Progress: 9,073 words, One Chapter (First draft)
To get my head out of Father’s Creed, after finishing the first draft, I decided to move right into my next novel. Nothing could be more polar opposite from historical fiction than sci-fi thriller, and that’s exactly why I chose to do Ghost City.
The premise came to me a few months back as a what if scenario. All ghost stories deal with people encountering one or a few ghosts, producing a tale that any survivors would need to prove to the outside world, but what if an entire city saw the ghost at the same time, and what if there were thousands of them?
With that scenario, there is no longer the burden of proof or the chance for disbelief. Everyone in the world has to immediately accept the fact that ghosts exist. Now what? Of course there is religious impact and scientific impact, but there’s also the logistics of daily life. If an entire city is overrun with ghosts, and the Ghostbusters are unfortunately unavailable to take your call, then what do citizens do to cope? (*side note: The biggest problem with the Ghostbusters theme song is they never mention the phone number!)
Technology is forced to work around what it cannot solve, and an unsuccessful technology company that produces tech glasses, (think Google Glass), discovers a way to filter the ghosts from view. If people can’t exorcise the phantoms, they’ll do the next best thing: ignore them.
The story of Ghost City starts five years after the ghosts first appear, and Jennifer Rose Vega is given a secret assignment to once again attempt discovery of why the ghosts are there and what they want. But why is this assignment secret, and what prompted a new investigation?
My hope is to make this a tighter novel, well shy of the 100k word mark that I’ll be struggling to get Father’s Creed down to. I place it not too far in the future so the people are still relatable, as well as the tech. Yes, the ghosts are big metaphors for what technology and the Internet has done to us, but mostly I just want an entertaining story, hitting on an audience that might have no interest in a book about the War of 1812.
Part of me thinks Ghost City has more potential for publication and reader adoption, which may mean it will see bookstores before Father’s Creed. Still, I’ll be returning to Father’s Creed in December to begin editing. Having a first draft goal for my first novel was a great motivator, so… (doing calculations) I’m giving myself a deadline of May 1 to finish my first draft of Ghost City.
There’s still research for this one, but not nearly the amount required to shore up my ignorance to the world of America in 1812. After all, the near future is just a tweak on a life I already know. The biggest barriers will be story, but I have a pretty good idea of where I’m going, the key players, and what twists and turns will surface.
Like Father’s Creed updates, I’ll have updates for Ghost City as well. Despite beginning a second novel, the first one still has a long road ahead of it to reach publication. I’m still on my journey as a first-time novelist, and I’ve received a lot of great support. I hope that continues for those following Father’s Creed progress, and I welcome new friends in support of Ghost City. I’m a big sci-fi fan myself, so I’ll strive to scratch the surface of the many fantastic worlds already imagined, perhaps bringing a new voice to an awesome genre.
Thanks for reading, everyone. I hope you will stay with me as readers of both my books when released, and for all my books to follow.