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If you’re a frequent Ozarks Maven reader, you know I’m a writer. I’ve been published in many different magazines, journals, and anthologies. I do not, however, have my own book written completely by my own hand. Yet. I will have one very soon, though.
I’ve been working on my short story collection for a few years now. The seeds of this project were planted by my friend Priscilla, who told me I needed to put my short stories into a book for everyone to enjoy. She mentioned that most folks don’t see some of the places where my stories have been published.
She had a great point. How many of you have even heard of Mamalode Magazine or Maine Review, let alone know where to find them? Priscilla’s wisdom appealed to my logic. Her faith in my work touched my heart, and I began to ponder how to tackle such an undertaking.
Fortunately, I still own my rights to the work that’s been published, so I was able to choose from my published as well as my unpublished pieces. My first draft contained nearly forty stories of every genre I’ve ever written. While it would have been a nice collection, it didn’t feel right. It would have been thick and expensive, and I didn’t want to burden my readers with a high price tag.
My next draft contained twenty-five stories, but it still felt like I was trying to bundle too many together. Finally, I decided on fifteen as my magic number. Choosing only fifteen stories was a difficult task. I began the decision by printing the twenty-five stories I liked best, using my three-hole punch to make them binder-friendly, and then putting them into a large notebook. I carefully considered how I would group them. I decided I wanted waves of emotion. I wanted stories that make you laugh interspersed with ones that scare you or make you cry.
I moved the stories around in my notebook around until I felt like I’d accomplished my mission. Then I began the difficult task of reducing them down to fifteen. It took me several days, but I finally settled on the desired number of stories.
Moonbeams and Ashes: Tales of Mystery, Love, and the Paranormal is coming soon, and I’m excited to share my cover with you! My amazing friend, Sharon, made this cover, and I am ecstatic with it! After visiting about what I envisioned, she came up with a few ideas. The moment I opened this image, I knew it was the one.
Moombeams and Ashes contains stories of mystery, adventure, love, humor, and paranormal creatures. Yes, there are a few ghosts. I just love a good ghost story, and I couldn’t possibly leave them out. There’s also a Bigfoot couple, some of our favorite nursery rhyme characters, an evil vampire, some wolves, and lots of fun. Not all of the tales are paranormal. Can you imagine what would happen if a few donkeys came to visit? What if a psychotic rooster refused leave you alone? How would you feel if you found a cache of stolen pandemic supplies in your basement?
The tales you’ll find in this book are: Clean Heist, Aunt Rose’s Cabin, Gold Grand Prix, A Bigfoot’s Big Dreams, Silver’s Curse, Aunt Ida, Devil Rooster, One Foggy Night, Grandma Dottie’s Secret Recipes, A Terrible Neighbor, Gwen’s Used Books, Yellow Bicycle, Lost Sheep, Ashes in the Evening, and Runaway Asses. You may have read some of them in different places, but many of the stories in this collection will be enjoying their very first time in print. As of this writing, I don’t have a release date, but I will soon. I’ll keep you posted.
If you’re wondering about my novel, it’s still undergoing final edits. I want it to be of the highest quality before I send it off for publication. I’m hoping to be finished by Christmas.
Thank you for reading Ozarks Maven! If you’ve enjoyed my little seeds of wisdom and joy, please subscribe to Ozarks Maven, Like Ozarks Maven on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter @OzarksMaven.