The book is going well. To bring you guys up to speed: I first wrote I'm On Fire in 1999. It's one of four of my novels which share the title of a Springsteen song (Spare Parts, Open All Night, and I'll Work For Your Love are the others, with honorable mention going to Roses In the Rain, which is a line from "Thunder Road." Fun fact: most of my books are named for song titles. Carry That Weight comes from The Beatles; Find the River is REM; Tangerine is Led Zeppelin; American Storm is Bob Seger, and Maybe You're Right is Barenaked Ladies.) The heroes are more complicated, the villains are more believable and sympathetic. When I first wrote the book, bad guys were bad guys and good guys were good guys and there was a very clear demarcation between white hats and black hats. My writing has evolved since then, and I think that applying the techniques and tools I've learned over the last decade are helping this book. I hope so.
I also don't like all those lingering questions, stuff that feels like it only exists because the book needed it to. Why doesn't Jessie have friends of her own? Or Scott? What's Scott's home life like? Kate should kind of have a boyfriend, shouldn't she? Is Heather really dumb or does she just seem it? And was making Laurie and Jessie's Dad a non-character in the latter half of the novel a wise move?
Lots of questions. I'm finding those answers every day. I'm also putting in some homages to my other stuff, too - I've invented some singers, writers, and characters that cameo in multiple books. If someone's going to get obsessed with horror writer Lauren Kincaid in high school in Welcome to Bloomsbury, it's neat to see how far she's taken that obsession in Maybe You're Right. Plus, there's emotional homages. Remember when Gordon beat the shit out of ... well, someone in Roller Disco Saturday Night? I thought that scene would work really well in I'm On Fire, too. The weakest character of the book giving into rage and physical violence: a Kevin Quigley trademark.
There's been a lot of other creative stuff going on, too. I'm co-producing an all-new, all-rad sketch night at ImprovBoston. I'm also working on a new show (and acting in it, what?) with some of the best sketch people we've got. And I'm trying my hand at directing a show. The second brainstorm session is tonight and then shit gets real. In writing: I just got offered a plum new assignment from my publisher and we're negotiating the specifics now. It's a new nonfiction chapbook that will require lots of intense research, and we all know how much I hate research. I've still got one more Disney trip report to put out, and I've knocked out two reviews for FEARnet.com: Battleground and Throttle #2. (Click "Like" if you like; every one helps.)
And still I'm On Fire is consuming my soul. The book is on track to be finished by July, and I'll be so glad that I'll have a definitive, complicated, exciting new version of this story I've been living with for a third of my life.
We've got roughly 24 hours left before my Kickstarter project closes. While my goal has been met and surpassed, some have asked if they can still back the project. The simple answer is yes. The longer answer is that when a writer isn't a blockbuster, out-of-the-gate success, he or she needs all the help they can get. While the ostensible goal of my Kickstarter experiment has been to help me parcel out time and get new hardware and software to make I'm On Fire a reality ... well, there are always more stories, always more writing, and always more need to keep that part of my world afloat. So if you want to help back me and my creative pursuits, you've got another 24 hours to make it happen. See the link below! And thanks again, everyone. It's been a hell of a ride.