I, Dalton Lewis, wrote a novel: V Max One. Honestly this novel means more than any previous novel to me. I started it last November for National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. I finished a 50,000 word draft that month and then was burnt out on the novel and couldn’t finish it. At least another month was spent writing the introductory chapter over and over — before it was finally cut and destroyed. I decided not to start the novel with a gigantic fight but instead to start with an interesting character in an unusual situation. I pressed on. Nine months and several drafts later the novel is done. I’m very proud of myself having written a novel that I feel is, well, the best novel that I can write.

In V Max One a thirty-year old man arrives on a dock on a planet far from Earth surrounded by water in all directions. He sees creatures swimming below him, aliens, some of them demonic in appearance. The sun is a small, white star that is clearly far from Earth’s solar system. The story slowly develops from there, but it is clear that he is unhappy, unhealthy, and needs rescuing. I tell a space opera about a paramilitary organization fighting against a group of terrorists who blow up buildings, execute mass shootings, and try to destabilize the government.

People complained that I only wrote about teenagers, so there aren’t very many teenagers in this one. The leads are all adults: Ares Morgan, unhappy failed esports pro who had a breakdown; Sera Morgan, Korean sister of Ares Morgan, angry and determined to do anything to save her brother — and beating and breaking anyone who tries to face her down. One is the nickname of the leader of V Max One, and she tries to help people and train them to fight against terror attacks and mass shootings and other kind of evil.

Writing the first draft took a lot out of me. I wrote like crazy for the month of November, writing fifteen hundred words a day or more. I started to write about the daydreams that were happening to me every day and turning them into fiction. Trying to create characters that were three-dimensional and interesting presented me with a challenge: Sera beats up people who might not deserve it, Ares deeply hates himself and thinks himself a failure, and One tries to keep everything together in spite of mounting deaths around her.

Alien races: Keep it simple, I decided. The angels of the Bible were based on an alien race that visited during Biblical times. So were the demons. Angels and demons became the alien races of the story — which I thought would give the story a strong religious feel. I also decided that the demons would be angry to be mistreated and thought of as monsters. They would fight back against a society that fears them.

Description became a key theme for the story: I noticed that the best writers create a full, beautiful world, and the beginners just basically say what happens. I created a scene with full, evocative description in every scene that I could. Science fiction universes give me a full palette to make colorful and amazing imagery from scene to scene.

I had a dream of a beautiful woman. In this dream I saw a beautiful woman without any hatred of her, resentment of her, objectification of her, or mistreatment of her. I wanted to write about a place that fights for that: that fights beyond belief to teach young men to treat women correctly and gives them a chance to be good people. I wanted very much to write a novel about that.

I really worked hard on this one, really hard, and threw everything I had into it. I’m proud of the result. It’s on presale now, and I want people to give it a shot. If you ever liked a good, cinematic space opera of a novel, give this one a chance.

Thanks, and take care, friends.

Dalton Lewis wrote The Hauntings of Old Liberty High — a teen ghost story with heartbreak and passion. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09FYQXDRZ