No Spoilers. That’s the first thing I’ll tell you here. This post will not give away any plot points or tell you what becomes of any characters. The point of this entry is to tell you about the process of writing the book.
1) DEAD INSIDE was the fastest book to write of the books I have authored. RISE took just a hair over a year. AGE OF THE DEAD took four years, despite being shorter than RISE. This is because there was a long period of writer’s block in the middle where I had no inspiration or clue about how to continue the story. DEAD INSIDE was different because I knew from the day I started it roughly how it would end. More on that later. But the length of time I took to write it? About 11 months.
2) DEAD INSIDE is between RISE and AGE in length. Really it’s just about 5,000 words longer than AGE, which isn’t a lot. That’s half of a Novella longer.
3) DEAD INSIDE’s ending is radically different from what I originally planned. When I conceived of the idea for the book I mapped out the beginning and ending right away, but as my characters sprinted headlong toward the ending, I realised that it wasn’t going to work as planned. I rewrote the ending almost entirely, and moved my original ending back a few chapters, leaving it as a climax, but not the BIG climax. The ending I rewrote is far better.
4) DEAD INSIDE’s characters are my favourites out of all the published books I have. Note that I said ‘published books’ and not ‘all the books’. I love the characters in DEAD INSIDE, and I think they have a life of their own, and I miss them now that the book is done for me. Authors will sometimes tell you that the characters they write surprise them. They are correct. These characters frequently did things I was not expecting. I know, that sounds weird, since it’s my hands on the keys, or gripping the pen, but I tell you it’s the truth. Going back and reading over the scenes later, months afterward, I saw that of course they acted that way.
5) Writing DEAD INSIDE was intense. Not only because the book itself is intense, but because I was trying a new style of writing, and writing about many new characters. Discovering their attitudes and ambitions, their loves and hates, was as fun for me as it will be for you. I’m like a combination of a Discovery Writer and a Plan Writer. So for me, even though I knew where the characters all needed to be at the end of the book, I loved finding out each day how they were going to get there.
6) DEAD INSIDE is out very soon. It comes out from Permuted Press in March. As is usual with these things, the eBook will probably hit first, then the trade sized paperback. Shortly after that I believe the Audible version comes out.
7) Editing DEAD INSIDE was one of the most painless experiences of my writing career. I finished the first draft and compiled it all, then sent it away for editing. Months later, when it came back (my editor is excellent, and in high demand, and thus very busy), my editor Felicia had very kindly corrected a host of minor issues in grammar and tone and even a few small plot problems were pointed out to me. I fixed all these things and did a once-over of the altered manuscript. I then noted one plot point that I had forgotten to resolve, but that Felicia pointed out was quite important. It took a day or so of pondering, but I got it fixed up by adding a few sentences to a chapter that was my original ending. When I sent it back she looked it over, tweaked a few very small issues, and we were off to final. I consider it a triumph that it took less passes to get it into that version, the coveted Final Draft, than it had with either previous book.
8) I incorporated the main body of a short story I wrote some years back, called 100 DAYS OF RAIN, into the book. If you’ve never heard of this story, I was going to publish it as an ‘alongside’ story that paralleled RISE. Significant changes were needed to incorporate it into DEAD INSIDE, but I feel that the book is deeper and more complete with the addition. 100 DAYS was never published by itself, and never will be now. It is part of DEAD INSIDE now, and the book is better for it.
9) Looking back on DEAD INSIDE, I am very proud of it, and I think it is the best thing I have written so far. It is focused like nothing else I have done. It is brutal, funny, bloody and exciting. It made my editor stop talking to me for a little while. It delves deep into the characters. I cannot wait to see reviews pop up, and hear peoples reactions. I want to hover over people as they read particular sections, just to see how they react. I want to hear from fans and friends when they finish it, to see if they liked it.