This was my first novel, although I did write a few chapters of one when I was about fifteen, but they were lost by my English teacher. A year after that I wrote a work of interactive fiction and was close to completion when all of the paperwork and backups were lost.
I returned to writing a few short stories when I was twenty, but became discouraged when someone told me writing wasn’t a proper profession and I should forget about it. It wasn’t until 2012 at the age of forty that I began to write again, at which time I wrote several short stories.
I first had the idea for this book in 2013, but didn’t consider it seriously until early the next year. This story was originally called “Downline”, which describes the structure of the community the book is about, but I discovered that there was already a book called that. I can’t remember where I first heard the phrase “Cotton Covered World”, and I can’t find a specific origin for it, but I’ve seen it in numerous places since to describe when someone insulates themselves from the real world, and that seemed a perfection summary of the book to me.
By the summer of 2014 I’d planned to write this novel in the late autumn as part of the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) competition. It would give me a deadline and a daily expectation of my progress. So in just under 3 weeks (19 days) I somehow wrote over 50,000 words.
The first three chapters of my novel are available to read online: