After another re-write, I needed to get the book to an editor that I had lined up. Editors, as most professionals in the world, have a schedule and their months quickly fill up with projects. The editor I was going to work with is also an author and she was giving me a great deal—we were basically trying to support one another. Well, just as we were getting started, she dropped the project due to Booktrope’s sudden and unexpected closure. All of her books, 6 or 7, were handled by the online publisher and she was left scrambling trying to figure out her own future. She told me that she would eventually get back to my book, but that it could possibly be months down the line. It was a polite way of suggesting to look elsewhere.
It was like a kick in the nuts at first. I didn’t know where to go or who to turn to, I don’t have vast connections in the publishing world. I went online and started searching editors—what a shit show. Buyer beware. There are a lot of companies out there preying on the hopes and dreams of inexperienced writers, and it’s almost impossible to sift through the deceit. I have a lot of experience working with producers in the music industry, an editor is a similar widget, and good producers are worth their weight in gold (and also very hard to find).
I've completed a full outline along with a chapter-by-chapter breakdown of the structure- I also couldn’t help myself and have even written a few pages of the first chapter!
This book will be very different than anything from The Final Book series- much more tangible. No science fiction, no mythology, no philosophy. It’s a love story- even sappy at times. It will have deepr undertones and attempt to tackle modern societal issues and family struggles (maybe not so different from The Final Book, haha), but do it in a way that the reader will experience through the main characters. It’s a drama but the majority of the book should read as a fluff romance piece- with one major, drastic turn of events grounding it into reality.
The goal for the book is to be an easy and quick read, still falling into the “novel” category but on the light side. It’s a character piece- it hinges around the reader relating and caring about these people, but it's also positioned to move quick. Music and pop culutre is a central to the plot- I'm even planning on titling chapters after songs that represent what's happening in the story (my own way of creating a soundtrack, haha).
The story is based in Southern California- between LA, out to Joshua Tree, and beyond to the Colorado River Indian Reservation. The main character is Native American, but that’s not what the story is “about.” Earlier this week, I drove around in the California desert and visited the Colorado River Indian Tribes. It was great to see the area first hand- hopefully that will add realism to the story.
I snapped this photo a few miles outside of the Reservation at an abandoned building along some train tracks. Looks like the perfect place for some really bad stuff to go down… Read the story to find out what!
The video features SW Hammond’s life in the music industry and on the road as a tour manager. The trailer includes photos taken by SW Hammond from the time period in which Mojo And The American Female was written. Notable photographs include North American stops on the Vans Warped Tour, CBGB, and Post Alley. The featured song "Total Breakdown" is courtesy of the band Brad Sucks.
This is the “Alpha Reader” version of the book. Basically that means it’s my complete and polished draft- the “director’s cut,” have you. Not many have earnestly seen the book prior to this printing besides me- which is good and bad. That means it’s the exact version that I wanted to create- however it’s most likely sprinkled with inconsistencies, haha.
When you work on a project that has taken as long as this, you really become blind to a lot of things. I know the story too well. I know where it’s going before it happens. It’s easy to take the characters or plot for granted- getting that unknown first impression is invaluable and something I can’t replicate.
The Alpha Readers are hand-selected by me to receive a copy of the book, along with a red pen and highlighter. I tell them to go to town- cut it up! I truly encourage their criticism at this stage. Their comments and opinions directly impact the final version that will be sold to the public.
Once all of the Alpha Readers have given their response, I evaluate the comments. If there is a consensus among them of weak spots, unclear sections, plot loop-holes, or things they really liked- logic would suggest most other people would feel the same way as well. Their honest evaluation affords me the opportunity to see things from a different angle and go back to make the book that much better. To me, the Alpha Read is one of the most important parts of the process.
It’s scary sending something like this out into the world- the first time it’s being seen by anyone else! I’m never worried about people “not liking it” (I could careless about that), but I am worried that I didn’t convey the story properly. Is what's in my head actually transcending??? Time will tell! Can’t wait to hear back from the Alpha Readers!
It’s been an eventful few days surrounding The Final Book- I finally finished the first book in the trilogy!
This thing was quite the ongoing battle to complete. I started it and wrote the first half in the matter of a couple weeks over 4 years ago. I was on roll and saw the characters and story so clearly… Of course, life got in the way and put the brakes on the project- until now!
I’m very proud of the The Final Book: Gods. I like how it turned out and it’s something that moves me, I feel it has value. Whether the reader will feel that way or not is an entirely different story... Transcendence is the curse of the creative, having no idea if what’s played out in the mind will ever be conveyed.
The book also has a bit deeper personal meaning to me. It proves that I can complete something. There’s so many things I’ve started in life that never seemed to reach a conclusion. To me, this book re-instilled that I do posses dedication. In all honesty, it’s one of the more difficult things I’ve accomplished simply due to the duration it took to write. There’s so many other ideas and stories that have popped up over the years that I would have liked to start working on. It would have been really easy to abandon it for the next project- but I'm so glad I didn't.
I’m currently editing and putting together my first draft for Alpha readers. It’s been kind of a slow process because the beginning of the book was written at such a different point in my life. I’ve changed, grown, and developed a lot as person and writer over the last few years and it almost seems like two different people wrote the book. Without allowing the story to lose integrity, I’m trying to bridge the gap and smooth things out. Once satisfied, a handful of people will begin the review and editing process.
I’m unsure of a release date at this time. I’m still weighting publishing and trying to build for the future. I have the means to release through Surf Star Media, which seems the most logical, but a larger publisher would get the book read by more people- which is most important. I hope to have a marketing plan in place by the time the book has been reviewed by the Alpha’s- I’m not about to have it shelved and lose anymore time (I’m ready to start the next book!).
Yay to completing stuff! Just finish something- it feels amazing.