Children’s Books

Wisp the Faery- Rebooted

Years ago I wrote a little story about a faery (or “fairy” if you prefer – same thing) named Wisp and her journey from a freshly born ball of light to a winged girl fey. It was eventually expanded on and lengthened into a short novel and published, but sales were poor and it was eventually shelved. But the story that went out wasn’t really the one I wanted out there, for various reasons, so I’ve had it mind for a while to rewrite and reedit Wisp closer to my original vision. I don’t have a timeline for this, and it might not reach fruition, but I’m going to put a link on the blog for continuing chapter updates. The idea is that it will be periodic chapter posts, but without a set structure. Many of the chapters work fine as is; others need heavy rewriting or complete scrapping and toss in the garbo-bin.

The book was broken into three parts originally and actually published as three small tiny books with artwork. Each one focused on a different character (Wisp, Puck, and Nobb) although there was character overlap. I tentatively had the idea to write a series set in that world based around the mythology, the series being called Tales From the Nowhere & Neverwhen. Now, I seriously doubt anything will evolve from that now, but the idea interested me for a while.

So, if you’re curious, some of Wisp’s initial chapters can be found here.


Harold Book 1 in layout


Well, after many (too many) delays, Harold & the Dreadful Dreams is inching ever closer to self-publication through a small Winston-Salem Press (Empower Publishing). I was able to include all the interior art that I originally wanted, as that was something always important to me and the way I envisioned the book, sort of like an old 1980’s Choose Your Own Adventure.

I’m not expecting any kind of miracle from this publication, but one can always hope. At the very least perhaps it can push the door open to publish more books, especially my story-poem series that is still more or less collecting dust on virtual hard drives.

I have tentative plans for some Harold sequels too, but that largely depends on how this one does.


THE SQUIDNADO!

An Agent’s Blog

Here, publishing agent Sarah Lapolla has some tips and advice on how the world of publishing works and what she herself looks for in the children’s book industry.

Private: “Hauser Wows Students at Davis-Townsend Middle School!”

Davis_Townsend1

IF that headline sounds particularly self-indulgent and egregiously egotistical – you’re right, it is.  But, it’s also accurate, and absolutely deliberate.  Last week I gave two more hour long local lectures for 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students at Davis Townsend Middle School in Lexington, NC.  The class size was bumped up 8x larger than the students at Westchester (200 this time), and I had to give two lectures back to back in the gymnasium, one for 2nd/3rd, and then 4th/5th.  As before, the presentation was primarily about Book 1 of the Tales from the NoWhere & NeverWhen – Wisp the Wayfinder – but the core idea of the lecture was to engage the students and talk about the Creative Process.

I had a lot of fans that day, they all seemed to really enjoy it. The younger students especially were WOWed by the scary pictures in the Powerpoint. Some even asked to see them again once the presentation was over!  We concluded with a lengthy Q&A and then lunch with 14 students who had been chosen to have lunch with the presenter – Me!

Davis-Townsend2

Oh, and HERE is the picture that elicited more gasps than any other, from my favorite childhood film, Clash of the Titans (1981)

medusa3

Maybe you’re wondering, what the heck does Medusa have to do with Wisp the Wayfinder the faery?  Well, directly, nothing at all.  The presentation was primarily about Creative Inspiration and Imagination, and where it comes from.  For me, Greek mythology was a HUGE part of my early reading agenda, and this movie is one in particular that has always stood out.

 

Presentation at Westchester Middle School, High Point, NC

Westchester Middle School presentation 2017

Westchester Middle School presentation 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was asked to give a lecture about Wisp the Wayfinder at Westchester Middle School, from which I am an alumni myself when I was 12 years old.
I barely remembered the layout of the facility, and it’s likely changed since my early days there, but the Middle School building was identical and I experienced some brief deja vu.

This presentation was for a small English class of about 30 students and their teacher, focusing primarily on the Creative Process and my early inspirations and reading habits.  The kids loved it!

A Peek into Wisp, Puck and Nobb

So, I am in the process of editing the sequel to Wisp; the title is Puck the Pathwinder.  The original draft of this story was written 2 years ago, the same as the others in the trilogy. The original Wisp story was only 3000 words, really just intended as a children’s book, but my editor at Dragon Scale encouraged me to expand it to meet the lengths of the two sequels, which were much longer.  Well, long as far as middle grade books go, not long in terms of an adult fantasy novel.

Wisp Book 1 turned out longer than expected, and now the sequels are expanding some too as the story grows in new directions.  I’m not so much “writing” these stories as just unearthing them, and I don’t really know how much content is there until I get all the dirt cleared off, metaphorically speaking.

Now, I always liked the first Wisp story, don’t get me wrong, but it was originally intended as a standalone book.  The concept for the sequels of Puck and Nobb didn’t come until later, and now I have had to go back and rewrite Book 1 to mesh better with Books 2 & 3 so they are a cohesive trilogy.  Book 2 and Book 3 were already conjoined at the hip, so that wasn’t so much of a problem.

But adding so much content to Book 1 has created a natural overflow of characters and plot into Book 2, and this will also spill into Book 3.   If you have read Book 1, I can say that all of the boglin characters are completely new.  The scene with the ogre is greatly expanded, and the ending of the book is different.

As a single story over a three book arc, I think it functions pretty well.  The sequels get darker and more action oriented, but that’s just I myself would like to read, and I guess as a writer, I have to write what entertains myself first and just hopes it works for others too!

Bog Thing concept Art from Book 2

Here’s a little color rendition I did a couple of years ago when drawing concept art for Puck the Pathwinder, Book 2 of the trilogy.  I called it a “mugwump” originally, and I guess it kind of does look like a mugwump, right?

bog-thing-color

Not Enough: Four Reasons why I Can’t be Satisfied with Self-Publication.

Jessica Crichton

“Why waste your time and energy on querying when you can self-publish?”

It’s a question I’ve grown used to over the years as I’ve posted on Facebook about my querying adventures… which always end in seemingly-obligatory rejection.  Because they love me, fellow writers, family, and friends all want to know the same thing:

“Why do this to yourself?” they ask. “It’s the digital age! You don’t have to deal with agents and publishers anymore!”

Actually, yes: I do. But it’s not always easy to explain why. After all, many writers have found great success in self-publishing, and it’s no longer a huge no-no even among the well-read.

Heck, I actually have self-published, even writing quite a few blog posts about my adventures. In fact, my self-publishing career has spanned longer than most know, as my very first self-publication came out way back in 1998: a story called The…