Sunday, September 2, 2012

NEW BOOK COMING SOON!



Hi folks,

I’ve got a new novel coming out shortly from StoneGate Ink both as an ebook and as a paperback, and it may be a surprise to some of y’all as it’s in a genre I haven’t published before. It’s a YA.

And, it’s clean. No cursing, no vampires, no explicit sex. I wrote it at a time when those things weren’t around. Well, I guess sex was around, but not like it is today. At least not the “in your face” variety we seem to encounter these days for kids’ books.

That may doom it… or it may not. We’ll see.

I wrote MIRROR, MIRROR without any view to getting it published. I just wrote it for my daughter Britney who was nine at the time. Just a labor of love. I wanted to give her something I thought she’d enjoy. And, she did.

At the time, I briefly considered trying to get it published and sent out the mss to two publishers, Scholastic and Hyperion. Hyperion had just started up, which tells you how long ago it was! I was new to publishing then, even though I had a few books out, but didn’t really understand the industry well as evidenced by what happened next.

I got back lengthy letters from the chief editors at both places. One was five pages long and the other, eight. Single-spaced and typed. That also tells how long ago this was... One wanted me to change the title as they had one in the hopper with the same title. The other wanted me to recast it in third person (it was--and still is--in first). She also sent me five of their paperbacks to read so I’d know their “style.” Now, I know this is hard to believe—especially today, when there’s so much knowledge about publishing—but I didn’t see either of these responses as a “yes,” but rather, as really nice rejections. I put ‘em both in the proverbial drawer, along with the manuscript, and forgot about them.

Kind of dumb, wasn’t it!

Guilty…

It saw there for a long time, and then my daughter Britney and I were talking one day about stuff, and suddenly, out of the blue, she said, “Dad, you remember that book you wrote for me when I was a kid? Mirror, Mirror?” Well, yes, I said. “Well,” she said, “it was four years before I could look into a mirror for longer than ten seconds at a time. It scared the crap out of me!”

When she said that, it dawned on me that perhaps it really was publishable. Britney was (and is) a really smart person and from the time she was five read voraciously. If she found it scary, then I figured it really might have some legs.

And, that’s when I hooked up with Aaron Patterson, the publisher of StoneGate Ink and he agreed.

That’s its little history. When Britney’s little sister, Sienna, came along, I had her read it at about the same age Britney was when she first read it and her reaction was pretty much the same as Britney’s. Scared the crap out of her.

I’ll let you folks who pick it up be the judge. Look for it—it’s coming out pretty soon and I’ll be sure to announce it here.

Hope it keeps kids up at night and makes ‘em avoid mirrors…

Spoiler: No vampires, no zombies, no explicit sex, no cursing.

Here's the synopsis of MIRROR, MIRROR:


Elizabeth Mary Downing is a typical American teenager...almost. When she peers into a mirror, she sees someone else staring back--an image identical to herself in every detail save one--the mirror image has blue eyes. Elizabeth's eyes are brown! She is told by her mirror counterpart, "Liz,” that she can enter any mirror she wants through "trans-starence,” and when curiosity prevails over fear she enters the mirror, trading places with Liz. The horror begins as Liz wreaks havoc with what was a normal life. Elizabeth's attempts to trick Liz into going back into the mirror reflect both suspense and humor, and just when all hope seems lost, she succeeds...only to discover she has to return to the mirror to reverse events and get her life back to where it was. She succeeds, but she leaves part of herself forever in the mirror.
 



Blue skies,
Les

11 comments:

The Cat Bastet said...

This sounds like a great YA book! I'm looking forward to reading it. All kids (even us big kids) know there's something spooky about mirrors...

Cathy AJ

Vero said...

Sounds like an awesome read! Can't wait to get a hold of it!

Les Edgerton said...

Thanks, Cat and Vero! I'm kind of proud of it, especially since it's a "clean" book.

dawnall said...

I love YA and I love scary so this one is a total win-win for me! Can't wait to read it.

JJ Toner said...

What age is it aimed at, Les? nine-year-olds are hardly young adults, are they?

Les Edgerton said...

Thanks, Dawn. Good question, J.J. The answer is anybody who enjoys a good story. Not trying to be evasive, but I think it will appeal to 8-9-year-olds who are a bit precocious in their reading as well as kids who are older. Maybe even a few adults. I know books like Louis Sachet's "Holes" is called a YA, but in my opinion is as good as anything labeled "adult" fiction. And, I enjoyed the book SHREK immensely (the movie sucked--they "Disneyized" it to make Shrek "cuddly" and ruined what was a terrific story. So, not to duck your question, but YA in my mind is mostly a marketing term and I hope folks don't go by it much. I think kids will like it and I also think maybe a few adults will like it. We'll see!

Tim Mayer said...

It sounds like the sort of book I would've grabbed at age 9.

Les Edgerton said...

Thanks, Tim. The problem I have with applying labels like "YA" is that they restrict the market. The protagonist in Mirror is 16, so the "wisdom" is that it will appeal to readers 13-15, along with a few 16-year-olds. That's because the folks in charge of these things have decided that kids only want to read about kids older than them and never anyone younger. To a certain extent that's true, but there are plenty of readers who are much younger that may enjoy it, and there are readers older who may also enjoy it. The problem is that young readers now often only look for books that are labeled in their age "range" and may be missing fun reads that aren't listed in that range. When I was a kid (I know that's a stretch...)there was no such thing as a YA and we just read stories that sounded good to us. I read Balzac as well as Kidnapped and enjoyed both. At least some of today's kids seem to have perhaps developed blinders and don't seem to go beyond the parameters that have been imposed on them by the marketing gurus.

Tim Mayer said...

Ha. I was reading Edgar Allen Poe at age 10, just had to use a dictionary to help me.

Margaret Duarte said...

Sounds great, Les. I think it will do well.

Les Edgerton said...

Thanks, Margaret--hope so!