March 18th, 2022
I’ve spent a lot of time talking about the world of Brushfire, and haven’t shared too much about Cold World, besides its title, release date and basic premise. That’s intentional, for sure: Brushfire is a story I’ve been working on for a long time, and it’s visually more fun to share. Cold World is virtually all words, and I like the icy air of mystery to the book.
That being said, I do want to talk about it a little. Where it came from, why it’s my next book, and where it could be going.
As a lifelong Minnesotan, the concept of year-long winter has been an idea in my head since I could think thoughts. Seeing, for example, an ice planet like Hoth in Star Wars just showed me that I wasn’t alone.
You can find easy similarities between the other three seasons, but winter is singular. Metaphorically, winter holds meaning that no other time of year can touch.
With that always sitting shotgun in the cockpit of my subconscious, I was reading Stephen Hawking last year and a creative landslide spilled out of my ears. I was specifically reading his Brief Answers to the Big Questions, and I remember the moment the whole story just came to me; I texted my friend Steve with the synopsis, as I often do when I get a new idea, and he said it sounded cool.
I have a system: breathe, and see how I feel about something in a few days. My time is valuable. I get obsessive about things, and it happens instantly, passionately. But I can fall out of things just as quickly. When it really means something to me, I still feel that pull days, weeks, months, years later.
Cold World had that pull.
Despite the other things I had been working on and want to work on, Cold World became front and center.
I’ve had elements of it in my work before, but I have never tackled spirituality and religion head on. Now I have. And I do it in a book that has a ton of action and romance and takes place in the future.
I break rules and I break format and I break large chunks of ice along the way.
Yeah, it’s a blast, but it’s also art in the purest sense. There is a lot of me in this story.
I did some concept art for this world, as well, like this image of Spoonbridge & Cherry in the middle of June.
And while it is a complete journey, there are so many other avenues you pass along the way. When I finished the first draft, I found at least three other stories that could take off from here — one before, one concurrently, and one after. And that’s ridiculously exciting.
So, that’s the tip of the iceberg that is Cold World. As always, you can support me and this book at Kickstarter for a few more days! All my love.