There are still a few loose ends that need to be tied up with my other books (Victoria’s rewrite was so total that it will need a completely new cover.) But I’m starting to look ahead to next year and to working on Temmark Osteraith. I wanted to do that months ago, but things can get set back. It’s important to lay a solid foundation and getting all my books in order was an essential part of that. It’s actually building a house to last instead of throwing some sticks together because you need shelter in the moment.
The world of Temmark Osteraith used to be the “Milland” world and appeared in a couple of stories about a girl named “Alyce” who got into all kinds of trouble. So it feels long ago—but also moving forward in an important way. I finished most of the story of what will now be Temmark Osteraith fifteen years ago and I’m such a different person now, in a lot of ways, that I think the audience attitude to the book now will be quite different from what it would have had at that time. Or even from the attitude towards some of my other books published more recently.
Temmark Osteraith has maybe a bit of a wilder aspect than the old world of Alyce’s Milland. It was this very off-beat, funny, kind of adventure in a period-historical type of world. Whereas in Temmark Osteraith we have a futuristic world, characters that aren’t even human, and a house that still a bit resembles an old mansion, but with an unpredictable personality of its own. A lot is different now from that original draft—setting, character names, some of the plot, you name it—but it still has things that are similar too. A bridge between the past and where my writing is today, to the extent I think it actually brings out the story that was always underlying Milland instead of replacing it.
And there will be more updates.
The more I do with my books, the more things spring forward that need to be done. Getting a story articulated in a way that will make readers understand why they should pick it up is hard, but I'm getting better at it.
As I examined A Year with the Harrisons, I realized it had been a variation on Little Women all along. I started the book years before I began doing my other "retellings," and so I didn't spot that it was a retelling at first. But as time went on, the characters began to look familiar--Meg, Jo, Amy, Laurie, Mr. Laurence, Aunt March, Marmee and Mr. March. I really did leave out Beth. The story started with 3 sisters and though I sometimes considered adding a fourth, it just never really happened. So there are still just 3. Aunt March (Brenda) also gets a lot more screentime than in the book and I enlarged on her immediate family as well as her relationship to the "Marches" (the Harrison family.)
The Birthday Present is now a small prequel to The Prince's Ball and helps to set up its futuristic world. After using Alyce-type characters several times in a historical sort of setting, this story needs a fresh new look and futuristic should shake it up in the right way.
Pricing now ranges from $4.99 to $1.99 for short story singles. I'll begin promoting widely using KDP Select soon, so stay tuned for that!
And there will be more updates.
Life is about making adjustments to new things. When people stop learning, they die. And I'm learning more and more as the years go on. "The best teacher, failure is," Grand Master Yoda says in Star Wars, and after my fair share of failures (of course, I think it was a little more than a fair share) I'm trying to understand readers a little more. I've always had a story--but it's important to communicate that story to people who might not be expecting to listen to it.
The Birthday Present has a new cover and is now at $.99 on Amazon if you want to read the teaser for The Prince's Ball. So fun--going to love working with Amethyst, her gang of friends, a trio of weird brothers from a super-snobby elevated class, and the creepy boy who has a very serious crush on Amethyst.
Life is so funnnnnn.
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 coming of age about three sisters, country life, and music. Next year's publication: Temmark Osteraith, a futuristic fairy-tale adventure.