I’m so excited to have Dan Antion of No Facilities here today to talk about his new book, KNUCKLEHEADS!
The Dreamer’s Alliance series chronicles the challenges and dangers faced by two men who have been gifted with paranormal abilities. From their struggles to understand and control these powers through their battle with the attempts of corrupt authorities to exploit them.
Zach and Billy didn’t ask for the paranormal powers that were beyond their capacity to understand, or control. Zach, interacting with his lucid dreams, and Billy, “gifted “with shadowy glimpses of the future struggle to make sense of the world around them. Adults in authority in the nineteen sixties have no time for what they consider mental outliers of the baby-boom. The boys are institutionalized, marginalized, and ignored. Zach’s father learns of the challenges they face as children and knows the dangers they will face as adults. With no way to comprehend how these boys perceive and move within their world, he must find a way to guide them.
Dan Antion was born outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He grew up and attended college in the area around western Pennsylvania. Dan has written and published the popular No Facilities blog since 2011. A lifelong interest in writing became a reality after he retired from a successful 42-year-long career in information management.
Knuckleheads, published in June 2022, is the first book in the Dreamer’s Alliance Series. This story introduces the main characters in this series, in which the next two books will follow in late summer and early winter 2022.
Dan lives in Connecticut with his wife, a few pets and all the wildlife they can feed.
Marian, I want to thank you for inviting me to share One-Liner Wednesday with you and to help me promote my first novel, Knuckleheads. You said you wanted to know about the process, how this book came about, and how the other books affected this one. It’s complicated.
This book was never going to be written. The parts of this book that are important to the next two books in the series were going to be dropped in by way of the main character’s memory. Not quite a flashback scene – more of a moment where Zach is lost in thought. That was getting ugly.
You know me, brevity is not my forte. The book was hard to follow because I wanted to tell too much of the backstory. It wasn’t necessary, but I wanted it to be told. Teagan Geneviene suggested I publish the backstory as a novella.
I switched gears and began writing Knuckleheads. I quickly blew past the word count of a novella. When I thought I was ready to publish it, several people cautioned me. They said I should wait until the other books were written, in case anything in those books changed things in the first book. I didn’t see how that was possible until, in the third book, I needed a character who had died in the first book. Could I have used a different character? Could I have made up a different history? Yes, to both, but the guy from the first book was the ideal character to use.
Things like that continued to pop up. In fact, during the climax of the third book, things happen in such a way that I had to make a serious edit to Knuckleheads, and to several scenes in the second book.
I was explaining this to a friend of mine who was one of the beta-readers. I said, “Of course, I doubt anyone would have noticed the minor incongruous facts.”
He was shocked. “That’s exactly the kind of thing I would notice. I’d dig out the earlier book and chase it down.” I thought that was something only I would do.
Once all three books were complete, I started to focus on preparing them for publication. I had several people who had offered to be beta-readers. I told them that I was mainly interested in plot issues, inconsistent character actions and paranormal elements that went too far. Four of those readers told me they couldn’t skip over grammar, sentence structure, etc. My daughter, who edits communication for a living, and my brother, who corrected papers for 30 years as a teacher, suggested they would also function as proofreaders. My friend, the one who required consistency across the series, also said he couldn’t ignore any mistakes.
So, in addition to a review via ProWritingAid, I had three live proofreaders. I bought them each an author proof copy, gave them a pack of Post-it notes and flags and a red marker. They all found errors (lots of overlap, but not 100%) and they all suggested that I rework certain things that either didn’t make sense or didn’t seem to fit the character. The fourth, Cheryl Pennington, has sent me screen shots with things that needed to be fixed as she was reading a PDF copy. If you enjoy(ed) the book, you have them to thank for it.
As a result of that process, I (finally) arrived at the one-liner I will share:
“I read Knuckleheads so many times, I could be a living book in Holly Jahangiri’s Earth English Living Library.”
Thanks again for inviting me to join you today.
The other stops on Dan’s tour:
This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s weekly blog hop, One-Liner Wednesday. If you have a one-liner or just like them, follow the link.
A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Knuckleheads