Monday, 19 July 2010

Why Novellas?

The smart-aleck answer is "Why not?" but that isn’t really an answer.

I write Regencies, and I started out writing full length novels. I actually have two in various states of completion, and one finished. I’ve been shopping my finished one around, but no luck so far.

My first published work, Lady of the Stars, is a novella because it started life as a contest entry. In 2007, The Wild Rose Press ran a time travel contest, entries to be between 15,000 to 25,000 words. An editor would provide a free critique for each entry.

I saw two words: EDITOR and FREE. So, I wrote a time travel back to Regency England (natch). I lost, but the editor said she would consider publishing Lady as a stand-alone if I rewrote it. I rewrote it twice before she gave me a contract. My first. If you want all the gory details, they’re here.

Lady of the Stars is about 21,000 words and was a finalist in the 2010 EPIC EBook Competition in Science Fiction Romance. RT Book Reviews gave it 4 stars. Review here (c0ntains spoilers).

A legend spanning time and the man and woman caught in it.

Caroline knows something is wrong the instant she steps from her holiday cottage into that unusual gazebo with two doors. But when a man she knows she will never see again appears outside the gazebo, she flings caution aside and plunges through the back door, crashing into the man--and 1817.

A voyage through time? Impossible. Richard refuses to believe the strange woman's outlandish tale. Still, the lady is lost and alone, and he helps the stranded wayfarer.

But as attraction flares between these two lonely people, Richard's family legend grinds to its ultimate fulfillment--will it bring them together, or tear them apart forever?

Excerpt here and buy link here.

My next novella, Pumpkinnapper, is a Halloween story. I was reading up on holiday legends, and an idea about pumpkin thieves popped into my head. Add a goose, one of my favorite animals, and I have a story about a love triangle: man, woman and goose. Not too many heroes find their rival is the heroine’s pet goose. And geese can bite.

Pumpkinnapper is also about 21,000 words.

Pumpkin thieves, a youthful love rekindled and a jealous goose. Oh my!

Last night someone tried to steal the widowed Mrs. Emily Metcalfe's pumpkins. She's certain the culprit is her old childhood nemesis and the secret love of her youth, Henry, nicknamed Hank, whom she hasn't seen in ten years.

Henry, Baron Grey, who's never forgotten the girl he loved but couldn't pursue so long ago, decides to catch Emily's would-be thief. Even after she reveals his childhood nickname--the one he would rather forget. And even after her jealous pet goose bites him in an embarrassing place.

Oh, the things a man does for love.

Excerpt here and buy link here.

The Wild Rose Press will release my third novella, Mistletoe Everywhere, on November 3. Again, I was reading up on holiday legends. We all know about kissing under the mistletoe, but mistletoe is also the plant of peace. Enemies meeting under the mistletoe must declare a truce. So, I thought up a story about a man who sees mistletoe, which may or may not be real, above the lady who jilted him. Trouble is, the lady thinks he jilted her and she doesn’t see mistletoe.

Mistletoe Everywhere is about 26,000 words. My novellas are getting longer!

A man who sees mistletoe everywhere is mad--or in love.

Charles sees mistletoe. Not surprising, since he's spending Christmas at Mistletoe Manor. But why does no one else see it? And why does it always appear above Penelope, the despised lady who jilted him after their last meeting?

Penelope wants nothing to do with the faithless Charles, the man who cried off after she accepted his marriage proposal. But he still stirs her heart--and he stares at her all the time. Or rather, he stares at the empty ceiling over her head…What does he see?

According to folklore, mistletoe is the plant of peace. Can Penelope and Charles, so full of hurt and anger, heed the mistletoe's message and make peace?

Excerpt here.

I would be happy to give you the buy link, but, alas, I don’t have one yet.

My current opus, almost finished, is a Regency summer story. Right now, the length stands at about 28,000 words. I plan on submitting it next month. Here’s the tag line: The way to a man’s heart is through a book--as long as it’s the right book.

Now, as if you haven't read enough Shameless Promotion, here's some more.

I'm part of the Romance Junkies Summer Contest.

I'm giving away a PDF copy of Lady of the Stars, as well as a bag or box of chocolate candy.

Answer the trivia question on my page

and send an email to Romance Junkies. See my page for all the details.

Thank you all,
Linda Banche
Enter My World of Historical Hilarity


Lindsay Townsend said...

What super novellas! That's another beauty of the shorter forms of novels - a writer can experiment and stretch the genre a bit, which is great fun.

I love your work and I'm looking forward to you Mistletoe Everywhere.

Good luck with the Romance Junkies contest and also with placing your full length novel.

For those who are interested I have lots of publisher info if you email me off-list.

Super start to short story and novella week, Linda - thank you!

Linda Banche said...

And thank you, too, Lindsay. Nice to know I have a fan out there! *g*

StephB said...

Thanks for sharing with us. I like the length of the novella. Your stories sound very cool. Looking forward to putting them on my TBR pile.


Susan Macatee said...

I have several shorter-length stories downloaded on my new NOOK and plan to get more.

As a writer, I've written a few myself and once I finish the first draft of my latest novel, I want to experiment with the shorter lengths. It takes less time to plot out, write and edit, and if contracted, it will be a shorter time to publication and my publisher, The Wild Rose Press, is looking for short right now.

Seems like a win-win situation, since readers are looking for shorter lengths right now.

Kathy Otten said...

I love reading novellas, especially Christmas ones. It's a busy time of year and I can usually read one at night when the house is quiet.

Linda Banche said...

Thanks, Steph.

Hi Susan. I certainly hope short sells, I have three, going on four!

I agree with you, Kathy. I like seasonal novellas, especially Christmas ones. Nothing like a seasonal story to get you in the mood.

Savanna Kougar said...

Linda, I love your plot/ideas and all the excerpts of yours I've read.

I so need more time to read.

I didn't realize shorter stories or novellas were so popular. Unfortunately, then, my next release is over 100,000 words... dang! And, I worked so hard on it.

Oh, well, I have my first antho short story is coming out for Halloween.

Rebecca J Vickery said...

Hi LindaB,
Loved the ideas you've used to create your world in novella form. I'm like Savanna, though, my stories tend to be loooong. LOL
But I definitely need to work on a novella and soon. Learn to say more with less, as one editor put it to me.

LK Hunsaker said...

Hey Linda, you know I enjoyed Pumpkinnapper. You have a definite unique flair. :-)

And I love your "Why not?" answer!

Mary Ricksen said...

Loved Lady, you know I am crazy about time travel.
I hated for it to end!

Linda Banche said...

Thanks, Savanna and Rebecca. LOL, I have trouble writing long. It takes all kinds!

Hi LK. Thanks, and since you read PUMPKINNAPPER, you know I can't resist putting something funny in.

Thank you, Mary. I'm glad you liked LADY. I have a soft spot in my heart for that story, too.