Saturday, June 7, 2014

Lawrie & Cass celebrating Cass's contract
 Last night's post was cut a bit short, as I was out of time. To continue my reflections on D5, Psalmsinger is mainly an intro to people, places and things that will figure prominently in The Drums of N'Dolo, (D7?) which will likely be another whopper like D4 (Espiridion). There has, however, been considerable interest in the semi-spoiler regarding D6 (Nightingale), which is that 6 characters will be getting married! And, more will be embarking on or rekindling broken relationships--so, D6 is indeed "the book of relationships". 
Mary Beth & Akele

   I should mention that D6 too contains quite a bit of previously-written material, which means that the book will probably be written fairly quickly, even though I'm also currently working on The Shadow-Dogs Journeys (the illustrated version, with the mini-paintings that inspired the Pilgrim's Progress-type allegory in the first place). The unillustrated digital edition is available for online reading at HarperCollins' Authonomy site, and is also available from Amazon as a 99-cent Kindle book. Also being worked on is Collin O'Daurc, a semi-fantasy which predates both DOPS and Shadow-Dogs by at least a decade. I've no idea when these two projects will be completed, as I work on them sporadically--as anyone who knows me is aware, illustrating things is my least favorite part of book creation!
The cover for the unillustrated digital Shadow-Dogs

Shadow-Dogs: Decision Crossing from 2003 (SOLD)

   But, now for a bit more about D6 you learn a bit more about such semi-background characters as Anselm Cochrane, and his vintage feud with his father, who is of course Hiram Cochrane, master of the original Psalmsinger. And, as Cass and Lawrie are preoccupied by distractions such as modeling/moviemaking, you see the "Tunnel-Beast"-hunting shift over to the surprisingly intrepid trio of Heidi, Rachael and Annie. Who knew that sugar-and-spice Rachael had it in her? (Although Annie, who's full of piss & vinegar, and Heidi, proud owner of the "Saperstein Exploration Gene", obviously had it all along.) Which isn't to say, of course, That Gus and Rio are out of the running, by any means, and neither is Cholley (poor Justin, alas, will always be in it up to his neck, thanks to his job description). And Cato and Jon? Well, there are challenges and changes in store for them as well--as there are for Abel and newly-found sidekick Baron.
   Basically, that's the highlights so far. Of course there are plenty of details, but we'll just have to wait and see...
Falco Lawrie (Lawrie's 3rd-oldest sibling)   
Just a note about the above graphic; as you've probably just figured out, it's actually Falco who's on the cover of D3, not Lawrie! Lawrie appears on the covers of D1, D4 (as a pissed-off teenager, along with an equally grumpy-looking Abel and a what-am-I-gonna-do-with-these-two-Aroyo), and D5. I happen to like this particular portrait as it has good reproduce-able qualities, and in its better-known half-face version, is even on one of my business cards (see below).
 Well, that's all for now...happy trails, my friends, until I think of something else hopefully witty to write!

Friday, June 6, 2014


   Well, DOPS V, Psalmsinger, (or "D5", as I and fans-who-have-become-friends call it) has been released, and is out for review!
   This book was a bit of an oddity to write, as I felt nearly detached from the process. I suppose this is in part because a lot of the material concerning Cass & Lawrie dates from about 2006 or so, and I was pulling in huge chunks of it, 25 pages at a time. Let me tell you, a lot of heavy editing was involved, mostly because when the material was written, there was no Mario, Gaston, Cap'n Cholley, Annie, Kevin--or Abel! So, those characters had to be worked into the storyline, and the season changed from mid-winter to summer.
   Inserting older material can be a challenge for a writer, for a number of reasons; for one thing, it's an odd feeling to have started a story and written about people when they're at a certain stage in their lives and personal relationships, and to have to go back and write a prequel. With the exception of the dilemma concerning the Cato/Jon relationship back in D2, D5 contains by far the oldest existing DOPS material. I hope the insertion/transition was seamless, and that there weren't any "blips". But the sentiment of such a large text-insertion is odd--you're thundering along writing about everybody as usual, and suddenly, you come to a canyon you have to leap. Only, there's actually a bridge, and it's the material you've just inserted, which you've written so long ago that even though the editing has it fitting the rest of the book like a glove, you've become emotionally distanced from it.
   I've been very much aware that Cass and Lawrie are the main reason most people keep up with the story, and D5 does deal with the next stage in their relationship. They're obviously very unique people, and therefore have a unique relationship which neither quite knows what to do with. Readers may get a bit annoyed with them in this book, as they do go back and forth exhaustively (pronounced, "Yeah, I'd like to smack 'em both about it.")...but as is generally known, Lawrie has to be absolutely certain about something before he takes a course of action, even while he's driving Cass, everyone else, and himself insane over it.