So I am currently shopping my second completed novel. Technically I've completed three, but that third one (or actually it's the first one, Thee Subtle War) I've 'completed' about three times. It was the first novel I attempted to write and as such it is the one I've had the most trouble reconciling with my 'voice' since I have honed it. Although there are many parts of Thee Subtle War I like from those earlier versions as a whole I could never quite stand the book. Perhaps this has a lot to do with the lack of follow-through on the plot, which was originally a fanboy's attempt at imitating Grant Morrison's The Invisibles. Over time my fixation on all things Morrison has waned enough for me to find my own voice (although that will hopefully evolve with time) – I still love The Invisibles and everything else the man writes, but I've gotten over my starstruck period of intense influence at the hands of his art. With this evolution Thee Subtle War has evolved as well, but through it all one main idea has remained consistent. The theme of the book shoots off of H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos, combining it with science in a way I do not believe anyone else has ever attempted. So these more recent versions now too are 'influenced' by another author's work, but with each new winnowing of Thee Subtle War I feel I pull Lovecraft's ideas more and more into my own world, instead of vice versa.
I have no problem with this, realizing now that ultimately Thee Subtle War will be something that I will publish down the road, after I have a name and fan base (which I Will have).
The book I'm currently shopping is 100% me and a direct result of many of the experiences I've had in my own life. I tend to write a lot about fucked up people, drugs, alcohol and a certain longing that I keep with me for lonely, intoxicated nights when I can almost smell the south suburban Chicago rain in the air and realize that the past is not a when but a where, and something I can easily invoke with the right combination of music, substances and lighting.
The Ghost of Violence Past is my attempt at an imaginary confrontation with a very real demon from my own past, a boy I once called friend who went on to murder several people I knew for no reason other than, I suppose, he felt he could.
What do you say to someone who has done those things? I don't know, and never will, as although my avatar in the story is both willing and able to confront the killer from his childhood, I most certainly never will.
I would never want that person to know that I even still remember him.
After finishing The Ghost of Violence Past I recently began a new story, tentatively titled '2 A.M. Corridors'. Corridors is built around my experiences as a drug-taking, alcohol-swilling bartender in the South Suburbs of Chicago. It is an exercise in merging the time travel I experience with drugs and music with the world where I lived and worked, fucked drank and snorted for five years until I met the love of my life and turned the page (and what a heavy page it was to turn, moving 3000 miles away). One of the main influences on the aforementioned period of my life (as with all periods of my life) was music,and it is to help set and maintain the mood that I have utilized very particular playlists for this particular project. Below is a widget containing the main throng of songs that compliment the atmosphere and motivation of 2 A.M. Corridor's characters and story. As the story evolves I will most likely assemble and post more of these, perhaps even with excerpts from the book. My hopes in sharing these is that so that when people eventually read the story they can let me know whether or not the story and music contain/convey one another.
Life is a series of stories, culled together in a pantomime of chapters arranged in, apparently, no particular order. As a writer I attempt to impose my Will, my 'Order' on it so that when I am gone, my life will remain.