I met fellow writer Maya Lassiter (who writes an eclectic and highly entertaining blog about her yurt-living, kid-and-goat-raising, writing life) back in 2001, when Orson Scott Card ran his first annual writing week, called Uncle Orson’s Literary Boot Camp. The workshop was open to 20 of us, who auditioned with writing samples, and it was completely transformational to my writing. Scott Card was the first one to get me to understand that you didn’t have to wait for ideas, that you could go out and find them whenever you needed them. He was the one who explained that most of us write about a million words of garbage (literally) before we really start getting good. He was the one who explained to me the principles of writing clearly rather than prettily.
It’s not a great surprise to me that many students of that Literary Boot Camp have gone on to substantial success. Doug Cohen became a successful fiction writer and the editor of a major fantasy magazine. James Maxey authored multiple successful novels, including the Bitterwood and Dragon Age series. Jud Roberts‘ deeply-researched and adventure-filled Strongbow Saga has garnered eager fans for its first three books, with a fourth on the way. Ty Franck’s collaboration with Daniel Abraham (as James Corey), Leviathan Wakes, became a bestseller. I could go on.
In any case, I later founded a group called Codex, which many Boot Camp alums joined, including Maya, and on Codex we like to have fiction contests. When we held a collaboration contest, Maya and I got together and came up with a story about violin making and badly-understood magic, a novelette that was eventually titled “The Violin Maker’s Wife.” It won that contest.
A couple of months ago, Maya and I decided to put the story out where it could be read and published it for the Amazon Kindle. Note that Amazon Prime members can read it free by using their free monthly Kindle rental.
Maya worked with her regular cover artist, Ida Larsen to devise a cover, and recently we finished the formatting and took it live. Here’s the description:
“The Violin Maker’s Wife” is a historical fantasy novelette, set in 1870s Missouri, and is about forty pages long.
Nora Warren always knew there was something uncanny about her husband Tom’s work. What she didn’t know what that his enchanted violins could be deadly. Tom’s friend has one of the exquisite instruments, as does Tom himself. So does Garrett, Nora’s only son.
But Tom has looked too deeply into his own magic, and Garrett is in danger. Now Nora must find the answers Tom can’t give her, even if it means searching for spells hidden in his workshop, questioning a secret society of musicians, and following dangerous lights out into the wilderness. Tom has looked where he shouldn’t, but to save Garrett it’s Nora who must find who–or what–has looked back.