THE KILL STACK: UPDATE
Long time, no update. Sorry. Life happens when you least expect it, I suppose. No matter. I'm back now, and what follows is a quick (turns out, not so quick) update and summary of my next book, The Kill Stack.
When I finished The Cold Forever I was faced with a decision of what to write next. I had come up with an outline for a sequel. It's a good one. It's actually a sequel and a prequel. It follows the structure of the previous novel, by having two timelines once again. Two seemingly separate stories that eventually converge in the last third of the book.
The novel would reunite the main characters of The Cold Forever several years later. That's the sequel part. The prequel happens in the second timeline, and it is the story of Djaq's sisters. The story happens in parallel with the events in The Age of Frost (a time period in the distant future in The Cold Forever).
Anyway, it's all really rather complicated, I'm afraid... And that's why I ended up hitting the pause button. My book has been described as too complex. Too complicated to follow sometimes. There are three stories, dovetailing into an ending that ties them all together rather neatly. To me, that's not complicated. But I wrote the damned thing, so I'm a little biased. I didn't set out to write a book for the hardcore science fiction fan, but that's what ended up happening. It turns out, The Cold Forever is not for the average book reader. It's for someone who reads the weird shit. Complicated time travel stuff. Peter F. Hamilton books. Dan Simmons books. It's the kind of book, that if you were to put it down for a few days or weeks and pick it back up, you'd have to start all over.
And that was heartbreaking to learn. On the one hand, the book is tailor made for the die-hard science fiction fan. On the other hand... where the hell are you guys?
So I shoved the sequel to the side, frustrated with the book's inability to find an audience. And I wouldn't blame marketing either... I won't go into it, but I did some stuff. And some things. I got several thousand people to download the ebook version. It remains to be seen if any of them actually read it, though.
So now I was back to square one. I wanted to keep writing, but I had to shelve the sequel for another time. So what would I write next? Then an idea popped into my head. Who says that I have to stick to science fiction? Why not hit a new genre? Something just as interesting to me as science fiction.
I settled on crime, because why not? More specifically, a violent crime story with some humor; something akin to a literary version of Pulp Fiction. Separate stories weaving around each other until they reached a violent, yet satisfying conclusion.
So what's the story about? Didn't you see the cover? It's about casino chips.
Ok, it's about more than that. The story focuses on several characters, but primarily, it is about Fredo and Kazz. Two hapless guys who find themselves in possession of a million dollar's worth of casino chips that belong to a mafia boss. Now they have to avoid bloodthirsty mafia goons, a dirty cop with a bad debt to the wrong people and a contract killer out for revenge.
I'm writing this as cinematically as possible. Heavy on neo-noir and ultra-violent influences of Michael Mann and Quentin Tarantino movies. I'm 30,000 words in what is shaping up to be a 60,000 word novel. It's considerably shorter than The Cold Forever, which weighed in at a hefty 107,000 words. But I'm hoping that it is easier to read. Easier to follow. It has lots going for it. It has the funny. It has the violence. A strong female protagonist. And a pair of dummies you can't help but love.
I really hope that this time around, the book finds its audience. I really don't care about sales. I just want people to read it. And like it. And maybe give it some reviews so that other people could read it. And hopefully like it as well...
The top image is just a draft of a cover. Much like with my previous book, this one will go through several stages. But I think now that I have given it a visual presence, the book will start to come together quicker. I'm hoping to finish it this year, and self-publish it next year. We'll see how it goes. We'll see where it goes.
Until then though, stay frosty my friends.