One of the most interesting things about working with the WideFoc.us team is how devoted we are to our own creative and entrepreneurial projects. Whether it’s a hilarious calendar designed to raise money for a cause, writing for advocacy, covering Denver nightlife, or even producing events, we all do so much more than our day jobs.
One of my side-projects is writing novels. Sure, I write a monthly column about being a single dad, and have a couple non-fiction works out there (and a fair amount of old writing from my Denver Post and freelance days), but my true love is writing fiction. My first young adult novel, Ray, reflected, came out several years ago, and I’ve promised many a young reader that I’d write a follow-up before too long.
But the last several years have been devoted to building a storyworld around a brilliant teen and her little brother — who are not only art thieves, but also come from a family in the Council of Clocks; a small cadre of powerful people who can create “pulses” to manipulate time.
When I finished the first novel, The 13th Clock, immediate feedback was positive, but I was told that, at 450 pages, it was too long for a first book in a series. I was encouraged to cut at least 150 pages. It took me more than a year to really dig in and do that, so in the meantime I wrote a novella that comes before the novel — it was my way of introducing readers to the 13th Clock storyworld while I worked on getting the novel ready for publication.
The idea has always been to use “transmedia” to create a larger set of narrative experiences for fans of the series — not just novels, or smaller novellas (think of the main Star Wars trilogies and now the emerging “Star Wars Stories”), but interactive opportunities to add to (or gain more from) the world I’m creating.
That aspect is a bit stalled at the moment (we’ve been busy at WideFoc.us)! As is my work on a third novella that takes places hundreds of years before the first novel (I’m about 80 pages in). And, if I’m going to be honest, I haven’t written more than the first few pages of the second novel. But I can feel that creative itch, and foresee 2017 as a good year for the 13th Clock storyworld.
In the meantime, the first two novellas, “The 3rd Caper” and “Sarah Tuesday on the Run,” and the first novel, “The 13th Clock,” are available in print and as Kindle editions. All Kindle versions will be free to download Thursday, Dec. 22, and Friday, Dec. 23, so you might want to check them out.
The first reviews have been positive, which motivates me to get back to work. And our team of supportive creatives in the office inspires me to produce something new!
Happy New Year!
—by Eric Elkins
As CEO and Chief Strategist of WideFoc.us, Eric brings nearly two decades of experience to our clients. In his other life, he’s a single dad, a good eater, and a bourbon aficionado.