With so many great books already out there by other people, why do I want to contribute any of my own? What are my stories about? Since a lot of you have just recently heard of me, most through reader magnet signups, I'll have a brief get-to-know-me post. I have also (finally!) merged my two email lists into one. The lists were duplicates in the weekly content they sent out, so subscribers merged into this list won’t see anything different except the email subject line is a slight variation and the emails go out on Saturday instead of Friday. (And the email header image is updated.)
Essentially, I write because I like to take on ideas that I see other people aren't doing as much of. My stories aren't oddities--they should feel at least moderately familiar--and all are family-friendly. I don't do less common concepts because I want to include above-common levels of violence, for example. But if there's something "different" about an idea it's usually because that idea has a different audience attached to it. Perhaps an unexplored or even an actively secretive audience. Genre concepts about, for instance, the future can seem similar in many books after you've read a lot of them. But what if there's someone out there--someone lurking--who has a quite different view of the future? In their fiction, their cliches and world-building might surprise you. And just because they're not as visible doesn't mean they're not out there.
I've been publishing for 12 years and I mention futuristic fiction as an example because many of you will have downloaded The Birthday Present. (And it's also the first sample in the 9-chapter Sampler others of you might have caught.) The Birthday Present, which is a set of two stories, was actually my first publication all those years ago. For many years I was so wrapped up in throwing out all these obscure ideas as they came to me that I didn't do a good job of marketing at all. So starting in 2017 I reprocessed my publications so they could be more accessible. In a sense, more competitive. The front page of my website briefly overviews some of the improvements to my work's marketing during this time.
And there will be more updates.
Facets of Fantasy started out as a five-story collection and my aim in publishing it was practicality. At that time I hadn’t yet written a full-length novel (although I would be doing the first draft of the Harrisons the next year) and most published books I saw were long. I knew readers were more likely to buy something longer because they felt more pages = more bang for your buck. Of course that’s not quite true if the content in the pages is just bloated, repetitious, or poor-quality, but they’ll only find that out AFTER they read the book. So longer was more of a sell, initially.
I didn’t intend for the Facets stories to tell any sort of story together. Actually, I didn’t feel that was important. Short story and novella collections were groups of unconnected little tales, after all. But as the years passed and passed I grew to feel there was a similarity in the three stories that are now in Facets: Halogen Crossing, Jurant, and The Amulet of Renari. "The Trouble with Taranui" grew into a longer novel, City of the Invaders. And "Millhaven Castle" had originally been published in another book. The more I looked at it, the more I felt it didn’t really fit into Facets of Fantasy’s personality.
What is great about this is that the 3 Facets novellas have a distinctive tone, so you know if something belongs with them or not. This means they also have a distinctive audience who wouldn’t be interested in other stories like Millhaven. In fact, the readers of Facets of Fantasy are so distinctive they might not enjoy my other work overall. Facets of Fantasy, with its blend of three different kinds of fantasy types, has a tone unlike any of my other books—a crafted, elevated, broad-reaching tone in which strong characters grapple with a deeply structured world to which they belong. It’s a fantasy book for fantasy lovers. And although I write whatever ideas come into my head, I understand that love for fantasy, so I’m glad I have a book for the fantasy buff.
And there will be more updates.
The two Palladia stories weren’t originally written as companions. In fact, the first draft of Consuela had a historical setting and was a filler in between the first and second parts of Victoria: A Tale of Spain. But after a number of years, Consuela quietly migrated over into Palladia. This made me able to explore something we don't get to see in City of the Invaders--the Invader point of view.
In the first book, Invaders are shown as bad. Katia probably feels this way because the only Invaders she personally knows tried to set up her family. But the situation is a little more complicated than good-EC and bad-Invaders, as Miss Plummer discovers in Consuela. Unlike Invaders, EC who are bad have the element of surprise, because people tend to root for minority groups. So Mr. Lazeemboi is able to sneak up on everyone and this time we get to see an Invader's viewpoint on that.
Consuela wasn't needed where it was anymore once "Victoria" and "Alyce" merged into one book, and adding it into the mix of Palladia gave more focus to both it and to Palladia generally. The story is now from the perspective of a young Invader, so it offers some fairness and clarity that balances City of the Invaders. After all, the more we see of the world, the more we notice this unlikely blend of closed-off literati and scummy, drifting street criminals actually have a great rapport with each other. The majority of people in Palladia belong to two groups that have the least possible in common.
Or maybe they have a lot more to do with each other than meets the eye.
And there will be more updates.
This blog serves as the newsletter for Sarah Scheele.com. Posts are delivered to your inbox every Saturday. For fast subscription instead of visiting a link to another website, fill out the form below and you will receive the 9-Chapter Sampler shown above, in PDF. To get the book in Epub or Mobi formats you will need to use the external link above.
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.
Bellevere House has been featured on Ezvid Wiki video "10 Wonderfully Inventive Retellings That Interpret Classic Stories in a New Way." Click to see the video.