winter

winter

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

News!

It is with great joy that I announce that my first novel is available for purchase. This has been over a decade in the making. This is the first book in a series. If you are curious about the series, a bit of the back story is up in my other blog. I will be adding new material to that a touch later this week.

The story about the novel is kind of interesting. When I was a young girl, I told my great grandmother that I was going to write her a book. I then became a touch obsessed with everything relating to being a writer. Time passed and my great grandmother did as well. Where this would have crushed some people's motivation, I just dug my heels in and became yet more determined.

I was a quiet child. I found the greatest comfort in the works of fantasy and I dreamed about being a princess. Unlike other girls, however, the princess in my dreams was not waiting for some hero to come rescue her. No, my princess was a hero in her own right. I read the myths of my ancestors and the works of some of the most brilliant minds that ever wrote fiction. Even as I dreamed, I studied my craft.

I had some aptitude for writing when I was in school. After reading the Lord of the Rings and the Simarillion in seventh grade, I decided that I had to write down the story that was living within me. My very first attempt was a four page long story. Even then, I called it my book. I will never forget the day I finished my very first draft. I brought it to my Grandmother, the daughter of the great grandmother (who was an author, like her mother) and nearly burst with pride as she read it.

She then looked at me over the tops of her glasses and said, "But where's the rest of the story?"

Over the course of time between seventh grade and when I graduated high school, I worked relentlessly on that story. By the time I had something novel length, I had decided that this was my profession. I went off to college and even as I found myself pulled in different directions, my writing continued to be my pole star. It was somewhere after the first semester of my freshman year that tragedy happened.

The manuscript that I held as my life line through high school was lost. The file it was on was corrupted and I had one paragraph left. So, I did what I felt that any other author worth their salt would do. I picked up my pen and I set to work. Over the course of the next year, I wrote my second version of the manuscript. I decided that I was going to edit it and attempt the arduous process of publication.

I was half way through editing it when I lost the second version. Life got in the way of writing for a while. I poured my story out into journal entries and random short pieces where I could find the time to write. Little did I realize that I was building a world. Six years later, I wrote the third version of the story. I was smart and I made a hard copy. While the failures of technology consumed the digital copy, I had my book in hand.

I laboriously worked on editing that manuscript. As I worked, I found that my little story wasn't as simple as those first four pages. So, rather then trying to force it all into one text, I built an outline of the story. That was when I realized with more then a little bit of shock that my little four page story was actually a series of twelve books. Then I sat down and I wrote the outline for the story that came before and after my little four page story. To say the least, I have a great deal of work ahead of me.

I stumbled into National Novel Writing Month about seven years ago. My beloved late friend Liz, who had read my earlier versions of what I had called 'the novel' pointed me in that direction. I wrote the fourth version of the manuscript that year. I put it into a proverbial drawer and forgot about it as my life became focused on the challenges of motherhood. In 2009, I blew the dust off of the manuscript and sat down with it again.

I wrote the fifth version of my manuscript over the course of the month of November. When I finished it, Liz was one of the first people to read it. She declared that I needed to stop sitting on the story and get it published. It wasn't long after then that Liz died. I was crushed and for a time gave up on my dream. Trouble came to visit my family and I found myself desperate for solace.

Rather then re-write my manuscript for a sixth time, I wrote something entirely different. (That book is in the midst of editing right now.) When I found myself with a regained sense of equilibrium, I returned to 'the novel' and went through it with great care. Last year, my Grandfather was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. It became apparent to me that time was drawing short for me to do what I had decided.

I worked with a measure of frantic effort and more then a little escapism. Having my alter ego battling forces of evil, where triumph was assured, was easier for me then dealing with the fact that my Grandfather was dying. And when I had asked him what I could do to be of any help, he explicitly told me to continue with my writing. So, I threw myself into it with abandon.

In April of this year, I published my first work. It is a little prayer book that I dedicated to my grandparents. While I wasn't able to put a copy of the book into his hands, my Grandfather knew before he died that I was a published author. In September, I published my second work, a horror novella that was my solace in the last months of my Grandfather's illness. He died before it was finished. I dedicated it to him. And now, I have this work to share. When the holidays come, I'll be giving my Grandmother a copy of each of these books.

It doesn't matter to me that I did this through a 'vanity press'. All that matters is that I have done what I said I was going to do. Now, if after reading this story of mine you would like to purchase any of my books, please do so. If you would like a signed copy, you will have to wait a few months.

The Dragon's Daughter (e-book, paperback, and hard cover) is my fantasy novel, or as I have called it 'the novel.' The Red Chair (e-book and paperback) is the horror novella. Rose Petals (e-book and paperback) is the prayer book and the first book I ever published.

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