2018 is gonna be yuge. But first, we gotta get there.
Smith & Jones: Young Americans
In January, on David Bowie’s birthday no less, I had hoped to deliver to you my short story Smith & Jones: Young Americans. If you recall, this story was previously published in 47 – 16 : Short Fiction and Poetry Inspired by David Bowie (Volume I) in 2016. But because I truly loved this story and these characters, I wanted to publish it by itself for maximum exposure. (I also very rarely write short fiction, so if I waited to collect more short stories of my own, I’d be waiting a very long time.)
A few months ago, I had a wonderful photo shoot with my friend Zac (model and actor) and my friend Brittany (makeup artist) to develop a concept I had to capture both the black queer aesthetic of the story and the David Bowie influence.
The photos, friends, were hot. I cannot wait to share them with you.
But complications arose with my cover designer, making it impossible to meet the January publication date.
I prayed about it, so I am not worried. But I do realize this means I am essentially back to square one in terms of cover design. I know there are options–there are great designers on fiverr that I could reach out to. But I don’t want someone who just wants a gig. I want to work with an artist who understands the importance of the black queer aesthetic and black gay fiction.
So I am going to take my time and find the right artist who can make this vision happen.
Yours in the Bond
So on Christmas evening, not long before Doctor Who regenerated, I finished the first draft of Yours in the Bond. Just so we’re clear: that does not mean the book is close to being published. It means that the first round of edits is underway. I am not editing for eight hours a day–I am editing when I have time after work and on weekends. After that is done, I will have a second draft.
At some point, I will recruit beta readers to give me feedback on plot, structure, etc. My beta readers won’t usually alter the course of the story, but they will usually check me if I am off base. Like if I use a cliche or a trope that I could rise above.
Then of course is the cover design. The good news is that I have a concept. The bad news, of course, is that I need another designer.
Concurrent to all that, I’ll be developing a promotional campaign (including another cool photo shoot–yay!) that will lead up to the book launch.
I am aiming for September 2018 to release Yours in the Bond.
I know you are already trippin’. I know you are spazzing out. But you’re gonna have to chill out. I MUST give my editors, beta readers, cover designers, models, makeup artists, and everybody else time to do their jobs, just as you all gave me time to write.
If there is some way that the timeline gets bumped up, then I will let you know!
Message from ‘The Legba’
This year, I wrote a one page play called Message from ‘The Legba.’ I am not saying much about the plot because I have been thinking of expanding it to a full-length play. However, it will get performed through Outwrite DC and Theatre Prometheus, here in DC. I will share that information as it becomes available to me.
Blood of a Dark Nation
Realistically speaking, Blood of a Dark Nation probably won’t be complete until this time in 2018, for a Fall 2019 release. I know. It sucks. But now I have a system, and if I know I will have extended periods of time in the fall/winter months to go into retreat and write nonstop, that allows me time during the rest of the year to NOT panic while trying to be a writer and all the other things I do.
I’m already downsizing those other things, by the way, so it’s possible I’ll have more time sooner.
One reason I was stuck in a quagmire with Dark Nation 2 was that I found myself writing something that was plot-driven, and not character-driven. It began to feel mechanical, synthetic, and not at all fun.
I had an idea that took the focus off the Razadi and onto one of the original vampires, and it felt good. I may continue down that road.
Other Dark Nation Projects
There is a character who makes a cameo appearance in Birth of a Dark Nation who was always meant to have a subsequent role in a future novel, and it’s very possible that this story may take precedence over Blood of a Dark Nation. If we’re talking character driven stories, he is speaking to me more than the rest.
I’ll leave that there.
I just wanted to put in writing the various things I’ll be working on in 2018. Ask me questions about them when you see me–hold me accountable to what I said I would do. Yes, yes, the writing process is the writing process and I appreciate that you all give me time and space to do that.
I’m trying to make Danielle Steele moves. She published seven books in 2017. Seven.
My name is Rashid Darden. There’s a million books I haven’t written.
But just you wait. Just you wait.