I might have mentioned this, not sure. The last two months have been a
whirlwind hurricane. Pilgrim got released, the IoD bundle hit, then came All These Shiny Worlds. And currently I’m working on Forge of the Jadugar and Crimson Son 2 (double surprise!) along with another anthology invite. Phew.
Oh, and that audiobook.
I’ve been avoiding revisiting Crimson Son for the past few years. I mean, I cranked out Empty Quiver, but that only required references to some worldbuilding notes and skimming a few chapters. After Crimson was complete, I didn’t want to look at it in its entirety ever again.
I’m highly critical. Maybe a little of a perfectionist. I’m also very certain my writing chops have improved with the word count I’ve been putting out lately. Going back to read Crimson Son would be asking for trouble in a what-the-hell-can-you-do-about-it-now sorta way.
Listening to the audio I hear sentences that make me cringe. Awkward phrasing or needless repetition sneaks in every so often. My inner revisionist wants to reach in there and rearrange, prune, clarify.
Then again, I hear things that make me laugh out loud too. And I see plot threads and through lines which, when I was buried deep inside the work, I wasn’t sure if I’d established clearly enough. Surprisingly, they’re there.
But the main thing that strikes me? Spencer is a dick. And that’s perfect.
I get a lot of people telling me they “couldn’t identify with the main character” to which my response is usually “good.” On this listen through, after being away for so long, I couldn’t identify with him the first few chapters. I was convinced maybe my voice talent was reading him wrong.
Nope. He’d given it a preliminary read and decided that Spencer needed a touch of douche bag to his tone. God bless him.
This story is about a mouthy, runt of a kid who’s had a hectic life in the shadow of an overbearing, super-powered dad. He’s been put through a traumatizing event and long-term isolation, and is teetering on the edge of doing something dark, or stupid, or both. He’s kinda got the attitude of a Deadpool (if you haven’t seen it yet, shame on you) who isn’t an intentional caricature but a real, powerless person placed in extraordinary circumstances which ultimately change him, and change him for the better. He’s forced to deal with loss, start to at least begin to understand and accept his father, and learn to walk away when he’s in over his head or ask for help from his friends.
Sure, the prose isn’t perfect and the lines aren’t arrow-straight, but if you like to let stories sink in and characters grow on you, if you like to explore and participate in fiction rather than have it spoonfed to you (there is nothing wrong with spoonfeeding: all-inclusive resorts are a thing for a reason), I think you’ll like it.
And yeah, you may find the ending a little too open.
Turns out, I meant to do that…
We’re slightly off-schedule with production, but I expect to have the final up on Audible by April.