Sunday, July 19, 2015

Dreams Belong in the Void

So let's talk about the novel of mine that has the longest and most tortured history. In it's latest incarnation, it looks like this:

The first novel I ever completed was a smelly mess I cobbled together with rotten scraps of fantasy ideas in the summer after I graduated high school (that's 1991, to be precise). It was the half-baked story of two brothers (who in this first iteration were called Kieves and Redert. Yep.) who discover a mysterious red crystal in a cave that possesses magical powers. They go some places, destroy some things, meet some people, and it all comes to a lame conclusion, leaving room for sequels that will never be.

Anyway, that first version of the story is sitting in a box in a closet forever. I don't even remember the title.

Ten years later, whilst newly married and living in a super tiny apartment with two cats (including one cat who tried to set himself on fire using a lit candle, but that's another story), I decided to try my hand at writing a novel again. I took the germ of an idea from the first novel and made significant changes. It still involved two brothers, but this time they had the slightly improved names of Jaeren and Korli. (I did say slightly improved).

The second time around, it became the story of a mysterious red suit that feeds on angry emotions. Various characters with weirdly spelled names appear and die, and it all ends in dramatic fashion. Thematically, it went from being "random fantasy tale #523" to a focused story about confronting and overcoming tragedy and grief. It almost got published once (by a Canadian publisher), but it wound up in a box in a closet forever. It was called Deep Water.

Despite the utter failure of attempt two, I felt I was onto something, thematically at least. So finally, about three years ago, I sat down and determined to make it work. The brothers became Jeren and Cen, and it became the story of a red suit, a shared dream, and an island nation slowly sinking into madness. It sat around on a hard drive for a while, but eventually I published it as two books: Bloodstone and A Whisper in the Void. It even had a nice hand-drawn map done by my wife.

And here we are, friends. The final iteration of the story. I combined the two volumes into one 187,000-word tome, made various minor additions, and now it is available as both an ebook and a trade paperback called Dreams in the Void. I even added a little pronunciation guide at the end of the book. The thing is heavy enough to be a door stopper.

As a tale about a gradual descent into pain and madness, I think it turned out pretty good, so check it out. There's the Kindle version and the Trade Paperback version to serve all your bookly needs.

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