Amethyst Shards Afterword: Burnout
This afterword is about, well, the burnout I experienced around the time I began Amethyst Shards and how it impacted the book itself.
The end is known in the beginning and nearly as soon as I began Amethyst Shards did I have a good idea on what this afterword would be about and would be called:
Last year, around the time I finished Emerald Haze and thus started Amethyst Shards, I became burned out. Not with writing, but with my work. This affected my entire life, though, in one way or another. It led me to leave my job, get a new one, and then eventually start my own business. All this influenced Amethyst Shards. Not just because my life was all over the place so focus was hard to keep but somehow easier. But…it actually influenced how things happened in the story.
I don’t remember my old plans, but I know, definitely, that the plans changed during my burnout period. New plans sprung into being and the themes changed, primarily driven by the emotions that bled into one character in particular: Malcolm Zfnoc.
He’s effectively burned out at the beginning of the book. He is so burned out and beyond himself that he does not know himself. Meaning has been lost and he is seeking something to ground himself again. He is afraid of losing himself, feeling like he’s gone from his idealized self. Things are beyond reality—reality that he knew. In a way, his experience might be the most closely sourced from my personal feelings.
His sweeping arc in the beginning of the book came so vividly and potently for me in that time. It was like a revelation. The scenes were springing to life and his emotional state just clicked into place and made so much sense to me. After all that has happened to him, why wouldn’t he be burned out? Confused? Lost?
It just felt so maddeningly real and right to have characters just lose connection with themselves. Just as I did in my own way.
I feel like, in a way, this is my most ‘real’ book in terms of character interactions. There’s a lot of awkward moments, and things that just unfurl…not quite cleanly but aptly. It feels very personal for me, in a way. I’ll admit, my mental and emotional state wasn’t fantastic throughout the book, but looking at it, I realize how…life affirming it is. How positive and comforting it is.
It’s like on one hand I’m here wondering why of everything, and on the other hand, I’m writing something saying why. I find meaning in writing my books and I find meaning in the books themselves.
This book means a great deal to me…not just because of the journey getting to this point, writing it, but because of what is inside it too. Relationships affirmed, meaning found, the future teased, the past resolved, and just…good vibes all around for lack of a better term. It wraps up everything that needs to be wrapped up. I feel at peace from it.
Of course, there’s always going to be more. There’s more I could say about the journey with Amethyst Shards but I’m not exactly ready to yet.
It started with How to Stop Wildfire and here we are with Amethyst Shards. This has been certainly earned. Things certainly aren’t perfect, but I love it for that reason. It could be more fleshed out, it could be more organized, maybe, but…that’s the charm of it. Part of me thinks I’ll look at it the same way I do How to Stop Wildfire, but…that’s completely apt. It ends as it begins and it begins as it ends. The end is known in the beginning…
Amethyst Shards Print Copy
Finally, Amethyst Shards is here in print form! It’s the same print style as Emerald Haze’s print copy. Had to be consistent for these two. The interesting thing to note is that, since this is the tenth book, the Tyra Tarkush Spine number is two digits. It stands out. The entire spine is bold and tight. Print spine Title Page First page of chapters It meets my approval so now you can pick up Amethyst Shards in print form from...
Commissioned Art of Cyclone!
As King was drawn by Erika Hollice, the same had to be done with Cyclone. The art drove what I wanted out of this commission was this piece of Cyclone looking awesome that I did many years ago. I wanted Cyclone with his Scythe, cape, and dark in a powerful pose. The whole package! And the whole package includes his helmet. His helmet…well, it’s been an internally contentious point for me since I moved on from LEGO as a primary...