When is a Trilogy Not a Trilogy? by Rob J. Hayes

Hailing from all over England; north, south, and everything in between, Rob J. Hayes is the author of the dark fantasy series The Ties that Bind and also the steampunk caper series It Takes a Thief... He's also an avid card gamer, reader of books, watcher of things, and player of video games.

The second book in the It Takes a Thief... series, It Takes a Thief to Start a Fire, is available October 25th from Amazon. You can find out more at www.robjhayes.co.uk.

When is a Trilogy Not a Trilogy?
Star Wars Vs Indiana Jones

I'll start this blog by saying I will be talking about the original Star Wars trilogy (that's episodes 4, 5, and 6) and the three Indiana Jones films (3!!!)

Trilogies are a thing. I don't know why but there's probably some scientific basis behind the number 3 and how it effects our primitive human brains. Honestly, think about how many things come in threes. Stories told across multiple books/films are most often done so with 3, so much so that I recently wrote a duology and people kept asking me what the 3rd book would be called. At this point it's almost become social conditioning (especially within the fantasy genre) to expect books to be trilogies. The mighty De La Soul taught us that 3 is the magic number. A comedian friend of mine recently told me that when using examples in jokes, they always use 3 because 2 doesn't quite hit it home and 4 is where it starts to get old. There's no way around it. There is something about the number 3.

But trilogies don't always come in the same format. I point back to the aforementioned Star Wars and Indie trilogies. Both are excellent series of films and consist of 3 films but deliver in very different ways.

Star Wars contains 3 (mostly) complete stories. From A New Hope, to THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, to Return of the Jedi. Each film follows its own narrative and feels complete (even Empire which quite blatantly sets up Jedi). When looked at as a whole, however, you can see a much wider story arc coming into play. The films work on their own but they also function to tell a grander story that simply wouldn't fit into the usual confines. And it works brilliantly. Try watching them back to back some time and the progression of the universe and the characters really hits home.

On the other hand we hand stories like Indiana Jones. While still considered a trilogy, Indiana Jones does not have an over branching story arc. Each film is considered a stand alone adventure and each is really only tied together by the main character. They can be watched in any order without detriment. In fact, Temple of Doom was the first Indiana Jones film I ever watched... and it's technically set before Raiders of the Lost Ark... despite being the 2nd film in the trilogy. Confused? No need to be. Watch them in any order you please and they work just fine.

Here's the bit where I tie this is in to my latest book release.

So when you write a trilogy it's important to decide what type of trilogy you're creating. A series of books with a strong narrative thread tying them all together, or a series of adventures with only a cast of characters tying them together. For my It Takes a Thief... novels I decided on the latter. Chronologically speaking they do have a timeline, but they can be read in any order with only mild spoilers (if the characters are alive in book 2, you can be pretty sure they survive book 1).


About the Author

Rob J. Hayes was born somewhere south of the cockney wastelands in a small town called Basingstoke. He grew up with all the usual boy toys including Lego, Star Wars figures (complete with working lightsaber action) and plenty of Transformers. Playing with these toys inspired his imagination and as soon as he was old enough he started playing with swords wooden sticks.

At the age of fourteen he started writing but, like most fourteen year old boys, everything had to be either a vampire, a werewolf, or have superpowers. Thankfully, like most fourteen year old boys, he eventually grew up... a bit.

After four years at University studying Zoology and three years working for a string of high street banks as a desk jockey/keyboard monkey Rob ran away to live on a desert island in Fiji for three months. It was there he re-discovered his love of writing and, more specifically, of writing fantasy.

Now based in Derbyshire, UK, Rob has a variety of hobbies when he’s not madly scribbling his next epic, that, unsurprisingly, are fantasy themed. He regularly plays card games based on the A Game of Thrones and the Netrunner universes and attends tournaments throughout the UK. Rob also enjoys Airsofting: the act of running around a forest with fake guns shooting (being shot by) his friends.


About the Book

It Takes a Thief to Start a Fire (It Takes a Thief... Book 2)
by Rob J. Hayes 

Following hot on the heels of the events of It Takes a Thief To Catch a Sunrise, ...To Start a Fire sees Jacques Revou and Isabel de Rosier adapting to life in Great Turlain while competing against murderous fences, shadowy secret police, and a group of thieves who can control the very elements.

“We started our lives together with barely a coin to our name. We have won fortunes and lost them. We have stolen the un-stealable, survived plots and schemes determined to see us fall, and saved a Queen from certain death.

But sometimes a fresh start is exactly what is needed and here we can have just that. Free from devious machinations and troublesome reputations alike. Here we can go back to our roots.

A good thief gets out without being caught. A great thief makes it look as though they were never there. But we are neither good, nor great. We are the best.”

Kindle Edition, 274 pages
Expected publication: October 25th 2016