I'm working at getting back to the blog more often. Not that it's an excuse, but I've been pretty busy working on the follow-up novel in stories to No-Injury Policy called Ashland's Asylum.
As always, I've bitten off a bit more than I'm meant to chew. So it'll be until around winter 2014/2015 before this one hits the shelves.
However, I thought you might like to know what has made this book so difficult and what I've been up to lately. Enjoy!
5. No-Injury Policy Lives On.
Just when you think you're on your way to writing that new book, a book of old knocks at your door. The part of writing I enjoy the most is the actual writing. Call me a masochist, but no matter how painful a story is for me to tell, I think constructing the tale is much more vindicating than all the marketing and other balderdash. Admittedly, I do like the hopping around towns for readings and store promotions. Meeting people is always cool.
I'd say 40% of writing is about writing. This is where No-Injury Policy comes into play and for a number of reasons.
1. Ashland's Aslumn follows where "No-Injury Policy" finishes off. Naturally, I'm going to make sure No-Injury Policy is still being read. How else would the second book make sense?
2. Promotion never dies. When No-Injury Policy hit the shelves, I was still promoting Excluded. Of course, part of this was due to Excluded's late release.
In short, talking about a previous book while finding time to concoct the next one is quite tiresome. Of course, this is all child's play to me, right? Right?!
4. Connecting to No-Injury Policy.
"Familiar Facades", "Ashland's Asylum", "CULT, inc.", all directly tie to stories from No-Injury Policy.
"Familiar Facades" obviously stems from the story "Facade" from No-Injury Policy. Basically, Michael from "Facade" has the first encounter with Elizabeth Joan from "No-Injury Policy". The idea here is that we take a story from Chase County's past like "No-Injury Policy" and bring it up to current date (like "Facade").
However . . .
You shouldn't need to read "Facade" to enjoy "Familiar Facades".
[MORE ON THAT LATER]
3. Hey, You Look familiar.
Another part of connecting to No-Injury Policy is how all the characters bump into each other. No-Injury Policy didn't do this. Instead, it was a collection of short stories.
Ashland's Asylum is a sequel to the last story in No-Injury Policy and ties in a few other stories from the original collection. Ashland's Asylum is also a novel in stories, which means, characters from one story should come into play within most of the stories.
Here's an example of how I'm trying to pull this off. Since I'm giving the story away for free to anyone who subscribed to the site of "Liked" my Facebook page, I'll spoil a bit more about "Familiar Facades".
Michael is the protagonist. After running away from his brother Ray, who moments ago shot his ex-fiance, Michael bumps into a girl named E.J. who happens to be at the right place at the right time for his rescue. After awhile, they start to really dig each other. I won't ruin anymore of this tale for you, but the idea is that here are two characters with two separate lives, juxtaposing into one. This means E.J. has her own story and characters as well as Michael.
This part is easier to explain than to actually accomplish. The idea is that every story will be a stand-alone tale that just so happens to connect directly to other stand-alone stories. This is difficult to achieve when you know how you want most things to tie into each other, but out of the million ideas you have, you don't know which one is the best.
What makes this a bit more difficult is that most of it has to tie into the stories "Facade" and "No-Injury Policy" from No-Injury Policy, without requiring you to read the predecessing stories to know what is going on. The idea is you can read No-Injury Policy and Ashland's Asylum however you like, but if you read those two books in order the stories should become part of a bigger tale that leads a bit into Excluded.
1. Cover Art.
This is more fun than irksome. It does take awhile to get everything in order and to come up with a great design for the new book. No-Injury Policy had quite a few concept covers before I settled on the one we all now know (check out below to see the never-before posted pictures of No-Injury Policy concept art).
If you have any suggestions for the cover of Ashland's Asylum, I'd be interested to know in the comments or where ever.
Fear, focus, and the future. C.M. Humphries talks about writing, horror, and whatever.