FULL BLEED: DISGUISED IN BLACK
For the record, that title is taken from a Sisters of Mercy bootleg recorded at a show in 1985. I'll probably have something to say about that year, as it's the year I graduated high school and entered college and a bigger world but still as a little boy, just walking around in a nearly-six-foot frame. And of course, this means thirty years since my college graduation, coming up in June. So yeah, this time of year is fraught, to use a word that's appropriate.
So, I just finished off the .2 version of MY DROWNING CHORUS. It's off to the publisher. It's still over the projected length and we'll see how that goes down with my editor. Honestly, it could be a bit longer still, but that's only to make sure that the things that I'm seeding in for future volumes had a little more room to breathe instead of just a sentence or two. See, the thing is that I'm looking at running a series of stories with interweaving storylines that come in and out as we follow characters through the HAZELAND books. I guess I never let go of that idea after spending a whole ton of time reading UNCANNY X-MEN comics and seeing how long and short form storytelling got juggled and clues left behind then picked up. I'm just working on a slightly different timeframe. Though I do wonder if I could do it in sequential chunks to be bound together in larger volumes, not unlike trades.
I imagine that the differences in comics/prose readership would prevent this from being a good plan. But we'll see.
So now I'm supposed to be working on the follow on book, (tentatively) titled GLASS WOLVES. I may keep the title, but I suspect it'll end up getting changed. The only problem I'm running into is the same one that a bunch of my friends in the creative business have run into, that being coming up with creative material in the time of absolute panic and dread. See, I was lucky with the last book because I was just hitting the part of the book where things basically write themselves, all downhill momentum and not having to push that big rock uphill.
That's really what pre-writing is about anyways, the uphill struggle. That's the starting from nothing part. And while I've got a bunch of lines of what I think the book is about and where I think it'll go, nothing's really 100% certain until I start putting it down. But that takes a pretty big push to get going. So it might take a little time to roll. Don't worry, I haven't even discussed a timeline for it with my publisher, so there's probably plenty of time. But I'd like to keep going simply to stay in a rhythm of making stuff.
It's tough, though. Things are far less certain than they appear on the surface, particularly since we're being sold a bill of goods that reads NORMAL. Things are not and they're not going to be for some time. Which is unsettling and upsetting. The existentia struggle continues even in the face of farcical response to reality. That's the way it goes.
In the meantime, I may step back from GLASS WOLVES a bit and work on some short stories in the HAZELAND setting, just as a palate cleanser but also to illuminate some corners of things that I hadn't thought about before. Maybe even do a collection of short fiction in that setting, but I don't know if such a thing will happen with my regular publisher or if I'd self-publish that. I do know one thing, though, and that's "normal" publishing ain't got a lick of interest in what I'm doing. So it's always funny when I see book twitter talking about agents and product and saying what their books are about instead of just saying "hey, here's a book."
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Marketing is bullshit. Marketing is telling you what the marketer wants you to think about the product. It's nothing about the product. It's an image. It's a string of words. So keep that in mind. Keep it in mind particularly when I tell you what a book of mine is about, because five'll get you ten that I might be setting you up for a sneak right hook. Hell, the most important scene in a book might take place in a hairdressers and not on the precipice of conflict with cosmic horror. Or wonder. Yeah. That's it.
In other news, I think that the electronic rights of a short story of mine, called "A Fifth World" have reverted, so I need to come up with a cover for that and maybe offer it on Amazon. Probably do a new short story collection because nobody buys single stories for the cost of a comic book even if it takes you ten times as long to read them, right?
So, like all of you all, I'm trying to find a way to keep going through these weird days, when the most infuriating thing is that people refuse to treat the situation like it is. As if they have a lot riding on their concept of normalcy above all other things. You know, how like the false choice of "lives or the economy" is put up when the two can't be disentangled, and more acutely, there is no "the economy" only "economic conditions which favor me."