Amazon just let me know I have a new book out. A little background:
Around 2005, I stopped writing poetry with the sort of passion I had previously had. That was when my first wife was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer and given six months to live. (She ended up making it a little over three years, but there was never going to be a cure, and she was only bad the last six weeks or so. The end, when it came, was two days. But that’s a story for another day, maybe. I miss her everyday.)
The poetry had been epic fantasy, for the most part, with occasional forays into what might be considered contemporary fantasy as well. As you can see, I have slowly started publishing it, but you’ve seen perhaps a fifth, maybe a quarter, to date.
Getting back. I wrote a play. Don’t ask me why. I had become someone else. That someone wrote plays.
I used to be into drama, when I was a kid. Did a pair of three-week things every summer for a number of years, where we learned a new short comedy, two-act musical, and traveled around to all the summer schools in town performing them. (If you ask, Val Cheatham is probably the person most responsible for how I turned out. I hope he knew that. Probably been 30 years since I’ve seen him.)
So I wrote a play. Or rather, I took an event, and filed off enough of the serial numbers to protect the guilty. The play is Strangers, and is contained in Beyond the Mirror, Volume 4: Dramatic Worlds.
It is based on a true story. I can say that, now. They were Italians, not Irish. It took place in the midwest, instead of Boston. And the FBI never showed up on the doorstep. Most of the rest of it went down just like that. (There is a reason I spent most of the 90’s with a loaded firearm within easy reach of my bed. It involved pointing a loaded .357 at a couple of people as they sped off in their car. I’m pretty sure they were the guardian angels, but never asked.)
As far as I know, today, 2017, I’m the only person directly involved in that situation still alive. She died about twenty years ago from a drug overdose, after her life took a downhill turn. Many of the boys got incarcerated by the FBI in the early 90’s. A few of them went down fighting instead.
That is neither here nor there.
I wrote Strangers. Liked it. Liked Cisco and Jefferson enough that I wrote another one, Sins of the Fathers. By then, I was on a role. Witness For The Prosecution. Leap of Faith.
Ran out of things to say for Cisco. By Cisco. About Cisco. Tried a few times, but there were no words. Poked at him occasionally, but he really had run out of things he needed to say. And I had become someone else a few more times. (Did write a few other things in that interval that ran out around 2010. They’re coming next month in Volume 5.)
Then everything went into a trunk. Tried my hand at writing screenplays. Have a few of those, but never got beyond the “maybe we’re interested, but you want too much (read: any) money…” phase. Probably not going anywhere, but the door is open.
Fast forward to 2013. I had dated Fabulous Publisher Babe(tm) after Donna died, but it never really went anywhere. Then we connected again, but in the interval we had both become other people from then, and it worked.
She convinced me to start writing again, with intent. You’ve seen the results. You will continue to see them.
But I also published some of that old poetry. And last fall, I asked her sister about the plays, and Kris was all over that.
This is the future. As an indie press, we can put out anything we want. Ebooks cost nothing to keep up forever. Paper books are print on demand, so we don’t have to front any cash for stock that we have to stash under a bed and eventually throw away.
And keep publishing.
Gamer joke: Every single time you hit the publish button, roll 10d6, target number 58. If you succeed, you’ve just written Harry Potter. Or Hunger Games. etc. Lots and lots of money. Over time, that number slowly comes down. And as people like you, that number slowly comes down. When you hit twenty or twenty-five novels, that number comes down.
But you have to keep publishing. (And you have to keep learning, and improving your craft, and, and, and…)
For me, I’ve been writing as long as I have had words. There are things I wrote thirty-plus years ago, long hand, still sitting carefully in my pile, waiting for me to get around to typing them into something I can publish, someday.
So I have a new book that just came out. Beyond the Mirror, Volume 4: Dramatic Worlds (Cisco). In the process of writing this post, the Babe just reminded me that she has put #5 up for pre-order, so I stopped long enough to “claim” it on Amazon (long, technical discussion unnecessary here). It will come out next 10th. (March 10, 2017, for those of you keeping score at home.)
I keep hoping something will explode. It will, one of these days. And in the meantime, I hope to entertain folks with my words. (My dirty little secret? I don’t do this for y’all. I write because these are the stories I want to read, to hear, to know. You are just along for the ride.)
So thank you, in case you haven’t heard it enough from folks like me. Most of us wouldn’t be here without you.
shade and sweet water,
West of the Mountains, WA