Fanatical atheist

In the throes of hardcore Christianity in my early 20s (see my previous post), I finally decided to read the Bible.  I figured If I was going to dedicate my life (and afterlife) to its teachings, I should probably actually read it. So I reverently opened my NIV study Bible and began reading Genesis 1:1.

And after I finished reading the last words of Revelation 22:21, I knelt down and prayed.  For many things in the bible didn’t make sense to me.  And many more things profoundly disturbed me.*  So I asked God to help me understand his word.

Then I proceeded to read the bible again.**

And this time when I was done, I didn’t kneel down and pray.  For instead of feeling like I read a book inspired by a perfect loving god, I knew I just read a work patched together by primitive ignorant humans.  Though I still loved god with my heart, I no longer loved him with my mind.

My Christian friends tried explaining to me that that was why my belief in god was referred to as a “Faith”, for it transcended reason.  But that argument further confused me: why would god create me with a brain, only to expect me to disregard it?

From a fanatical Christian, I became a fanatical atheist.

The next ten years of my life were my most turbulent.  No longer knowing my place in Creation and what was expected of me, I was an unanchored unbattened boat tossed in the stormy ocean of life.  I was angry that I wasted my entire life to blind faith.***

However, I owe the existence of The Alpha And The Omega to my fanatical Christianity and fanatical atheism.  I couldn’t have come up with the its plot if it wasn’t for my Christianity.  And I wouldn’t have wrote it as a secular (i.e. over-the-top horror) novel if it wasn’t for my atheism.

To be continued…

* What exact biblical concerns I had are outside the scope of this particular post.  But I’m willing to divulge them if enough blog commenters ask.


** Including all the excruciating “…X the father of Y, Y the father of Z…”s in Genesis and Mathew.


*** This doesn’t mean I believe all people of faith are living a lie.  Events in my life have led me to my current (ir)religious state.  Not having experienced another’s life, I have no right to pass judgment on his/her spiritual journey.

How the End Times will unfold

…is chronicled in The Alpha And The Omega.  Or at least, that’s what I thought when I was a fervent Christian.

My father is Methodist and my mother practices Shinto.  So naturally, I became a Southern Baptist.  (Being brought up in the Bible Belt during my formative years may have had something to do with it too.)

In second grade, I literally cried with joy when I was Saved at Grace Baptist Church.

Living in the dorms at Cal Poly, my standard greeting to strangers was “Hey, would you like to hear about how I met Christ?”  (Though, I did pass on the occasional invitation from my fellow collegiate Christians to protest at the local Planned Parenthood.)

When the Bible stated God created the Heavens and the Earth in six days, I believed it was six days.  Not a figurative “biblical day” that equaled an epoch of a billion, or even a thousand, years.  No, six fucking days.  Because my God, an infinitely-powerful god, could easily create the entire universe in less than a week.

So when I came up with the idea of writing a book about the impending End Times, it was easy.  To me, the plot of The Alpha And The Omega wasn’t fiction: it was cautionary non-fiction.  It was how I earnestly thought the world was going to end…

To be continued…

Big in Britain! (Part II)

As mentioned in my previous Big in Britain! post, I’m selling five times as many copies of A&O per capita in the UK than in the US. To get to the bottom of this, I decided to take a week-long investigative trip to London. (Plus, I desperately needed a vacation (or “holiday”, as the Europeans call it). And I’ve never been to Europe.)

Before my trip, I assumed Britain was far more secular than Christian America. Since England was roughly 800 years older than young pup America, I believed it had gone through its heated religious adolescence centuries earlier. And now, while the US was going through its own religious fervor, the UK’s had long since cooled into a detached secularism.

And my trip seemed to confirm this. God, religion, or spirituality never entered into my conversations with Londoners. And though I came across many majestic cathedrals in the London megalopolis, all were centuries old. And most were crumbling.

So I still don’t know why Christian apocalyptic A&O sells so well in the mostly godless UK. I may need to follow-up with another month-long vacation—er, I mean fact-finding mission.

 

IMG_20140920_184039

For me, this picture (which I snapped in Dublin) captures the state of religion in the British Isles: An old steeple in disrepair, against the backdrop of a shiny futuristic spire piercing the heavens.

So many books, so little time…

I figured I had, at most, 12 books in me: the A&O trilogy (i.e. The Books of Rachel), my grand sci-fi saga, and a handful of standalone novels.

But when I recently tallied all my book outlines*, I was shocked to discover I had 30 novels left to write!

The math: A&O took me five years to write.  Hence, it will take me 5 years x 30 novels = 150 years to complete writing all my books.  (And that’s not counting the additional book ideas I’d inevitably come up with during that 150 year span of time.)

Barring a cure for aging in the next 40ish years, I only have time to write eight more novels.  Sadly, I will be forced to do some heart-rending literary prioritizing in the next few years.  Damn you, mortality!

 

* These aren’t mere “story ideas”; these are fully fleshed-out summaries.  I’m a chronic outliner: I need to know how a story begins, builds, and ends, before I can write its first draft.  I envy authors that can begin writing a tale without knowing where it’s headed.

Tito’s Martini

As stated on my homepage, my sci-fi saga Tito’s Martini is slated to be 1000+ pages.  But I don’t want to subject my readers to such a turgid tome.  Plus, since it took me five years to write 300+ page A&O, it’ll probably take me 15 years to finally finish Tito’s.  So I decided to break Tito’s into a trilogy.  Already done with 230 pages (or 75% of the first novel’s) first draft…

Now to figure out where to gracefully break the story up…

Jame-O Shot

In the midst of writing my third book, I decided I needed a break.  A&O was a grueling (yet satisfying) five-year journey.  Goddess was an exercise in pure editing.  And now Absinthe was proving to be more research (and map drawing) than writing.  I was longing to write something that was research free, required little editing, and was light and fanciful.

As a lifelong Star Trek nerd, I had come up with several story ideas throughout my life.  As a palette cleanser, why not write some Star Trek fan fiction? I thought.

But as I started fleshing out the outline to my first Star Trek “episode”, I quickly began feeling weighed down by the franchise’s nearly 50 years of canon.  I didn’t want my characters to be limited to humans, Vulcans, Klingons, the Borg…  I wanted to offer my own clever takes on instantaneous communication and faster-than-light travel.  And I wanted to present a radically different fate for humanity 500 years from now.

So I decided to create my own sci-fi serial.

But as I set out crafting my serial’s setting, I found myself borrowing more and more ideas from Tito’s Martini, my upcoming sci-fi saga.  Then it hit me: why sketch out a brand new setting, when I’ve already created a lush and complex universe, championed by heroes, cursed by villains, all steeped in 500 years of tragic history, ready to be unleashed?

So Jame-O Shot will be the start of a serialized sequel to Tito’s Martini.  Each novella (episodic, ~60 pages) in the series will be released after a major novel, the first coming after Absinthe.  I plan to only release them as ebooks (but depending on their popularity, I may publish bundles of them in print).

I hope you enjoy your shot.

Big in Britain!

Curiously, starting six months ago, United Kingdom sales of The Alpha And The Omega (A&O) caught up with United States sales.  And lately, UK sales have exceeded US sales.  What makes this remarkable is that the UK has 1/5 the population of the US.  Hence, per capita, I’m selling five times as many books in the UK than in the US.

I’m big in Britain!

And much like Jerry Lewis’ fame in France, or David Hasselhoff’s popularity in Germany, I can’t explain it.  If anything, I’d think a story about Biblical end times occurring in modern day would be a larger draw in fundamental Christian America than in secular Britain.  (Then again, I haven’t gauged the UK’s religious climate firsthand since I never visited the country, a deficiency I plan to remedy in the very near future.)

So if you’re a British reader, please enlighten me to why A&O is so (relatively) popular across the Atlantic.

The Grand Experiment: FAIL

The Alpha and the Omega ebook is available again on non-Kindle formats.

As explained in my previous “The Alpha And The Omega ebook free to Amazon Prime members!” post, I embarked on a Grand Experiment to sell the A&O ebook exclusively on Kindle, in exchange for it to be available to Amazon Prime members for free (through the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Select program).  I hoped the lure of free ebooks would gain me new readers.

Almost a year later, I sold roughly the same amount of Kindle A&O ebooks as I did the previous year, while no one borrowed it for free.  So I ended up losing out on non-Kindle A&O ebook sales for nothing.

Needless to e-say, I won’t be enrolling Goddess or any of my future ebooks in KDP Select.

Absinthe

I recently came up with a novel (as in “book” as well as “new”) idea that I’m shocked to discover has never been done before (at least according to an exhaustive Google search).  So in fear that someone else will inevitably come up with the same idea and scoop me, I shelved my sci-fi magnum opus (yet again) (codename: Tito’s Martini) to fast-track this alternative history novella idea (codename: Absinthe).

Good news is, Absinthe will only be about 100 pages, so it will be available far sooner than behemoth 1000+ page Martini would’ve been.

Now with Progress Bars!

Just added progress bars to my home page!  So now my fan(s?) can track my progress(?) on my upcoming books.  Go crazy:

 

Book codename: Absinthe

Brief description: Alternative history novella.  (More on this in my next blog post.)

 

Tito’s martini

Sci-fi magnum opus.  (The increasingly inaccurately named* “first novel” mentioned in my previous posts.)

 

Jame-O shot

Start of a sci-fi serial.

 

JD

Horror/sci-fi novel.  Prequel to The Alpha And The Omega.  Subtitle: The First Book of Rachel

 

(Why codenames? When I lived in LA, every screenwriter I came across gave me the same advice: never reveal anything about what I’m working on until it’s produced, lest an unscrupulous soul steal my idea.  In fear that even disclosing my projects’ titles may give away too much, I’ve resorted to giving them codenames (a practice I learned while working in high-tech).)

 

* Genius phrase plagiarized from Douglas Adams

OUT NOW!

NeoSparta
By David Downey