Posts tagged novel

Finishing things.

Something snuck up on me today. Ambushed, really, as I dare say something that happens over a month faster than one assumes it will happen is a fair bit beyond a sneak.

The paperback version of The Wind Merchant became available today.
…4-6 weeks before I was told it would happen. 

By all sane inclinations, I believe this means the book is completely and utterly finished (you must understand that finished is a loose term for me when I’m given the time and opportunity to tweak). I suppose I could change something if I felt like paying $80 to the printer to alter something, but at that point I’m just wasting money and making it more difficult to create another book.

According to Rule #2, I won’t let myself go into debt for my creative endeavors…and now I know exactly how much I need to earn in order to go through the process of publishing another book. If I don’t, then this becomes a glorified hobby and a timesink…and I kind of hate timesinks. Hobbies are fine.

…it’s just added incentive to make something good enough to reach an audience and allow myself to continue telling stories.

Upon finishing something, I have to ask myself if what I did was worth the time, which is measured in a variety of ways (not all financially-based, thankfully…and importantly), and looking back, even this early on after its completion, I have to say that yes, it was most definitely worth it.

I never expected to find myself an author, and thought I’d be firmly planted in film…but when “never give up" crosses with "finish the things you start" crosses with "you have a lot of time on your hands while you wait for the things you started to finish and you need to not let your craft get rusty" sometimes you wind up with a novel about not giving up. And floating cities… but those were mostly added because I didn’t have to budget for them in this medium.

But, it’s been decided that I like finishing things (not that I ever assumed that I wouldn’t). I like sharing things that have bounced around in my head as keeping them for myself feels selfish. So, at some point, I’ll just have to find another thing to finish, and remember that each step along the way makes a sum of enjoyableness and learning that far surpasses the culmination of holding a finished work in my hands (although that is quite nice as well).

If you’ve read the book or plan to do so, you have my thanks for the encouragement to continue telling stories, to continue making, and to continue wrestling with issues that are hopefully universal enough to prompt thought and change for good in the both of us.


Pulling Fantasy toward Reality

I struggle a little when people ask me what The Wind Merchant is about. I have a strong grasp on the story, themes, plot, and characters… but starting off by saying “Well, it’s a fantasy,” floods me with the insecurity that I should be quickly pressing thick, taped glasses back firmly onto my nose.

Sure, it’s steampunk. Sure, it’s an adventure tale… and it comes about as close to sci-fi as it does fantasy. It lacks elves, dwarves, or any other race one might find in a Dungeons & Dragons campaign (okay, aside from humans), but still. It’s fantasy. (full disclosure, fantasy is easily my most read genre, mostly thanks to Neil Gaiman and Pat Rothfuss)

It’s so easy to feel silly saying “these are the things bouncing around my head, and you will have to take them seriously if you want to enjoy the book.”

But, seeing other people take it seriously dampens the insecurity markedly, and seeing other people turn your descriptions into art nearly eradicates it.

When shown the artwork one of my good friends (Marisa Draeger) did for the the hero ship, The Fox, I was blown away by seeing something that I would have naturally shared on social media, regardless for whose project it was associated with… but it was associated with mine.

Then I read a review (I know, bad Ryan) titled: "Grab your grapple gun and get ready for an exciting adventure!" And she used the words “grapple gun” so easily, like they weren’t silly. I guess they aren’t.

I’m still working on my insecurity for my elevator pitch of the book, but seeing other people embracing the story and taking it seriously helps immensely.

To them I offer my sincerest thanks.