A Tale about Time…

Threshold hits next week, and to be honest, I didn’t expect this release to be as big of a deal as it is. Not “big deal” like it’s going to be massive or successful (though I hope) but it’s a big deal to me and my time as a writer, and the closer we get, the more I realize that impact.

2007. I was halfway through my film degree, and every thought was a lofty ambition. I wrote scripts and short stories and shot films and immersed myself in creativity. There was nothing I couldn’t do with enough ink and caffeine. I had recently discovered NaNoWriMo (though I was far from finding a group) and was certain this was something I wanted to do.

Threshold was a buzzing in my brain that, like most of my stories, started with an idea. It would be a beautiful failure that year, but it would follow me. The story had planted a seed in my brain, and that seed began to flourish. It was an idea that I knew would get under people’s skin – how could it not?

My delight is introducing my readers to something ordinary and building that into something terrible that clings to them in reality. I like to think I am accomplishing that. With Empty Hallways, I capitalized on the inherent creepiness of hospitals. In Threshold, I explore the oddity that is our own reflections.

Have you ever just stared at your reflection? Not yourself, but your reflection: the person looking back at you; the world they are limited to living in. But if you stare too long, things start to unravel. You can say a word so many times, it stops making sense and feels more like a made up sound. I’ve stared at my reflection so long that it doesn’t even compute anymore: just a mess of shapes and colors that follow my impulses. That’s where the fun begins.

If you stare too long at any object, your brain starts canceling out unnecessary information. In other words, your reflection changes. It starts taking on a life of its own. (Yes, this is the kind of insanity that some of my stories start from.)

I tried to gather all of these thoughts and put them onto paper and create a story. I was clearly not ready back in 2007, but the seed kept growing. The vignettes I created back then remain. A couple of scenes in the book are now polished, fully-realized ideas that started back then.

The first scrawled page of what would be Threshold…

Flash forward about ten years. I’m looking for my next novel, when I remember this concept. I start fleshing out the idea, but I’m distracted by flashy concepts and fun new ideas. I continue to struggle with the idea – because sometimes you do. Everything is hard now and again. Some stories come easy; some not at all.

The bones got organized, and life decided to get complicated. I started taking some online classes. Bailey and I bought a house. Then we got married. And through all this wonderment, writing took a back seat. I plinked around a little, I got some things written, but mostly, the author was sleeping.

I have a number of writing groups I belong to – or have belonged to. But while Threshold was still a dusty, shambling mess, a new group formed. We meet pretty regularly. It’s less a writing group and more a support group made of writers. What’s the difference? No competition for starters. We share in each other’s successes and frustrations. We don’t judge. We are there for each other. I’ve had good groups before, but this is an intimate group of honest friends – they’re helpful and even their physical presence and the sound of their typing was its own security. Threshold came together under this group’s support.

It wasn’t this group alone. Bailey has always been there, supporting me through the frustration and the threats and the whining (oh, how I can whine when the book won’t cooperate). My friends regularly asked about how it was coming along. People I met at shows chatted with me about the story, and were excited for it to happen.

Eventually, it did.

Next week, you’ll see for yourself.

But it has been a community effort, whether they knew they were a community rallied around me and a story, I don’t know, but the people in my life are amazing supporters. Thank you.

Threshold releases May 1, kindle and paperback. Preorder now.

An End of Things…

Happy Halloween!

We’re quickly tying up a number of things around here: October, At Calendar’s End, the year itself… and with October drawing to a close today, there is often another event right on its heels: NaNoWriMo.

The usual 30 days of writing madness has been a staple in my life for many years. Most notably, the last four years have presented me with manuscripts for my published works. It has been a thrilling and fulfilling event.

And though this is the part where I should tell you that I am anticipating the stroke of midnight, when November 1 begins and my fingers start their furious pace into the manuscript of my next novel…

I have decided instead to not participate in NaNoWriMo this year.

I almost titled this post “Why I am Quitting Nano This Year…” but that’s completely sensational and totally inaccurate. I’m not quitting. I’ll almost certainly be back next year. This is more of an early sabbatical.

The truth is, this year, especially the last couple of months, have been excruciatingly busy and stressful and the last thing I want right now is another stressful month. Also, I’ve proudly gotten to the point where I am writing quite a bit during the rest of the year, so Nano is not my only writing time during the year.

I will still be writing in November, and I may find, by some miracle, that I still crank out fifty thousand words. I won’t complain if that happens. But I’m taking an official break from NaNoWriMo this year so that I can concentrate on all the other things on my docket.

Tomorrow, by the way, is not only the start of NaNoWriMo but the next installment of At Calendar’s End. And when NaNoWriMo ends, I’ll be finishing off the series. I can’t tell you how satisfying that will be… maybe more for me than the readers.

I should also be receiving the results from NYC Midnight’s Flash Fiction Round Two soon. Fingers crossed that I will be moving into Round Three for another fast-paced writing adventure.

See? Still plenty in the works.

Happy Halloween. You’ll hear more from me as November starts to upumpkin_gifnfold.

 

It’s about time… no, really.

Originally, I wanted to release this as I was getting it: in stages. But I realized that some people out there might not want to wait for the full reveal. I understand. I am impatient as well. So, I thought it best not to say anything until it was time. It has been very hard to think about anything else since NaNoWriMo concluded this year.

And not only is it time, but it’s about time. The story, I mean.

At Calendar’s End is the story of time – or the end of it. The beings that control the passage of time find themselves dealing with an adversary both powerful and unpredictable. They have no defenses against it and worse – if they fail to stop it, all time will cease to be.

The story is a serial delivered in twelve parts over the course of 2016. Each episode (except January) will be released on the first of the month, and feature an approximate 10000 words of suspense.

Because so many people have told me how they cannot wait for the next book in the House of Thirteen series to come, I decided (at least once) I would not force anyone to wait in suspense when they finished with part one. Both January and February will be available on February 1, 2016.

The serial will be available in Kindle format for the time being, with a future release in paperback. And in the event that anyone wants to wait for the end of the series before picking it up, the omnibus will be available at the end of 2016.

Pre-orders will begin very soon. In the meantime, enjoy the beautiful artwork by Brian Ritson.

January

Six long days away…

The premiere for House of Thirteen is this Saturday, Nov. 7. I am looking very forward to this. The Book Cottage is kind enough to host me, and I’d like to make it as wonderful as possible. Please consider sharing the image around to let others in the area know about it. Thanks, and I hope to see you there.

Shout it to the rafters.

Shout it to the rafters.

It’s a new year, but they’re the same old tricks…

13 days into the new year, I thought I might finally weigh in. It’s been a while and I’m painfully conscious of that. I’m a bad blogger. Well, not bad, just inconsistent. And just like last year (heh) one of my numerous resolutions is to try to improve on that failing. Continue reading

Let’s get this year started.

You can say what you like about the weather lately; it’s been pushing the cold and dreary around here. People have lost a little of their holiday luster and are ready to move into the warmer months, but for me… this is where it all begins. Continue reading

Another 50,000 words out of my head…

I just hit the fifty thousand word mark on my manuscript. According to NaNoWriMo, that makes me a winner. So, what does a winner do? He stays at the keyboard to update his blog. Awesome. What else? Continue reading