By the time my next novel is released, it’ll have been 10 months since I’ve published a book. 294 days. 7,056 hours.
Now, to some, that may not seem like a long time. To my long suffering readers, it probably seems like decades. However, in the m/m world, it’s probably like a lifetime, given how literally hundreds of m/m books have been released since April 2012 when Who We Are came out. It also seems like some authors have releases every few weeks, as if they are some kind of m/m mass producing machine and are able to churn out books like clockwork. I can’t attest to the quality of those books as I haven’t read them, but I can’t help but wonder how that is possible and have the books be good. Maybe they are and I just don’t know it and it’s my loss because I haven’t read them. Maybe they’re not. I’m not some snob, however, who is under any illusions that what I write is considered high literature (though, I suppose you can debate what can be considered “literature” until you’re blue in the face and never come to a specific consensus). I am becoming increasingly concerned with the saturation of the m/m market as it seems to be getting harder and harder to weed through all the titles and the ratings seem to be getting lower and lower for all these new books. Eh. That’s another blog post all together. Let’s talk about me some more instead. Hurray!
If we went in order of completion, me next novel released would be Into This River I Drown, followed by the novel, Tell Me It’s Real. ITRID was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write, given multiple things. The subject matter, as it is an ode to my father; reopening wounds long thought closed is never something I want to do again. The timing of the novel itself: ITRID was the first thing I wrote once my time in self-imposed pitying exile was complete following the accusations over BOATK. I wrote like a man possessed, turning out 230,000 words in the space of approximately two months (it has been since edited waaaay down. Sort of.). I never want to do something like that again. I didn’t sleep much. I was surly all the time, if I was even aware at all. I didn’t interact with a lot of people during that time. I’d get up at 530 in the morning to write. I’d go to work at seven. Come home at five. Write until two or three in the morning. And then I started the same thing all over again. I stopped taking care of myself as well as I should have. It wasn’t the best experience of my life, but it may well have produced the very best thing I’ve written. Into This River I Drown is the work I’m most proud of out of all my books and I think you’ll see why.
Following ITRID, I needed to go light. Fluffy. Short (ha!). I started writing what I thought would be a 40-60K word story about an overweight sarcastic dude, named Paul who had a two legged dog named Wheels, a cynical partner in crime/best friend/confidante (who also happened to be a drag queen) named Helena Handbasket, and a lovable (though not very smart) hunk who believed in love at first sight named Vince. Easy, I told myself. Keep it short. Keep it simple.
Yeah. That didn’t go like I had planned at all.
I had too much fun with those characters, probably more fun than I’ve had with any of my previous books. It was a welcome change after the somberness of ITRID, and it was a rewarding writing experience for me, probably the best I’ve had. There wasn’t any time I was pulling my hair out, wondering how a character could possibly be acting the way they were acting and why oh WHY was there so much angst?
Tell Me Its Real is a screwball, madcap romantic comedy that is, without a doubt, the closest I’ll ever get to writing a pure comedy. I think it’s also going to be my most accessible novel, as well as the one that is closest to and hopefully will be able to translate over to film (hint, hint producers—make this into a movie!).
However, in order to get back into the swing of things, I requested that Tell Me It’s Real come out first, just because it’s been so long since I’ve had a book out. I didn’t want it to be ITRID and have people be all, “Yay! A new Klune book! And now he made us Wookiee Cry Face within the first five minutes! Ugh!” Instead, I wanted people to feel all light and happy with Tell Me It’s Real first. Then, I’ll make you cry. Again.
So. We have Tell Me It’s Real out on February 15th. It’s a little shorter than Who We Are. We have Into This River I Drown out on March 25th. It’s longer than BOATK, but shorter than Burn.
Eric Arvin and I got our Zombie novella coming out from Empire Press in what I think will be April 2013. This is a horror comedy satire that’ll gross you out and make you go AHHHHHHHH and then AWWWWWWW. (And then you’ll probably look at us weird for the twisted shit we’ve thought up. It helps when the person you’re writing with is also the person you’re dating because you can say the most off the wall shit that should be included in the book and the boyfriend/co-writer won’t even bat an eye. As a matter of fact, he’ll probably run with it and make it more dirty and gross. Arvin, how I adore you, especially since we’re going to make a zombie ____ the bodybuilder).
After that, I’ll get serious again with my novella John & Jackie, a 30K word story that’s probably the most romantic thing I’ve written. It’s also the shortest, which was an interesting experiment for someone like me who word vomits all over the place. I set myself a cap of 20K words when I set out writing it. Obviously I failed miserable. I had thought of starting J&J (and actually did) after BOATK came out with the plans of making it this massive, story told over the course of two novels, a decades spanning love story. You know what’s awesome? I did that same thing in 30K words. I adore that little story and hope you do too. It’ll be released as part of an anthology called Crack The Darkest Sky Wide Open in May 2013 and will include Arvin and some other awesome talent. Aside from the short story experimentation, this will be the first time I ever go the self-publishing route as we are doing this antho on our own.
So, will the lapse between my last books and these new works hurt me, given how it seems new authors pop up all the time and release book after book after book after book in such a short amount of time? You know, I’d like to think it won’t. Given the success of my first three novels, I hope that’s afforded me some allowances and a bit of time to work out the kinks in my head. I’m happy to say those kinks have been destroyed and I don’t plan on going anywhere for as long as you’ll have me.
(Oh, and P.S.—my plan is to have Elementally Evolved Book II: Break released toward the end of next year followed by BOATK 3 either at the end of 2013 or beginning 2014. Yes, this is a real thing.)