Now that my debut novel DEAD SIZE has been unleashed on an unsuspecting world and it’s amassing reviews both good (most!) and bad (a couple), I felt this might be an opportune time to share how the book came to be what it is.
The novel originated as a screenplay, a decidedly quirky mash-up of fantasy, mystery, thriller, and surreal comedy, for which I don’t remember the inspiration. Although it garnered some positive coverage from film industry readers, my agent deemed it too challenging a sell to producers. Hence the script was shelved, or rather placed in the “Scripts in Limbo” file folder on my computer.
Years later, when I developed a hankering to write a novel, I referred to this folder for potential material to adapt. I ultimately chose DEAD SIZE because it was more a genre piece than other screenplays I had on hold… albeit a multi-headed genre piece. I realized it would be difficult to market as a novel as well, but I also knew it would be a blast to write.
So I threw caution into the oscillating fan and began my opus. This was Spring of 2008. Four years later—at least two years longer than I anticipated, thanks Obama!—I was finished.
I followed my screenplay’s structure fairly religiously, fleshing everything out and adding brand new scenes here and there. My first consideration was choosing the style (i.e., voice) of the story. While DEAD SIZE is not cookie-cutter genre fare, it does employ several of my favorite genre conventions, many of which make suitable B-movie fodder. So I wrote the book as if I were the prose equivalent of a B-movie director, though one with higher artistic aspirations/pretensions, a wanna-be auteur. To be more precise, it was written as a parody of this, the narrative told with tongue set firmly in cheek.
To recap, DEAD SIZE is presented from the omniscient POV of three different author archetypes simultaneously:
-The oddball pulp author
-The pseudo-intellectual artsy wordsmith
-The winking parodist
Of course, I portray all of these. To weave the three voices together was a mighty feat.
Whether this experiment in schizophrenic storytelling works is up to the individual reader. DEAD SIZE will not be to everyone’s taste, and wasn’t ever intended to be. But it was intended foremost to be outrageous and amusing, so one shouldn’t dive into the book expecting highbrow literature.
As one reviewer succinctly put it, “You will find fun.” I sure hope you do.