It's been a few weeks now since God's Evil was launched on Smashwords. Sales have been low, but that's to be expected. I've done almost no marketing for it. I didn't even have this website until a week or two after I published. My marketing, such as it is, has almost exclusively been to friends on Facebook and scattered Twitter and Instagram posts. In other words, it's not become an overnight viral sensation.
I figure it's time I chronicle the journey that has gotten us here. (By "us", I mean me, and partly my wife.)
Way back in the misty, somewhat hopeful days of 2009 (still dark, what with the Great Recession and all, but somehow still more hopeful than now), I lost my job. Or my job lost me. A little of both, really. At any rate, *poof* went the steady income and time suck. I spent a fair amount of time depressed about this. There were a lot of late night walks around the town, introspection, and, finally, resolve. Since I now had the time, I would write. God damn it, I would write like the wind.
Soon, in late 2009, I was thinking about how poorly vampires had been treated in popular media. Anne Rice, Twilight, Vampire Diaries, and even, to a certain extent, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, had pushed the gothic romance image of a tortured soul (or non-soul) and sucked (if you will) all of the terror out of the genre. In the meantime, zombies were taking off as a terrifying thing that carried the type of existential dread that felt right.
I started writing short pieces to flesh out what the vampires should feel like. I thought about what sort of world would spawn a creature of pure hunger as the apex predator. I also considered how that would would not even know that these creatures existed.
I thought about how we perceive terroristic threats, and how the world can feel like it's turned upside down in the space of hours. I thought about how even given that feeling, it can still feel completely divorced from your actual life, and the scene at the end of Chapter 1 came to me. Scott was created, and then backtracking, Margie. Most of Chapter 1 is different from the original, but that last scene is almost exactly how I first wrote it.
Around that time, Mary Ellen (my wife, as mentioned above) was laid off, leaving us both unemployed at the same time. (Amazingly, we are still married. I count myself lucky on that.) She started going to a knitting group on Monday nights that met for a few hours at Panera. I went along and brought my laptop, some good headphones, and wrote. Every Monday, for over a year.
And things started to take shape, but I realized that I would really need to start plotting it out. Pantsing it (that is, writing by the seat of my) had gotten me almost half-way in, and had helped me develop the characters and the world, but it needed some planning if it was ever going to come to a conclusion.
In the meantime, I got a new job, and then got laid off. I was able to type "The End", which clearly wasn't true, because that was back in 2012. But that is a story for another time.