Time Marches On and On and On and…

Yo! I haven’t spent enough time keeping track of the site to post an actual post about my writing in about a year, which is silly, but that’s a thing that happens. Bearing that in mind, I’ll go on a bit of a rant here.

2121: Enter the Void (which is book 3 of the 4-book series) is actually done with editing. It took much, much longer than expected, having been dropped from editing by my routine editor due to life, and dropped from editing from another friend due to life, and put on the back-burner by me. For me to properly do a real, thorough edit of it at that point, I needed time to reread the first two books and make sure I had everything fresh in my mind to tackle it, which I finally made the time for this year. The print files are finished and ready to be set up for printed proofs, but… there’s a slight bump in the road.

It’s been a year since I tested the waters for mainstream publishing, and I recently found good sources of places to try and offer up Redford to. One in particular I’m really hopeful for, takes a few months to get to reviewing your manuscript. Suffice to say, I don’t want to put out a book for self-publishing when I’m offering the first book to be considered by a publisher. So it’ll be a few more months before 2121: Enter the Void is self-published. I don’t have high hopes for being noticed, but I like to do things right, so it means holding on for now. BUT, it is fully ready to go out, rest assured.

What took me so long to get around to editing the book was, in fact, another book entirely. And no, it wasn’t book 4. I couldn’t bring myself for the life of me to work on that monster. No, see, I had this odd dream that I had to write down because it was just so… interesting for me that I couldn’t pass it up. That project as it stands is titled Winter Red (and I don’t foresee that changing). It’s a thriller, not actually the first I’ve begun but certainly the first I’ve written more than 10k words on. Currently it’s clocked in at 51k, which I had promised myself I would swap to 2121: The End of Syfe at that point, and I have. It’d be a waste to have the first three books so fresh in my mind and not try to finish off the series.

In regards to Winter Red, my normal readers are not really available to me for it because of its genre, but I do have people reading it over to see if it holds any interest. I’d like to confess something that’s come about because of it: I actually feel happy with it. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy with Redford overall, but I am not happy with its execution in terms of… its age? You have to remember, I started writing the first book in 2004, and I’ve had plenty of time to mature in both mind and writing since. I have to walk between my current style of writing and keeping the series consistent with the original material, which sacrifices a bit of my pride in the outcome. I feel as though I could do much better, given a second chance. The simplest way to gauge this, as a reader, is my treatment of Raquel and her friends throughout the series. They barely featured in the first book, and when they did, they were mostly annoyances without personality. I tried to slowly and politely rectify this as the series continued. They were given stronger purpose towards the plot, actual personalities, and interacted on different levels with the rest of the crew. In all likelihood, if I were given the chance to sort of… “correct my mistakes” with the first book, it’d probably gain about 40k of words. Considering it’s about 20-30k shorter than the other two, it’s entirely too tempting.

Now, I am working on book 4, and yes, it’s the end of 2121. Literally. The series was named that because the events would culminate at the end of that year for the characters. But that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the end of the worlds or the characters themselves. I have other side projects that may see the light of day that exist in its universe. One I’d particularly like to see through is about the original incarnation of Ezrael, and the fall of Old Judais. We’ll see. In the meantime, book 4 is sitting at 31k words as of this morning. Even if I finish it soon and do a hard edit on it and everything, it too will be held down for the sake of trying to find a publisher for the series overall.

And that’s it. I’ve nothing more to add.

~Lils

Progress, Progress, I Say!

Morning, ducks! I’m here to say that book three, 2121: Enter the Void, has finished its hard-boiled editing session. What this means is it’s time to open up Adobe InDesign and build the book up for print. The tentative cover has been updated, which I can show here. Book four, 2121: The End of Syfe, is now prioritized in my writing, but is mostly skeletal in its current state so expect a year or so before it’s really put together.

Exterior 5x8 with bleed CS

Depending on an answer from my routine editor, this book might stay in hard-boil editing for a bit longer, but that is the only reason its completion would be delayed. If it doesn’t stay in edit, I’d say expect the book to become available by the end of August! Cheers.

~Lils

About the future of 2121…

As I pass a final eye over 2121: Enter the Void, a thought occurs to me that I feel it’s worth sharing. I dislike living in a world where such a warning feels necessary, but time and time again it’s made evident.

For those of you who have actually read my books, I appreciate it greatly. Thank you. But as I grow as a writer, as the world of 2121 expands (as well as my other WIPs), it’s come to my attention that things just might become… uncomfortable to my potential audience. I will not apologize for this; what I will apologize for is that it took this long to reach this point in my writing.

What started merely as a loose parody of my experiences struggling with mental illness has expanded across a fictitious world. This is a good thing. The world is not an isolated experience. Not everyone’s persecuted for supposedly being psychotic, for being different. But how different were my characters? Not very. No matter what region they hailed from or behavior they exhibited. So over time, characters developed different ethnicities, different reasons for being locked up away from “civilized” society. And in the world I’ve built, the potential for “wrongness” is wide and varied. Things I honestly felt about certain characters now became important narratives, be it a brief mention in the 2121 series or in a future work. It was now my duty to stand with these characters and make their hardships known.

From its shaky inception back in 2005, Syfe began as a ridiculously white, hetero-normative simple world of crazies. What it has evolved into with the coming of the third book in 2121, includes people of different nationalities (and thusly, different races), different orientations, different senses of self.

As it should be.

This is an important milestone in my journey as a writer. Representation is an important thing that many people spend their entire lives not understanding, usually because they’ve never had to struggle with not being represented in the first place.

If you read my work and suddenly find it doesn’t feel realistic to you anymore, doesn’t represent your interests anymore, then I hope you either find it interesting in a new way or put it down and move on to something new. If this keeps you from even attempting, I can’t say I’m sorry to have lost a potential reader.

I plan on diving further down the rabbit hole, with gusto. I don’t plan on clawing my way back out. The world that has unfolded before my eyes is a beautiful thing, deserving of less tragedy and more compassion.

In short, there has always been inferences to “alternative” lifestyles in my work, but they are inferences no longer with the coming of this book. They are out in the open, and they are here to stay.

~Lils