Caller 107

I’m thrilled to announce that Curiosity Quills has signed a publishing contract with me for Caller 107No release date has been determined at this time, though it will probably be in the first half of 2014. (I know that’s a wide window but at this point it’s a best guess situation.)

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Anyway… sometime around 2006 or so (i’m guessing) I had a very bizarre dream. I’m still to this day not sure what triggered or if it means anything. When I awoke from it, it had the unusual quality of being still in my head as if I had just watched a movie. For reasons I do not entirely understand (for I wasn’t too serious about the writing thing back then) decided that since I remembered it, I should write it down.

So, as soon as I was up I started typing and didn’t stop until I had as best a scene-for-scene transcription of the dream, weirdness and all. This produced a story that was about 22,000 words in length. I thought it was a bit quirky and was not sure what to do with it, so it sat.

It sat on my computer until, quite by chance – and the miracle of surviving two new PC’s – I found it and started reading it again. Since the time I initially wrote it and when I found it a few months ago, my writing had (at least I like to think so) improved quite a bit. I sat down and went through it with my newly honed attempt at editing abilities and lo and behold got it down to a nice trim 20k even.

With Division Zero signed and on the way, I decided to send this one over (at the time I called it “Natalie”) and ask if they might have any interest in this old short story I found and touched up. Well, as it turns out, 20k is too fat to be a short story. Alas, its also too anemic for a Novella. So, the nugget that would become Caller 107 wound up in this limbo of being too big and too small at the same time. Fortunately, James at CQ gave me a lot of positive feedback about the story, and Lisa must have seen something as well as she asked if I would consider bringing it up to novel length.

Well, “Novel Length” I said to myself… How hard could that be?

The first manuscript I wrote, Virtual Immortality, came out 255k at the first draft (since down to 206).  Division Zero hit 98 without breaking a sweat. No Problem I can do this. Well, VI and Division Zero had the fortunate circumstance of both being in the genre of my comfort zone as well as outlined in detail. I wrote Natalie (the short story that would become Caller 107) based on a strange dream as quickly as I could type without losing any of it. No outline, just a stumbling walk from bed to desk and a blur of flying words.

No outline, no plan, just a quirky little story about some kid having a really bad night. I did the only logical thing I could think of. I had to think outside the dream box, as it were, and create a bit before it, a bit after it, and stuff a little in the middle. I must say, being an outliner by nature, working without a net was definitely an experience.

Fortunately, I think it worked. So much for nets – though I do think I will continue to be more of an outliner.

Oh, and Happy T-Day.

-m

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