Many years ago, I realized that I had a serious problem. You see, at times when I ought to be sleeping, I'd instead hear the voices of people who weren't there, telling me about events that had never happened. These events were quite interesting to me, compelling in their own way. Sure, anybody can jump from the edge of space, or dress up like a winged rodent and fight crime, or even be elected to various offices of apparent high esteem. But how many people have lots of voices in their heads competing to tell fantastic stories? Over the years, I found out the answer. Very few. And so I had no idea how to silence those voices.
Sure, some people might consider this condition of voices in your head a problem. I've heard words uttered like "bipolar," "schizophrenic," and other important-sounding words I can't spell or pronounce without cheating. Many people will look at you with weird expressions on their faces, as if you might suddenly transform into something unpleasant -- like, say, a scar-faced assassin or somebody who can read your thoughts with unerring accuracy -- but I don't truly get their concern. I'm the one living with those voices, right?
Earlier this year, numerous people reminded of an interesting mathematical phenomenon about the year 2012. During that year, the number days I've been alive would reach over 14,600, or in the more common vernacular, 40 years. Social conventions demanded that I have a "mid-life crisis" and do something dangerous, like jump from the edge of space, or try to cut in line to get Justin Bieber concert tickets for my daughters. ("No, Dad! Not him!" they say. "One Direction!" Who?). These pursuits seemed far too tame, since they merely presented the possibility of terminating my life. Instead, I decided to try something far more dangerous: write a novel. That has the dangerous prospect of the most dreaded possible experience a human being can ever have: One Star Reviews. I shiver at the words.
Where to get content? Here's where all those voices come in handy. They have all kinds of stories to tell me, it seems. And I found that if I waited long enough, they'd reveal stories of incredible courage, perseverance, bravery, self-discovery, and the advancement of technology and human potential in a way that might, just might, inspire people to see if perhaps they're capable of far more than they'd ever dared to believe.
And so, having no clue how insane it was, I sat down and started typing, much to the delight of those voices. Then I read the story back to them. "Hideous!" they shrieked. "You've totally missed the point!" And so I tried again, and again, and again...until they were silent. I'd done it; I'd told their story so that they'd left me in peace, telling their stories in the virtual pages of a book. I needed to find a place for them to live, however, and found a place with cheap (read: free) rent at some web site called Amazon.com, and sent them to live there.
Strangely enough, people actually wanted to read these stories, and Amazon tells me that hundreds have actually paid to do so. The downloads encouraged the characters to escape their home at Amazon.com and jump inside my head again. They're telling me more stories, depriving me of sleep. And so I must write the new stories they tell me, forcing me to go through the process again. And again. And again.
One day, perhaps, those voices will finally be gone for good, and I'll have to try the mundane tasks of space jumps and One Direction concert tickets. Until then, I'll just keep writing until the voices stop talking.
THE ALIOMENTI SAGA
Prequel: Hunting Will
Book 1: A Question of Will
Book 2: Preserving Hope