Update: Met the NaNoWriMo 2020 Challenge!
Good news! Tomorrow, November 14th, I will sign a contract with Digital Parchment Services to publish the first four books in my Guild of Ornamental Hermits fantasy series with the Futures-Past Editions imprint. I am choosing tomorrow to sign because it is an auspicious day for me with a New Moon in Scorpio and some good Saturn and Neptune energy.
It’s also just about the middle of NaNoWriMo 2020 – National Novel Writing Month – which begins each year on my birthday, Nov. 1st. I began this fantasy during NaNoWriMo 2016, just as a certain catastrophic election took place in the U.S. That same month I put together a 50 page “resistance handbook” while also banging out 50,000 words of the first draft of The Dire Deeds of the Guild of Ornamental Hermits. The book is set in a communal farm near Pahoa, Hawai’i Island. There are Elves, supernatural and human bad guys, and a number of human characters, “the Hermits of Hermitville,” that I have come to adore. Eventually the book ended up weighing in at over 250,000 words and I worked hard to par it down to about 179,000–still a lot!
My publisher, Jean-Marie Stine, suggested I take the manuscript and turn it into two books: The Dire Deeds of the (etc.) and The Witching Work of the (etc.). The third book, which takes place in California and Oregon, is called The Queerest Quest of the (etc.). (You have probably figured out I like alliteration in my titles.)
For NaNoWriMo 2020, I began working on the fourth book, The Perilous Past of the Guild of Ornamental Hermits. As of tonight, Nov. 13th, I am over 23,000 words so far. Tomorrow I plan to leap over the 25,000 word mark.
The Perilous Past weaves together an important love story that triggered the founding of Hermitville; the contemporary struggles of the Hermits to adjust to their new home in Oregon; and the 17th century origin of the Elf/human mystery school known as The Guild of Ornamental Hermits. This was the heydey of the English witch persecutions, so there’s that.
I am, once again, completely in love with the characters who’ve been with me in the first three books. I also have some new adversaries and more about the Guild founders collectively known as “Twelve Families.”
I’m excited by the prospect of completing the fourth book in record time and I am hoping to see all four published in 2021. These are LGBTQIA++ fantasies and offering these books to readers feels so right after the hell of the last administration. It’s a time for joy (as well as hard work), so maybe these books can provide that as we make a better world for us all.
May we all be safe, healthy, and prevail in this very difficult time!