April 17, 2019
8 years ago I sat down to write a full length novel of at least 50,000 words. I had wondered for a month beforehand what I was going to write. I wanted classic, light story but something I hadn't necessarily written about before. I settled on a steampunk theme and then began plucking inspiration from lots of the things that I had recently experienced. Adventure novels, games, art, and of course, my own life.
It was a long time ago, and I struggle sometimes to remember exactly what I was thinking, but I knew that this character who was twisted physically by nature wanted love more than anything else. In the end, his physical deformity proved far less of an obstruction than the selfish, greedy nature of those who would oppose him, intent upon only their own goals.
The editing of this book was absolute torture. I was lucky to have someone who was more than willing to work with me through multiple drafts. Jeff Ford has the patience of a saint. I asked him to edit on a platform he wasn't familiar with as well as changing nearly the entire book after the first edit, so that he had to go back and work from scratch.
I never actually intended on publishing this book. I thought for sure it would just be a file that languished in the back of my hard drive, my first true foray into writing more than 20,000 words. It was originally just a nonsensical collection of junk, but my husband didn't see it as a collection of junk. He saw it as a piece of me, and loved it just as much. Given the main character's purpose, how could I resist? So I took Faulker's advice. I took a scalpel and carved that book up. I killed all my darling tropes, the scenes that I really loved that made no sense, I created an actual path for my character to follow.
It is hard, removing huge chunks of something you have created. And it's time consuming. To revise the book took a whole year. And then...came the cover.
You would think that finding an artist would be easy. Wave money in the air, and they come running right? But the book needed a specific kind of cover. One that conveyed the adventure of a steampunk story. The cover is actually what delayed the release for so long. It delayed it so long, that the audiobook is just a hair's breadth away from being ready at the same time.
The one character in the book that affected me even more than Kinkajou, was Keichi. Our beloved little guinea pig friend was very real, not mechanical at all. He started out life as a pet that was returned time and time again to the humane society and had pretty much given up on life. He required a safe space to recover in the first few months and then when he realized that we were not going to punish him for being a guinea pig, he began to trust us and show us his mischievous, adventurous spirit. He evolved just as much as any of my characters did. I'm so glad I could immortalize him.
And this is the story behind the book. All the love that Kinkajou brought out in me, I've been able to pass on to other characters in other books and I'm positive I'll be writing for a very long time. I am lucky to have talented people who have helped me create it, and more talented people to voice the promotional video. And so I'm promoting my little heart out for Kinkajou. I hope that you will join me and tell everyone about my beloved book.
For your pleasure, here is the promo video for "Hunchback" May you feel the same love that I do.
My thanks to the incredible Buyer Brown, Jason Falter, Lola Lariscy, SyBernot, and my own wonderful husband Che “Kereltis” Dean.