Frequently Asked Questions

Answers Ahead Of The Game

Free? Yeah right. You're going to wait until I'm hooked, then put up a paywall.

No worries, Octane will be free to read throughout its entire 52-week run, here on this site. It's like the guy on the date always says, in those dog-eared romance books lying around at Laundromats, "Darling, just pay with your smile."

Did the launch date change?

Yup, the project will now be launching in Winter 2020. This is to allow for the development of some tie-in multi-media content for Octane, and to give Lex a little breathing space in her present crush of projects. The exact date of launch (ie. day and month) will be published here several months in advance, as well as through the Octane mailing list -- sign up to be notified.

Will the novel ever be available in print?

Yes, after its 52-week run here, Octane will be available as a physical book. (Not for free, though.) The chapters will be removed from this website at that point.

Can I print pages or 'Save as PDF' for reading offline later?

Sorry, no. Octane is made available for online reading only, and by publishing it here I am not relinquishing my copyright. If you try to print or save as PDF, you will find the text disappears. I guess you could painstakingly pick out each word from the HTML source, like berries from the bush or pecans from the granola or whatever. But, I mean, really? Seems like a waste of a beautiful day in your one sweet life to me. (And, yes, I'm not cool with HTML picking either, expressly forbid it, etc).

I dig the plot of the novel and I'm going to pitch it as my own idea to a publisher/production company/bartender near me. Cool?

Oh, friend. Dear naive foolhardy friend. Please consider if I would really put work online like this unless I was confident I could -- and will -- defend it against infringement and imposters. No publisher or production company of any standing will touch your stuff unless the IP is unquestionably yours, and both my legal representation and I are ears to ground and sirens on standby for you to just try that shit, kiddo. Both the plot and actual material of my novel have been registered with the US Copyright Office well in advance of its publication here. And think about it: just as you have found this idea online very easily, so too can those folks to whom you are trying to pitch it. And they'll see my name and timestamp all over it. So, nah, don't bother. Nobody took their career to the next level from the storm drain of Lawsuit City.

I'm a legit producer interested in optioning the novel.

Please write to to be put in touch with my representation.

I'm enjoying the novel and/or am your mother and want to tip you a few dollars.

I'm publishing Octane here for free because I want to connect with readers, to introduce them to my writing without asking anything of them but 10 minutes of their time every week. With my sci-fi action thriller novel Footage -- my debut in print -- nearing completion, I want to bridge the time between now and its publication with a way for readers to get to know me for nothing first.

This is a story in a genre I love, set in the city I love above all, with characters I have come to love (even/especially the morally compromised ones). It's really a passion project that I'm sharing with y'all in hopes this will spark a connection between us, one based in our shared love of kinetic storytelling. Money, I promise you, is irrelevant to this project.

All that said, I guess some people just have too much cash money around and keep on tripping over it like cats in the hallway. They have expressed an interest in a tipjar for Octane.

There are two ways you can relieve yourself of some of those tiresome riches.

First, you can follow and donate on Octane's Patreon page:

Alternately, if you use the Brave browser, you can tip me as a Brave Creator:

Thank you for your totally unnecessary but deeply appreciated donation.

I like the site. Who designed it?

I designed and coded it myself, and did all the photo art and logo design too.

Fun fact: I learned code at Oxford University, when I was pounding out stories and making art related to those stories. I taught myself how to build websites in order to share my creations with my family and friends. (This was pre-Facebook. I said, pre-Facebook. Of course that actually happened. Oh, never mind.)

So, you see, even as a young fumbling whippersnapper, I was motivated above all by my passion for telling and sharing stories... even in seemingly random/peripheral things like mastering the decidedly unpoetic language of HTML, CSS and PHP.

Where did the idea for an online novel serialization come from?

This one is easy. I remember it vividly.

I was on the L.A. Metro Gold Line train, shortly to arrive at Union Station, when I looked up from reading an article in my phone. And I noticed that everyone else around me was doing the same. Reading on their phone.

Okay, let's not exaggerate. A handful of folks were holding their phones landscape, watching a video. And a few peckish types with bobbing knees and "personality" hair were clearly swiping left and right in the candy-store-meets-fruit-machine of Tinder. But everyone else was indeed reading. It might have been articles about the significance of the yield curve to the American economy. It might have been (okay, it probably was) shrill analysis of the Dodgers' recent loss. It might have been Google search results for 'girlfriend hates car smell what now'. I don't care. It was reading.

It's easy, as someone who cares so much about the written word and the craftsmanship behind it, to fear for the future of reading. Emojis taking the place of earnest, messy expression. (Him: "So, hey, I think I love you?" / Her: 😍 / Him: "No, really. I love you." / Her: 😍😍 / Him: "Oh fuck off with that." / Her: 😶) Netflix -- and its proliferating rivals -- wrapping binge options around us like anacondas on sign-in. Wifi everywhere but morgues, so we can never escape that rate-your-experience-today request from the 7-Eleven outreach team.

And yet, and yet. Here were folks, all manner of folks, spending their sliver of time between porch and paycheck on none of those things. Nope, they were reading. They were choosing the all-enveloping escapism that is unique to the written word, that the literalism of video -- for which you always have to remain half-present, pinioned to real time by the need to watch and listen -- won't ever quite match. And I worried a little less about the future of reading then.

I also realized that, if I could tell a story that fit inside those slivers of time each day -- a story that readers could engage with in their train journey or standing on line for coffee -- then I could reach through all of modern life's ever-spinning distractions and connect with an audience.

That's why Octane has short chapters, none longer than 1,500 words, and is designed to be read in quick bursts. Yes, you'll have to remember who characters are and how they relate to each other, but there'll be a quick reminder tool in the online reader to help you with that. (And, of course, if you are hooked, your brain will organically shift things around and make room for that information, holding it there from week to week.) That's why Octane is not a PDF or an eBook -- no need to download anything, no bloating your already-hungover device -- but instead is read online in a distraction-free interface that brings the words to the fore. That inescapable wifi I mentioned? With this project, I'm embracing it and turning it into an ally.

So that is the challenge I've set myself with Octane: reading that fits into the naturally-occuring gaps in your day, rather than reading that requires especial effort. "And, with that, Lex Snowe sets out to save the written word from extinction." Yeah, no, that's not what I'm saying. As I recognized on that train, the written word doesn't need me to save it. It just needs me to think a little harder about exactly how and when it remains the most vital and enthralling form of elevation in this world. - L.S.

Lex Snowe

Lexia "Lex" Snowe is a writer of screenplays and thriller fiction, and a filmmaker-in-progress.

Lex's screenplays and short stories have been recognized in the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences Nicholl Fellowships, Austin Film Festival, Screencraft Awards, Commonwealth Short Story Prize and Short Edition. With several feature films in development, including one she'll be directing herself within the next five years, Lex's love of cinematic storytelling infuses almost every hour of her waking day: if she is not writing cinema or fiction, she is reading it, watching it, taking photos inspired by it, or gabbing about it to fellow story-pilgrims. Among Lex's long-term goals is the establishment of a film and TV production company through which she will shepherd other people's stories to the worldwide empathy-kindling network better known as the screen.

For the latest on Lex and her projects across all disciplines, see 

More Lex Snowe Fiction

Lex Snowe's novel Footage, her debut in print, is a sci-fi action thriller novel centered on a controversial FBI surveillance program in the future. The novel -- which industry commentators have compared to Robert Ludlum's Bourne franchise and praised for being "unique and accessible for all levels of sci-fi lovers and action lovers alike" -- will be completed by 2020, for publication in 2021. For more on Footage and other future novels, see Lex Snowe Fiction