Seen any good movies lately? I like them. They are finely honed entertainments costing millions, and made by thousands of experts. But what of a book: it’s just one writer, one publisher, one reader. It’s no movie. Or is it?
Well, I think it is! I tell my students: “Write like a movie!” Because you – the reader – are the set-builders, the costumers, the animators, you’re the actors. You choreograph the stunts, create the digital SFX, operate the camera and call the shots. You fill it all in. Give a book to a thousand different readers and you’ll get a thousand different movies. Each unique.
But it still needs a writer. It must have Story.
Good writing is invisible. If you notice the writer then it’s a stumble; a bit that needed more work. If the writer keeps driving you nuts, toss the book! But anyway, what does a writer go through? Hundreds of hours of unpaid work. A million keystrokes. A lot of coffee. He/she goes through a sort of hell, actually. And remember – for every book that gets onto a shelf in a bookshop, there are 99 more that don’t. They must be crazy!
And this is not my first. More like my twentieth.
Without ever reading a word of steampunk I set about writing an epic filled with airships, ray-guns, heroes and villains, mad scientists and bizarre beasts, and women! Smart women, brave women, villainous women, and I threw in a stupid one too. Because I also wanted it to be a romance; a long slow pot-boiler.
I wanted a hero who was everything I wasn’t: tall; physical; handsome; brave; quick-witted; wealthy; bigoted; pompous and ignorant too. See: I wanted him to grow. Oddly, however, as he and I progressed through the tale I began to realise he was far more like me than I thought: he is thrilled by beauty, he wants to be selfish but always makes a better moral choice, he ponders things deeply, he empathises, he makes splendid speeches off the cuff, and he’s absolutely messed up when it comes to matters of the heart. Love will always be his Waterloo.
I was ‘writing what I know’ after all!
Here’s a few facts about “Across the Stonewind Sky/Into the Storm’s Domain”:
- The series was originally going to be called “The Howlingstone”, but there was already a book with that title. Two, actually. (It’s in a video game too.) Hence ‘Keeningstone’.
- I began it on a whim – an idea for a computer game that never got finished.
- The original Book One ended up being mostly Book II and most of the ideas I had for Book III became Book One instead. The first half of the original Book III largely survives as the first half of Book IV. Book V is finished, using an opening scene originally intended for Book III … confused yet? Just call me ‘Ged von Frankenstein’! <Cue evil laughter>
- Oh, and speaking of mad scientists – see if you can figure out what ‘Heulenstein’ means.
- The series is now at 650,000 words. There will be about a dozen books altogether.
So please enjoy it. Five years in the making. Several years trying to find the right publisher. Thousands of hours of work. Two songs. A music video. (Yes, it’s on YouTube. Go look.) And artwork now from 3 different people (not counting me)*. It’s been a journey and a half getting it written, and it is quite the journey in itself. Book One is just the beginning!
[*On that note, I’d like to start a collection of fan-art, that we can post here with links back to your own website. If you’re interested, get in touch. (Ed: you can leave a message with a link and I will ping back to it.)]
Here’s a pic of Ged’s cat approving the print version of the book!
Book One, ‘Into The Storm’s Domain’ is now available from the Satalyte store in paperback and ebook. It is also available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords for all your format needs. The Satalyte News page also features an exclusive excerpt from the novel.
Look out for books two and three within the next year. You can find Ged on Facebook.