My 2016 schedule is completely blocked out, and will—thank Whatever’s In Charge—far exceed that of 2015 where it presently most matters: earnings. Looking back, I’m shocked by how much I actually wrote, and published, last year: 15 articles and reviews (LinkedIn, Hellnotes); the final story—“Five for the Future”—in The Black Edge octalogy for Dawn of Liberty publishers in Hong Kong; Castro’s Cadillac, a media tie-in (screenplay novelization) based on the script by Michael Sayles; Infinity Point, first novella in a techno-thriller trilogy; nonfiction book 10,000 Miles to Go: An American Filmmaking Odyssey (as editor, with NYC Underground Film Festival Award-winning director Jason Rosette); the Introduction for Julie Rogers’ (Writer’s Digest Writing Competition Grand Prize-Winner) forthcoming short-story collection, Seven Shorts . . . I think that’s all.
No it isn’t. I left out the True Crime book I ghost-wrote on commission for a Swedish media company, which taught me a painful lesson (aspiring ghostwriters, pay attention here): Once you sign—as did I—a Non-disclosure Agreement, you are legally forbidden in any way, shape, or form to reveal authorship of the work(s) covered in your publishing contract. Also, pay especially close attention to copyright clauses, and make this a vital part of deciding whether to write the proposed book. If the property becomes a bestseller, you will see zero earnings. Why do I mention this? Because the book I wrote spent some time at #1 on Amazon’s True Crime Bestsellers List. Yes, I wrote it under extreme duress, and gave not one second’s thought to anything beyond the (very modest) advance. I can’t even say “Lesson Learned,” because I went into the project with eyes wide open.
Good news: I’ve been commissioned to co-write/edit a nonfiction trilogy of memoir/theological philosophy, and will announce my co-author and title as soon as I am permitted. Too, I’ll finally complete my long-threatened “epic novel,” referred to in personal-project code as N2016. This will be a substantial work, one I’ve been back-burnering for years, and is as close to “mainstream literary” (though on the dark end of that spectrum) as I’m likely to get—unless further encouraged than I already have been. The novel explores, among other things, the destruction of two dangerous illusions: absolute power and absolute knowledge. The inevitable backlash wrought by digital culture’s cynical aestheticization and fetishizing everyday moments—and corrosive commodification of enlightenment.
People want soul; not digital ice cubes fired into their faces down abstract wind tunnels.
Finally, thanks for all your support, and for several times making Black Light: Perspectives on Mysterious Phenomena an Amazon bestseller. Someone, after all, has to actually pay for all that Café Bustelo.