Well, here we are, less than a month left in the campaign, with still a ways to go. I'm so grateful to all of you that have pre-ordered Shadow Incandescent so far. And, I know, that with your help we can push this book past the 250 pre-orders that we need.
Sharing a link to the book on social media is always appreciated. You all know so many people that I have never met and putting Shadow in front of as many eyes as possible will definitely help. However, I'm sure that all of you know at least a few people who love to read and would enjoy Shadow, especially when it costs less than a few coffees (since that seems to be how we measure value in our culture lately). If you all sent a short, personal email/message to your friends that enjoy reading then I know we can get this thing done!
I've added chapters 6 through 12 to the already posted chapters on the main page. According to Inkshares, that's over three hours of reading available to you now! It also takes us to the middle of the novel where a major shift takes place.
Thank you so much for your support. I'm very much looking forward to sharing all of Shadow with you and your reading friends.
I just posted Chapters Four and Five of Shadow Incandescent on Inkshares.
These two chapters set up some critical payoffs in the story and two of the main narrative threads get some definition. There's awkward flirting, political machinations, a kiss, threats of castration, adolescent posturing, and a potentially paradigm-shifting discovery.
Chapter Four is featured on the main Shadow Incandescent page. In case you missed the previous chapters, I'm including their links in this update.
Chapter One: https://www.inkshares.com/books/shadow-incandescent/book_segments/chapter-1-cracks-in-the-floor
Chapter Two: https://www.inkshares.com/books/shadow-incandescent/book_segments/chapter-2-article-nine-section-forty-two
Chapter Three: https://www.inkshares.com/books/shadow-incandescent/book_segments/chapter-3-memories
Chapter Four: https://www.inkshares.com/books/shadow-incandescent/book_segments/chapter-4-dinner-with-the-trasks
Chapter Five: https://www.inkshares.com/books/shadow-incandescent/book_segments/chapter-5-discovery
I hope you enjoy them. Don't forget to tell your reading friends about Shadow Incandescent. And if you haven't pre-ordered, there's no better time than now. I'll post another update in a few days.
Happy New Year! I hope that you all have had a wonderful 2016 thus far. Other than picking the losing team in literally every Bowl game that I watched this year, my 2016 is off to a fantastic start.
I've been hard at work on several stories, including a new one inspired by my nearly one-year-old son. Of course, Blink Unremitting, the sequel to Shadow Incandescent, continues to progress nicely.
As I began revisions on my first draft of Shadow Incandescent, I realized that my book was a rough retelling of Plato's "Allegory of the Cave." Though I had never read the allegory before, I was roughly familiar with the basic premises of the allegory. When I realized my book had such an obvious literary ancestor, I panicked. What if I got some important points wrong? Or worse, what if I had unknowingly followed the allegory too closely?
I immediately downloaded a critical edition of Plato's Republic and read through the cave allegory about a dozen times. Satisfied that I had paid due homage, but also told a unique story that didn't rely upon the allegory for substance, I continued to revise with the allegory and other elements from the Republic in mind.
Shadow Incandescent, Blink Unremitting, and the other planned sequels get their titles and some key ideas from images found within the "Allegory of the Cave" and other, related parts of the Republic.
With so many other dystopian series currently staking their claim within the zeitgeist, I also had to be careful that I wasn't blatantly writing a Hunger Games, Maze Runner, or Divergent clone. Though I was well into the first draft before I had heard of any of those series, I feared being written off as just another dystopian band-wagon jumper.
Fortunately, the initial inspiration for Shadow came from history. The Greenbrier Luxury Resort, where the U.S. Congress built a top secret bunker complete with radiation decontamination rooms and a human body-size incinerator, became the model for the Refuge, a secret facility where only the very "best and brightest" would be allowed to survive the end of the world. Although it sounds like something a conspiracy nut would rant about on the Internet, the truth is that Congress really planned to wait out the Apocalypse (or similar disaster) at a luxury resort.
Though the Greenbrier bunker was never needed, the fact that it existed gave the Refuge an anchor in reality that I hope sets it apart from the Katniss's Panem and Tris's factioned Chicago.
Thank you so much for your interest in this book. I'm excited to share it with you. If you haven't pre-ordered yet, make sure you do before the pre-sale ends. We need 250 pre-ordered copies to send it to print. If you've already pre-ordered, don't forget to share Shadow with your friends.
As promised, with 25 preorders, I have uploaded Chapter Three of Shadow Incandescent. I'll upload Chapter Four when I reach 50. The completed work spans 24 chapters, all ready to be released for consumption. As I've mentioned before, an earlier version of Shadow Incandescent was my MFA Thesis, and I've spent the last two years revising and adding to it. But...that's not all I've been up to.
Very soon into writing Shadow, I realized there was more to the story than what I planned on telling in this volume. Shortly after finishing the first draft, I sketched out rough outlines for four planned sequels.
As part of my Thesis defense, I had to present a critical defense of the narrative techniques I employed. Though I had been twitter-pated with unlimited, omniscient, self-aware, metafiction-style narrative during my undergrad, when it came time to write Shadow, I had developed a preference for a much more limited and unreliable narrator. I reasoned that by choosing a first-person narrator, I would limit my influence over the character's development and story, and thereby achieve a more authentic telling of the story.
Thom wants his life (story) to follow a certain path. All the other characters want their stories to follow their preferred path. All exert as much influence as they can in pursuit of their goals, but all have to contend against the others and their goals. Drawing from my high school theater experience, I put myself in Thom's shoes and allowed myself to know only what he could observe about his environment and the other characters. In other words, I tried--as best I could--to let the characters determine the path of the story.
In doing this, I learned that Thom's ideas about other people are flawed and incomplete. In preparation for my Thesis, I had written short stories from the perspective of each of the principal characters. I knew who they were, but Thom's understanding of the others was severely limited. Like us, Thom cannot understand the full context, emotions, or meaning of the words and actions of others.
Consequently, the path of the story surprised me almost daily. Although it still headed in the direction I intended, how the characters got there and which ones survived were completely different than what I expected.
All of this is a very long way of saying that for the sequels, I decided to write them from other characters' points of view. Each continues from where the previous left off, as is typical of a series, but with different characters taking the lead. In doing so, I hope that the readers will be able to appreciate the characters for not just what they have to say about themselves but also for what the others have to say about them.
Book Two is titled Blink Unremitting. It begins about a month after the final events of Shadow and is told from the perspective of a character you won't meet in Shadow until about the halfway point. She's a blast to write. Confident, smart, and passionate, but also deliciously flawed. And we see a very different version of Thom from her perspective. It's progressing pretty well.
Thanks again for your support, but don't keep Shadow Incandescent to yourself. Share it with all your reader-friends.
Thanks so much to you early followers. I really appreciate your support.
Hopefully you've had the opportunity to read through the first two chapters posted here. As Shadow Incandescent attracts more readers and pre-orders, I will release more chapters for you to read. Since this book served as my MFA Thesis, it's already completed and waiting to be shared.
Since I earned my MFA two years ago, I have been editing and revising (and editing and revising) Shadow, as well as working on a sequel. I'm 11,000 words into that project already, picking up where Shadow leaves off, though it's told from the point of view of a different character (whom I can't reveal yet, because it would spoil Shadow).
I'm excited for you to continue following Thom as he navigates the politics of qualifying for an Admin position, keeping his friendship with trouble-maker Geoff, meeting Minister Trask's expectations, and wooing Dee. Near the middle of the book, Thom, Geoff, and Scott make a paradigm-shifting discovery and the stakes quickly become life and death.
If you haven't yet, please share this page with your friends and followers on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc... As I used to tell my high school students, it takes all kinds to make a world, and I believe there are more than 1000 people that would enjoy reading this book. Unfortunately, I don't know all of them. But, you just might!!