A Year with the Harrisons is now officially published (as opposed to unofficially on FB at a time everyone has forgotten.) I’ve been pushing away until it was finished and feel very proud I was able to get a full novel done in such a short time. It felt like ages because the book needed to be out there as soon as possible—making up for lost time, you know—and I continued to be sick throughout the month. So very happy now it’s finished.
Anyway, the editions should be linked soon—my usual disclaimer—and there’s a lovely cover and a nice description—yes, all the usual announcements. I’m discussing some other books at the moment, but I’ll devote full attention to The Harrisons soon, I promise.
I am looking for reviewers. I’m not ardent about getting reviews as I used to be, but this is an older book that has had readers and I think it should have reviews to reflect that. But there are no reviews on Amazon or any other site because the book wasn’t on those platforms. Reviews do not have to be favorable—I’m not a whiner. But it would be helpful to people if you could articulate what exactly didn’t work for you and why.
To get an ebook review copy, go to the interactive page and fill in the contact form. Just say you want to review The Harrisons. Files will be in mobi form unless you can’t use that. Just specify if you can’t.
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.
It might be shocking to for book readers—and actually for people in general—to realize that THEY can be held to a standard. Readers can be rated and judged by authors, as good readers or as useless, offensive, and boring. Viewers of TV shows and movies, members of fandoms, writers of reviews for any products, and just plain ordinary people interacting during daily life are not above rules. There are expectations for them and a book reader or online network contact can most certainly get a 1-star rating as much as other people can.
There’s an idea out there that people are allowed to have no regard for other people if they’re discussing entertainment. That what they say exists in a consequenceless vaccum where ordinary rules don’t apply. This is stupid. “Reader” is not some sort of exalted, deified position that means you don’t have to be legit. It’s a human relationship—a relationship between the author, the reader, and others out there who have read the same book. Books, like pretty much anything in life, are a network of real connections between real people with real feelings. And with real, very active standards for how you treat them.
It’s hard work to do work—to put any product out there. Even a weak book or movie takes hours and hours, possibly even years of work. Even more effort to make a good one. Relationships are also work. Going the extra mile, caring about people’s feelings, and building bridges that last takes effort. On the other hand, it’s easy to mouth off on the work of other people, as if no one could ever have or express a critical opinion of you. But authors don’t want shoddy, lazy, stupid, rude people reading their books any more than a manager in a grocery store would want to hire such an employee. And, far more importantly, they don’t want that kind of behavior to appear in deeper, real-life relationships outside of writing.
In short, to paraphrase the old joke about mathematicians—“Authors are people too.”
And there will be more updates.
Even in the midst of coming down with the flu and going to a wedding in freezing temperatures, it’s been a really productive month for me. It was ironic to be working on the final chapters of The Harrisons, which are about the wedding of one of the sisters, just before going to an actual wedding of one of my sisters. I hadn’t thought when I wrote that conclusion 8 years ago that it would come full circle in that exact way as the book was finally being published. The book wedding was a touch more traditional than the one in real life—actually, stock-photo by comparison to toughing it at a Renaissance Faire during a rare cold snap on the exact day of the wedding. Lol
And there will be more updates.
Singing, dreaming, telling stories . . . I live surrounded by cultivated fields that rapidly give way to wild flowers, wild plants, and wild life. I love to write more than I love to read, but nothing equals a book that draws me in to find its story. Most recently publication: A Year with the Harrisons, a contemporary comedy about three sisters and a family mystery. Next year's publication: Temmark Osteraith, a futuristic fairy-tale adventure.