Born in a Treacherous Time / Crossroads / Man vs Nature

How I’m Doing on Crossroads–I

crossroadsThe next book in my prehistoric fiction collection, Man vs. Nature, is a trilogy called Crossroads, set 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man had already reached most corners of Eurasia. You’ll meet Homo erectus tribes from Indonesia, China, South Africa, East Africa, the Levant, and Spain. These are violent people, fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threaten their survival. Except one: future man, called by some scientists Archaic Homo sapiens and destined to obliterate their earlier selves.

Here’s a summary of Man vs. Nature:

… in the spirit of Jean Auel and Kathleen Gear, Man vs. Nature follows early humans as they struggle to survive a world where Nature is King and man is prey not predator. What didn’t kill these early iterations of Man made them stronger and gave new meaning to Darwin’s definition of evolution as ‘survival of the fittest’.

The next in this collection (after Born in a Treacherous Time) is the trilogy Crossroads. Because it spotlights so many characters, it’ll take three books to fully-reveal the story. Here’s a preview:

Xhosa, leader of the People, is driven from her East African home by a violent enemy. As she searches for a new home, she finds others like her, also forced to flee or face sure death.  Based on a true story, this is an unforgettable saga of hardship and determination, conflict and passion.

Book 1 has a planned publication date of May 2019; Book 2, October 2019.

Here’s how I’m doing.

  • I re-evaluated whether Man vs. Nature is actually a ‘series’. You can see my thinking on this here. I’ve come to the conclusion it is a collection of novels about prehistoric times.
  • I’ve had a surprising number of Born in a Treacherous Time readers subscribe to be notified when the next book is out (I always include a link at the end of my novels to presell the next book and this is the most I’ve ever gotten). As a result, I’m considering turning Born in a Treacherous Time into a duology or trilogy, so readers can see what happens after Lucy is cut off from her band. More on that later.
  • The Crossroads novel I have been writing for ten years is too long for one book so I’m breaking it into two. Each will be standalone (despite the cliffhanger at the end of Part 1) which means I have to add a lot of background detail to Part 2 without sounding narrative. I’m still working on that.
  • To finish Book 2 close to Book 1’s publication date, I’m (for the first time) applying goals to my writing. In this case, I’ll add five additional pages a day.
  • Here’s a map of the journey traveled by the Crossroads‘ characters. The disparate groups start in South Africa, East Africa, China, Indonesia, and the Levant. All unwittingly arrive at what we know of today as Dmanisi Georgia (labeled ‘Hawk’s Land’ on the map) and travel together to what will become known as Atapuerca Spain.

man 's journey out of africa

  • I am going to reach out more proactively to historical fiction bloggers. Anyone have suggestions?

This is my first time writing a trilogy so my thoughts are definitely in flux. I’ll let you know how these ideas work out in next month’s update!

More on Man vs. Nature:

How I’m Doing on Born in a Treacherous Time VI

Born in a Treacherous Time Receives an Award

Prehistoric Fiction Authors: Great Books For You


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and Born in a Treacherous Timefirst in the Man vs. Nature collection. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning. Crossroads, next in the Man vs. Nature collection, is projected for publication in May 2019.

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68 thoughts on “How I’m Doing on Crossroads–I

  1. The World 🌎 is the cusip to your library to the security of your financial well being and to instrument bonding and identify registering throughout the United States of America and Canadian the holsings of the people who invest themselves and their interests overall. Thank God for Mother Nature or we would have no tress to bear the fruit of the vine for these instruments to create financial wealth.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good luck! I’ve tried goals with my writing but I can never stick to them because without fail one of the kids will get sick or something similar and it all goes out the window. Now I just try and write every day as much as I can.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Jacqui – it’s great about the progress of the various books and ideas – excellent about putting that link in to your next book and then getting subscribers … while Norah’s comment about our all being survivors puts us in a slightly different context doesn’t it. I must get your ‘Born in a Treacherous Time’ … you’re so well organised that you’ve so much planned etc … good luck – cheers Hilary

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I am in the same place that you are, Jacqui. I have written a historical book and am busy with another and I also want to get in touch with more writers in the historical and supernatural genres. What I am doing is putting historical novels in my readers search tab. It them comes up with loads of blogs with a link to these genres for me to investigate. It does take a bit of time but it does work.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. What a mammoth project, Jacqui, and thanks for sharing your process. What a lot of work it must be researching. I note that you say it is based on a true story.
    I like your mention of the survivors, that what didn’t kill them made them stronger. It reminded me of what Jackie French, an Australian historical novelist, told us in a seminar – that we are all descendants of survivors. Many didn’t survive, killed by wild animals, plagues, droughts, famines, floods, wars … but our ancestors survived, so we came to be. It’s a slightly different perspective in the way we think about ourselves. I hope we continue to be survivors.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hi Jacqui, I like the way you describe the relationship between the books as being a collection. I love books that are independent of one another, but which share things like setting and even characters. They can be fully enjoyed as stand-alone books so much that you really look forward to reading another on the merits of the author’s writing. Also, I love the cover art for this series.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. This is quite an undertaking you’ve chosen for yourself, but you have done such an outstanding job with your other books, decisions and choices – I’d say – Go with your gut.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I had planned to write a book based in each of mankind’s critical junctures but now I see that some of these are trilogies. I don’t know that I’ll have time to get to Cro Magnin and Neanderthals after I finish all the trilogies.

      Liked by 2 people

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