Everything is go, go, go in Watcherland today. Well, actually, it’s been all week. I’ve been bogged down in mobi and epub files, updating Amazon and goodreads like a madwoman, tweaking out of date stuff on the blog . . . just about everything that you forget about until it’s time to launch a book.
The good news is that we’re likely to be soft launching next week. The ebooks are pretty much done, paperbacks are still a work in progress, but it’s all coming together.
I have Guido Henkel to thank for all of this, really. Besides being an old mate of the husband’s and a videogame veteran, Guido has been involved in the indie publishing world for quite some time and is a master then it comes to putting things together nicely. In this case, he’s my Oz behind the curtain. He’s pulling and twisting knobs and levers all over the place to get Watcher and Protector formatted across all the major platforms. The days of me doing it myself are long over. Guido is the man. Oh, and he’s also another indie author, too.
Meanwhile, I’m trying to keep up a decent word count on Betrayer while starting to panic about book promotion, guest blogs, reviews, all those incredibly useful things that every author is loathe to do. If all we had to do was write then we’d all be best selling authors, right?
Anyhow, this blog will be transitioning over the next week or so and may have some confusing content as we ramp up to launch. It’s not official until an announcement goes out so disregard all the gribblies between now and then.
And thanks again to everyone who’s been so patient. Hopefully it’ll be worth the wait.
The universe is testing me. Or that’s what it feels like today. I’m a bit tired, stayed out too late at the Bowie tribute, woke up this morning with a slight edge, only to find out that Alan Rickman has died, too.
Of fucking cancer, too.
God damn it. Another one.
We can figure out how to grow meat in a petri dish, but we still can’t slay the monster that kills more than 1,500 people a day in the US. Cancer is the ultimate equalizer and while it may not be the Grim Reaper of the medical world, heart disease gets that slot, it comes a close second. If heart disease had a right hand man it would be cancer.
Fuck you, cancer. You’re a right ol’ bastard.
I’m tempted to continue to rant about cancer, but let’s talk about Alan Rickman instead.
There was a quality about Alan Rickman that is hard for me to describe – a certain gravitas about him that every time I heard his name, I couldn’t help but repeat, in a rather horrible English accent in my head, that he was an “actoooor.” He had that weighty, intellectual demeanor that spoke of his seriousness about his profession, that he could’ve just as easily fit in on the stage in Shakespeare’s time as he did in ours. If someone had told me that he was a time traveler from the 16th century, I would’ve been like, “Well, that explains it then.”
Alan Rickman was that whole Renaissance package: an actor, a graphic artist, a worldly-conscious patron. His brooding looks, deeply-seated voice, and elegant poise captured his audience, making him the perfect thespian, whether as the deliciously evil character of Hans Gruber, the complicated, tortured soul that was Professor Snape, or as Harry, a cheater who you wanted to shake, yet you couldn’t help but be sympathetic towards anyway. He could wear many hats and bring his gravitas to all of them equally.
I’m sorry to see him go. He was 69 years old, just like Bowie, which seems so young in this day and age, when we boast of cutting-edge science and top-notch medicine, when we can do things like grow protein in a bowl, or put a spacecraft on Mars. Life can be full of horrible juxapositions and vicious oxymorons. Whatever way you look at it, Alan Rickman died way too soon.
It took his death to pull me out of my writing frenzy and back here. I know. I’m terrible at keeping up this blog. My guilt has a lot to answer for. But it’s one of those things that had to be done. I wasn’t willing to let one of my heroes go without saying some things about the genius of a man who helped shaped me into who I am today.
I didn’t come to Bowie in the usual fashion. Even though I was a child in the ’70s, I wasn’t a child *of* the ’70s. Nope. Ziggy Stardust was released the year I was born and was Bowie’s 5th studio album. Fifth! Can you believe it? I wasn’t even a twinkle in my dad’s eye when Bowie started recording! It would be three years later after his self-titled debut before my parents even got married. That sort of stuff blows my mind. “Life on Mars” was released on Hunky Dory in 1973, a year after I was born. Finally, at least I existed by the time my favorite Bowie single came into being. Thank god.
But embarrassingly enough, while Hunky Dory and early Bowie is where my heart is, my gateway drug was probably Let’s Dance. I know. Don’t hate me. To be fair, I got Bowie on both ends during my teenagehood. “Little China Girl” was on MTV and I was starting to listen to the Smiths as a twelve year-old loner and then as I got to that awkward social outcast phase around fourteen or fifteen and starting to listen to the Cure then Bauhaus that’s when early Bowie came back on my radar. It was like, “Where did this odd, peculiar, yet-so-cool-I-can’t-stand-it man come from? Yeah, I went from Robert Smith to Pete Murphy to the original. It really happened that way. And of course, moving into the Goth scene from there, what Goth on the planet wasn’t a Bowie fan? It was a pre-requisite back in the day. No self-respecting goth band denied Bowie. It just wasn’t done. The man touched everything.
But that’s the thing about Bowie’s genius. It’s timeless, almost eternal. He speaks to you and by you, I mean all of us. Everyone I know has a Bowie story. And I mean everyone. Whether they liked him or thought he was just “okay”, my FB feed has been filled for days now with people sharing their truths about a man who undoubtedly is one of the biggest cultural influencers of our life time. Listened to Bowie while skinning up in the school parking lot? Check. Lost virginity to Bowie in the back of an old Impala? Check. Dated a girl in high school who wanted me to dress like Bowie? Check. Had a crush on him even when he was old enough to be my dad? Check.
Everyone has got a story. By the way, none of those are my story, ahem, just so we’re clear on that . . .
I’ve blathered on for a couple of paragraphs now and haven’t even touched on his acting career, or his videogame stint (really?), his partnerships with other greats like Eno and Lou. There is so much to this man that it would take more space than I’ve got here. And let’s be honest, Bowie isn’t definable. He defined.
In a couple of hours from now, I’ll be joining a rather eclectic horde of misfits in celebrating the life of David Bowie. It’s a last minute thing that includes musicians, actors, fans, artists, hippies, goths, clowns, old people on unicycles, jugglers, fire breathers, actually I might’ve made some of those up, but basically a hundred plus and a local camera crew. It’s going to prove to be an interesting night, I suspect, but I’m glad I’m going. I’m glad to go out into the darkness tonight and revel and make merry mischief in the name of a man who left this world much too soon, but left us a legacy to remember him by.