Wasteland Blues and the Collaborative Process

 

Wasteland-Blues-JACKET.indd

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My latest novel, WASTELAND BLUES, co-authored with Andrew Conry-Murray is the first of a post-apocalyptic trilogy and is now available on Amazon in both TRADE PAPERBACK and KINDLE editions from Dog Star Books. (Click those links to head on over to Amazon and grab a copy!)

This novel – this Trilogy! – began way back in (correct me if I’m wrong, Drew) 2003 as a collaborative writing project between myself and my undergrad friend, rock & roll band-mate, fellow psychonaut, post-college Boston roommate, and talented writer Andrew Conry-Murray (though, he was just Drew Murray back then…). We were living in different places and starting new lives when we began this experiment: I was up in New York’s Hudson Valley living on a remote mountaintop surrounded by woods in a home once owned by George Hansburg (inventor of the pogo stick), and Drew was in… San Francisco… Boston… Paris… Africa… Pennsylvania… the dude gets around!

We wanted to write something that we wanted to read. We wanted to inspire ourselves and each other to create something from the elusive gloaming radiance of the things that inspired us. We wanted to share and explore our love of the science fiction and post-apocalypse genres: sprawling vistas, radioactive landscapes, and rusting, forgotten technology… And, most of all, we wanted to get lost in the journey.

There’s a story, in WASTELAND BLUES, to be sure. There’s a goal – a mission, to be found in its pages. And there’s a definite end (though maybe not quite in sight) for the fool’s errand we’ve set our hapless characters upon. But I think all readers will agree, that at it’s heart, WASTELAND BLUES is a road-trip. A gritty, sand-in-yer-teeth, radioactive road-trip. And like all good road-trips, it’s so much more about the adventures along the way, the friends you make and lose, and the family that you build around you – than it is about the destination. Literature (if I can be so bold), like Life, man – it’s all about the Journey…

And what a journey it is! (I almost typed “was”, but realized that being about a third of the way through writing Book Two: THE BOMBED-OUT LANDS, Drew and I still have quite a road ahead of us…). Getting lost along the way… taking left turns instead of right… nearly dying of thirst and starvation… hitching rides with musky Bedouins, insane automatons, grizzled scavengers, and (wait for it, ‘cuz this is coming in Book Two) a gang of leather clad, motorcycle riding post-apocalypse nuns… Yeah, what a long, strange, radioactive trip it’s been…

It’s crazy out there in the Wasteland. Ya never know what’s just over that next sand dune, just beyond that broken stretch of highway, inside that seemingly abandoned gas depot or mutie den or bug nest… It’s always a surprise. Hopefully, each turn of the page is as much of a surprise for those reading WASTELAND BLUES as it was for us writing it. See, that’s one of the greatest, most wickedly exhilarating things about the collaborative writing process: At nearly EVERY single turn, I – or Drew – would chuckle maniacally at the situation – the cliffhanger – the seemingly impossible predicament – hell, the Kobiyashi Maru – the most absurd and impossible corner that we could paint our poor characters into, before turning the writing reigns over to the other. Let’s see ya get ’em outta this one, Drew…! only to open my email a few days later to, Right back atcha, you jerk! 

And somehow we DID manage (at least so far) to get our characters (narrowly) out of the most improbable and dangerous binds that Drew and I could throw at one another. And while our characters may have suffered, the story sure didn’t! And neither has my passion for continuing to write – to live, to dance – in this world.

Because, unlike most solitary writing endeavors, in WASTELAND BLUES I have the thrill and the luxury of sharing with the readers the tingling excitement of reading the next few pages, fresh from (the sick – don’t let him convince you otherwise) mind and fingers of Drew, and having NO IDEA what is coming next or how we’re gonna get out of it…

But we will. And I’m sure Drew will agree.

 

You can check out WASTELAND BLUES here:

WASTELAND BLUES – Trade Paperback Edition

WASTELAND BLUES – Kindle Edition