Science Fiction & Fantasy Author and Illustrator
Journey to Owl Light
Guest Post by Vonnie Winslow Crist – http://vonniewinslowcrist.com
I've had dozens of science-fiction and fantasy stories, poems, and illustrations published in magazines and anthologies – which is lovely. But for readers to really get a taste of my work, they'd have to spend a substantial amount of money to acquire even a dozen of my stories, a smattering of my poems, and a handful of my black and white speculative art. Quite impractical!
So in 2011, an Indie publisher released my first story collection, The Greener Forest, to good reviews and reasonable sales. The stories (and poems and illos) in The Greener Forest are dark fantasy (goblins, dark fairies, zombies, and such) – some tales were previously published, and others newly written. It felt great to be able to offer my readers more than 50,000-words of my writing at a good price.
2012 found me working hard on an epic fantasy novel, The Enchanted Skean, for a different Indie publisher. Eight months gone by, multiple edits completed, and 95,000-words polished, the novel was released in 2013. Again, positive reviews and modest sales kept my fingers to the keyboard. As a bonus, The Enchanted Skean ended up a Finalist for the 2014 Compton Crook Award.
Which brings me to 2014's release of Owl Light. I'd written more stories and poems (and had some published in magazines and anthologies) and I'd drawn additional illustrations since 2011 which I wanted my readers to have easy, reasonably-priced access to.
Strangely, most of these pieces contained owls and occurred between the hours of dusk and dawn. That is, they occurred during Owl Light, described by me in a quote at the beginning of the book: “In Owl Light, that darksome time when creatures of the shadows move amongst us, how easy it is to believe in the mysterious and magical.”
This time around, I included science-fiction, fantasy, and a few ghost tales in the over 50,000-word collection. It seemed to make sense to choose writing (and illustrations) which were a little darker for Owl Light – so I did! The original back cover blurb gives a good description of what lies between the book's covers:
“In Owl Light, mystery and magic are close at hand. A deer hunter encounters the Daughter of Winter. Ghosts join a holiday celebration. A clockwork owl is the key to preventing murder. A gravedigger unearths a vengeful trow. To save the woman he loves, a dwarf strikes a bargain with faeryfolk. A sideshow attraction wishes to be normal, with unexpected results. And an anthropologist must choose between her modern world and an ancient culture.
These stories and more dare the reader to step into Owl Light, where early stars flicker, owls wake from slumber, and shadows appear where shadows ought not be. But be warned: Owl Light dims to darkness, dreams change to nightmares, and dawn is more distant than you know.”
Time has drifted on, and I've found a new publisher (Pole to Pole Publishing) for The Greener Forest, my novel - now called The Enchanted Dagger, and a science fiction novelette, Murder on Marawa Prime. By early 2017, Pole to Pole Publishing should release another book in the Chronicles of Lifthrasir series, tentatively titled, Beyond the Sheercliffs, and the 2nd edition of Owl Light (with a new story added).
Yes, the covers and ISBN numbers of my books are different - but now, you can read what a few professional writers think of the books in the cover comments. True, the illustrations have been removed from The Greener Forest and Owl Light - but that made space for a new story in each collection. And yes, the books are beginning to have a certain "look" - but I've been assured that "branding" is not a bad thing.
So where will my writing take me next? I'm not sure, but there are short stories yet to be published in a collection and several novels begging to be completed. Perhaps this evening as the moon rises and owls call from woods' edge, I'll know the answer.
For more information about Vonnie, visit her website: http://vonniewinslowcrist.com , follow her blog: http://vonniewinslowcrist.wordpress.com , be her fan on Facebook: http://facebook.com/WriterVonnieWinslowCrist and Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/vonnie_winslow_crist , follow her on Twitter: http://twitter.com/VonnieWCrist , and pin her books on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/vonniewcrist/vonnies-books
To buy Owl Light and her other books, check Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/Vonnie-Winslow-Crist-Amazon, Amazon UK: http://tinyurl.com/Vonnie-Winslow-Crist-UK-Amazon , or Barnes & Noble: http://tinyurl.com/Vonnie-Winslow-Crist-B-N
(c) Copyright 2016 Vonnie Winslow Crist
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