So, as some of you may know, I’ve recently (well, six months ago) decided to inject Vampires into the plot of The Reality Engineers books. "What a neat idea,” I thought at the time. “This’ll be cool and original and smart. Not like those other Vampire stories — cough, Twilight, cough. But as I wrote out the Vampire plot details, and as I made a place for Vampires in the story, I noticed that my own Vampires were betraying me. They were becoming really “emo” and getting all “dramatic” and “gothic” on me, and I had to fight to keep them constrained to their part of the story, to prevent them from “gothing the whole thing up.” Which is hard to do. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not possible to inject Vampires into a story without that happening to some extent or another . . . without there being some radical element of the Vampire plot-line that tries like hell to take over the main narrative, and will have to be beaten back with the ugly stick of authorial intent and forcibly detained by the narrator, if you want the rest of your story to not be all about the vamps. Also, when I injected the Vampire mythos into my books, I had to come up with my own unique Vampire ideas — I so was not going to use Stephanie goddamn Meyer’s style of vamps, and Buffy’s style of vamps were too “spiritually”-based for my taste; and, Anne Rice’s style of vamps were just to dependent on magical woo-woo to make them work. So, I decided on scientific Vampires. A retroviral agent that rewires your internal organs so that you have to live on living blood, you live practically forever, and you’re practically impossible to kill, as well as have super-strength, super-keen senses, and super-speed, reflexes, and constitution, and of course, you get pale skin and fangs to feed with. That’s Vampires, right? And if they themselves embrace all that gothic stuff and “woo-woo” crap as their culture, then so be it, right? Right! Well, I did that, came up with all that, and you know what those little bastards (what I lovingly call my characters when they’re disobedient) did to me? They got together in Clans and Factions — like in Vampire: The Masquerade — and one of those Clans worships a fallen Elder God (alien entity that has tentacles and is all Lovecraftian to the nth degree) using weird technology designed by this other Clan, who are descended from Leonardo da Vinci and are connected to the Priory of Sion. More woo-woo, in other words. Short story made shorter: Vampires are a pain in the ass. My advice? Avoid them. They’ll act all nice and obedient during the outline stages of your novel, but will then show up on the printed page and wreak havoc on your nicely planned synopsis. Just . . . just don’t trust ‘em, man. Never trust e Vampire. Ever.
Well, folks, here we are, with a brand new look and feel to the site, and a brand new, empty blog for starting over afresh with new ideas, a new attitude, and a new day dawning on us all. This blog has seen a lot of action these past few years (well, from me writing on it, at least), and I figured it was time to change stuff up a bit, what with the rewrite of The Reality Engineers novels going on and whatnot. Speaking of which, here's an update for you.
Progress On The New Version of The Reality Engineers
First things first: The new version of the story will combine material from all three previous volumes into a single volume, which will have its own unique story borrowed mostly from the story of the first book, but with more characters, events, locations, concepts, premises, and ideas thrown into the mix. Hence it will also be about three times as long as the original first book was. It's going to be about 400k words when finished. Any sequel that comes after this will be about the same size, and will also have its own self-contained, large-scale story to tell, unlike the previous two "sequels" to the first book. There is also a new title: While "What Happens At Con Stays At Con" was catchy and cute, it failed to describe the story truthfully. So, I went with something more specific, more science-fictiony-sounding, and funnier, too (funny as in overblown and goofy, and kind of kitschy): "The Reality Engineers And The Technowizards Of Fandom Defense Force" Yeah, it's a huge mouthful. I might change it again, to something like "The Reality Engineers And The Technowizard Defense Force Versus The Invaders From Planet Brood" or some such. I haven't really decided yet. Oh, and lest I forget: There's new cover art, too. I couldn't rehire Jeanine Henning, the brilliant artist who did the covers for the firs three edition of the first three volumes, so I decided to wing it on my own using Photoshop CC, DAZ Studio Pro 4.9, some of DAZ 3D's exquisite pre-made 3D models, and a few 3D modeling designs of my own that I developed using Autodesk Maya 2016. Also, my friends over at the Dragon's Rocketship, via their support, criticism, and constructive help, really came through for me when it came time to expose the artwork to the world and see what everyone out there thought of it. They helped immensely with fine-tuning the details and helping the art evolve to become all that it could be. So, here it is:
So, there you have it! The new cover art (though the title can change at any time). Now for an update on where I am with the rewrites. As you can see from the purple progress bar above, I'm right at 211,583 words in Scrivener, out of a target word-count of 400,000. Like I said, it's a big story and I need lots of room to be able to tell it. CreateSpace's calculators have assured me that it will still all fit in one volume, plus it has yet to be edited . . . so I'm confident we'll see some reduction in size once that's done, as well. The biggest issue I think I have with it is that it seems to move kind of slowly; I need to work on pacing, making things happen quicker . . . that, and keeping the plot moving. But these are small worries; the overall project is coming together really well. I'm very happy with it, so far, and I'm sure you'll like it to, once you get a chance to take a crack at it, Dear Reader. So — until next time — see you on the flip side!