Facets of Fantasy was my second book, published in 2009. It contained 5 novellas that explored varying angles of the speculative genre—everything from epic fantasy to light period work (which is a kind of fantasy, rather than a true exploration of history, as anyone who’s watched period can see.) Two years later I made another volume with all the stories edited and two of them rewritten. At the time I didn’t realize I could just upload those changes into the existing book—so now there are 2 Facets books. The one with the blue cover is the second, published in 2011, and will contain the final assortment of stories.
Over the last 6 years, I’ve used the second Facets book as a way to sort the first one. I’ve always been a bit questioning of the reaction to Facets of Fantasy—something, though never fully developing into anything bad, has always felt shady and unspoken about reader’s reactions. And no matter what they said, I could never quite figure out which story they really liked; really disliked; really thought was interesting; and really thought was boring; and why they thought any of that. Facets of Fantasy became a bit of a problem. I was determined to get to the bottom of it.
I rewrote Halogen Crossing and The Amulet of Renari for the second book. Nothing. (Except people have always let slip a faintly snotty remark about Renari.) I enlarged The Trouble with Taranui to be much longer and eventually made it its own book. Nothing. I tried to make the much-acclaimed Jurant a single, but somehow that didn’t work at all. Nothing. I worked Millhaven Castle into a different story, Alyce, and I’ve already posted about entirely new story that that effort created. And still nothing. Nothing about why a boring collection of stories seemed a problem in my writing life—something that was a bump, a roadblock, and in a way a big secret.
For a while, I added Victoria into the mix because reactions to it were similar. Then it was removed in preparation for examining it independently of the entire Facets dilemma. I've made The Amulet of Renari a single ebook again for the time being. Whether this will solve the problem, I don’t know. But eventually I will whittle it down and find out why Facets of Fantasy is THE book I need to do something about.
And there will be more updates.
Pleasant Fiction in an Age of Noise
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.
When I set about defining my books, I wanted them to be positive places where a gentleness emanated from the pages. A hopeful safety lies in gentleness and there's also an honesty to it. A whirlwind of pushy book blurbs and hot characters (or whatever type character the author wants you to admire) can conceal a reality underneath. A quiet--possibly even lurking--reality that's more visible if you dial down the volume. That lurking reality isn't necessarily bad, but like anything quiet, it gets drowned out by conflict and angst. Peaceful fiction can help explore the truth that noisy books ignore.
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.