Consuela is the second book in the Palladia series. City of the Invaders is a prequel that introduces us to this futuristic world. The series has entry points at every book and each story is about completely different characters. Consuela has a whole new cast, so it can be read independently of Invaders.
This book began as a retelling of some of The Pickwick Papers. I turned the main leads into girls because it was easier for me to write about them that way. I couldn’t handle a cast full of guys. Pickwick isn’t as popular now, but it was a whopper bestseller in the 19th century and is constantly referenced in works by classic authors. And even if some of the situations, dialogue, and references have fallen out over the centuries, I thought some of the ideas couldn’t help but entertain someone again. I wanted readers to see why people cared about this story back then.
Turning well-meaning, bumbling Mr. Pickwick into a naïve old woman always getting into adventures she shouldn’t be a part of was extremely easy—as was turning the trio of Pickwick’s friends into young ladies. Making the legendary Sam Weller into a girl was more challenging and I often thought I’d stumbled with it, but as I read over Consuela’s snarky, pert conversations I realized it hadn’t turned out too badly.
Maybe ambling, lighthearted Pickwick turned into something a bit more unsafe in a futuristic setting, a world of more tension at times. But there really was a timelessness to this tale of a friendship between two people from such different backgrounds. Situations that divide us are just as much with us as in Dicken’s London, and as they surely will be in the future. And it always warms the heart to see those differences bridged by something so real and so human.
And there will be more updates.
One of the things I set out to do when I started this blog was to change how conversations happened on my website. Or on any bog I’ve ever had. I shut down comments so I could post in an uninterrupted way that let my words be heard. But I also wanted to get much more an idea of what people wanted me to talk about. People didn’t speak about what truly interested them (another reason comments were useless) and I posted so sporadically on my other blogs that I couldn’t generate a steady conversation.
I not only talk—I do some listening as well. Not because I’m looking to feel affirmed about the content I put out, but because not all content is good. Website advisers always tell you to put content out there, any content, but I’ve read enough blogs to know endless, endless posting is often just boring. Just plain boring. It’s repetitive, it doesn’t pay attention to what readers might actually be looking for, it can feel like a hammer being thrown at you if the person posts often. In short, it’s not actually content even if it does show your website is active.
That’s spammy and ill-mannered, so I divide my posts into sets of 4 and check them to see which one did best in each set. It can take months for final results, but eventually I find what one was most useful in that set of 4. And it’s often a surprise to me. People might not talk about what they’re interested in, but they do look at what they’re interested in.
And there will be more updates.
I live surrounded by cultivated fields that rapidly give way to wild flowers, wild plants, and wild life. I get most of my ideas while drifting innocuously around my house and some of those ideas get into print.