I don't live in the same world as the people around me. Most of the time I'm lost in a plot, a movie playing out behind my eyelids just for me. This isn't strange, I know. We all have interior lives, but mine revolve around the fiction I wanted to write, the themes I wanted to explore, the characters I wanted to bring to life.
Oh, the characters. I wanted to see them breathe and fight, bleed and cry. I wanted to see the lengths they would go to in order to protect a loved one, or a stranger. What depths of their soul would they find in the moment of failure?
I've written a lot of stories over the years, explored the lives of a lot of characters. I've woven worlds from dreams and populated them with the torn and faded memories of nightmares. For that fantasy I was writing I built a perfect world, one that I thought would be fair and just, given the constraints of a pseudo middle ages setting. Then I tore it apart, using both an external and an internal threat.
I'm doing the same thing with the world of Isaac's Story. Both Dead Men and the titles in Isaac's Story are my attempts at picking the world apart, at seeing how far I can take the people who live in this world without breaking them. Or, hell, breaking them to see what happens when they try to come back together.
Mortal Distractions gives me a different canvas to play with. In this series I will build the worlds and use them within a single book. This will be my playground, where I can explore whatever weird idea pops into my head while I'm writing, without messing with or abandoning Isaac's Story.
Publishing the books myself, throwing them into the world to fall into the void or take flight, gives me structure. It gives me deadlines and promises, and a reason to not stop halfway through a story and chase the shiny thing my mind just saw. I've always written and always will, but now I write with a purpose. Now I have a plan, a view on the evolution of the world that I need to explore.
And I can get better. I'm driven to get better. I think The Bridge is pretty good, but the next one, The Algorithm, is better. And the one after that will be better still. I'll take what I've learned and apply it, and try something different. I'll fail, and learn, and be better.
That's why I do what I do. That's why I write late into the night, every night, why I poke and prod at these stories until they're the best they can be.
I do it because I want to explore these worlds better. I want to portray these characters as fully as I can, and get better at it so I can bring them to life.
I don't need to write. Nobody does, though some people think they do. I can quiet the stories in my head, put the characters desperate for life to sleep. I can play games and watch movies and they'll be quiet, if only for short stretches of time.
Why the hell would I? This is fantastic. I create a character, build a world, set it in motion and watch what happens. Then I polish it, prepare it, package it, and send it into the world.
I hope you enjoy it. I'd like to see these worlds fly. But if they don't, if they fall into the void without a peep, I'll have had a blast building them.