Well we’ve reached the end of Dust of the Earth.
I actually finished Dust about two years ago (give or take, I don’t like thinking about it too much because it reminds me of how little I’ve done afterwards). Since then I have self-published Dimestore Wuxia and am about to publish its sequel. Dust was a massive undertaking for me. I’d had the original gem of the idea that Dust would later grow out of back when I was seventeen. In a month’s time I’ll be twice that and in the interim, in amongst studying at university, working various jobs, trying to become a stuntman, trying to make a feature film, meeting Katie, getting married, moving to a new city and all that video-gaming, movie-watching and more video-gaming… I was always in one stage or another of ‘writing my novel’.
True, for most of that ‘writing my novel’ consisted of the odd feverish hour here and there, with wide berths of everything else in between. No real progress was being made, new ideas for directions came and went and the early versions of the characters spent inordinate amounts of time just hanging out in bars flirting with each other.
So it’s fair to say that after all that time I’m a little sick of them.
For the two of you still here, I’d like to say that I acknowledge how that must sound given the way I ended Dust two years ago. I will return to this world someday, I love cyberpunk too much to simply turn my back on these characters and their stories completely. But right now Dust and any possible Dust sequel is going to be a big undertaking and I want to have a few more novels under my belt before I’ll feel up to the task of writing something as big as Dust again.
Which I think says a bit about me as a writer. I have a hardcopy of Dust sitting on my bookself next to novels by ‘real’ authors and even Dust looks pretty slim. 116,000 words isn’t that much compared to a lot of other works, but for me, to fill that much space with an ongoing plot, developing characters and let’s be honest, lots of fights is a lot of work.
My plan at the moment is bam out some smaller stories that I can actually get out without all the birth pains of the last one. So far, producing one small, pulp science fiction novel a year is a decent rate, but it’s still too slow for what I want. Only time will tell if that’s a good plan, but I’m not going to know until I’m well past the point where I can stop, so right now the only way is forward.
Starting on Monday I’ll be releasing the first Dimestore Wuxia novel: Big Trouble in Carsontown in more or less the same format I released Dust. At some point over the weekend I’ll put together some promo art, give the Dust banner up the top some company at last.
I hope you guys enjoyed Dust, I genuinely do. It was my first genuine attempt at turning this thing I’ve always loved into a work that others can experience. It’s not perfect and I don’t expect to be spared criticism just because it’s my baby, but if that was my first step into the world of publishing and being an independent author I think it was a good one.
Now if you don’t mind I’m going to take a very deep breath and take my second step.