||[Dec. 17th, 2011|08:26 am]
The Edge of Propinquity
I've been 'writing' for 25 years, but it took The Edge of Propinquity - and Jennifer Brozek - to make me see what writing was.|
In 2005, Jenn invited me to contribute a serial horror story to her new online magazine. It sounded like a challenge and an opportunity, one I wanted to take on. I don't read much horror and don't watch many horror movies, a fact I don't think she realized - but the most horrific thing I could think of was, at the time, the centerpiece of Vorare.
As a serial, I wrapped it up at the end of the year with my protagonist's death. That's when Jenn asked what happened next. It hadn't occurred to me this would be a multi-year gig, but I had some ideas. I learned a good deal about editorial requests and taking direction; all in the spirit of getting a better story. We talked back and forth for a couple of days, until I knew how to bring someone back from the dead. Gordon Velander stuck with me another two years, getting grimmer and more bloody as time and tide went on.
We dropped our share of deadlines, Gordon and I. We missed cues and I missed tons of opportunities to make the story as good as it could be. We were younger and rawer, lazier and unsure. But we learned as we went, until in 2009, our partnership ended. I was tired of horror, and wanted to turn my hand to a suburban fantasy.
Solstice had promise, but was born at an awkward time. I felt the steam slacken around month six and learned some solid lessons about planning and outlining, about characterization, about the difference between a cautious, normal decision and an exciting, dramatic one. By the first quarter of the second year Jenn and I both knew Solstice was ending - and I was afraid my welcome was, too.
In August, I pitched Idolwood.
I put more work into Idolwood than into any project I'd been on before, because I had come to understand how much the Edge and Jenn deserved. They inspired me to be my best, to work harder, to try something bigger. At first it made me proud to be a part of their work and their legacy; and today, I feel both blessed, humble, and sad to see the end.
There are a lot of people to thank for the last six years. Saan Saturday, Erica Lira and Anastasia Storer, the first who made me believe I could make a go of it. Jen Bryant, Kerry Patterson, Jennifer Richards, and Aaron Dellutri; for coming to the party with questions and enthusiasm.
To all the authors I've come to know, respect and sometimes love over the past six - Ryan Macklin, Rick Silva, James Sullivan, Nick Bergeron, Seanan McGuire, Kaolin Fire, Alina Pete and Peter Ball. To Lillian Cohen-Moore, for keeping us in new music and on target; and to Amber Clark, for her phenomenal photography and lasting contribution to Idolwood's look and feel.
A special thank you to my wife, Leanne, who can't always stomach my stories but who never leaves my heart.
And to Jennifer Brozek, for steering the ship through nightmare country - for her silver hand and steel will - for being the one I can't thank enough. I'll see you come the end of the world.