So did you enjoy the Sparkle Sparkle? I hope so. I’m really proud of the shirt and I’m really thankful for how it all turned out. Kayla Lynn did a fantastic job and once again, you should check her out at @abstractazure . She’s bad ass.
But we’re not going to talk about T-Shirts today. (After inserting the random Redbubble link here for your viewing pleasure. Go on. This will still be here.) I want to talk about why I made it and where it’s going to go from here.
About three years ago I attended my first IFWA meeting. IFWA stands for the Imaginative Fiction Writer’s Association in Calgary, where every month on the first thursday of the month they meet up and do business and have authors read works and be critiqued. It was an interesting process, and being eager and crazy I volunteered to have my story read for the following month.
Only I hadn’t written a story yet. I really had to rush to get something in. In my desperation, an idea formed in my mind about a man named Johnny and his daemon named Stevie Y. As the story developed this world came to me in regards to the cloud today. Today lots of people store information on the cloud. What would it be tomorrow? A conversation with Ron Friedman on my podcast gave me the thought that the digital cloud today would become the archeology of the world tomorrow. We live in a unique time where everything is seen and recorded from start to end. Whole lives could be watched and recorded by future generations to come.
I love that idea, but I also wanted to add some love to video games. I love classic video games. Final Fantasy VII, Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Brothers, and double dragon was the entertainment I grew up on. So what if I could take this archeology concept and present the book in a way that felt like a video game? The Matrix meets Indiana Jones or some such. Ideas trickled in my head and I wrote a very rough draft to be read the following month.
To my surprise, people liked it. I had the crowd laughing at one scene in particular involving a count to five and a gun to the head. It made me think that I was on to something.
So I kept going. I had a simple, crazy, kooky story that flew out of my head. wrote it. I had a lot of input from people ranging from my sister to Sarah Johnston and others that gave little suggestions to carve the story the way it needed to go. This story was incredibly fun to write as well, as the first draft was cobbled together in six weeks. The next draft took longer, and the following draft took longer. After that, I thought it would be ready and presented the story to who was then a friend. She encouraged me and initially edited the process. I owe a tremendous debt to that individual. Hopefully someday I will get that opportunity to repay it.
It was then that the real work started to happen. I found an amazing editor in Ellen Michelle and an amazing cover designer in Lance Buan. Ellen won me over with her passion. Ellen is an incredible professional and is a very top notch editor. She is someone whom I would work with again anytime, anyplace. She made me better. I know she made me better when she took one of my favorite scenes in the book and not only made it better, but solved a problem in a future book at the same time.
I also finally got the chance to work with Lance Buan. Lance is one of the most talented individuals I’ve ever had the chance to work with. He is just an incredible, as you will see at the bottom here. I was very lucky to get the chance to work with someone this gifted. I am blown away by the cover and can’t wait to show you more, as he designed the interior as well.
Lastly, I want to give a special thank you to Adam Dreece. Adam has been a mentor and friend and he’s been gracious with both his time and latitude. He was the original model for the villain in the story. Obviously the Adam in the Cloud Diver is much different than Adam Dreece the man, but if it wasn’t for Adam tweeting about Mr. Biggleworth, I never would have come up with the kind of villain Johnny needed in Book one. So Adam, thanks for your kindness.
It’s nearly ready to come out.
Here’s the cover.
Look for the Cloud Diver to be available on all digital platforms everywhere in October. I can’t wait for all to see this. I’m really proud of this.
This book is about me. I have no problems being regarded as a podcaster. But I wanted to prove that I could put together an amazing book for everyone to enjoy. I feel like I accomplished that here.
I hope you’re as excited as I am.