Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Two Weeks to Go & a Look Back

Yes, it’s true. "Wildcat’s Lair" is getting active again. Some have probably wondered why I abandoned it and what Frank’s been up to all this time. While I’ll answer some of the questions in the course of the comic strip, I’ll take a moment here, two weeks from the relaunch, to offer some explanation.

A lot of things forced me to sideline Frank. The first culprit was the 2007 James River Writers Conference. I thought the last month leading up to the conference would go by with little of my time required, that it should all be in place, ready to go. More the fool was I. After just one cartoon, the so-called "Season 3.0" bit the dust. The good news was that the conference, for which I was that year’s chair, turned out great. Not only did it turn out better than I’d hoped, but I met one of my favorite writers of all time, Kyle Mills. Kyle turned out to be quite the hoot. My wife and I also befriended another married couple of writers, Eric and Victoria Lustbader. We acted as the Lustbaders’ hosts while they were in Richmond to speak at the conference, and we had a great time with them.

Well, no sooner had the fury of the conference passed than a great opportunity presented itself. My wife and I met an agent at the conference, and over the past few months, she’s shown a strong interest in our book, The Last VanDaryn. The pressure was on to get it cleaned up and sent to her, and that ate up quite a bit of time during the months that followed. I’m hopeful that we might soon be able to say we officially have an agent. Then comes the challenge of finding a publisher.

Writing became my most important focus this winter. Not only did my wife and I finish The Last VanDaryn, but I finished my solo effort, a fantasy thriller called The Cold Shoulder. I’m excited to say that Cold Shoulder turned out far better than any of my expectations. So with two novels "in the can," I’ve been busy on a new novel. My wife convinced me to revisit some of my childhood comic book characters and take a stab at writing young adult fiction. I won’t say too much about that in this entry, but The Demon Riders resembles a strange cross between the TV show “Heroes” and Norse Mythology. So far, my rough draft which is aiming for a word count of 60,000 words, is just a few hundred shy of 50,000 words. As you can see, I’ve been very busy.

Of course, you might also wonder why I didn’t do anything with Frank once Last VanDaryn and Cold Shoulder were finished. You can blame my computer for that. It went through a period where it refused to stay online. I might get online for a minute, and then it would be gone. This went on for weeks. After a lot of help from some of our best friends, we got the computer back online. The culprit? Two too many firewalls. Who knew having more than one firewall could be a bad thing? We were just relieved that our computer wasn’t getting ready to die, as we’d started to fear.

By this point, almost half a year had gone by without me doing anything on my blog, the last entry a rather somber post to honor the passing of Robert Jordan. I thought that might be the end of my blog, the end of Frank. Plenty of other problems were taxing my time, and Frank, bless his furry hide, just got kicked to the bottom of my priority list since he doesn’t bring in any money (slacker cat needs a job!). However, my wife and one of our writing group friends recently started up blogs of their own, and my wife asked me if I was ever going to do anything with mine again. Her question and those of you who recently posted or e-mailed queries (thank you for those!) got me motivated to return to Frank, especially now that I once again had some time.

The question was what kind of return would I have? Would I revisit the idea of a month on and a month off (which failed miserable with my busted "3.0" season)? If not, then what? I felt I owed a little consistency to anyone who follows these insane adventures of mine and Frank’s. At first, I considered doing one entry a week, something like "Frank Fridays" or "Wildcat Wednesdays." Both sounded like a fun idea, and I liked the ring of both... so I decided to do both. You’ll get a double-dose of "Wildcat’s Lair" every week. No seasons, just a guaranteed (I hope) posting every Wednesday and Friday, and this time, I really do mean to make it stick. I already have three of Frank’s new adventures put together. Hip, the allergy-stricken dragon, will also return as a prominent sidekick to Frank. I hope you’ll all enjoy. So far, I’m having a lot fun hanging out with Frank and his pals again. And from time to time, I’ll likely post an entry like this to just let you know what I’m up to and how my writing is going.

Monday, April 21, 2008