124,612 words. 35 chapters. Over 18 months of production. A cast of THOUSANDS...
Ok, maybe not that last part. But the first draft for the Sons of Sludge sequel, DAUGHTERS OF DECAY, is finally complete!
Why did it take so damn long, though? Especially since the first draft for Sons of Sludge was done in about nine months, and edited in two? No, I did not take a year-long vacation in the Bahamas. I'm not even sure what there is to do in the Bahamas. I'd probably end up Netflixing in the hotel room. Here's a couple different reasons why progress has been so sluggish:
First, I've simply had less time. For S.O.S., I only had two children, but now I have three. I also had two days a week set aside for writing, where now I only have one. With two days in a row, you can kind of piggyback off the momentum of the previous day. But when a week goes by between sessions, the creativity train will have long been derailed. You have to start the process anew.
Secondly, I've just lost steam. Writing an entire novel of storyline and character development, living in that world for so long as you tweak them and pull them, mash them down like clay and reshape them until you have just what you want... And then going right into another novel with those same characters, continuing the same story. I love Zaul's narrative, but sometimes finding even more ways to illustrate his inner struggle with wanting to ravage woman and eat humans is tiresome.
Well, at least the hardest part is over. But if you think you'll be getting to read D.O.D. right away, you had best check yourself before you wreck yourself. Did you see that number at the top? 124,612. That's way too much. The last one was about 101,000 words. And I know sequels can be longer, and since I have no publisher I can do whatever the hell I want. But trust me, it needs to be pared down. I also have the annoying yet persistent notion that the ending is too convoluted, and thus needs to be rewritten. Ugh.
But enough complaining about doing what I love to do, which is create! Lemme tell you a little bit about this baby:
I wrote this in alternating narratives, both Zaul and Genny. It gave me a chance to stretch my gender point of view, and hopefully to positive effect. As the title might tell you, this story gives more of a glimpse into the female world of Hybrid Reanimates. I've also written a quasi-sex scene (PG-13 level) for the first time ever. That was, um, interesting...
And not to give any spoilers, but the body count is considerably higher in this one, nearly tripled from S.O.S. I figure when you have an entire building stuffed full of flesh-craving former humans, and armed officers that hate them are standing guard, casualties will be tallied. This is, after all, a "zombie" horror novel. Would you tune into Walking Dead if three episodes went by and not one face was chewed off? Didn't think so.
More updates to come as they occur. My new projected date for release is this summer, a whole two years after Sons of Sludge (has it been that long already?). After editing and proofreading, I still have to format and get cover artwork done. I want it nice and pretty by the time it hits your hands and eyes. And if you're up for the challenge, I just might need some beta readers when the time comes. Peace out.