This is the most exciting blog entry I’ve ever written. In less than a week the first five chapters of my book the Horde will be available set to music via iTunes and Podiobooks.
I’ve been writing this novel for almost eighteen years and nothing excites me more than the possibility that other people will now experience it.
The book has changed a lot over the years (the first revision removed a dead guy under a bridge singing “Mr. Jones” by the Counting Crows) but more has stayed the same since I started journeying with Bridan and Terry to destroy the Horde.
Six months ago I was haphazardly revising so the fact that it’s come to this point deserves some thank yous to be spread to the people who helped inspire or push me to take the finished novel and really push it through its final paces.
If you’ve read my biography, you know I became pretty ill last fall. At the time I started reading Timothy Ferris’s 4 Hour Work Week which was an inspiring mixed bag of good advice and iffy financial planning. It got me thinking about how little time I was spending on my writing. So as I recovered, I returned to my old dusty manuscript to revise.
The book that really helped me refocus from making money to making progress was Chris Guillebeau’s Art of Non-Conformity. I’d read his Guide to World Domination a few years back but this book really helped me focus on and confront all the fears I had about pursuing the Horde.
The Horde, to me, is much more than a scifi horror surrealism novel. I feel it discusses a battle with mindsets and attitudes that are some of the most threatening things to a person’s ability to live a healthy, happy life. More-so than any other story I’ve finished or planned, I feel it has something worthwhile to improve the lives of others.
Chris’s book brought me back from writing a vampire romance to make a quick buck (which still might see the light of day, I had fun working on it) and reoriented me towards the work I feel defines much of my purpose- these stories are as much to help as to entertain.
Writing The Horde has helped me confront some of my most unhealthy mindsets and prejudices and work through them.
But that was just the start. One fine day that I barely remember I was sitting in Starbucks when a bunch of high school students had left the table next to me a mess. Two ladies were cleaning it off to sit down and we started joking about kids.
Turns out they were Michelle and Reesa, authors of The Slipstream Con, and chatting with them was pretty exciting. They coerced me to go to Balticon and between running into them at Starbucks and the amazing people who inspired me at Balticon, this was the tipping point of the transition.
Balticon itself was a whirlwind of meeting amazing people who inspired me to take steps and its hard to really convey what meeting and connecting to other writers who were doing some things I wanted to do. I don’t know if I am able to list them all but here are some who’ve kept in touch.
I was at the Ridan Publishing where the militant Robin Sullivan preached a fiery gospel of independent publishing and author involvement that was frightening, went against years of traditional publishing research, and literally angered some of the audience. See her speak some time, she came across to me as a visionary. Blew my mind. Nathan Lowell was there but he gets his own paragraph further down.
Michelle and Reesah (as I like to misspell her name) took to see Helen E. H. Madden read from her new podcast novel. I wasn’t really sure what to expect but in addition to reading an amazing piece of fiction I’d suggest anyone over the age of 18 go check out, she also had much to say about the podcasting world and moving forward.
I saw Nobilis Reed speak at a number of panels and chatted with him a bit. Following up with him on twitter and later googeplus, he really helped me understand the nuts and bolts of what it is like to do the grind of writing, podcasting, and promoting.
There were a ton of other people at Balticon I spoke with. I heard P. J. Ballantine speak about her transition from kiwi librarian to published steam punk author and how she made use of podiobooks to do it. It was during her recounting of her journey that I decided that a) I can do this and b) I’m going to start as soon as I get home.
Plus her tweets about her wordcounts keep me in the competitive spirit and push me to write more.
Nathan Lowell‘s book Quarter Share helped me see just how far the indie scene will let you push the boundaries and still be receptive, plus his amazing volume of output lit a fire under me to get moving with all the stories I’d talked about publishing for the past twenty years.
A number of my facebook and twitter friends have been really supportive with feedback both positive and constructive:
- Michelle of the May As Well Be Me blog
- Melissa the poet gypsy fairy
- Dandan the artman
- Adrienne the librarian
- Hyun the bassist
- Chris the bassist
- Vix the dancing teacher
- Ivan the computer guy
- Kristin the Safeway Artist
- Adam my fellow DQ9 fanatic
- Travis the barbarian bartender
- Hung my foursquare nemesis
- Mike the cartographer
- Abby the amazon firefighter
- Sarah who mysteriously showed up at a meetup group
- cousin-in-law Cece
- cuzzin Traci
- cuzzinish Wendy
- my rival in sarcasm proficiency Akira and
- somebody I don’t know named Elena (wink)