And YOU'RE WELCOME for making you hear Hubert Farnsworth's voice in your head just then.
I managed to nab the chooseomatic.com url from some guy who had been squatting on it for the past few years. The five-character difference between that and the current chooseomaticBOOKS.com url may not seem like such a big deal, but it makes me so happy I could just pee.
I'll eventually be transferring this site to the new one, but have no worries -- I'll maintain the old url and have it redirect, so any bookmarks you have goin' on should still work just fine.
So my good friend Muffy recently unveiled the cover art for her upcoming book, The Sail Weaver. It's pretty great. I'm really looking forward to reading it, but above all, seeing the cover sent me down this long, weird rumination about the nature of inspiration, the creative process, and how much outright stealing might be just the right amount.
See, sometime early last year Muffy sent me an email with a very brief description of a new book idea she had, which essentially boiled down to three words: wizards in space. It sounded awesome to me. In fact, for the next four or five hours until I got home from my day job, it was all I could think about, and I came up with a whole bunch of fun ideas for the premise. I called her that evening, and it turned out that she already had this huge, sprawling universe pretty well worked out. We talked for a while about a couple of plot points, overall structure and stuff, and that was that. I was happy to be of service as a sounding board, and went merrily on my way.
The thing is, MY wizards in space story wouldn't let go of me. It was completely different in tone from what Muffy was working on, so I couldn't even pitch her my ideas to see if she wanted to use any of them. But in the shower, on the stairmaster, staring at the ceiling at night while trying to drift off to sleep... all I could think about was wizards in space. For a while I was obsessed with the idea of doing it as a webcomic (working title: WIZARDS IN SPACE), then I thought it would be a perfect Chooseomatic. Lately, I'm starting to see it as a standalone novel. Basically, I'm still utterly in love with the project. But I can't get myself over one little thing.
I totally and completely ripped off the idea.
It's not that I think Muffy has the market completely cornered on space wizards (um, Obi Wan Kenobi? Hello?). And it's not that I think my story would take anything at all away from hers -- seriously, my entire springboard was really just three words, and one of those was "in." If I saw that idea on a movie poster or somewhere I'd have no qualms at all about coming up with a riff on it. But the fact is, my friend came to me and said "What do you think of this idea?", and every ounce of my psyche responded with "IT IS THE BEST IDEA EVER, I WILL DEVOUR IT AND SUBSIST UPON ITS FLESH OM NOM NOM."
So now Muffy's The Sail Weaver is almost upon us. Will my own wizards in space project ever see the light of day? Who knows. I still really like my ideas for it, but they're all intertwined with this inner nugget of thievery and betrayal. I'm sure Muffy would be happy to see me do it -- if I called her, she'd probably even help me work out the plot.
They say that creativity is the art of disguising your influences. Looking back over this post, maybe that's something I need to work on?
My wordpress site got pretty buggered up there with redirect attacks (damn you, timthumb! DAMN YOU.), But after a lot of researching and scanning and deleting and rebuilding, it is now safe once again! If any of you got a creepy warning about suspicious behavior while trying to learn more about pink bunnies or the zombie apocalypse, I'm sorry about that. According to google, though, no malware was distributed through chooseomaticbooks.com. So I feel okay about that.
The good news is, not only are we back, but I TOTALLY QUIT MY DAY JOB, meaning this is what I do for a living now. I'm turning my full attention to the next book, and am happy to report that the THRUSTS OF JUSTICE is nearing completion. I'll make a big anno0uncement when I have a release date (don't hold me to this, but maybe early April?)
If you're anywhere in the Seattle area, come find us at ZomBcon at the SeaTac Hilton! Day passes are only fifteen bucks, and we're in the dealer room all weekend, hawkin' wares and signing books.
Special thanks go to author Katie Cord for letting us share her booth -- be sure to check out He Left Her at the Altar, She Left Him to the Zombies, her short story collection of women dealing with the zombie apocalypse and other various issues.
Hit "read more" to see photos!
Just wanted to put up a quick post in memory of Michael S. Hart, who passed away on Tuesday at the age of 64. Michael pretty much invented ebooks (waaaaay back in 1971, the same year I was invented), and is the founder of Project Gutenberg, which has made tens of thousands of volumes of history's best literature (and 3 ugly ones) freely available in digital format. Upon perusing his obit, I also discovered that he was born in my beloved Tacoma, WA.
“eBooks are the very first thing that we're all able to have as much as we want other than air. Think about that for a moment and you realize we are in the right job." --Michael S. HartRest in peace, man. And if any of you feel like you'd like to honor the guy's memory, go download some awesome free books, or even throw a couple of bucks at PG.