Hello, good morning, and welcome to Thursday, on which day of the week we complete the scared ritual by having me write my weekly blog post.
It’s been a fairly uneventful week, as far as writing and related matters go. I’m editing In the Shade, as per usual, but that’s been going somewhat slowly. I’m working on it every day, but I’ve been getting a bit less done than usual, due to some lifestyle changes I’ve made regarding allergy treatment, back pain interventions, and food habits—and other such things—and until my personal, mental clocks adjust to these changes, my concentration is a bit lacking. To be fair to me, I am adjusting rapidly. Today, for instance, I’m much more alert than I was yesterday and the day before. I don’t think it will be long before I’ve gotten back up to full speed. I may even accelerate.
I’m trying to consider what to work on after I finish In the Shade and complete and publish Dr. Elessar’s Cabinet of Curiosities and then complete and publish Outlaw’s Mind. I think I may want to swing toward lighter fare. I’ve been doing mainly horror or horror-related stories for quite a while now, which is fine, but I think veering toward more of a fantasy/sci-fi adventure tale might be good for a bit of a change. Of course, there’s an element of horror to most of what I write—that’s just who I am, I guess—but still, it might be nice to do something a little less dark.
Among my released novels, two are purely horror stories—The Vagabond and Unanimity, though the latter disguises itself in a science fiction veneer. The other three, however, are not. Even Mark Red, which is about vampires and demi-vampires, isn’t a horror story; it’s more of a teen fantasy-adventure of sorts. The vampires in the story are not merely the protagonists but are actually the good guys*. Weirdly, though The Chasm and the Collision is a youth fantasy adventure, it could not only legitimately be called science fiction—albeit highly speculative—but it also has more horror elements than Mark Red does…which, I maintain, is essential in any youth-oriented fantasy adventure.
Of course, Son of Man is pure science fiction, though much of it is quite speculative, involving notions of complex time being used as a partial workaround of the Uncertainty Principle, and as a way of doing “time travel” without actually traveling through time. It plays with identity questions related to the whole “Star Trek transporter”, copy-versus-original, destroyed and recreated versus actually transported question, but with the added levels of differences in time, and with chains of inescapable causality as well as unrequited love and the inability of even a supremely powerful being to change its past. And, of course, given the title, it indulges in a bit of a playful religious allegory, or whatever the proper term might be. Though there are references to truly horrific events in it—worse, frankly, than in any of my horror stories—it isn’t a horror story at all. Go figure.
Of course, among the three tales in Welcome to Paradox City, two are clearly horror, though of quite different subtypes, while the middle one is sort of a supernatural low-key comedy. I don’t know how funny it is, but though it involves “the unquiet dead**”, it is not a horror story.
All this is my way of reminding myself that, no, I don’t just write horror, though that’s what I’ve mainly written in recent outings. So, I don’t have to write anything horror-ish for my next big project. I’ve considered starting the novelization of a story I’d originally conceived as a manga***, based on two separate doodles/drawings I’d done, The Dark Fairy and the Desperado. If you look at pictures on my Facebook page, you should find some drawings of these characters, and scenes I envision them experiencing, and which are part of the narrative in the story in my head. They are unlikely heroes, and quite unlikely companions, originally from different worlds (literally), who are tricked/forced to work together on a quest to serve the desires of an extra-dimensional wizard who is trapped in a tiny universe of his own making. Along the way, they encounter another extra-dimensional being, properly considered a demi-god, who calls herself Lucy (not Lil), and who is a huge fan of the Beatles, and who models her realm accordingly. As you might guess, Lucy is prone to call the Desperado either “Rocky” or “Dan” or even “Bungalow Bill”, depending on how generous she’s feeling toward him, and she refers to the Dark Fairy as “Sexy Sadie”.
As you can tell, this story is conceived of as a fun sort of bizarre adventure, with few restrictions on what can possibly happen (though I do insist upon internal logical consistency, as long as it’s not too much trouble). But I truly like the characters, as I imagine them so far, and would like to find out more of what happens to them, and to introduce them to other people. I fear, though, that it would require an entire series to tell their tale(s), much more so even than with Mark Red, which can sort of stand on its own, though there’s more to that story than is currently written.
And, of course, I have a story waiting called Changeling in a Shadow World, which is about a boy/young man who believes himself to be a normal human, but who is actually the transplanted last survivor of a race of beings that perceive, move through, and manipulate higher spatial dimensions (and non-spatial dimensions), and who were wiped out by a creature or entity that exists between physical planes of reality, without integer dimensionality of its own, and which desires to invade realms of “normal” realities, either to become “dimensional” or merely to ruin such realms for everyone else. It’s quite non-sane, being a creature without fixed dimensionality, and it has appeared in my stories before. It’s referred to by those who fear it as Malice, or the Ill-Will, or the Other. Its (rather unwilling) servants include less powerful irrationally dimensional creatures known as Crawlers…at least one of these appears in one of my soon-to-be-released stories already.
So, these are some of the options for what to work on after my current projects are done, which shouldn’t take too much longer. If any of my readers have thoughts or preferences about what sounds like a good story for me to write next from among these descriptions, I would be honestly delighted to get your input. I don’t absolutely guarantee that I’ll go along with your requests, but there can be no doubt whatsoever that you will influence me. Surely all authors want to write stories that people will enjoy reading, and to which people will look forward!
In the meantime, I hope you all continue to do your best to stay safe and healthy and, especially, as happy as you’re able to be.
*I’m using “guys” here in a gender-nonspecific way for convenience. The lead characters include a female vampire (Morgan, my favorite character that I’ve written so far) and a male demi-vampire (the title character).
**They find the term “ghost” offensive and would prefer that people not use it.
***Mark Red was also so conceived, originally.