(This is a tentative new cover.)
[link to excerpt]
Pages: [Not yet recorded]
Word Count: 81,960
Publishing Date: July 2021
Goren would be perfectly satisfied living life off his father’s savings, content with no real aims or goals. But it seems that life has other plans for him when, one night, he dreams of committing a grotesque murder as a blue-grey monster. His fractured brain puts him in denial until a friend tells him some horrible news: there’s been a murder. A horrifying, grotesque one that’s put the city on edge. When Goren immediately starts recognizing the details, he jumps into panic mode. What happened to that monster? And what about that dream? (TW: gun violence, f*ck appears 3 times written as f*ck, this is a horror book)
Sum it up in one sentence:
Goren has a dream where he commits a murder, only to discover the next day that the murder actually occurred.
I have been challenged to write horror! In many ways, this feels like my first novel, but the timing isn’t going to work out that way. This work was my first NaNoWriMo project, originally drafted in November 2013. I you’re unfamiliar, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, [link]) is a challenge to write 50k words in the month of November. I lost in 2013, ending at 42k words. But I gained a draft to edit, a new genre to love, and a challenge for next year.
My friend Madison had challenged me to write horror, not long before NaNoWriMo began. She had seen certain darker elements in my writing, and thought I should try horror. So, since NaNo was approaching, I took her challenge. I outlined the idea around 11:50 the last night before NaNo began, diving in at (approximately) midnight. The second night, I was up around three am speed-writing the second chapter (almost 8k words in one sitting). When editing it later after NaNo ended, I could see by my spelling and grammar that I had written it at three am. But I still loved the rhythm of the words. The majority of the original draft was either written near closing time in my university’s library or in the (now repainted) Westmo dorm basement. Since originally drafting it, I have updated the first chapter, added a lot to phase three, counted how few people survive (2.5, the golem being difficult to count), and edited it several times. I’ve since rewritten and replotted parts two and three. More people survive now, which feels weird when you compare it to the original.
Goren’s song? It’s a bit of an odd choice. I kept going back and forth on this one, to the point that I actually considered not giving him a song. But I’ve made my decision. Some of the lyrics don’t quite fit, but it has the right sort of energy to it. The mysterious we in the lyrics fits him and Chi very well. His song is Skillet Collide. You can [find it on youtube here].
Original tentative cover, since I enjoyed designing it:
I did ultimately decide against this cover art. Although I enjoyed creating it, I am well aware of the fact that it looks amateur. I still think it has charm, so I’ve kept it on my website. I tend to get a mix of comments on my book covers, ranging from strong praise (“That’s genius!” “I love it!” “It makes me want to look closer”) to troll-worthy cynicism (“Oh, Pah-lease!” “Just get a professional to do it; obviously you can’t”). When someone wants to bash one of my books, the cover usually gets hit first. I don’t think my earlier prototype was necessarily bad, but I started thinking about ways to do it differently. I do fan art as a hobby, and a new style I was experimenting with really inspired me with a different idea that was too strong to ignore.
[link to excerpt]
[link to amazon page]