Hello out there! Today I’m super excited to be a part of the MERGE Blog Tour! See my sidebar over there? I even added a banner (and if you’ve been here before you know that I almost never update my sidebar!). MERGE is a 13 part paranormal thriller series put out by the folks over at 1889 labs. And by ’13 part’, I mean 13 stories – not 13 different books, and they are all stand alone!
Set in a world still reeling from the discovery of transhumans, MERGE charts the loves, the betrayals, and the struggle for survival as transhumans are rounded up and sent to live in ghettos. Tensions are high, riots are brewing. The human race is about to come undone.
The stories written by 4 different authors, AM Harte (you might remember A.M. Harte from my review of Hungry for You), Kit Iwasaki, MCM, and Yvonne Reid. The blog tour will last 4 weeks. Every week, four stories will be published.
For my part of the tour I’ll be featuring a guest post by MCM, whose short story, Everything Must Go (Teaser: The first sentence is a doozie! (I’ve always wanted to say that!)), is being released this week as part of the series.
How To Accidentally Create A Series
I’ll tell you a secret: I wanted to write a silly scene about a bureaucrat in a vat of ooze, and it somehow turned into a four-author series with intricate plotting.
What went wrong? Atmosphere, that’s what.
This was my thought process: Bureaucrat, vat of ooze, silly. Easy enough, but why would a bureaucrat be in a vat of ooze in the first place? Backstory is required, or at least set-up! There’s got to be more to the story… a novel, perhaps!
And that’s when the smarter half of my brain smacked the other half in the proverbial face, because as everyone knows, one does not write novels about bureaucrats or ooze, because novels are not meant to be boring. Unless you’re trying to win an award.
“Fine, then,” I said to myself, “I will make it a short story. Everyone loves short stories.”
But try as I might, I was unable to think of a good wrapper for the notion of a bureaucrat in ooze. At least not one that fit into a small package. The mechanics of ooze generally lend themselves to epic storytelling, and while one can sometimes squeeze epic-ness into 3,000 words, it’s usually not the best idea. And so I did what all good writers do in time of need… I wrote to Kit Iwasaki to see if I could trick her into giving me the answer.
I gave Kit the scoop on my story: “All I can tell you is that it’s about a bureaucrat, and he’s in a vat of ooze. I’m sure you can fill in the blanks, right? ”
Her answer was not what I was expecting. Instead of telling me how to fix my story, she came up with this idea about a society in the throes of genetic transformation, about the ways the transformation changes the way we interact with each other, the way we govern ourselves, the way—
“Yes, yes, yes,” said I. “But about the ooze…”
But sadly Kit, who was working towards a deadline six months passed, was too far gone to be reached again. She was excited to be collaborating, and couldn’t wait to explore the world further. Evidently, I needed to fix this new problem before my ooze went dry.
My next thought was to contact Yvonne Reid, who is writing a cool new series called Ascension for us this summer. I briefly outlined my bit to her, along with the important fragments of Kit’s blah-blah-blah scenario, and ended with: “… but I’m really concerned
about the way Kit is treating the bridge between this genetic transformation and the vat of ooze…”
Yvonne sprang into action, crafting a though-provoking outline about a bounty hunter charged with tracking down the genetic aberrations — transhumans — and bringing them to a government-sanctioned ghetto. Things are complicated by the appearance of—
“Back up, we’re focusing on the bureaucrats,” I said, but she wasn’t listening anymore. In her mind, this was now an epic novel with three authors, all intertwined and quite frankly, involving far less ooze than I was hoping for. Something had to be done.
I wrote an email to AM Harte, the Editor-in-Chief of 1889 Labs, and I did what any self-respecting publisher would do…
“Kit and Yvonne have this crazy idea to write a novel with a bunch of authors about transhumans and how genetic changes impact society and crap like that. I need your help.”
“I see the problem,” she said.
“I know, right?”
“It should be a series, not a novel.”
And before I knew it, we had this big project planned, tying together all this stuff, with absolutely no regard for bureaucrats or ooze or vats or anything. I was depressed beyond words, even if the component parts of the series are actually kinda cool.
In the end, I wrote my story, “Everything Must Go”, about a bureaucrat sent in to stop people with silly ideas from ruining a perfectly good time. And the ooze, it flows.
MCM is the creator of the animated series RollBots. He also writes books, such as The
Vector, The Pig and the Box, and Typhoon. When not doing such things, he is coding sites
like this one. He is also insane. For more information, visit http://1889.ca/mcm.
(1) One lucky reader will win an iPad.
(2) Second place will win e-copies of all 13 stories, plus a $10 iTunes or Amazon voucher.
(3) Third place will receive a $10 iTunes/Amazon voucher, plus e-copies of one of the 4 authors’ MERGE stories (their choice).
Here’s how you can win:
- any comments (on any blog tour post) will counts as an entry to the grand prize (including an iPad!)
- tweets with #merge1889 count as entries too
- Facebook Merge mentions tagging 1889 Labs fb page count
- and subscribing to our newsletter on http://1889.ca/merge is worth FIVE entries
Winners will be announced at the end of the tour (straight after June 18).
PS. Didn’t you just love my gratuitous overuse of parenthesis. Yes, I talk like that in real life!