This is a guest post written by author C.D. Gallant-King. I will be doing future Author Highlights in the future as well.
Ten Thousand Days is a novella about a young man who loses everything and goes on a fantastical quest to get it back.
Isaac is a regular guy. He has a lousy job and not much of a future, but he’s married to the most beautiful woman in the universe and doesn’t have a care in the world. But when it’s all torn away he’s forced to face a series of stranger and weirder occurrences as reality begins to crumple around him and he’s thrust into a desperate race against Time in a dangerous land with a faint promise that maybe, just maybe, he can regain a few fleeting moments of happiness.
Ten Thousand Days is a modern fairy tale, a love story and a fantasy adventure with a sense of humour. You can buy or read a preview here (http://www.amazon.com/Ten-Thousand-Days-C-D-Gallant-King-ebook/dp/B00X94YKIM), but below are some unofficial, behind the scenes tidbits about the writing of the book you won’t find anywhere else. Philip gets all the good scoops.
So what kind of dirt on Ten Thousand Days can you only find here?
5. It has nothing to do with the Tool album “10,000 Days”
I actually love Tool and listened to that particular album whilst writing the manuscript (and I will admit perhaps the title drew some inspiration from there), but the actual premise of the album bears little resemblance to my book. The 10,000 days mentioned in the song actually refers to the 27 years singer James Maynard Keenan’s mother was crippled and paralyzed by a stroke. The entire time she was suffering she maintained her spirit and faith in God, which Maynard Keenan rails against because what kind of god would make one of his most innocent, faithful servants suffer for a lifetime? In the end he relents, but urges – practically demands – that God let her into Heaven and give her the reward she deserves for her righteous determination in the face of adversity.
Anyway, those who read the book know it has nothing to do with that.
That being said, the mention of 10,000 days sparked my interest and gave me the inspiration to play with the significance of that particular unit of time, which led me to an interesting realization…
4. I was almost exactly 10,000 days old when I wrote it
I turned 10,000 days old on September 22, 2007. The first draft of the book was finished on September 3, 2007 (more on that in a moment).
Leading up to my Ten Thousandth Day, I knew something was changing in my life. I had heard many people tell me that “your body changes at 27,” which is probably bullshit but at the same time I felt it happening. My metabolism was slowing down and I was gaining weight fast. I had less energy and seemed to get sick more often. My lifestyle hadn’t really changed for years, but there was a sudden and noticeable shift in how my body was reacting to it.
Plus there were life changes. I had just started a new job and my wife was about to, but we knew an even bigger change was looming. A year later we both quit those jobs, moved to a new city and set the wheels moving to really start our family.
I just had a feeling that there was something special and significant about that 10,000 day mark, and that importance translated very well into the story.
3. It’s actually based on the song “Sleeping Beauty” by A Perfect Circle
Well, technically it’s based on the fairy tale of Sleepy Beauty/Briar Rose, but I was listening to the song by A Perfect Circle when I was struck with the premise. Especially these lyrics:
Truly thought I could make it right
If I kissed you one more time to
Help you face the nightmare
But you’re far too poisoned for me
Such a fool to think that I can wake you from your slumber
That I could actually heal you…
It all came from that moment. That feeling of wanting desperately for some magic solution to fix your problems. Of being so far gone, so deep into sorrow that you will grasp at any solution, no matter how fantastic, for even a glimmer of hope.
My writing is often inspired by music. The right mix of lyrics and tone go a long way toward setting the stage for me.
2. The opening dream sequence was based on an actual dream/nightmare that I had
The opening line of Ten Thousand Days is as follows:
“I woke up this morning and the world was dead. Or maybe it was just me.”
We then follow the protagonist Isaac on a weird journey as he tries to get to work without realizing that the world has ended around him. It’s all a dream – a prophetic one – but a dream none the less. It was based almost exactly on a dream that I once had when I feel asleep on the bus on my way to work. I hit all the same stops and points that I usually did, but somehow didn’t notice that everyone around me was dead and rotting. It wasn’t until I was getting off the bus that I noticed the driver was a corpse and it freaked me out so much that I woke up.
This was not the first instance of this kind of inspiration, either. The very first book I wrote – the one that is buried deep in The Closet and may never see the light of day – is actually based on a weird fever dream I had after I suffered sun stroke on Canada Day in 2002. I seem to do my best work when I’m unconscious.
1. It was written in three days
For something with as epic a title as “Ten Thousand Days,” the fact that I churned it out in such a short amount of time is pretty ironic. I wasn’t sure if I should admit it, but Ten Thousand Days was originally my entry for the 2007 3-Day Novel Writing Contest. Sure, it has been updated, edited and expanded somewhat, but the original draft was written in 72 hours (actually closer to 60 hours, to tell the truth) over Labour Day weekend. It’s very fitting that a book which such a strong theme of time was written under such a time crunch.
I can actually write very quickly when I’m motivated and put my mind to it. Before I had children there were several examples of me hammering out 50,000-word manuscripts in 2-3 weeks. There is no way I would have the time to do it now, and I would probably never do NaNoWriMo because that’s actually too much time and I would lose focus and not finish it. I like having as immediate a deadline as possible. I’m a bit of an idiot that way.
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There you have it. You now know more about Ten Thousand Days than your friends. Memorize these facts and store them away somewhere – they may be the answers to Trivial Pursuit questions some day. Or maybe it just made you really interested in checking out the book…
You can pick up Ten Thousand Days on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Ten-Thousand-Days-C-D-Gallant-King-ebook/dp/B00X94YKIM) or Kobo Books (https://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/ten-thousand-days-2).
If you want to learn more about the book or yours truly, you can find me all over the Internet:
Hit me up! Say “Hi!” Once you get to know me you’ll find out I’m a pretty nice guy.