Singularity, or, Jessica B. Bell’s Wayward Home for Lost Characters

Welcome to the blog (wait, is this my very first guest post? I think it might be…) Katie Sullivan, who, if you’ve been following me, should really be no stranger to you. Katie is one of my biggest… cheerleaders is not the word I’m looking for, but it’s kind of apt. She discovered me a couple of years ago and has been rooting for me ever since, not only in supporting my writing, but also as my friend. Her novel, Changelings: Into the Mist, was one of my favourite books of last year, and I look forward to the sequel. Speaking of sequels, Katie wants to talk to you about the sequel to Jessica — SINGULARITY.

Over to Katie. Thank you for being here today.

——-

I know how H.K Hann-Basquiat and Co. intended the word “singularity” to be used. I know it is a technological phenomenon (and I don’t want to spoil the beauty of this book, so I’ll leave it to you to look that up on your own). I know, too, that it suits the story of the book so well it’s spooky.

I also know that outside the technological realm, “singularity” means wonder, marvel, spectacle, unique and original. These synonyms suit Singularity, the compilation meta-fiction delving deeper into the world of Jessica B. Bell {creepy fucker}, extraordinarily well.

Obviously, the naming of the second Jessica collaboration was not just fortuitous happenstance – but perhaps the finding of the word was – Ken has this remarkable ability to discover the synchronicity in all the marvelously weird things that roam his mind. But more importantly than naming something to be a marvel, Ken and Co. have created something that is wonderful in its distinctiveness.

I was lucky enough to read an early beta copy and I can tell you that it is spectacular. I devoured it in two sittings (and I only had to split it into two because I was in the process of moving). Ken and friends are among the few authors for whom I refrain from my terrible habit of reading the end after I’ve completed about 1/3 of the book. The only other authors I do that for are Agatha Christie and Stephen King. The writing is tight, the story compelling, and the ending… well, I’m looking forward to Book 3.

Of course, Ken didn’t ask me here to tell you how wonderful Singularity is (although it is, and you should get yourself a copy right now). He asked me to speak to something I’ve kept under wraps because it was, in my mind, an ignoble failure: Ken asked me to write for Singularity and I said yes(!!) because hells bells, why wouldn’t I want to write with this talented group?! There was a character and a story idea right away – it was spooky how quickly it came to mind, and how well it worked with the puppet-master’s design.

But, due to a variety of circumstances – most of them to do with my pesky temperamental emotional/mental state at the time – I was unable to complete the story. The character died before he even had a chance to live. It was terrible. Telling Ken was worse, but then he did something for which I will always be grateful.

He gave Herbert Featherbottom a home.

Ken reminded me that sometimes the stories we can’t tell – or don’t have the right words to tell – can play a part in someone else’s story. Herbert Featherbottom was a man digging his own grave, and Gaslighting himself for reasons he could not fathom. Was he possessed? Did he have a split personality? Why would he do such a thing? Neither Herbert nor I may ever know, but he  went on to live in Singularity (with a different name – I dare you to find him and report back) and Herbert’s presence there is as much a part of the story Ken crafted as anything I could have created for him. In fact, Herbert belonged in Singularity because of his real-world fate.

The stories – or art, or music, or whatever piques one’s passion – we can’t tell, or don’t tell, are just as important as the ones we do tell. They are not failures. They are not the detritus of our fevered creative brains. They marinate. They bubble and fester just under the surface and fuel the art that does manage to survive – and sometimes, they are the inspiration – the fix –  the final puzzle piece – to someone else’s story.

And that is the genius of Singularity. Who are those survivors? What is their story? What if…? Singularity is the most delicious ‘what if?’ I’ve read in a long time.

Now that you know how spectacular I think Singularity is, you’re probably wondering more about it. Check out the WhoIsJessica blog for “What is Singularity” and “What is Singularity, Second Serving” but better yet, pre-order your copy today on PubSlush!

Last, but certainly not least, you *need* to check out the book’s authors and contributors:

Helena Hann-Basquiat

Sara Litchfield

Sandy Ramsey

Lizzi Rogers

Hannah Sears

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6 responses to “Singularity, or, Jessica B. Bell’s Wayward Home for Lost Characters

  1. Pingback: Adventure with us to Jessica B. Bell’s Wayward Home for Lost Characters | The D/A Dialogues·

  2. Thank you so much for letting me blather and having the honor of the first guest post – that is awesome! 🙂 I loved SIngularity so much – I can’t wait for my copy!

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