Thursday, October 6, 2016

We Interrupt This Broadcast...

On any given day, we spend some time here chatting about bariatrics. We talk about surgery, about obesity, about trials and tribulations, diet and exercise. Folks keep coming back to read more, so apparently there is some interest in the subject matter.

However, there are actually other things happening in my life that are not directly tied up in my "weight loss journey" (as the cool kids on the bariatrics websites like to call it.) Most of the time, they sort of happen off camera, unless they are directly tied up with my weight, i.e.: nearly falling off my roof because I was too heavy for my old ladder to hold me.

Today's subject has no relation to weight whatsoever, but is kind of a big deal to me anyway, so I am going to talk about it. Most of you know that I have been writing to supplement my disability income for several months now. I write reviews, blog posts, Twitter feeds - whatever is available from contractors on any given day. It pays almost nothing, but it keeps me off the street :-)

However, for several months now, I have been working with the folks over at Fiction Vortex to produce a serialized novel. They are the leading online source for serialized fiction, and when I proposed my dark fiction world to them back in June, to my astonishment, they agreed. We've now got 4 authors (3 of them great, one of them me) working in my bleak fictional city of Ash Falls. The Ash Falls "Serial Box", as Fiction Vortex calls them, is scheduled for weekly release in February of 2017.

To back up - what is serialized fiction? If you are of a certain age or geek-like disposition, think comic books. Otherwise, think of things like soap operas/Novelas instead. We have an overarching storyline that switches between groups of characters, all operating in the same environment. Comics, think the Marvel Universe. Soap Operas, think Port Charles of General Hospital. Lots of different storylines whose characters are maybe marginally aware of each other, but all operating in the same place/time.

With me so far? Each of our authors is producing a novel-length story - about 100,000 words, which works out in the neighborhood of 300 pages or so. However, these novels are being written in episodic format, like your favorite TV show. Each novel, then, works out to the equivalent of a "season", with a new episode being released every month. These episodes are then released on a staggered, weekly basis for each author. Since we have an assortment of authors and storylines happening, this means you get a new story/episode in this shared world every week.

Short version - you will never run out of things to read again. New content is being delivered every single week.

Now, after the conclusion of a certain storyline, you can purchase the book in its entirety, like a novel or trade paperback, if you prefer. I have done this for several wrapped up storylines myself. The authors are excellent, the stories are compelling, and the writing is at least as good as anything you will find available in the science fiction/fantasy section of Amazon or your local bookstore, and I am flattered and humbled that I have been invited to participate in their project.

On Monday, Fiction Vortex opened up a writer's contest to entice new talent into the fold. Prospective writers can submit a 3,500-word story that would fit into any of the currently existing "serial boxes", and winners will be given the opportunity to write a novel of their own within that shared world.

Ash Falls, the setting I created, is one of those potential serial boxes. And, as an introduction to the setting, the editors at Fiction Vortex have released Episode #1 of "Inheritance", my serialized novel, to the world.

As of the opening of this contest, I am not only a contract writer, but a published author as well.

If you have any interest in dark fantasy (vampires/werewolves/things that go bump in the night), feel free to read through Episode #1. If you have the slightest interest at all in science fiction or fantasy, I would encourage you to take a look at the other existing storylines and serial boxes already out on Fiction Vortex and try a few. We have over 30 authors producing premium content, and I can hardly wait till my stories start selling next year, so I can buy out the entire library at Fiction Vortex as my first "I am being paid to be an author" purchase. The stories and settings are that good.

Thanks for sharing my excitement with me! I'll be back to health-related news tomorrow.

You Have Now Been Returned To The Normal Internet,

- Hawkwind

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