Welcome to the wide crazy world of TJ Klune

As you can see, this is a blog (a blog, you say? You're like the only person in the world that has one!). Here are my promises to you: I promise to up date this as much as I can. I promise that at some point, you will most likely be offended. I promise that I may show naked dudes (but honestly? I've been told that my taste can be a little... strange). I also promise to make this some place where you can see how my mind works.

You've been warned.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Pre-Release Thoughts on John & Jackie


Once upon a time, I wrote the following words:

…It may not yet be legal/but it’s better than eating a beagle/so won’t you please marry me?

The end.

I was thrilled. I was elated. I’d done it! I’d finished my first novel. Jesus Christ, I thought. I am badass. I AM A MOTHERFUCKING ROCKSTAR! I AM KING OF MY DOMAIN!!! I… need to start working on my next book.

I’ve said before, and I’ll say again: I am one of those writers who can only work on one thing at a time. I’m also a very slow writer. That’s why you don’t see me have sixteen books out per month like other authors in this genre. There’s nothing wrong with them, obviously; it’s just not for me.

So I’d finished BOATK. What next? Burn wasn’t quite ready in my head, so I thought to work on another idea that’d been gestating for a bit. It was ambitious, to say the least. It was going to be a decades-spanning love story. It was going to be HUGE, probably at least two or three books. I was going to show how love started when the two men were just boys, and how it grew through all the trials and tribulations, the heartaches, the good and the bad times, all the way up until they were very old men, spending their last days together. So I started writing. It was stupendous! It was amazing! It was…

Awful.

Oh God, was it awful.

Seriously. It was so saccharine and sweet, you’d have thought a unicorn had barfed rainbows on a pile of puppies who then rolled around in sugar covered flowers while having adorable hiccups and barking in that high pitched way puppies do.

It was, in a word, ridiculous.

So, after having written 30K words on it, I pushed it aside.

But these two men, John and Jackie, were never far from my thoughts. I tried again after I finished Burn. And again after Who We Are. And a few more times during writing both of those. But each time I tried to start over, or tried to salvage what I’d already written, it just didn’t compute. For some reason, John and Jackie weren’t telling me the story like I wanted them too. Sometimes, as authors, that happens. It sucks, but it is reality.

Then I wrote a novel on exploring grief and faith. In Into This River I Drown, I was able to explore a newer side of my writing, and, if I may be a bit snooty, it’s a more “artistic” style of writing, rather than a straight forward narrative. Some parts work. Some parts don’t. But through that book, I learned a lot. And I thought I’d finally found the key to writing about John and Jackie.

River was my longest book. John and Jackie would need to be my shortest. I’d make it a novella, using sparse language, and instead of telling their whole life’s story, I would pick five key scenes from their lives. Five scenes that made them who they as they approached their later years.

Then a new problem arose: John and Jackie also deals with the idea of grief, though not as saturated as River. I was sick of grief and sadness after spending so much time with Benji, Cal, and Big Eddie. I wanted something lighter.

I wrote Tell Me It’s Real instead.

And when I said good-bye to Paul and Vince, I knew I’d come to the right time.

I planned the story to be 15K words. It grew to 30K words. I was tempted to make it longer, but knew I’d eventually fall into the same traps as I’d had many times before while trying to write it. By the time I finished, I felt exalted. Shaken. Tired and heartsore, but in such a good, good way.

I gave it to my beta reader who suggested I submit it to Eric Arvin, who was trying to put a self published anthology together. I was nervous, sure, as I’d never had anything self published before. But then Eric showed me that he’d amassed some big names like Abi Roux, SJD Peterson, and some newer writers, like Jason Huffman-Black and SA McAuley. It wasn’t going to be the traditional anthology, filled with hearts and rainbows and sunshine. Each writer was tasked with stepping outside their comfort zone and writing something different. The anthology called Crack The Darkest Sky Wide Open, will be released next Friday on all formats and available through the usual third party sites such as Amazon and ARe.

I can’t speak for the other works as to their ideas of romance, or if there is even romance in their stories. I can say, without a doubt, that my story, John and Jackie, is the most romantic thing I’ve written. It's also written a bit differently than my other books, as it's meant to read as if slightly dream-like, where the edges are slightly fuzzy and certain moments come into sharper focus. And, much to my chagrin, the shortest thing I’d ever written has turned out to be the longest thing in the anthology. Ah, well. Maybe next time.

On May 17th, we’ll ask you to take our hands as we show you what happens when some of your favorite authors crack the darkest sky wide open. I can’t wait for you to read John and Jackie, and I promise you, that even in the dark, there will be light.

Tj

P.S.

The anthology is available for pre-order at a cheaper price of $4.99 through our website. If you purchase now, you'll get a reminder to download it to your e-reader of choice on the release date. It should be pretty simple. It'll be available on all the usual third party sites on May 17th.

Pre-order link: http://crackthedarkestskywideopen.tum...

2 comments:

  1. Congratulations. When I read this post, I was filled with happy pride for you...

    Then I was filled with an almost consuming cloud of jealousy.

    Well done.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I finished reading John and Jackie over breakfast this morning. I ended up being a little bit late to work, but it was so so worth it. My blueberry bagel may have tasted a bit like the big fat tears that were rolling down my cheeks. Well done.

    I'm so glad I embarked on my journey to read at least one published work by every author attending GRL. See you at in Atlanta!

    ReplyDelete