Celebrated putting the final touches on my new crime/mystery novel Disloyal Son last night and am definitely feeling the effects this morning. I’d swear there are a couple of mice playing a spirited game of ping-pong just behind my eyes.
Ah, but it was worth it. Killed most of a bottle of a reasonably priced, single-malt scotch (McClelland), listened to music, had a great supper and a long, frank discussion afterward with two longtime friends. Apropos my book, it was all about family secrets, unacknowledged sins of the past. Then I opened my binder and read an excerpt from Disloyal Son, just the first four pages, but was encouraged by the feedback. Think I’ve got a winner there…
Some unexpected news this morning: my short story collection Exceptions & Deceptions was shortlisted for a 2014 ReLit Independent Press Award. It didn’t win but it’s the second year in a row one of my books made the roster. This despite the fact that “self-published” books are technically not eligible for consideration. Now how ’bout that? My only quibble, I wish the administrators of the ReLits would contact authors and let them know they were included on the list. I found out purely by accident.
In the coming days/weeks we’ll be moving into production mode re: Disloyal Son, the interior (text) and cover files prepped and finalized for submission to Lightning Source. Still clinging to that May 1st release date.
Are you ready for Disloyal Son?
And, please, help me out, won’t you? Let’s see if we can generate some real buzz around this book. It’s a thrilling read and deserves the widest possible readership. Tell friends and fellow bibliophiles, let folks know there are still good books out there…and still a few authors with a real appreciation of literature’s illustrious legacy, and who possess the courage and desire to contribute works of originality and grace to the eternal canon.
“A novelist is like God in the universe, present everywhere but visible nowhere.”
Sorry. Geez. Talk about belated.
Several weeks since my last post and I offer no excuses, no rationale. Yes, I’ve been editing the third draft of my new novel, going through its 200+ pages over and over, shaping and paring, trying to find a consistent voice, a smooth, narrative flow. And, yes, my days are long and intense and my focus can be downright scary at times. That need to immerse myself (there’s no other word) in the world I’m building, basically from scratch. It’s important to envision that creation in as much detail as I possibly can so that it seems credible and fully formed. I know my readers are pretty discerning people.
You have to understand, at times like this, when I’m going full-bore on a project, it’s easy for the rest of Earth Prime to fade away…and that means all ties, all friendships, all responsibilities become, well, superfluous. Wish I could put it more nicely but that’s just the way it is. Sometimes in order to meet the demands of my work I have to become selfish and solipsistic…it’s one of the least attractive aspects of being a creative artist. When a project reaches this state, I literally have to take a leave of absence from my regular life and that can be hard on family, friends and, yes, my small circle of readers and blog followers.
The end result is a completed novel or short story but getting there, while still retaining contact with the people who mean the most to you…that can be a struggle.
I guess what I’m trying to say is be patient with me, know that I’m operating in the thrall of my Muse, my imagination racing, my brain clicking on all cylinders. If in the performance of my duties I’m negligent in terms of my worldly obligations, it is, for me, a necessary (even mandatory) state of affairs.
You want to know what life is like for a full-time, independent author?
Well, there it is.
In the pipeline…
Some publication news for you: as well as the novel, this year I’ll be working on a new edition of my very first book, a short story collection titled Sex & Other Acts of the Imagination. The collection was released back in 1990, the entire print run selling out in a matter of months. It’s virtually impossible to lay your hands on a copy of Sex and I’m going to address that by re-issuing it with a new cover, Introduction and Afterword. I’ll be formatting and correcting the manuscript this summer and will publish it through my Black Dog Press imprint either later this year or in early 2015 (the 25th anniversary of its original publication).
The new novel, meanwhile, is slated for a Spring, 2015 release.
Drop in for further updates as the year progresses.
My friend Robin found this. He has an unhealthy obsession with the movie adaptation of my novella “Kept”. He’s determined that I’m going to be famous…whether I like it or not. Robin has been keeping tabs on the Twisted Pictures/LightTower team that are producing “Kept”. This home page of theirs certainly makes it look like they’re taking the film very seriously.
Stay tuned for further developments…
In the past two weeks, Of the Night has undergone some impressive tweaking. I’ve been on a roll, seeing the novel from new perspectives and making subtle but important adjustments. It’s uncanny…all at once I spot connections that weren’t there previously, I swear. Suddenly they’re glaringly obvious. Uncanny? Hell, sometimes it’s downright creepy.
I’m getting very, very close to the “Sherron Draft”.
This means the book is nearly done, right on the verge. In need of one final run through by someone who knows my work intimately. Sherron’s been my sole editor for as long as I’ve been a professional writer (and maybe even a bit before). She knows what my aspirations are, what I’m shooting for aesthetically. She’s a terrific reader, the kind who laughs out loud at funny bits or moans when she suspects something bad is about to happen. She has a sophisticated and well-rounded love of books and reads whenever she has a spare moment.
She’s a spell-checker and proof-reader and a demanding and opinionated fan of my work. When she doesn’t like something, she says so and she’s usually right. Well, okay, almost always…
I’m not an easy person to edit: I grumble over critical remarks and suggestions, sometimes walk away in a funk…but if the changes improve the story, they go in and that’s that. Creative writing types talk about “killing your babies”, throwing out your favorite lines if they don’t fit the story. When I edit, I’m absolutely ruthless, no flashy flourishes or stylistic showing off allowed. Everything in service to the story; a motto I live by.
Should have Of the Night posted here mid-August so keep that in mind.
I deliver my “Sherron Draft” late next week, close to our anniversary, as a matter of fact. Eighteen years I’ve been married to the finest person I’ve ever known. Ain’t that something? Ain’t I the luckiest guy alive?