If you’re readying this then very likely you’ve recently finished a very long journey with me. Back in summer of 2014 I started a little Fan Fiction short story called Dark Winter. I’d intended for it to be about 20,000 words and tell the story of Kate Fox as she reunites with her dad in the zombie apocalypse. I set this story in world of H1Z1, a game by the Daybreak Game Company.
Well it’s the waning days of summer of 2015 and Dark Winter is finally done. It came out to 98,000 words and told the story of not only Kate Fox but her friend Lindsay Volk. Over time, I realized that Dark Winter wasn’t just about Kate, but Lindsay as well. Lindsay was the real heroine of Dark Winter, no matter how much I tried to make it about Kate. Lindsay grew from a frightened, incapable girl into a strong, confident and determined woman. She saved not only herself but others.
Lindsay learned and grew and so did I. I learned a lot from writing Dark Winter. I learned that I could write a novel. It wasn’t just some fever dream I had. It was possible. I did it. I wrote “THE END” and closed my laptop.
I remember that moment. I wrote those words, closed the lid on my MacBook and then put my head in my hands. I’m thirty-something now. I’d dreamed of writing novels since I was ten years old. Now, finally, I’d written one. I couldn’t sell it, obviously, but I’d written it and people read it. They even seemed to like it. So it was a pretty emotional moment for me.
Thank you, all of you, for taking this journey with me. Without you I wouldn’t have done this. I couldn’t have. The drive would have been gone. The inspiration would have dried up. Katie would have lost her way and Lindsay would have never found her path.
So what’s next for me? Maybe some of you follow me on twitter and have seen my vague words about “secret projects” and maybe you haven’t. Irregardless, I’m still working. I’m working a lot, actually. More than before. I’m writing more per day than I did for a full week on Dark Winter.
Why? Because Dark Winter gave me confidence. It showed I can do this. I can push through. I can and will write a book. So that’s what I’m doing. I’m writing a new book.
It has no title but it has a plot, a strong one I think. It involves strange phenomenon, government coverups, and a courageous group of teenagers who are not only involved, but thrust into its center. Some of them came willingly, while others were pushed against their will.
This is a story I’ve wanted to tell for a long time. I wrote it originally when I was 14 years old, but it was terrible… like all novels by 14 year olds typically are. Twenty years later, I know a thing or two about story, plot, and characterization. I picked up the small thread the story was based on and ran it out naturally, methodically, critically. What I saw was a story that needed to be told and for the first time, I felt like I could tell it.
I think you guys will like it. I’ll post a few previews on my blog as I go, but I won’t be posting it in full. This is a novel that I’ll try and get published for real. If that doesn’t happen, then you all will be my publisher and I’ll post it here instead. I’m proud of this and you all are the reason for it.
So thank you, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
I’m about 25% of the way through this first draft. I expect to be finished by the end of October. Maybe in November, I’ll know something about it. Between then and now though? I’ll continue to write to you guys, to talk to you and tell you what’s happening. I hope you talk back.