Unlike my first four fairy tales, this one is inspired by a real medieval practice – that of pounding coins into the bark of an oak tree and making a wish. It’s also the first that is bluntly humorous. It contains so many tropes from traditional fairy tales even I lose track in the first three pages. And for the first time, the cover does not show our hero – but rather, her self-absorbed sister.
Here is the link to The Wishing Oak on Amazon.
I love this story. It’s an underdog tale – as you can probably tell from the cover. It’s the story of a kid with a tragic past and a hopeless future. Small, frightened and powerless as he is, he has to face a threat bigger than any adult around him can handle in order to save the kingdom where he lives. I cannot wait for this tale to be out in the world. On October 7th, you can have it for your own.
The Brave Houseboy is now out! Here’s the Amazon link to the book.
Earlier this week, The Brave Houseboy came back from my editor, Marg Gilks. Even after all my grammatical and punctuational flubs, her comment at the end of the tale was, “I LOVE this story, Gordon! No wonder it’s one of your favourites. It’s one of mine, too.”
Wow. high praise from my (professionally) nit-pickiest critic. I cannot wait to get this story out into the world. It was sitting around for many years, great at it’s core, but crippled by poor execution. Earlier this year, I finally took the time to rework it and now… yeah. It’s quite the loveable tale. Another giant story. But this time the giant is uncompromisingly fierce and the boy of the title is pretty shrimpy. It comes out on the seventh of October.
In other happy news, this morning I finished editing November’s story, The Wishing Oak. This one was really good from the get-go. It arose from readings I’d done in the ’90s on the day-to-day lives of the average medieval peasant. But I’ve spent the past many weeks smoothing it out and upping the characterization. This one is bluntly humorous, a good sorbet after the dark, emotional tales of the Dollmaker and the Houseboy.
(Image Credit: Louis Huard, from Giant Suttung and the Dwarfs)
It took me forever to find the right image for this story. It’s by the London artist, Frederick Walker (1840-1875) who Millais apparently referred to as, “the greatest artist of the century”. As terrible as it is to play favorites with one’s children, I have to say, this story’s right up there. The Dollmaker’s Daughter comes out September 7th.
My little tale is now out. Here’s the link to it on Amazon. By the way, it’s free on Amazon Sept 11th and 12th only.
The ebook-making gods are apparently smiling on me. Unlike the images for my first two fairy tale covers, the latest one has taken me an extraordinary amount of time to find. For The Seven Sisters, there was only one image – right from the beginning. For The Boy Smith, ten pretty good options. But for this latest one, when I reached 31 potential images and was still unsatisfied and, needless to say, frustrated, I knew I needed a different research tack. As soon as I took that different direction, BAM! I had my cover.
Part of the trouble is that of the three tales, this one is by far the most personal. And though the subject (the absent parent) is quite universal, my characters have not been the subjects of many classical European paintings.
The tale is back from my editor, Marg. And as you can see, I’ve started on the layout. I’m both leery and excited to get this story out into the world – it means so much to me. Want an escalator into my twisted brain? Wait for September 7th, when The Dollmaker’s Daughter is released.
If you’re looking for something quick to read this weekend, I’m doing a promo for my second fairy tale novelette. The book is usually $.99, but today and tomorrow only, it’s 100% free.
So if you’re looking for a bedtime story for your kids or a quick read for yourself, here’s a father and son story that’ll send you off to sleep with a smile. And if you’d be so kind, I’d sure appreciate a few words of review.
Link to “The Boy Smith” on Amazon
All three e-book versions of my picture books are now done and out in the world. So if you enjoyed the print books, you’ll love these. I made sure the images were all huge – so they’d fill the hi-resolution screen of a laptop, iPad or Kindle Fire HDX. What’s cool is that the reading apps scale so beautifully – so the books still looks great on a black and white device or small on an iPhone. The text size, of course, can be adjusted independent of the images.
Link to The Cannibal Anaconda eBook on Amazon
Link to The Tooth eBook on Amazon
Link to the Pretty Ballerina eBook on Amazon
Well, I am happy to report that The Boy Smith and the Giant of the North is now out in the world. It’s one matter to produce one thing, a first thing, on time. You have your entire life to work up to it. But to get that second thing done, now there’s a challenge.
I’m now working on another giant story. This one is quite different from the one in The Boy Smith, though it is set in a similar mediæval world. I’ll keep you posted on that one. I will say that I have a ridiculously great cover for it already – this time from a contemporary artist.
Here’s the Amazon link to The Boy Smith.
(Image credit: Frank C. Papé, from The Diamond Fairy Book)
When I was kid, I never had dreams of being chased by monsters or falling off cliffs. I just wasn’t afraid of any of that. What I was afraid of was having to do the impossible. That scared me sleepless for many a long, lonely night. And that was the inspiration for my second fairy tale, The Boy Smith and the Giant of the North.
It’s nearly twice as long as The Seven Sisters, so I guess it qualifies as a novelette. It comes out on Amazon next week, August 7th. And I hope you take the opportunity to check it out and give it an honest review. It’s a story that is seriously dear to my heart – and yes, still gives me the willies every time I read it.
I finished The Dollmaker’s Daughter this morning and sent it off to Marg, my wonderful editor. I couldn’t be happier – even if I won the lottery or a trip around the world.
The first draft of this tale was written 21 years ago and I thought then, it was finished – at least finished enough that it was worth trying to publish. I sent it off to a couple of places, and now, I am quite comfortable with their rejections. It wasn’t good enough.
Over the next couple of decades, I tried various things. I must have scribbled 100,000 words and spent many hundreds of hours over it. It wasn’t until 2012 that I finally found an angle that would make it, not just good, but great.
Yeah, yeah, it’s tough for a writer to talk about his own work in glowing terms without sounding like an egoist or a self-promoting putz. I love this story. It’s the first of these three that is far more heart than head. And I tried my best to be fearless in writing it, trying to keep it true and heart-wrenching, and avoid anything sappy. And this morning, when Nora, my darling hard-assed-editor wife, came out of my office red-eyed and plainly choked up after reading it, well, I knew I had succeeded.
It’ll be out in about five weeks, so stay tuned.
(Image credit: Howard Pyle, The Story of King Arthur and His Knights)