Indiegogo: A Little Change Of Plans

Here it is, July 3rd, and no Kickstarter. I have had some difficulties with them. My fundraiser will still be happening, but it will start July 5th, on a different crowdfunding platform.

My Kickstarter project was declined because it seeks funding for an ad campaign. While Kickstarter’s rejection was probably due to my wording, and while it can be appealed (and would probably be approved after an edit), I’ve decided to skip the hassle and migrate the project to another crowdfunding site, Indiegogo.

I’m actually happier with that change. On July 5th, I’ll have a live Indigogo project for you. Until then, enjoy the Fourth of July, and don’t eat too much bratwurst.

A Chair Between The Rails: Origins

While we wait for Kickstarter to approve my project (I wasn’t prepared for that!), I thought I would tell you a little about the origins of A Chair Between The Rails. I’ll try to keep it spoiler-free.

Summer of 2012, I was out of work. I took a job at a local music store, working under the store’s psychotic former manager. After getting to know him a bit, I began to realize that his alarming thought patterns matched those of the main character in a novel that I had abandoned the year before. Finding inspiration in the pain this man caused me, I set out to rewrite the novel.

The germ of that story, originally titled Distant Eden, took shape in 2007. An early draft struggled to find its rhythm and died after a few chapters. A second draft was completed in Fall of 2008, but turned out to be overly cumbersome. (At the time, I was obsessed with writing long books for the glory of authorhood. I was a fool.) In 2011, I started the novel from scratch. I was in design school at the time, training myself to cut paper to tolerances of 1/32 of an inch. Enforcing the same precision on my writing muse, I quickly killed the third draft of Distant Eden with my fear of failure.

From 2009 to 2011, I had worked on The Tower of Babel, which comes chronologically after A Chair Between The Rails. With the failure of the 2011 draft of Distant Eden, I gave up on the story and declared The Tower of Babel to be the first book in the Vaulan Cycle. But it was not to be: readers asked for more backstory, and people who knew the story of Distant Eden encouraged me to get it out there. So I set out again, summer of 2012, to rewrite Distant Eden. This time, it worked. The book will be released November 1, 2013, as A Chair Between The Rails.

Suicide is a resonant theme in A Chair Between The Rails. I’m a little concerned that this may bother people. However, the book settled into its current state not by design, but by me listening to what it had to say. As I delved into what I perceived to be the psyche of my insane coworker, his insanity began to infect my mind as well. I worked it out through writing the novel. The resultant character is James Feckidee, the narrator of A Chair Between The Rails. I cannot apologize for James’s tendencies, nor for the strange way in which they come to fruition (and to redemption) in the story. The book is what it is.

That said, I like to think that the book’s presentation of willful death has something to say to us. Growing that summer in my relationship with my fiancee (now my wife), I began to learn the hard way what it is to die for someone else. Taking this and applying it to the almost constant passage of blaring trainhorns in this city, I stumbled upon the climactic scene in the novel. You can come to your own conclusions from the story, as I don’t really want to go too deep in explaining what is (I hope) a work of art.

A Chair Between The Rails comes chronologically before The Tower of Babel. I’m planning a third and possibly a fourth book, which will bring the Vaulan Cycle to true circular completion. I know this is an ambitious project—a new attempt at myth-making—but I’m up for it.