Story of The Slinger Trilogy
Several years back, longer than I’d like to admit, I had the urge to write a pioneering story. I didn’t know what exactly, so I let the idea gestate. I was also interested in writing in the genre of science fiction and decided that I wanted to mix those. At the time I was also enamored of dialect and wanted to do more with that. (I had already written a book called. . .well, this isn’t the place for that). Thrown into this mix was my love of Bollywood movies. Somehow, out of this chaos of passions, came Slinger: The Equilibrium of Stars, a western set in the future, written in dialect, about a group of pioneers struggling to survive on an alien planet, starring a ferociously beautiful renegade called the Slinger, whom I always imagined as Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone (see below). From that grew the entire trilogy, which, as I wrote it, was more about life and death than about anything else. The books seemed to write themselves, although they did insist that I actually do the typing.
I published The Equilibrium of Stars and its sequel Strange Bonds with the small publisher BlazeVox. It wasn’t really the greatest of fits. BlazeVox is primarily a poetry press, and although I was grateful to have the chance to publish, I couldn’t get the book off its feet. The only people who bought and read the books were friends and family, which I don’t really like. My favorite readers are always strangers. At any rate, I planned to publish the final in the trilogy with BlazeVox, but I moved to Chile and the publication of Strange Bonds while I was here was a little too difficult. To make matters more depressing, I think even less people read the sequel. I felt like publishing the third and final volume, All of a Darkness, would be nothing more than a tax on my family and friends. Not a good reason to publish a book. So I let the trilogy sit on my hard drive and was unsure that I would ever publish the whole thing.
I was also very lucky to have had the chance to work with Dan Madden, who agreed to do illustrations for the two books, as well as the covers. I love to work with other artists, and I was happy to see Dan’s vision of the Slinger and other characters. My particular favorite is the work he did on Garland, from Strange Bonds, one of my favorite characters in the whole trilogy (see below, also from one of my favorite scenes to write!) One of the reasons that I have delayed publishing the final book in this trilogy is that I was hoping to publish in a way that would make illustrations worth the trouble. The Kindle format is not the best for images. In the end, I thought it best to move on with publication without illustrations and publish the whole trilogy on Amazon. Otherwise I don’t know if I’ll ever publish it. So the new trilogy has no illustrations at all, which is good news for those of you who shelled out the money for the illustrated books. They remain unique. It’s a shame that the final book, All of a Darkness, never got the Dan Madden treatment. Anyway, my thanks go out to Dan, and my apologies for not finding some way to do the third book with him as well.
As I said, I finally decided to say the hell with it and publish the whole trilogy as one Kindle, The Slinger Trilogy. This badboy clocks in at around fifteen hundred pages, so be prepared. I’m extremely proud of this trilogy. The dialect work is great, the characters are sad and funny and pathetic, and the whole trilogy is epic in scope. Whereas in a lot of books I write, by the time I’ve finished editing them for like the eighth time, I’m sick as hell of the whole thing, and I can’t wait to just publish it and write something new, there’s something about Slinger that draws me in, makes me laugh and cry, and even surprises me. When I read it, I sometimes think, did I really write that? I don’t find that too likely. But amazingly, I did. I did write that.
Anyhow, for the people who read the first two books and have been waiting patiently, here it is, finally, All of a Darkness, the final book in the trilogy and the longest. Thanks for waiting and being patient. All of a Darkness is much like the other books. Lots of laughter. Lots of death. Lots of new characters. I think the book ties everything up nice enough and puts a period at the end of this particular sentence. I hope All of a Darkness lives up to the years you’ve been waiting.
For others, for most of you, this will be the first time you experience Slinger. It’s the story of a group of pioneers on the planet Damodara who, without wanting to, get embroiled in a conflict beyond their control. It’s the story of the Slinger, a renegade cursed by beauty, who finds herself cornered by her past. It’s the story of people fighting and dying, loving and losing, laughing and crying. All of it is written in a western dialect peppered with Spanish, Chinese, and a myriad of other languages that mix among the motley of humans on Damodara. I’m so happy to introduce the world to this trilogy and I hope you find it as strangely touching and human as I do.
And if you don’t like it, “Dizang!” as the Kid would say. “I guess there ain’t no pleasing some folk.”
The Slinger Trilogy officially launches on July 6th, but you can pre-order your copy here. Just remember. . .
Beauty Ain’t Always Nice.