Worth a Thousand Words

21 11 2016
Eloise works as the lowly assistant to History Department secretary Genevieve Hague while she waits for the reclusive Prof. Avalon to return from sabbatical

Eloise works as the lowly assistant to History Department secretary Genevieve Hague while she waits for the reclusive Prof. Avalon to return from sabbatical

But what’s that worth in dollars?

This new novel over which I have been laboring long and mightily is called Eloise and Avalon, a work of science fiction, philosophy, and time travel. The time travel stories I have read have always left me feeling dissatisfied. Either the author pleads us to don the suspenders of disbelief and just enjoy a fine tale, or they try to box up the paradoxes with convoluted explanations that raise more questions than they answer (at least for me). I applied myself to the problem and this is the result.

The heroes are scientists, philosophers, and history majors. It’s about a geeky woman who gets the classic crippling crush on the brilliant professor, kicking herself for falling into the same old tired cliché. Unrequited love. Pathetic. Then she finds out it isn’t unrequited. And the professor isn’t your garden variety bachelor academic. He isn’t even properly human. He’s a historian, all right, but from a world eleven hundred light years away and twenty-two thousand years into her future. And he isn’t supposed to be there at all.

When Avalon goes back to his own time and world, he has to face the consequences for his illicit expedition. Eloise complicates things by returning with him. Neither of them are prepared for what ultimately arises out of their relationship with each other, the experimental vehicle Avalon absconded with, and a future that has already happened but must still be fulfilled.

The ebook will be released in January, and I’ll be crowing about it at Arisia. The print version will be out in time for Boskone in February. It’s the print version I’m truly excited about. Because it will be illustrated. Okay, not glossy full-color panels, but black and white images that will bring the story and characters to life.

It was pure serendipity.

As much as I would have loved having Angi Shearstone do the cover again (she did the artwork for Awake Chimera), in my present financially challenged position, I couldn’t afford her. She’s a pro, and, like the rest of us, deserves to be paid what she is worth, which is plenty. (That’s a whole different blog). We did work out a deal for her to do the graphic design for the cover, for which I am exceedingly grateful.

So I asked Michelle Bouchard if she would be willing to do the cover for me. She’s an emerging artist, still building her portfolio and perfecting her own style and works. She’s worth a whole lot more than I am paying her, but then again, an awful lot of us are in the same boat. Landing the big contracts that get you paid what your work is really worth is like playing musical chairs in a stadium full of people with only five seats. (Yet another blog.)

I sent Michelle the ms so she could look it over and get an inspiration for the cover (to be revealed at a later time). I got a printed copy back with some very useful feedback and suggestions. But something else as well—Michelle had doodled in the margins. I was delighted by these offhand sketches. I got inspired myself.

I contacted Double Dragon and worked out how I could include illustrations. The ebook won’t have them, but I am excited to announce that the print version will. Michelle turned the sketches into several finished pieces that will grace the pages here and there. I hope this is a gateway for her to get more work as an artist because damn, she is good. Wait until you see the cover.

I’ll be keeping you all posted throughout the process and include links to purchase here on the site. In the meantime, I have other books which you may not be aware of, and a short story in a newly released anthology called Live Free or Ride.

Books always make a great gift. Buy early and often, and help support your friendly neighborhood author, and artist.




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