Tell the Guards to Open Up the Gates!

June 5, 2015

Well, hello, all you fancy people. Robert Halliwell here. Welcome to my takeover! Just kidding. However, I am here to talk about my debut novel from Dreamspinner entitled A Way Back to Then. It’s an off shoot from the popular Foster High series by John Goode, who I’m sure many of you may know. In fact, you’re probably just a big of fan as I am even though he’s become one of my good friends. I think it’s fun to be a fan of a friend’s work, don’t you?

That’s how it all started really. I read the first book in the Foster High series and became instantly hooked. I tweeted John, not thinking he would answer me, but he did and yes, I totally fangirled. We became instant friends not only because of our mutual love of literature, but also Doctor Who, comics and pretty much everything else any g’nerd (that’s short for “gay nerd” by the way. You can thank my friend Jeff for that) loves.

After a couple of months past, John was working on a new part of the series when he called me up and asked if it was okay that he named a character after little ole me. Of course, I said yes. “Robbie” in the Fosterverse is loosely based on me and my personality. All the other things that happened in his life and completely fictional. (Thank the gods. Some of you know what I’m talking about.)

One day, John and I were talking and he mentioned that maybe Robbie should have his own book. I laughed and said, “Have fun with that. Let me know if you need any material.”

John said to me, “No, I think you should be the one to write it. I know you can.”

To say that I was honored and thrilled that my friend, whose work I respect very much, asked me to “co-create” another part of his world would be too little.

I worked for quite some time on the story and the pacing and well, everything else that goes into writing a novel. This was a big deal because it was the first book I was writing and John helped me throughout the entire process. He kicked my butt when I thought I couldn’t do it and had major writer’s block. He introduced me to Gayle who read my work as an “audience member” and helped fill in those words that escape my fingers when I’m writing until 2 in the morning.

Cut to today, when my book is (hopefully) in your hands (or on your iPad []). I couldn’t be more grateful to everyone at Dreamspinner and to the fans of Foster who are ready for a different (and hopefully enjoyable) take on the characters they already know. And I’m grateful for those of you who are new to the world of Foster High who will read my book and possibly go read the fantastic stories that started it all.

A Way Back to Then

I’ll be back a little later with another blog, but please feel free to leave any comments or questions below.

Talk soon!

2 Responses to “Tell the Guards to Open Up the Gates!”

  1. H.B. says:

    Congrats on your debut release! Thank you for sharing how this story came about!

  2. Robert Halliwell says:

    Thank you so very much!

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