Thursday, July 14, 2016

I used to focus on music

but the last time I put any serious energy into it, everything fell apart to the tune of considerable fail and drama. I also used to do journalism but it kind of collapsed from underneath me. I retreated into the shiny world of multiplayer online games for several years (SWG, WoW) and blogged about them -- and got a strong sense that something like *the G word* would happen a few years before it did, so I pulled out of games and deleted my traces.

Somewhere during this time I had an idea for a story. About a boy who experienced every single traumatic horrifying catastrophe I could think of. In a world that had already survived all kinds of dystopiae. Sort of an optimistic action-adventure about this one extraordinarily unlucky guy fumbling his way through utopia. Then I decided to make it several utopias, all locked in an uneasy alliance with two member nations testing everyone’s patience.

I initially thought this thing would be a game, or possibly some kind of e-comic. I made some preliminary moves toward game design but ran into more fail and finally, in a fit of angst, decided I’d rather just solo, so I wrote it all down as a prose novel – sort of like Harry Potter for people who don’t like magic, or school. Maybe it’ll lead me to collaborators or types of media I can actually work with, or give me an excuse to travel around to sci fi cons and trade e-books with other fans. I went self-pub because I have old enemies among the corporate sci fi industry, and because it’s actually a pretty valid route at the moment, given all that Kindle Direct freedom. Plus I get to pick my own covers.

As Mark Twain said, write for free for a few years, and if nobody’s paying you, consider switching to chopping wood. I’m writing for cheap instead, but I have free short stories on my blog.

I miss playing music and working with audio. I’m good at it, and maybe eventually I’ll get back into it, but at the moment I’m a novelist. I initially was writing this while having a dialogue with an audio guy who works for an awesome audio company called Sweetwater. We were talking about making some audiobooks, which is a thing I could probably do – except I’m not sure if my voice is right for the Sonny Knight series. I’ll have to think about it. But anyway, one of my emails expanded and became a blog post (this one). I can be verbose like that.

Around the time I stopped playing music, I had this epiphany that art should really be about encouraging compatible people to talk to each other, so I decided to focus on making art for people who seem like they’d be fun to hang out with. I’m not really sure what age they’d be, or what color, or how rich, or how poor, or if they dream about elephants or spaghetti. A lot of people seem to like YA – even adults – and I’ve always enjoyed hanging out with sci fi fans, so that’s what I decided to write.

I found a lot of my voice hanging out with various kinds of online groups, which forced me to figure out how to converse with people from all kinds of different age groups and countries and political and ethnic and regional persuasions and time zones and yeah. A lot of the Sonny Knight series has to do with that whole experience of crossing borders. Perhaps it’ll take me to some interesting places. For now, I’m going to focus on taking the rest of the series to the finalized stage. 

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