Writer. Adventurer. Currently working on The Dreamless City, a series of steampunk novels and short stories.
I’m really giddy about this announcement, I’m not gonna lie to you. I’ve been working on my Gaslight Carnival project since the beginning of the year, and I’m so excited to see it in the digital flesh. As I mentioned a few times earlier this year, I’m not around on my blog as often as I used to be because I’m using that time to write my stories (like this!).
This story (unlike so many that are still percolating in my brain) came about very quickly. I had the idea for the “magic system,” which in this case is the alchemy as the first piece. After I read a carniepunk story by Seanan McGuire, I knew I wanted to write about a carnival. The last piece fell into place when I evaluated my recent stories and realized they were all romances. I wanted to write a story where the main characters were not the love interests for each other, so I ended up with Margo and Leonard, twins who were separated when one of them was sold to a traveling carnival.
The biggest surprise for me came when the story grew from a short story (ideally 4000-7500 words) into a novella of 30,000 words. While I have seen novellas of this length called novels, I don’t want to lead anyone on that it is a 400-page epic fantasy. Honestly, it was a perfect project for me to publish on Amazon, large enough to be a full story with beginning, middle, and end, but still small enough in scope that I could reach the end. (Previously, I’ve lamented that I don’t finish things, so scaling down my challenge to manageable obviously made a difference.)
Margo Crestley is an alchemist mixing elixirs in the Dreamless City without a license. When the district crime lord threatens blackmail, Margo pins her hopes on someone she has not seen in four years — her twin brother Leonard.
Sold to the traveling Gaslight Carnival by the twins’ father, Leonard is treated like property. Margo scrimps and saves to buy his freedom, but the Ringmaster is unwilling to let him go. The young alchemist can only win her brother back if she participates in the capricious Ringmaster’s cruel games.
Time is running out. The crime lord’s threats are turning violent, and the Gaslight Carnival will soon be gone. The giant glowing balloons and striped carnival tents are set up for three days only before disappearing for another year along with the daredevil stunts, the freak show, and the rigged games of chance. Can Margo save her twin brother in time, or will she be left alone to face the crime lord herself?
If you would like to support me, sharing news about my book is a great (and free) way to share the love. (You can reach out to me and I’ll always try to do the same.) I don’t have the budget for a lot of the paid marketing, so warm fuzzies are always appreciated. When people start writing, they are afraid that no one will like their work. What everyone should be afraid of is that no one will ever read their work. A lot of people don’t like 50 Shades of Grey, but it is mind-boggling how many people have read it or talked about it. If I had a book that was notorious, I’d still be okay with that. ;)
Buying Gaslight Carnival on Amazon is also cool, of course!
The biggest help anyone can give a self-published author is to write a review of their book. If you read my book, regardless of whether you like it or love it, please take a minute to leave an honest review on Amazon. I want it all, the good, the bad, and the freak show!
Thanks to everyone who has supported me along the way. My family, especially my long-suffering husband, have encouraged my writing and given me extra time, especially as I worked to wrap up this project. My mother, an epic-level typist and transcriptionist, helped edit this story (although I’ll still claim any and all mistakes from this amazing learning experience as mine). I love you guys!
A special shout out to my RATS crew, fellow writers challenging each other to write bigger and better every day. We might have met during a Mary Robinette Kowal workshop, but I think we have grown from that sleep-deprived beginning into an awesome and diverse team. I am amazed by your creativity, your writing craft, and your generosity. Thank you!
And to all my friends who smiled and nodded when I told them about this whole writing gig. Thanks for not bursting my bubble and for all the kind words I needed when doubt crept in. You might not have known what you were doing, but you’re a piece of this process too!
And to everyone else, remember: Dreaming is dangerous. Live dangerously.