I have published Crash Space via smashwords!
“Rusel is a bisexual, non-binary nerd, who just wants to have a good time and coast through a life filled with sex, role-playing, and pranks. It’s a great shock then to find that someone dislikes them enough to attempt murder.
Who does Rusel know who would dislike them enough to kill? What on earth could be the motive? Could it be one of the housemates or an ex partner with a grudge?
Rusel downplays their impact on other’s lives, and navigates a life filled with parties, social events, drugs, complicated housemate relationships, and jokes gone awry. Motives are exposed and must be dealt with before the next attempt is made.”
Some things I want to say about this novel:
This story evolved a lot since it’s inception in something like 2010 and I worked on it on and off for years; to be honest I changed in a lot of my viewpoints from 6 year-ago-me to now-me. Largely I realised how ingrained misogyny was in my reading and thinking habits (despite me thinking I was a bit of a feminist). I rewrote so much of this to make it not like that.
It’s had at least 15 full reviews and rewrites by me over the years.I did try to get it published but no bites. And I’m ready to move on to the next manuscript which I’ve started) so it was time to just finish and publish it and move on!
Three people have reviewed and offered suggestions and I am very grateful to them. Thanks Kellie, Ryan and Dave G for your input!
I tended to start SO MANY sentences with “So” and used “Actually” too much. Windows 2016 picked that up. Thanks Bill Gates, I owe you one.
I took out in ingrained social group misogyny jokes, I took out the judgemental attitude that I initially wrote into it that I don’t agree with a few years later. I was a bit shocked at how far my attitude had to change in order to not be embarrassed by younger-me.
I based the social group on the Role-players/medieval re-in-actors/science fiction fantasy group that i’m still in. I am a geeky nerdy dork and so is everyone in this book.
Working title was “The Bear Joke” as the bear joke gets told in one of the chapters. I love the bear joke.
I chose Rusel as the name of the main character as it’s not really a name.
Rusel started to flip in my head between male and female, I couldn’t make up my mind, though they did start out as a definite gender, but it dissolved as the character took over. Now, I am cis-gendered but it became clear Rusel was not. Some scenes Rusel seemed to be male, others female, sometimes they couldn’t decide.
Rusel was always bi and preferred women, but mostly because I didn’t like any of the male characters all that much, and neither did Rusel, apparently.
My favorite characters in the entire thing are Ravyn and Engel. I saw them so clearly, a beautifully dressed, dysfunctional, goth couple!
I based the main character a bit on me, a bit on someone from the social group. and largely on someone I used to work with. Fun fact – the person I based it on based a character in a story THEY wrote on me. Inspiration all around! However Rusel quickly took over and became a person in their own right.
Rusel is mixed race and an immigrant. I know in my mind what they look like and what their ethnic roots are but its not important to the story so I left it out.
It was alarming watching where Rusel went and what they did. I had very little control, I just followed and wrote it up. It was actually easy having such a strong character who knew what they wanted to do.
I don’t agree at all with Rusel’s ethical stance on cheating and relationships. But Rusel’s gonna do what Rusel’s gonna do. I wanted to make Rusel poly-amorous but they just refused, as they never really loved anyone. I compromised by getting the goths to go poly at the end, though I think with their dishonesty they will not do very well at it.
Rusel has ADHD as a lot of the compulsive behavior comes very much from my experiences.
It was important to include different people from the LGBTQI spectrum, especially gender fluid/non binary characters. I made no one a flag-waver and I didn’t mention sexuality or orientation unless it was needed for the plot. There was a lot needed for the plot!
The locations were based on real places I’ve spent time in.
The magic mushroom trip at the end was based on a fairly cold day in 1995 which didn’t end in us finding enough to take. So that bit was total fabrication!
All of the events and characters are totally fiction – and of course all were very much influenced by people I know. A lot of mashing together of types. They all became their own people.
I was deliberately vague about the date, the technology, and the location.
No one has a last name other than officials or incidental characters who would naturally say their name. I only realised this on rereading it a few years ago.
To reflect the culture in which I live, I made sure to add in a lot of different characters from different heritage backgrounds. Few of the characters would have had parents born in the country they are living in. A few are migrants themselves. I didn’t bother pointing out who, other than Rusel. I spent a lot of time googling ‘top baby names for people born in XXXX’
By the same token I took all the background default male characters I initially wrote in and changed half of them to female. I had fallen into the trap of defaulting to male! Not surprising given my reading tastes that have very much changed in the last 5 years or so.
I am ready to move on now, and will be working on ‘busy bees’ which will be different again in tone. Though perhaps not as different as the tone between Crash Space and The Stanleigh Rose. It’s interesting to see your writing style and abilities morphing over time.
I will be going back to poetry soon, no worries about that. 🙂