Writing and not writing

Thirty-eight percent of the way into Stormshifter.

Yeah, I know, pretty slow going. Life keeps on getting in the way…besides I am having too much fun with having another writer to stay. Serious long reading/writing/books/fantasy conversations going on here.

After some nagging from Hrugaar, I wrote a book proposal for an in-the-Havenstar-world standalone, which I am now dying to write. If I don’t sell the Random Rain trilogy, I shall at least have something else ready for consideration.

Tell me, would you buy this book? Here’s the beginning of the proposal:

THE PRINCE, THE INVENTOR AND THE GARGOYLE CAT (working title)… is set in the same world as Havenstar, but in another country, at a time when Lord Carasma is at the height of his power. This time, Carasma has his sights set on the destruction of Mallow, the commercial and ruling capital of the land called Yedron.

Haze Oakhart is a Mallovian inventor of such useful items as an umbrella that opens and closes, but who never makes much money. At home he is much put upon by his scattily forgetful mother who nags him to settle down with a nice steady girl, and the two argumentative house imps – Dortliss Corkbarrow and his estranged wife Toffli – who live inside the roof beams and vie with one another to give him unasked advice.

Then, late one afternoon, Toffli tells Haze there is a gargoyle cat loose on the roof…


Husband and Hrugaar and I went to see the latest Indiana Jones today – loved the first half (up until the monkeys). Laughed until I had tears several times – wonderful fun. After that, though, I felt it was trying too hard, and the ending lacked a good-guy/bad-girl confrontation that had any meaning. Deus ex machina anyone?


Writing and not writing — 14 Comments

  1. Yes, I would buy that book (though since I’d buy anything you wrote, I’m not sure that my endorsement of the concept is saying much).

    I loved Havenstar, and would very much like to see another book set in that milieu. Admittedly, I’d prefer a sequel: it so clearly ended with a new direction to take, a new land to explore… Ah, well, one day, perhaps!

    I remain ever-hopeful that someone will pick up the Rainlord series. It deserves to be in print.

  2. Hehehe.

    I have just set up a community on Live Journal for commenting on proposed query blurbs.

    Bearing mind that I have not read Havenstar and I’m unfamiliar with the setting and character you mention…

    I think you either haven’t copied enough of the proposed plot, or you might need to pack a bit more emotion in the first few sentences.

    I’d like to know why I should feel unhappy that Carasma wants to destroy Mallow, or even for what terribly unjustified and selfish reason he wants to do this.

    I also like a reason to care for the main character other than that he’s a harmless inventor. The character description does evoke images but I think in his introduction I’d like to read what his big problem is. I’m not sure why a gargoyle on the roof is a problem, and why he shouldn’t just ring pest control.

    These things, of course, are probably covered in the bit of your proposal that you didn’t copy, but since I can only go by what you did copy, I’d say this is not specific and emotional enough for me to be interested as yet.

  3. Jason, if ever Havenstar gets re-published I will indeed write a sequel! There just doesn’t seem much point now, because the book was pulled so soon after publication that there are very few people who have read it and who would be hankering after a sequel.

    Mikandra, the proposal was written with a publisher in mind who has indeed read Havenstar. So no point in rehashing what they already know.

    And a proposal also sketches the whole picture, which of course I really don’t want to tell my readers (you guys!) – it would spoil the story for you. Hence you are getting only a drop in the bucket here. What I reproduced here would all be covered in half the first chapter. The full proposal is actually a page and a half and sketches the story outline to the end.

  4. OK, so what I was trying to say was this:

    If I had to decide whether or not this story sounded interesting *based on the snippet you posted* I would have said I needed ‘more’ (more information, more conflict) to become interested…

    which I thought was the question you wanted answered… I’m sorry if it wasn’t.

  5. You’re right – it was the question I asked, and it was unfair of me to be critical of what you wrote when you answered! Apologies. I seem to be very dense this evening…

    If you want to give me the URL of the LJ on query blurbs, I can mention it in a post.

    They are horribly hard things to get right, and I am eternally grateful that I now have an advantage: I have a proven track record. For an unpublished writer, so much hangs on them and so often you don’t get a second chance.

  6. Not having read Havenstar, I can’t comment about the world, but as I have loved everything else you have written (that I’ve read) and the proposal sounds good, write away. I too hope the Rainlord series gets picked up it sounds a great concept as well. I am an enthusiastic reader. Mikandra, you may be right, but I would certainly “go” for the story and I know what havoc a gargoyle can create running loose.

  7. I am probably sounding like an overly critical moron here, and that is not my intention. There are two issues at play. I *would* undoubtedly read the book, Glenda, but that would be based on the fact that you wrote it, and that I’ve enjoyed the books of yours that I’ve been able to lay my hands on (that is – not Havenstar. I would read the book because of the ‘brand’ that is your name. I was trying to see the little snippet you posted through the eye of someone who’d ask ‘Glenda Who?’ Maybe that’s not fair. It depends on the circumstance. If you’re sending this to someone you already know, fine, but I’m wondering if packing a bit more information and emotion in the first few sentences would not be beneficial anyway?

    In any case, the LJ community I started is at http://community.livejournal.com/query_eagles/. And I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this link is going to work, because I can’t test it before I post. I set it up in response to various moanings by agents about the quality, or lack thereof, of query hook paragraphs. Often, as writer, you are so close to your work that you can write what you think is a perfect query paragraph for your novel, but which makes absolutely no sense to a person unfamiliar with the work. LOL! The community is about letting a few others read it before you post it off to someone ‘important’.


  8. So pleased you’re on the Havenstar world story, Glenda. It has fabulous potential that needs to be explored and brought to life!

  9. I would buy that book, most definitely. This is partially because I would purchase anything you wrote, Glenda, but also because, after reading Havenstar, I was left hungry for more. More of the world, more of the history of the land. The hope that you might include some of Havenstars old characters and maybe, just maybe, we could see Keris again.

    As for the Rainlord series, given your previous success and rave reviews, voyager would be crazy not to pick it up!

  10. Havenstar is everything a fantasy book should be. I continue to re- read it regularly and would definitely buy another book set in that world. Like Jason, I too would love to see another sequel to havenstar.

    The book your proposing has captured my fancy already with just this brief outline of the characters. They sound delightful!

    If this book does eventually make it to the bookstores, is there any possibility of reviving havenstar by somehow getting it re-published?
    As Havenstar was published under a different name, (Glenda Noramly)to the author name you use now I couldn’t for a long while find any more books written by you and then it was a fluke as I happened to be attracted to the covers of the Isles of Glory trilogy and purchased them without realising I had found you again- so to speak.

    The originality in Isles of Glory very much attracts me, but Havenstar remains my first love. I would buy another new copy of Havenstar if it was available.

    Anyway, I’m very glad your proposing to return to that world and hope you go ahead with it.

  11. Thanks everyone, for the encouragement.

    Vynette – it was the publisher who wanted to change my name, alas.

    It is certainly my intention to have Havenstar republished if I can – and if no one wants to pick it up, then I shall publish a PoD (print on demand) – do it myself, in effect.

    I am just waiting to see what my two main publishers decide to do with Rogue Rainlord before deciding where to go from here.

  12. Maybe you could return the favour Glenda and nagg Hrugaar back to his writing too. Some people are waiting as much for his next one as yours 😀

  13. Markt – he has been nagged unmercifully, I promise you. I too so want to see another book(s) from him.

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