The eBook of Haze, my very first novel, is available for free starting today and going through January the 25 on Amazon.com. So, if you have a Kindle or read books via Kindle software on your mobile device, iPad, computer, etc., please take advantage of this offer:
Haze was my first attempt at writing a full novel and remains, to this day, my most personal work. When I first conceived of the story back in the early to mid-1990’s, I was going through some peculiar personal issues. I had graduated from College and was working at a hospital while trying to make a career in art/writing. I was also starting to work for an Independent Comic Book publisher as an inker, but even in those early days when sales were high I had a suspicion the ride wouldn’t last. Added to all that, I was also in the process of getting married and considering what I would ultimately make with my life.
And during that time, I caught a cold/flu that I just couldn’t get rid of. Usually when I catch something, my illness will last three or four days, tops. This one dragged on for a couple of weeks. By the time I was approaching the end of the second week of being dreadfully ill, I finally decided to see a Doctor (I was really sharp back then!). The Doctor heard what I was going through and promptly began a series of tests on me culminating in chest X-Rays. The Doctor feared I had developed Pneumonia.
Luckily, I hadn’t, but my condition was serious enough to be prescribed a regimen of medicines which eventually took out that cold/flu. Throughout that time I slept very badly and was like a zombie during my waking hours. Worse, my thoughts were increasingly discombobulated, to the point where I could barely concentrate on things at work or home.
One day after seeing the Doctor and while driving home from work, I spotted a bus on the side of the road. It was out of order and its rear hatch was open. In my weakened mental state, the open hatch and exposed oily machinery looked alien, quite literally like something from out of this world. I was so struck by that image…so much so I feared I had just suffered a hallucination. Upon reaching my house I had the beginnings of Haze brewing in my mind. In those early days of coming up with the story, I envisioned someone not unlike me as the protagonist, young and at a crossroads in his life, exposed to visions from another world. I wrote the first few pages, wherein my protagonist sees this alien bus-like device on the road and comes to the realization that through illness he’s been exposed to visions from other worlds.
But as good a start as that was, I quickly reached a dead end. At least with the idea of a man peering into other dimensions.
Instead, I moved off into other story directions. Rather than seeing other dimensions, I had my protagonist see visions of a famous dead actor. And rather than a science fictional story, my novel became a murder mystery with supernatural elements. Alas, the actual inspiration to the book, that sequence with the alien-looking bus, was ultimately cut as it didn’t fit in with the story I was now telling.
I learned quite a bit while writing Haze, both in terms of the mechanics of novel writing as well as the efforts involved in trying to create something you can be proud of. The experience was alternately exhilarating and frustrating, and more than once tried my patience. Still, I’m proud with the final product and am happily continuing the writing experiment I began all those years before.
I hope you enjoy the novel as well.