Here in the heart of summer, I wanted to provide an update on the progress of The Astonishing novel. To say it simply, the writing is going really well. I'm excited by how the book is progressing. But let me share more about it.
When John and I originally began discussing the book, I asked him a basic question: "Do you want me to remain slavish to the storyline on the album, or do I have some latitude?" John was quick to give me freedom to explore, expand, and embellish the core of the story he'd created.
In truth, there are other elements to the story not fully expressed on the album. John did some worldbuilding that wasn't shared in every detail in the lyrics. But that's not what I was asking.
Of course, I'll run all this by John. But what I've shared with him so far he's loved.
I'm getting to explore areas of the map, and areas beyond the map to help tell the story. I've created some additional characters that don't appear on the concept album. And I've had the room to develop motivations and backstory that make more clear who these people are, why they do the things they do, and the complexities of their relationships.
There will be some surprises for sure. More conflict. And I think readers will have some of those "a-ha"moments when I explain certain things, adding some in-world logic to show connections and resonances.
I'll add another update in the weeks ahead. But for now, I wanted folks to know that it's going well.
I'm taking the necessary time to get this right. Dream Theater is my favorite band, and frankly both they and the material deserve it.
Right now, I think we're pushing to get the book out by the end of the year. There's still a lot of work with all the extras that will come with the book.
But the story is the main thing.
If you have certain questions you'd like answered about the story in The Astonishing novel, please visit my website and shoot me an email. Or if there are things you'd like to hear more about, do let me know.