V2R Week Contiues!
The Voyage to Ruin is less a novel than an interconnected series of stories, written around 2003 or so, self-published via Lulu in 2006, after a few attempts to interest an agent or conventional publisher failed. Self-publishing was not as widespread or acceptable in those long-lost days of yore six years ago, and I was slightly embarrased about the whole thing, as well as having absolutely no time for or clue about marketing, and so most of the few copies I sold were bought at the base price by my dad. (One definite disadvantage to the Lulu model is that their print books are awfully expensive, and most of the people interested in reading my book were students or broke–which amounts to the same thing, really. Well, most of the people interested in reading in general are either students or broke, so I can’t say that I’m special in that regard.) In 2009 I looked at some of the critiques I’d received from friends, brushed up the text here and there, and smacked it into a revised “Penultimate Edition,” which I also didn’t market.*
A little while ago I was chatting with a web designer friend, and I don’t even remember how it came up, but we started talking about doing a nifty-keen Kindle version. Thanks (I believe; I haven’t studied any graphs or anything like that) to electronic reading devices, self-publishing has really taken off, and although it does mean that the reader is basically taking on the job of the editor as well as the consumer, it also means that weird books like mine can sail out into the open market and perhaps be read.
Because, honestly, V2R is weird. I mentioned that it’s not really a proper novel, but more of a series of stories–which means that all the connecty bits you have in a conventional novel are more or less missing. It also has three main characters who are very seldom in the same place at the same time, and whose actions are frequently only loosely related. New characters are introduced as though the reader ought to know who they already are, motivations that might be important are never mentioned, events are alluded to and never explicated, and as for plot, it seems to happen outside the pages of the book while the three main characters sort of meander about following their own ends.
Why would someone write such an odd book? Mostly for a lark, to be honest; I had the characters knocking around in my head, and I had, at the time, a need to do something fun and slightly ridiculous and not terribly taxing, and my little pirate stories, which I wrote to entertain myself and some of my schoolmates,** certainly fit the bill.
Well, and now, thanks to that web designer friend and his partner, a project that I had mentally classed as “a fun experiment, but ultimately a failure” is back, and my enthusiasm is, as it were, re-kindled. There might be hope for a sequel yet.
*This timeline, coupled with the Steel Butterfly timeline (ongoing since 2007 1998), is proof that I take a very long time to do things.
**The Art Institue of Dallas, animation, and you’d think that would be enough work to be going on with, but apparently I’m not happy unless I’m completely insane with busy-ness at all times.
The Voyage to Ruin, volume one of The Sky Sailors, is available in a variety of formats in a variety of places: in Kindle format at Amazon, in other electronic formats at Smashwords, and, for the traditionalist, in dead-tree format at Lulu.com.