Under the Hood: Andrew Doran and the Crawling Caves

Between 2018 and 2019, I was part of a team of modern day Mythos writers striving to build something unique. We wanted to write an anthology, but we wanted it to be less an anthology and more a huge crossover event. The five of us tied together a narrative with individual stories each linked to each other either through the MacGuffin (the Al-Azif) or through actual story elements (Donny Bear and Vhourvath, among others).

Keeping each of those elements together was a collective effort with Hambling and Phipps doing work in Google Drive, and me dancing between that and my preferred use of Evernote. It was a huge effort and so much fun. The following are my notes for the first quarter of Andrew Doran and the Crawling Caves.

A fun thing to note, before we dive in, was my effort to follow some of Hambling’s advice. When I first met David, he had told me that he loved my stories, but that it might be easier to write about places I’ve been instead of spending so much time researching areas that I either haven’t gone or would never be able to go (anywhere in the past). That advice stuck with me, and is why Andrew Doran and the Crawling Caves is set in Harrisville, New York and the Adirondack Mountains. I grew up in that town and hunted, fished, climbed, and even bobsled in those mountains. I’m pointing this out so you can see how Tales of the Al-Azif was more than just a 1 year collaboration, but a collaboration that has spanned much of my relationship with these great writers. When we put pen to paper, we bring everything of ourselves with us, including what we’ve learned from each other.

Small disclaimer: Unlike the previous “Under the Hood” post, these images aren’t as well cropped. I was using a new notebook (R2D2, if you can’t tell by the stickers) and my Evernote app wasn’t having as easy a time taking the picture. For note purposes, it didn’t really matter, so they stayed the same.

Peek under the hood!

In the last two months, my post that received the most interest was Alien: Legion, focusing on my notes and process in writing a fanfiction. I don’t know if it was because everyone got to see under the hood or if there’s a ton of interest in Alien fanfic (please comment and let me know), but I figured I’d hedge my bets and start posting some more “mid-process” stuff.

So, stay tuned! I’m working on a bunch of projects and can’t wait to hear what you think.

Also, if I’m entirely wrong, and you just want more Alien fanfic stuff, let me know. It’s way better than wasting my time showing you under the hood when all you really wanted was acid blood and no one hearing you scream.

Alien: Legion (Fan Fiction Effort)

In case you were curious about my process or the amount of effort I put into writing a fan-fiction, I decided to give you a little peak with the notes I wrote for my take on where the Alien Franchise should go. Someday I’ll type this up. Hopefully before Ridley Scott steals it.

If you actually read through this and want to see more, let me know. My fan-fictions usually sit until I either want to remind myself how fun writing can be or someone demands more. Please feel encourage to comment on my concept or my writing process (notes like these before I type it up).

Additionally, if you can’t read my chicken scratch…well, I just don’t care. Go check out Gaiman’s, King’s, or any other author who’s posted their notes. My writing is gorgeous!


I Joined Patreon!

The other day I signed up for an account at Patreon. If you’re unsure what Patreon is, it’s sort of like Kickstarter and its crowdfunding nature. Instead of a one-time, lump sum payment for one project, Patreon supporters pay a monthly amount to continuously support their favorite artists.

This is awesome, in that it helps authors (or other types of artists) get the funding they need from their art. It’s also awesome for all of their supporters. If you would like to show an artist your support, but don’t always have the funds, you can now support them with $1 per month, or whatever you can afford. They know that you support them, but your dollar of support goes a long way toward getting you great content directly from your favorite artist.

That being said, I have several projects lined up and to be fair, I always do. I’ll be creating a lot of a patron-only content and trying to show you that I’m worthy of your support.

With regular updates and content just for you, I also can tell you how each dime will be spent. Every novel I write costs between $100 and $200 for edits, cover art is about the same. Then there will be marketing in the form of advertisements online and newsletters. I will detail every place that I’ll be marketing at on my Patron feed. You’ll be part of the process and be able to provide me as much feedback as you like regarding stories and their development as well as thoughts on the cover art!

By becoming a patron, you get to help in the creative work. And that’s just if you are a dollar per month patron.

Awesome, am I right?

So, if you find yourself a fan of my work, a supporter of my art, or just a generous friend, I encourage you to go over to my Patreon account and pledge whatever you’re comfortable with. Also, feel free to share my patreon with anyone that you know who is interested in fantasy, scifi, or horror.