Howard

Happy Hanukkah

seashell-menorah-beach-2

HappyHanukkah

The story thus far . . .

Urban Mermaid has been on the market for less than a week and I’m starting to see a few sales. Since book publicists cost an arm and a leg – I’m sure they earn every penny of their fees – I’ll be doing a lot of the publicity myself.

There’s a perfect opportunity to do this in Greensboro, NC on Jan. 2 & 3, 2016 and I’m going to have to miss it because of my regular job. I will go into work around 10:30 PM on Jan. 1st and will not be done until 3 or 4 AM. Driving directly to Greensboro from Richmond, VA might have been an option in my college days but it’s definitely off the table now.

The event in Greensboro is a sort of mermaid convention and is an ideal place to stir up interest and maybe even some sales. There’s bound to be other opportunities in other towns . . . just none as good as this one.

Besides putting up the tree and baking gingerbread cookies over the holidays, I’ll also be devoting a good bit of my time to working on publicity and getting the word out. After the first of the year, I’ll be running a series of give-aways here on ColonyIsland.com and plan to have some serious swag up for grabs towards the end of January. Just one more reason to stop by and see what’s happening.

Now Available

Happy St. Andrews Day!

I am pleased to announce Urban Mermaid, the first installment in the Tails From Colony Island series, is now available for purchase in both paperback and e-book editions. The book is published by Moonlight Gardens Publications, an imprint of Gazebo Gardens Publishing, LLC.

I would like to thank Shelly & Caitlyn Moore at Gazebo Gardens  for all their hard work in getting this book ready for publication, Ilsie Om at The Woodsy Fawn for her wonderful cover design, Emm Cole, S.K. Munt, Pete Tarsi, and everyone else who contributed in one way or another to the pre-publication process.

Finally, I would like to thank Judi, my bride of 40 years for all of her encouragement and ongoing support as well as reading the first draft, even when fantasy books just aren’t her thing.

Given that the holidaze are upon us, I am forgoing the traditional launch parties, blog tours, etc. until after the first of the year. Everyone has so much to do between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day . . . including me.

Stop by colonyisland.com to keep up with The Latest.

ISBN
978-1-938281-72-3 Paperback
978-1-938281-73-0 E-Book

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Oh rapture! Oh bliss!

Seriously, I’ve discovered that there is light at the end of the tunnel and it’s not merely an oncoming train. Urban Mermaid now has a firm release date – November, 30th, 2015. Be still, my heart!

The thirtieth of November is St. Andrew’s Day. For those of ye wha’ may no ken, Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland and since one of the main characters is named Macpherson, I think that the 30th is quite appropriate.

I had originally planned to hold a launch party on the release day but the Holiday season will be in full swing a week from today. Trying to shoehorn a launch party in everything involved with the run-up to Hanukkah, Christmas, and the feast of Mithras is a non-starter. Instead, I’m going to try and see if I can get something going on January 30th – maybe a launch party/book signing at Barnes and Noble in Charlottesville.

Meanwhile, there’s fruitcakes to bake and gifts to buy. Yes, Virginia, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

By The Way, I’ll make a formal announcement on the 30th of November. Stay tuned.

Asking Madison

There’s a feature here on the Colony Island website called ‘Ask Madison‘. Madison is named for Daryl Hannah’s character in the movie, Splash and in this incarnation, she is the ‘agony aunt’ – advice columnist – for The Colony Chronicle, the island’s bi-weekly newspaper.

I thought this would be a fun way to discuss and flesh out plot points as the series progresses as well as give background on life as a mer on Colony Island.

At this point, I cannot say how often Madison will reprint letters from her column in the Chronicle. I will say, however, that I plan to continue this feature throughout the series. I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy creating it.

A New Addition

Awake with nothing to do at 5:30 AM on a rainy Thursday morning, I finally added a contact form to this site. The page is called “Contact The Author” and you’ll find it under the “All About The Author” tab.

Please Release Me, Let Me Go . . .

Well, the final edits are done and final manuscript awaits my review. Once that happens, proof copies will be ordered and Urban Mermaid will finally be released.

The main hurdle will be finding time to review the final proof. I’ve got a book review to write and fruitcakes to bake. Two batches of fruitcakes, mind you. The next four days should be . . . well . . . interesting.

If I don’t respond to your e-mails or phone calls for a while, please try and understand.

Typo City

I’ve been perusing some of the pages on this site and YIKES! I have beaucoup typos. What was good enough for my working notes is certainly not good enough for publication. That’s the problem with cut n’ paste.

I’m leaving the two original prologues as they are because I warn the reader that:

  1. I can’t type
  2. I can’t spell
  3. I can’t put together a grammatically correct sentence
  4. I can’t walk and chew gum at the same time

Well, maybe not # 4 but you get the idea. The next week or so will be consumed with clean-up.

I’ll let you know when I’m done.

Colony Island and World War II

Q: What’s with all the World War II stuff in Urban Mermaid? Doesn’t the story take place in the 21st century?

A: Up until that time in the Island’s history, the merfolk thought of themselves as being apart from the humans on the mainland. The fact that Christophorus Kolidakis swam to Greece in order to fight with the resistance served as a wake-up call for the residents of Colony Island. They loved their island home and knew that their way of life there was history if the Axis powers triumphed.

In the months following Pearl Harbour, the merfolk decided to stand shoulder to shoulder with their human neighbours. Many of the mermen enlisted in the armed forces while mermaids trained to be Red Cross nurses. Not all of them came home.

The fishing fleet did their part during the war by capturing a German sub during Operation Drumbeat and the town received a Presidential citation for their valour. The fleet was also responsible for sinking a 2nd sub but kept it quiet as the depth and how the charges were placed would have raised too many questions and endangered their secret.

For the first time in the town’s history, the merfolk felt themselves to be equal to the humans on the mainland. It was their finest hour.

Stirring the Pot

Believe it or not, I’m at work on book # 2. In it, we’ll learn more about Amy and her family, including a feral cousin who shows up unexpectedly. Here are some notes from her character sketch:

About mid-way through the 2nd book – Xmas? – one of Amy’s feral cousins shows up w/ her 5 year-old son in tow. Her mate is still at sea.
She came to Colony Island for her son to be educated. Thinks it’ll only take a year, three at the most. Amy disabuses her of this notion.
She moves in with Amy & her mother. Amy has to hide her from Billy King, Peter’s college roomie who’s giving Amy some voice lessons. The cousin is outraged that they let humans into her house and is baffled that Penelope married a human.

She is more talkative than the average feral. Females tend to be, esp. among family or friends.

She Learns about life on land or at least, life on Colony Island. I’ll use this to tell the reader more about Feraltown.

She has problems w/ the following parts of speech:

Articles (a, an, the)

Verbs (are, is)

Nominatives (it)

She sounds almost like the stereotypical Russian immigrant.

Name: Kulla
Son’s Name: Nikathlos
New Mate’s Name: Kharisthenês
Old Mate’s Name: Pistidas

She doesn’t understand why she needs a new name on land, or the need for a 1st and last name.

Pistidas was not the most attentive mate. Their mer-baby was a girl named ??. Pistadis was supposed to be watching the baby while Kulla gathered kelp for dinner. Pistadis was more interested in talking with his buddy. Then the baby became a snack for a Tiger shark.

Kulla was heartbroken. At least things were over pretty quickly for the baby. She immediately told Pistadis she didn’t want him to protect her anymore. (He wasn’t doing much of a job to begin with.)

Pistadis became an outcast. No females wanted anything to do with him. Mermen didn’t want to associate with him. Even the buddy who he’d been talking to distanced himself. Pistadis subsequently left the pod & disappeared into the sea.

Kulla chose another mate quickly. (She was besieged with offers from unchosen males.) This time she made a much better choice. Kharisthenês was everything Pistadis should have been. Kulla decides that Amy may not have been so wrong about living on land after all. Kharisthenês agrees that their son should be educated like Kulla’s cousin Amy.

There’s, of course, more to Kulla’s story but I’ve got to save something for the book.

Urban Mermaid Side-bar logo
You can buy your own copy via this website
Paperback
Urban Mermaid
Kindle Edition
Urban Mermaid
Howard Parsons' author logo
The Author Is Reading