The last quarter of 2019 went by as fast as a roller coaster ride with as many ups and downs.
I’ve already written about the up and down of September except to say I was at the site of the La Chine massacre mentioned in The Huguenot. It was a trip of historical verification, fact checking, book promoting, and pleasure through the beautiful northeast and along the St. Lawrence Seaway.
The Huguenot II: Building the Dream was released just before Thanksgiving. We had the holidays, and now – the Huguenot Series novella called The Tower of Constance has been released as an e-book only.
One might ask why I who love books and the feel of a book in my hand would agree to publish this novella in e-book format only.
The answer is: costs.
A novella is a small book. Generally longer than a “short story” but shorter than the average length novel. The Tower of Constance is a very important story which stands on its own but involves one of the characters introduced in The Huguenot and references some of those characters. I could not imagine pricing this small book for my readers like the full length novels and yet, it would cost almost the very same to produce in a paperback print version. So e-book was the solution
Do I really write that fast? Was a question posed by a reader recently. No-no. For me the process of writing is much like working with clay. You have the initial lump of clay (which is when the words just pour out faster than I can type) but GOOD writing necessitates taking a bit of clay away, adding a bit of clay here or there, reworking, reshaping, refining, and so on. As a former high school English teacher of mine once said, “good writing is re-writing.” His name was Eugene Cramer and he had us writing, rewriting, rewriting, rewriting ALL year long in our Sophomore Honors English class at Lincoln High School. As long as I’m speaking of English teachers let me make mention of Kay Way and James Dietrich from Washington Junior High and Frank Novitski and James Magill also from Lincoln HS.
Miss Way (in blue above), by far the very youngest, is still with us although her name changed years ago when she married. James Dietrich died much too young in an auto accident, while Novitski and Magill were on the brink of retirement so I imagine time has seen them pass as well.
Funny… of all the early teachers I had, the English teachers are the ones whose names I can remember without prompting. And they are the teachers from Junior and Senior High, not college. And as I recall it was Mr. Magill of “Senior Honors English” who said “good writing is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration.” Those axioms may not have been original with those gentlemen but they certainly stuck with me and no one has ever found cause to disagree.
This series has been 20+ years in the making but the manuscripts, locked safely in my computer, awaited my timing.
As an avid reader, I chafe at (as most readers do I think) waiting on “the next book.” So I decided my readers should not have to wait … at least not for long. Getting a book to market, however, even with a finished and polished manuscript is still a process. There is cover design and author approval which may or may not take some time (depending how in-sync the designer is to the author). There is inside book design which involves the look of the book from chapter to chapter, page to page, paragraph to paragraph. Then there are the registrations, the copyrights, the ISBN acquisitions, etc. Very boring stuff but very necessary.
I hope you are enjoying the series.
The Tower of Constance is a fictionalized story about a real place and real tragedy. The tower, located in Aiges Mortes, France near the Rhone River and the French Mediterranean coast was built during the middle ages as a military post guarding France’s coast from raiding pirates. In the late 17th century Louis XIV decided to turn it into a women’s prison and Huguenot women, guilty of nothing more than their Protestant beliefs, were sent there to wither away on a bread and water diet without sun, fresh air, heat in winter or even a cot to cushion them from the hard stone floor.