Friday, November 08, 2013


Pausing at an apartment building, he caught a whiff of German soldiers – their equipment or food or something gave them a distinct smell – then he heard their gutteral language. His hate grew once more, the beast within him twisting and clawing at his soul. Let me out. Let me deal with them. Let me have their flesh, it growled.

Cezar pushed it down, again. The fierce joy of the slaughter and dominance raced in his veins a moment and then he calmed. Kill them all and the war ends, he thought, but who can kill them all? And the more they know of you, the more likely they'll find something that will actually hurt you. Only in secrecy can you exist, there is safety only in being unknown.

Cover rough
A couple of folks have asked about my next book, and yes I'm working on one right now.  The effort of editing, formatting, finishing art for, and publishing a book is pretty exhausting and takes about a month of my time or more, so it interrupts my writing significantly.  I can't really focus on writing one book while working on another, unfortunately, its like swapping over to another set of train tracks and that transition isn't easy.
Now that Snowberry's Veil is on the shelf, I am back to writing.  The present project is actually an old one that showed up here first.  Way back in 2008, I tried out National Novel Writing Month as an exercise.  The idea behind this is to write a novel in one month (not as hard as you'd think) just to complete it.  The quality of the book is irrelevant; its an exercise to complete a work.
So I took a one-chapter concept I'd started and posted it as the first part, then started expanding on it.  The concept was a simple one: what if a werewolf were caught in one of the death showers at Auschwitz?  From there the book began to develop as my work always does, by asking questions.  Why was he there?  What would the Germans do about it?  What would the allies think if they got news?  Where would the werewolf go next?
The pitch I'd give a movie studio would be something like this: What if a werewolf were in WW2 Poland and the Germans hunted him to figure how to make more, to create an unstoppable berserk werewolf batallion?
The actual story is significantly more complex, and in the considerable amount of research I've had to do, I've learned amazing things about Poland and all of it has given me much more respect and affection for the nation than ever before.  I particularly am having fun with some of the many Polish legends and fairy tales.
I have a lot of these one or two chapter starts.  I come up with an idea, play it out in a few pages, and let it lie.  C.S. Forrester used to do this with ideas for his books, he likened it to dropping a log into a lake and letting it sit, he'd pull his idea up every so often to see what had grown on the log since he looked at it last, because a writer never stops writing.  Its always in the back of your head, you're always researching and learning and developing ideas even when you aren't actually typing.
If I added up all the book concepts I have, I suppose I have two or three dozen lined up.  I'll never live long enough to write them all, which I suppose is better than running out of ideas like C.S. Lewis did, and was miserable for it.  Some aren't good enough to ever see the light of day, but I hope most of them do.
In any case, the book, tentatively titled Life Unworthy is about half to 2/3rds done.  I have to take regular breaks from it because dipping yourself head first into the horrific mire of Nazism and the misery of occupied Poland is not an easy thing.  I don't have an estimated time of release for this one, its going to be done when its done.  Its a five-year project so far, I guess, although for three of those years it just sat on a shelf and I'm only now really devoting full time writing to it.
And since I can't write more than a few hours a day, it takes time.  But it is developing rapidly.
Life Unworthy, a historical supernatural suspense novel.  Werewolves and Nazis and Polish Resistance, Oh My!

1 comment:

mushroom said...

Very cool. Part of your concept -- the military capturing a werewolf to figure out how to make more or "weaponize" them -- is echoed in British B-movie from a few years back called "Dog Soldiers". It was probably the only part of the movie that was believable.

This sounds like it will be a pretty good read. I like, too, that you are emphasizing the canine olfactory sense.