Everything Comes Full Circle - Revisiting the Cimmerian City

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 0 Comments A+ a-

This week has been a whirlwind of emotions. Everything from fear, excitement, withdrawal, elation and acceptance kept me pumped to the end when I would finally make my book live. It's a gamut of emotions many indie authors go through when they are about to send a book out into the world. After having the story in your head for so long, sharing it with an editor (and not just an editor, but a partner to help make it the best book you can), creating the cover and text layout--the time arrives for release.

Only with Cimmerian City, I'm relieving this experience all over again.




Cimmerian City was my very first book release back in 2007 shortly after I entered the rising digital publishing world. Up until then, I had only dreamed of writing professionally. I had sold short stories and written articles for publications...but novel writing? Nonsense! I told myself I would never write books because they were just too bloomin' long. I loved the shorter works and I had nothing more to say.

My how things have changed.

I always tell the story of how Cimmerian City came to me in English class in '99. I was studying Brave New World, The Matrix had premiered on the silver screen along with Dark City and the Thirteenth Floor. Imaginative possibilities were everywhere and the world was going through more shifts with emerging technology, scary social changes and a shape-shifting government.

Then a character named Raven Blackheart claimed my own imagination. Cimmerian City went through many transitions where I played with virtual realities, futuristic scenarios, A.I. technology on distant worlds and meditations on money ruling government...until the story hit me. Most sci-fi stories showcased the world around the characters as a character itself but it was Raven who stood out most in my mind. This was her journey in a world that affected her and her family on a personal level. It was the story about the consequences of a failed government on its citizen. Overall, it was and still remained a story about discovery and death, the dark, cruelty of how humans can be toward one another and mankind's ability to find the good in the darkness around itself.

(Slightly spoilery character backgrounds to follow)

Raven's family ties shape a big part of her present and future. A mixture of Egyptian and Native American heritage, she is a woman who lived on a reservation after losing the only family she knew to a corrupt world who saw its inhabitants as commercial experiments. The mysterious Enos Relim, a strong minded, whip smart man from the Blackfoot tribe, trains and mentors Raven. He also helps her find out the truth about what happened to her father who disappeared mysteriously years ago. The brilliant Russell Li, a young handsome Chinese American man, works as an engineer at a prestigious corporation. Soon he is invited to move up in his career...but at a price that ultimately ends in losing a part of himself. At the beginning of the novel, all three lose someone close to them which will tie them together for the rest of their lives.

(End slightly spoilery character backgrounds)

The thing I always loved about science fiction was the ability to explore humanity in all its nooks and crannies through fantastical worlds and situations. Technology, commerce, government and society all combined in a commentary I was most excited to write about.

Even though Cimmerian City explores loss, death, darkness and greed that destroys men's hearts, A Feast of Shadows--the sequel--turns the story arc on its head. Hope, renewal, recovery, romance and fate play a strong hand in the following story, as Raven races against the clock to stop the oncoming destruction of Earth. Relationships that are hinted at in the first book come to fruition in the second story. The action/adventure and thrills are amplified and we see a bit more of the future world hinted at in Cimmerian City. A romance stems from heartache from part one, while part two develops it into full fledged mode.



But I may be getting a bit ahead of myself in that aspect.

I'm very excited to bring this book back into the world after all the edits, changes and updates it went through. It was released at a time when I created this blog to document this writer's dream from unpublished, aspiring author to published author. Since then I've paved many roads, discovered many awesome books and met so many wonderful readers and fellow author friends. It's been an amazing journey and coming up at the end of this year, it seems apt to take a look from where I came to where I am now.

I hope you all enjoy the novel. I'm currently at work prepping a fantasy short story collection for release and finishing up edits on A Feast of Shadows (and new works are coming up the pipeline). Plus, there are more goodies on the way. During the first release, I dove whole hog into the promotion and created tons of artistic compositions of the characters (namely Raven) and the world of future Los Angeles. I also put together a short digital comic book with a scene inspired Cimmerian City which soon became an actual scene in A Feast of Shadows. That presentation is called Shadow Man and can be seen here courtesy of Google vid.

It's been an amazing journey from there to here and I'm excited to say I can't wait to make more of my goals and dreams come true. I'm thankful for all of you guys who have stopped by my blog, all my buddies on the networks and a wonderful thanks to the readers who check out my work. There's nothing more amazing than a dream achieved through the art of storytelling.