It’s a strange grief to finish a work of art and know that you’ve set it free to stand on its own two feet. This conception, this gestation, this nurturing, all leading to this day when it’s done. has been quiet these past weeks as I’ve written, rewritten and polished a new, unexpected novel – Escalation. This story truly was a gift, written from idea to completion between April 11th and August 26th. My typical multi-year novel-writing span condensed to 4 months; the rewriting, previously laborious and turgid (with way too much attention to detail), now like polishing a few rough edges. The writing has focus, an intensity that I relish and, most of all, characters that think, decide, act and speak as real people.

These people I’ve lived with for months. These people I’ve loved, hated, nurtured, constrained. These people.

And now they’re going to live with other people.

Leaving me with that strange mix of happiness, pride and remorse.

And the ever nagging critic that says other people just won’t ‘get’ them.

Like any parent whose kid has left home, it’s up to me to redesign life without them. And those of you who know me even a little, know that I’m already there.

Escalation will be my fourth published novel and, in the near future, I’ll be taking it into screenplay adaptation – it’ll make a fast, absorbing film.

Team Building (an original screenplay – think ‘Lord of the Flies’ meets ‘The Social Network’) is rewritten and finalized for shopping – that long process will begin soon, a new mountain for me to climb.

Inventing Kenny (a screenplay adaptation of my novel, Family Rules) is already out for review with agents in LA.

Dare Ya (an original screenplay) is underway, structured and mapped, and about a third fully written. It’s a fun story, ‘Kickass’ meets ‘Good Will Hunting’.

Karaoke Criminals (a screenplay adaptation of my novel) is structured for a 4-part series. I’ll start writing the script for that soon. It’ll remain a UK-production (it needs the London!) and, in my wildest dreams, the BBC will grab it with both hands!

And then there’s music: the band, Monkey68, are in fine fettle, booking our Fall/Winter/Spring shows at the moment, and on October 1st, I’m playing New London’s Bean & Leaf Café as part of the acoustic Sinners Circle series – show starts at 7.30pm!

So, am I grieving Escalation? Of course. I’m human.

But I know from all my previous work, that the happiness and pride will long outlast the remorse and sadness. Novels, songs, stories, they all take on their own existence just as soon as they are shared. They become something meaningful to someone else, and that meaning may have little, if anything, to do with my original intent. And that’s fine. That’s art.

But I’ll take this moment of sadness. Just for me. Just for a moment.

Be well, Escalation, make your way in the world. Everything’s going to be fine. I love you.