Monday, March 16, 2009

My Novel's Journey: the Dragon and the Prairie Dawg

Magic, Mensa and Mayhem started out as a lark and a favor returned for a favor given.
I was working on a story I'd hoped to sell to the anthology Ten Plagues. It sprung from combining the Plague of locusts with a testimony I'd read about someone who said the fairies had a war behind is house, but in the form of flies. The story turned out great, though it ended up in The Sword Review rather than Ten Plagues. However, "war as insects" sounds really stupid, so I had decided to dress that up by translating it into Gaelic.

I asked around my groups and a friend directed me to Shirley Starke, a Mensan in North Dakota. She gave me the phrase, and I sent her the story as a thank you. She asked if she could run it in the ND Mensa newsletter, The Prairie Dawg. Of course, I had to say no, but a serial story sounded like a fun idea. World Gathering was coming up in Florida that year, so we came up with the idea of the Faerie creature wrecking havoc at a Mensa Convention.

Magic, Mensa and Mayhem
was born.

Later, when Dindy Robinson at Swimming Kangaroo asked if I had a DragonEye book, I realized how easy it would be to novelize the serial. It's been an interesting exercise, as the serial, which is done in 1000-word spurts, has fewer characters and complexities, and thus ended up with a different ending as well. On the bright side, you can read and enjoy both on their own terms.

We're wrapping up "Word Gathering: Magic, Mensa and Mayhem" in a couple of months. I think we might go for an "Ask the Dragon" format for awhile. We're still exploring ideas.

Thanks again, Shirley and The Prairie Dawg!

BTW-- Magic, Mensa and Mayhem is now on Amazon!


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