The Medusa Coin‘s long publication history had plenty of ups and downs over the last decade that I thought were worth sharing. This is a fun story and it makes me look completely unhinged but I like to tell it anyway. The Medusa Coin was never a sure thing for me. When I set out to write Signs of Portents back in 2007 – and if you recall from a previous commentary this was when Signs was meant to be the first and greatest comic book mini-series of all time – there was no sequel planned.
There was no Greystone series.
I wrapped up the first draft of Signs in 2008. I couldn’t let the idea go. I knew there was more to explore and I sure as hell never solved any of the background elements like Beth’s fall, the origin of the Greystone, none of it. So I put some notes together on a second mini-series.
It was called the Seven Sons of Death.
I made it as far as the first issue and some of it survived all the way to the final draft. The rooftop meeting was the climax of the issue with Death’s reveal as the cliffhanger for the next issue. The intro of Samantha Myers was there as well so my family can get off my case for naming the dubious detective after my youngest daughter.
But I never went further. I had ideas on where the story was headed but nothing came together for me and I put it away.
In 2012 I was itching to write. Comics were in the past. Collaboration has never been a strong suit for me. Though I enjoy the back and forth when it works, there were too many times I ended up carrying the load solo and it wore on me. So, genius that I be sometimes, decided to write a novel instead.
Rather than reword Signs into a novel first, since the story was pretty well set, I wanted to try my hand at an original piece. Something new, something fresh.
The Medusa Coin was born.
I hit a wall immediately. Working full time made it difficult to write. More my own inability to step up and get words on the page, something I have thankfully learned over time.
But I gave it a try nonetheless.
For 11 months I wrote for an hour after work, sitting in my lovely cubicle with no overhead lighting (it gave people migraines or something…) typing away at what would become The Medusa Coin. Why the title change? Seven Sons of Death (I shortened it to Seven Sons at one point) never really sang to me. It fit for a time but I was very happy to stumble upon the Medusa connection and really amp it up in the drafting process.)
At this time I wasn’t huge on outlining. I would sketch out a chapter with some overall notes, maybe a line of dialogue or three, and then jump right in. The result was less than pretty.
I finished it though.
And then? Nothing.
The wheel turns…
Shockingly, I had no plan after this. That was me all over back then. I had a draft, a rough rough draft, but didn’t have the wherewithal to strengthen it on my own and knew no one else would be able to help either.
So it languished. Right beside Signs. Right beside quite a few other projects I hope to revisit someday.
Then I quit my job. And I wrote Signs. Then rewrote Signs. I learned the story behind the Greystone and the connections that brought me to the opening scene in The Medusa Coin.
And I had my story back.
I wrote the first draft of the current (and FINAL) iteration of this book during last year’s NaNoWriMo challenge. 23 days and 85,000 words later the book arrived as if it had always been there.
Why couldn’t it have been that easy back in 2010?
Lots more publication history and background to come on the novel. Have any specific questions you’d like answered about the creation of this book? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be happy to put them in the blog!