Sometimes you need a little booze and a lot of months between you and your writing before you can see it clearly.
Last night at a cookout, some friends told me what they liked and didn’t like about my scifi trilogy. It matched what I’d seen in reviews, and from sales: They liked the first book, but not the other two. With a couple of beers and a year or two since writing them, I could see why.
When I wrote 300 MILES TO GALVESTON, I decided I was writing a trilogy, for no other reason than “I feel like writing a trilogy.” It had nothing to do with whether or not the story merited three books.
I had a clear vision for the first book. Well, maybe that’s revisionist history… I had a focused passion for the story, even if I didn’t know where it was going. I wrote it in six weeks, and had that good feeling I got when I’d crafted a decent short story in college. I’d missed that in my life. I needed to feel that, again.
My friend Evan designed an elegant, clever cover, and I felt even better about it. Then it made $300 in the first month on Amazon, and I felt like an author.
When I started the second book, MISSIONARIES OF OMO, I was really into my self doubts about religion, which usually reflects doubts about myself more than God. I’m not getting into a theist/atheist thing. I’m fine with whatever you believe, as my own beliefs are rather fluid. Anyway, I used fiction in that book, and OYU’S TRIDENT, to explore those ideas, and while it fascinated me, it only resonated with a tiny minority of readers. Of course, how else could it go? Imagine starting a conversation with a stranger on the finer points of religious studies, when they didn’t even sign up for the class or ask you to teach it. Bo-ring.
If anyone gets to this blog post and wonders what happened to books two and three, I pulled them from Amazon, and republished the first book as a stand-alone, because that’s what it truly is. If you’d still like to read books two and three, just reach out to me through my contact page or in a comment on this post, and I’ll send you an ebook copy you can import to your Kindle, for free. I’d he happy to hear what you think, good or bad, and at this point could laugh along with you if it just doesn’t catch your fancy.
Update 4/15:I’ve learned that Amazon just doesn’t forget… so even though I’d like to pull the last two books, they’ll remain listed for all eternity (even if they’re unavailable). So, I surrender. :)The ebooks have been re-activated on Amazon, and will be free April 16-17:
I’m not sure what I’m going to write next, if anything. My western has stalled. I may just need to take a break. I know the writer’s discipline is to plow on, even if it’s tossed pages, but I just tossed 400 of them, and feel more like drinking coffee and staring out the window than writing, for a while.