Breaking Storm, the sequel to my debut book, Cloud Riders, has just taken to the skies. This is a book that was such a joy to write, the realisation of ideas that I had planned from the inception of the Cloud Riders trilogy. There are some big science ideas lurking beneath the surface, some crazy locations that came to life in my imagination, but most of all it was about writing about, Dom, an ordinary lad from Oklahoma that I’d come to love like a son and who meant everything to me, and who took me on a journey of discovery through the pages of this story.

In Breaking Storm, Dom faces situations that test him to the core of his being and threaten to break him. There is one sequence in the middle of the book that I’d planned right from the inception of Cloud Riders, a moment so heartbreaking that it was like the shadow of a thunderstorm in the distance, approaching far too rapidly as I wrote towards it. And when it finally arrived and I found myself putting those words down onto the page, I found myself actually weeping… That’s how deep an author sometimes digs, how much an author can actually care about their characters. And this is a very good thing. As they say, “tears in the writer, tears in the reader.”

We all recognise those moments of authenticity in a book, even if that moment in the story is set in a parallel universe because it’s that moment that gets hold of your heart and squeezes. Stories are a powerful way to share these moments that test us and maybe in them, we recognise similar moments of heartbreak in our own lives. In my experience, it’s those stories that move us most profoundly like this that we never ever forget. 

Stories can have such a powerful effect on us because they can hold up a mirror to us and show us what it is to be human. And right there we have one of the many reasons that stories are so important in all our lives.