Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Matter of Time

If you didn’t guess from my heavy-handed wordplay, this post is about time, several aspects of it, in fact.

First, I’m late. My apologies. I do intend to post more regularly than this, but I am a chronic procrastinator and highly susceptible to distraction. Please don’t hold it against me, as I will try to make all my posts worth the wait. Deal? (I’ll go ahead and answer that for you: deal.)

Second, you are late. Or rather, you’re about to be if you wanted to read Cerberus while it’s still free. That’s right; after this week, Cerberus will go on sale, and the only freebies will be the excerpts you find here. It won’t be the end of the world, but if you don’t read it, you’ll never find out how the world ends. You don’t want that, do you? (Of course you don’t.)

Photo courtesy of logosapologia.org

It's gonna be big.

Thirdly, I am really, really late while you, my lovelies, are right on time. Allow me to explain. A lot of people ask what they can do to make their teen vampire novel stand out, to which I always reply “by not writing a teen vampire novel.” And yes, this is advice I genuinely believe. The market is saturated, originality is harder and harder to come by, and agents and publishers alike are hesitant to touch them with a 10-foot-pole and a hazmat suit. Why then, you ask, did I not follow my own advice? The answer to that lies in my tardiness.

I started Cerberus summer of 2008. I finished it last year.

Like I said: late. Back then, vampires weren’t very big outside of their niches. The only films I’d seen were Dracula-based ones, Interview with the Vampire, that one Disney movie, and Underworld. They fascinated me, though, and at the age of 14, the summer before Twilight was first published, I set out to write a vampire novel of my own, determined to be published by the time I was 16.

The story was awful, of course. It was called Shard of Twilight (ironic, no?), Kaeden’s name was Jordan Rivers, and he’d met Genesis at school. He was blonde haired, blue eyed, and considered a steak knife to be a formidable weapon. The vampires had felt threatened by him because of an erroneous blood sample and a refrigerator full of uncooked meat. Yeah, I think awful about sums it up.

I had a lot of false starts, a lot of character renovations, and then, 200 pages (and four years) in, I decided I hated it and started over from scratch.

Photo courtesy of icanhazcheezburger.com

 This was me.

Once again, I was very, very late finishing this novel. By the time I did, Twilight and all of its sequels were out along with most of the movies. Fangirls had squealed, the industry had gone nuts, and hipsters had moved on to Cerastes (you’ve probably never heard of them). Many other young adult readers soon followed.

Even still, I don’t regret having taken so long to finish. 14-year-old me is not even an eighth the writer I am now. The beginning and end of the draft before the overhaul (or revamp, if you'd like) seemed to be written by totally different people. Furthermore, I had a debilitatingly weak grasp on what writing should be and on how good Cerberus could be. After so many years, this is no longer the case.

I am so very proud of this book and am convinced that it was worth the wait. I’m looking forward to convincing you of it, too. So, hold off on sticking Cerberus into your “just another vampire novel” box, strap in, and get ready for a ride eight years in the making.

This is going to be fun.