The Coming Tide: My (Unpublished) Novel

Ah, the three year project. Little did I know, someday I’d be holding a completed novel and the first draft of a sequel. It’s a narrative that’s been years in the making.


The War of the Rose: The Coming Tide was an idea I first had six years ago, when I was a young lad staying the week in the Rose Island Lighthouse in Rhode Island. New England’s climate, the glittering waters of Narragansett Bay, the rugged island and its history, all captured my imagination just as I was starting to write. Most of all, the native seagull population enthralled me to no end, thanks to the island being a bird sanctuary.

As a kid, there was nothing I loved more than a good animal tale. Deciding I wanted to add my own tale to the genre, I borrowed from my experiences nearly five years later to create The War of the Rose: The Coming Tide. I even pay homage to the original setting in the title (Rose Island=War of the Rose).

Without the greats, I would never have reached this evolution in my writing. Jack London, Brian Jacques, Kathryn Lasky, Kenneth Oppel, Robin Jarvis, M. I. McAllister, William Horwood, Erin Hunter, and many more, I owe more than writing can ever fully express. To borrow from the words of Isaac Newton: if I have seen farther than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.


The Coming Tide chronicles the journey of Siddo, a young Black-backed fledgling who must fight to return home after being blown far to the south by a storm. In his struggles, he learns of a rising empire, one that has set its eyes upon his home. Will he return and save his island, or will a demon from his past destroy it first?


This was the page where previously chapters of the novel could be found. I am trying a new formatting approach to avoid a page that stretches down to the center of the Earth. For chapters, check the banner beneath this page’s link.

I will be adding chapters on a weekly basis to a point. Not that I think the chances are great, but I’ll be leaving out content to avoid having my novel stolen. Honestly, though, if it’s worth stealing, that’s a good sign. All chapters are from the third draft of the novel.


10 thoughts on “The Coming Tide: My (Unpublished) Novel

  1. The language you use is really descriptive and creates powerful imagery. However, sometimes you get lost in all the action and need to be reminded of that Siddo is with you – he doesn’t know what is happening and why. I had to go back and read the part about Siddo finding himself in a nest that wasn’t his which ended with a ferocious battle because I got lost in his exhaustion from being tossed around by the ocean. I feel like you could take out some detail to add emphasis to certain parts of the text and that would make it more impactful, however don’t forsake your vivid style of writing. It’s a hard balance to strike or advise to you but I hope you get something from this. I also enjoyed that you wrote in third person, but the transition from characters could be clearer if you add first person – that’s one thing I love about books, you get the mental process of a character that you just don’t see in movies or TV shows.

    Also I love how his inner voice is British (well at least my understanding of his inner voice).

    This is a great overall piece that surprised me with the bloody ending but I definitely think you should write more!


    • Awesome! This is exactly the kind of response I’m looking for, thank you for setting such a great example. I tend to get caught up in the action of it all (which is ironic, since I’m the one creating it) and focus on the physical actions of the characters. Definitely will try to incorporate his thoughts more, his confusion. There’s this shared irony among writers where we’re often stunned by our own pieces, the ending had me staring at the screen for a solid five minutes. I could barely comprehend where the carnage had come from, but I knew instantly that this was the building block for a much larger story.
      When I first decided Instinct would be a concrete character in his mind, the first words of his that I wrote came out British, and I decided it was too interesting not to keep, too distinctive. Glad you enjoyed it!


  2. Stephen, keep going! I’m curious about your vision of your readership. What’s your demographic? At first, I think children and picture book. Then, very soon, I think it’s very grown-up (the realistic violence equates to “grown-up” for me.) It could be a graphic novel!

    Best wishes from a semi-anonymous, reader-centric follower!


    • Thanks for reading! I suppose the audience I subconsciously wrote for was young adult, though, admittedly, I never thought about it until now. Yes, that ending certainly doesn’t leave much room for young children, that’s very true. Graphic novel? There’s another idea I’d never considered, but it’s quite intriguing, actually. Thank you for this unique perspective.


  3. The imagery you create is astounding! It is so intense and life-like. You have a strong voice as a writer – it was enjoyable getting lost in the detail of it all. You may want to draw the reader to key parts of the text to keep the story line flowing. Keep it up!


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