Monday, July 9, 2012
Monorama now available!
Now, because a lot of people consider themselves to be writers, it's probably harder now than ever before to see your work in print, especially if you don't network well or you don't write in a mainstream style. That fact and the fact that it's become easier than ever before to self-publish has led a lot of writers who would otherwise have found it difficult to fulfill that ambition to do it on their own terms. This necessarily limits distribution to levels professional publishers will only take notice of with uncommon success, so it's a game of vanity, and something I've been reluctant to come back to after my Cloak of Shrouded Men experience, when I paid to get a book printed and got nothing but the book in return.
Now, I don't have a problem writing books. I've got two unpublished manuscripts and another sitting at Hall Bros. Entertainment. It's getting publishers interested that's the problem. I self-published Shrouded Men in 2007 because I had a hard time believing that I'd find any traditional publisher interested in a story about superheroes. At that time, it was the only long-form fiction I'd written. Between 2009 and last year, I wrote three more books. I had attempted to write a complete novella, which became "Leopold's Concentration" as featured in Monorama, in the spring of 2005, before I'd finished what became Shrouded Men in 2006, but my concentration wasn't strong enough. I had already been writing Star Trek fiction since 1999, and that's something I still do today, but that continued to be the best extent of my writing experience, until I launched Sigild last year.
I intended it to be a showcase for my experimental writing, and only started branching back into more ambitious projects many months later. Last fall I nearly published the existing material through Amazon's CreateSpace service, which allows writers who feel up to handling all the publishing decisions on their own to be published completely for free. I bailed when it seemed like too much work. I kept writing, however, and the more material I amassed, the more confident I began to feel, and finally I turned back to the site with a collection I was more confident about, pulling a lot of work together that I hadn't previously considered including besides all the material I myself owned from Sigild.
Naming the collection proved more difficult than I originally anticipated. The original name can still be easily be found on Sigild, but I quickly came up with alternatives, and would have gone with one of those if I hadn't stumbled on the word "panorama" while pulling this collection together, modifying it to reflect the singular perspectives that inhabit each of the stories in the book, even in the ones with multiple characters. It sounded a lot like Futurama, but different enough that I doubt anyone will readily make the connection upon reading the title Monorama, which is a title that works on so many levels, not the least on an ironic one, because this is a book of seven distinct parts.
I decided, ultimately, that I had to make this collection available for the same reasons I launched Sigild in the first place, as a way to get my writing available, to help illustrate in digestible pieces my inclinations as a storyteller. It serves, in essence, as a primer for everything else I want to say, but can easily be enjoyed for its own sake. I didn't write any of these stories with the intention of including them in a collection. Several of them, actually, were submissions to Hall Bros. anthologies, with "Lost Convoy" the first of the longer works I tackled as proof to myself that I don't need to write a novel in order to write something longer than a few pages (most of the stories featured in the "Lost Books of Tomorrow" mosaic are, in fact, about a page each, and some of them aren't even that).
I can't really give you any more of an idea about what to expect in this other than what you can find on Sigild itself, because these are stories meant to be understood best by being read. You can't talk about writing like this without analyzing it, because the style is the same weight as the intent, which is to dig deeply into narrative potential. You'll meet a lot of singular voices in Monorama, like I said. You may not understand what that means until you start reading.
You can find it available for 10 bucks at Amazon in paperback form. You can get it for three bucks as a Kindle edition.