So it’s funny, at least to me, that I have posted a sample from my novel because it is a novel I never intended to write. It isn’t that, you know, I never WANTED to write a novel but…
Shit, let’s be honest here, I NEVER wanted to write a novel.
Nope, never had any interest in writing a novel. Part of that never is that I am just in love with short stories. I love the challenge of trying to create an emotional impact and tell an interesting and engaging story in a smaller space. And ok, I will be honest, the idea of writing a novel scares the hell out of me. I write short fiction, so I dunno that I could write a novel and keep it both interesting and on point. It’s just something I never had an interest in. Sure, I love to read the things but to write them, pfft, what are you crazy, here?
Ah, but then I met Pete Anders, or rather, he met me.
In the mid-nineties some friends and I did the ‘zine thing and in the course of that I wrote a story called Night’s Dancer about a crazy hillbilly who hates everyone in the world save for the one woman he lost to death. When he’s pushed by some locals in a Halloween prank he plops a pumpkin on his head, grabs a pitchfork, and goes out on a murder spree.
It was a simple story, a silly story but I liked it. More than that, I liked Pete. Pete who suddenly had a voice in my head. As ‘zine gave way to ‘zine Pete became a columnist and grew more and more personality and suddenly I knew I had to follow up his first tale with another. Pete just wasn’t willing to go down without a fight.
So I wrote a second story for Pete, a tale of his rise from the grave to take revenge on those that had killed the woman he loved adn who had betrayed him and set him up. During the course of it all though he changed and lost his taste for bloodshed and gladly welcomed death.
Ah, but Pete wasn’t done yet, and after a time, I felt he had one more adventure in him, and perhaps a chance at redemption, so I wrote a third story. This tale focused on Pete’s journey into and through Hell, and on a journey to the truth of why he is still roaming around on two legs. Unfortunately for Pete, at this point in the saga his head is all pumpkin, he is mostly rotten, and the axe his brother used to put him down again is stuck for good in his noggin’. It ain’t easy bein’ Pete.
I left the stories as a novella, and with a cliffhanger. Pete, perched at the beginning, or perhaps end, of a great war that would decide the fate of all existence. I liked it. I felt it was a fine place to end it.
Ah, but then I got to feeling guilty. Poor old Pete, just hanging around, waiting for a war that’d never come closer. And there it was, slowly but surely I began the fourth and final, and decidedly longest chapter of the story. This last part is what made it a novel, and what made it something special for me. I was able to hone the story, to expand it, and to delve into some mythos ideas I had hinted at but never really did much with. With the fourth part there came a lot of revisions to the novel, the greatest being after I read the Lord of the Rings trilogy and realizing that, well, it’s a book about a war, my book, so, uh, shouldn’t the war be, well, bigger? Indeed it should be. Characters got expanded, villains changed, and bit by bit it came together.
Voila, a novel by the guy that never wanted to write one.
And I love it.
With all my heart.
I am sure I could work on it and work on it and work on it, expanding and shaping it more and more but, for now, for me, it’s done. Until and unless I find a publisher, I won’t touch it. Should I have to, I will take a look at it for publication, but if that happens I will hopefully have someone leading my hand at what works and what doesnt. This version though, all two hundred plus pages of it, are my version of this story. Less than five people have read it, more like three, or two, I forget which, so it remains largely unread but, it exists, on this very laptop, truth be told, and it’s my hope you’ll get a chance to share it one of these days.
Let’s hope it’s sooner than later. Pete can use all the friends he can get.