Hey there, lovely people!
Apologies for the silence as of late. I’ve been struggling with the new direction on Terminus and, after a lot of soul-searching, have decided to leave Inkshares to pursue other options. The staff has been very supportive and given me a lot of encouragement but, after so much time, I still don’t feel confident that this is the right home for this story.
Anyone who pre-ordered will be seeing a refund coming their way soon.
I came into this process full of excitement, with a completed first draft and two sequels outlined. When I was advised to scrap everything but the central speaking-to-the-dead concept and make the story about something else, I took that advice to heart. I wrote an entirely new draft based on these suggestions... and ended up creating something that was in complete thematic opposition to the story that I wanted to tell. Initial test readers backed up my suspicion. The story that you all supported was supposed to be about reclaiming life in a world obsessed with the past, but this new draft became about people succumbing to their guilt and fear and damning the world because of it. I was also advised that the origin story needed to come first and that I was focusing too much on rebellion. Yet, that’s what so much of science fiction is - a dark mirror to the systems that hold us back and our chance to see them challenged in spectacular fashion. And there are plenty of stories out there that start at a future point and slowly unravel the mystery of a technology’s origin. That’s the kind of story that I want to tell.
Not that it’s all been bad. My editor has made some great suggestions that I’ll carry with me in my work going forward. (Stakes are key!) The reading list that Inkshares provided was a mini course on the craft from the greats - Stephen King, Ursula K. LeGuin, and others - that contained a lot of inspiration. Most of all, the other authors and readers who I’ve met through this process have been so incredibly supportive. I now feel like I have a strong network of supporters, sounding boards, and sometimes even just shoulders to cry on.
Yes, this story is weird. Yes, it straddles genres. But that’s what had me so excited about it in the first place. It’s time to get back to thinking of these as strengths instead of weaknesses.
The plan at the moment, honestly, is to collapse into tears. So much work, just to feel so lost. But then it’s time to pick myself back up and push through one more draft, one that hews a lot closer to the story that you originally backed. I’ll make some inquiries, but if nothing comes of the traditional path, I’ll self-publish and get this baby out into the world. No more waiting, no more chasing someone else’s vision, no more doubt. Then it’s on to the sequels. Terminus towers around the world, more characters, more explorations of the technology’s political/religious/cultural effects. Just like the story, I’m ready to move forward, not backwards.
You all have proven that there’s something in this story that resonates. You’ve given me the courage to push through the hard times, learn from them, and achieve the dream.
In the meantime, you can keep up with me at jayemilius.com, where I’ll be sharing excerpts and blogging about the process. I’ll also continue these periodic updates through the website’s mailing list and share daily dispatches on Twitter at @jayemilius. And, of course, once the story is out in the world I’ll be sharing that Amazon link far and wide.
Thank you so much for all your support throughout this process. Each and every one of you who backed the project has been on my mind constantly. You are absolutely amazing.