Broken Lightning: Legend of the Qi Symbol

In the last days of the world, the energies of man and nature mingle, giving birth to Linkers – people with the power to control the elements.  Kurt Ciardi, an electrician and first among the chosen, is determined to use his command over lightning to stop the apocalypse.  Eric Jaeder, a college student with the ability to reshape empty space, sees the coming destruction as an opportunity to start fresh.  The fate of all that exists rests on who will trace the world’s decay to its source, following clues left by ancient tribes to the shores of a lost island kingdom.  But will the truth save humanity, or condemn it?

You can buy this book on Amazon. The Broken Lightning books can be read in any order, but chronologically, this one comes first. It began life as a half-formed idea and a one-eighth-formed draft of a story when I was in high school, but I had a hard time making it feel different enough from School Kids SG at the time, so I shelved it until I got into Asian Studies in college, at which point Taoist philosophy and 15th century Chinese ghost stories drew my thinking in a fresher direction. I completed the first version of Qi Symbol in 2006 as my senior project in said major, and I shopped it around to agents for a while in 2010-2012, thinking I’d let this be the only manuscript I sold to a publishing house. I imagined a tide of name recognition lifting my other books without me having to give up editorial control over more than one. However, I realized as time went on that I didn’t find the traditional publishing channels anywhere near as fun as putting my own proofs together, plus I unexpectedly started working on a sequel I felt much less inclined to sell, so, after one more editing pass, I released Qi Symbol independently in 2013.

This book sports one of the only covers not designed by me: it’s actually a photo of a gorgeous copper plate etching made by my highly skilled artist friend Christopher Curry John O’Connell. He’d go on to do another photographed-physical-art cover for the second Broken Lightning book as well.