Fourteen Stones sneak preview

My novel Fourteen Stones is shaping up into a real book. 🙂 We’re working on the proofs, and yesterday I got my first look at the official maps of my fictional world. Four years ago, I drew sketches – I’m no visual artist – to help me keep the places straight in my head and more-or-less consistent on the page. It’s amazing to see how those sketches (like Exhibit A, below) have turned into beautiful images.

My rough original sketch. Real map coming soon!

Fourteen Stones has had an unusual path to publication. When I first wrote it, I’d planned to try for the super-traditional route of agent and “regular” publisher. The challenge is that if you want to go super-traditional, you’ve also got to get used to thinking of yourself and your work mainly in terms of saleability. I’d thought at first that Fourteen Stones could be a commercial venture, but figured out pretty fast that it meant something else to me.

My publisher, The Patchwork Raven, is doing a beautiful job bringing this venture of my imagination to life. My book is the first novel they’ve published. All along the way, I’ve been so grateful for their love of the project and their belief in it.

It’s wild to think it’ll be out in the world in just a few months. Writers can’t help but dream of finding lots and lots of readers, but when I think about what I really hope for this book, my biggest hope is that it’ll find people who escape into its world the way I did, and love what they find there. In the writing, I wanted to offer some food for thought, sure; but I also wanted to carve out a space of peace and beauty. I hope readers looking for those things can find them in my pages.

Over the coming weeks, I’ll be talking more about the novel and offering a few more “teasers.” Today, I wanted to share the opening couple of pages. The story begins with a folktale, “Fourteen Stones,” which gave the book its name. Here’s the beginning of it:

The peninsula in the story, where Klaya’s homeland is, was inspired by a place in Spain called the Castros da Barogna. Located on a peninsula off the northern coast of Galicia, the Castros are the ruins of an Iron Age village. You can still see the village’s guarding wall and the foundations of houses.

View of the Castros da Barogna

Over the coming weeks, I’ll also be sharing more pictures of the places that inspired the world of Fourteen Stones. If you’d like to stay updated, please consider subscribing to the blog. Meanwhile, thanks so much for visiting!