Monday, March 31, 2014

Nowhere to go but forward

I'm down to the last three or four chapters as of March 28. Last Tuesday, on March 25, I finished the final story that arcs back in time and deals with the greater history of Fable Avenue.

The last leap back is set in the year 1899, far past the glory days of the Old West. The tale expounds on the story of Joseph Pepper IV and his adventure with the Fable Avenue Saga's universe's legendary African-American outlaw Thunder John and his crew called the Brother Dogs. This exploit was mentioned by Joseph Pepper IV in The Ghost of Gabriel's Horn as he recounts to his lover, Theresa Amat, the means by which he acquired the mysterious veil he presents to her as a gift.

Before jumping into the writing of this grand adventure, I took time out to write a chapter dedicated to the origin of Thunder John and The Brother Dogs, which takes place in 1878. Like I mentioned in the last post, the story was gritty and bloody, and I listened to nothing but Wu Tang while scripting it. A short chapter after this narrative puts the reader back in the Old West, nineteen years later. Thunder John and the Brother Dogs are a little war torn. And here's a young Joseph Pepper IV dragging them into a hunt. It felt good to present the story in its entirety. One thing that was added to the mix was an antithesis to Joseph Pepper IV, a rival to his scholarly teachings. This character is in addition to Joseph Pepper's Belloq-esque arch-nemesis Ethan Cassidy (also featured in the story). Joseph describes this new character, added to his rogue gallery, as doing more damage to his own people (black people) than the slave master. A man obsessed with traveling to areas where Joseph has spoken and holding lectures attempting to negating his words. Humorously, Joseph says the man is a shame mostly because he has such an interesting name for a black man. It sounds strong, but Joseph considers him weak minded despite his name. Completing the story put a great deal of references made in The Ghost of Gabriel's Horn, concerning the larger story, to rest. The story took longer to write than I expected, putting me about four or five days behind my writing schedule.

As it stands now, for the second book of this saga, there's nowhere to go but forward. So what's ahead? Well, we're sticking to the contemporary setting of the story for the remainder of the book. Chapter 30, which is the chapter following the final leap back in time, was a blessing to write. Though I've talked a great deal on Joseph Pepper IV and his adventures, he and his exploits are not the main focus of the story (as important as they are). It was easy to slip back into the main characters and their drama, as it now winds up to a grand climax (for this installment of Fable Avenue). The main female character pays homage and gains inspiration from Thunder John's wife (the true leader of his crew, and Governor-Queen of the town Copper Lyall mentioned in The Ghost of Gabriel's Horn). With danger looming over Fable Avenue, this young woman looks to the past to help her keep her home and culture safe.

Chapter 31 is what I'm looking at now. This chapter is a bit of a sandwich. After some narrative I'll be flowing into the second-to-last stanza of my fourth and final epic poem. Coming out of that, we flow into an action sequence that starts off with a bunch of stealth moves. Once the sequence meets its climax, and when things are settled, we flow into the conclusion of my fourth (AND FINAL) epic poem. This will be great, and of course worthy of an entry into this online journal (and perhaps, a little more). My quest for writing four independent epic poems will come to an end. And this will setup the concluding chapters to this installment of The Fable Avenue Saga.

And as I write, the editors are tearing through the manuscript like a caterpillar eating up a leaf. Chew. Chew. Chew. Red mark. Red mark. Red mark. But it's all for the good of the story.

b write black

Monday, March 10, 2014

February Forever and the 150 page Race

February, hands down, was one of the most bizarre months ever in recorded history. Ever. And for some reason it would never end. For the shortest month of the year, it sure as hell did drag. To be fair to the month of February, the bizarness of things began in January. Bee-zar. But we in the middle of 'here' so we ain't gon' mind the past. Thankfully, a lot of writing was accomplished in that time regarding Book II of the Fable Avenue Saga™. The good thing was that a teaser trailer for the book was created, and there was a boost in digital and hardcopy sales for The Ghost of Gabriel's Horn, as many people (who I am grateful to) scrambled to get their hands on the first book of the series to prepare themselves for the second. The teaser debuted late, as I was distracted from finishing the simple video. It was intended for an early February release, but it was late February that saw the teaser trailer posted to social networking sites. But, it's out. People's curiosity and interest are up, and a renwal in book purchases has occurred.

So I got that going for me, which is nice.

No entry was done for February to this blog, but I was able to keep people up-to-date with social network outlets. Originally, I planned for this entry to be a character study. The Fable Avenue story has once again arced back to the past, and we're covering ground that was first touched on in The Ghost of Gabriel's Horn. That ground covered is the story of the legendary, mystical outlaw Thunder John and his crew called The Brother Dogs. He was first mentioned in passing by Jackson Fable, who managed to have possession of one of his LeMat revolvers. He was next mentioned by Joseph Pepper IV, who insists he shared an adventure with him. This adventure is purported to be Thunder John's last, but Joseph Pepper's cryptic dialogue within The Ghost of Gabriel's Horn suggests otherwise. I am currently composing that adventure, and writing a 26-year-old Joseph Pepper's interaction with these rough, mystical outlaws is a thrill. I looked back at notes written long ago outlining this tale and just smiled. I began writing those notes in early 2010. Each time I made changes to the story, I marked the month and date. The last note is dated early 2012.

But that's the second story concerning Thunder John and The Brother Dogs. The first story recounts a young conjure woman hiring Thunder John, his brother Donovan, and their mentor (also mentioned in passing by Jackson Fable, and named as Top Hat by the crossroads guardian). She sanctions a rescue that turns into a violent bloodbath (as opposed to those poignant and endearing bloodbaths). I wrote the story while listening to particular Wu Tang songs (from Clan albums to solo joints). Tough and rough is this story. I had a lot of fun getting to know The Brother Dogs, and as I write their second tale with Thunder John, it feels less like a story expounded on (from Joseph Pepper IV's rendition in The Ghost of Gabriel's Horn) and more like a crossover of comic book heroes. My heroes. A teaser video focusing on Thunder John and The Brother Dogs is due in the coming months. The story was written over February and was a lot longer than I intended. But I'm still on track for the overall length of the book.

And so, I continue writing, and I'm within 150 pages from finishing the second book in the Fable Avenue Saga™, but the celebration is far from close. There's a lot to cover in these final pages, and as it looks from here, Books 2 and 3 (the middle acts of this 4 act saga), will most likely be the most dense in their page count. Heavy editing has started on Book 2, and I stand nervous. In this month of March there will be a great deal of business being worked out. This passed weekend saw a letter composed that concerns the release video for Book 2, debuting later this year (fall). This weekend coming up, I will continue to hammer out the update and new look for Twin Griffin Books. The weekend of the 22nd has me grinning, and that's about all I can say. Big, all-day business meeting. We're also working on the cover.

After the book's 2nd run through with edits, there will be a proof made and reviewed. Copyright will be made, attached to The Ghost of Gabriel's Horn as part of the Fable Avenue Saga™. Then we'll reveal a title. A lot happening.

And then there's a wedding coming this summer.

But, my fiancee and her friend are doing most of the planning. I'm just showing up and standing where told. I am. I do.

b write black