Sign up for my newsletter and be the first to hear about exciting news, upcoming projects, and giveaways!

Archive for March, 2022

Creating Worlds Again.

During the upheaval of the last few years, I was one of those who was fortunate enough not to have to report to work while on fire.  So I didn’t.  I focused on keeping myself, my children, and my partner alive and healthy.

But things within my personal sphere of control are settling back into order now, and once again my creative faculties are operating at full speed.  Unfortunately, for a lot of us there’s no going back to life pre-2020 (or pre-2016, really), and this is true for me not only on a large, world-spanning scale, but a smaller personal scale as well.  I’ve learned from my experience writing and selling the Arcadia Project books that working solo isn’t my best mode.  Unlike most writers, I’m an extrovert.  Extroverts are as poorly suited to novel-writing as introverts are to sales or customer service.

This is where social media — for once! — served me well a couple of years back.  Although I deleted my main Twitter account some time ago, there are things I miss about being connected on that level.  The benefit to having 8,000+ followers was that when I needed something or someone, I could yell out the specifics, and that something or someone would materialize pretty quickly.  Such was the case when, frustrated by my inability to work on a certain story without a clearer idea of the details of the bizarre building it took place in, I decided to hire an actual architect to make a digital model for me.  Little did I know, one of my 8,000 followers happened to be married to an architect, and the rest is… well, not history yet.  Very much the present.

In the process of designing a bizarre subterranean palace that actually made a sort of sense — for a definition of sense that includes a bottomless void right outside and spies that watch from inside the walls — Erik the Architect slowly but surely became a fan of the world he was constructing the edges of.  Our conversations became less about architecture and more about this place our minds had both been spending so much time inhabiting, and eventually a one-off job evolved into a creative partnership.

Erik is passionate about the stuff I’ve always struggled with: the visual and spatial parts of worldbuilding.  He worldbuilds in terms of settings: the history of structures and cities, their function, their character.  I think on the more zoomed-in, personal scale, in terms of people and conflicts.  These are areas where he frequently draws a blank when trying to create story.  Between the two of us, we’re damned good at creating fantasy fiction.

What we’re working on right now has no deadline, and we like it that way, so I won’t tease you further.  We’re both working on this part-time for now, and it will be a long time before we even decide how or if we want to approach marketing it.  But if you want to be the first to know when there’s anything to show, do keep tabs on my web site and maybe sign up for my newsletter, too, if you haven’t already!

So Proud.

Over the past year or so, my daughter has become very serious about becoming an artist, primarily a character artist.  Her work is astonishingly vivid and alive; not just “for a child” but in general.  Here, take a look at what she left lying on the table after school yesterday:

Three black and white sketches of quirky comic characters.

For context on why this is an absolute triumph in a way even she doesn’t fully understand, please see this blog post from 2013, and join me in getting a little misty-eyed over the whole thing.