The next book for the old digital store front hit the proverbial assembly line today. Godsign: The Rise of Zuhk.
This one asks the question: what if, while being mundane in this world, you were a god in another world?
It’s a Greek fantasy.
Instead of doing the usual retelling of Greek myths, I wanted to incorporate the various tropes from those myths to make a new story. For those who aren’t familiar with that word: The word trope has also come to be used for describing commonly recurring literary and rhetorical devices, motifs or clichés in creative works.
In fantasy you have different ones such as the quest story, the magic device, the dark Lord. In Greek mythology you have krakens and heroes who are half god, half mortal, but you also have tragedies and destinies that cannot be side-stepped or avoided. Obviously this area is rife with content just as it is, but I wanted to do something different. I turned to the lesser known portions of Greek mythology, like the islands of dog headed men and the land of the blemmyes, headless men whose faces were said to have been in their chests. In addition to the ancient Greeks, Marco Polo and Columbus reported on this stuff.
Not werewolves either, but, you know, Fido. If you want to see the best version I have seen check out Diantwoord’s strangely disturbing music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvMXVHVr72A
Of course, my dog headed men, or cynocephali, don’t rap.
In the ancient texts it is said they practiced no trade, but lived by hunting. Well, I thought, what if they had a trade? What might it be? Naturally living on islands, they would be sea faring folk and thus my salty dogs of Umberia were born. Grizzly, surly and possessed of steely eyed stares from a life at sea, there would be few things more formidable than dog headed sailors.
But that’s just the tip of the ice berg. Umberia became a rich land of danger, strange monsters and inescapable destinies.
Well, you get the idea. One really great thing is that on this one, the second book is already written and as far as manuscripts go, it’s not in too bad of shape. The old digital mercantile book store is coming along nicely.
I find it difficult to stay focused on putting up the next book. I itch to go off and market my existing wares, but without second and third books to back up the first, I quickly recognize the futility of marketing before its time. Nonetheless, I fret constantly over sales and the abstract “critical mass” level of production.
It is a constant push-pull and sometimes it makes me just want to watch cartoons. Well, you want to see your little ones go out into the world and not just make a few friends, but flourish, come into their own and find their people.
It’s the indie life for me.
I think I’ll go watch Fantastic Planet again.