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Frustrated with the disappointed returns on novel writing, I gave up the bag all together after releasing my last book, a ghost story called Dead Girl (2016). In Dead Girl, I felt that I had written something scary and worth reading.

But like so many other independent creative projects, Dead Girl only made a thudding sound when I released it. Sure, those who picked it up gave me rave reviews. I was extremely grateful to those who read it. But after putting so many hours into something only to see it flow away down the stream along with thousands of other independent projects from thousands of independent creators, I said goodbye to writing altogether.

Here is the catch: after I gave up writing, the ideas kept flowing. My mind is constantly bombarded with ideas for projects. I have spent most of the interim time since Dead Girl composing music. But there is a strong line drawn into my psyche that craves writing.

My good friend, and fellow fiction author, James Wymore, told me that he was confident that I would write again. He said, “It might be five years, but mark my words, you will be back at it.” He was correct. I didn’t make it 5 years. After a 3-year hiatus, I have finally caved in to the urge.

I am working on a short novel tentatively called, The Sunny Acres Retirement Center for Monsters: First Night. It’s about a 17-year-old who takes a job at an assisted living community for monsters. The whose who of silver screen night crawlers are housed in the complex: The Wolfman, Count Orlok, Green Slime, even Bat Boy makes the grade (of course I’m going to have to change the names to protect my legal butt). I’m having an absolute riot writing this piece.

I can’t take full credit. The idea came from a friend of mine, a talented man named Darren Gould. One day while working on a film set, we were pitching ideas back and forth. He pitched Sunny Acres this way: “It would be fun to do a TV series about a retirement community for aging monsters.” That was all he said. I loved the idea so much that I asked if I could write a TV pilot. To my delight, he said, “yes.” I wrote the pilot and sent it to him. Even more to my delight, he loved it. As I expected, the pilot didn’t go anywhere.

I have since lost the pilot script (who knows, maybe one of those dreaded hard drive crashes took it). But the idea persisted. After years of no contact, Mr. Gould heard from me again. I asked if he would mind if I novelized the idea. He said, “go for it.”

My next book will be about a retirement community for aging monsters. I’m having fun writing again. I haven’t shaped any plans for the manuscript yet. I don’t know if I will try to pursue traditional publishing, self publish, or just keep the story on my hard-drive and never release it.

Any way it goes, I plan to enjoy the journey and have no expectations of success for this story. There is just too much noise out there with which to compete. If I am going to write, I am going to write on my terms. If there is no success in writing anyways, then I plan to write what I want, when I want to write it. How’s that for honesty?

Good luck on your creative endeavors. I am absolutely in your corner. I wish you the greatest success.

Yours truly,

Craig Nybo

Craig Nybo
Craig Nybo

Craig Nybo writes novels, screenplays, and short stories. He also composes and records music. Craig lives in Kaysville, Utah with his lovely wife and children.

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