It's time to dig deeper into this book. It's one a lot of you might not know anything about and it has two parts. The first story, The Birthday Present, was a futuristic idea that I actually wrote pages and pages and pages about. But it resulted in this shorter story instead. Originally I wanted to create a themed series, but I went on to other projects and this book became a stand-alone, so--no series. (But that might explain the "Homeschooler Fantasy Series Volume One" you'll see burned into the print edition.) I'll enlarge on it in an upcoming blog post.
Millhaven Castle, the second story in the book, was a bit of a problem because I went through 3 different-yet-very-similar versions of this story. After sorting all my stories, I've repackaged, rearranged, or rewritten almost all of them. One of these little Alyce stories was published with The Birthday Present and I can't get it out of the volume because it's burned into the title.
So I've rearranged the content and substituted 3 chapters from the full-length Temmark Osteraith. It's now a trailer for the book, as well as 3 almost stand-alone funny chapters you can read in addition to The Birthday Present. Why is this important? Because I'll be publishing Temmark Osteraith next year (if all goes well) and it's nothing like the 3 previous versions: Millhaven Castle 2008; Millhaven Castle 2009; and Alyce 2013. It is the original, going back over 15 years, and when I switched it into the world of The Birthday Present, the combination of the two stories into one volume now made sense. As you'll see immediately if you pick up The Birthday Present and read the trailer.
And there will be more updates.
The renovation is still in progress and 4 of the books have been redone. I did a lot of examination of book covers over the summer, and realized I had been choosing colors and fonts based simply on whether I thought they were pretty, NOT based on the emotive impression they give to others. So a complete overhaul was of course in order.
I've got 2 fantastic new covers for Facets of Fantasy and The Birthday Present/Millhaven Castle. (See above.) Facets turned out a little blue, but that's better than green, and the black letters and silvery-gray back cover add up to the effect I wanted.
I also paid a little more attention to genre marketing, although I feel surprisingly that’s not as important. (People really do judge books mostly by their covers as first. Probably because they like to do, at once, things they’re told never to do.) When looking at search keywords and classifications, I discovered that Amazon seems to have dropped the “YA” category. At least, I couldn’t find it although it can still be put in search keywords and is widely used online. But that wasn’t a problem.
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.