Have you ever known so much about someone, watched someone for so long that interest turns to absolute, overwhelming hatred? In this age of over-sharing, TMI, and social media, it is easier than ever to get to know - or think you know - someone via whatever it is they put out there electronically. This is the basic premise that gave me the idea for this book - we can basically get to know whatever version of a person they put out there. Some people are excellent packagers of themselves, creating a perfectly false image, while others just put themselves out there, warts and all. And then I began to wonder - what if you’re watching someone for a reason? What if they’re just a horrible, terrible, awful human being? What then? Thus, the initial idea for The Circlewatchers was born. But this book isn’t a commentary on social media - I leave that to cultural commentators! Rather, this serves as a relatable opening, a familiar tether for the reader in what is eventually going to be a very strange world.
The basic premise of The Circlewatchers centers on a mysterious team of strangely long-lived human beings racing to contain the ripple effects created when one of their team members breaks the very specific rules of a very odd assignment. The major theme of the book is faith vs. fate - does what we believe influence our eventual outcome, or is it all pre-ordained?
I spent over 15 years in the international humanitarian/relief/ development fields in some of the most challenged parts of the world - technically, I guess I still am ’in’ that field of employment, but I’m looking for an exit! I would never trade the experiences I had - both the good and the bad - because I really got to see the best and the worst of what this world has to offer. But a few years ago, I returned home from one particular country a completely broken person, unsure if I wanted to keep living in (what I perceived to be) a world that seemed intent on destroying itself in the most gruesome ways possible. I had no faith left in humanity - either in individual people or in us as a whole - and I had no faith in myself. Because we all have bills to pay, I kept plugging away at my job, and dug myself further into an emotional hole. I began to use writing as a tether to the ’surface world’, as I called it - that place where it seemed to me everyone else lived, while I was so far underwater I couldn’t see any light, and certainly couldn’t feel the cold. The first couple stories I wrote were pure escapist fantasies, nothing that I would ever want anyone to read, ha! The next few were chock full of pure nihilism. But as I began to climb to the surface through the help of friends and yes, even social media, I started to see stories everywhere, and soon those individual stories began to mesh into something cohesive. Characters and worlds and events began to fill my head, pushing the darkness out. While everyone knows that depression is a disease that can never truly be cured, it can be managed. For me, writing is an integral part of my treatment.
This is the first book in a series that will eventually span the whole world, a whole lot of time, and eventually end up in places far beyond human reach...currently. I have three books in this series currently in the works, and The Circlewatchers is the ’smallest’, scope-wise, and thus, in my mind, the perfect start. Someday, it will be followed by Love Song for a Supervillain and eventually Station Fall.
As a total novice to writing - most of my life has been spent writing factual reports, not fictional characters - I am very open to feedback of all kinds from readers.As I am not yet ready to tell my friends and family that I am attempting a radical career change, I have no beta readers at all, so constructive input will be gladly received!