I’m reading words I don’t recognize. 119,341 words, to be precise. They comprise a finished and now copyedited novel I wrote between 2013-2018 entitled Midnight. During an insanely stressful period of time when all I was doing was writing books, I managed to write and complete a novel that I think is pretty special. Much of the writing took place right around the time the novel is named after.
A 120K-word novel. Written with no contract. No deadline. Not a cent offered to me.
That is pretty amazing.
Like seriously. I don’t care if 90 percent of the novel is rubbish. I wrote it and finished it. Boom.
I think 90 percent of the novel is brilliant. I do. And I promise, I haven’t been taken drugs tonight. I’m not inebriated. I’m just impressed with myself. This happens as often as a blood moon.
Do I need others to be impressed with this novel? No. Of course I want them to be, but I don’t need that.
Maybe ten people will read this and five will enjoy it. Honestly—and I’m being very honest right now—I think I’d be fine with that.
In the busy blur of co-writing and ghost-writing and collaborating from 2013 to 2018, I was able to carve out a little something for myself. Sometimes I wrote out of inspiration. Sometimes, out of exhaustion. Sometimes it was cathartic, and sometimes it was simply to create. To concoct some sentences and some thoughts of my own.
For those diehard fans and longtime readers, Midnight is a sibling to Sky Blue and 40. There are some really pretty parts. It’s poetic and experimental and different.
I’m not trying to sell you on this, because honestly, I’m not sure how it will see the light of day. Perhaps an indie publisher will pick it up. Perhaps I’ll do a limited-edition printing. But I’ll get it out somehow and someway. It’s too good not to.
I remember an author once sharing her frustrations with me at my former job at a publishing house. She said how desperately she wanted to write “the book on her heart”, yet it didn’t fit the publishing plan created for her. It didn’t fit her “brand.” I told her to write it anyway, and she responded by saying I didn’t understand, that I wasn’t writing for a living, that I didn’t get it.
Well, I’ve been writing for a living, and I’ve been so far behind trying to catch up, and I still wrote the book on my heart because my heart desperately needed it. Writing this novel fueled the blood pumping through my veins. It reminded me of why I got into this in the first place.
Writing has always been a way of coping, a way of understanding, and a way of healing. Midnight was no different.
So it’s finished and maybe it’ll be available soon and maybe you’ll be curious to grab a copy. All I know is that I’m proud and happy to have this melancholy monument ready to share with a few people in this world. There’s some beauty in these pages.