People that know me know that I have, what I consider to be, a healthy semi-obsession with George R.R. Martin and his “A Song of Ice and Fire” series. Watching “Game of Thrones: on HBO? Martin is the guy who wrote the books on which the series is based. The first three books in the series are the best fantasy ever written.
Martin published those first three books in the space of about four years. Not a bad rate. Unfortunately, the fourth book took something like five years to publish and the fifth took another five (plus) years to get to print. His fans split over the delay and Martin's public relations machine went on an extended vacation as updates on progress were nearly non-existent.
His supporters proclaimed that “you cannot rush art!” His detractors opined that Martin had become lazy, distracted, and had possibly lost his magic touch. As the battle in fandom raged, Neil Gaiman came to his defense and famously told the detractors that “George R.R. Martin is not your bitch!”
Well, I am not George R.R. Martin and aside from the facts that he has sold many millions more books, is a better writer of prose, and is the creator of the world for HBO's flagship series these days, I feel obligated to give my readers, friends, and fans (my Happy Few), an update.
In short, C.S. Splitter IS your bitch.
Book three is Lorena's story from the days before she got to know Tom and even before she met Tuttle and became part of the “Organization.” Many questions about her are being answered in the story and, damnit, it's a good story with a strong, non-stereotypical female lead. Not to be arrogant, but I think you are going to love Lorena when you get to know her—sociopathic tendencies and all.
The release date I originally set was June. This month. Like in the next three weeks. I am not going to make my self-imposed deadline. I am about half way through writing the first draft but THE STORY IS MAPPED OUT. I just have to get it down on paper in a way that people might enjoy reading. It's like a sneeze that just won't come.
I have it all bottled up inside my paltry little brain encased in my bulbous, thick skull. It's a departure from the first two books in style and, of course, protagonist so writing it has been a difficult task and one more ambitious than I had originally imagined.
I am a guy trying to write inside the head of a woman. If you know Lorena, you know that she is atypical and so we share some common bonds (Hey look! Boobies!). But, we are still vastly different and so getting to think like her has been challenging. Thankfully, I have many women in my life to guide me and none are above applying foot to posterior if I get something wrong OR turn her into the common, uninspiring female “heroine” that is all too familiar to readers of fiction.
Men tend to write women poorly and I am trying not to be that guy.
Add to those challenges that I changed careers in real life. My schedule has become one of working mostly twelve hour days, six days a week. Sundays, like today, are recovery time. So, my writing time has been curtailed but that is slowly changing. Thank God for my wife, Mrs. Splitter, who has taken on the bulk of my other responsibilities. She is a rock the like of which few men are blessed enough to share their life.
For the record, I like what I do for a living until this crazy writing dream takes off. When I can make the living I want to strictly from writing, I will probably follow in the footsteps of others and become a total jerk. Some say I am already half way there, so I have that going for me.
I just felt that you people deserved an explanation for my absence, inattention, unanswered emails, and general “Where the frack is Splitter?” questions. I am here, alive, doing fine, frazzled, and exhausted. I am writing what I hope to be my best work to date (of course, I will think that each book I write is the best to date because improvement should always be a goal, right?).
Other, more successful writers might not be your bitch but I am and will remain so. You wanted to know about Lorena? Here she comes. You wanted another book? It's coming. Writers are nothing without readers and none of us should ever, EVER, forget that.
Now, the only question is: When? While another author might simply just tell you “soon”, I will tell you that I am shooting for September and might have it ready for publication before that. My part will be done “soon,” but I depend on others (Team Crayder) to turn out the final, professional grade product. We will not rush this even though my books are far from “art.” My editor, Tricia Kristufek (aka. The Comma Queen) is anxiously awaiting her opportunity to tear my manuscript into colorful confetti and beat it into something readable. Trust me, she is on my case to finish and I love her for it.
Even my alpha and beta readers are sharpening pencils and tongues in anticipation of pointing out flaws in my work. Yes, no one uses pencils these days but that did work for that last sentence, didn't it?
In other news, today is my birthday. The significance people place upon birthdays mystifies me (Look! You lived another year!) but I DO appreciate the well wishes I have received. And if you did not send them then bite me. Nah, you were just busy or forgot as I am wont to do where birthdays are concerned. My apologies in advance for forgetting yours. It's not that I don't care (I DO), it's just that I am absent minded. It gets worse as I get older which, I am told, just happened today.
Last year, when people asked what I wanted for my birthday, I told them pictures of boobs. I am easy to please. To my chagrin, the only one to comply was Serge and while his manories were impressive, it made me feel somewhat ashamed. Especially when Mrs. Splitter found it on my computer. So, this year, all I am asking for is that we all think nice thoughts about one another. Boob pics are optional. Encouraged, but optional. Except for you, Serge.
Getting older sucks, by the way. As a man, we worry. If you find a weird lump on one side of your body, you frantically start checking the other side. If you find the same lump there, everything is fine. We spend time in the mirror looking for signs that the hairline has finally started its retreat. We wonder when we will start needing the little blue pill for a jump start. Kinda looking forward to that, though...four hours seems like a party to me. Mr.s Splitter is not so enthused because it seems she has things to do and muscle cramps are a definite danger at our age anyway.
I am happy to report that my waistline is still the same size as it was in highschool, it just seems to have dropped a few inches lower over the years. If the truth be told, it never was small. It also fills me with nostalgia that I can remember the genesis of each ache and pain I now feel when doing things that used to cause no discomfort. That popping sound? Heh. That's just the knee I injured that season that my team won the championship and went undefeated. It was a very good year.
Someone needs to play that Springstein song here. You know...Glory Days, the one with Silvio from “The Sopranos” on lead guitar.
LOVE YOU GUYS! The new book is coming, I promise. It's not only that I couldn't do it without you, I WOULDN'T do it without you.
PS: Fine. I'll do it...