Friday, September 4, 2015

To Fans of The Godling Chronices

Recently, I have heard from a few readers who are unhappy with the content of Dragonvein. Unlike The Godling Chronicles, I did not exclude profanity or sexual content. Though I did my best to keep the scenes tasteful, I understand how it might rub some people the wrong way. 

Let me first explain that The Godling Chronicles was the original concept of my son. Though I guided the story along, without his initial inspiration, it would have never been written. From day one I gave no small measure of consideration regarding content. How far should I go? How much adult content was too much? In the end I decided to allow my son to be my guide. It was his brainchild after all. If I didn't want him reading it, I wouldn't write it. Period.

Though I truly believed in the quality of the story, I had no idea at the time just how popular it would become. I didn't intend on making a career writing fantasy - or writing anything else for that matter. I had other ambitions and goals. But as luck would have it, circumstances manifested and the stars lined up in such a way so that I was able to focus all my attention on being a writer. By then, I was half way through the series and forced to think about future projects. I was now known as a YA fantasy author. Don't get me wrong. I love YA, but I was afraid that I would be unable to branch out into more mature stories. I wondered if readers would accept a grittier fantasy coming from an author they discovered through reading YA material. 

As The Godling Chronicles came to a conclusion, I needed to decide what to do next. I had a book written and ready for publication. But it included sex, profanity, and several situations inappropriate for young readers. This was definitely a departure from what I was known for. Frankly, I was terrified. I asked around, hoping to gain wisdom from fellow authors, but that didn't help. Some told me I was a fool and was endangering my career. Others said it would be fine. Sure, I would piss off a few people, but so long as the story was good, most wouldn't mind. My wife was no help either. She had sided with the less risky approach and wanted me to edit out the objectionable content.

In the end, I decided to gamble and went ahead with the book as it stood. Some of you who have read The Godling Chronicles will have seen the difference. And so far most haven't minded the change. Those of you who have only read Dragonvein may be wondering what the hell I'm talking about. The content isn't pornographic and the language, though harsh in places, only reflects the way people actually speak. Well, you'll understand if you read my previous books - and I hope you do. 

I would like to add that for those of you who are uncomfortable with the new content and miss seeing new Godling Chronicles books come out, I will be writing a sequel sometime next year. As with the original series, it will adhere to the same YA guidelines. I haven't abandoned YA. I only broadened my scope. I promise. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Back in the Saddle

After weeks of struggling I've finally found my stride. For a time I was starting to panic. I just couldn't work out what I should do about Dragonvein - Book Three. I had the middle and ending rattling around in my head, but the beginning...nothing clicked. I must have deleted more than 50,000 words. Not that it was a great loss. What I had written was military grade garbage. The world is better off without reading it, let me assure you.

Of course, now that I'm back in the saddle, I find myself in a situation where I have very little time to complete a whole lot of work. I've made promises to my fans which I intend to keep. Not to mention my agent is expecting a new book to shop to the publishers before the new year. So what I would normally allow six months to complete, I now have just a bit more than half that amount of time.

For those of you who have written a novel, or even made the attempt, you will understand what a massive undertaking this is. I need to produce close to 200,000 words worth of material. And just any old words will not do. If it was simply about a word count my life would be a breeze. No. They have to be good words. Words that make sense. Words that my readers will enjoy. This is not as easy to do as some might think. There are days when it seems everything I write sucks (though there are some who would say that is always the case with me). A few weeks ago, that would be all right. I could afford a day or two of non-production. Not anymore.

But never fear. I will soldier on. And I will live up to the obligation I have to my readers - and to my agent. But afterward don't be shocked and amazed if I disappear for a few weeks. I'd like to say to a beach somewhere. But in truth, I'll likely need a psychiatric ward to get my head back together.