You see, Harun is part of a farmers group in Kakamega North District, Kenya, and they’re needing a loan to buy “cost efficient maize seeds and fertilizer for the coming harvest season” – and, via Kiva, we’ve just tossed a few bucks in the pot. However, if Harun is taking the day off, kicking back with a Budweiser and watching some football with his five kids, we might have backed the wrong horse.
Yeah, we understand, a man has five children, he probably needs a few hours to relax. But not today. After all, we hear that harvesting season is coming.
We’re not watching the big game, either. Super Bowl overkill has dampened our enthusiasm to the point that we kinda don’t care. Instead, we’re pulling tax forms from all of the distributors of “Renee Harrell” books and stories: Amazon, SmashWords, Draft2Digital, Apple, Kobo, B&N, a few others, and, running the numbers just now, we realize that Renee Harrell made very little money in book sales and electronic downloads this year. Our other pen name saw a significant increase in royalties, thanks for asking, but this pseudonym is scrambling to make a buck.
If we wrote follow-up novels to our existing R.H. books, we’d probably see an uptick in sales. It seems likely, anyway. A reader of The Atheist’s Daughter or Something Wicked will occasionally send us an email, wanting to know what happens next, but almost no one has contacted us in regards to Aly’s Luck. Luck was one of our first novels, and we love it still today, but that love is not shared by a large readership.
So, of course, shortly before Thanksgiving, one of us wakes up and tells the other, “We have to write a sequel to Aly’s Luck.” Since the sequel idea was fantasy-oriented – heavy on the dragons, sprinkled with fairies, absent of almost all of the elements of the published version – this led to a rather interesting discussion. Then the waker-upper reminded the sleeper-inner that Luck was originally written as a fantasy (heavy on one particular dragon, sprinkled with buckets of fairies) but altered to satisfy a publisher’s sci-fi request.
To make the sequel work, all we had to do was change the first story back.
If we weren’t our own publishers, we could never do this. But since we are, we did, adding 9,000 words to the manuscript along the way and returning the glossary we’d once created for the novel. Using a new pen name, we ran the story past several beta readers, found an amazing artist for the new cover, and we’re readying the manuscript for March launch date. If it finds a readership, we’ll tackle the sequel. If you’re one of the dozen fans of the original Luck, it’ll still be out there, but only in audiobook form. Since Alexander McConnell did a great job with the narration, you might want to try it, anyway.
Meanwhile, enjoy the football game, the chips and a few bowls of Nacho cheese. Except for you, Harun.
Reading: Stephen King’s Revival. It’s as dark a story as he’s written in some years, but we love his love for H.P. Lovecraft.
Watching: People keep telling us we need to grab the second season of American Horror Story (Asylum) but we’re in the mood for something light. It doesn’t get any lighter than Scorpion King 4. Oh, and if you’re a Lou Ferrigno fan, don’t be fooled by his appearance on the DVD’s cover. He’s in the flick for about eight minutes. Maybe seven.