Novels Strange Newsletter All Essays in a Book Search


Putting it off for too long

In the novel I put off reading for too long, Shadow & Claw by Gene Wolfe, the main character muses that falsehoods may become truths, that one’s reflections on past events might play a part in creating the present.

I tend to refer to this phenomenon as recontextualization of the past. In these moments of recognition, you might say, I see the past differently, and in some weaving of past and present the now changes. Suddenly, new potentialities emerge from that recognition. This is my best description of it, at least for the moment (why, pray, would I give you less than my best effort?).

I started actually writing my first novel when I was 16. In my godparents’ laundry and computer room. The reason for actually writing’: novels, like most important decisions, lack a definitive starting point. Their life is like the life of the mind, continuously growing, taking on new shapes, experimenting, addressing novelty, swelling or shrinking with perceived victories and defeats. All this no matter what one’s position is on the Self, by the way.

So you can imagine, in Fall 2017, having turned 30 years of age (30 rotations around the Sun!), that I had some trepidation about what to think of that unfinished novel begun 14 years prior. I say unfinished’ because many artists, myself included, claim a piece of art can scarcely ever be finished. You have to wrestle the thing away from me. I know it can be better. Upon reading you will have the chance to notice character moments you’d like explored in more depth, or the occasional plot hole, or the expedient use of the mental abilities the characters’ employ in efforts to solve the puzzle of their enprisonment.

But as of 2017, this novel was also unfinished in the sense that it was unread by anyone outside of my reading circle. And while the writing of fiction itself is meaningful to me, and so meaningful that I’ve done it for perhaps ten thousand hours without any monetary compensation, I also would love for readers to read the story. To me, books are always part of a conversation between the author and the reader and between readers.

Rise to the Rahz, then, needed finishing in that sense. Copious revision and editing (the book was reduced by half). Rounds of professional and unprofessional (but careful) proofreading. A cover design with easter eggs (you probably won’t notice the easter eggs until you read the first few chapters).

In a matter of weeks, the novel will be ready in print, published through Tablo.

The easiest way to be updated is by liking or following my Fb author page here: https://www.facebook.com/evmauthor/

If you can’t wait and must have the digital version as an ebook: https://www.amazon.com/Rise-Rahz-Erik-van-Mechelen-ebook/dp/B07D9CLCRD/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1527625806&sr=1-1

I invite you to look inside’ and read the opening. Try before you buy.

Happy reading.

Posted on 29/5/2018






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