As with a lot of my work, especially the longer books, the ideas for them take years to finally gel in my head to the point where I’m ready to write them down. My latest novel was no exception. It’s been years in the making. Maybe even a decade. That’s okay, though, it’s just the way I tend to work. Very few ideas just blaze across my mind and make me dash for the keyboard to start typing. It’s more like a collection of (sometimes) completely random thoughts and images colliding together over time to finally become a cohesive idea. Once I finally have it, though, I’m usually off to the races.
The Translators threw me a bit of a curveball this time. I thought it was a smaller story than it actually was, and I was convinced I could write it (and write it properly) as a novella length piece of work. So that’s what I did. Back in 2005, I was asked to take part in a four author novella collection alongside Brian Keene, Tim Lebbon, and Michael Laimo. This was a huge deal for me and I was pretty pumped to be published alongside those guys. They were all friends of mine but they were all far more established than I was, so this was something I saw as a way of getting my name out to their legions of fans. And I had my idea all set to go. Or at least thought I did.
The novella was supposed to be no more than 25,000 words. With four authors, that would make a 100,000 word collection, which was a fairly standard length for a book back then. I went to work and churned out a tale that I eventually ended up calling LOST IN TRANSLATION. I thought it was pretty good. Really strange stuff, for sure, but probably the most imaginative thing I’d ever written. The problem was I had so many things in my head that I wanted to add to the story, but kept having to forget about because what I had written was already close to 40,000 words. For you math wiz’s out there, that’s a bigger number than the 25,000 word limit I had been given. So I did what all writers do, I reluctantly started chopping and editing and carving my story to the bone but I still only managed to get it down to about 29,000 words.
Then fate stepped in and the publisher we were all under contract with was forced to close their doors and we amicably went on our way, free to do what we pleased with each of our novellas. I’ll be honest with you; I was heartbroken over this. I REALLY wanted to be published alongside those other guys and hoped their fans would like my story enough to come searching for my other work. Wasn’t meant to be, though, so I moved on and eventually found a small press called NYX BOOKS who were willing to release my novella.
LOST IN TRANSLATION was published in January 2007. The final word count for the novella was just shy of 30,000, I think, but I still thought it was some of my very best work. It had some really freaky cool artwork too. Here, have a look…
The book received a few decent reviews and the people who have read it seemed to really like it. The trouble is, I highly doubt that more than 50 people world-wide ever read the damn thing. That was more my fault than anything, I think. As soon as it was published I regretted it. I never really even tried to promote the book or get people to notice it. In fact, I went out of my way to NOT talk about it. I knew in my heart I hadn’t told the story right; not the way I wanted to anyway. The story in my head was so much bigger and more epic than I could ever fit inside the novella I had written, and there were so many more scenes and characters I wanted to involve in the storyline. So… over the past several years, slowly but surely, I’ve been working on the book, expanding it in all directions until I had it exactly the way I wanted it.
And now, retitled and expanded into a 90,000 word full-length novel, THE TRANSLATORS is finally ready to launch…
As you can see, we went with more of a thriller type cover. I wanted it to scream ‘action‘ and ‘adventure‘ and ‘holy crap, what the hell is going on?‘ and I think my publisher and I were successful with that. Make no mistake, this is still very much a horror novel, but it is also a science fiction, dark fantasy, and mystery novel too. If I was forced to sum the book up in a few genre words I’d call it an Apocalyptic Thriller.
You may have noticed I haven’t really said a whole lot about what the book is actually about. Ha! That’s because it’s a secret. I think the less you know about this book the more it will surprise you. Perhaps even shock you. Okay… okay, I’ll give you a hint. I’ll give you the back cover text but even that won’t help you much.
THE END OF THE WORLD IS NEAR
Meet John Taylor, a man plagued by phantom voices – or translators, as he calls them – that have shared his head ever since he was abducted as a 10 year old boy. On that fateful day John lost not only his father and his childhood innocence, but perhaps something even more important – his very soul.
THE INVASION IS FINALLY COMING
Most people think John is crazy. He’s not. The doctors think he’s Schizophrenic. He’s not. The government thinks he might just be humanity’s last flicker of hope, but unfortunately he’s not that either. What he is is something no one – including himself – could ever have imagined…
Well, there you have it, and that’s all you’re getting out of me. If you want to know more, you’ll have to buy the book. The Translators is available in trade paperback, and at all eBook retailers such as Kindle, Nook, and tomorrow Kobo, and Apple. Please go get yourself a copy or two and make sure you tell your family and friends.
The Translators are coming… are you ready???