Thursday, January 23, 2014
Now that Rapunzel Let Down, the sixth Fairy Tale Novel (and the first one we've labeled adult fiction) has been published, I've been asked frequently: so when will the next book be out?
The sad answer is: probably not for a while. I have less time to write these days than I used to, and for several years now, I have been wanting to start a new series, for adults, based on the Bible. It wouldn't be modern, but set in Biblical times, and I hope to sell it to a mainstream publisher. That means I need to take a break from the Fairy Tale Novels in order to focus on writing these books, if I hope to write them at all. It also means that it could be as long as five years or more before they are available to read. So yes, it's a long-term project and I realized this past summer that I simply can't do multitask on these new books: I have to focus on them and them alone. So that means farewell to the Fairy Tale Novels for the next few years.
I know this is disappointing news for many people, particularly younger teens who were already disappointed that Rapunzel Let Down turned out to be an adult book. But if anything changes, I will let you know. Who knows, it could all change if I get a really good idea. :)
Below are a few questions I've gotten over and over again the past few months, and I'd like to answer them here so that folks don't have to keep taking the trouble to write.
Will you write a fairy tale on Beauty and the Beast? What about Cinderella?
No, and no. Those are the two fairy tales I've been asked about the most, but I have no plans to rewrite either of these. So sorry.
Please PLEASE write another book about Fish and Rose! Or Bear and Blanche!
I'm sorry, but I have no plans for books featuring the wonderful foursome as main characters that would take place after Waking Rose. For now, their story is over. I don't have any good ideas for any future books about them, and I think a lame sequel to Waking Rose would be just plain awful. So sorry, but no plans for right now. (Of course, this could always change if I get a really good idea, but nothing's come along so far!)
But wait, I thought you said there would be a book about Fish between Black as Night and Waking Rose based on Rumplestilskin...
Yes, I did, and I do still have plans for such a book, tentatively called "Goldspinner" which would elaborate on Fish's adventures at college and his mysterious relationship with a foreign girl, alluded to at the beginning of Waking Rose. But it would be a pretty dark book (like Rapunzel Let Down) and I'm not anxious to write another dark book just now, so I'm leaving it aside until I feel more inspired.
And what about Paul and Rachel's story? Are they going to get married? Does Rachel convert? Does....?
Yes, I do have plans for another Paul and Rachel book too, which we've been calling "West of the Moon." But again, I'm kind of stuck on the book right now, and it seems too dark and not fun, certainly not a big climactic book like I'd like to write, so I'm setting that aside too. I've thought about making a Paul and Rachel trilogy with another adventure in between, but so far, I haven't been inspired. So I'm going to leave it aside for now. But I hope to come back and write a sequel to Midnight Dancers someday. Oh, yes, and it would be based on the fairy tale "East of the Sun and West of the Moon."
And what about Alex and Kateri?
So far as I know, their story is done. For now.
But can't you make a book about Leroy? Or Donna? Or both of them?
This is an intriguing possibility but so far, no good ideas have come to mind. Thanks to all of you who've sent many suggestions, but so far nothing has gelled. I've thought of using Donna as a minor character in another stand-alone book based on the Wild Swans, but I haven't really worked on that for a while.
Could you write a book on the Goose Girl? Or Robin Hood? Or....?
Thanks to all of you who've sent suggestions, but so far, I haven't been inspired. And if you have a really good idea for a modern fairy tale featuring your own characters, go ahead and write it! I'm not the only person out there writing modern fairy tales, so if you feel the urge, dive on in~! (But no, you can't use my own characters. Sorry, no fanfiction.)
If I do write a book like that, will you read it and tell me if it's any good? Or publish it for me?
I have been saying no to everyone who asks me to read manuscripts because I just don't have time. And no, sadly, my little company Chesterton Press, isn't accepting submissions. We just don't have the staff to read them, and what we do is very specialized. But I wish you the best with your writing! (And if you're looking to publish Catholic fiction, try Tuscany Press, or join the Catholic Writer's Guild to find more contacts.)
Can you give me some advice on writing? I really want to be an author.
I have tried to compile some of the advice I've given young writers over the years and post them on my website here. Please read this long article with all the questions first, and if you still have a very specific question (ie: NOT "How do I get published?" or something that you could find out about online), feel free to email me.
Could I interview you for a book report or school newsletter?
First read through the questions I've collected here, Google my name to find other interviews I've done, and if you still have questions for me which you can't find the answers to online, yes, then send them to me. I always like to see writers do their research first. It's good practice. :)
Can I email you just to tell you how much I like the books?
Absolutely. Or comment on this blog! I always love hearing from you all, and I feel sorry that I can't write more books to keep you all satisfied!
So what other books can I read that you recommend if I've read all the Fairy Tale Novels?
A good place to start is my company, Chesterton Press, which specializes in fiction, especially Catholic fiction. I manage the John Paul 2 High series for teens -- read these first!, help write Catholic Philosopher Chick, and oversee other adult books such as those by John Desjarlais and others. Some of these are for more adult readers, but I try to distribute other books that fit into the category "fun Catholic fiction" such as Zita the Spacegirl, books by MangaHero (whom I still write for), and classics by G.K. Chesterton.
I also recommend two books my daughter really likes, The Locket's Secret by Kara Heyne and the Riddle at the Rodeo by Claudia Cangilla McAdam, both Catholic teen fiction (the cover of the second book makes it look too young but it's a teen book!).
If you're a parent or teacher just looking for good books not necessarily written, edited, or endorsed by me, I always recommend Love2Learn.net, Bethlehem Books, or blogs that specialize in compiling good books for Catholic students. Sadly, I don't read much fiction, so I'm not the best resource for recommendations, apart from what I distribute. (Obviously I think all the books I distribute or publish are fantastic!) There are folks who specialize in doing just that, though, so ask around online. And if you have any suggestions for sources for me to recommend to others, send them!
Are you going to make any of the other books into movies or audio dramas, like you did with Shadow of the Bear? Could my friends and I make our own movie?
We did make an audio drama of Shadow (you can buy and download it here) and we did allow some students to make a movie of Shadow of the Bear but we have no plans for further projects like that right now. It's just time and money. Sadly, we are not giving permission to any other groups to make films of the books, but we hope that someday a professional film company might be interested in buying the rights. (If you are a representative of such a company, email me.)
So that's some answers to the questions I've been hearing over and over again recently. I hope that you all will enjoy the Biblical stories when I eventually finish them, and as always, I want to ask for your prayers. Prayers help me to write faster, among other things, which is always a good thing, and I know they help in any event! So thank you for reading, for praying for me, and for your constant encouragement!
Peace and good