It was really a blast working with my friend Eric Elfman on this book series. Stylistically it’s kind of a cross between “The Eyes of Kid Midas,” andIt was really a blast working with my friend Eric Elfman on this book series. Stylistically it’s kind of a cross between “The Eyes of Kid Midas,” and “The Schwa Was Here,” with an absurd sense of humor, and action-oriented plot. Eric and I would constantly make ourselves laugh in the process - and our love of Tesla made the project a dream to work on. We made it accessible for kids, but with plenty of sophistication for adult readers as well. We also wove in some history, science, and math lessons in a painless sort of way. Next up is book two of the Accelerati Trilogy - Edison’s Alley!...more
This isn’t actually a review, because it would be weird to review my own book – but I thought people might be interested in knowing some of the thingsThis isn’t actually a review, because it would be weird to review my own book – but I thought people might be interested in knowing some of the things that went on in the writing process -- sort of a deconstruction of how the book was put together.
I’m going backwards – that is beginning with my most recent books, and working my way back in time, since the most recent ones are more fresh in my mind.
This was a tough one to write. I learned from writing SHATTERED SKY, that the third book of a trilogy is ridiculously difficult. In the first two books, you create all these story lines and characters, and by the time you get to the third, it becomes so unwieldy, it’s hard to wrangle it all in. When I began Everfound, I knew where it was going. Sort of. I knew it was all going to culminate in this grand battle between Mary Hightower, and our heroes, (I won’t give too many details, because they’d be spoilers). The question was, how do I get there. How do I weave in Charlie and Johnny-O, who are adrift for most of the story in the Hindenburg, circling the world. How do I bring Nick and Mikey back together with Allie? And what is the grand event that gives the reader the breathtaking conclusion I want. I decided early on that I would not settle until each of these books was better than the previous one, so I had a tall order for EVERFOUND. My first problem was the fact that I found myself more interested in the new characters, Jix, and Clarence, than I was with the existing characters. Not because I don’t like the existing characters, but it’s more fun to explore the lives of new characters than revisit the ones you already know. My first battle was to not let Jix’s story take over the entire book, which it kept wanting to do. Originally I had envisioned a whole major part of the story taking place in Atlantis, which still exists in Everlost, but it became very impractical to go there. It only gets a brief mention. Much more interesting, and doable was the great Mayan city of Chichen Itza, the ruins of which I visited while writing the book as part of my research. About halfway through the book, I hit a major block – which usually happens in the middle of any book I write, but this time it was a real killer. I just couldn’t figure out how to bring the threads together, or even where it was all leading to anymore. I went on a three day writing retreat, taking a cabin aboard the Queen Mary, an old ocean liner that’s permanently docked in Long Beach, CA. It’s classic Art Deco style, and its history of ghost sightings made it the perfect place to write a story about dead kids. Let me tell you, the hallways, and deserted old salons are amazingly creepy! I sat in one of those old titanic-like dining salons to write. What great ambiance! For two days I labored to break through my block, but kept throwing away what I wrote. Then, when I was in deep despair, thinking I was at a dead end, I woke up in my cabin at 3:00 AM, and I swear to you, the rest of the book started playing like a movie in my head. The puzzle pieces all fell together! I knew what had to happen, where it had to happen, and how it would happen! I was so excited I couldn’t sleep, so I got up and started writing, and didn’t stop until noon, when I practically collapsed from exhaustion! The suffering was worth the epiphany! What I’m really proud of with EVERFOUND is how the climax works. My goal was to make it all fit together like the gear works of a watch. Every single character plays a crucial part – if any of those characters aren’t there, then the whole thing would fall apart. Nothing is left to chance, every single character is part of a larger whole that they can’t see – but when it fits together, the cascading series of events in the climax was fantastic fun to write, and I hope you’ll find it fun to read, too! ...more