What is The Collective?
UPDATE MAY 2010: You can actually buy this book online now!
So this past year I wrote a book. Sure it was a weird year and whole lot of crazy things happened and if you had to ask me to rate the year in total I’d probably only give it a 3 or a 4, but yes, I wrote a book. Well, actually I finished editing the book. Before that, in November of 2008, after twenty-seven years of starting novels (okay maybe twenty-two years) and never finishing them, I undertook National Novel Writing Month. On November 1 I sat down and mapped out a simple outline for a book called “Squad”. Then for the rest of that month, I wrote and wrote and wrote. The goal was 50,000 words and it turns out that’s a hell of a lot of words. Four weeks later, hunched over my laptop on the kitchen table at my girlfriend’s parent’s house, I hammered out the last chapter.
Turns out what felt like a herculean effort was only the beginning, the fun part if you will. In 2009 I embarked on an ambitious plan to edit the book, give it a small group of readers, incorporate their notes and finish the whole thing by…June I think it was. Definitely in the summer. Twelve mind-melting months later, at the end of November 2009, I sent off to Lulu.com for a proof copy of the book. It had changed immensely over the year, particularly the back half (which was basically thrown away and rewritten, with a delicate sentence by sentence surgical procedure to append it to the front half), and it also took a name “The Collective”. This is what the proof copy looks like.
I mean holy shit, right? That’s a whole book. That I wrote! It’s 232 pages long!
All right great, so what am I going to do with the book? Well, I don’t think of it as my masterwork. I’m not Junot Diaz over here sitting on a pile of National Book Award. This is how I describe it:
It’s sort of lite sci fi. Set in a world very much like our own – not very far in the future – with the addition of one technology: Squad glasses. Like the smartphone of the future, on the backs of your lenses. All the data you’d ever need and it’s put there by outsourced labor in developed countries. And then…THERE’S A MURDER!
It’s a NaNoWriMo book after all, I had to come up with the story in like a day. But there are a lot of good ideas in there, many of my best go-to themes, and largely, I think it’s a fun book to read.
So that said, how am I going to share this book with the world? I don’t really want to throw myself at the knees of publishers in humble supplication just for the opportunity for my friends and friends of friends to read it in book format. And I just spent a damned year on it so I’m not going to lock it in the proverbial drawer. I’ve got a different idea.
I’m going to do a Kickstarter project to get the book out there!
It’s going to be called “Andrew vs. The Collective”. Details to come, but I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.