Bella Novella

My first novella, The Taking of Stonecrop, was released this week. I wanted to answer some of your questions about the project:

Q: Why should I read The Taking of Stonecrop?

A: It wields intrigue, humor, and a sarcastic pronghorn. And you’ll support my mid-life reinvention.

Q: What’s the relationship between Spireseeker and The Taking of Stonecrop?

A: They are in the same world with the same characters, but are two mostly independent stories. The Taking of Stonecrop happens three hundred years prior to the events in Spireseeker.

Q: Which should I read first?

A: It’s fun either way. If you read Spireseeker first, you’ll enjoy reading more about some of your favorite characters when you read the novella. If you read The Taking of Stonecrop first, then you’ll have a little more background on the world before starting the novel—and you’ll recognize a few historical references.

Q: If Spireseeker is a stand-alone story, then why release a novella in the same setting?

A: I’ve recognized that asking readers to start with a fifty-chapter novel written by an unknown author was a bit unrealistic. But, hey, I’m an optimist. So I’m hoping people are willing to give the novella a try. And if they enjoy it, maybe they’ll follow some of my other projects, including Spireseeker.

Q: Will your next novel be in the land of Fayen, like Spireseeker?

A: No, it will be separate. I won’t preclude releasing additional short stories (or even another novella) here or there to add depth to the Spireseeker story, but my next major project is the Shkode trilogy: my personal twist on wizards and dragons. I’m so set on making it a great story that I’ve already been working for more than four months on the outline alone.

Q: What’s your favorite aspect of The Taking of Stonecrop?

A: I enjoy that it explores the personalities of some of the male-form elves. The female-form elves dominated Spireseeker, and though no disrespect was intended, I wondered whether the male-form elves didn’t quite get their due. So I’m happy to be able to highlight them a bit more.

If you have any additional questions about the novella, please let me know. In the meantime, I’d be honored if you’d give The Taking of Stonecrop a try.

E.D.E. Bell, 26 February 2014

I Think it’s Time to Tell You

Well, I feel I’m far enough along to make a big announcement. Ready for it?

The name of my next project is the Shkode trilogy. Pronounce it slowly, saying all the letters, and end with a sound that rhymes with how someone in Great Lakes area would say the ‘a’ sound in “sand.” (If all else fails, rhyme it with Minnesota.) To me, this word – which means “fire” in Anishinaabemowin – resonates with spirit and is the perfect title for my project.

So what’s Shkode about? It’s about everything I think makes a great story. Wizards, dragons, and magic – engaging characters, danger, adventure, mystery, discovery, and triumph. I’ve learned so much releasing Spireseeker, and my goal is to make this a story you’ll want to read again and again.

So here are the things I know. First, you are going to love this story, from the first page to the last. I’ve been working really hard on it, getting editorial services early, and using all the lessons I learned from writing and publishing the first time. Shkode will consist of three novels, completing an overarching story line, and the books will be released in series.

There is still some uncertainty also. I have working titles for each book, and will release them as we move forward. Also, I don’t know what the schedule is going to be without a more expanded base for my efforts. I want to get this out as quickly as I can, but I really need more support (more publicity, more fans, more sales!) of Spireseeker before I can realistically promote a Kickstarter campaign or otherwise lay out the significant funds needed to complete this project. This won’t stop me from working on the trilogy, but it may delay me from moving forward with professional editing and illustration until we can get more exposure for Spireseeker.

Shkode is going to be awesome. I promise you. If you want to see this exciting project become reality I need your help:

Like me on Facebook: http://facebook.com/epicheals

Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/@atthisarts

Like Shkode on Facebook: http://facebook.com/dragon.trilogy

Like Spireseeker on Facebook: http://facebook.com/spireseeker

And most importantly, tell people about Spireseeker. Rate and review it on Amazon or Goodreads. It’s tough to get publicity as an independent author, so buy yourself a copy, read it, and buy one for a friend. Pick up a copy on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Also the signed hardcovers (available at Spireseeker.com) are beautiful and make a great holiday gift – we’ll sign it, personalize it (if you want) and ship it right to your recipient – just let us know in the comments field when you place the order.

I hope you are excited about joining me in bringing Shkode to life. I am. And most importantly, I hope everyone has a safe and warm holiday season. And don’t forget to snuggle up by the fire with a good book. Perhaps a specific book, if you know what I mean. ; )

Peace, Love, and Joy to you and yours –

E.D.E. Bell
15 December 2013

Sometimes it’s a Blizzard

If you would have told me that my first book signing would be during a blizzard after even the local Air Force Base had closed, I actually would have believed you.

Because otherwise it wouldn’t be life.

Twists and turns, ups and downs – it’s all ok. My husband and I, in an effort to try and get people reading Spireseeker, had been promoting a local book signing for a couple of months now. We dropped off flyers at friendly local small businesses, and spread the word via social media. The morning before the signing it was sunny and over 50 degrees outside. Then my husband asked, “Do you know there is a blizzard expected to hit tomorrow before your signing?” I simply sighed.

Of course it was a disappointment, when we had worked so hard. We knew that now the turnout would be light to none. Then the schools closed, then the base.

But I still knew I needed to be there. Even on the off chance that someone saw the flyer and decided to stop by, I couldn’t risk letting someone down that way. So we packed up the books, the wine, and the kids, and headed to the event.

We were surprised and humbled by the friends and family who braved the roads to stop by and say hello, some picking up a copy of the book. My brother and sister-in law, nephew, aunt, and uncle were there. Three colleagues and a friend’s mom came by to spend time with us. The staff of the host store (Life in Letters Gallery) graciously picked up some copies. And the local mayor even stopped by to get a signed book for his wife. I am truly grateful for such supportive friends and family. Without them, I would have stood for three hours in the blizzard probably not feeling so great. So thanks to those of you who were there for, instead, giving me a wonderful memory of a lovely evening. Even carrying the unopened boxes of books back to the car couldn’t mar the feelings of warmth and friendship.

My husband and I have received several regrets from people today, saying they intended to stop in and purchase a book, but the weather kept them away. Fear not – the book can still be yours! We don’t have plans for another signing right now, but you can still get a signed copy (or a paperback or e-book) anytime. We love the book, and think it would make a great holiday gift. And there is no shipping charge (in the U.S.) for hardcovers purchased from Spireseeker.com.

No blizzard is going to stop me from writing, in fact I hope that I’ve only just begun this adventure.

If you’d like to help us along, please consider:

  • Picking up an e-book or paperback (or a few) on Amazon.com
  • Buying a signed hardcover (or even a limited edition hardcover) on Spireseeker.com
  • Write a review. If you like the book, help us spread the word. Write reviews on Amazon.com or Goodreads.com – or anywhere else that suits you.
  • Tell your friends! So far, our best success has been people who have read the book enjoying it and coming back for more copies. So if you read it and you liked it, please let other people know.
  • Consider giving copies of Spireseeker as gifts: We think the book would make a great gift, either for the holidays, for winter birthdays, or just because!

I appreciate your continued support for my artistic endeavors, and I promise the next book will be even better. I’m really very excited about it.

The Earth is great and powerful, as are its blizzards. But I know in my heart that the power of creativity is just as great, and will continue to burn long after the ice crystals melt.

E.D.E. Bell
07 December 2013

What’s Next?

Well, as you know Spireseeker is finally out in all formats. It’s incredibly exciting to hear people say, “I’m reading your book.” Now, I just hope they like it.

As for me, everyone wants to know what’s next? Was this it? Nope, you haven’t seen the last of me yet. Not when I’ve learned so much. I’ve been working on the next project for at least a year. It’s a series of three books – yes, a trilogy. Yes, I know the emotion this evokes in some: trilogies are boring, trilogies are predictable. But I’m fine with it. The fact is, the three book series is a classic format, worthy of my efforts. And I promise you this one will be anything but boring.

I did receive some good advice from a friend, who said very simply, “Please don’t make the second book terrible. The second book is always terrible. Don’t do that to us.” Nice. And I won’t. The second book will be a thing of beauty.

And here’s your first hint: Dragons.