Today, I’m delighted to host my wonderful friend’s post about Winter’s Secrets, her new book that comes out 26 May!
Thanks for writing this post, Val. *Hugs* (^_^)
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I honestly thought my next published book would be about ghosts.
It was supposed to be about ghosts, actually, which would have fit into this blog great, since both Lai and I share a love of writing about things that go bump in the night. But first, I wanted to write an Advent Story, because Christmas is big in my family, and I thought it would be cool.
Ghosts didn’t seem to fit into an Advent sort of story, although I tried. I really wanted to write an Advent story on the blog, and since the Dark Horseman universe didn’t really work either (I tried, trust me – it wasn’t pretty), I fell back on the old Currier and Ives type of village. But with magic, of course, because I’m apparently incapable of writing something that doesn’t have some sort of magic in it. And there was a talking cat, because I go through phases and that was the phase I was in, and, well, the story kind of wrote itself. And it went up on my blog, and I thought that was that.
And then the next year came, and I didn’t write one. And that’s when I found out that the little Advent story I’d written actually had a following, because I got emails. Not just from my mother, either (although she was mad I didn’t write one the next year), but from strangers, who wanted to know if there would be another Molly and Schrodinger story.
Needless to say, it’s five years later, and there are four more Advent stories, and I still haven’t finished the ghost book (although I’m working on it!). What I meant to be a fun month of fluff has become Carter’s Cove, and is the first book I’m putting out that I wrote in about six years. It’s now being called Winter’s Secrets, and will come out in both ebook and trade paperback, because once I finished the second Advent story, people started asking about getting them as books. I hemmed and hawed – I felt they needed a lot of work, and I really wanted to write that ghost book, as well as some others. And to be honest, I wasn’t sure how many stories I had to tell in Carter’s Cove.
More than I thought. Especially after my editor got a hold of the rough draft and helped me flesh it out. (Note to any would-be self-publishers: DO NOT SKIMP ON YOUR EDITING. Seriously.) She helped me find more threads that I could weave in, and the book grew. It’s now much more than just the framework of songs that I hung up on the web – it’s a complete picture, with more to come. And I’ve discovered a world that helps keep the darkness of this one away, at least for a little bit.
Writing Molly and Schrodinger helps me balance the darkness that writing Sapphire (my ghosthunter) and Shanna (my StarChild) bring out. Carter’s Cove is a safe haven, where bad things can happen, but you have good people around you to help you out of them. It’s been a place for me to retreat to when real life got too overwhelming. I could go into Molly’s tea room, and hide from the depressing truth of my mother’s terminal illness.
Mom didn’t get to read the final draft of Winter’s Secrets. Sadly, she passed away on March 22, 2016, while I was still finishing the rewrites. But she read every story up until then, and made me promise that there would be more of them after she was gone. She even helped me with some ideas for the next one, and even though it will be hard to write, I’ll be starting the sixth Carter’s Cove Advent story in about a month.
And I know she’ll be reading it, because she wouldn’t miss it for the world.
Winter’s Secrets will be available on May 26. You can follow Val Griswold-Ford on Twitter at @vg_ford, and on her blog at www.vg-ford.com.