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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- I can’t type
- I can’t spell
- I can’t put together a grammatically correct sentence
- 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.
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)
She sounds almost like the stereotypical Russian immigrant.
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.
Some authors will release a playlist of music which inspired their novel or which was simply some tunes they listened to whilst pounding their keyboard. There are a number of works referenced in Urban Mermaid, all of which are available on iTunes as well as other fine vendors.
Urban Mermaid Playlist
Can’t Help Falling in Love with You – Elvis, et al.
If I Loved You – Rodgers and Hammerstien from the musical, Carousel
I Loved You Once In Silence – Lerner and Lowe from the musical, Camelot
Coronation Anthem No. 1 – Handel. Note – Peter is looking at the mosaics in the lobby Colony Island’s town hall. The tutti forte entrance of the choir coincides with Peter looking up at the ceiling.
Truly, Madly, Deeply – Savage Garden
Canon and Gigue in D – Pachelbel
Minuet # 2 from Music for the Royal Fireworks HWV 351 – Handel. (I used the arrangement by The Royal Promenade Chamber Orchestra)
Rondeau – Mouret
Macpherson’s Rant – Robert Burns, traditional
Highland Cathedral – Ulrich Roever and Michael Korb
I’m Calm – Steven Sondheim. From the musical, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.
Sea of Love – the 80’s version by The Honeydrippers. (This is not referenced in the story but I included it as inspiration.)
Who would be A merman bold,
Sitting alone, Singing alone
Under the sea, With a crown of gold,
On a throne?
I would be a merman bold,
I would sit and sing the whole of the day; I would fill the sea-halls with a voice of power; But at night I would roam abroad and play With the mermaids in and out of the rocks, Dressing their hair with the white sea-flower; And holding them back by their flowing locks I would kiss them often under the sea, And kiss them again till they kiss’d me Laughingly, laughingly; And then we would wander away, away, o the pale-green sea-groves straight and high, Chasing each other merrily.
There would be neither moon nor star;
But the wave would make music above us afar- Low thunder and light in the magic night- Neither moon nor star.
We would call aloud in the dreamy dells, Call to each other and whoop and cry All night, merrily, merrily.
They would pelt me with starry spangles and shells, Laughing and clapping their hands between, All night, merrily, merrily, But I would throw to them back in mine Turkis and agate and almondine; Then leaping out upon them unseen
I would kiss them often under the sea,
And kiss them again till they kiss’d me Laughingly, laughingly.
0, what a happy life were mine
Under the hollow-hung ocean green!
Soft are the moss-beds under the sea;
We would live merrily, merrily.
– Alfred Lord Tennyson –
Leagues, leagues over the sea I sail
Couched on a wallowing dolphin’s tail.
The sky is on fire, the waves a-sheen,
I dabble my foot in the billows green.
In a sea-weed hat on the rocks I sit,
where tern and sea-mew glide and beat,
and where dark shadows the cormorants meet.
In caverns cool when the tide’s a wash,
I sound my conch to the watery splash.
From out their grottos at evenings beam,
the mermaids swim with locks agleam.
– Walter De La Mare –