Sunday, August 28, 2011

More craziness and insanity in August

Well, after moving from one house to another in nine days, a lack of internet for two weeks and dealing with bitchy, unappreciative people... things have finally settled in after a fashion. Can't say I'm thrilled with the end result, but there's not a lot I can do right now.

On the writing front, Avarice has ground to a halt. The book is not dead, but it does appear to be in stasis right now. I feel like I'm repeating myself and the time has come to take a deep breath and push myself away from the project for a little while. There are some good elements in the book, but it feels like everything is about to crash in a very nasty collision. Might not be a bad thing for some books, but it doesn't feel right. I'm still going over the text every now and again, looking for clues that might help. Will it be done? Yes. Will it have a 2011 release date still? I'm hoping, though early 2012 might be more realistic. Avarice will be released, though. I still like the book, but the dense cast number and the overlapping storylines has made it a more challenging book than Coercion.

While all of that is going on, I am working on a shorter novel. More of a straight-up mystery set in Oak Villa. I suppose there is some inspiration to be found from Ed McBain's 87th Precinct series, but it isn't a pastiche or anything. This book is going in its own direction and pieces of the story have been floating in my mind for a while now. The book is about eighty pages right now and is moving at a solid clip (knock on wood). I suppose it helps that the story will be told entirely from the perspectives of two of my minor characters from Coercion, Jason Redman and Amy Hollins. I imagine the book will be around 250 pages or so and in terms of setting it will be set between Coercion and Avarice, with events of the former playing a role on some level (more emotionally than plot-wise) on the characters to give the universe some connectivity and the impression that actions from prior stories will turn up again and again. The book's working title is Contract.

As for artwork on Coercion, I should have word on that soon. If it goes well, I imagine I will use the same artist for Contract and Avarice for the sake of continuity. Make them like those mass-market paperbacks where there is a unifying theme.

All of this, as always, is in a state of constant flux. I do hope to get a review from the two bloggers I sent Coercion to. That would be nice. With any luck I'll have a new cover by then.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Insanity in August...

Well, it wouldn't be an August if things weren't going batshit crazy, now would they? Moving for the third time in two years, trying to finish a book, working a full-time job, starting up my second job again around August 22, working with a new artist... yeah, that's a full plate. Hard to believe there'll be any time for fun and games, but at least I've got that going for me. Going to a Steely Dan concert in a week and a White Sox game the following week. So there is that amidst the craziness.

Craziness and insanity, I would say, can be a good thing, albeit in controlled doses, and as long as it doesn't overwhelm you. Coercion was born in a time of great insanity and calamity and though I had to start over twice because various approaches weren't working, it did end up working and I suppose having something to focus on during a very difficult period of my life helped me enormously. Among other things, I got fired from one job for bullshit reasons, was basically homeless for ten days, and also had other minor problems that seemed to come up.

There is a purpose for everything, I suppose, and by the end of the production I came out of the situation scarred and hardened by the experience, but I also wound up going on the current direction that I am in my life right now.

I like to think this next month will be another transitory period for me. A chance to build off a stronger foundation for the future. With any luck, I will have a new cover for Coercion by the end of next week, which is when I am supposed to move. I should *knock on wood* have Avarice completed by the end of the month and in the final editing process. I'm not sure what the cover will look like yet, but I imagine it will be similar to the final design for Coercion, but with key stylistic changes that make it work well within the context of the story and its themes.

So, we'll see what happens. Sales have been on and off, more than anything. Like mood, some days just happen to be better than others. A new cover and a new book in the pipeline, I hope, will be the necessary ingredients to really get things moving.

But, like anything else, it just depends. I'm not religious in any strict sense, but I do believe that everything has a purpose. Hard to imagine a world where things happen purely by accident. Some things do, and some have a specific purpose.

The trick, if there is one, is to recognize when both happen and to take advantage of them.

Coercion's Amazon Page: