Friday, November 19th, 2021 marked the release of the final book in the GHOSTLAND Trilogy. Called Infinite, it's over 575 pages long, making it the longest of my novels, and bringing the trilogy's total page count to more than 1500 pages.
I have to admit, I'm both thrilled and sad that Ben Laramie and Lilian Roth's story is over. I grew to love these characters as I wrote about them in the first book, which was why when people started asking "Will there be a sequel?" my first response wasn't, "Hell no!" It was, "Yes, of course!" This was followed by a mad scramble to figure out what the hell I would do with the characters, who were only a little more fleshed out than what was seen in the first novel. (I trimmed the book down significantly in an attempt to appeal to editors/publishers, though I think it works better the way I left it).
In the second book, Ben and Lilian are in significantly different places than where they'd started in Book 1. I'd set this up at the end of the first book, but never had any intention of writing a sequel. It was pretty much meant to be a "The End... or is it?" scene. Usually, it is.
Because of this, I struggled a lot with what to keep and what to cut while writing the sequel. There are tons of enjoyable scenes I cut from it, simply because they didn't fit the tone of what the book ended up becoming. There were more ghost "liberations." There was an entire sequence that took place at a haunted mall. But the book became more about Ben's disappearance and the new characters from the other side of the country (Sam, Andy and Lamb) finding their way to Duck Falls, Maryland before chaos ensued once again.
The third book is about the response to that chaos, and Ben and Lilian, rather than trying to flee from Rex Garrote (the series Big Bad), finally taking a stand against him, with the help of the colorful cast of characters I introduced in the first two books.
I had too much fun writing this one, and I hope it shows. I think it works as the end of the series but also a bit of a prequel. It ties up some loose ends from the previous books and gives most of the main players a purpose.
I've got a ton of material already written for a Garrote House prequel novel, and plenty of ideas for other spinoffs set in the Ghostland "universe," including the stories of hauntings and curses in/around various Ghostland exhibits. We haven't seen the last of Rex Garrote, I can tell you that much - at the very least the Garrote from the past, who will feature in the prequel novel. I've got a good chunk of a novella completed featuring Deputy Logan Lovett from Afterlife, and what happened to him while Duck Falls was under quarantine. I've also been tinkering with an alternate version of the events of opening day called Survival at Ghostland.
Not to mention, there are still a handful of "lost" Rex Garrote novels that will hopefully see the light of day sometime in the next few years.
So, Ghostland: Infinite isn't the end, necessarily. But it's an end for this specific story. If you enjoyed reading the Ghostland Trilogy as much as I enjoyed writing it, there's much more in store for you in the future.
If you haven't read Ghostland yet, here's a handy LINK to get you started.