Friday, June 3, 2016

A New Tale Begins...

Sometimes there are so many stories in my head that I feel trapped, knowing that it's a bad idea to start on a new story until I've finished the ones I've already started, but desperate to play with the new ideas that are rattling around in here.

Sometimes, the story I'm writing is dark enough that I need an alternate place to go to keep my sanity.

Sometimes, my attention can only be held if I have a couple of projects to bounce between to keep things feeling fresh and interesting.

Today is brought to you by all of those 'sometimes' conspiring together at once.

The whole time I've been working on Traitor's Hope, I've also been working on my YA Urban Fantasy Parody Victoria Marmot *Average Teenage Girl.  If you've been following the blog since September of last year you'll probably recognize it as "my other 'fun' project" from many references over the past few months. It's the 'easy' writing compared to Traitor's Hope for a number of reasons. For one, it's not the follow up to a book that's already published and well enough liked by its readers for me to feel some serious pressure to NOT MESS THINGS UP. For another, it's a parody, it's supposed to be silly and often is and it's a great relief compared to some of the darker places that Traitor's Hope can wander.

And the more I write it, the more I enjoy it, and the more I think it works as a web serial. So... I'm finally releasing it as a web serial, starting today.

But there's a bit of a catch... I'm using the story as 'bait,' if you will...

Another thing I've been contemplating for a long time is starting a Patreon account. What is Patreon you ask? Well, it's a very new school method for a very old school idea. It's a patron subscription service that allows people to support artists and their work for as little as a dollar a month in return for various rewards and insider insight into the creative process. It's like an 1800s drawing room had sex with Kickstarter and subscription publishing and this was their glorious love-child.

Here's my Patreon video for a bit more information:

So, for my particular brand of Patreon account, signing up to support my writing endeavors (for as little as $1 a month) gets you exclusive access to the Victoria Marmot web serial. That story won't be published anywhere else until each book (oh yes, it's going to be a series if all goes well, with at least three books) is finished on the Patreon site. So, when book one is finished on Patreon it will get spruced up for ebook and print publication and go out to the public. Meanwhile, book two will still be exclusive to Patreon until it finishes... rinse and repeat.

There are other perks to being a patron as well, including advance notice and insider access to my other writing projects. I will notify my Patreon patrons about things before I notify anyone else, even my mailing list.

So, if you like being the first to know things it's a good place to be.

But a warning, Victoria Marmot likes to curse, like, a lot... so... while she's 17 at the moment (though she's likely to be 18 before the end of the series) and thus the series is technically YA, don't be fooled into thinking that it's going to be all kittens and rainbows. Those who are easily offended by harsh language might wish to avoid the series entirely.

Why this particular story? I enjoy writing it. It cracks me up. I may be the only person who finds it funny, but every time I work on it it brightens my day. If you read a lot of YA fantasy, or Urban Fantasy of any age category, you are more likely to find it funny, I think. It pokes fun at a few major series as well as some lesser known ones and some of that comes from a place of love (Harry Potter and Discworld jests all come from a place of deep love) some of it also comes from... let us say, critique (can we say Twilight?).

The characters are all original, but a few of them are heavily inspired by the characters of the aforementioned series, all for the purpose of exploring and satirizing the ideas that go into a lot of YA fiction.

I truly don't know if anyone else will enjoy it as much as I do, but it tickles me to write it, so I'm making a go of sharing it with the world and it's a great balance to the more serious Gensokai books (Blades Edge and Traitor's Hope) in terms of my mental state.

Why as a web serial rather than a book? Well, it lends itself well to the web serial genre by being a bit gritty and rough around the edges anyway (did I mention that Victoria is a big fan of cursing?). It's the kind of writing that shines through a lack of polish to begin with. That doesn't mean I won't want to polish it up eventually, but it means that I think people will appreciate the rawness of it along with the humor and weird twists that are popping up here and there. (Meanwhile, if literary fiction is more your thing, there's a good bet you won't enjoy this series.)

When I ran Blade's Edge as a web serial I always thought that it didn't quite fit that method of publication as well as it could. It was originally written to be a novel in its first draft, then the second draft was the web serial and it's third draft it was back to novel again. I feel strongly that it shines best in novel form.

That's not true of Victoria Marmot. Her story is pulpy and episodic by nature, the twists and turns happen in ways that make nice bite sized chunks, and the world she exists in will do well with brief vignettes and encounters rather than in depth explorations.

Or so I believe anyway.

So here we go: Chapters 1 - 3 are open to public consumption, but everything that follows (and Chapter 4 is already posted) is for patrons only. If you're interested in checking it out please click here.

And remember you can support the Patreon without reading the web serial if you like. You'll be notified whenever a chapter posts just like everyone else, but you are by no means obligated to read them. In the meantime, you'll still be supporting my writing in a very real and important way.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and I hope to see you over on the Patreon site!

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