My little experiment of writing a short story for Halloween and posting it as a serial, was interesting, if not a bit exhausting. Doing a quick, lightly edited and revised story was a demanding and scary activity. Not sure it was the best thing I’ve ever written, but when I dare to read it in the coming months, I’m sure I can polish it and bring it up to snuff.
Unlike “All Hallows Eve,” the upcoming Saint Maggie novel, A Good Community, has had a lot of thought and a great deal of writing, as well as revision and beta reader commentary. One reader said family matters had forced her to stop reading in the middle of the second to last chapter, and she was itching to get back to see how it all turned out. That’s always a hopeful sign!
The book will be printed through IngramSpark. Sadly, I hit a slight roadblock in getting a paperback proof copy. Eproofs are all right if you’re dealing with an ebook, but for a paperback, I like to see the cover and interior just to make sure everything is okay. So, if I can get that fixed and get my hands on a hard copy, the book should be available within a month.
In the meantime, here’s what the front and back cover, and spine will look like. Thank you, Erin Vieth Brochu of Vieth Design!
As for the blurb, I’ve written it out below, so you don’t have to mess with stretching the image.
Maggie Beatty Blaine Smith is a woman with a big heart. She used to run a rooming house and happily welcomed “down on their luck” boarders. Maggie also is a white woman who lives and works with her friends Nate and Emily Johnson, who are black. Because the boarding house had been located next to Blaineton’s town square, the people living in there were clearly visible, meaning that the town folk wrinkled their noses at Maggie’s establishment and labeled her as an eccentric do-gooder.
But now it is 1864. The members of her household have become more prosperous and they all have moved to the edge of Blaineton and into the spacious confines of Greybeal House. And Maggie is free to pursue her loving, welcoming lifestyle without having to face the town’s disapproval.
So, when Mary and Addie, two orphaned girls of color, show up, Maggie and Emily take them in without a thought. Upon learning that the girls need an education, the two women decide to enroll them in the Blaineton School, only to discover there’s a problem: the school no longer takes black pupils. Worse yet, the only other educational option for children of color has been closed down.
Maggie and Emily quickly come up with a solution: start a privately funded school not just for Mary and Addie, but for all of Blaineton’s black children, one that will be far away from prying eyes. But word soon begins to spread about the school, talk morphs into resentment and anger, and things rapidly spin out of control. When controversy finally threatens to blow Blaineton apart, Maggie is called upon to unite the town.
Obviously, I’m looking forward to the book’s release. While the subject matter is about racial and social justice, there is plenty of character interaction, humor, and nineteenth-century ambiance to pull you along, as well as the aforementioned “how’s this all going to end” dynamic.
I’ll let you know more about the release date as soon as I can. In the meantime, if you like my stories and novels, please tell your friends, buy a copy or two as a holiday present, and drop a review over on Amazon, since their analytics are set so that books with only a few reviews disappear into the ether – something which seems to have happened to mine. Reviews do matter.
It’s not easy being an indie author. Basically we have to do everything from writing, to making sure we get the thing edited, to printing, marketing and publicity. I do all this while working at a “real” job as an assistant pastor. Of course, it is the kind of job that follows me home and won’t stay nicely in the church – but I knew that going into my calling.
The point is, a number of my author friends are working and writing at the same time, too. I don’t think any of us expect to become fabulously wealthy from it. That seems to be something reserved for those who are already fabulously wealthy and famous who happen to write books. Rather, we do it because we love telling stories. To borrow a little theological terminology, writing is a calling. It’s something we do out of love and dedication, and because we can’t help it. After all, if we don’t write, the ideas and storylines will build up inside us and – BANG! – we’ll explode and make a nasty mess all over the place.
Okay. The part about exploding isn’t true. Although, as my sister has told me time and again, she believes I will go crazy if I don’t write. And I guess she knows me better than anyone else. So perhaps we can say authors write to stay mentally and emotionally in balance. It’s how we deal with the stuff life throws at us.
So, given all of the above, if you know any indie authors, please give them a little love. They will appreciate it, believe me.
I’ll be back in a few days, now that I’ve recovered sufficiently from churning out a quick short story over Halloween week.
Janet Stafford, Squeaking Pips Founder