The Personal Opinion Roundup
I’ve talked a lot about how other people have responded to my books. I’ve also sometimes, but not always, shared how these responses affected me, everything from pleasant surprise to anger to a back-to-the-drawing-board analysis of the manuscripts. But I’ve never actually shared how I personally felt about my books. Especially since I’ve been gradually moving towards my work being mainstream quality fiction that meets genre expectations, I haven’t said much about my attitudes to this more polished work. I’ve redone my mission statement as an author—you can see in the header that I now define my work into 4 ideas “Inspire. Encourage. Amuse. Challenge.” And I’ve written a lot about it on the Home page of the website, as I’ve grouped my books into 4 genres instead of just a rambling list of publications. But what do I personally feel now? I thought it would be fun to let you know. Five books this week and five books in a later newsletter.:)
And there will be more updates.
Literature and Renovation
Celestine Princess is gradually coming along towards a potential publication date. I’m thinking sometime later this year, but haven’t pinned down an exact month or day on my calendar. Right now it’s all about the cover and while a creative delight (as it has always been to work on this new story) the cover brings out some of the central challenges of this book—blending it seamlessly into the Palladia world when the first two books were written years ago. It’s almost impossible to capture the tone of work that was gestated in the past. Its qualities are fluid echoes of the reality of those years and when time goes by, stories change, emerging like the hunks of ruined stone in murky foggy water around which Bard steers Thorin’s company in The Desolation of Smaug. They look formless, but start to appear, deeply rooted in invisible bedrock below the rippling surface of life.
Different eras produce different stories and while I don’t expect this one to be 100% similar, I do try very hard to meld it with the older Palladia material. I don’t feel I’m quite putting this new story INTO the old ones, like new wine in old wineskins creating rips, tears, stress, and incongruities. The upcoming book is standing apart from them more like an addition onto an older home. It appears new at first—jarring. You can definitely tell this renovation is more recent. But gradually it starts to blend with the older part of the house until it’s all one house and you can barely tell the difference aside from the different wiring tracks for the electricity in different parts of the house. (Speaking from experience of watching our 25-year-old addition to our house age.) A good coat of paint that spreads over the whole house is crucial for sealing it all together visually and that’s what the cover should be. But it’s been awhile since I’ve had this exact pattern of cover done, so it’s like getting back in the groove.
I now have a signup for my street team. Just click to go to the form. There is a lot of information you can read on the form and that information will be reiterated in the welcome email you’ll receive as you sign up. I’m so excited to start launching a formal street team! While I appreciate each of my wonderful readers who left positive reviews before, I stumbled on them randomly through personal networking or specific review requests. I didn’t have an organized team and I felt the lack of it over the years. Although Celestine’s publication is months away, I will also use the street team to get reviews for some of my currently published books. I want the street team to be a well-oiled, functional machine by the time I do get Celestine out there and will be presenting some review requests for the first books in the series before I launch the new book. And don’t worry—I’ll mention this street team again fairly often. Everyone will have a chance to know about it and sign up. :) The team is still embryonic and I'll add new features along the way.
And there will be more updates.
Young Adult Fiction Writer
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