Personal blog of author and artist Lynn Daniels.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Aftermath: A Note from the Author

It has been nearly a year since I last published a book. I'm pretty sure I didn't have this in mind as being my next completed project after Forsaken Soul.

Let's take a trip back to mid-2015. I had just published Lost Sunshine. I had no specific goals in mind about what I expected from that project. To me, it was a collection of poems that I had managed to write and assemble in the time after I published The Sunset Script.

For some reason, it always struck me as odd that whenever I ran free promos for any of my books, Lost Sunshine always appeared to be the best performer. I will admit that I do modest outside promotion and while I would like to do more, my current situation does not allow for that. That being said, it is never a good idea for someone like me to overlook or ignore interest in a book.

Fast forward to 2016. The free promo results were perhaps the main catalyst to the beginnings of this project. I was aware that Lost Sunshine was a book that was dark in nature. It wasn't my favorite project, but it felt a little weird to have that book be the last poetry project I ever wrote. I started Aftermath with every intention of writing a more positive and peaceful book than Lost Sunshine.

Back to the free promo thing...

After yet another free promo last summer, I began to wonder if perhaps I should add a permafree book to my collection. I wasn't quite there yet with choosing one of my series leaders to be permafree. Since I wasn't interested in that move at the time and I had no other prepared projects, I felt that if I were going to make that move, my only option would be to try the experiment out with Lost Sunshine.

The move, in my personal estimation, was a moderate success. I had begun to receive instant feedback on Smashwords. I probably shouldn't have been surprised to see the reviews of the book being dark, but I suppose that being a year removed from the book changed my outlook about what I thought the book really was. It made me rethink some things. Why would I change the very thing that led me to writing? Does it honestly suit me to try to write more positive and uplifting material? Why have I not chosen to embrace the dark nature of my work? Those were some of the questions swirling around in my head.

Meanwhile, we are all aware of the madness that was 2016. I am a political junkie. My appetite for political commentary is only rivaled by my appetite for sports commentary. I treat debates and election result nights like playoff games. For me, it is a solitary hobby and I am perfectly satisfied with not sharing it with other people. It was hard to get away from the vacuum of politics. It bled into everything and by September, it had become something like an over-the-top reality show. From there, my poems transitioned to those from being personal in nature to having more political undertones. About a week before the election, I began to write poems at the rate of 2-5 poems in one sitting.

November 8th came and went. November 9th felt as if time stood still. While I remember it being a perfectly warm, sunny day where I lived, it just had a morbid, dark feeling to it. For someone like me, a person who feels that most days aren't particularly happy days, it felt bizarre to see my daily mood echoed far beyond my own personal bubble. That led me to sit down at around 4:00 in the afternoon to write my poem 11.09.16: Day of the National Hangover. Once I wrote the poem and posted it to Instagram, I felt a burden lift from my shoulders. It wasn't just the conclusion to a bruising campaign season, it was also the clarity of being sure about what I wanted my next project to represent.

Soon after I wrote that poem (as detailed by this post), I began experiencing a series of health setbacks. I spent most of the rest of 2016 after Thanksgiving being confined to bed rest. I have since spent much of this year going in and out of doctors' offices. I continued to write my poems as the urge hit me. Some of my poems alluded to my personal situation (The poem Maybe comes to mind). Some of my poems remained political (I think of the obviously political poems like Electoral Nightmare and Complicit). Other poems stepped out of the realm of politics and drifted towards larger issues in society (Poems like Approaching 800 and Another Sunday in Spring are true representatives of that category. I will add that Another Sunday in Spring is a true story witnessed by my own eyes). In the end, I managed to amass sixty poems and poetic essays. As I said in a previous post, if I were to describe the book, it would be the result of mixing Lost Sunshine and The Inevitable Intermission and then writing a sequel to that pairing. I am satisfied with the end result and I hope that these poems give people something to think about.

If you are interested in Aftermath, you can purchase a copy for $0.99 at Amazon and Smashwords. Reviews are encouraged and they would be greatly appreciated.


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