Friday, March 09, 2012

100 Years of Blood, my current work in progress

I've not mentioned much about my current writing project, so I thought it was about time I did so, for those who might be interested.

I'm going off in a different direction with this novel, delving into magic realism and going more literary. I spent all of last year writing (and a lot of reading) epic fantasy, and I was becoming burnt out on that particular sub-genre. I needed a different challenge.

So, I challenged myself and it's ... different. The title is 100 Years of Blood, and as this is a magic realism novel, yes, I admit the title is somewhat of an homage to One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, though I make no claims to even trying to be as talented as Marquez. Nor is my story similar to his, other than the events take place over a century. If anything, my novel combines some things I've picked up from Marquez as well as James Joyce and even Bram Stoker.

The story concerns an English lord who decides to build a comfortable home for himself in a backwards Appalachian region. The tale begins in 1902 and will rise up through 2002, though I'm tempted to add an epilogue that adds an extra decade, covering ground through 2012. My work will cover a lot of ground in what I'm thinking will be about 80,000 words.

This will not be a work of excitement. Those seeking action and adventure are better served to look elsewhere. There will be a touch here and there of intrigue and mystery, but this is not a novel of explanations. I freely claim the mysteries will not be explained. There will be one major mystery overshadowing this story, and I will not explain it. That will be up to the reader, to make a decision for his or herself.

Because of this, I do not expect 100 Years of Blood to be a popular novel, to bring many sales for me. But that's fine. This one is all for me, and as a writer I'm generally more interested in exploration than I am coming to conclusions.

When will this novel be available? I'm shooting for the middle of April. Initially I wanted it out to the public by April 1, but as this is more of a literary novel, I'm finding I have to take more time with it.

The cover image up there at the right is only a tentative one. This is my third cover, each wildly different than the one before, so I'm having a lot of trouble in the design department. This one is my favorite so far, but I'm still not crazy about it, so it's likely to change again. At first I was going for a darker feel, but then I backed off that as my initial cover had a horror-novel look to it and that is not what I'm wanting here.


Charles Gramlich said...

Sounds interesting. I very much enjoyed 100 years of solitude. I don't know if I could write in that area well myself, though.

Keith said...

I agree with Charles. It does sound interesting. While I've not read Marquez, I'd be willing to give this one a try.

Ty Johnston said...

Charles, oh, I'm not sure I can write well in this area, either, but I'm giving it a go, giving it my own spin, so to speak.

Keith, glad to see others could be interested in this.

One of the things I'm struggling with in this novel is the fantastical element is somewhat concealed, or at least never mentioned out loud by characters. So, in some ways, this novel is kind of the opposite of magic realism, in which fantastical elements are often part of everyday life, but her in my story the fantastical elements ARE part of everyday life, but I'm not naming them nor am I having my characters voice them, at least not directly. My intention is that one could read this novel in a straight-forward manner and think, "These people are just a bit weird," but if one sees through to what is really going in the background, the fantastical elements will become obvious. My guess will be those steeped in speculative literature will catch on rather easily, but other readers might be left feeling confused, perhaps even bored. It's also dawned on my recently that Shirley Jackson is another influence upon this story.

CoachPaul said...

Should I bring a lot of orange sized rocks?

Ty Johnston said...

Paul, go for smaller. The little rocks. They hurt more.