In all the preparations for the release of Scylla and Charybdis, another anniversary slipped on by. Flow has just had its sixth book-release anniversary! The beginning of the month, in fact. In the past, I've joked that of the two birthdays on the first of March (the book's and mine), Flow is obviously more important. Who cares about the author's birthday?
It's been six years since Flow came out from Double Dragon (and is still available!). It's been even longer since I first wrote it. Sure, I might change a few things if given the chance to write it again. If nothing else, the rise of smartphones and mobile technology would have a lot of small, subtle effects on the narrative (and the lack thereof does date it to the setting year).
Flow was a novel written from character, specifically the two women - Kit and Chailyn - who drive the narrative. Their abilities and general backstory shaped the world I built for the book. Along with Hadrian, they were all roleplaying characters who I adored, but didn't get enough time to play.
For those unfamiliar, roleplaying is essentially collaborative writing. Typically, each person controls a single character, while one - the gamemaster - manages the world and forces moving against them. I played in various iterations, but Kit, Chailyn and Hadrian come from internet-based games where the basic world is laid out in coded / described rooms, allowing people to interact without a gamemaster involved. (Room being a pretty broad term: a "room" could be an entire city neighborhood, a garden or an iceberg.) These games were called a MUSH (Multi-User Shared Hallucination) or MUX (Multi-User eXperience).
So it's a very immersive way of creating a character, if sometimes tedious or humdrum - believe me, just about everyone who has played on a MUSH or MUX has had multiple scenes of lounging around a coffee shop chatting with a total stranger about nothing. A lot of what is played out has little relevance to ongoing story, but as with many other aspects of writing, the iceberg effect comes into play. What the reader never sees or even "needs" for the story shows up indirectly under the surface.
I've written other stories in the Flow setting: Xmas Wishes and A Dose of Aconite have been published, and a few others are still in my to-be-submitted pile. And what about a sequel to Flow? I have definitely kicked around ideas, but I have so many other enticing projects that it's unlikely to float to the top (flow to the top) any time soon. Unlikely ... but not impossible.