I got the website started for my new project Mars – An Online Novel of Interplanetary Conflict. You can find the link for it to the right beneath the “About Me” section. I haven’t posted any story material. The website is just a day old, so my infant needs time to grow.
At the very least, I want to post to it once a month, twice if I’m lucky, but I’m not so sure. Each new section is the equivalent of a short story in length, running at 7,500 words tops, and to get one from start to finish in two weeks might be me overfilling my balloon. Still, a monthly installment, I think, is doable. I kind of feel like Peter Jackson when he made The Lord of the Rings. He said that it was like he was laying down train tracks with the locomotive speeding towards him without stop. In the same way, I have a fixed deadline on Mars, but the truth is that I have no set story in mind yet. So I’m just as excited to find out what happens next as you guys.
But I want to step back for a second. By doing this novel online, I’m going into self-publishing. I used to never like the thought of that, probably because the analogous term for it is “vanity press”. Put “vanity” in there and it makes me feel like it’s something for smug, self-indulgent assholes, the Christopher Paolini’s out there peddling their bullshit hoping to cast themselves as the next Tolkien.
But then I recently I watched an interview that Max Brooks did about writing and World War Z. Brooks said that self-publishing has changed over the last ten years, that everyone’s doing it to the point where it’s regarded as respectable. In fact, he went ahead and said that writers no longer have an excuse to say that they‘ve got a novel but no one’s giving them a shot at publishing it. In that case, take matters into your own hands. Jump over HarperCollins, Random House, and Simon & Schuster. So that’s what I’m doing here. I’ve got an idea in mind, vague and cloudy though it may be in its current form, and I want to see what I can do with it on my own.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that I plan to self-publish everything. I do want to send my zombie novel Ain’t No Grave off to agents and publishers. What I am saying is that Mars is my art house project, my indie book. If that makes me a hipster…
…okay, maybe we won’t go that far.