So, here’s the deal: I’m writing another novel.
Now, you might be thinking: why? (If you’ve read Archer & Bell and Gresham Park, I hope that’s not your first thought, but I digress.) And the answer to that is simple: because I’m the kind of masochist who enjoys spending innumerable hours of precious free time engaged in a frustrating and entirely uncompensated endeavor. Well, maybe not entirely uncompensated; I do get the satisfaction of calling myself a writer, and of knowing that occasionally, another person is reading the very words that came out of my brain. That is super cool.
Which brings me to the point of this post.
As a self-published author, the most frustrating experience is the feeling that your work is getting lost in a sea of other books, waiting to find its audience – which may never actually materialize. Amazon is a great platform for getting your stuff out there, but maybe not so great for building an audience out of thin air. On the other hand, this blog has an audience … the problem being, it’s not necessarily an audience that’s interested in (a) books, and (b) my books. I know some of you are book lovers, but that’s obviously not what brought you here in the first place. So I have been reluctant to rely too much on the blog as a platform for spreading the word about my writing, especially in a monetized context. And then, I had an idea.
What if, instead of going the same old Amazon publishing route for my new novel, I publish it here – in a free, weekly serial format? Of course, I need to figure out how to actually do that, but I trust that my crack IT team (aka dear husband) will be able to make it happen. So I’m asking you (and especially those of you who have bought my previous books): would you be interested in something like that? The formatting of each chapter is likely to be less fancy than the e-copy that would be available on Amazon, and you’d be getting the story in pieces. On the plus side, it will be free, and I promise to keep the blog business as usual otherwise. Tell me all your thoughts, gently if you please.
To help you decide, if you’re on the fence about the whole idea, here’s a little taste of what you can expect to read (most likely starting in August):
London, 1948 – in a world not entirely unlike this one …
When Kate Seever finds herself unexpectedly out of a job, she loses no time in looking for other employment. For a young woman in Kate’s position – unmarried and not independently wealthy – it is a practical necessity. But for a young woman of Kate’s disposition, it is also an opportunity. Despite an unwavering belief in the supremacy of reason and order, she harbours a secret – and not so rational – penchant for the sort of adventure apt to turn a person’s life upside down. The position of governess at Ushant Hall – a ruinous pile in the middle of a bleak, windswept moor, miles away from London – does not seem promising but, to her friends’ consternation, Kate decides that it is precisely the sort of challenge she enjoys tackling. Besides, it is merely a temporary engagement; what could possible go wrong in three months?
The answer, it turns out, is plenty. At Ushant Hall, the ancient seat of the reclusive Blackthorne family, Kate quickly discovers that she may have gotten more than she’d bargained for; it will take a rigorous exercise of her wits to manage the peculiar inhabitants of the house, including the strangely antagonistic caretaker, the taciturn groundskeeper, and the preternaturally precocious pupil she had been hired to instruct. Most of all, it is the master of Ushant Hall himself – the aloof, haughty, distractingly handsome Rufus Blackthorne – who proves to be the most difficult challenge of all. And then, of course, there is the question that no one seems to want to answer: just what, exactly, is hidden in the attic?
Obviously, if there is minimal interest in a weekly serial, I probably won’t go to the trouble of trying to set up a corner of the blog to accommodate it, and we’ll just pretend this whole conversation never happened. But if you are even a little bit intrigued, let me know and let’s make it happen!