Well! Months have passed, and I’ve been quiet here. I don’t know what it is, but winter tends to do that to me…I generally become a hibernating bear, only rousing myself for the most necessary things (work, family) before grumbling back into low-ebb mode for the rest of the day. The cold does it, and so does the lack of sunshine; I’m sure I suffer at least a little from Seasonal Affective Disorder.
But even if I’ve been a bit hermetic and sluggish in some ways, I’ve still been doing my best to keep busy in others. In addition to my always-present teaching and grading, I’ve managed to continue, slowly but steadily, editing what I’ve written of Darkness in the Valley, which as of this writing has reached 66,000 words. The book has become a fairly complex web of plots and characters, and continues to grow in the telling. Even so, I’m sticking to my goal of having the first two parts of the story completed and in “fighting shape” by the time June rolls around. That way, I can write the third, final part of the book this coming summer with everything else relatively polished, and all the plot points relatively consistent.
I fully expect that the finished draft will end up around 85,000 words; in other words, a full-blown, 400-page novel. In addition, I have some fun plans and ideas for the formatting of the book, which I look forward to working on with my publisher, and John York is beginning to develop his ideas for the cover art. So, things move forward apace, and as spring approaches I’m sure I’ll begin gearing up for the final, big push.
In other writing news, I just learned, very belatedly, that another of my short stories from The Uncanny Valley made Ellen Datlow’s list of the Best Horror of the Year for 2011. “Ms. Jennings’ Family” was included on the list in 2010, and “The Winter Noise” in 2011. It’s a thrill see my work on a list that also includes writing by Stephen King, Joe Hill, and Neil Gaiman, among so many others authors I respect.
Also, reviews for On the Edge of Twilight have begun trickling in, and I’m very pleased with how the book has been received. The one that moved me the most was unquestionably Gabino Iglesias’s article for BuzzyMag.com. He wrote, in part,
“The great Ray Bradbury once said Miller had a ‘bright future.’ With the master of uncanny literature gone, Miller’s work becomes even more relevant. The author is not here to replace Bradbury, who’s simply irreplaceable, but his delightfully strange stories, wild imagination, and simple-yet-elegant prose make him the go-to author for those looking for literature than makes reality dissolve.”
Considering the book is dedicated to Ray’s memory, this is perhaps the greatest complement it, or I, could receive.
Here are links to a few recent reviews and features for it:
More to come, and sooner rather than later next time!