Discussion

Hey, y’all. Quick update. I got another proof back, but it was full of formatting errors for the quotation marks on certain bits of dialogue. I am going through, quote by quote, and marking them for correction. I hope to turn it around, today. Amazingly, this sort of fine-tooth combing seems to take as much, if not more, time than writing a book. Excelsior.

Hey, everyone. It’s May. I know ... yet more time has passed. This book has been an arduous labor, and the years since I brought it to this platform have been some of the most tumultuous of my life. Still, I’ve been diligent despite what’s been happening. I’ve not been idle. I’ve been devoted to shaping the most worthwhile version of the novel with which (as I mentioned previously) both Inkshares and I (and—most importantly—you) can be satisfied. I can’t thank Inkshares enough, particularly Avalon Radys, for their patience and determination. And, if you’ve not forgotten completely about this work, I thank you, too, for your patience. Job’s (rhymes with "globe") got nothing on you all.

The "final" proof (as anyone who’s ever worked on versions of anything will know, the word "final" when it comes to proofs is a bit of a cruel mockery of the work that still needs to be done) was delivered the day I arrived in the Pacific NW last week. It was tough to look it over and be on vacation, since it consisted of spending time with a friend whom I’d not seen in six years, and his new family. Since the sudden death of my best friend in 2017, I’ve made it a point to take the big trips to see those whom I wish that I could see more often, no matter how far away they are. Living one’s life can sometimes be the biggest obstacle toward "getting things done." But I chipped away at the proof and, this morning, I sent it back to the publisher.

It is my ardent hope that this will be the version that goes to print and the protracted story of this story will finally culminate in a physical book.

Hey there, comrades. Today was to have been the day. While I need to relay to you that there is a delay, it’s not so disappointing (to me) because it bodes of us talking meticulous care to get everything right. Inkshares has been incredibly generous to me in the "final" steps and has allowed me latitude that I greatly appreciate. That freedom, however, came with the need for another diligent proofread, which is underway.

Langston Hughes asked what happens to a dream deferred, and while his inquiry is about something much more profound, what is happening with Disintegration is that it will become the best version of the book with which both I and Inkshares can be mutually satisfied. And with which we hope that you, after so long a wait, will also be pleased.

Thank you for your continued patience, or your failed memory of this protracted affair, whichever is more accurate. ;-) The word from Inkshares is that everything will finally culminate around this time next month, which just happens to be the week of my godmother’s and my sister’s, her son’s, and my ex’s birthdays (and also Billy Joel’s and Steve Yzerman’s, and the kid who used to live across the street from me. It’s a birthday bonanza). So, lots to celebrate.

Remember, the conflict within the book has been raging for 183 years. This little deferment? Just a drop in the bucket.  

Hey, everybody. It’s been a long time but, rest assured, neither I nor the book have died. In fact, I’ve finally got some news for y’all, which is why I’m sending out this update. (It seemed counter-intuitive to send out updates when there wasn’t any news, hence the long silence.)

I just received the copy-edited version of the manuscript and—if we meet all of the deadlines—the book has been assigned a tentative publishing date during April, 2019. I am going to endeavor to reach every goal we’ve set for which I’m responsible, so I’m confident that, come April, this book will finally come to life.

It’s been quite the journey, I know. I didn’t expect it to take this long, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of you have forgotten about it, and about little ole me, even, in these ensuing years. But we’re back, baby. Disintegration is happening.

I’ll keep you posted on any further developments. Watch this space.

P.S. Please be sure to update your shipping address, if you’ve moved some time in the last three years. :-/ 

Author photo bw Mike X. Welch · Author · added over 1 year ago
S.E. - I’m sure this is something Inkshares might’ve mentioned, but do any of the cuts lend themselves to being preserved for a sequel?  Could a character (and therefore their story) be completely excised from the 1st book and perhaps serve as the centerpiece of a 2nd book?  I ask because if I were faced with the prospect of them either being on the cutting room floor vs asked to hold off on telling their story...I know which one I would go with.

That said....I think that Avalon is going to end up asking me to ADD 10k words to my manuscript by the time I hand it in.   Good luck, either way!

It’s been a long time.

I haven’t had much to say, so I’ve laid off bombarding you with updates that contained no news. However, a few months back, I was told that Inkshares is ready to begin producing Disintegration.

I was overjoyed at the news, as it’s been quite a long road, but the road is yet longer. Alas. Inkshares has asked that I pare by 50,000 words the manuscript I submitted. This is no small feat. I managed to trim 20k by eliminating some character backstory and world-building, by sacrificing some parts that I felt were illuminating but weren’t essential to the overall plot. But another 30k remain to be pared. And that task is much more daunting.

Of course I’m in love with my own words, but I do realize that they’re not all golden and they’re not all necessary. That’s why the first cut was relatively easy. I want the story to be full and rich and chock with the kinds of connections and background that make it an epic, immersive experience, but the logistics don’t really allow that, since this is my first commercial book. The business of books asks "Who the hell is this?" of an unknown author, and "Why the hell is his book so long?"

Inkshares believes that my book will have wider appeal if it is narrower of width. That perhaps a skinny spine might entice a casual reader to pick it, on a whim, from a bookshelf ... where a fat one would not. I would like my book to be published, so I accede. Or, I am attempting to. It’s been slow going because I’m a full-time public school teacher and a graduate student and my "free" time is the time I spent looking at the backs of my eyelids.

But the book is coming. A version of it, anyway. A heavily abridged version that will, I hope, be a leaner, meaner, quicker, punchier version than my originally submitted draft. It’ll be such a rousing success, flying off bookshelves due to its striking black and red, and thin, spine, that the big, fat, unabridged version may well follow due to overwhelming demand.

A man can dream. And, while this man dreams, he is working on paring a novella’s worth of words from Disintegration so, like a boxer, the book meets its target weight and is ready to fight for science fiction supremacy.

Hey, gang. Long time no update. The reasons are two-fold: 

1) There hasn’t been much to say regarding the book.

2) I am bad at social media.

Regarding the first reason, I was recently told by Inkshares that there is a 50-book queue and my book is somewhere amidst. I don’t know precisely where, but I am hoping that it’s closer to the front than the back. What this means is that Disintegration not coming out soon. That bums me out and I hope it bums you out, too.

If you are bummed out, email hello@inkshares.com and tell them you want your MTV! No! You want your Disintegration!

However, if you’re over it by this point, I can’t feign shock.

I’m hoping you’re not.

I’d much rather you clamor and advocate for the book. So much of any book’s success on this site is based upon convincing Inkshares that there is money in a title. The way we do that is by selling copies. So, please, if you can think of any science fiction fan in your life looking for a deeply thoughtful, mature tale that unflinchingly confronts humanity’s foibles, direct them to Disintegration!

Don’t be over it; despite the glacial process, the book continues to elicit effusively positive feedback from a wide variety of readers, many of whom are not even regular sci-fi consumers. It warms my cockles to know that, despite the publish date being amorphous, the book still has such vast appeal.

At this rate, I may well wind up providing everyone a copy of the manuscript before the book goes to press. If you’d like to join the ranks of those reading what they’ve already purchased, pipe up and I’ll furnish you with a PDF, too!

As for the second point, I really wish I’d some social media skills because, had I that hustle, had I joined the right contest, had I done this thing or that thing differently from how things actually went, perhaps I could have joined the ranks of "fully funded" books. It’s a category that includes books that have sold equal or fewer copies than Disintegration, but instead received that golden ticket treatment and were swooped up to the Big Time.

I openly admit my envy. I want to see my book come to life. I want it to be seen and read and enjoyed, and any other wonderful possibilities that might arise from its publication.

Someday, they say. I eagerly await it.

Hey, everybody. It’s been about a month since I submitted the manuscript and wanted to dash off a quick note. I’ve yet to hear from the publisher, but when Disintegration’s moment comes up in the production queue, they’ll surely be in touch.

In the meantime, please check out Integration. Spend a little time in utopia before it all goes to hell. ;)

Yes, I’ve been quiet for a while. Didn’t feel like blowing you guys up with the same old "stuff is happening, *clickety clack*" even though I’ve been diligently at work.

I was awaiting the final round of feedback, and it was monstrously wonderful. Michael Haase provided it. He’s the author of The Madenss of Mr. Butler and an all around swell dude. Having incorporated many of his fine suggestions I can say ...

Bombs away!

That is: I’ve submitted the manuscript to Inkshares!

What does this mean? It means that I cannot tinker and putter any longer. It means that however long it takes Inkshares to copyedit it, for me to approve the changes, and then for them to send it to press is how long you’ll wait to have it in your hands. It means that it’s finally happening. This book that seemed like it might never exist is coming. It’s real. It’s happening.

And it feels wonderful.

Thanks to all of you for all you’ve done for me. I’m grateful.

Hey, everybody. I was browsing the interwebs this morning, looking for things to distract me from what I’m sure all Americans and probably everyone else in the world knows is happening today ... 

ARMAGEDDON!

No, no, just kidding. Kind of.

In my browsing, I came across a story about a child being born to three parents, and it made me think of James Holden, whom I know from The Expanse television show. The character, however, originated in the book Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey (a pen name shared by two authors) and is referred to as "Jim."

But that’s not the only difference between the book and the series. I’m loath to admit I still haven’t gotten around to reading Leviathan Wakes (it’s next on my list), but I just discovered today that, in the book, Holden had a relationship with a fellow crew member of the Canterbury, just as he did in the show. Except, in the book, his lover is of Nigerian descent and, in the show, they whitewashed her into a blonde Scandinavian.

I’d say this boils my blood, but that would be melodramatic. I disappoints me, though, certainly. Significantly. For many reasons.

For one, a role that could and should have gone to a black actress was eliminated in favor of a white, blonde woman. For another, the depiction of an interracial relationship was eschewed, and I can’t help but think that it was a cynical choice, so not to alienate viewers who would have found it distasteful.

And, yes, I know that Holden and Naomi Nagata get involved and that the actress who portrays Naomi, Dominique Tipper, is of Dominican descent, so there’s an interracial relationship right there and you might be thinking "No harm, no foul" ... but Ms. Tipper is very many shades lighter than a Nigerian woman typically would be. Ms. Tipper is, to use a current term, "mixed race." I still can’t help but feel that the tone of Ms. Tipper’s complexion and the Anglo influence on her appearance was thought to be more palatable to these same audience members (whom I’m imagining, I realize; it’s all conjecture) who would have been less receptive to a dark-skinned woman with more "obviously" African features.

Now, maybe, if you’ve gotten this far, you’re wondering: "Why is this white guy all up in arms about this?"

There are a number of reasons, too many to list, but to relate it to my own book, I have a vast number of characters who do not have two white parents. While I’m over the moon to even be published (and I would be figuratively catapulted to Andromeda to have Disintegration made into a series), I would be livid if the roles of Carina, or any of her sisters, were given to a white woman. I’d also be upset if Anjali were given to anyone but an actress of Indian descent.

Essentially, I want all characters in all media to remain however they were written by whoever wrote them, because these characters’ ethnicities are an important part of them, as our own traits are important parts of any of us. Sure, these characters are imaginary, but they are real in our minds. They are probably even more real to their creators. And who among us would want to have our children remade by some stranger who’s decided our progeny isn’t white enough or pretty enough for consumption by the general public?

A person’s culture influences their lives, as does the way other people perceive them, and appearance is a big part of perception. And I don’t think anyone should have to change the way they look or the way they speak to try and please someone who takes issue with difference. Yet such people exist--those who wish only to see themselves reflected in their media--which is surely why a white woman was chosen over a Nigerian woman to play Ade, whose surname was "Tokunbo" in the book and "Nygaard" in the show.

Heaven forbid we show anyone what it looks like for a white man and a dark-skinned black woman to have a sexual relationship. In a Science Fiction show set in the far future, even! And what about the converse? Ha! Like the America that voted for the guy taking office today could handle that.

Thank goodness for Loving, at least.

And I am grateful, too, that the role of Naomi in The Expanse didn’t also get whitewashed. Ms. Tipper is absolutely marvelous in the role. I, for one, really enjoy for there to be a variety of humans from all over the world not only depicted in my fiction, but also participating in my daily life.

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