Against the advice of my son, I am going to explain what is going on with Sleepers 3. The question I get asked all the time. My son, though, tells me that while my friends, family and closest readers understand my insanity, others may not.
But to the devoted Sleepers readers, I give you my explanation of its delay.
Warning, it’s twisted. I also promise to mark ‘spoilers’ when needed.
Many of you may know this, some may not, but I cast my books. I find actors, sports figures, wrestlers, musicians, and I craft my characters by what I think they portray or are like. Many times, my characters are nothing like those they are modeled after.
When I first embarked on Sleepers, the character of Alex Sans blasted on the pages and immediately took over, as if I had no say so at all in the writing. The character of Alex Sans was inspired by pro wrestler, CM Punk. Man, every Monday, every chance, I listened to CM talk, walk, act. Soon, within weeks, my kids were yelling at me because I was calling CM “Alex”. That’s ok, it helps my dementia.
Then came Sleepers 2. I flew through that one. Again, Alex ruled. CM Punk was WWE champion and man, I was able to really utilize the inspiration.
Hence Sleepers 3. Something happened. CM Punk turned into well … a punk. A bad guy and he wasn’t even a good bad guy, he was a tool. A cardboard bad guy that irritated me to watch. Honestly, someone needs to send CM Punk to wrestling persona school.
All the sudden, with the switch of CM Punk, I couldn't breed Alex the way I wanted. Middle of Sleepers 3, I had to stop. I tried, I really tried, I even wrote around him. It has been suggested, to watch ‘old’ videos of Punk. But the problem is, the good guy to bad guy stint (For me) was stealth and I didn't see it coming until he flipped such a bad switch, I was like, ‘oh God, no!” He cut his hair, just ….UH! He’s not my Alex!
I have used wrestling bad guys before as good guy characters in my books, but CM Punk’s bad guy is so badly done, it makes my stomach twist.
Now ...I wanna kill off Alex. But it’s not because of Alex, it’s because I don’t like CM Punk’s persona anymore. I can’t make him gay, I did that to Henry in Beginnings, because of the actor that inspired him. SLEEPERS 2 SPOILER ALERT: In Sleepers 2, it was a literal flip of coin to see who died, seriously I flipped coin, Alex or Beck. Beck lost. He died. Now I wish it were Alex. Because the inspiration behind Alex is gone.
Maybe … I’ll make him into a bad guy in Sleepers 3. But how, I love Alex. And what if I manage to successfully make him bad and CM Punk returns to being a good guy, then I’d have the task of redeeming Alex and that’s not easy. Then again, how many times did I redeem Frank?
I know this, Sleepers 3: Rise of Keller is nearly complete, but is on pause. I promise to have it out no later than May 1st. April 1st if I’m lucky. I’ll post a peek in a couple weeks. Until then, this is where it’s at. Suggestions?