Going On the Account: All Ashore…

And so we come to the end of it.

 

My apologies for taking so long to getting around to a few words of thanks.  I got buried soon after the last part was uploaded, first by the holidays, then by the Snowpocalypse.  I’m still amazed that New York failed to keep moving with a lot less snow than we’ve seen before, and claims of dereliction and inequitable application of resources are taking a nasty life of their own, the kind that one sees when we miss one of the three meals we’re supposedly a revolution away from…

 

But the new year’s started and even Queens is now passable, so it’s time to say proper thanks.

 

The first thanks in general is to all of you, who’ve come back twice a week to see where the tale has gone.  I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from readers, much of it good about the work and the effort to present it.  And when I’ve had it coming, you have made sure to let me know in no uncertain terms.

 

To address one of those points in particular:  Non, mon français n’est pas très bon. C’était ma première fois par écrit dans cettelangue, et il peut être un certain temps avant d’essayer de nouveau. Yes, I am willing to admit it, there…

 

I also have to thank the people who contacted me and gave me my first direct experience with fan service.  Originally, Goddard Zoutman was not going to survive De Colera’s seizure of the Gale.  But when I got closer to the incident, I did hear from a few dedicated folk that they really liked him as a character, and so he managed to find a way to make it off the wreck alongside Osei and Charity.  Yes, I blew up the ship and ultimately left a few central characters dead by the side of the boat, but I’m not that heartless an SOB…

 

And I have special thanks for one fan, Cheryl, who as I started the work thought I might be interested in a news story about the French rescuing a ship from pirates off the coast of Somalia.  It was just a simpatico happening; the more my tale of historic pirates unfolded, the more developed the story of the real pirates became, and I could not ignore either and had to share both.  I didn’t become an expert on the current crisis, leaving that honor to Jay Bahadur, but it’s a tale that can’t be ignored.

 

Because of what Somalia tells us about the limits of human institutions and what makes people take drastic criminal action, it’s a basic story that ended up being woven through both narratives.  These themes were in Raging Gail from the moment of conception and plotting before the news was forwarded to me, but I could not ignore the parallel narratives in both and made it part of my effort to pass on news as it came from the Indian Ocean alongside the fictional adventures atop the waves of the Caribbean.

 

I also like to thank the large cast of content creators I’ve corresponded and met with during the run of the book.  Many of them offered a chance to put out the word about the book through their sites, often with the opportunity to buy space on ad boxes they ran, which was a big help in finding many of you.  I’ve gone beyond that with a few of them to correspond directly and even meet some face to face; wonderful people, all of them.  There is a wide, vigorous community of writers and artists out there on the Internet that are worth seeking out and exploring; I cannot stress enough how much you owe yourself to find them and sample their works.

 

I also need to thank the folks at WordPress for making available the tools I used to share my work with you.  When it came time to come up with a way to share the novel, I hadn’t had that much experience with WordPress and their hosting service.  This proved to be a great option, as it allowed me to spend less time on coding than on writing.  My only wish is that it was as easy to use then as it is now; they made a few changes over time that lowered the learning curve and would have saved me a lot of aggravation when it came time to layout had I the ability then to do what I can do now.  Not that I’d have used my time any more wisely, of course…

 

I especially need to thank my wife Susan, for aid both material and sympathetic.  She volunteered to give my work an eye before posting from the very beginning; I really do think the occasional scream of, “You used a preposition like that and still call yourself an English major??” was worth the invaluable advice she shared.  More importantly, she was encouraging during the process, never doubting me, giving me plenty of time and space to work in the midst of other commitments in a small apartment on the novel, and putting up with the occasional rant and tantrum when I struggled with a soft spot in the narrative.  For that, I love her dearly.

 

 

If I have any big regret right now, it’s that we can’t have this moment IRL.  I had considered it, as a way to note the occasion deserved some sort of celebration.  When Raging Gail was launched way back in January of 2008, I did so with a mass e-mail to everyone I knew, which ended up needing to be sent twice because halfway through putting it together I accidentally hit the “Send” button; not the most auspicious of starts, sadly…

 

But after that embarrassment (one of quite a few to come), it hit me that one of the differences between an online novel and a physical one is that, as far as the audience is concerned, the books’ not there yet, so doing what they do in brick-and-mortar-land, having a launch party for the novel, seemed out of place.  I could have packed a small bar with everyone on that list, I realized, and asked them to celebrate a tome for which they could only read the first few hundred words of.

 

A better idea would have been to hold a wrap party, a celebration that the book’s run has finished and that the entire work is now available from start to end.  And the more I considered it, the better the concept seemed.

 

Unfortunately, between the holidays and the distances for a lot of readers to trudge through unplowed streets for, this does not seem likely right now.  At some point, I’d love to get one together, but this just isn’t going to be the time.

 

Mind you, I could combine my wrap party with two other potential milestones:

 

One is for the launch of the reformat of this work.  I’ve been asked by a lot of readers, steady and casual, if Raging Gail might be put into a physical format, which I am considering.  One thing I’d probably want to do, to make it worth the while of longtime readers, would be to combine some of the chapters together, shave a few cliffs off which I left some characters hanging on, to allow for a smoother in-one-sitting narrative to read.  Throw in some additional materials, like a map showing the route of the Gale from the moment Hope came aboard, possibly a few additional words of insight about the period and the writing process, and then make the work available through print on demand and via Kindle.  There most likely will be a charge involved for this edition (hey, I gotta eat too, even if I could probably stand to lose a few pounds…), hence the need to come up with an edition that’s not exactly the same as the one online.

 

The other milestone could be tied to the next work…

 

I do have another book in me, maybe not as long as Raging Gail but no less ambitious.  As I’ve mentioned before, the next one will have pirates in it; beyond that, well, I’ve placed a few clues in the blogroll as to where things might be going in that one…  Worse case scenario, the wrap party for that one will make up for missing the last opportunity, which means we’d be having a “two-for-one.”  Depending on where the party gets hosted, that might be very appropriate…

 

 

 

As I mentioned above, I’m going to be looking into a new edition of this novel, and I’ll also keep up with “Going On the Account” with news about pirates in Somalia and elsewhere.

 

And it’ll also be there that I’ll announce the launch of the new work, hopefully before all the snow melts.

 

And THIS time, I won’t hit the “Send” button too early…

 

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2 Comments

Filed under Fiction, Pirates, Writing

2 responses to “Going On the Account: All Ashore…

  1. esj

    thanks for the story. I have a few shorts of mine that are ready to see the light of day if I get brave enough to put them up on my tumblr blog. I’m also working on another but I’m tripping over details like building layout and placement in the 15th century. there is a remarkable lack of info on the topic but I’ll keep googling.

    I assume if I find more pirate stories, you want them?

  2. I’m always on the lookout for more news, esj. And I’d love to see your work when it comes out; let us know the URL when it’s up so we can follow it, thanks.

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