Next update August 29
Back from Canada, with another update!
A quick heads up – this update might get a bit emotional for me. So before we get into that, just a quick reminder that we’re inching ever closer to the release of Chaos Unleashed - the final book in my Chaos Born trilogy! And if you’re looking for something to tide you over until then, check out A Minor Malevolent Spirit and Other Tales, my recently released short story collection! Okay, enough with the shameless self promotion.
As I mentioned in the teaser, I just returned from my annual summer vacation to the Great White North. I was born in Edmonton, and for most of my life I lived and worked in the area. (If you don’t know where Edmonton is, look it up!) My wife grew up in the same area, we both worked there for many years (that’s where BioWare was founded!) and we both still have lots of friends and family in the area. So every summer, we make a point to go back and visit folks we haven’t seen for a while.
We always do this around the long weekend in August. You see, in Canada the first Monday in August is a holiday. We just call it the “August Long Weekend”, or the “TFG it’s not winter yet!” holiday. Conveniently, that weekend also falls very close to my birthday. And my sister’s birthday. And my grandmother’s birthday. And my godfather’s birthday. So every all four of us (along with about 20 or so other friends and relatives) get together to eat some cake and blow out some candles. It’s a good excuse to keep in touch, and now that we live in Texas it’s a great excuse to head north where the “summer heat” is warmly comfortable instead of hotter than Satan’s sweaty taint.
As usual, we had a great time seeing everyone and catching up. But this year was different; there was a touch of sadness to all the fun and festivities. My father passed away just before Christmas, so this was the first year he wasn’t there to share the birthdays with us. He was a warm, wonderful, loving man and his absence leaves a void that will never actually be filled. But sharing good times with people I love – people who loved Dad as much as I did – helped remind me that he would want us to celebrate life and carry on. We’re all still dealing with the grief of his passing in our own ways, but I know he’d want nothing more than for us to seek out joy and happiness as we move forward. And I can’t help but think of something my godfather said at Dad’s funeral: the relationships we have with each other – our bonds of friendship and family - were born because of our relationships with him. And some small part of him lives on in those relationships, preserved in the memories of him that we share and the love we have for each other.
Still, one thing I can’t help regret is that Dad never got to see the end of my Chaos Born series. He was always my biggest fan; he didn’t read much, but he always read my books… and he always bought lots of copies to give to all his friends. He loved nothing more than going to a bookstore, picking up one of my books from the shelves and telling people browsing the titles, “My son wrote this!”
Unfortunately, he passed while I was still finishing up Chaos Unleashed; it was sudden and unexpected. The trilogy is finished now; I submitted the first draft of Chaos Unleashed a few months after he was gone. Since then we’ve done all the edits and rewrites, and I just got the final version of the map that’s going to grace the inside cover. (Dad would have loved the map.)
The book isn’t scheduled to hit the shelves for a couple more months, so I’m going to hold off until my next update before I share the map and the cover art with everyone. And I’ve already moved on to other projects; I’ll probably talk about those in my next update, too. But even though I’ve “finished” the trilogy, it still feels like I’m not done. Until it’s on the shelf, there’s a sense of nervous anticipation. Will fans like it? Will the publisher promote it? Will stores stock it?
This nervousness is normal; I’ve felt it with every book I’ve written. And I know once it finally comes out I’ll feel a sense of relief, along with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Closure, if you will. But it won’t be the same as my other books, because this time my biggest fan won’t be there to share the moment with me.
I’ll always remember you, Dad.