers of a Planet

Book 1: Mother of Mars:

Released: March 2017

150 Pages

Ebook: $0.99  Paperback: $8.99

Leaving the Earth after joining the Mars Development Project was the hardest decision Cecil ever had to make, separating himself from his mother and the prospect of a normal life. The planet takes its toll on him, but he is doing what he loves. After a freak accident leaves him debilitated and unable to fulfill his purpose, he falls into despair and must consider what he must do next. Through the darkness, a voice calls out to him. How will he respond?

Mother of Mars was my first proper step into writing, being my first book that lasted more than a few chapters.  This entire story went through many revisions, and many nights laying in bed thinking of how the story was supposed to evolve.  I shared several early drafts with friends, both allowing me to find the faults in my writing, as well as to help give me motivation to finish.

I held onto the drafts for a long time before finally deciding to put in the effort to edit and assemble it into something publishing worthy.  From my perspective now, there are indeed parts of this version that are lacking, but all in all, this is my foundation, and nothing can change that.

Book 2: Above a Whisper

Released: June 2017

242 Pages

Ebook: $2.99 Paperback: $8.99

Sequel to Mother of Mars. After endless rehabilitation to recover from his experiences living on the planet Mars, Cecil finds himself unable to recondition his mind to living on Earth once again. Somewhere in the back of his mind, it feels as if he doesn’t belong. Forlorn memories of the distant planet nag at him endlessly. On a pursuit to heal his own psyche, Cecil finds himself on a path of discovery regarding secrets the space agency had been pushing under the rug for decades. Finally coming across a discarded chapter in the history book of the planet, Cecil decides to confront the space agency and reveal the truth.

Above a Whisper was written for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) during November 2016.  During that time, I was living in France with a host family, whose three children I was tutoring in English.  I think, looking back, the cold, foggy, fall Paris mornings drinking tea played a great roll in my enjoyment of writing this book.  Just having time away from a lot of proper distractions helped me as well.

This was, at the time, the longest writing process I had taken on.  Of this series, however, this is my favorite book.  Through my various read-throughs editing it, I always found myself engorged in the story, despite me being the one who knew every twist and turn.

Book 3: The Call from Within

Released: June 2018

192 Pages

Ebook: $2.99 Paperback: $7.99

Almost a year after the Mars Fever had been cured, the Altum Crater Station had finally returned to a proper routine. Cecil quickly finds himself stuck between working random tasks and fending off boredom. When a new ship from Earth arrives bringing with it more workers as well as a group of civilians to live there, Cecil discovers that he must take the role of watching over them. His suspicions of his own inadequacy hold him back while these new arrivals continue to look up to him as some sort of infallible system of support. Meanwhile, out in space between the Earth and Mars, a ship sent by a separate country looms closer, offering no inclination that they wish contact.

At some point, I knew I wanted to finish off a trilogy.  In my writing of the two previous books, there was semi-purposeful foreshadowing that I wanted to tie up and conclude with.  In this book, I also had intention to make a more proper arc for several characters that had only had minor relevance in the first two books.

I enjoyed putting closure to the story, even if that meant keeping a few things as secrets, both from me and the readers.

Whispers of a Planet: Complete Collection

Released: January 2019

664 Pages

Ebook: $4.99 Paperback: $14.99

Altum Crater: Mars. A sole station rests, filled with a select few people from the planet Earth. The planet is not kind, but those there must persevere for the people on Earth.

An omnibus of the Whispers of a Planet trilogy: Mother of Mars, Above a Whisper, and The Call from Within. This comprehensive collection includes as well the series’ prequel entitled Solace in Stone, a foreword by the author, a never-before-seen epilogue, and two pieces of insert art created for this collection alone.
To Whom It May Concern on Earth:
Humanity’s thinkers have long wondered if it is nature or if it is nurture that turns us into the individuals that we are. It wasn’t until the minute exoduses from our planet that we discovered it to be a little of both.
We, as humans, have proven that it is possible to leave our little blue sphere known at Earth. However, there is a reason why the forces of the universe try to keep us there. Space, and the insignificant bits of rock and dust floating around in it, are not our home. They are not made for us.
Mars could have been just enough for us to base something new upon. Yet… like the vastness of the void of space, the possibilities out here are endless,limitless, and each speck of dust existing contains the prospect of either placing itself upon the foundation we build, or to topple it over.
Mars was the closest to what we had, but it was still so far. The toll such a place takes… it is not simply just the body, but the mind as well. We all learned that out here.
-Cecil Ruiz

After publishing the third and final book, I felt making a collection of the three books was warranted, which included going back and reading through the stories for the first time in many months, years even.  Sometimes I worry that Mother of Mars, being my weakest writing, is just decent enough to hold on to readers so they may continue on to the other two books.  Going back through all three of them let me make some necessary changes, both to little bits of plot, and plenty of structure.

I ended taking an extra step by writing a prequel, following the series’ main supporting character, to better flush him out.  It came out to about 10k words.  I also wrote a short epilogue- just a couple of paragraphs- to further put closure to the ending of the series, albeit while keeping a little bit of uncertainty.

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