“Stabitha” is Live Tomorrow! And what comes next…

Time for a public angst dump. My bookie wookie goes live tomorrow, the first book that… Well, a lot of firsts. First thriller/attempt at the mainstream, first time I’ve had live feedback from other writers as I wrote a novel, first time I’ve done what I was told re: cover, blurb, marketing, advertising. And first time I’ve had a real chance at making some BANK.

The timing’s perfect, market-wise. I didn’t know when I started Stabitha in November that serial killers would be such a hot trend right now. I buy analytics from K-Lytics and from June of last year, when serial killers were like (numbers, but I’m close) 22nd hottest mystery category… to 2nd hottest in January. So let’s hope I ride the wave…

This is really “get rich or die in a ditch time,” because I have no Plan B. I’ve ignored most job openings (save for one incredibly absurd failure) because if Stabbers really flies, I’m going to be a busy man.

Even five years ago, if I’d run into enormous financial success, it would have been a disaster. Back then, I only knew money as something for spending. Investing was boring and the stock market is a trap (still believe that!). But now…

The last year and a half, I’ve taken acting classes, been in some other people’s short films, worked as PA on shorts, and a couple feature films, wrote a dozen or more of my own shorts, as well as a full length screenplay, made two (number two in post production!) episodes of a web series which I wrote, directed, acted in, and produced. And started building plans for empire.

Yeah, if I get Stabberbux, I’m going to start making movies. Real movies. Right here in Reno. I work with a guy who’s pretty sure we could put out three low budget movies a year with the right financing. Of course, as a self published author for so long, my dream is total independence, being able to fund features, even if at only $200k budgets, all by myself, with no outside interference from people with money but no knowledge of filmmaking, story, etc.

And not as a hobby. Or an ill-informed speculation. I’ve been learning and learning, reading book after book about movies and movie directors and directing actors and the art of editing etc. I’m not some starry-eyed dentist with money and a glamorous glint in his eye. I’m ready.

Ready to run a business, to have people whose income I’m responsible for, to make good decisions. To make movies that are…

Well, the goal for Stabitha was to make a novel that was satisfying. That people wouldn’t just finish and go, eh okay what’s next. That made people scream on the last page. That you’d want to read again someday. That had some depth and substance but wasn’t clotted with luminous lapidary sentences, each and every one fighting the other for the Booker Prize. That was entertaining but not dumb, in short.

And that’s the kind of movies I want to make. 90 minute comedies, not stupid “fat letter comedies,” you know the ones, with the big fat title letters to reassure you that you can leave your brain at the door. Mall Cop 7 or Jack and Jill: Origins or Big Momma’s Fridge. Lady Bird would be an example of the most dramatic thing I’d want to make. Commercial entertainment that doesn’t slide in and out of you, leaving no trace.

And of course The Franchise comes first! The other two books in the Brian O’Connor Trilogy. And that’s it. Three books. None of this creating a great character, putting out enough books to get people hooked… and then spending year after year, phoning in another book, another hardback with soooo much white space between the lines to pad out the pages, that it’s like paying $20 for a short story. Once in a lifetime does a writer get a character like Brian. And he deserves not to be milked like a cow for one more nickel, again and again.

It’s not like I can’t think of new stories, new characters! I’m just getting started. I already have a couple feature ideas I’m tinkering with for my New Empire.

Of course… all this depends on Stabitha succeeding. And I have to hope it at least succeeds enough that if I don’t get rich, at least I won’t die in a ditch… Enough, at least, to tide me over to the next one, and the last.

Well, wish me luck. There’s not much more I can do now. The book goes out, the ads go up, then we see what happens…

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