From September 1, 2013
I sit here in my living room trying to gather my thoughts as I prepare for the release of my second novel. I sense familiar feelings that remind me of my first novel release two years ago, but therein hides a level of understanding and maturity that balance the excitement and anxiety. Trust that I do feel anxious, but it's not the same as before. Before, I felt that I was ripping my heart out and placing it in front of the world to not only see, but to criticize and judge. Back then, I had something to prove to the world and most of all to myself. The anxiousness I feel now is more anticipatory. There's a lot of work that goes into self-publishing, and with only 5 days left, there's still quite a bit to do. I know that once the official release is complete, most if not all of this stress will abate. I no longer have to rip my heart out and bear it to the world, because it's still on the table from last time. These stories are a part of me and that roadway of revelation has already been paved. In other words, the hardest part is over. You know who I am, you know my work, and whether you like it or not is completely your preference.
One of my favorite musicians said it best several years ago, in the understanding that all art is subjective (i.e. you can't please everyone), that no matter the receiver's reaction to art, he or she will learn truths about themselves. In other words, if you like my work, great. If you don't like it, great as well. Either way, you as the receiver (or reader in this case) will learn about yourself in some capacity. Maybe you find that you don't like fantasy novels, or maybe the notion of Greek Mythology is completely boring to you. This notion has helped me to keep an understanding that my work is a service both to myself and the reader.
Since my first novel two years ago, I've gone on several journeys of self discovery and have matured as a result. What I discovered has made me more confident in who I am and how I present myself to the world. Many people have asked me how this second book compares to the first, and I tell them every time that The Deluge is way better. Not to insult the integrity of Eyes in Atlantis, but in the subsequent years between writing the two stories, I grew emotionally and academically. If anything, I've just learned to write better. But also, I became more confident in pouring my soul into the work. The first story, in my eyes, has hesitation and stays in a story telling safety net. Still a great story, but with the second I remove the barriers that held me back in the first book.
Many of you know that I'm close to completing the third and final book in this series, so mentally I'm beyond The Deluge. In five days, I will get in front of an audience and speak about a book that I finished writing nearly three years ago. To help prepare, I've been on a writing hiatus and have focused primarily on the second book to remember what it's about. In my reflection, I love this second story. I can remember when I wrote certain parts, and can even remember my mental and emotional state. There are scenes where I address the ideas of death and sorrow. Digging into my own bag of fears and broken dreams, I had attain certain states of mind to even allow myself to be that open. Wine helped in those instances. In the same respect, I reflected on my own close relationships as the mold for many of the characters in the book. The connection between my protagonist and his older brother was based greatly off of my own relationship to my brother. In writing those scenes, only an open heart and sobriety could be allowed to convey their bond.
I find that this second story is very special to me, and it's my hope that you, my readers, will feel the heart that I've poured into it. I look forward to presenting to you The Deluge.