Welcome back, friends and assorted associates. Hope you’ve been enjoying DILLON AND THE PIRATES OF XONIRA in the period since we last talked and if you haven’t then why not? Seriously, let me know. This doesn’t work unless you work it, knowhutImean?
But right now there’s a few things going on with our boy that I need to let you in on so let’s get to it, shall we?
THE VRIL AGENDA is still firmly on course. My half of the book “Vril-Ya!” is currently clocking in at 35,285 words. And it isn’t even to the halfway point. At this point Dillon and Jim Anthony have just barely survived the two attempts of Ashanti Garuda to kill them. There have been some surprising revelations along the way as well as cameo appearances by Dan Fowler and Otis ‘Alcatraz’ Brown aka The Magician. But there’s still a lot more to go before Dillon and Jim move on to Buenos Aires and Dillon’s massive knock-down-drag-out brawl with the fearsome Sturmvogel.
I’m finding that writing “Vril-Ya!” is challenging in a lot of ways I thought it would be and even more importantly in ways I never thought it would be. The main challenge, of course is that it’s as much a Jim Anthony story as it is a Dillon story. I’m really conscious at all times that one doesn’t overshadow the other but it’s difficult as because at this point in his career, Dillon simply isn’t the character we’ve known through his previous adventures. Josh Reynolds calls him ‘Not Ready For Primetime Dillon’ and that’s a very good description of him at this time in his life. In fact, there are a lot of scenes where he’s simply standing back and observing or reacting to things that other characters are doing. He doesn’t have the experience to know what to do or say in some situations so he says and does nothing. And those are the scenes that Jim Anthony has to carry.
But on the opposing appendage, it’s a lot of fun writing a Dillon who doesn’t have his guns, gadgets or network of friends and assistants backing him up. This is a Dillon who relies almost totally on his physical abilities and his wits. And so there’s a different dynamic as to how he handles situations. I’m really pleased that even after all this time of living with this guy in my head, there are still new things I’m finding out about him.
I’m also kinda concerned that there isn’t a lot of the humor that I think readers enjoy in a Dillon story. A lot of the humor in a Dillon adventure comes from his reactions to the crazy stuff that’s happening around him and again, he just isn’t that character yet and as another character points out, he doesn’t even seem to have much of a sense of humor. But that’ll be up to you to judge when you finally do get to read it.
What I am pleased about is how the story just keeps moving even though there’s a lot of plot exposition and characterizations. The whole key to writing a pulp adventure is to not let the plot slow down for anything. Now this turns some writers off because they want to be able to do characterization and get into the heads of their characters and that’s all well and good. You can do a considerable amount of that in a pulp adventure story. Just don’t stop the plot while you’re doing it, is all.
So that’s where we’re at as far as “Vril-Ya!” is concerned. Maybe around Christmas time if you’re good I’ll drop in Chapter Two for you to check out but in the meantime, if you missed it, here's Chapter One for you.
What else? Judging by the “Which Sidekick Is Your Favorite?” Poll, Eli Creed is the clear winner. So he’s going to get a solo story in the second Dillon anthology which I’m now calling SIX MORE BULLETS FOR DILLON. I’m going to leave the poll up in case some of you haven’t voted yet. Git bizzy, yo.
Speaking of Polls, there’s another one to the right of this for you to vote on, if you’re so inclined. This one is a little different. Y’see, I’ve finished DILLON AND THE LAST RAIL TO KHUSRA and I’m going to give you guys a choice: Would you prefer to have it serialized here as a weekly Saturday afternoon serial or get the whole thing at one time as my now traditional Birthday Free Ebook Giveaway? I’ll leave it up to you guys. Voting will go on for 30 days and in the end, whatever you’ve decided will happen.
Anything else? Oh, yeah…there’s a truly special Dillon project that is currently being produced but I can’t say anything about it yet as the folks behind it have asked me not to. But they say I can hint about it. So let me put it like this…if you’re a good listener then you’ll love this Dillon project.