Why Am I Doing All This?

“Don’t be afraid to admit that inside you is a seething, fiery core of ambition and lust for success that would appall Napoleon.”—Russell Galen

The more I write, the more my reasons for writing come into focus.  The most obvious motivation, which holds for probably every writer, is desire for success: I want to make a career of this.  I want to get out of music (the reasons for this are complex and are a post all their own; the gist: while I love the work, I hate many of the things I’m forced to do on the business side) and trade my sound engineer’s cap for a writer’s hat.  I know I’m good; whether I’m good enough to make writing a career remains to be seen; THE SPIRIT-WEAVER is my test.

The other motivation will probably make me sound arrogant to some: I want to create another Middle-earth, or a place even better.  In fact, I’ve been doing that for over a decade.  I want to create a world and tell a story in it that has all the complexity and power of Tolkien, and which inspires people and makes them dream the way Middle-earth and LORD OF THE RINGS do. Many have tried this; there’s been no shortage of LOTR ripoffs over the last 50 years; but I don’t mean I want to retread Tolkien’s ground and make a new and improved version of Middle-earth.  Rather, I want (and have wanted) to do for North America and its native peoples what Tolkien did for Europe; and the result of that quest has been Daszeria, which I’ve been developing since I was 15 years old (I’m now going on 32; so you can do the math).  It’s taken this long to get myself to a position where the writing of a big epic set in Daszeria could be accomplished. I’ve tried to write that book before, the last time in 1996-97; but neither I nor the world were ready then; the whole thing had to gestate some more.

My hard deadline for THE SPIRIT-WEAVER is August 31, 2009.  Recent developments related to the book have tempted me to speed this process up; but I’ve been at this far too long to half-ass it now.  I know I could rush it, and have it done by spring, but that would involve sacrifices of art and craft I’m not willing to make.  Someone once joked that this whole thing has been in development longer than Duke Nukem Forever; but if it turns out the way I want, and everything points in that direction at the moment, it’ll be worth it.  Readers will at last have another Middle-earth to dream over.  (I’ve been scared at times of being scooped by established writers; but I figure if anyone were actually working in the same vein I am, they’d have published a book long ago.  Amerindia has been the subject of many historical and paleohistorical novels; but never has a complete fantasy world been built on it.  Daszeria’s combination of Amerindianness with inspiration from Colonial and frontier America, with the supernatural woven through all of it, is unique; it seems unlikely that someone hasn’t thought of this before–but if they have, they’ve not written anything.)

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