8. Keep the GhostPosted: April 3, 2017
Poor Traits of an Artist as a Young Man: Keep the Ghost
When I sat down to plan what would eventually become Keep the Ghost, I had certain goals. I wanted something I could market under the guise of genre fiction, but still be distinctly my own book. Sounds like the same recipe for disaster that led to Ten Minutes to Midnight, I know. But I had a better balance in mind this time.
I leaned much further toward my own instincts and the style I’d developed writing The Blue. I wanted it to be immediate again, an uninterrupted stream of conscious book written in first person present tense. I knew some people would dislike that, just like they’d dislike my reliance on semicolons and dashes. But I like it; it’s mine, and it is very distinct. Some readers love it, some hate it. But, it’s not average.
That was the issue with Ten Minutes to Midnight – someone else could have written it. Whether my novels are great or crap, I want the reader to have no mistake about who wrote it. It can only be me.
A crime television show, Forensic Files or something similar, got an idea stuck in my brain. In it, a man had faked his own death to receive his own life insurance money. He then resurfaced with dyed hair and was immediately caught.
When I was pondering what genre to lean into for this book, mystery caught my eye. It could be gritty and modern like [sic] and The Blue – I didn’t need any fantastic elements, and it left a lot of room for character study. What if I combined the mystery genre with the existential trend that had always been driving focus?
It got me thinking. Fake your death, and what is left? How much of a person is made up of their relationships with others and those influences, and how much is core to that person? Their soul, if you will (or ‘ghost,’ as I prefer.)
By being forced to fake your death, you are burning away your old identity. In this case, you can never even answer to your own name again. So, what rises from the ashes? Is it purified somehow? Will the experience leave you with some sort of enlightenment?
Keep the Ghost was the first novel I released with no intention of finding a publisher. I would prove to the world that my books have a market, even if that market wasn’t a well-worn path just yet. So I started bringing my novels directly to readers, mostly likely using a method that brought you here in the first place.
And I need you. Early signs for Keep the Ghost are great – it’s been downloaded over a hundred thousand times, hit the #1 free novel spot on Amazon, received 160+ reviews on Amazon with a 4.4 star average. But that’s just the beginning. To really prove myself, that number needs to be over a thousand.
So, please. Help me with my journey. Leave a review, even if it’s just something short and simple. Share the book with a friend, tell them about it. You matter – you are, literally, my only hope.
For the next entry in the Poor Traits series, click here.