Everybody has situations in their lives that require clarification. For me, one is Alyce/Millhaven Castle. There were 3 variations on this same story, appearing in different publications over the course of 7 years. The first two appeared in the original Birthday Present volume and the first edition of Facets of Fantasy. The third, titled Alyce, appeared as a stand-alone in 2014, followed by two other stories. (I later moved these stories and detached them from Alyce. They are not relevant to this conversation.)
From the beginning, readers got some sort of complex about Alyce. When last I checked, I was still listed as the "author of Alyce" on various sites. Since Millhaven Castle was in my first publications, whatever idea people had about the Alyce world was there from the first. Sooner or later they'd mention something about "Millhaven Castle," and when I noticed that my social interactions and friendships invariably, subtly deteriorated afterwards, I started to become skeptical of what readers were really getting out of the Alyce world. Sometimes verbally, always implied, readers started and justified behavior to me--indeed a whole approach to my writing--based on the Alyce world. This made the connection far too personal for my taste. It was just a story, whereas people seemed to think it was close to me in some way it was not.
I'd like to clarify what really happened. Since I was making a story series at the time, and feeling pressure to publish rapidly, I took a few of a pre-existing novel's elements and turned them into a shorter novella. That's ALL. I wasn't trying to say something about myself, my beliefs, how I expected to be treated, or my views on a particular group of people. I just made it shorter from motives of practicality. However, when I got back to the root of the Alyce problem, I realized some sort of bad message had seeped into the stories. Removing the other characters and the full structure of the world had accidentally--and I do mean accidentally--turned it into a slightly different story. At least, in people's minds.
Readers are acutely triggered by tiny, tiny details. Really minuscule things can activate their imaginations and lead them to create things based off of a word, a reference, a dress color, a type of family situation--anything. The longer novel for Alyce, which I am now going to publish as a replacement for these stories, places many of these details in perspective. So if you are still here because you got Whatever-That-Was out of Alyce, you should go away. This story was never about me in any case, and now I'm removing even the story itself, this is a misunderstanding that has come to an end.
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 coming of age about three sisters, country life, and music. Next year's publication: Temmark Osteraith, a futuristic fairy-tale adventure.