I’ve been posting chapters from my new book, More Gods Than Men, on Amazon’s WriteOn. This invitation-only service is a sort of fiction workshop that allows folks to comment and edit books on the fly. The best thing is that I can give you guys access to the service now using the code V6BBECGE. Simply cut and paste that code into the box!
Read on to get a taste of the new book.
The old man thumbed his rosary and looked out at 8th Avenue and the river of trucks and bikes that passed. He was wearing a hooded jacket, old and grey at the edges, and his face was hidden under a soft plaid hunter’s hat. He leaned against the iron fence that protected the front door of his apartment building. It was here where the superintendent left the trash that stank all summer, forcing him to walk the three blocks to the park to the north where, until last year, he sat with his little dog. This summer she was too lame to climb down the stairs and he was to tired to walk without her so he was the only one who spent his time in this silent ministry in the stink of the garbage.
An excerpt from my upcoming book, Marie Antoinette’s Watch. Sign up for more information here.
A walker in 18th-century Paris, his boots caked with mud and much worse, would not come upon the Place Dauphine by chance. To find the quiet triangle one has to traverse Pont Neuf, or the New Bridge (this, the oldest bridge in the city, was also the first one not covered in houses and shops) onto the island where Paris began: the Île de la Cité. A jog to the left, between two four-story buildings, brings him to a small park with a few stunted trees and perhaps a bench or two where men spoke furiously over plans and scraps of polished metal. The walker, however, could do no better than to sit listening to the quiet susurration of the the trees and the gentle ting-ting of jewelers hammers. It was in this courtyard, he would quickly discover, where the mechanical heart of Paris ticked. It was, in fact, the home to most of France’s most illustrious horologers.
So there you have it. I expected it to take six months, but it took me three years to finish plus another year to release. There were many weeks and even a few months when I didn’t have the time or energy to work on the book at all, but finishing is worth it. If you take one thing away from this post, I want it to be: whatever your dream is, don’t give up. Even if it takes you years instead of months, don’t give up. Even if you realize the only way your work will reach your audience is if you put it out there yourself, don’t give up.
One of my favorite stories from School Police, Star Star Narayan, is on BoingBoing. It’s one of the oddest ones of the bunch and I remember writing it in Warsaw about a decade ago, back when I was a consultant. It’s about feeling weird in a new country and it involves ice skating, bugs, and an idling Volvo.
Read it here!
I was ready to come to Amazon’s defense (and I will, eventually). In their long letter to the writing community, they made some excellent points. They inflamed our passions, gave us historical context for our discontent, and then quoted none other than George Orwell on the disruptive nature of paperbacks and the need for evil publishers to crack down on upstart, low-priced alternatives.
My buddy Richard Lai did a 3D capture of the official Mytro train sent to backers of my crowdfunding campaign. It’s a great shot of a great little model!