Saturday, April 16, 2011

Welcome To Moonstone Bay!

Two years ago....
I decided to write a Childrens Novel. 

The Whispering Ferns is a story about an eleven year old boy named Smith that is sent to live with his aunt and uncle in the tiny fishing village of Moonstone Bay, Washington while his mom heads to South America to look for his missing father. Smith is nervous about spending time in this closed off little town, but thanks to his rambunctious cousins, he makes friends quickly. Soon, he's off hunting ghosts and stealing through neighbor's backyards. Then one of his new friends goes missing and with everyone else following the wrong leads, its up to Smith to rescue her.

I started writing my book on April 26th, just for fun. I'd always wanted to write, and had a good idea, and off I went. About a month later, I stumbled across the Delacorte/Yearling contest and decided that it would be the perfect impetus to finish my book. A deadline for me. I made it, cranking out a book that I was quite proud of, with ghosts and misadventure, mystery and friendship. I fired it off to the contest and waited.

And Waited.

And waited...

Then, I got a letter.

Dear Writer, it started... Uh-Oh...

Well, not only did I not win the contest, but no one did. And what's more, they were never holding the contest again! I'd broken it!

So I sat on the book for a while, tinkering with a few things, still in love with the characters and world I'd created. It was a throwback to the classic children's novels of my childhood; John Bellairs and Encyclopedia Brown, with ghosts and fairies, treasure maps and secret passages. Would modern audiences be interested in my new friend Smith?

I decided to try submitting it to an agent. I'd been approached by one when I first started talking about Moonstone Bay, an agent of sterling credentials, one I would be honored to even have her read the first line of my book. She was very polite and great, but not into the book. She loved the idea and the setting, but felt my prose was too old fashioned for today's readers. The same thing I'd been afraid of, but man, it was so cool to have an actual agent tell me that. (and soul crushing, of course. hahaha)

I thought about re-writing it. Heck, I'm still thinking about re-writing the book. I do think modern readers would be more involved if I wrote The Whispering Ferns from Smith's perspective, if I got into his head, but I still really liked the version I'd written too.

So I sat on it for a year.

In the meantime, things changed in the publishing world. Little changes that had been rearing their heads started bucking wildly across the landscape - eBooks, the Kindle, Self-Pubbing, The death of modern publishing as we know it today!

Suddenly, there was a way to get my original story into the hands of readers hungry for a wholesome, old-fashioned ghost story - as an eBook!

I'll probably still write the different version of The Whispering Ferns, depending on the reception this original one gets, or maybe I'll just move on to the second book in the series (It has pirates in it!) But either way, I have a way to share my new friends with everyone in the world, and that's super exciting!

So on April 26th, two years to the day since I decided to write it,  
The Whispering Ferns, A Moonstone Bay Mystery
There's that cover again!

will be released for sale on, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and all fine eBook sellers! It'll be a steal at $2.99, and I hope you'll check it out, review it and spread the word. And most importantly, I hope you enjoy the book!

The ROUS FAMILY -     


Anonymous said...

Good luck on your e-book sales. Fingers crossed for you. Am considering one myself after one of my novels doing the rounds for a few years. The last editor of a major house sent me a wonderful, appreciative personal rejection about it not being "commercial enough" to market during these times.
Hope you have great success!

Jonathon Arntson said...

Very interesting developments, Kris. Have you been keeping up with the ebook tour of my friend Anita? (I clearly have not been even though I am in charge of it.)

I recommend getting to know her. She's a fierce self-promoter and a great friend of mine:

Kris said...

Catherine - I'm very excited about this. I'd love to have it in a physical form, but like your book, it's not what people are buying now. There seems to be a dearth of good kids books on the sites too, so if we can get ours to stand out, we might stand a chance!

Kris said...

Jon -

I'll go immediately and check it out!

I've been so busy (And sick) lately, that I feel like I've skipped out on a lot of the blogging and promoting I should be doing, but then again, I kind of planned for this release to be a little under the radar while I get the kinks and particulars of e-pubbing sorted out.