One of the greatest achievements for a rock-fiction author is having the band themselves give you the green light to write a novelization of one of their concept albums, before you start writing. That happened to me on Oct 13, 2016, when Jasan Stepp and Todd Smith of the band Dog Fashion Disco gave me their approval to turn their much-loved, fan favorite concept album, "Adultery," into a novel. The album had just celebrated its 10th anniversary and I, boldly, approached them with turning their crime-noir concept album into a novel. They were extremely receptive and encouraged me try to turn the Rubik's Cube of an album into a cohesive narrative,
I began work on the novel on May 2, 2017 (after almost 6 months of outlining, research, and making sure I had a good grasp on the storyline). On May 6, I drove to Baltimore to attend a Dog Fashion Disco concert, where, on stage, singer Todd Smith, for the first time, publicly announced and endorsed the fact I was writing the Adultery novelization. (There's a whole blog on that moment as well.)
From May 2 - August 24, I wrote and wrote and wrote ... sometimes 60 hours a week. Once the story arc (and album) really opened up in front of me, there was no stopping this train. The novelization, titled "Moonlight City Drive," is the fastest I have ever written a novel. This is officially my 4th book, and no book has come together this quickly from inception to completion.
The most unique aspect of writing this book was having a group of die-hard Dog Fashion Disco fans (and when I mean die hard, I mean threatening to hide in my bushes with knives if I messed up the album) help me throughout the writing process. I bounced ideas off them, and we were able to interact during the process. I have never been able to get feedback from the fanbase themselves during the writing of any of my novels.
But here we are. Last night, on Sept. 19, the author-copy proof arrived in the mail, in all its glory from graphic designers Kyle Lechner and Amy Hunter. Now, all the freight train mindset of writing it can calm down and I can take a long, deep breath ... that is, until, it gets in the hands of the fans and I have to be worried, yet once again, of the large bearded man in my bushes...