Back in 2017, as I was begging each and every one of you to buy my book, I was neck and neck in a Contest against Dean Fearce, author of MINE (formerly ’Murder Happens’)...and a strange thing happened:
Bromance blossomed. I decided that I liked the cut of his gib. I wanted to hang out with Dean. At the very least, I wanted to write with him.
Dean, being the fierce lone wolf he is, was diplomatically non-committal. Then I showed him the very beginnings of a story I’d been thrashing my brain against since 2010 - Ruining Boise - and an amazing thing happened: Dean said he’d work on that book with me because he liked the premise even more than he liked his independence, or me.
Enter late 2018, both Dean and I are both nose-to-the-grindstone working to bang out final versions of our respective, contest-winning books: Mine was formerly ’The Vampire and the Dragon’, now titled ’PrOOF’ - the very book you pre-ordered, and his aforementioned MINE. Inkshares decides to hold their first contest in over a year - the 2018 Inkshares Mystery & Thriller Contest. Since Ruining Boise is a crime/mystery/suspense tale, I looked at Dean (me seated in Western NY, he seated in Northern CA) and said, "Should we?" Famous last words, perhaps?
I don’t expect anyone on this email to buy a copy of Ruining Boise - even though it is technically funding. I feel I’ve already asked for far too much with PrOOF, and won’t ask for any more of your hard-earned money. If you love the concept of the book and want to pre-order one, I cannot and will not stop you, but make no mistake; this email is not asking you to buy anything. All I’m asking is that you utilize your Inkshares account to follow the book - the link is peppered throughout this email, but here it is one more time: RUINING BOISE
Dean and I love the premise of this book and feel that it’s fair to test if there’s a market for it. We don’t have very high expectations. Above all, both of us remain humbled and grateful for all the support you’ve shown us over the past year plus. We hope the looming holiday season and 2019 will be a boon and blessing to you all!
Thanks - Michael James Welch
Supporters...you wonderful, handsome/beautiful supporters, you...
The biggest update on this book/series that you’ll ever read.
My development email finally came (from my development editor @ Inkshares), and they like the character of the vampire, and they like the world-building. Most of all, they like the idea of a ‘Men In Black for the supernatural instead of aliens’ concept. Or, at the very least, want that concept expanded.
I’ve been anticipating this day for close to a year now. I knew it was going to bring changes, require me to kill darlings, etc etc etc. Within 30 minutes of reading the email, I already knew which direction I needed to head with this story. Within 18 hours, the development editor @ Inkshares was in agreement that my planned changes were the direction they’d hoped for.
SO. Here are the changes:
1.) The Vampire and the Dragon will be going by a different name. Originally, this is one of the things I was willing to fight about until the end, but with the changes that are being made, it no longer makes any sense. PrOOF, the agency (Preservation of Occult Figures), is moving front and center. The title will likely be PrOOF: something something. Possibly just PrOOF. Possibly the whole thing spelled out. Unsure.
2.) It’s possible that this will still be a series rather than a standalone book. Nothing is promised, but it’s in everyone’s best interest if the story and characters and concept are strong enough to warrant a series. Again, see MiB…they made…what, 4 of those films?
3.) Everything good about The Vampire and the Dragon and none of the bad is staying. Trust me when I say that doing this the way I plan to do it removes every single thing I hated about my original plot (but had painted myself into a corner and forced myself to live with) and retains almost exactly everything I liked about my plot; if not exactly, then in spirit. But more likely, exactly.
4.) Many of you did not follow the sequels I had planned – The Vampire and the Wendigo and The Vampire and the Djinn. That’s fine now, as those two books (and their plots/concepts) are going to be folded into The Vampire and the Dragon’s plot. They all dovetail rather nicely.
Soon you’ll see changes to my marketing materials – the FB page, the Inkshares pages, etc…to reflect the direction that the book/series is heading. Everything will have the name ‘PrOOF’ front and center.
I have to say that my initial dismay only lasting about 20 minutes before I was defending the very changes the dev editor was suggesting is about as good as it gets. I feel badly for my fellow authors who were not able to twist their own stories, characters and plots to meet the suggested changes that their own dev editors gave to them, and I sympathize for the positions they were in. I feel very grateful that what’s been suggested to me does not violate the spirit of the story I wanted to tell, but instead raises it from a small tale to a very, very large tale, with much higher stakes.
Thank you all for sticking with me through this – I know it’s been a minute or two since you plunked down your hard-earned money to help support my dream. I don’t take any of that for granted for even a moment. I’m still hoping for a late 2019 publishing date, but there’s a LOT of things that have to be done between now and then – including a complete re-write of the entire book. Stick with me, folks, and I promise you I’ll write the best story I’m capable of writing. And you’ll be holding the PrOOF in your own hands when I’m through.
Michael James Welch
Last night, I emailed Inkshares the manuscript for PrOOF Vol. 1: The Vampire and the Dragon...along with a copy of (hopefully) the cover art, my intended author bio pic, my dedication/thank yous, and lots of other stuff related to the book (marketing stuff).
I am free, for the first time since 2013. Until Inkshares replies, and then the REAL work starts on this book.
Thank you all for your support! The rubber is about to meet the road in a big way!
Work continues on The Vampire and the Dragon, PrOOF Vol. 1. In order to solidify the trilogy, I’ve skipped ahead to some key points in books 2 and 3. This will ensure that no ’ret-conning’ becomes necessary if books 2 and 3 should be published as well, which is my hope.
Here’s a taste of what’s going on in PrOOF Vol 3 - The Vampire and the Djinn:
Well, most of my peers are updating their readers, and I’m terrible when it comes to peer pressure, so...
Fun Fact: If Susan K. Hamilton had entered The Devil You Don’t in the 2017 Inkshares Horror Contest instead of the 2017 Launchpad Contest, she would’ve won.