I had some thoughts about writing a series–especially over a long period of time–ever since Magen Cubed did a Twitter thread about this sort of thing. (I can’t find the exact one, but here’s one about “pulp” that’s great. Go follow her. And buy her books (superhero or fucky)! I wanted to do something similar, but I don’t know if Twitter’s the best venue for it. Instead, I’m going to write out some rambling, unstructured thoughts about The Exile’s Violin, its sequels, and my weird, tangled emotions about coming back to the series after a hiatus.
Basically my Tethys Chronicles books have had a long, complicated history. I wrote The Exile’s Violin while I was in college. Then, because I was young, dumb, arrogant I shopped it around. No agents wanted it. No big publishers wanted it (see comment about agents). So I “sold” it to a small, independent publisher. I made a little bit of money, but overall it wasn’t a good fit.
When the company went out of business, I got the rights back. I followed the advice of a few authors I knew and re-published it with another independent press. That was an even bigger disaster, and a lot of their decisions just showed how predatory and unprofessional they were. It really, really should have been a red flag that they used to be a vanity press before going “traditional.” HA!
Again see: impatience, youth, and arrogance.
It didn’t work out. By the time I got out of that contract, I had zero motivation to work on anything Tethys-related. In that time frame I’d also: gotten married to the love of my life and long-term girlfriend (*waves at her*), moved in with her parents for the 2nd time, quit a job with an abusive, manipulative boss, up and moved to Oregon in the middle of a blizzard, fallen into horrible debt, and then just now in 2017, finally started to get our lives on track. (We’re not even touching the 2016 election and onward, but holy shit that’s a whole clusterfuck of its own).
Long story short, it’s been over a year since I’ve wanted to even look at the Tethys Chronicles. But now, in the Year of Luigi 2017, I’m ready to finish this series through self-publishing. (Side note: wife has done an amazing job re: cover layout. I’m ridiculously excited to reveal it soon)
Well! That was 400+ words of preamble. Now we get to those “unstructured” thoughts.
- It’s fucking weird to be rewriting/editing a novel you originally wrote in 2011.
- I’m a different person than I was then
- How much do I change to fit who I am as a person/writer now?
- I “purposely” avoided “hard” swearing in Exile’s Violin, but now I want to include a fuck or two in the sequels. Is that “allowed”? I don’t know.
- There’s so much shit that’s cringe worthy in the first book and this draft. I want to fix it all. But I won’t, on purpose.
- I didn’t rewrite Exile’s for this third edition. Part of me feels like I need to “preserve it” because that’s what it was and that’s who I am when it first came out.
- Do I have an obligation to preserving the “feel” of a series that’s only one book long? Can I experiment? Ultimately, these are my damn books, right?
- All that aside, it feels good to be writing Jacquie and Clay again. It’s pretty easy to slip into their voices
- I am excited for the direction this draft of Terraviathan is going. It’s going to be better than it was in 2011 and better than Exile’s
- I’m also excited to self-publish this series. Is it going to be a best-seller? Probs not. But do I want it out in the world? Absofuckinglutely.
- I hate the editorial notes for Terraviathan I got earlier that said Jacquie needed to be nicer. No. Fuck that. Why does a woman character need to be likable? Go read some Kameron Hurley or N.K. Jemisin and get back to me. Am I as skilled as them? LOL. No. But the point stands.
- Part of this introspection–and anger–yes I admit it. I’m fucking angry about my series, about my mistakes, about my writing process, and about my fears, is inspired from K. C. Alexander. (Not that I’m mad at her) She reinvented herself and her writing in a way I wish I had the courage to. And while I’m at it. Go read Necrotech. Learn a thing or two about unlikable but got-damn compelling protagonists. Then read the sequel when it comes out.
- Don’t really have a 13th thing. Just wanted to end on that note.
So there ya go! Messy as heck thoughts about The Exile’s Violin, writing, and where this weird little steampunk series is going. Hope you stick with me!