Underdogs: What’s Next?

Yesterday was the release of the third Underdogs novel, Dogs of War. One thing I don’t want people to worry about when they start reading is the sense of finality that some of the proceedings have. The war is coming to a head and there’s no turning back or turning down the dial. By the time the book ends, people might be afraid they’re reading the last novel in a series. I wanted to reassure everyone right off the bat that this isn’t the case. It’s not the end of Underdogs as a whole, but it IS the end of the story arc that began in the first novel.

One of the things that irks me about on-going series like Dresden Files or The Hollows is that they just keep charging along. Everything builds on what comes before until you reach Book 13, and everything happening is incomprehensible if you’ve missed even one of the preceding stories in the series. I wanted to avoid that pitfall. I didn’t want to string along the hunter/canidae war endlessly until the only way it could be resolved was with an epic novel-long battle that would only be interesting to diehard fans. I wanted Underdogs to be more accessible than that, and even more, I wanted to make sure I didn’t wander too far from the origins: Ari and Dale as private investigators and partners. I didn’t want their story to get too huge too fast.

So with this novel, I decided to provide a bit of closure to what I’m calling “The Hunter Arc”. Hunters are definitely still going to be a part of the Underdogs world, but there won’t be a constant looming threat of war with the canidae. Ari and Dale have fought their battle and now it’s time for them to move on. They’re not soldiers.

The next novel, Red in Tooth and Claw, will be a standalone story. My plans are for Book 5 to begin a second arc that should cover at least two or three books. That way there will be a lot of places for new readers to jump in without being forced to go all the way back to the beginning. Of course, if you are enjoying the ride from the very beginning, you’ll get full enjoyment of the series’ one true arc: Ari and Dale’s relationship. That is one continuing thread that won’t get reset to zero any time soon.