Happy Saturday, y’all!
You may have noticed a few updates in your inbox today. I’ve been posting some new chapters of Terminus! Small changes were made to the Prologue and Chapter One ("meet the protagonist") is now live. Setting it back home in New Orleans really grounded the character for me and allowed me to pay homage to some of my favorite people/places/activities.
The other chapter that I’ve posted is Chapter Fourteen but, not to worry, it manages to be vague on spoilers while hinting at a subplot or two. It’s also into the philosophical meat of the thing, the fun part, where our isolated team of misfits realizes that they have a means of contacting the dead. I’m particularly enjoying writing the counterpoints of Veronica and Elias, the skeptical doctor and the religious physicist.
Rewrites are currently spiraling toward the climax, putting these characters through all kinds of uncertainty and trauma. (A sign of affection for writers - really!) Time to get back to it.
Thanks again for all your support! More soon!
Last night was the Mechcraft Launch Party, and it could not have gone better! Catered taco bar, live band, and a headcount of 126 people!! We had a blast, and I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all who came to the event, and all who wanted to, but couldn’t.
Since a lot of you live far away, here’s the Photo Album of the event!
Thank you all once again for supporting me and this project. I could not have done any of it without you!
And please be sure to leave a review on Amazon once you’re finished with the book. :)
THE MANUSCRIPT IS IN!!!
After two months of rewriting and revising, with the help of my friends Peter Ryan and Cari Dubiel, and. of course, my wife, I’ve turned in a fine tuned 76,900-word manuscript after the first round of developmental editing. That’s nearly 10,000 darlings killed. It was probably closer to 15,000 of the original words that suffered their terrible fate, but I changed a couple of scenes and added about 5,000 words back in. It was all for the better, and I’m proud of what this book has become.
I know I promised mid-January for turning in this manuscript, but I’m going to play the sympathy card, because I was hospitalized in January for acute abdominal pain and had my gallbladder removed and subsequently stolen. They wouldn’t bronze it and let me keep it, the jerks, they just took it God only knows where. But, I’m glad it’s out. The good news is that I got my author bio picture in the process:
That’ll sell a lot of books on its own. Might even make it the cover of the book. Not sure my publisher would go for that, though.
Speaking about the cover, design will start happening in a few months, but I already know one thing will be remarkably different when it’s done: the title.
Yup, I am almost sure I’m changing the title. The book is in two parts now, and I’ve named part one "The Madness of Mr. Butler," while part two is "The Courage of Mr. Butler." As much as I love the title as it has been, it doesn’t really sound like a science fiction book, which it mostly is. I’m changing the title of the book to "The Man Who Stole the World," which, for those of you who are in need of improving your musical tastes, is a play on the title of a David Bowie song. (And David Bowie might have a cameo in the story, but I’m not at liberty to say at this point).
So, what’s next?
Right now, we wait. Matt Harry, my editor, already got back to me that he’s currently working on a few manuscripts and plans on starting on mine in a few weeks. So, it’s probably going to be a while before I can report on further progress. But, this means that this year will begin the next levels of edits on a manuscript that is actively in production. I feel great about it all. I’ve had a wonderful experience with Inkshares.
Thank you all for your support. Your investment in me is something I think about and appreciate daily. I’m working my tail off to get you the best version of the book. Thank you for the opportunity. This is all because of you. I hug you.
Hang in there, it’s all coming together!
Unless there are delays,
release in thirty days.
It’s a poem I’ve been wanting to write for ages. Congrats to us all, and I wish everyone FANTASTIC success!!!
We’re in the thick of it now. Deep in the wilds of creation, armed with a massive outline and prework on theme and characters, hacking away at the undergrowth to uncover the origins of the Terminus. Admittedly, I still get a little nauseous thinking about scrapping the original manuscript. “Killing your darlings” has to be the hardest lesson a writer can learn. But my editor was 100% correct in realizing that I had started the story at the end. We jumped into the destruction of the technology before allowing its full potential to be realized. Now it’s my job to get the whole talking-to-the-dead thing up and running, exploring its effects on the original creators before it was unleashed upon the world.
As far as progress, I’m comfortable with about half of the new draft at this point. It’s occurred to me that the original manuscript was written over the course of four years. When it’s divided up over that amount of time – mostly limited to evenings and weekends – you can almost forget just how much work writing a book can be. Now that I’m focused on it 24/7 – aiming for a chapter a day, making a continuous and proper study of the quantum mechanical foundations, and mining my own emotional trauma and relationship with death – well, I’m feeling it. It’s definitely a challenge that I can rise to, but that doesn’t stop me from reciting the names of my backers in a guilty mantra. You threw your support behind me, earned me the resources and professional help to do this right, but no matter how much I do a day on the new draft, it never feels like I’m going fast enough.
I guess I just want you all to know that I’m on it. I’ve got my feet under me, have finally put the corporate career on the back burner, and am making real progress. Daddy issues? Existential dread? I assure you, I can type through the tears. Just a little more patience, y’all. I promise, by the time this book hits your hands, it will be better than the original ever could have been.
I’ve been posting excerpts on Facebook and Twitter, if you’d like to follow along. I’d love to share more full chapters, though I’ve been stymied by the fact that there are currently three different versions of Chapter 1 (the protagonist’s squirrely status quo). I suppose we could skip ahead while still avoiding spoilers. My favorite bits so far have involved assembling the team of damaged scientists and letting them shout into the void. Like, so…
“I’m not sure of anything anymore. Definitely not entangled particles, or whatever the hell they were talking about. You tell me Charlie’s dead. I could have dealt with that. Eventually. Maybe. But now you people are telling me he might not be dead, or that he’s energy, like some kind of sentient lava lamp.” [Charlotte]
“What I meant was, your father lived. He set up camp on the edge of reason, sure, but he was intelligent enough to make it work. If this… if what we’re seeing is real…” She trailed off, her hands clenching into fists. “Maybe it was worth it. Maybe the bastard actually did it.” [Veronica]
“Inconclusive.” He shrugged, but his lips were set in a hard line. “The thing about dead people is, they’re dead. Nobody gets to come back from that.” [Augustus]
He chuckled. “Spiritual counselor to a dead man. Not that your father ever much listened in life. Oh, he indulged me, loved nothing more than to debate the untapped potential of the physical in philosophical terms.” His smile was fond, but he shook his head. “If the aim of a priest is to shepherd his flock into Heaven, I’ve failed quite spectacularly.” [Elias]
Anyway, this has been my break for the day. Time to fuel up and get back to it. Please know that I’m thinking of you, whipping myself along at maximum efficiency to get this bigger, better version of Terminus into your hands. I’ll keep you posted on official dates and whatnot, but for now it’s onward to the ending!
Yours (in the raw),
"Back to the desk with you, human."