Thursday, February 3

The Tender Age of Thirty-Three

Thirty-three years ago today, I was born in a hospital in Houston, Texas. With each year that has passed, I have learned a little more, grown up a little more, and done my best to become a productive member of society. I could not have done this without the people around me all my life. The final message I relay to readers of Spiral X is that the people you lose are still there with you. Your world view, your favorite foods, your work ethic, all those things and more are impressed upon you by the people you interact with most in your life. So as much as today is a reflection of my life, it's also a reflection of those who have shaped my life. Thank you all.

Work has begun on the follow-up to Spiral X. For those who follow my Facebook Page, this is old hat, but I've decided to add one more step to my writing process. When I first started writing Spiral X, I wrote by the seat of my pants. I had some direction since I was following a rough outline from a previous project (which anyone who has read an interview of me knows about), but the problem was I only had half an outline. So of course I stalled. I was only able to get going again once I actually sat down to create an outline to take me through to the end. Once I did things went pretty quickly. So that's part of the process now but since with this book I'm not working with even a partial outline, I have to drum up the idea from scratch. To help with this I'm going to first outline each chapter on index cards so that it'll be easier to pick out which ideas just aren't going to work. Once I get that outline done, a more in depth outline will follow, which will make the first draft go a lot smoother than it would otherwise. So far I have six chapters "carded" and at least the next two or three sitting in my head. The overall plot is coming together and I have some interesting ideas on what needs to happen to bring the book to a satisfying conclusion.

For anyone that visits the blog, you may have noticed a change in the cover for Spiral X. With the release of Split, the decision was made to tie the cover of Spiral X in with that one so that anyone who looked me up at Amazon, or any of the other places my books are sold, would immediately see a connection. This isn't a new concept, as series will typically take this approach. However, the way I went about getting this new cover was something of a humbling experience for me. See, the previous red and black cover was done by a work friend named James who has made a hobby out of doing 3D modeling. About middle of December he showed me some art he had done based on Spiral X, and somewhere along the line it was agreed that we would work together to make a new cover. In the end, he gave me what I wanted, and sales were slow enough on Spiral X with the original blue and red cover that I didn't see an issue with making the switch. In the end though, I was one of few who liked it, and sales proved it to be a lateral move. I made the wrong decision.

That's not the humbling part though. When we decided to go with a new cover by the same guy who did Split, I didn't bother telling James about the decision. I wanted to tell him in person, and for a few days the only option available to me was through IM or email. So I held off on making the change until the last possible moment, the night before the "official" release of Split, thinking that the next day I would be able to talk to James about it then. Unfortunately, the switch at all the websites happened faster than I thought it would, and James found out. I ended up explaining myself to him the next day over IM, a reactive move that I would never have had to do if I had told him when the decision was first made. So, to James, I am sorry you had to find out after the fact. That was not my intention, and never was. I hope this does not preclude us from working together in the future.

So that's it for today. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. Go Packers!

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