Here is why I have decided not to publish DAPHNE as a book:
Throughout history, storytelling devices have changed. People told stories by firelight after the long, hard day of living rolled into night. Stories were painted on cave walls. Scribes etched tales on papyrus. Each of these tools demanded a different style of narrative technique. By the twentieth century, the most effective form of storytelling was still images rapidly exposed to a beam of light.
Let me pause for a moment. I want to be very clear. I do not think books are dead. Only a fool would say that. And plenty of fools have said that before me.
I do think with the advent of Google, the interweb, and sophisticated algorithms how we disseminate stories has begun to change.
The more I have been developing DAPHNE the more I believe it is not built to be placed between two cardboard covers. Nor do I think it could be filmed as a traditional movie.
Ironically, the entire book takes place before the arrival of the internet as we know it.
But the story itself is a rabbit hole of sorts. It is the story of girl's search for her dead mother. A girl's search for a mother who was an illusion to herself. By the very nature of her illusory personality, the daughter is confronted by a continually changing vision of who her mother was.
For a very long time, I have been interested in examining characters through the voices of others. Before I wrote SACRIFICE I wrote a crime novel called THE WAY A GIRL FALLS TO PIECES about a murder in Wyoming where the only thing we know about the dead girl we learn through her suspected killers. It was a Rashomon-esque exercise for the #metoo generation. However, ultimately, I couldn't get the plot to work.
For me, plot has always been secondary. I find plot tiresome. That is not to say I don't like story. I do like good storytelling. I prefer interesting characters. I am most often entranced by great atmosphere. I like mystery. A sense of mystery. Something mysterious going on. But I find the actually solving of mystery loathsome. I could never sit down and watch a BBC mystery. Once the wheels start turning, and I sense the machinery working under the pages or beyond the screen, I wander off on the story.
Every time I tried to put the pieces of DAPHNE together in what would resemble a story I found the result utterly exhausting and tedious.
I began to think about how we build stories in our lives today. I thought about how the internet works when you begin to research or follow the threads of some story you suddenly find compulsive one morning. The way one article leads to another. The way one you might read something written by someone about someone else and suddenly become more interested in reading something else by the person who was writing about the other person you were interested in and begin to read more writing by said writer and then suddenly come upon a totally different persons story amid that writer's writing and begin reading more about that other person. How these tangents can go on and on, infinitum.
I began to think how the process of Daphne's discovery might be as important as the discoveries themselves. Ironically, I believe DAPHNE started this way. When I originally conceived this idea it wasn't intended to be a book. Or, at least, it wasn't going to be limited to just a book. It was going to be some kind of hybrid film/book. But I realized soon that was way too expensive and very unlikely to get financing.
So, I have decided to publish it on my website. It will begin with elements of the story told in multiple genres and a variety of voices. If I can find the money lying around somewhere I will incorporate the film ideas I have for it. Also, photography and voice recordings will follow as time and expense permits.
My intention is to have the first part--THE FRAGRANCE COMMERCIAL--posted to my website by the end of the month.