How the House Phoenix series came about

(image credit: Gabi Agu)

BROKEN ANGEL is the first book in a series of thrillers that has been years in the making. It all started with a character, and a single line of dialogue that became the powerful final line of the first book…and exploded from there.

I started the House Phoenix series in 1999 — before I knew anything about writing or publishing, before ebooks as we know them today existed. Despite the fact that I’m a lifelong avid reader, my craft was terrible, my sentences overly dramatic, my point of view all over the map. But I had to write this story.

Feedback from my early readers blew me away. Everyone loved the story and the characters . . . and everyone wanted more. People told their friends about the book, before it was even available anywhere. People drew me fan art. People talked about my characters as if they were real, and talked about who they’d cast to play them in the movies.

I was just as hooked. My characters lived and breathed through all the years that followed, even while I was working on other projects, honing my craft, and being rejected or falling for publishing scams, time and again.


Now, here we are in the brave new world of independent publishing. After a less-than-successful run with a small press (which wasn’t the fault of the publisher), I’m giving this series the big send-out I’ve always wanted it to have — and I’m in control this time.

And people still love my characters. I’m honored and humbled every time to read reviews on Amazon like these:

“This book was truly magnificent. I could smell the sweat and blood in the ring. Hear the jeers of the audience, and feel the crunch of bone beneath my fist.”

“This book packed a punch and read at a blistering pace. I couldn’t put it down and found myself thinking about it a lot. I was even caught out by the twist – you must read to the end.”

“Found it a lot better than I thought, in fact couldn’t put it down and finished it in record time.”

Four of the books in this series are already out and available. I’m looking forward to this summer, when I intend to wrap up and release the final installment featuring my old friends.

–S.W. Vaughn

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