After consultation with my muse, prime reader, and partner, who fortuitously are the same person and my fiancée, I’ve decided to retool my series, The Stream. Although I like the books, I felt the writing could be tightened up, and more importantly, the marketing approach needed to be redirected toward its audience.
When I wrote the first book, there really was no genre for the book, except, tangentially, YA Fantasy Fiction. That caused some issues, because 1) it’s not like the vampire, wizard, warrior, zombie fare typically associated with Fantasy, and 2) it’s not targeted for kids. Certainly, there are elements of each of those (except … shudder … vampires) and there’s nothing in the books that would be inappropriate for those 12 years old or older, but still, it’s an adult series. It’s no more a kids book than Stephen King’s Firestarter was.
By book 3, the whole series finally came into focus and voilà, it’s not really fantasy per se at all. In fact, as I’ve mentioned, the whole series is more visionary fiction, revolving around spirituality, the planes between dreams and reality, life and afterlife, and the infinite vastness of the multiverses.There are furry dragons, mythical creatures, made-up beings, retooled zombies, as well as themes and beings from Christianity and Hinduism. Plus, owl dragons for the win. But it’s not fantasy. Half the story lines take place in the present-day Virginia, and the first book is rich with dreams that take you to early 20th-century America. A warning: you may not want to go to early 20th-century America. (See Ku Klux Klowns.)
M used her amazing intuition to channel the titles for me once I got stuck. I must say, I’m impressed, as she was able to hone in on precisely the right energy for books 2 and 3, despite the fact that she hasn’t read them yet and had no idea what they’re about. Gotta love when the Universe (whom I call God for convenience and the All for accuracy) sends you precisely what you need, even when you’re too stupid to know you need it.
And so, The books currently named Discovery, Awakening, and Emprise will be renamed. I hope to find an agent and traditional publisher for the works, but if not, I’ll do my own thing — no, this time, I’ll just follow (our) intuition.
Book 1: The Changeling (the angel born)
Book 2: Grandfather Time (the battle begins)
Book 3: Mastery (the great emprise)
Book 4: Gods We Are (to the All and back)
Book 5: It Ends, So It Begins (the next generation)
I’m not sure what the series will be called–it just won’t be The Stream. In total, the series is about The Journey Beyond this mortal plane, except I think that’s kind of a corny and pretentious title for a series. I’ve already revised Discovery as The Changeling, and await M’s feedback. I need to weave in a few things in book 2, while tightening the language. (I took approximately 10 pages of fat out of book 1 in revisions.) This is a Spirit March, as M described it, mine and the books’.
In the books, 12 year old Charlie and Robin meet and discover they can walk through the world of dreams. Moreover, they learn that plane is no less real than their waking world. At the same time, Charlie’s 85-year old great grandfather, G’pa Joe, is becoming increasing lost in his confused world of dreams and memories. But all is not what it seems. G’pa Joe knows what he’s doing. Indeed, only he really knows what’s at stake, and Charlie is his only hope of making it back home.
Book 3, Mastery, is the one I care about. It’s also the longest to date at 160,000 words. (Book 1 is 115,000 and book 2 is 118,000.) This is where the teenaged Charlie and Robin’s mastery of their spirit marches, and the Stream, are the only things standing between life as we know it and utter destruction of the multiverses. However, for them, it is only the beginning of their new selves–of their journey beyond this world.
For the time being, Discovery and Awakening are on sale, but I’ll probably slash the prices to $0.99 at some point if I don’t pull them. After I finish working on Jeanne Dark and preparing to send out queries for The Brooklyn Trace, I’ll get to Awakening. The work never stops.
I hear you, All of you, again, finally.