As I continue to work on the second draft of my manuscript I find that I am talking to people more and more about my book and there are two question that I have to deal with over and over again. The questions of what I am writing and why I am writing it. Both of these questions are amazingly complex and have been extremely difficult for me to wrap my head around. To sum up in a few sentences a book that I have worked on for most of the last decade, a book that will be between 50 and 80 thousand words. A book that I plan to become part of a five book series that will span more than a century and a half of time and be somewhere around 400 thousand words.
The question of why while vague has a distinct answer. I am a writer. It is a part of me and has been for more than two decades, it is the identity that I have chosen for myself, but what does that mean. I will admit, and this is the first time that I have ever admitted anywhere, that I often dream of giving interview having people listen to what I have to say about culture, politics and literature. The final scene of ‘The Commitments’ is one that I can relate to easily. But it has never been about getting famous, it has always been about changing lives, getting people to listen to what I have to say and contributing to the way the world is shaped into the future.
The question of what I am writing is even tougher to answer. On the large scale the entire series has to do with the weight of expectation, and the ability to choose your own destiny, even in the face of the wants and needs of others. It is about the sacrifices that we make to do the things that we need to do. It is also about the relationships of fathers (most surogate) with sons. How even the best of intentions are sometime not enough to shape the youths in our lives into the people that we want them to be, but sometimes it is more important that they become the people that they need to be. And while all of that plays a part in each of the book that I have written or plan to write for this series it still does not sum up any one of the books or place them in a category which will allow people to understand what I am writing. I tried to sum it up as a historical light fantasy for a long time because the fantasy elements are only minorly present, but that doesn’t seem to capture the feel of the entire thing. Mostly since the series becomes less historical and slightly more fantasy as it moves along. As I have thought about it more and more I have felt a better description would be Literary Fantasy. I’m trying not to sound pretentious but I feel like this story has more to do with ‘The Great Gatsby’ or ‘Bonfire of the Vanities’ than Piers Anthony or C.S. Lewis.