Exciting times! My brand spanking new literary agent is already out there earning his keep. Eddie (the aforementioned agent of awesome) sent out Untimed Thursday on submission to New York and worldwide. It’s not only great to have such enthusiasm — we only signed two weeks ago — but an appropriate juncture given that the historical changes in Untimed (a time travel novel) pivot around Ben Franklin, who was one of America’s earliest important printers. People tend to remember him for the whole “founding father” bit but he was first and foremost a printer, political essayist, and satirist (not to be confused with my favorite mythological beings, satyrs).
But rest assured, Untimed is anything but old fashioned. Below and left is another awesome illustration by Dave Phillips to underscore the prose (one of approximately 21 that will be in the book). And that’s just a rough draft! Dave, like many artists, does two passes. The first (like this one) is to establish the composition, mood, and layout. Then, once we get that out of the way, he does a final with more detail. Truth is, this is little different than writing. The initial illustration is like a scene outline. Or video games, where we would rough out a level without all the visual details to see if the game play worked as intended.
Who are the Tick-Tocks? And what do they want?
Nothing good, as far as protagonist Charlie is concerned. Their policy on time travelers is to stab, shoot, or crush first — ask questions later.
But it’s more complicated than that, as I’m working out now while making detailed outlines for book 2 and 3. Ah, plotting. I have a love/hate relationship with this phase of novel writing. Scratch that, more hate. I love the actual writing best.
This time around I’m trying to plot the entire book in detail before digging into the text, which being a pantser is against my nature. But it needs doing as time travel is complicated and I must research the periods I intend to visit. I’ve already pounded through four or five history books in the last two weeks. Hint: Buckle on your sandals, this time I’m headed way back!