Let’s talk about Ice Storm Development Hell. The “first draft” (read yesterday’s post to see what I mean by this) came in at 85,000 words, or 340 pages. I’m in the process of editing it and reached the 12,000 word mark today. So, I’m still on schedule. Sweet. Then again, this part of the book happens to be in pretty good shape. It’s the next 73,000 words that are going to give me fits. So, not so sweet after all.
Ice Storm Development Hell: Not just another Cop Novel!
Ice Storm is the second novel in the Cy Reed universe. Cy Reed is an urban archaeologist turned treasure hunter. I used to feel a little silly writing about a treasure hunter. I mean, come on…treasure hunting is hardly a real profession. How many full-time treasure hunters are out there anyway? But that’s sort of the point. Fiction (and not just literature) is dominated by the usual suspects: cops, lawyers, doctors, bureaucrats, etc. They’re a dime a dozen. Does the world really need another novel about a world-weary, rule-bending, alcoholism-recovering, family-failing, overworked cop? Actually, maybe so. For some reason, readers gobble those up like crazy.
But as for me, I don’t have much interest in conventional characters. I prefer characters who operate on the fringes of society and respectability. I think it opens up a lot of interesting story lines and points of view you don’t see in most novels. Take Cy Reed for example. He’s got one foot in the world of archaeology and the other foot in the world of treasure hunting. His former colleagues view him with disdain. His new ones view him with distrust. He doesn’t really fit into either world and probably never will. At the same time, his position on society’s totem pole affords him an unusual outlook. He sees the hidden flaws in the archaeological industry. He thinks antiquities laws are wrongheaded and do more damage than good. And he views smugglers, looters, and black market dealers in a rather positive light. In short, he defends the “undefendable.”
My first book in the Cy Reed Universe, Chaos, takes place in Manhattan. It’s a good old fashioned treasure hunt set in the middle of the urban jungle. Rather than mountains, Cy climbs a skyscraper. Rather than venturing into forgotten caves, he explores abandoned subway tunnels. When it came time to write a sequel, I considered writing another urban-based adventure, perhaps in a different city. But it had a “been there, done that” feel to it. So, I decided to take Cy in a completely different direction.
Ice Storm takes place in Antarctica, which in many respects is the exact opposite of Manhattan. There are no paved streets, few buildings, and very little in the way of permanent population. Manhattan is a bustling metropolis. Antarctica is mostly lifeless tundra. And yet, Ice Storm is very much about life. I’ll return to this point over the coming weeks, but suffice it to say a lifetime isn’t enough for Cy Reed to accomplish all of his dreams. As you might’ve guessed, I have that in common with him.
By the way, the link to buy Chaos at Diesel (see sidebar) is broken. Don’t know how that happened but I’ve been told it’s in the process of being fixed. Oh and Amazon lowered the price of the Chaos paperback to $13.25. Apparently, I still get the same commission. So, you can save a whopping $0.70 and I still get full payout. Good deal!