Monday, June 25, 2012

The Next One

So, like I said.  The next novel after this new one will probably be the Elizabeth sequel.

I say probably because it was supposed to have been the next book, and obviously that didn't pan out.  I do have about 150 pages of what was to be the sequel that I wrote back in '09.  I probably will not use any of this.  We'll see, but my concept of the next book has veered pretty far from what I had in mind back then.  My approach to the sequel is that it's not even really a sequel at all. 

As I said earlier this year, I am approaching the sequel somewhat as a level setting of the story. It will assume no one has read the first book.  One of the themes of the first book is reinvention and the sequel completely recontextualizes the story to the point that you could call it a reboot, except it's not.  Some of the influences on this novel include The City and The City, Batman: Year One, The Long Halloween, Watchmen, and Chris Claremont's early run on X-Men. 

Obviously comic books feed a lot of my thinking here and the comic book Miranda is reading in book one will be an important aspect of the story.  The endless rebooting of comic book continuity proves endlessly fascinating to me for some reason, and I will continue to explore this idea in the fractured continuity of history in the novels.

I look forward to getting back to the story.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Not Finished

But kind of.

The story that has given me so much grief over the last - um, it's been a long time - finally came together in the last month or so.  As always with me it was a matter of confidence.  The book is more or less the version I attempted about three years ago.  I lost confidence in it then and spent a long time lost in the weeds trying other approaches.  These yielded some interesting writing but ultimately they weren't right for this story.  The Book of Elizabeth had quite a few false starts too, but none as dramatic as this (actually, I'm leaning toward my next novel being the Elizabeth sequel, which as it stands now would kind of make the first one a false start...) I hope this is something I am getting better at recognizing.  Maybe I am just one of those tinkerers that never knows when to quit.  Or maybe I just never know what I want.

In any case, I am very happy that I have found my way to this place.  The novel right now sits at about 424 pages, which is probably a little longer than it will end up.  I'm going to let it cool its heels for a few weeks, and then clean it up before sending it to some beta readers.  My hope is to see it released probably late this year/early next. 

In the meantime, I do plan to go ahead with the story collection that has been neglected while I went off on this long weekend with the novel.  That's actually been ready to go for a while now, so that should come together kind of quick.

And then it's on to the next one.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Type Those Money Makers Baby

There was an article recently in the NYTimes (the link is escaping me) about how the boon in digital publishing for indie writers has created something of a sprint to generate as much material as possible.  The nutshell is that if you are not producing multiple books in a single year, then you are not sustaining your brand and worse yet, not making money.  Dean Wesley Smith actually breaks this down in a post on his blog that is well worth reading.  There is a lot of thought that goes into his reasoning, and that of all the advocates for blitz publishing.  The e-reader consumes at a pace that is both electrifying and terrifying.  If you want to build a readership, you need to give them a reason to stay around.

Even if I wanted to, I couldn't write more than one book a year.  I will probably publish my second novel later this year.  I feel the same pressures other indie writers do.  I feel the same spirit of opportunity.  Money simply doesn't motivate me, and I'm not going to sacrifice the quality of my writing for the quantity of my output.  It will cost me in income and readers.  The fact that I can't focus on much else beyond my slow writing - including this blog - already does that.

When A Country of Eternal Light comes out, the people that read The Book of Elizabeth may or may not find it.  They may or may not wonder why I spent so much time on something that isn't a sequel to the last book.  They may think this guy spends a lot of time on nothing much at all.

It's a price I'm prepared to pay.