(I Also Write Children's Books!)

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Whence Forth?

And now, the positive side!

If not Supervillain, then what?????

I ain't short on ideas.  I ain't ever short on ideas, kids.

The biggest problem is that my ideas are so often weird.  'Metal, Candy, Flesh' weird.  I mean, even A Rag Doll's Guide To Here And There is pretty weird.  I have been informed, and I agree, that human protagonists that a teen can empathize with are important for a popular series.  I hate Everymans, but like Penny, that just means I give the main character a lot of personality.

It will be a girl between 12 and 15 with a tendency to be the bad guy.  Sorry, I just love that kind of thing.  I just hate the implication it will replace the Supervillain world.

Okay, so, I have two ideas and this is where you guys come in.  I could use your opinions on which is better.

First idea:  Space Western.  I actually even have an experimental title for the first book, 'You Must Be This Tall To Steal A Spaceship.'  The main character is Pixie, or as she puts it “With a name like Pixie, most people assume I’m an annoyingly hyperactive optimist with a compulsive attraction to trouble, and they are correct.”  I have rigged up a physics explanation that means the galaxy is very frontier, with all FTL travel and communications centering around small ships.  Piracy, scavenging, exotic ports of call, treasure planets, sarcastic teammates, weird aliens, and spaceships crewed by cowboys, ninjas, pirates, clowns, and any other cliche I can think of.  Pixie and her crew are already well defined to me, and stealing spaceships and scavenging precursor technology sounds like a hoot.

Problem:  I don't think a space setting is very relatable.  Pixie has almost no regular kid problems.

Second idea:  Cyberpunk.  I don't think anybody has done early teen cyberpunk.  There is a whole lot of potential there.  A giant, endless city under a smoke-choked sky.  I get to use my "All We Wanted Was To Make You Happy" crazy robot idea.  Weird people, weird crimes, and most importantly, goofy 80s and 90s futurism weird, which is hilarious and fun.  Cyberspace.  Fake magic.  You know the saying 'Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic?'  The Embraced have taken advantage of that to make themselves feel like wizards and witches and elves and all that.  I get to put Emma Dark in an orphanage, which while not the standard child experience should give her enough connection points.  While Pixie craves adventure, Emma is driven by curiosity and rebellion.

Problem:  The world itself is literally fairly dark, even if Emma's adventures will mostly be fun, and it's a damn shame wasting Pixie and her well-developed characters that friends are telling me they like.

So.  Your thoughts and preferences?

The Reason Why


I guess there's not much point in keeping this a secret anymore.

The odds of there being another Supervillain book any time soon are low.  I am learning more and more what a miracle it is that the series got to finish.

It's not my willingness to write, and it's not the fan reception.  You people are beautiful, and you buy every book with gluttonous fervor as if you understand me for the writing god I truly am.  I love that world, and there are plenty of characters to write in it, even if I'd like to space things out with the kind of exotic weirdness that is my first love.

My publisher is a mess.  'Stealing my money' a mess.  I cannot be sure they're going to ever pay me again, I'm going to be consulting a lawyer when I get Heartfelt's book finished and have that emotional room, and I'm never going to send them another book.  The problem is, I've talked to agents and no publisher is going to touch a book that Curiosity Quills can make even the most laughable legal claim on.  That is any book in the Supervillain world.  Until my publisher closes down, and hoo boy are they obviously on their deathbed, I can't write more of those.

Has this year and a half process of my publisher disintegrating, getting no support for them and having to fight again and again for my royalties been stressful, depressing, and interfered with writing and my whole author schtick?  Why, yes.  Yes, it has.  I resisted telling the public because I felt at first that it was unprofessional to air my publisher's dirty laundry, and then because it would interfere with getting the thousands of dollars they still owe me.  I've run out of patience on both of those.

I don't know who my next publisher will be.  I've been told there's no point in shopping for an agent until I have a new book ready to go.  I'm writing the second to last chapter of A Rag Doll's Guide To Here And There, so that will be soon.  Celestia only knows where things go from there.

So, that's what's been happening.  I was going to ask a very important question of you folks, but I think I'll put that in a separate post so we can put this behind us and focus on the positive!

PS - Yes, I'll need beta readers in a few weeks, but wait for it.  A cross country trip is going to slow things down a bit.