Losing your Ego

Piper at the gates of Dawn  2007 John Faherty

The drive to be an Artist or Writer, wherein your heart and soul are poured into a project for some is often the easiest part in the act of creation. No art, however, can exist in a vacuum. This for many is where the process breaks down. It takes a brave and resilient person, to press forward, changing when necessary to ultimately face down one’s ego.  

People who have ever attempted to break into any creative endeavor whether they’ve experienced success or not, know that there can often be a long and disappointing road ahead. The Publishing world, with its ever-changing trends, can be as competitive as it gets. I find I’m not afraid to say that I’m learning something new every day.

When I went to art school in the eighties, the critiques were tough and relentless. These experiences, though initially disheartening helped me to begin to see my work objectively. Now as I submit queries and track responses I’m attempting to learn something about my work and the business. One day I’m going to get the response that’s someone really connects with what I’m doing. The word count will be perfect, and my hook will be just right. Until that time comes, I’m going to continue to try to maintain that balance between creativity and business savvy.

The Swan and the Whirlwind

Science Fiction author, currently shopping exciting new title, The Swan and the Whirlwind to agency or publisher.

 The Swan and the Whirlwind are not your average high concept novels.  But rather they are a slow-building, story-driven, narrative filled from start to finish with a host of well-crafted elements. The cast of characters includes many strong female protagonists and exist in a variety of diverse settings. The characters are well fleshed out, possess emotional depth, and exist in fully realized worlds. The pace of the slowly escalating action and emotional tension is steady throughout.

The Swan and the Whirlwind is a series of two novels. With the novel originally coming in at 188000 words. the consensuses were that this title was perhaps too long. To correct this end I was able to identify a natural break near the mid-point of the action and there I created an additional two chapters through which ends are tied up and things that were previously left unanswered or purposely vague are revealed.  The resulting first title: The Swan and the WhirlwindGateway in the Skyis a more manageable 115000 words. The second title: The Swan and the Whirlwind, Project Whirlwindnow runs at 105,000 words.  

Within the background noise of a fifty-year-old dataset, the ethereal shadow of a gravitational anomaly lay hidden. Following this thread of investigation Project Whirlwind would discover a façade illusion, masking the colossal mass of an alien craft had made landfall on Earth. The dark and dangerous elements buried deep in this alien history struggle to regain the light.

The plot of the novel unfolds in a parallel future. Sara Burton, Director of the office of Theoretical strategic Intelligence, over the course of her career had one regret. The circumstances of which, at long last, she was now determined to reexamine.  For this purpose, she recruits Paul, a time-sensitive agent. Together they discover the signs of an interdimensional intrusion of an alien vessel hiding in plain sight. The Arox, an ancient alien race, who had once been masters of time and space, had in time been brought low by decay from within. Murine, the last representative of her priestly order must walk a tightrope to control the vast powers projected by the ship. If left unleashed they could at once destroy this planet and the legacy of her ancient world. The Earth, however, would succumb to the same festering secret that had laid hidden deep in the Arox past. Paul, the only one who possesses the memories of a different kind of Earth, again joins forces with a Sara, who by the strange circumstance of the temporal anomaly was lost. He discovers her again locked within the confines of a game fighting an insurrection against the forces of a rogue shapeshifting artificial intelligence known as Lurker.