AUTHOR'S NOTE - A Humble Beginning

This is almost certainly not the only author's note.  It is merely the first.

I kind of wanted to spend a little space talking about how I have come to get started on this journey.

I warn you, this particular note is going to get kind of navel-gaze-y.  You may want to skip on ahead to the novel itself and come back to read this later if you decide you are genuinely interested in my personal back story.


I've been a writer for... it may have been the Carter administration. I'm Canadian, so really I should be saying "The Trudeau Parliament" except that the Trudeau Parliament lasted from before I was born 'til (with one brief, easily forgotten or at least ignored, hiccough) after I could legally drive a car.
I don't really recall too much about it, but I vaguely remember writing a "book" on a (gasp) standard non-electric typewriter when I was a child.  It may have been as many as a dozen pages long and probably three times that many chapters... each being little more than a few sentences. The story had something to do with a family of water droplets - I really don't remember much more than that, though I have a recollection of realizing that I was in a boring narrative rut where I'd begin a chapter with a sentence about what was going to happen in the chapter (IE. "In this chapter, the Drops are going to the faucet.") That would be followed by a sentence of the action actually happening ("One day the Drops went to the faucet.") Then if I was feeling particularly creative I might include some Sorkinesque dialogue, simultaneously revealing character and plot with arch wit and insight on the human condition. ("'Let's got to the faucet' said Daddy Drop. 'Okay.' Mommy Drop.")  It was all brilliantly non-linear and almost Beckettian - the family seems to have gone through the action of going to the faucet twice before even making the flimsiest of plans to do so.  Brilliant as it was, it stuck a failing grade in that this patter played out with minor variations (more of the Beckett influence) chapter after chapter after chapter. The drops go to the sink.  The drops hang out on a washcloth for a while. The drops go down the drain.  You get the idea.

Skip ahead a decade or so and I found myself at home from school with an ass-kicker of a fever.  The doctors didn't know what was wrong with me. It was kind of mononucleosis-like, but tested negative and fortunately didn't have the long-tail of mono. But in that week I was home it was at the time the sickest I had ever been... and honestly I don't recall that I've been sicker than that since.  At one point my spleen inflammed to some absurd proportion of its original size.  It was so painful that three times on my way to the phone (just at the top of the stairs from my bedroom) to phone for help, my body decided it had had enough and that it was far more comfortable to be unconscious.  I figure that if I had been sicker than that since that I would remember it... but then again it's hard to say that for sure.  I was pretty much openly hallucinating with the fever and somewhere in there, out of virtually nowhere, I wrote a play.  Part of it was written in my right-mind.  Much of it wasn't.  Certainly I adjusted much of it in re-writes once I was healthy again, but it still bore the mark of the state of delusion I was in.  My high-school drama teacher had me submit it to the Canadian Young Playwright's search.  My play, "Don't Ask Me. I Just Live Here" won the damned thing!  The other plays all clearly had come from writers who had been encouraged by their teachers to "write what you know."  Every runner-up play in the showcase they had featured the same set-piece - high-school hallway lockers.  I kind of suspect that I won more on the grounds of being the most unique play in the group than due to any content.
If you must know, the play was a rather pollyannaish two-hander about a dweeby-guy who is told the secrets of the universe by a guardian angel before being carted away for having a messiah complex.

That early success pushed me onwards.  I've written a schwack-load of plays that you probably haven't seen.  I toured the continent for six years with a comedy-troupe that I wrote the lion's share of material for.  I have had two screenplays produced, one of which will never see the light of day and the other which is just becoming publically available around the time I write this author's note.  I've won some other awards and contributed to magazines and blogs and assisted both a Leacock winning author (on a host of projects) and one of the world's genuine extant cult-novelists (as well as adapting his greatest work for the stage).  I have other screenplays and a TV series on the boil and more ideas than I will ever be able to complete... but there's one thing I've never written. A novel.

It's tough to talk much about how the creative ideas that lead to this work came to be without giving up some major spoilers, so suffice to say that this darned thing has been banging around in my head for years, getting bigger and more complex.  At some point I realized that it was a novel not a film or TV series and sometime after that I realized that it was too big to be one book and was better suited to be three.

Generally speaking, I don't outline.  But I do tend to only work on projects that I've been letting percolate in the gray-matter for quite some time.  I'd call myself a discovery writer.  I write linearly from beginning to end of a story (and then edit and rewrite)  But truth be told, I am working off a fairly detailed blueprint that only exists in my head.  This particular blueprint - the one for Necropolis - is about as done as I can make it without putting words to paper.  So it is time.

But here's the thing... this is a big-damn project.  A trilogy.  Generally speaking, no publisher is interested in taking on a trilogy from a first time novelist.  Not as a proposed work.  Not as a completed set.  Not as the "somewhere in between" version - a complete first novel and two planned sequels.  Really, writing a trilogy is about the least sound choice a first-time novelist can make.  But it's the story I am prepared to write, so I have to find a way to reach an audience beyond my own imagination and there is really no better way I can think of than trial by fire.  Lets face it, if I can't interest people in this story when they are getting it for free on the internet, then I have no business writing long-form prose fiction, I should stick to screen and stage.

This is by definition, a labour of love.  I have to pay the rent somehow, so this will have to take a back-seat at times to paying the bills and raising my daughter and so on, but so long as there is interest in this story I will keep writing it.  I hope to get at least a little bit of it out every week - and at least at first I am going to try to get two installments out per week, as well as any additional content I deem relevant or necessary (like other author's notes.)

I encourage and look forward to your comments.  You are not only my audience, you are my editor.
I hope you enjoy this.  I plan to.

Here we go...

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Creative Commons License
Necropolis by Kennedy Goodkey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada License.
Based on a work at necropolisnovels.blogspot.com.