This month A Year with the Harrisons is going to be in two free book promotions, one for adults and one for children. Normally I only do one promotion per book, but Harrisons is a really neat story because it is peppered with grownup characters who have a lot of pizzazz and a larger than life flair and with teen characters who belong to real-world conversations about society, education, and family. So both adults and teens can really enjoy it, making it cross over into both categories.
This week's promotion is the June Children’s Book Giveaway, which has lots of books for young people ranging from preschool to young adult. A Year with the Harrisons, obviously, is YA so it’s a bit on the older end of the spectrum here. Click here to visit this great giveaway if you enjoy children’s and YA books and would like to grab some while they’re free. Just subscribe to author’s newsletters.
You can download Harrisons along with the other books. If that doesn’t work, click this link instead for a direct download. But only for my book. Be sure to check out the others!
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It’s certainly time to start greasing the publishing wheel again and breaking some ground for new books. While there are always things that could still be developed about my older books, audiences reinvent themselves naturally over time anyway. So in a way, there’s no “end” to it. For example, just look at the many film and TV adaptations of Emma or Pride and Prejudice. While some things remain constant, there are also abundant differences as time goes on. Each new version builds on older ones, as some characters go through many phases and develop in surprising ways.
Similarly, while my older books are still active entities, with ups and downs, I want to write more books because there are so many characters I haven’t explored yet. As we go month-by-month through the five central characters of each book I’ve published, what really shows is that each story is unique. They offer different characters for readers to relate to. After all, books aren’t relevant unless they echo our relationships in real life. We’ll feel about characters the way we feel about ourselves and the people around us.
When someone responds to a character, they think this little avatar tells their story. And I get more ideas as I go places and live life—ideas for characters. Somewhere, out there, there is always someone new to write about--their relationships, loves and hates, friendships and adventures, the genre they like to read, the historical era they’ve claimed as theirs. Wherever I go, I look for a new story to tell because so many people who deserve to have their story told haven’t appeared in my work yet. I don’t write about everyone, of course. That would be beyond my capacity and pretty exhausting too, to understate. But like most authors, I belong to a particular set of people. I call this a “dimension,” probably because of a residue left on me from writing so much speculative. 😀 Many authors use the term “tribe” or similar expressions to refer to their people set. You just never know when a new set of characters from your dimension is going to show up and it’s always very exciting when another story starts rolling in.
And there will be more updates.
Last month I mentioned that I will be publishing a little collection of shorts this year. To add to that, the anthology will be called This Merry Summertime and will contain 7 short stories and satirical comedy scripts, and one novella. The satirical comedy scripts are very short screenplays that tell a typical, cliché story in a funny way. But they are creative, with invented characters, and explore the genre as well.
The title was chosen because the storylines for every piece take place during the summer. A couple have scenes in the spring or early autumn, but the bulk of the story has a warm summer feeling to it and several stories are set exclusively in the warm months of the year.
The 7 pieces are titled:
Actually, the idea of publishing these blindsided me without warning. A very few of you might have been around long enough to remember some of these little skits, which were shown to a few blog readers about 6 years ago. But the concept behind these shorts wasn’t serious at the time and they returned to my USB flash disk where they remained buried up until last month. I thought of them as a rather wistful memory of a very different time in my publishing career, one that was rich in personal relationships but much less professional than it has since become. Everwood briefly appeared in a now-out-of-stock single of "The Amulet of Renari", because at the time I wasn’t sure if Renari would fit permanently with the other Facets stories. But it ended up doing so and Everwood went back into the USB disk.
If I ever stumbled on any of these while sorting my files, publishing them never occurred to me. But then, like a motorcycle coming sideways out of a forest, these stories zoomed back into view. And the next thing I knew, I was compiling them together and preparing to publish them. Movies at the Beach requires a bit of trimming and it will still be the longest in the book when it’s done. But the changes I’m doing are slight and basically these little skits are resurrecting themselves. In terms of the imagery of a motorcycle trying to run you down, they mean business too. At least, that doesn’t sound like a vehicle that wants to be argued with.
And there will be more updates.
Right now I'm part of an all-genre sales bundle for April. All books are $2.99 or less. The sale even includes non-fiction and it's a grab bag of interesting books that might not appear in other, more specialized genre promotions. There are many gems in here, including more cross-genre or unusual books. It’s a very entertaining bundle! My book is Consuela and it is priced at $1.99. There's no pressure to buy (although all the authors would love it if you did) and it’s a great way to find samples of the books on retailers, and scout out authors you'd like to bookmark or follow. Follow this link!
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My next book will be an anthology of shorts—a couple of funny fairy-tale stories, some screenplays satirizing popular entertainment, and an adventure novella about homeschooled kids, called “Movies at the Beach,” which never made it into any other publication. All but one of these have not been published before, though a few were linked as files in blog posts years ago and circulated among friends. (My blog was a very informal affair back then!) The little pieces are roughly middle-grade or younger YA, and just good clean fun. I would think if I was very fortunate they might remind you of the mixture of zany humor and strong emotion in L.M Montgomery’s Chronicles of Avonlea.
After this book, I have three ideas for the future. I'm just not yet settled on the publicaton order. The first is another historical project, this time set in Scotland. When I found all the stuff I’m putting in the upcoming anthology. I also realized I had many uncompleted, rather crunchy story bits drifting around in manuscript form. These little drafts never went anywhere because they lacked a final element. Something about them just wasn’t coming together. But the Scottish setting (which is a really neat one to work with) gives them the missing piece, which is a strong location in which to place the new story that is exploding on a sudden tangent out of those old scattered bits.
I’ve been up in the air about whether to do a third Palladia book. (To turn City of the Invaders and Consuela into a trilogy.) These two stories were written very close together—6 to 7 years ago. A third book would be written years after the others and my life and audience have changed so much this book might not have consistency. However, the main pro for the idea is that trilogies have a finality that two stories just don’t provide AND that authors do sometimes work on a book in their series much later. These books usually have a different “feeling” to them, but that’s not necessarily bad. So we’ll see.
The third idea is for a Christian fantasy book, for adults. I’ve tried the “Christian” genre label with some of my books before, but they are now happily settling into other genres. One of the reasons several of them lost this label is that they were for young audiences. Many readers of the Christian genre want to read about flawed characters and spiritual themes in books for adults. Writing this genre or reading it does not make you more or less Christian. Many Christians prefer mainstream fiction and those who write Christian fiction want it to be meaningful to non-Christians too. It’s about a particular type of story. And I’ve always wanted to broaden and find the characters in that story.
And there will be more updates.
Pleasant Fiction in an Age of Noise
I write peaceful stories with happy endings. When I started writing, I wanted to write the kind of books I like to read. I wanted them to be upbeat and friendly books that make you feel like you're being whisked off on an adventure with friends. And there's also a purposefulness in that because many stories already written miss out on a great deal of what people experience every day.
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