🗣️ Come listen to — or watch — Episode 17 of my podcast, 12 Minutes (or less!) with the Author. Neil Bullock’s latest book, Nexus, book three in the Primordials series, was released this past fall. In this episode, Neil talks about how the storyline has evolved from book one, introducing the unexpected, and plans for future books in the series. A transcript and link to the Spotify podcast episode are below. The podcast is also on YouTube (video below).
Episode 17, on Spotify: https://spotifyanchor-web.app.link/e/j3jXqmKURFb
This podcast episode is also available on YouTube. Find it here: https://youtu.be/OhbO1vq236g
Find Neil Bullock and His Books:
- Author Website: https://www.neilwritesthings.com
- Find Neil’s books on Amazon, Apple Books, Kobo, and more!
- The first book in the series, Off Track, is available as an audiobook: https://www.audible.com/pd/Off-Track-Audiobook/B09DTCYKRW
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/neilwritesthings
My Review of Nexus: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/6076296561
About Nexus, by Neil Bullock
Humanity’s birthplace is dying, torn apart by an inexplicable cosmic entity known as a Primordial.
Total destruction may be only days away. Eden Lucas wants to help the survivors on the ground for as long as she can; her traveling companion Lara believes the only way to help is to search for a very different Primordial — The Creator.
But how do you find someone who could be anywhere in the universe when time is running out?
Welcome to 12 Minutes (or less!) with the Author. I’m your host, T.L. Brown, but you can call me Tracy. Let’s get started.
T.L. Brown: Hi everyone! Today, I’m joined by Neil Bullock, author of the Primordials series, and we’re going to talk about his latest book, Nexus.
Neil is a fan of fantasy, science fiction, and magic realism, which he tends to combine into his somewhat speculative sci-fi novels. He particularly enjoys the kind of mind-bending stories told by Blake Crouch, N. K. Jemisin, Peter Clines, and Jeff VanderMeer, among others. He loves putting normal people in weird situations and seeing how they cope.
Welcome, Neil. You know I’m a fan, and I’m thrilled that you had time to talk to us today.
Neil Bullock: Hello! Nice to be here.
T.L. Brown: I want to get right to it because I want to talk about your book, Nexus. I just finished reading it last week. Five stars all the way. I loved it. It’s the third book in your series, and I can’t recommend the series enough, but Nexus…I thought, wow, he’s raised the bar yet again! So, that’s what we’re going to talk about today.
Let’s get right to those questions. For our readers and listeners, can you tell us about your new novel, Nexus, book three in the Primordials series, and what can readers expect?
Neil Bullock: What people can expect is probably somewhat unexpected — that tends to be a larger theme in my work.
Specifically, what you can expect is a group of people who live aboard a space-faring train flying around the galaxy, learning about things and solving problems as they go. Basically, the problems vary in scope from fairly small things to catastrophic planet-destroying things. The goal of the third book, Nexus, from my perspective, was to raise the stakes, as you say. But I’ve also had three questions in mind since I started writing this series. I don’t necessarily think I’m going to spell them out, as I think they’re probably spoilers there, but certainly, the second book answered one of the questions and asked another. I think if anyone’s read it, you probably know what that is.
With Nexus, it was always the plan to answer the remaining ones, which you told me before we started was a little bit surprising — and that’s good. That was what I was doing. Yes, we know there’s more coming. But this is surprisingly detailed, and there’s a lot here.
The plan for the series is nine books split into three trilogies with a time gap between them. Nexus is the end of the first trilogy, essentially. That’s how I’m thinking of it. The aim was to round it out, so to speak, to make it complete. It also sets up the next trilogy and the rest of the series.
(This comment was edited out of the podcast/video.) T.L. Brown: As one of your readers, that’s very helpful for me to know. Before we started recording today, I told you, wow, you gave us so much in this third book. I knew more books were coming, and I was pleasantly surprised to read some really wonderful reveals in Nexus. But again, as you said, you also set it up for things to come. That was very interesting. Once again, for our listeners, the plan for the series is nine books, which consists of three sets of trilogies.
Neil Bullock: The reason I chose the name Nexus for this one — aside from being a physical place in the book — is because it’s the Nexus of stories to some extent. It sets up the rest of the trilogy, but it also sets up at least one side story that I can think of off the top of my head — possibly two. I can’t remember how the editing went. There’s definitely one side story that’s probably going to be a trilogy. That will stand alone but will also link in others. I have a few plans in that area as well — lots of offshoots of the main nine-book story.
T.L. Brown: You’re already answering my next question, which is great. How has that storyline evolved from the first book? Can you tell us a little bit more about that? When we start with Off Track, book one, we meet Eden, and we start with normal everyday life. Then, an event happens. You go from there, and where we are with Nexus right now, this is a radically different life for Eden and others.
Neil Bullock: Eden was the only viewpoint character in the first book, and it has moved on a little bit from there. There are now two. I think in the fourth book, there will be three. I’m trying not to assault people with too many viewpoints because it’s one of my least favorite things where you jump from one or two characters to…I think the worst example I can think of is it jumps from four to 19. I didn’t didn’t enjoy that. So, I’m trying to keep it limited.
The first book (Off Track) was a bit driven by adrenaline and panic, and as a result, you don’t really get to know that much about the characters. They do kind of pause and slow down a little bit and talk about themselves to some extent, but there’s not that much.
In book three (Nexus), it gives them a lot more introspective time, which is always what I’ve wanted to get to. It’s interesting. I take it in a character study direction to some extent and look at people’s backstories in detail. I still haven’t completed my details as much as I want to — there are a lot. Megan, one of the new characters in Nexus…there’s much of her backstory in there, and I already know where I intend to take that in the future. That’s probably the main area where everything has evolved and how detailed I am in looking at the characters now that they’ve had time to get used to their lives and settle down a little bit. There is still a lot of panic and adrenalin in book 3, but it’s also longer. They have more room to breathe, so to speak.
T.L. Brown: Did you have any surprises when you were writing Nexus?
Neil Bullock: Yes. The main one was that there is now a romantic subplot, which I certainly wasn’t planning on having. The first two books don’t go anywhere near romance. That was probably the main surprise for me, and it was actually in conversation with my beta readers that it came about. People asked if there would be any of this in the future and if I was looking at it in that kind of way. I wasn’t. I don’t read a lot of romance; I often don’t go there. I sort of skim over romance in other stories to an extent. But also, I think probably there’s some satisfaction you just can’t get any other way. I started thinking of it in those terms, and that was the big surprise for me.
T.L. Brown: I don’t want to give spoilers away, so I will speak in code. I just found it to be very rewarding — the direction that you went. I don’t read a lot of romance. I think your delivery of relationship building, we’ll call it that, was believable, and it was a nice rounding out of the characters and the story. You did a really good job.
Future writing projects! Obviously, we’ve got books four through nine, so the next, number four, is going to start a new trilogy within the Primordials series. Can you tell us ideas for that? Anything without spoilers?
Neil Bullock: So far, we’ve focused on the main characters, and we’ve added characters. The next trilogy is going to be focused a little bit outside. It will look at getting people across the galaxy to work together. What happens when cultures clash? What happens when people choose personal greed over the greater good? And also, there is a prequel story I’m working on about how Lara boarded the train originally, as she was actually the first character who is still on the train.
T.L. Brown: I like how you put that: who is still on the train. That’s very exciting! Neil, thank you so much for making time for us today. That’s all we have time-wise. I can’t wait for the next book to come out.
Neil Bullock: Me, too! Thank you for having me.
T.L. Brown: Listeners, readers — you can find Neil’s books on Amazon, Apple Books, and Kobo. You can also visit his website at NeilWritesThings.com. You can find Neil on Instagram at @NeilWritesThings. Please give him a follow! His first book, Off Track, is also available as an audiobook — so audiobook lovers, seek that out. Links to Instagram and the books are in the podcast caption below. Thanks for listening, and we’ll see YOU the next time.
This has been 12 Minutes (or less!) with the Author. Thanks for listening to today’s episode. Hope you can join me for the next one. Until then, this is Tracy, AKA author T.L. Brown, signing off.