One of the best pieces of writing advice I’ve heard comes from my publisher, Brad Pauquette of Boyle & Dalton. He told me that an author’s second novel should be “something similar, but different.”

That’s what I strove to accomplish with The Girl from Level 10. Those who read The Black Lens will recognize similar themes woven throughout, but this is a very different story. Like Westworld and Ready Player One, my dystopian science fiction thriller explores the dark side of technology in the near future (Columbus, Ohio, to be exact).

But The Girl from Level 10 is specifically about an augmented reality competition where people can win a fortune by killing lifelike robots in gladiator-style games. It’s like an adult The Hunger Games with androids.

I applied the same research and reporting skills to The Girl from Level 10 as I did to The Black Lens. For more than a year, I personally interviewed cybersecurity experts, virtual and augmented reality coders, and even manufacturers of artificially intelligent robots for my book.

I wanted to create a new world, but ground it in fact and reality. While I am still editing this novel, I recently submitted the synopsis to Writer’s Digest 2nd Draft Critique Service and just received a great review from one of their main editors:

“Thanks for sending us this impressive synopsis for a science fiction novel of the future. Gladitorial games of the future is not a new theme for science fiction, but you have updated the concept and increased the technology by an exponential factor.”

John DeChancie, science fiction author and Writer’s Digest 2nd Draft editor

The publishing process is a long journey, but I’m getting one step closer each day. Thanks for sharing this journey with me!