Your Gift, Should You Choose to Accept It…

ForYouThis month, the Fictorians are writing about the greatest gifts we’ve received as writers. Last month, we wrote a lot about the business of publishing, and the month before that we delved into the tangled web of indie marketing. Just this past Friday, I wrote about a recent experience I had with the launch of my new book. Today, I want to very briefly bring all those subjects together.

Almost seven years ago, well before I made the decision to pursue writing professionally, a close friend of mine, Clint Byars, who also happened to be a coworker, pulled me aside on a Saturday afternoon and told me he had something to share with me. Instead of some piece of juicy workplace gossip, I was surprised (and intrigued) to hear that he had a story idea. He knew that I was a writer, or at least that I had a loose endeavour to become one, and he had a story that he couldn’t tell on his own.

That story took a long time to develop, and went through a number of permutations, but the result was a novel that, five years later, finally got picked up by a publisher. It’s called The Book of Creation, the first installment in The Watchers Chronicle.

If I were to make a list of the greatest gifts ever bequeathed to me as part of my writing career, this particular story idea would have to be in my top five—maybe even my top three. There’s a reason, after all, that The Book of Creation ended up becoming my first published novel. From the moment my friend shared the premise with me, I knew I had to write it. I fell hopelessly in love.

Specifically, what drew me to this project was its combination of action-adventure and mysticism, characterized by the best Indiana Jones stories. Ever since I was a little kid, I had dreamed of writing this kind of book. Well, I had in mind a screenplay credit, but upon reflection a novel credit is very nearly as good, and in some ways better. At stake in the story is the discovery of archaeological artifacts which suggest the veracity of some truly outlandish historical “truths” straight out of the some of the apocryphal Bible texts—notably, the Book of Enoch, which contains some ideas that wouldn’t be at all out-of-place in a sci-fi novel.

The second novel, The City of Darkness, is already released in paperback, and will soon be available in the major ebook markets as well, but that’s an announcement for another day. In anticipation of that release, and in the spirit of the holidays and this month’s theme of writerly gifts, The Book of Creation is now available for free in the Kindle store. Click here to download your free copy.

This book won’t stay free forever, as I’m ordinarily a big believer in charging for my work—even if it’s very little. I think artists are often too willing to give away the fruits of their labor. But for the next three days, I’m making an exception. Take advantage!

On that subject, be on the lookout later this month for a wonderful post by Mary Pletsch about why writers should only give away their books very judiciously. In my opinion, it’s an important lesson.

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