Well, I finally have time to get a new post up here. The last six months has seen my time eroded more and more, which meant some activities had to be curtailed until I could spare the time for them again. I needed to ensure my latest project hit the virtual shelf before Christmas, and that has been achieved.
I would like to direct your attention to the new link on the right, showcasing my second novel; The Sixteen Galaxies. As of the 12th December, it shall be free, at the moment it is available for .99c.
A complete step away from The Road Out, The Sixteen Galaxies is science fiction – my favorite genre. As the work progressed, and the story-line presented itself, I realized that this book underlines an interesting fact about human society. Our creative and inventive abilities are completely out of sync with our social structure.
We are witnessing an incredible exponential growth in technological development, to the point that items rarely get time to hit the shelf before they have been outmoded by the next model.
Our social progress, however, now that’s a different story. Humans cannot stop drawing lines, borders, boundaries and so on. We just keep pigeon-holing and alienating one group after another, and the dissonance continues to mount. Groups with a vested interest keep the momentum up, for their own gain, but the side-effect is that our world is now drowning in hatred and fear.
I felt there was a story in there somewhere, hidden in the pile of dross my musings left on the floor. I needed to establish a start point, so I did that by asking myself a simple question; what would happen if an advanced alien race were to step in right now and offer to help us correct our present course? Not in a hostile ‘this lot has to go’ manner, as per The Day The Earth Stood Still, but motivated instead by concern and kindness. What if this help also came at no cost, and replaced our current infrastructure completely?
From there, I let the story and the characters develop each other, as seems to be the best approach for me. What emerged is far more complex than anything I could envision at the start; exactly the same as The Road Out.
I find that writing is also having a long-term effect on me personally. Creative writing is a discipline that expands our minds; as we write, we must research, ponder, imagine, refine, edit and adjust. Statistics come to light that sometimes fascinate, sometimes horrify, but always enlighten. From our research, we extrapolate possible outcomes, and thus we learn to consider consequences before acting. Our speech improves, as choosing words becomes more familiar to us than ever before.
Some take a completely practical view of their work, and that is nothing to be ashamed of. They make sure a book fits neatly into an established genre, follows certain plot templates, and gives the reader a satisfactory experience that brings them back for more.
I’m sure my family would love to see me do this, and get myself back to the point of being the breadwinner. I wish I could do that, too. But, for the life of me, I can’t. The method of symbiotic character and story development does not follow a predetermined course; stuff happens and that dictates that other stuff happens and characters react and change things around even more.
I’ve always been like this, though. My music, my art (yes, the cover artwork is me again), even my engineering work when I did it, have all followed the same path. I start off with a fairly standard course, but in no time at all I’m pushing boundaries. Dissatisfied with adherence to a known direction, I want to see how far I can push the limits. This has brought trial after trial upon my family, and for that I feel a measure of shame.
However, I am old enough to know I am better off being true to myself. after all, it was my quest for excellence that saw my engineering business go from security grille production to rotational mold tool development for companies around the world.
I neither expect nor do I want any miraculous breakthrough with this new book. That it sells more than the first one did; that’s it. Then, that the next one sell more than this one, and so on.
It may take many more books, over many more years, but it would be nice to see steady progress. I have been a drummer for 26 years now, and all I’ve ever aimed for is to be better today than I was yesterday. I still achieve that goal, every time I play. Some note, some passage, some fill goes just that little bit smoother, and I am happy.
Anyone that knows me will tell you I’m like that; mule stubborn and tenacious beyond sane reason. My sanity is up for debate, if I’m to be honest. Others find me unusual, I know. However, I can’t say that I care very much what others think, it’s just me, being me.