Well, downtime has it's benefits in the publishing game.
I've got at least a few weeks to kill while I wait for proof copies from Severed Press for approval, as well as before my next 'assignment' like jacket-copy. To fill the time, I've decided to resume work in earnest on my current work-in-progress, CRIMSON LETTERS FROM KANDAHAR PROVINCE.
I've decided to try a different theme with this book, stepping away from a post-apocalypic world and instead focusing on a different man's 'life' in fictional St. Albins prior to the events of GREY DOGS & THE WILLOW. The book does make reference to characters and locations mentioned and of significance in GREY DOGS, but I can't say that it is truly a prequel or anything of the sort. While the insight to the characters mentioned in GREY DOGS will be interesting to those who have read the novel, CRIMSON LETTERS doesn't particularly give any true development regarding any of the events of GREY DOGS, if that makes any sense.
St. Albins is a city where things go wrong, and seems to be becoming an epicentre for lives gone bad. Whether the setting is insidious in itself, I've yet to discover, but the fictional Southern Ontario town is certainly a fun location to write in, as it is already so developed in my mind that I wouldn't be surpised if I passed a bus that could bring me there in real life in the near future. That is, if I'm not already there without knowing it.
The downtime so far has been fun, giving me more drive to pour heart and soul into the work as the blessing of publication of GREY DOGS & THE WILLOW has shown me that my work really is worth something to someone - hopefully a lot of someones - and that I may have a real future in storytelling.
Regardless, the work is currently almost breaking the 40,000 word mark, and the twists and turns keep coming, suprising even me. My original outline for the story was tossed aside long ago when I realized that Quincent Meyer - the main character - had his own agenda in mind. Arguing with characters over plot is as futile as debating politics with a stone, so I had to give in. It's been a really interesting process to watch the drama play out across the page thusfar, and I can't wait to see what else Quince and the gang have in store for the manuscript.
I'm estimating a finished length somewhere in the high-60,000's like GREY DOGS (which topped out at just over 69,000 words or 326 pages) so there's plenty of room left for action. I don't see any backtrack rewrites thusfar which is reassuring -there's nothing worse than covering old ground after all compared to the thrill of pushing forward.
Keep checking back, as I'm sure I'll have more updates about the process for GREY DOGS & THE WILLOW as well as status statements for CRIMSON LETTERS FROM KANDAHAR PROVINCE - including maybe a new, shorter title. CRIMSON LETTERS FROM KANDAHAR PROVINCE does sound a little long-winded for a header, after all.