by Matt P.

Today isn’t a story day in Border, KS. This is prime blog material right here, something I’ve never done in lieu of story. But there is a good reason why: As of today, I have been doing Border, KS for one year.

The first segment launched on July 1, 2o14–which means in just over an hour and 30 minutes Mountain time (which I tend to measure it by, originally coming from Colorado–and it giving me an hour longer to post and make my deadline), it will have reached that milestone. I wanted to take a moment to thank each and every one of you who reads Border, and to share a little bit of behind the scenes information.

Not including headlines or blog posts, at the one year mark Border has roughly 85,800 words–343 type written pages in a soft cover book. That puts it firmly in the Novel length, although most novels are longer–as book 1 of Border will be.

My original plan was to have book 1 end at roughly the one year mark, then take a month off and post a short story that follows it and some other background info. That is…not going to happen. At this point I estimate I have between four and six months of material left (and probably closer to six). If I go another six months that will leave book 1 at roughly 109,000 words–respectably a novel at 436 pages. It might go a little bit longer, I don’t know.

Border has changed tremendously from where I originally thought it would be. I’ll go in to more detail in some of the bonus features of book 1 when it is done, but I’m comfortable saying that. Siobhan and Antigone were originally more secondary characters, until I discovered how fun they are to write. Morgan and Tania were also going to be more secondary as well as more remote and mysterious–but part of the fun for me has been showing that even a Faerie Queen can still be a person, and immortality is no bar to personality.

As some of you noticed, I also originally only posted 500 word chunks at a time. This was done to mirror the feel of a webcomic, where one strip is posted per day on a 2 times or 3 times per week schedule. But it wasn’t getting the job done, leaving too much out and not letting me develop the story either quickly or fully enough–hence the change.

One of these days I’ll get around to writing a real process post, about how I develop things–it’s pretty much jiggery pokery, as Justice Scalia might say. And if you’ve listened to the podcast I do with Cory and Robin Childs of Leylines Comic (that is currently on hiatus), you’ll know I tend to be much more a Gardener than an Architect. Things grow on me, and I grow on them, and they come out. Part of the fun of Border has ben writing in a way that the development process is seen by anyone who reads it, rather than being hidden behind a finished project.

The next year for Border should be fun. Book 1 will be finished, and book 2 begun–neither has an independent title yet, so book 1 may just end up being ‘Border, KS’. I hope to expand the readership, and tell stories taking you in to the dark places beyond the realms of the Fey. All in all I hope that you have enjoyed the first year of this little endeavor.

Since book 1 will not have a dedication page for a while, this is as good a place as ever to thank specific people. As it said in the first Legend of the Five Rings book, if you don’t thank your parents in your first book you go to hell. So thank you to Michael Parker, Linda Count, and Walter Count. If there is a recognizable name in there, that’s on purpose. Without you three I wouldn’t love books and reading the way I do, and everyone knows that’s just a gateway drug to writing.

Thank you to Pam and Matt Cole, who host my physical and internet spaces in a bed and serve respectively. You’ve seen this whole project from inception to now, and it couldn’t happen without you. Pam is so often my indispensable editor and idea sounding board, and Matt makes this crazy website thing work. You guys rock.

Thanks to Cory and Robin Childs, who were the first Webcomic people I knew and encouraged this all the way. They’re also some of the best friends I could possibly hope for, and do amazing work themselves.

And thank you to everyone who has read this. Whether you’ve read from the beginning as they were posted, are catching up now, or just started and this is the first ting you’ve read–thank you. I’m not just doing this because if I didn’t write I’d go mad, I’m doing this to tell a story to an audience, so this is as much for you as anything else.

Here is to a year gone by, and to another to follow. May the worst of our tomorrows be better than the best of our yesterdays.