‘Rock Haulter’ is the second novel in the Magic Crystals series. It picks up almost immediately where ‘The Seventh Sorcerer’ left off, taking place over the following week. The heroic teenagers from Chopville believe they have saved the world from immediate danger and can now relax, only to learn that the man they had helped lock up had been broken out of prison and was planning something even worse. Now, instead of enjoying their school camp like their classmates, they must seek out the greatest source of magical power in the world, before it falls into evil hands.
The original storyline of MC2 was mostly improvised. It was first written in December 2000 in braille and took just five days to complete. Like the braille version of MC1, it was heavy on humour and light on an actual story, and when Stephen Hayes decided to re-write the series, MC2 was going to have to be much bigger and better than its original idea. In June 2003, after MC1 had been completed, he began immediately on MC2, a re-write which took until January 2006 to complete, mainly due to a heavy workload at high school and a writers block in the middle of the story. Like MC1, it would undergo a major makeover in 2007, turning it into what it is today, but unlike MC1, the vast majority of the original text remains in the story today.
MC2 was originally made available on TheMagicCrystals.com in October 2011. ‘Edition Zero’, as it was called, was styled as ‘The Magic Crystals 2 - Rock Haulter’, and was available until early 2012. Along with Edition Zero of MC1, it was taken down after almost no sales in that brief time. It was re-edited months later while MC1 was being shipped around to publishers, the intention being that the two should be published at the same time, but when no interest was forthcoming, the decision was made in October 2012 by Stephen Hayes that the two books would be self-published as an Ebook early the following year.
MC1 and MC2 were published in tandem on February 2, 2013, in Ebook format. The original formats were Kindle (mobipocket), Nook (EPUB) and PDF, but further Ebook formats were developed specifically for the Magic Crystals Store later in the year. All of these formats can be purchased here or through various retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Google Play, and so on.
In November 2012, the possibility of also publishing the Magic Crystals series in audio format was also explored. Nick Flint, who had been the voice of MC1, agreed to stay on board for MC2, and set to work on the story shortly after recording MC1. After months of recording, MC2 was published as an audiobook in December 2013, just in time for Christmas. It can be purchased here or through retailers such as Amazon, iTunes and Audible.
Initially, publishing the Magic Crystals novels in a physical format such as paperback, hard cover or even CD-ROM wasn't considered because the profit margin made them seem unsuitable. In early 2014, however, this option was re-examined and it was decided that some areas of the target audience weren't accessing the story because they preferred to read actual physical books. Work began on formatting MC2 for print immediately after the print publication of MC1, and after a few months of work, MC2 was published as a paperback edition in July 2014. It is referred to as the ‘2014 Paperback Edition’ and may not be the last print edition of the book, but it is presently the only one available and can be purchased here.