Archive for July 2007

Photos from the Market Test

July 18, 2007

The Troth

The Purloined Boy was read in eight schools this Spring and was enthusiastically received.

Click on jpg thumbnails below to enlarge photos of the kids who read the book.

If you’d like to see what they said just click on the name of a school on the right. A couple of schools really got into blogging and a couple never got the hang of it.

Unfortunately, I never got a photo of one of the schools. Two of the schools are continuing in the market test over the Summer.

Columbia Kids

Veritas

Trinity

Kings

NT

Nathan Hale Kids

Mansfield Kids

Morty

Changes?! Did Morty say changes?!

July 12, 2007

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Yep, I sure did. Good ones too.

Probably the best thing to come out of my time with my agent, apart from the general encouragement of my meeting with him, was the careful reading and critique I recieved.

Don’t get me wrong, he loved the book and thinks it may do very well on the open market. But he did have some valuble suggestions for improving the story.

Here’s the big shocker — the suggestion that I needed time to accept but which, after reflection, I came to see is absolutely dead on.

The book I’ve written is really two stories!

They’re like Siamese twins joined at the hip that need a little surgery to separate.

What?! you say. How can that be?

Because the book is really the jumping off point for a series it is understandable. I was trying to do too much in the first book. I suspected it, but I didn’t want to accept it. His objective view got me out of my denial though.

Furthermore, the market test confirms his view.

A couple of things came out of the test that have bothered me. First, two of the most beloved characters die. That was just too much for readers to take. An author should only kill one off a book in a series. The other was that the penultimate climax ended up eclipsing the final climax. Most kids saw the Battle for the Troth as the high point of the story when I saw the journey to the hole in the sky as the true climax.

The solution is simple. End the first book at the end of the battle and with the death of Epictetus and the second at the hole in the sky and the death of Zephyr.

This will allow me to lengthen somethings and add more detail and drama without losing momentum. One of the things about my writing that I think makes it stand out is its speed — I tend to write stories that move. Now I’ll be able to add to the stories without slowing things down. It will also allow me to put things in that I left out.

Now the series is a five book series. Here are my working titles:

Book 1 — The Purloined Boy

Book 2 — The Fay Brand

Book 3 — The Wyrdling

Book 4 — Ragnarok

Book 5 — The Return of the Mouse

Morty

Welcome Back!

July 10, 2007

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Well, I’m back after a month off!

Things are going along swimmingly. The book is currently being reviewed by a major publisher.

Hopefully I’ll have some good news to share soon. If not, oh well, we’ll keep at it until we land a publisher large enough to give The Purloined Boy the attention and distribution it deserves.

If you’re new to this blog and you want to see what kids have been saying about The Purloined Boy, just click on the name of a school to the right.

In my next blog I’ll talk about some changes my agent and I have decided to make to the first two books in the series. (Here’s a hint — its gone from being a three book to a five book series!)

Morty