Today's an interesting day for me. I'm part of a group of indie authors (The Awethors at #Awethors) and we're all having our second annual event, "Get Down With The Awethors!" an exhausting and entertaining 24 hour Facebook meet up. On top of that, we've just released our first ever short story anthology, which everyone is pumped about (my story's not in there, but I was told there were no guidelines for "how dark was too dark" and, channeling my inner high school student, I tested those boundaries by smashing them to bits).
49 authors with just as many short stories. It's a good collection (and free!). Again and again, you'll see the theme explored: Can we find redemption? What does that look like? Is it a futile search, or can we be made whole? It's not an unfair question. It's one of the Big Questions in life. But it's still one I answer by asking, "who cares?"
Finishing a first novel is an achievement, but a second novel is where it gets interesting, because that's where you start to spot, not the theme of your novel, but your themes for who you are as an author. And in my case, there's one big thing that Petty (2014) and The Gravedigger's Girlfriend (December 2015/January 2016) have in common: They are stuffed full of characters who give not a single fuck about finding redemption.
Are they so strange? I don't think so. I think we exist out here by the millions; those of us content, confident, and happy the way we are - those of us that believe that as-is is good enough. No redemption is coming, but that's okay - we really don't need it.
I won't claim my characters are good people. They certainly aren't. But they're not all evil, either - they're simply a group of people that have moved past the idea of cosmic Good and Evil, and are content being themselves, whatever that looks like.
It's their stories I enjoy telling. And that's why I write.
* * *
If you're curious about what it's like to be a small time thief inside a major amusement park, check out Petty on Amazon here.
If you're more interested in what it's like to bury bodies for an ex-girlfriend while dating a new girl that's even stranger, you'll have to wait for The Gravedigger's Girlfriend, out later this year.
If you want to check out a bunch of free short stories from passionate indie authors, Awethology Dark is available here for free. Its companion volume, Awethology Light, will also be free once the Amazon kinks get worked out.