Endings and Beginnings

Well, I’ll be honest.  That took a little longer than I expected.  The last post here was right at the end of summer, and in it, I was lamenting the end of summer and the return to work.  I was worried about my ability to continue our writing at the pace we had enjoyed over the summer.

But in the fall, my mother’s health took a turn for the worse.  She had been battling advanced breast cancer for a while, but as the fall came, her condition got worse very quickly.  I lost my mother in November, and to say that it has been hard is a gross understatement.  I thought I might be more ready to talk about it here, but I don’t think I am.

Suffice it to say, it was and continues to be difficult.

I tried writing during this time, but even with a solid direction for the novel from Joe and being close to the end, I just couldn’t get enough coherence to make a go of it.

As the new year came though, Joe and I were ready to return to writing seriously.  It felt good to get back into things, and quickly we finished up our supernatural adventure novel.  We were stoked to have it done, and sent it off to our pre-beta readers.  They read through chapter after chapter and the feedback was amazing.  Joe and I were feeling pretty great.

Then, they got to the ending.

You could say that the ending we had did not work for them.  We could tell this because their complaints about the ending were mixed with death threats.  There may have been actual torches and pitchforks.  And that was from my brother.

They weren’t wrong though.  When we really looked at the ending, we saw that we had been writing a page-turner filled with mystery, and then when we got to the end, we turned it into the start of an epic scale urban fantasy series.  Which was not what people expected after reading the rest of the book.  Especially because instead of answering and addressing the mystery we had built, we instead launched into even more mystery.

So we were forced with a choice.  Keep it as is, or scrap the ending and the overall mythology of the storyline and rip out the spine of the story to start over.  We chose the harder path, and for the next three months, we rebuilt the story.  It was the harder choice, but it was for sure the right choice.

Now we have the novel done.  It has been read by our amazing Beta readers, and they really liked it.  But now, we came to the question that all new writers right now deal with:  self-publish or traditional publish.  That is actually a whole conversation in and of itself, and Joe and I have gone back and forth more times than I care to even recount.  But it seems like we have decided we are going to be masters of our own destiny, and go the self-publishing route.

Just not yet.  We decided that the novel is going to sit for a few months.

But Mark, you say, you guys have it finished.  Polished.  Good, even!  Why wait?

Well, hypothetical reader, I am glad you asked.  If we are going to publish this ourselves, we want to make sure that we have as much strength behind it as possible.  So we want to give ourselves some time to establish ourselves in the eyes and minds of readers, as well as learn everything we can about self-publishing.

But in this time, rest assured, we will be busy.  This month, there is a new Hanged Man story coming out, and that is beyond exciting.  It is a story that we are very, very proud of, and showcases some of what we are capable.  Look for Tales of the Hanged Man: The 17 Dice coming soon.

And even better, Gelineau and King as a company, as a business entity is live, and Mark and Joe are ready to do this.  Woohoo!  And even better than that, summer is almost here, and with it, an aggressive writing plan the likes of which I have never seen.  Just thinking about it kind of makes me all tingly.

But my job was to catch you up on the past.  Joe gets to tell you all about the future in his post.  I know, you’re teased.  Tantalized even.

Good.

-Mark

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