I am extremely heartened by the positive response "Daze In The Valley" has received. Truly, I doubted it would garner as much of a following as it has (or at least the following I think it has given I had 80 e-mails waiting for me 7 hours after I posted the final chapters).
Many of the e-mails asked me what was next. In a rare occurrence, I actually know.
My next story was spawned from "Daze In The Valley." As I picked through potential plots for the group's feature film, I had two or three that I thought held promise but just wouldn't work for one reason or another.
I turned one of those rejected plots into my next offering, which should start (in serial form, of course) in the next six weeks or so. There are no dragons or wizards but I think it falls firmly into the action/adventure category.
Thankfully it is "only" about half the size of "Daze" so I should be able to get it all posted in less than 18 months this time. After that, I have several other stories that I work on from time to time.
One revolves around the general manager of a small-market baseball team. Another is a quasi-legal thriller. A third is another adventure story set in modern times.
I will strive diligently to answer the e-mails I have neglected. "Daze" generated almost 3,000 e-mails over the course of its run and I've become remiss in getting replies out. They reside in a folder waiting for me but I can never seem to grab enough time to go through them.
That happens all the time, I suppose. I don't want to send a "canned" response but I don't always have time to sit down and compose a response.
I guess I've always consoled myself by thinking that those who enjoy my work would rather I be writing my next piece instead of sending e-mail.
But it doesn't make it right that I haven't taken the time to say thanks to the readers.
So, I'll take the time now. If I haven't gotten back to you, I apologize.
The readers on SOL have offered (for the most part) the encouragement I've needed to break free from the "Just the facts, Ma'am," journalist style that littered my earlier works.
They have given me the freedom to think outside of my stilted worldview and create, I hope, some truly interesting, truly endearing characters -- characters I never would have attempted without the kind words of a multitude of readers.
The writer of an e-mail I read today said he would recognize Adam Walters if he were to sit down beside him in a bar.
That's high praise.
I hope my next story will live up to the standards "Daze In The Valley" has created.