It’s been a while.
Truth be told, I’ve been really busy with life since Paycheck Euphoria was released in September of 2021. My typical writing schedule after the release of a book is mostly set – I almost always take a month off from writing anything, even so much as an outline after the work that goes into producing a novel. I do some marketing but I don’t really write anything new for at least a month. According to my computer’s creation dates, that didn’t exactly hold true. I created the outline for the historical novel I’ve been writing since then back on September 18, 2021, so sounds like I took a good two weeks off at least. Putting together a novel, then sewing up all the bits and bobs it takes to publish it oneself can take a lot out of a writer, so that decompression time is critical. It’s very likely that I started so soon afterwards because I was so incredibly enthused about the subject matter.
Now here I am, almost 17 months later, and I’m still enthused about that novel. And I’m still writing it. It’s gigantic, by the way, probably destined to be the longest novel I’ve ever written in my life. Unfortunately, that also means it’s not likely to see completion prior to the end of 2023 or later, if I’m honest with myself. What does a self-published author do in the meantime to keep his past works in the mix, to keep that selling machine going?
I started thinking of ways I could throw some Bridge Chronicles type content out there. Another Tales from the Bridge Chronicles collection? The only problem with trying to add to the Bridge storyline is that the end of Paycheck Euphoria brought me to a very specific spot in the future timeline. There simply isn’t any more “time” to fit a full Bridge adventure in between that story and the one that’s coming next (yes, I do actually have the end of the Bridge series planned out). If I wanted to do something in universe, it would have to only peripherally involve Bridge. I had wanted to write a Christmas story, but again, I couldn’t fit one into the timeline.
What about all those other characters that inhabit the universe who might have some compelling content? And that’s when it hit me. The Excavator. Shel. I wrote the short story that ended up in Tales From the Bridge Chronicles, Volume 1 back in 2011, but I’d always intended to use Shel for future stories. The concept of excavators fascinates me, virtual archaeologists plumbing the depths of the deceased’s online life for money, or information or just to provide closure for the survivors. Now that I had a character, I had to have a format.
Along comes Kindle Vella, and I have to admit to being skeptical about it. I don’t have a problem giving away parts of the story for free: after all, that’s how Under the Amoral Bridge got its start in life. My concern was more about how readers have to purchase “tokens” which sounds like worst of mobile phone gatcha microtransaction bullshit infecting literature. To be honest, it may end up being exactly that. However, it does offer episodic content with the ability to later package the content as one novel.
With that, I had my idea. Hiss, Whistle, Dead: A Bridge Chronicles Mystery is going to be released on the Kindle Vella soon-ish. I started the outline today and with any luck, I’ll get a chance to write it in the next few months. Keep watch on this space for more details.