Saturday, April 5, 2014

Something has happened that will change everything...

Well, I posted it in the Literati, but today I officially finished the first draft of my new book: Acadia Event. That is not to say that it will be available tomorrow, but I can say that this book is done in its raw form and what will now be required is the polish and grind of a line by line edit. After something like this you find yourself at a sort of cross road. Did I just invest a year and a half of my life in a work of art or a big steaming pile of... I think you get the jest. 
     I guess I'll find out when I go back and begin the grind of editing. This is all sort of anticlimactic now. I do have to give a big shout out to my pal, mentor, fellow author, dearest friend, Jim Steel aka R. James Steel. 
     Jim is probably one of the coolest people I have ever met. A historical author, he has published a number of books on Canada's involvement in the Great War with co-author James McWilliams. They include: GAS THE BATTLE FOR YPRES, THE SUICIDE BATTALLION, AMIENS: DAWN OF VICTORY; just to name a few. 
     He has also offered his wisdom and historical knowledge to the award winning Canadian author Joseph Boyden on his debut novel: THREE DAY ROAD. In fact Boyden wrote in the aknowledgments. "ALTHOUGH HE'S FAR TOO HUMBLE to admit it, R James [Jim] Steel ranks among our best World War 1 historians and authors.

     I could not agree more, but above and beyond the obvious knowledge and wisdom Jim is a true friend who has been a steadfast supporter in my quest as a writer. Jim first came to my aid after I told him that I was considering dusting of a half-finished 15 year-old manuscript called THE EQUINOX. He said to send it along and
My friend and mentor: Author and Artist R James Steel has been instrumental in help me find my muse.
he’d give me some feedback. Having read a few of Jim’s books I don’t mind telling you that I was more than a little intimidated at the prospect of showing him what I’d done so far. That first chapter I sent him, I must have went over it at least 100 times and still it was rife with issues in grammar and double words; eventually I sent it on.

Later that day and he sent back a message. “Where’s the next chapter” and “How come it took you so long?” 
     I confessed that I was nervous about his reaction, that the errors in my work would be met with scorn.

“Mark, just write it. Get it done, the spit and polish comes later.”

And so I did and he gave me a guiding hand all the way through the creative process of that first book. The Equinox went through a number of drafts, five or six as I recall and Jim took them without complaint until I offered up the last draft and he said, “Publish the damned thing.”
      I did just that.
      I asked Jim to come in on ACADIA EVENT once I started down this road again and Jim, being the cool guy he is, invited me to send over each chapter. I don’t mind telling you that I looked for that little footnote of encouragement after Jim read each chapter. This footnote was the encouragement I needed during those dark hours of self-loathing when depression seeps in and you become a poor misunderstood artist and... 
      You get the jest.
      This morning I sent out those last 25 or so pages that make up two chapters and an epilogue. Today my feelings harken back to that first chapter of Equinox I sent, that same feeling of apprehension.Will he hate it? Tell me to buy a rig and keep trucking?
      Fuck it! Nothing I can do now but put the thing away for awhile and move onto something else. In a month or so I'll pick it back up and go to work. 
     Thank you Jim, you are a friend in the truest sense of the word.  I'd say it's over, but a story never really ends; does it?

 Check out other works by MJ Preston!

MJ Preston is the Author of the Horror Novel: THE EQUINOX His new novel ACADIA EVENT is forecast in 2014


'The Equinox' is a tour de force of brilliant writing, fast-paced action, and gritty characterization. 

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