How the second novel progresses…

I thought I’d take a moment of this glo­ri­ous day — it’s windy and cloudy, but not snow­ing, (which around these parts con­sti­tutes a minor mir­a­cle), and I’ve just dis­cov­ered some new pro­mo­tion of my nov­el via the Amazon/Omnivo­ra­cious blog, which is always a good thing (thanx, J. Van­der­meer) — to write on the top­ic of my next nov­el. That’s right, instead of actu­al­ly writ­ing it, I’m going to write about it. I am aware of the irony, you needn’t point it out.

As I sit in the North­ern Flavours cof­fee shop, The Police on my iPod drown­ing out the coun­try music play­ing through­out the shop, I am cur­rent­ly on a quest to ful­fill one of my hero Kurt Von­negut Jr.’s basic tenets of writ­ing:

Be a sadist. Now mat­ter how sweet and inno­cent your lead­ing char­ac­ters, make awful things hap­pen to them — in order that the read­er may see what they are made of.

In that spir­it, my pro­tag­o­nist is going through hell at the moment. A man­u­fac­tured hell, a phys­i­cal hell, a lit­er­al hell, not the neb­u­lous reli­gious hell par­ents fright­en chil­dren with and lead­ers use as a weapon to keep down the mass­es.

And there’s more of this to come. As the nov­el pro­gress­es, he will have his soul stripped bare, and pos­si­bly, quite pos­si­bly, he will lose. I haven’t quite decid­ed yet, but as the god of this lit­tle world, I am going to taunt my Job mer­ci­less­ly.

In oth­er words, I’m going to take a lot of per­son­al frus­tra­tions out on the lit­tle guy.

Per­haps some of you have noticed the con­stant­ly chang­ing tal­ly of my out­put at the right-hand top of this page. Some oth­ers will notice (and have already com­ment­ed) on the title, an ever-shift­ing des­ig­na­tion which promis­es a sequel to Shelf Mon­key. Sad­ly, this is not the case. I’m just being snarky, which is my right. The book may be a spir­i­tu­al sequel, and it is a sequel in the sense of being my fol­low-up nov­el, but it is def­i­nite­ly not a sequel in the Rocky II, III, IV, V, Bal­boa sense. I just have nowhere else to go with it, and while the next nov­el cer­tain­ly exists in the same uni­verse, the mon­keys will have no part in it. Aubrey will not sud­den­ly pop up as a mys­tic offer­ing advice, Danae is nowhere to be seen, War­ren has like­ly died by now, and Thomas is still in prison. A part of me wants to ref­er­ence it some­where, like in a news item play­ing in the back­ground, but it feels a lit­tle too self-con­grat­u­la­to­ry, too smug. I’m not Stephen King, I can’t shoe­horn a Dark Tow­er ref­er­ence in.

Or am I wrong? Doubt­ful, but it could hap­pen. Write in, tell me what your think, and how I could seam­less­ly inte­grate Shelf Mon­key into the new sce­nario.