Or as the Car Talk guys would put it, I would like to address BOTH of my readers…!
The Dark Hug of Time is over and all posted. I liked it, but it didn’t maintain many readers. I suspect the culprit is time travel. I’ve written other stories that had time travel in them, but this is the first I’ve put on WordPress in which it was a primary plot factor. And time travel is, if nothing else, confusing.
My current writing mania began eight years ago this month, when my now-ex-wife and I decided to try a sort of sl-mo Nanowrimo. We would each write a novel at 1000 words per day, so we’d reach the 60K mark in two months. We both managed it. She wrote a jumbled adventure with Amazons on a college campus; it had possibilities, but she never went back to it and hasn’t really written much since. I wrote The Voyage of Ginger Glass, the first of five novels I’ve finished with the time traveling wizard Jacky Clothilde. (At the time, she was called Jacky Danielle, but I didn’t intend any reference to a whiskey brand; I’m more of a Maker’s Mark type myself.) In four of the five novels I wrote about Jacky, she’s a time traveler but only in the sense that the Doctor is a time traveler: time travel allows for a (vast) choice of setting, but it’s not a plot point.
The exception is something that came to be known as The Sum over Histories, a title referring to Feynman physics. That might be a bit of a warning sign right there. Sum was so confusing that even my best friends, who read everything I ever wrote, couldn’t make it through. It’s only about 90,000 words, but perhaps it would have been better at 500,000. I rewrote and rewrote, but it was a lost cause. (Eventually I pared it down to a 50,000 word novella; my 12-year-old likes that better, and my late mom read it and thought it was passable; she loved the other Jacky novels.)
I suspect Dark Hug suffers from some of the same issues. Even though I concentrated on a few events in a given planet’s history, I think the casual reader, meaning the reader who doesn’t take scrupulous notes as she goes, would have difficulty keeping up.
But never fear (unless Paul writing novels is scary to you). I’m not stopping. I have way too many ideas. I’m just choosing which one to let in next.
My plan from here: I’m trying to sell a couple of my earlier works. In particular, I have hopes for seeing The Road to Bluehorse in print one day soon. It’s my “realistic sci fi,” and it’s up on WordPress along with its sequel Homeward by Night. At some point I need to write the third of that trilogy: a tentative title is Friend of the Sky. I just finished rereading and rewriting both. Now I’m taking the time to read several novels I had on my shelf—I know I have the bad habit of writing instead of reading. So: right now, Annah, by (yes!) Clay Gilbert, the first of the Children of Evohe series; and Stephen King’s Wolves of the Calla, the fifth in the Dark Tower series.
Then, somewhere over Christmas break, I will start posting something fun: a true Dungeons and Dragons novel, about Alicia (or possibly Cathrael, the name’s not settled) and her friends Fenric and Janet, who are young and (respectively) a magic user, a thief and a cleric, and who have the problem that they need warriors and archers to go on adventures and make money (so Alicia can move out on her tyrannical alchemist mom), but their warriors and archers always, always get killed on those adventures. And meanwhile, Alicia, Fenric (the gay best friend) and Janet (the sexually active cleric) have their own personal and romantic issues.
That should be fun and possibly even amount to something worthwhile. I think I can finish it over the winter. Then I will turn to the third in the Bluehorse series. And (knock wood) maybe 2016 will see, not a Trump presidency, but one or two Paul J Gies novels in print.
Maybe Princess Alice. Yes! A Princess novel! Though she is not exactly going to be picked up my Disney. Noooo… she sees dead people. And she kills people, but only them as needs killing. (Princess of Ghosts is available as an Amazon self-published e-book. It has one review! Not by anyone I’ve ever actually met! And my average review is five stars! Well, it’s not nothing (as Jacky would say).
So what do you think? Did you read this? Yes or no! Be honest!
What would you like to read next? What’s your pref? Would you buy Road to Bluehorse? Would you buy The Tale of Countess Vivian? Or His Daughter Sophie? Should I adopt a female pseudonym, so as to get Jodie Llewellyn to review me? Should I be writing YA dystopian in the second person plural? Should I produce new versions of everything, with “And Zombies” or “For Dummies” added to the end of the title? (The Tale of Countess Vivian and Zombies… Homeward by Night for Dummies?) Or, since I teach math on the side (snicker), perhaps put the phrase A First Course in in front of every title, e.g. A First Course in the Road to Bluehorse; A First Course in Ryel and Arkmar.
So please fill out the following survey. And / or write me a comment or give me a like.
( ) Yes
( ) No
( ) Only on Thursday
Thank you, dear reader or readers,