Saint: A First Look / by Josh Guess

Many of you know I'm running a campaign on IndieGoGo to fund my writing for next year. That link will take you to it. The goal seems like a bit much, I know, but it really isn't. It's less than I make at my full-time job, but even if you don't use that metric it really isn't an outrageous number. I've seen people run campaigns for $15,000 for a single book. I'm reaching for 20k to complete six additional novels on top of my work on Living With the Dead. When you break it down I'm shooting for about $3,400 per book. That's about par for writing campaigns on IndieGoGo, Kickstarter, and the other crowdfunding platforms.

I should also mention here that I'm planning on adding more perks to the campaign that include print editions of each book. Signed by me! Awww, yeah!

With Monster in the edit/revision stage, I figured it would be a good time to give you some background on my next planned novel, which I'm going to write regardless of my campaign's success. It's called Saint, and it's something I haven't done before: a crime drama.

Without giving too much away, the story centers around a man called Saint O'Brien. Though his first name is Eric, few people call him that due to a personality quirk: the Saint always gives a second chance. But after that he's as ruthless and without mercy as a hurricane.

Saint is a character inspired by several of my favorite bad guys in movies and comics. He's a little Mike Ehrmantraut from Breaking Bad, a little Winston Wolf from Pulp Fiction. It's safe to say that Agent Graves from 100 Bullets (one of my all-time favorite characters in comics) exists in the Saint in some form, as do the minutemen he lead in the comic.

He's a cleaner, a fixer. He's the one who gets called in to troubleshoot and solve problems when lesser criminals can't manage on their own. The Saint has little to lose and few morals to hold him back. He's a murderer with ice in his blood.

And the idea of the story was to put him in a situation where he is forced to face those remaining moral lines up close and face choices that might make him cross them. Saint is going to be faced-paced and full of thrills, but in building the central character and plot, I began to ask myself just who Eric O'Brien is and how he grew into that man. Originally this novel was going to be a straight thriller, but over the last few months O'Brien has evolved into something much more complex and interesting than a simple anti-hero.

I'm excited to finish Monster and get to work on Saint. This is a new direction for me. I usually write in the realms of science fiction and fantasy. I've got most of this book mapped out in my head, and if the campaign is successful I'll be able to get it written pretty quickly. So if you haven't contributed yet, you should think about doing so. If you haven's shared the link, here it is again. I hope you do that.

Because this guy wants his day in the sun, and I want to give it to him.