It all started in 2000. I was living in Seattle and had two great friends, Will and Paul, to bat ideas around with. We were all writing various things; for Paul it was horror, for Will it was poetry, then there were various collaborations we all worked on. For my own part, though, I got it into my head to try to pull off a hoax of sorts. I didn't really think much would come of it, but my plan was to put up a website about this really cool Japanese TV show, with episode recaps and character bios, and hope that word of it spread with people wanting to know more about it. And of course there was no show, not really, just what I had created.
This was the birth of Skull Kaiser: two complete seasons of 22 episodes each, with a third season started but never finished. I kept the website alive when I came to Japan in 2002, but I found out that the page was spreading viruses so I eventually let it die in 2004.
But I couldn't let the idea go. I kept working on it, wondering what final form it would take. I gave up on it for a while, thinking I would focus on other, more important things, but it wouldn't be banished. I realized at some point that I needed to write it as a novel or series of novels, but still wasn't quite ready. The website content was also really the middle of a larger story, what will end up being books 4 & 5 of 6, so I had to think about a beginning.
I changed jobs in 2006, leaving eikaiwa for ALT work and suddenly had lots of free time. The ideas flowed and by April of 2007 I started to work in earnest on THE ARTIFACT COMPETITION, which goes back (at least) to Skull Kaiser's origin. Now there is no Skull Kaiser or Phantasma King or Gear Binder (well, I'll always remember them that way), but the story has really evolved. I finished TAC in October of 2007 and started immediately on the 2nd book, THE GUN GOLEMS, which took me considerably longer to finish. That's because I changed jobs again in April of 2008, moving from being an ALT to managing ALTs and suddenly had NO time whatsoever. Faye was born in February 2009, and she kept/keeps both my wife and I quite busy.
I'm still editing TGG, as mentioned in a previous post, and am taking my time. Also working on that damnable query for TAC. Time is the enemy! Well, it's not the only enemy, but it's the one that counts. But who doesn't need more time? Anyway, that's all for now.