For Greene County News
XENIA — Local thriller author Joe Schlegel published his fifth book, “Ava,” on July 15.
The novella is a companion story to his nine-part saga titled The Godrick Series. “Ava” follows the path of two drug couriers, Ava and Jett, who are wanted by a motorcycle gang for the accidental death of a member. It is a short story that transpires during the same events as his second novel, “Dare to Defy.”
“Ava and Jett were mostly cut from ‘Defy’ because their parts distracted too much from the main storyline,” Schlegel said. “But I really liked it, so I decided to write it as a stand-alone novella. It adds to the world without being a continuation of the main story.”
The rest of The Godrick Series follows antihero Godrick Jasper, whose new-found “curse” drags him deeper into a dangerous and violent world. Tragedy and loss guides his ascension into someone far greater than his meager beginnings suggested. The series starts with “The Appetite of Floyd” (published in 2012), then “Dare to Defy” (2013), “Wrath, and Raleigh” (2014), and “A Few Grams of Horror Haze” (2014). The fifth installment is slated for a 2016 release.
But before Schlegel continues with his thriller series, he plans to work on a project a little closer to home.
“I’ve been plotting out a post-apocalyptic graphic novel set here in Xenia,” he said. “It’s meant to be a little different than what I’ve done so far, set in the real world instead of a fictitious city. I’m definitely looking forward to the new challenge.”
In addition to the graphic novel, Schlegel is also looking into literary agencies for national representation. Currently he self-publishes, but that lacks the marketing expertise of professionals within the industry. His hometown following has bolstered him into taking the next step.
“I’ve come a long way since my first release,” he said. “I finally feel confident that I have a combined product that will catch an agent’s attention, and I have more than a dozen ideas still in my head to write. I’m going to write them anyway, so I might as well check around to see if anyone picks me up in the meantime. It’s all about stubborn persistence and playing the waiting game. Luckily I’m good at both.”
His nine-part thriller series was in the planning stages for nearly 12 years before he sat down to complete the first book. He credits an unemployed bout for taking the story seriously, and he credits hard-earned momentum for achieving five published books.
Schlegel’s paperbacks can be found through his independent publisher, CreateSpace.com. He has also made his books available for digital download.