Friday, December 9, 2016

Storyteller's Journey

Photo Credit: Public Domain
 A Holiday Update!

Since it has been a while since I last mentioned any specifics regarding my current projects, I thought it was time to post an update. (I'll also post my quarterly newsletter next week.)

The whimsical illustration below is just one of the lovely paintings my husband - Michael Lindstrom - has created for our next holiday picture book for children:

                                     Journey to Snowdonia

Victorian Singers, by Michael Lindstrom
10X8 oil on canvas - Copyright 2016
While it won't be released until September 2017, I was anxious to give you a "sneak peek" at the book projects we've been collaborating on!

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For those of you who follow this blog regularly, you may recall me mentioning, some time ago, that our debut book - The Scandinavian Santa - was slated to be brought to life on the small stage in a multi-media production. Those production plans have been cancelled.
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I also recently completed the first draft (text only) for a third children's holiday picture book we'll be collaborating on: The Whim of Winter.

Synopsis: (Protagonist's name XXXXXX not yet determined.)

In a century long ago, in a stone,
croft cottage, lives a ten-year-old girl
named XXXXXX. She and her father dwell
on the island of Unst where the North Sea
crashes into the Atlantic Ocean. They used 
to survive by selling their salted mackerel
to the merchants who came from far and
wide for the seafood delicacy. But ever
since the stingy English Parliament
placed a heavy, and unfair, tax on the fish
trade, XXXXXX and her father barely get by.

In desperation, the peasant girl whispers
a plea to the darkened sky over Scotland.

A fortnight before Christmas, a snowy owl
appears outside the loft where XXXXXX sleeps
and persistently pecks at the wooden shutter.
The young girl opens the shutter and receives
a message from the mysterious owl. In so doing
she and her Shetland pony, Duffy – along with
the snowy owl - embark on an extraordinary
journey that takes them far from the croft
cottage, to an ancient castle high above the
craggy cliffs of the angry North Sea. The secret
XXXXXX ultimately uncovers there will change
her life, and the life of her father, forever.

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As you can see, I have an affinity for books that occur in winter! The Whim of Winter is one I'm really excited about. It's set in the northernmost reaches of Scotland where the population is a blend of residents with Scottish & Norse heritage - Shetlanders. (We will again feature our Scandinavian background in a book!)

Note: All three of the "picture books" mentioned above are really illustrated short stories. (If you're a writer you know the difference!) We've referred to our "Wintertime Tales" as picture books since the dimensions of our books, and the number of pages in each, are so similar to a typical picture book format.

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Lastly, my MG manuscript, Livvi Biddle, will soon be with my amazing beta readers. The plan is to attend the SCBWI Winter Conference in February; hopefully I might meet an agent that would like to champion my fantasy novel. As you can see, I've got plenty to keep me busy!

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