I might as well get the interruption out of the way by making it the title. I’m going to tell you about a dream I had last night, and how it pertains to my journey as an author.
Picture the vending machines at your local supermarket. You know the ones I’m talking about, especially if you have kids. They’re the ones they put in the lobby, with the prizes taped to the window that your children will never win, because the business plan behind these miracles of technology is to suck the remaining change out of your pockets.
I was facing one of these machines. Inside the little plastic bubbles that filled the machine were varying amounts of cash; small and large denominations, all American currency, very obviously not fake cash. And all I needed to do was put a quarter in, which I had plenty of in my little wallet. So I popped one into the machine and when I opened the little plastic bubble that came out, I found enough money to settle at least one of my outstanding balances, and placate the other.
You could say that the dream has to do with gambling. But then I remind you that all of the bubbles inside of the machine had varying amounts of cash. The machine was a well researched investment opportunity, with very clearly defined rewards that while not always consistent, made it obvious that the only foolish thing to do would have been to not wisely use the small amount of money I had to make the larger amounts that were being offered.
The second book of the Nicodemus Dean series is close to completion. I only have to purchase the cover, which will hopefully not take much longer for the artist (Still Dora) to make the changes to so that I can finally put the book out there for my readers. In the recent month of October, I was debating on whether or not I wanted to continue this series. Mystery is not my first love, after all, and a new concept that would undoubtedly find a home in the urban fantasy genre had formed in mind.
The challenging part is that the story revolves around a concept that will be challenging to present to the readers. It also evolved from my desire to turn one of my fanfictions into an original piece, but that is also presenting its own challenges. As a rule, if the story is becoming too challenging for you to tell, you can’t expect the readers to stay with you.
Another bit of inspiration came about as a result of the endless criticism over movie sequels. I was reminded of the fact that for the first time, movies are having to compete with television now as new technology and increasing budgets give networks the ability to present complex stories that are compelling, visually stunning, and appeal to a broad range of audiences without having to pay the ticket price to endure the off putting distractions of the movie theater. We are in the era of the binge watcher, where an entire series of stories can be devoured in a single sitting, and all because we as the viewer want to follow the lives of these characters that we grow attached to.
The most successful writers right now are the ones who have created a long running series. Rice with her vampires, Patterson with Alex Cross, Sue Grafton, Anita Blake, and more recently, Jeff Cohen.
Nicodemus Dean could very well be my Alex Cross. He is a character that I hope people will connect with and want to learn more about. The more I explore ideas that I would need to use Nicodemus for, the more it makes sense to me that the small investments I make in things like the book covers for his series could lead to those big prizes, just like the ones in my dream.