Wow, that was quite a hiatus. Between health problems, money problems, and various other personal problems, I haven’t had the time, energy, or inclination to post much lately. The past few weeks have been very productive for me, though, so I’m cautiously optimistic that the worst is behind me. I’ve been working on several different writing projects, and a few days ago I took a look at an unfinished manuscript that I’d started a while back for a mystery novel called City of Sand. I read it over and thought, “Damn, this is pretty good. Why didn’t I finish this?” Just to make sure I wasn’t deluding myself about the quality of the writing, I sent the partial manuscript to a friend who had enjoyed several of my previous books. Her response, upon getting to the end of what I’d written, was: “Are you SERIOUS?! Why would you stop there? Sadist.” I think that means she liked it. Here’s the marketing summary I wrote up:
It’s the year 2000 and the Silicon Valley city of Sunnyview is abuzz with the possibilities of vast fortunes to be made in the Dot Com boom. But to retired cop Benjamin Stone, who has come to Sunnyview to find his estranged daughter, Jessica, the promise of Sunnyview rings hollow. Benjamin grew up in Sunnyview in the 1950s, when it was a sleepy farming town, and he finds its modern day counterpart strange and weirdly insubstantial. After Jessica turns up dead in a creek bed, apparently murdered, Benjamin follows clues that suggest a conspiracy involving a startup company and a Silicon Valley pioneer with a disturbing past. As the mystery unravels, Benjamin must confront the reality of terrible crimes that occurred in the idealized town of his youth, which helped to make Silicon Valley what it is today. But as Benjamin attempts to unravel the conspiracy, all the clues begin to point toward a horrifying possibility: Sunnyview isn’t what it seems.
City of Sand is a little difficult to classify, which makes it a hard sell for publishers. It’s basically a mystery novel with a strong psychological component, but it also has some sci-fi elements, like my novel Schrödinger’s Gat. It’s not quite as unconventional as that book, but it’s weird enough that it doesn’t fit nicely into a predefined genre. I ended up doing a Kickstarter to self-publish Schrödinger’s Gat, raising over $5,000 to get it published, so I’ve decided to do the same thing for City of Sand. If you’d like to help me make City of Sand a reality (and get an advance copy, as well as some other cool stuff!), I’d greatly appreciate your support. Here’s the link for the Kickstarter. If you have any questions about the book, ask them in the comments here or on Kickstarter, and I will do my best to answer them. Thanks!