Hello, good morning, and welcome to another Thursday edition of my weekly blog post. I have great (to me) news to share today; I suspect that regular readers, if there are any, can guess what that news might be.
It is not that Unanimity is now available for purchase. It isn’t. Not quite, anyway. Rather, I have completed, as of yesterday morning, the final content editing of the novel and much of the layout editing. Now there just remains the final layout of the book and the final version of the cover (as well as the blurb, but that part is quick).
I have a preliminary version of the cover, which has been toyed with for almost as long as the book has been in the works. I’ll include it below, to tease you with what the book is going to look like, though the final version will probably be at least a little bit different. It’s a metaphorical picture, not representing any literal event in the book, but attempting to convey the central horror of the story: the notion of each individual no longer being an individual, but having their identities replaced by and subsumed into another. Many of the horrible events in the book are consequences of this fundamental horror. If that sounds a bit abstract for a horror novel, don’t worry. It’s not focused on much, since most of the characters in the novel don’t even know what’s happening at any deep level. They simply become the victims of the consequences.
I’m not sure I’m doing a great job of selling the idea of the book. I will readily admit that I’m not great at self-promotion. But don’t judge the book by me (and don’t judge me by the book either, please. I’m a nice guy. Really, I am.). Judge the book on its own merits. It’s a good story, I think, and it’s certainly going to provide a lengthy diversion. Though it has been trimmed down to a certain degree, it’s still just shy of half a million words long. Unless you have a tremendous amount of spare time, I don’t think you’re going to be able to breeze through it in one sitting.
Certainly, I’m not going to be doing an audio version of it any time soon, though I would very much like to do one eventually. In fact, I’d really like to do audio versions of all my books, not just some of my short stories and a few chapters of The Chasm and the Collision. I really enjoy reading aloud—in fact, when I read a book, I tend to absorb it verbally more than visually. By this I mean, I tend to speak the words in my head, rather than merely experience them with my eyes. This may seem obvious, but I know people who read very quickly who don’t seem to “subvocalize” the words, even internally. This can often make them fast readers, which I am not*, but I find that it doesn’t tend to make them very deep readers.
I really enjoy the auditory experience, including audio books, which is somewhat ironic given that I’m quite hard of hearing in at least one of my ears, in which I have constant, fairly severe tinnitus as well, thanks to recurrent and chronic infections.
The mention of matters audible brings me to another bit of news, which is more lighthearted and frivolous. I recorded (and mixed) a cover of the song Hurt, originally by Trent Reznor/Nine Inch Nails and covered beautifully by Johnny Cash. As usual in such cases, I called it one of my “bad covers” because it certainly holds no candle (standard or substandard) to either professional version, but I really like the song. It speaks to me powerfully**, and I hope my passion comes across in my performance. I’ll embed the “video” here, in case you’re interested (most of the pictures shown in it are quite old ones I drew, inspired by moods similar to the one that no doubt inspired the song itself, or at least by moods the song evokes in me…they’re just there for filler, really, though they do go with the song):
And that’s about it for this week. By this time next week, there’s an excellent chance that Unanimity will be available for purchase. If so, I’ll no doubt write about it here, and of course, I’ll make a separate post with links to purchase as well.
I hope you’re all doing your best to stay sane in an unsane world***. Try to keep your spirits up; keep doing and enjoying art and literature and music and all those other little things that make life worth even bothering with, beyond the simple consequence of biological drives and forces. I’ll try to do my part over here as well. No promises.
*All things given, I do read quickly, but that’s more a function of focus than of internal speed. When reading something I enjoy, I’m not easily distracted…and when distracted, I tend to punish my distractors without much qualm, even if it’s only with a dirty look, a growl in the voice, and body language conveying barely contained aggression.
**I think I’m hardly alone in this, since the song has great and enduring popularity.
***That’s not a typo. I think “unsane” is a better description of many things than is “insane”. The latter implies a kind of loss or degeneration of some underlying, preexisting sanity, whereas—as I see it—many things in the world have never been sane to begin with, and indeed, the concept of sanity often does not even appear to apply. I may write more on this at some later date.