Unlike my usual Friday posts, there’s no snarky writing advice up my sleeve this week, but there is a round of congratulations to hand out and a confession to make.
First off, congratulations to Linda Fisher! She won a free copy of my short story collection 13th Hour: Tales from Light to Midnight just by signing up for my mailing list. For those of you who signed up and didn’t win, don’t worry, you’ll be automatically entered into next month’s drawing for a paperback copy of my gardening guide Going Native: Small Steps to a Healthy Garden.
Of course, if you haven’t signed up yet, just fill in the form here. Signing up not only enters you into the drawing, but each month you’ll get a copy of my newsletter that is chock full of ways to be more creative, the benefits of giving yourself time to be creative and prompts to get your creative juices flowing (there’s also some fabulous exclusive discounts and other tidbits).
So, before I head into a few months of telling the world how great The Voyage is, let me just confess that I am so glad to be done with it. Don’t get me wrong, the book is good and I’ve done my hardest to create a gripping tale, but I feel like some parts flounder. This may just be my own criticism as the author of the book because I felt the same way about The Trials of Hercules: Book One of The Osteria Chronicles. Still, when I read through old Herc’s final proof, I often found myself thinking, “Wow, this is really good.” Some parts of The Voyage also give me a huge jump on my pride meter, but I’m still not in love with this book and it really took until this week to figure out why.
With The Trials of Hercules, I was very familiar with the myths of Hercules and could picture in my mind how each of his labors (trials) would play out if put into a new setting (even if it took me a while to decide what that setting would be). Not so with The Voyage, which is based on the story of Jason and the Argonauts. I did plenty of reading to research this legend, but prior to that I wasn’t terribly familiar with any of the Jason myths. And that was what gave me trouble – the little movie of the book just was not playing in my head because I didn’t have the sense of “knowing” the story it was based on.
Let me try to explain this better….if you’re someone who grew up in the West, you’re probably familiar with the story of Cinderella and without even trying could picture it in your mind. Now, imagine having to do the same with a story such as “The Crane Wife” that originates Asia. You may be a little familiar with the tale and reading it would lay down some foundation, but it wouldn’t play out in your head as quickly as Cinderella riding around in her pumpkin. That’s how I felt about the Jason legends versus much of the other stories in Greek mythology.
What got me to notice this was when I started drafting Book Three of the series which revolves around the Minotaur. This is a legend I’ve loved since I was a kid and even writing up the outline, the little movie was playing in my head of how most of the scenes would play out. Even only being 15,000 words into the draft, I already feel more confident and far happier writing this book than The Voyage.
Don’t get me wrong, I put gallons of blood, sweat and tears (no really, there was some crying along the way) into The Voyage to make it an entertaining read with plenty of great settings and believable characters and I hope you all will love it as much as you have The Trials of Hercules. Still, as the parent of this book, I want to confess that, despite the pain birthing this baby has caused and my dedication to it, this is not going to be my favorite child amongst my brood.
Now that you’ve read my confession, please ignore it and go tell everyone how much you’re anticipating the release of The Voyage!