What future Island of Fog tales would YOU like to see?

Posted on February 20, 2014 (Subscribe to Blog)

This is a hot topic for me right now. Currently I'm working on Book 8, Prison of Despair, and it's going great. I'm already at Chapter 11, a little under halfway through and ahead of schedule. Then I'll be moving straight on to Book 9, Castle of Spells. But I'm already thinking about what comes next...

For a long time now, I've had it in mind to write individual spin-off stories surrounding the Island of Fog series but involving characters other than Hal and his friends. So you'll have the 9-book core series, and there will be any number of one-off supporting tales about varying characters – for instance, one book might be about Queen Bee and her Swarm, and another might be about Bo and Astrid growing up, and another might be a character we've never actually met before, and so on. These books will have the series title "AN ISLAND OF FOG TALE" to tie them to the core series.

The question is, what should be my first? I have a number of ideas knocking about but am unable to decide what to tackle first. Chronological order doesn't matter. Some will take place in the past, some in the present, others in the future.

I always had one idea in mind where, in a world largely recovered from the virus, a sullen youth gets a job at a special kind of zoo where certain "fantastic creature from another world" are gathered. The zoo's ethics are already in question over this, but the owners insist all the creatures were rescued or born in captivity. Yeah, right. Of course, people are drawn to the spectacle of dragons, unicorns, and other amazing animals they might not otherwise get a chance to see up close. But as the youth delves deeper, he discovers a darker side to the zoo – the "underground exhibits" where some of the more intelligent species are held captive, like centaurs and naga and goblins.

This raises all sorts of questions that we humans don't normally have to think about. To us, anything non-human can be put in a zoo. But what about centaurs, which are only half human? Or goblins, which are not human at all but speak almost perfect English? Obviously they shouldn't be kept as exhibits in a zoo! Yet they're just as interesting to look at as dragons and unicorns, right?

I thought this would be an interesting tale even if it's only vaguely related to Hal and his friends. Or I could write about something closer to the shapeshifters as mentioned above – how Queen Bee formed her Swarm, or how the twins, Bo and Astrid, were fostered and pushed into the Oracle business. Or what about a family emerging from a bunker and going to live in a bright new world of monsters? Or the reverse: a boy or girl who grew up in that same bright new world of monsters and foolishly cross over into a dismal, abandoned city of scrags? How would someone who's learned to tame unicorns and steal dragons' eggs cope with dangerous gangs of scarred virus survivors?

Then there are short stories. I can see these being more directly related to Hal and his friends. For instance, we could get into Abigail's head when she first discovers she has wings – or any of the shifters, for that matter. It would be interesting to see their side of what we know as Hal's story.

And there's something else I want to do. Recently, I've been in contact with Deb Potter, who writes "choose your own adventure" books where the reader is faced with a choice of what do to next, such as going down the ladder into the hole or through the door behind the suit of armor. The story then continues with that choice in mind. Check out her books. They're for readers 9 and up.

I've been meaning to do a "choose your own adventure" for my own series, a completely new story where you read for a bit, then make a choice of how the story should continue, then another choice, and so on until you either save the day or die horribly. (Well, maybe not die horribly.)

Anyway, I'm just spit-balling at the moment. But I'd be interested in some feedback on this. Do any of these Fog-related ideas grab you? Do you have ideas of your own? Anything you'd like written about? If you shout loud enough, or if your idea appeals to me, I might just work on that next.

Comment by BRIAN CLOPPER on Thursday, February 20, 2014...

A Choose Your Own adventure with manticores!

Comment by HAKEEM on Saturday, February 22, 2014...

I think that the zoo one is pretty good, but I think you should have miss Simone hear about it and send two of the less well known characters. Like Dewey and Darcy or Lauren and Emily, but keep the perspective of the kid zoo keeper.

Comment by ROGER ESCHBACHER on Saturday, February 22, 2014...

How about a crossover where they stumble upon a portal that takes them back to Arthurian times? Once there, Hal and his friends team up with the page of a poor but kind knight to save the day in one fashion or another. Just spitballing here.

Comment by KEITH ROBINSON on Saturday, February 22, 2014...

Oooh!! Roger, a series mashup! Hal vs. Leonard! Well, I'm sure they'd be allies, but still... Folks, read Leonard Book One: Dragonfriend and see if a mashup will work. :-)

Comment by ROGER ESCHBACHER on Sunday, February 23, 2014...

Oh, it'll work. I'm seeing a multi-book deal, movie(s), and an animated series. Let's talk later this week about merchandising (the action figures alone will make us skillionaires!). ;)

Comment by SIDNEY on Sunday, February 23, 2014...

Hi Keith,
First off I just want to tell you how much I love your books. You really have an amazing gift when it comes to writing. As a young aspiring writer myself, you really inspire me. Someday i hope to be able to write like you and get my own story out there. I find you ideas and writing style very unique and creative. You are definitely on my list of favorite authors. (You all really need to write faster! It kills me waiting for books!)

All compliments aside, I have an idea for a spin off book! Maybe you could do a short story on the adventures of Thomas as a manticore in the wild. He must have had some pretty cool experiences with his manticore family, and I can't be the only one wondering about it!

Your biggest fan

Comment by KEITH ROBINSON on Sunday, February 23, 2014...

THANK YOU, Sidney! And as for Thomas... Looks like he's the most requested spin-off tale so far. Two others requested him on Facebook as well. So this post and feedback has been useful. Another request (and one I would equally enjoy) is Molly.

Roger, I'm ready to be a skillionaire :-)

Comment by JORDAN on Tuesday, February 25, 2014...

I love the idea of Thomas having his own small story. I think it would be a great hit! I think you should write about Ryan! Like what he went through to survive the Queen Bee's attacks. And the zoo idea is brilliant. HAKEEM has a brilliant idea on the lesser characters going to free the special creatures. I can't wait for book 8 I got my kindle now I'm ready to read! Oh I have another idea for a small story how about what Simone's brother went through to try to keep the dragons from eating the people. I have to say you have an excellent point of view! :-)

Comment by JORDAN on Tuesday, February 25, 2014...

I also think that Molly would be and excellent story I honestly can't wait!

Comment by KEITH ROBINSON on Tuesday, February 25, 2014...

Thanks, Jordan. Another vote for Molly, then! And another for Ryan, too. Or Queen Bee. Or both. :-) Your idea of Miss Simone's brother, Felipe — also known as Burnflank — is fabulous! Definitely one for me to think on.

Comment by JORDAN on Thursday, February 27, 2014...

Thank you i really think these short stories are going to be the best i bet the movie producers would not be able to ignore you now! :-)

Comment by HAKEEM on Friday, February 28, 2014...

First of all, I have to disagree with you Sydney I'm the biggest fan.
But to the point. I got another idea. Hal meets a Dragon slayer, some one how stumbled into the other world before the virus and then decided to kill all trace of dragons or other magical creatures.

Comment by JAKE REID on Sunday, March 2, 2014...

Arggghhh!!! I hate French keyboards!! I can never find the 'at' on it!!! Anyway, I really enjoyed the Island of Fog and anyone who reads this, please read the book!

Comment by JORDAN on Wednesday, March 5, 2014...

I have to disagree with you HAKEEM and Sydney I think I'm the biggest fan or we all can be the biggest fans how about that? I think that the idea with the Dragon slayer thing would be awesome! I also have another idea how about a short story about what Ms.Simone went through to make sure that Hal and his friends stayed on the island and keep the fog machine working I don't really think that is the best idea that I can come up with but I'm jus brainstorming. How about Charlie (Ms.Simones friend) at the town when he battled the harpy's and tried to keep the village safe. Also their could be a story where Simone and her friends went on missions to save or bring the magical creatures together. I hope I helped on some things.

Comment by JORDAN on Wednesday, March 5, 2014...

Oh, I forgot my Birthday is on March 8, Saturday I just wanted to tell you that I am going to be reading more on island of fog and my Birthday wish will be for you to be able to have the book series into movies or how about that the short series will be a great hit!

Comment by HUNTER on Wednesday, December 31, 2014...

Jordan mentioned above about Miss Simone, and her generation of shape shifters. I think that could be something really cool to see. The way the previous generation started, and what trouble they got into!

Miss Simone had said in the prologue to book 4, that mermaids are 'silly and childish'. It would be cool to know just what made her come to this conclusion, since clearly while being a mermaid herself, she is no such thing.

Only finished book 5 the night before. Had just finished book 4 and could not wait a minute to get to 5, ended up finishing it in 4 hours or so! Cant wait to read the rest!

Comment by ROSAMONDO on Saturday, June 13, 2015...

I think a new one should be how the harpy queen dies and Lauren takes her place and what she teaches the harpies!

Comment by ROSAMUNDO on Monday, April 18, 2016...

Or queen bee + Ryan. Oh sorry HAKEEM, Sydney and Jordan, but I'm the BIGGEST EVER IOF fan! One fan to rule them all! Sorry, did I mention, I'm also a Lord of the rings and Harry potter fan, but IOF its three BEST!

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