On Sunday night, I typed two amazing words to “Don’t Make Me Come Down There”. THE END. As I plowed through the last paragraph, I could see the light at the end of the tunnel and a wave of excitement hit me as I crossed the finish line. It was a satisfying end a five-year journey. When I hit Enter for the last time, a feeling of immense joy and accomplishment swept over me that I hadn’t felt before.
This wasn’t the first book I have finished, but this felt very different than the others. When I finished “Blood Splatter” in 2012, there was most certainly excitement as it was my first book. Unfortunately, the finished version didn’t match my original vision. Due to serious pricing restrictions, the book was released in black and white instead of color. Also, the first edition had some editing issues I wasn’t proud of. It was a bit of a mess. So, while I was very proud of releasing it, I was disappointed that it wasn’t what I had been aiming and hoping for. Still, live and learn. The book was still very well received and the second edition rectified everything but the color issue.
When I wrapped the last book of the “Butch G. Cat Journal” project I was happy to be done with it. Not that I was proud to be finished with it, but that the drama of getting it written had sucked all of the fun out of it was finally over. It had been the same story for all of the books in the franchise. I didn’t enjoy working with my previous writing partner and hadn’t done so for many years. I was under contract to get the books done and thus did so. When he unceremoniously decided to destroy the project late last year, I was relieved if I were to be completely honest. It meant never having to work with him again and I could move on to healthier projects. We were two completely conflicting personalities and while the finished products may be great, the energy and drama it took to get there just wasn’t worth it.
Writing is all about doing what you love. Am I proud of the Butch G. Cat books? Of course I am. Am I disappointed that they were pulled from publication? Without a doubt. All of the struggles I went through to finish them were for nothing. But I stand behind the production company’s decision to pull them from publication. It was for the best. It just was not fun or enjoyable for me. Closing this door effectively shelved two screenplays a teleplay and three books. Sigh.
The Comicon and Convention Survival Guide was pulled because of fallout from these issues. I have since found a new illustrator who has delivered consistently good work to my specifications and I am very happy with the new direction. Crystalyn and Angelina Reynolds have turned over fantastic work. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.
So as I sit here at the end of a project I have poured my heart and soul into, I find myself in a new position. I have a clean slate. I am not behind on any projects and I am not under contract for a franchise I had grown to hate. There are no business associates in my life I don’t want to work with. There are no half-finished projects. I get to promote “Don’t Make Me Come Down There” with all of me and for the right reasons. I want to be a successful writer and I want to enjoy doing it.
I’ve said many times that this is the book that has all of me in it. It’s dark, it’s funny, it’s sarcastic, and it’s a bit gory in places. I loved every minute of writing it. It wasn’t written while butting heads with someone. I didn’t have to compromise my original vision. When I start submitting it to agents, it will be done so knowing that this is the best I have written so far. Maybe someone will love it enough to give it a chance. Maybe it will be a New York Times bestseller. Maybe it will fizzle and bomb. Either way, I can say I am immensely proud of “Don’t Make Me Come Down There” and if there was one book out of all of my works that I would want to succeed and put my stamp on the world, it’s this one. This book is me. I never felt this way about Butch G. Cat.