So, hey, how’s it going?
Typically when people return from long absences from their blogs, they go into a litany of reasons/excuses of why they were gone, then say how they promise they’ll do better to post more frequently, and it just sounds like a friend/lover begging for forgiveness for being a jerk. (And hey, who hasn’t been there?)
But I’m not going to bore you with a long list of things that I’ve been busy doing over the past many months. And I doubt you were too torn up about me being gone (especially when I’m on some eight million podcasts a week).
So instead, I’ll update you on what’s going on right now.
After releasing Yesterday’s Gone: Season Five and Crash, Sean and I got right to work on our next novel, a standalone called 12 which I originally conceived in the 90s.
The story is perhaps our darkest, and that’s saying a lot!
12 opens in the aftermath of a mass shooting. Then, immediately after the prologue, the story rewinds 12 hours leading up to the event, and follows 12 people’s lives in what will be some/many of their final day.
Who lives? Who dies? Who is the shooter? And why?
The idea came from back in the 90s. Someone who had been one of my closest friends had been shot dead by her estranged boyfriend. A little while after the fact, I coincidentally became friendly with the first police officer who had arrived on the scene, who was telling me about one his worst calls ever (prior to knowing I knew the victim.) It was all quite surreal.
After that stories about shootings, domestic and of the mass variety, seemed to stick out a bit more in the three papers I read every day. And one thing I noticed back then (though the media does a slightly better job of it now) was that the media ALWAYS seemed to care more about the shooter than the lives he took.
Yes, I said he, because it’s almost always a he, isn’t it?
Why did he do it?
What dark secrets was he concealing?
What else had he done in his past which should’ve tipped someone off?
But the victims were barely a footnote in history. Their lives an asterisk.
Once I’d become a newspaper reporter and actually covered a few such tragedies, I understood a bit more why victims don’t get more press. Victims, and their families, deserve privacy and respect, not to have every sordid detail of their life churned out like a pasty substance for the parasites to swallow down their gullets.
Yet, sometimes the loved ones left behind want to see the victim get some attention. To be recognized as MORE than just a statistic, a nameless victim of a crime, but as a person who had loved, lived, and was cut down before their time.
Over time, a story started to formulate in my head. It wasn’t based on or inspired by any particular incident, but rather an amalgamation of the many MANY crimes that happen every single day.
I wanted to write a story about our last moments, our life choices and what we do with them, regret, fate, and the randomness of life and death.
It’s not an anti-gun story. I think the gun debate is rather complex and simplistic arguments do nothing to advance either side of the argument. While I think a lot should change surrounding gun laws and mental health, and lobbyists who profit off of a culture of death and dependency, this isn’t a political story at all.
It’s a character-driven story with some of our most complex characters yet.
So, yeah, that’s what I’m working on now with Sean Platt.
From there, we had planned to write a first in series monster hunter sort of book, but now we’re thinking we might start Yesterday’s Gone: Season Six early. Since it is the final book in the series, we want to spend a bit more time on it to really get the ending just right. Endings of series have a lot to live up to, and a lot to deliver.
And since I get asked about this more than ANYTHING ELSE I AM ASKED, Yesterday’s Gone: Season Six will be out on (or before) July 4, 2015.
RETURN TO COMICS
If you happen to be someone who has followed me since waaaay back in the day, when I was a cartoonist, then you’ll be happy to learn that I’m doing a new weekly comic strip. I was hired to do a comic strip for the TruDog dog food company. Normally, I have turned down client work, but:
a) I’ve wanted an excuse to draw again, and this is once a week, which I can handle a lot more easily than three, five, or seven days per week like I used to do.
b) I was guaranteed complete artistic freedom. The strip is what I make it. Though, of course, I can’t get all dark and stuff like I do in my fiction. But that’s OK. Not everything needs to be dark and gritty and realistic. In fact, sometimes we need an escape from such stuff and to have a place which reminds us of more carefree days.
So I decided to draw a comic about a dog and a cat, which I think pet lovers (and people who are annoyed by their asshole cats, like me) can enjoy.
You can find the comics here.
That’s it for right now.
Glad to be back.
And sorry it’s been so long.
I promise, I’ll post more, and …
Wait, stop that, Dave! Just. Stop.