Updated: Jan 7
So I've been pretty absent around here lately. Between working, producing dance shows and plunging head first into a desert adventure that kick-started a whole other kind of shadow work (I'll come back to that another time) life's been pretty hectic, and opportunities to write few and far between. Gods I miss spending that time with my characters.
Anyway, my focus is shifting back. I am currently working on the last few chapters of Shadow Book 9, which means I've drafted nearly the whole series, and released nearly half. It's both exciting and terrifying, because Shadow has been part of my life for a very long time. It's a world I love escaping into, because it's sarcastic and silly and terrifying all at the same time, and those three qualities (for me at least) work in perfect harmony.
Tonight, I started to think about how it all started, and where I'm at, and where you're at, if you've been following the series.
Shadow was inspired by a few things. When I was 18, I used to sit on Forrest Chase in Perth City, amongst the lights and magic of a city night, and imagine a whole other world full of strange creatures moving around me. Fast forward to thirty-something me, and a music clip about some crazy dude running around a spooky goth garden crystallised those old fantasies into the germ of a story. I went through a few drafts and a lot of changes before it started to flow, but suddenly, I had this crazy world on my hands with infinite potential for fuckery. Oh hell yes.
And I called it Shadow. There was never any doubt about this name. That world was called Shadow, and our world was called Dream. Recent events have made me ponder this choice of name quite a bit, but again, that's a conversation we can have later.
If you're following the series, you will have read about Hippy Ishtar in Book 1, and her quest for a weapon that would save her people (but probably doom her); then about Flower and Nikifor in Book 2, and their quest for missing things - a king, whole tribes of fairies, Nikifor' sanity; then about Krysta Ishtar in Book 3, and her grumpy uprising and overthrowing of a tyrant; and finally about Fizz Pop in Book 4, and the consequences of being born into a cult under the sway of a dodgy amoral scientist.
Book 5 is on the way. HONEST IT IS. It's called Mannequins. The edits are well underway, and I have a cover model living in my back room. Isn't she gorgeous?
Mannequins was my favourite book in the series to write for a lot of reasons, the top two being it's got an army of evil mannequins with terrible taste in fashion, and that I got to unleash pixies Misery and Doom on an unsuspecting Fremantle, where pretty much the whole thing is set.
I've been dying to release this one. It's so much fun they'll probably make a law against it. (Caveat: This is a long post and it's nearly midnight. If you've read this far, I love you and you're my favourite reader). I can't wait to get some imagery happening.
That said, I'm still stupid busy. I need pushing. If you don't hear more about this soon, please feel free to start poking me on Facebook or Insta and telling me to hurry the hell up. Mannequins or bust!