It’s been months since my last post. So I figured, now that there’s been another book release, I should make an update. I guess I need to provide some kind of explanation—where have I been for all this time? Why no informative, funny blog posts? What about the secret workings of the underground writing laboratory? Well, if you just want the nitty-gritty, the lowdown on what’s going on with my writing, scroll down to the row of asterisks. I might start to bore you.
So I’m riding around today, running, driving, enjoying the sunshine. And it’s a wonderful change. Because where I’ve thrown my imagination, with The Snow, is a cold, dreary, hopeless world. It’s nice to see the spring.
And what’s more, now that I’m starting the final book in The Rain trilogy, I know there is an end in sight. Not that I haven’t enjoyed writing the journey, but sometimes, I feel just like the reviewers who hate my book—why would I want to read a hopeless, dark, book about barely surviving? Filled with death, and cannibalism, and every other kind of problem humanity could amplify in a dystopian setting. Well, I have to admit—there are times when I feel this way too—like I can’t continue to write the same dreary landscape and emotions and voice because it’s draining. But the reason I do keep it going, despite those times, is because I think there’s a sublation going on in The Rain trilogy. So what the hell’s that?
Alright, so to the reason I don’t have time to write more blog posts—I’m in two grad classes on top of teaching full-time. I love all of it, but it consumes a lot of time, especially the time I’d rather spend writing stories than writing blog posts. And during my classes, I’ve listened to some interesting discussions, particularly on philosophy and its history. I was intrigued enough to consume the entire History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell in a month. One of the ideas that comes up quite often in class, particularly in regard to Hegel, is the sublation. The part in the dialectical process of becoming when a thing negates itself, and then, finally, becomes a new whole, incorporating the negation within itself to achieve a closer, more truthful version of totality—or something like that. And as much as I identify with the readers who see The Rain as repetitively dreary and hopeless, I think I keep writing because there is a sublation happening with the characters in the story—and it’s their view of humanity. Woah there, too deep. It’s just a young adult zombie story. Don’t get all pseudo-deep on us.
Yea, it is a young adult book. But damn it, there are no zombies! The face eaters are people, just like you and me, and they sometimes take this drug—it’s like methamphetamine. And they need to eat, and food is pretty scarce in a lot of places, so they don’t mind eating people to get by.
Okay, so they seem a lot like zombies. Call them zombies. But either way, they have a different perspective on humanity. And so do Tanner and Russell. They reject many of the same parts of the veneer that the face eaters do. Negate those aspects of how they’re “supposed” to behave and think. But—they also seem to incorporate part of their negation in a new perspective. Something totally different when compared with how they used to view life, yet their view is not entirely the same as the face eaters. They are in the dialectical process of becoming human beings, coming from—well, human beings.
Does that mean they’ll both live in the end? I’m not going to say. But it does mean that I love writing about characters that choose to neglect, ignore, or downright assail the classical notions of becoming, of being, of humanity. Because I see the human race as dialectical too. We’re still evolving. Especially as regards our empathy. I think it’s one of our most important attributes. And I have absolutely nothing science-based to say that backs up why I believe this.
So I’m going to hang in there—and not only that, I’m going to bring it in this last book. Stephen King says in his book On Writing, that when you come to your keys, bring it. Come hard or don’t come at all. I’m going to come hard. Just as hard as this journey has been on the characters, and how hard it’s been sometimes to write about conditions so hopeless and dreary.
I’ve felt that I need to pay tribute to some of the books that have shaped my tale. They are non-fiction, and so much better than my fictional effort to portray hardship. I say this partly in hopes that you’ll check out the following books, and partly because their influence on me, my own personal philosophy, and my writing of this trilogy is so great. They are: firstly, Endurance by Alfred Lansing; Secondly, In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick; Thirdly, Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer; Fourth(ly?), River of Doubt by Candice Millard; and fifthly, Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. I can’t help but also mention The Ship and the Storm by Jim Carrier. And The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger. I can’t count Steven Callahan’s Adrift because I haven’t finished it yet.
I guess I do wish I had more time to do blog posts. I feel like there’s very little expectation for coherence in them, or at least, that’s what I tell myself, since it’s not a formal publication. I can rant and rave on any kind of nonsense I want. Philosophy, non-fiction survival stories, clarification of face eaters as non-zombies.
****WHAT ABOUT THE NEXT BOOKS?****
As the school year finishes out, I’ll publish the final book in The Rain trilogy. You can read along as each part is published, or get the final book sometime in June. Hopefully early June.
So what will come after The Rain books? I don’t know for sure, but I absolutely love writing in the post-apocalyptic, dystopian genre. So you can bet there will be another story that has The Rain readers specifically in mind. Some parts of my brain are already brewing this story.
Because I don’t teach during the summer, I’ll have a lot more time to write. This means those of you who have hung around all this time waiting for my sorry ass to write Darkin 3 will finally get it. To be honest, I never expected the overwhelming interest and support from The Rain books, and it has sent me in my current direction. I am somewhat a genre-hopper, but with post-apocalyptic and dystopian, I feel as if I’ve hit my stride. That doesn’t mean I won’t eventually return to fantasy, horror, and the rest. I even have a new adult romance sitting in a secret directory on my computer…