“For years I’ve been thinking we needed a different mythology book; and since we couldn’t find one, I thought I’d write one,” English teacher Bill Hiatt said.
With that in mind, Hiatt came up with the plot for his latest series, whose most recent book, Divided Against Yourselves, was just published on Nov. 22. However, though his original intentions were to write a book that could be used in the classrooms, he ended up with his series about, “a modern teenager [who can] all of a sudden work magic.”
“[The mythology book] never got anywhere because I couldn’t bring myself to do all the research I needed to do to do the myths justice,” Hiatt said. “But I still had the primary character (Taliesen Weaber) of that story idea sitting there. And after some thoughts [on character development], that character became the nucleus of the first book in the series, Living With Your Past Selves.”
Hiatt, who admits to doing his novel-writing “in relatively short time frames during the summer” due to his busy school-year schedule, was spurred to write the sequel to Living With Your Past Selves after reactions to the first book appeared to be “going well.”
“For my previous book, I wanted to see how it would do naturally. Most people who read it seemed to like it, and it seemed to have found an audience among those interested in the fantasy genre. I thought there’s enough interest to justify doing a sequel,” he said. “I probably would’ve written the sequel eventually, regardless. Whether or not I published it was a question of if there was interest, and there seemed to be.”
Additionally, after penning the first book in his series, Hiatt decided to write a prequel, Echoes From my Past Lives, in order to answer questions from readers and unleash his imagination. In doing so, he feels it has helped him write Divided Against Yourselves.
“In order for [the most recent] book to work, I needed a clearer view of the mechanics of Taliesen Weaver since that’s actually part of what starts the situation in the novel. By writing the prequel, I was able to work that much more easily on Divided Against Yourselves because I did some pre-thinking, ” Hiatt said.
Now that his latest book is officially published, Hiatt is working on advertising through methods that boosted sales with his previous two books, such as targeted mass emails.
“[With my first book], I literally wasn’t selling at all unless I was advertising. But now there’s some activity even when I’m not running a campaign,” he said.
Although he has the option of selling his novels in book stores, Hiatt prefers online sales because it keeps his products cheaper, and therefore more appealing to customers. Moreover, Hiatt believes that through putting more books on the market, he will reach even more success than what he had with his previous two novels.
“The theory is the more books you have out there, the more likely you are to build an audience. So I’m expecting success with Divided Against Yourselves because books tend to sell each other. The sales for Living With Your Past Selves picked up a bit when I first put out the prequel, and I actually sold more copies of it this past weekend than of Divided Against Yourselves,” he said.
Hiatt hopes to eventually publish a fourth book to the series.