In case you missed it, here is an interview with WRHI in Charlotte, NC recently:
Just announced, Dark Matters is the 2015 INDIEFAB Book of the Year in Science Fiction! Thanks to Foreword Reviews for this tremendous honor; read more here:
With this award, Dark Matters is now the:
- INDIEFAB Gold Medal Book of the Year in Science Fiction
- Independent Publishers IPPY Gold Medal Winner in Science Fiction
- Next Generation Indie Gold Medal Winner in Science Fiction
I have to admit, it feels pretty good for a debut novel! Now, back to writing Book 2!
Believe it or not, the first draft of Dark Matters (Book 1) didn’t include famous quotes at the start of each chapter. But I’ve always enjoyed the well-placed aphorism, and thought that subtly relevant quotes to begin each chapter would be a great addition to the story. So during the editing phase, I spent a week or so digging through various books and web sites. Soon enough, I had what I thought were a good mix of quotes. Some well-known, others more obscure. But they all meant something in the context of the story. Or at least, they did to me!
That was early 2015. So here we are, a year later, and suddenly I’m saddled with finding another 40+ quotes for each chapter of Book 2. AND, in the back of my mind, I know I’ll need that many more for Book 3. Suddenly, my brilliant idea has begun to bite me in the arse, so to speak…
I write this now, with the smallest of smiles on my face, because I’ve just finished selecting the quotes for Book 2. Don’t get me wrong-a few of them will change before the book is released, though I’m very happy with all of them. But I expect I’ll stumble on a few that are ‘even better’ before Book 2 is published. There was some last-minute swapping in Book 1, and I’m sure it will happen again.
So how do I go about finding the quotes? I’ll be honest, it’s a bit like my writing: some initial structure that eventually devolves into a free-for-all. I’ll start with the chapter content, and pick a few themes that might work for the quote. Maybe the quote should have something to do with power, or with truth. So I’ll start with Google (of course…), hunting for quotes of that type. From there, though, it’s anyone’s guess where it may lead. I might see a quote I like that doesn’t fit, so I’ll look at more quotes from that individual. Or I’ll find a related topic (leadership instead of power) and head down that path. In the end, though, it’s a slow, deliberate process that only ends when I find the perfect quote. The good news is, when I find it, I know it. Somehow, it just feels right. Very much like when I was choosing names for all the characters (though I’ll save that for another article…). And, what took barely a week for Book 1 quotes took almost a MONTH for Book 2. I can only hope it was worth the time.
One last bonus, as I’m feeling a bit giddy from the completion of this month-long search. Below are a couple of my favorite quotes for Book 2, just for loyal subscribers! I suppose you could call them the smallest of spoilers, though I think that’s a bit of a stretch. But DON’T READ FURTHER if you don’t want to see the first-ever Book 2 content released into the wild… :). Enjoy!
Thrilled to announce that Dark Matters has won the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Award for Science Fiction! Read all about it here:
Big news, Dark Matters has won the Independent Publishers Book Awards (IPPY) Science Fiction category Gold Medal! Very excited to be considered the #1 sci-fi release from an independent publisher. Beyond cool.
Good news, I’m finally set to launch a two-week Dark Matters Media Tour! This will mostly be on the radio, but there are a few stops along the east coast. I’ll try to keep this up to date as things are added. Check back often!
March 30 TBD WISR Pittsburgh PA (radio tape delay, sometime during the Afternoon Show)
March 31 9:10am WTCM Traverse City MI (radio call-in)
March 31 10:05am WOCA Orlando FL (radio call-in)
April 2 10:00am Wellington Square Bookshop, Exton PA (Book Signing Appearance)
April 4 8:00am WOCM Ocean City MD (radio call-in)
April 4 10:30am WMKT Traverse City MI (radio call-in)
April 5 8:30am WRHI Charlotte NC (radio call-in)
April 5 9:15am WGRT Port Huron MI (radio call-in)
April 5 9:30am WOJB NPR Duluth MN (radio call-in)
April 6-9 TBD New York City (Appearances TBD)
April 12 TBD KKWK Kansas City MO (radio tape delay)
April 13 8:35am WXGM Norfolk VA (radio call-in)
In case you missed it, here is my recent interview on Interlochen Public Radio, discussing Dark Matters and the evolution of the story, characters, and the world of 2075.
I’m thrilled to announce that Dark Matters has been selected as a 2015 INDIEFAB Book of the Year finalist, in the Science Fiction category. Thanks to all the readers and supporters out there who helped make it happen!
Here is the link to a recent interview I did with MyNorth media, with some discussion as to how the story line evolved.
Hello all! I recently wrote an article for the Sword and Laser Sci-Fi web site and podcast, discussing how a story about dark matter eventually evolved to one set in a not-too-distant future of income inequality gone amok. From dark matter to Dark Matters, so to speak. Link below:
I’m thrilled to say that a run-in with NY Times bestselling author James Rollins (of the Sigma Series fame) turned into an offer from him to read my book! Even more amazing, barely a week later he sent me back an email:
I finished your novel last night. Great read! Lots of cool science (which is of course right up my alley). Here’s a blurb to use as you see fit:
“Michael Dow’s DARK MATTERS has everything I love in a novel: scientific speculation, stunning action, and characters that leap off the page. But best of all, here is a novel that combines all of the above into a seamless, thrilling story. Don’t miss this debut!”
—James Rollins, New York Times bestseller of The Bone Labyrinth
(Side Note – you should check out Jim’s 30+ books. Especially The Eye of God, with interesting parallels to my own Dark Matters…)
I have to say, in the few years I’ve been at this author-thing, the amount of support & advice I’ve received from “famous” and successful authors, editors, and others in the industry has been incredible. In addition to Jim, another author, AG (Gerry) Riddle (of the Atlantis/Origin Mystery Series) has also provided encouragement and feedback. I have to say, it’s pretty cool. Hope I can return the favor someday…
Check out my recent interview with Up Front Fridays. It’s a good sneak peek into some of the Dark Matters plot and story line. Barely a week until release!
Update on several book events happening soon, leading up to the release of Dark Matters!
- Jan 27: I am hosting NY Times bestselling author James Rollins at the City Opera House in Traverse City, for the latest National Writers Series Main Stage event. My book (and his!) will be available for sale. Get tickets to the event here: Purchase NWS Tickets
- Feb 1: Book available for pre-order on Amazon! eBook and hard cover.
- Feb 6: Book signing at Horizon books, Traverse City, 2-4pm. Get my book a week before the release date!
- Feb 11: Book launch party at The Box, Traverse City. Free food and drinks, meet the author, 5-8pm. Register to attend on Facebook: Register for the Event
- Feb 16: Official book release!
Feel free to contact me if you have questions, firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to see you!
It’s official, the first book in the Dark Matters Trilogy will launch in February 2016! Stay tuned for more details, including a book launch party, book signings, pre-order information, and more! Also, if you haven’t noticed already, the entire web site has been updated with the new cover art and graphics, to include the book trailer video – check it out!
Sign up on our email list to be notified of important dates as they happen.
Thanks and we’ll talk again soon!
As I search for an agent to represent the book, I am also continuing to edit the completed Dark Matters manuscript. (And begin the work on Book Two in the series, by the way…).
My latest edit cause the elimination of a supporting character – Collin, one of the employees at the physics lab where Professor Hanssen works his “day job” of hunting for high-value asteroids. Collin survived through my writing of the entire book, and even through my first few edits. But the more time I spent with the story, the more I realized he was merely an off-shoot of another character, and not bringing much to the table on his own. So it was with a heavy heart that I wiped him from existence – a hard thing to do across 400+ pages. But there is no doubt it helped to tighten the story.
Alas, my dear Collin, I shall remember you well. But the world, I’m afraid, will not.
With 70,000 words in the rear view mirror, and the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel in sight, I thought I would provide a quick update on progress, and future plans for the book.
There are about 10 chapters left to write; I expect to finish the first draft in early July. Based on feedback from my editor (and others), I am going to spend the summer and early fall shopping the manuscript with agents, in the hope that I can sign with one and subsequently land a publishing deal with a mainstream publishing house. Simultaneously, I will continue to re-write and further edit the book – probably with more paid help. There is also still some research to be done, and folded into the story.
As a first-time writer of fiction, I know the odds are against getting a book deal. Or even an agent, for that matter. I will note for the record, however, that a few former colleagues have told me that I’ve been writing fiction for decades; I do appreciate their perspective on that :). Dr. Seuss received 27 rejections before someone finally agreed to publish And To Think I Saw it on Mulberry Street – and I’m no Dr. Seuss. So maybe I’ll shoot for 25 or so rejections, and call myself a close second.
More to come, stay tuned!
Heavy into the Dark Matter chapters this week… becoming a pseudo-expert in all things baryonic and non-baryonic, supersymmetry, and extra dimensions, of course. Oof.
“These are just a few of the things I control in my world.”
(Extra credit if you can name the source of this quote… it’s an obscure movie favorite of mine). And no cheating with Google.
Crossing the 70,000 word threshold this week. Inching closer to the first draft finish line.
For those following, the Kickstarter project that was launched to help fund this book project is down to its final week. You can watch the “book trailer” video and learn more here:
We have raised $20,000 to date, with less than $5,000 to go! A huge thanks to everyone that has contributed. You can support the project for as little as $10, which gets you an e-book when Dark Matters is complete.
The book has reached 40,000 words; I’m hoping to get the first half to my editor by the end of the month.
Oh, and one more thing. Go Hoos!
Sorry for the lack of blog updates over the past few days… the good news is that I’ve been writing! It’s been a fairly prolific week; at this pace, I may hit 40,000 words by the weekend. Close to halfway through the book. With any luck, I’ll be sending the first half of the book back to an editor before the end of the month.
As a first-time writer of fiction, I continue to be fascinated by emerging patterns, and the overall evolution of my writing. For instance, I much prefer writing dialogue to writing back story/background/scene transitions. Don’t ask me why. I’ve also discovered the shower as the absolute best place for brilliant story ideas. Again, don’t ask me why. And I’ve finally become comfortable in forging ahead to new chapters, rather then endlessly editing the chapters I have (somewhat) completed. It’s harder than you can imagine, leaving chapters alone when you know they aren’t quite done. Now I know – they’ll never be done.
One final note – less than two weeks left on the Kickstarter project. If you plan to contribute, do it soon!
Welcome to Dark Matters, a work of (mostly) fiction by Michael Dow.
In a not too-distant future where a handful of super-billionaires run the world, can a renegade scientist and beautiful art curator save humanity from their iron grip?
Scheduled for worldwide release in November 2014