Victim Zero and Other Sundries / by Josh Guess

As many of you might know already, I finished the first draft of Victim Zero the other day. I sent it out to the first crop of beta readers Friday night, and I'm waiting with anticipation and trepidation to hear back from them.

I've also managed enough work on the collaborative project I'm doing with James Cook that he has to catch up with me. That one is going to be very, very cool and something all of you will enjoy.

I'm in kind of a strange place. It's coming up on three months I've been off work and if you'd asked me when I put in my two weeks if I'd have a novel done at this point I would have probably said no. Granted, that was always the plan with VZ and Next (which I resume work on this week) but I figured I'd have to be working another full-time job by now.

Not yet. I'm going to be putting in applications this week, but I have to say I'm completely happy with the decision to leave the nursing home I was working at. I miss the people, but three months without the agonizing back pain, without the unreal stress and overwork, and all the other little joys have been like magic for me. It hasn't been perfect and I'll have to rejoin the workforce soon, but hopefully these stories will be seeds that bear fruit before the end of the year. I think I might be a full-time writer by the start of 2014. Earlir than that if they go beyond expectations.

I'm just blathering, really. This has been a time of immense satisfaction for me on a personal and professional level. Creatively I feel free to write what I want, and that gives my writing more confidence and strength.

The IndieGoGo campaign had a lot to do with that. Though we didn't hit the goal we shot for, the campaign itself was fun and brought me closer to the readers and fans, which is you guys. This is a huge part of why I choose to be independent and self-published; because all I need is a platform and people willing to give me their time, attention, and a small amount of money. In exchange I try to give you as much interaction and entertainment as possible. I've become friends with many of you along the way.

How can I complain about that? I'm building a career thanks to all of you, one where I get to do the thing I love. I've made some strong connections and had a lot of support. I don't know how any entertainer in any genre can ever be anything but thankful and humble in the face of that. Without you guys none of it happens.

I thank you for this a lot, but repetition makes it no less true. You're the best. That's all.