My fifth novel, In Light’s Shadow: A Fairy Tale, is forthcoming and will be released on September 3, 2022, by JMS Books, LLC. This novel has been a long time coming. It had its genesis in a 2003 short story, “The Golden Boy,” published in The Silver Gryphon, eds. Gary Turner and Marty Halpern, by the late and lamented Golden Gryphon Press, in 2003. “The Golden Boy” was a finalist for the 2004 Spectrum Award for Short Fiction.
And here it is, 2022, and the novel based on this short story is due out in a few months. The story was well received. Gary Turner, the publisher of Golden Gryphon Press, suggested I turn it into a novel. So I did. I started sending out The Golden Boy no later 2007. By 2022, The Golden Boy had been sent to thirteen different presses. Yes, thirteen. The responses ranged from nothing, not even an acknowledgment of receipt, to a long and detailed letter. Each time the novel, I edited and revised–and often, when it came back, more editing and revising.
Now, you may be wondering how it took 15 years to get to print. Life sort of intervened. Harvest of Changelings came out in 2007, its sequel, The Called, in 2010, from Golden Gryphon Press. Not longer that, Golden Gryphon had to close its doors. I did get the press’s logo tattooed on my left shoulder. The Werewolf and His Boy was published by Samhain Press in 2016–and sadly, a year or so later, Samhain closed its doors. Small independent presses all too often don’t have long lifespans. But, that said, of the thirteen to which I sent The Golden Boy–and I did not send it to Golden Gryphon or Samhain–eleven still seem to be alive and well.
In addition to sending various incarnations in the past 15 years, I was busy teaching at the University of Mary Washington, which had its own academic writing demands, and the lesson plans, conferences, classes, and all the rest. Sometimes the book just sat there. Then, ahhh, I’d try again. And again.
Then came 2020, another revision, out to Mirror World in Windsor, Ontario, three chapters, a request for the rest, and then, a long, thoughtful, and detailed rejection letter explaining why, with suggestion for improvement. All right …. but 2020 intervened. I was already on track for retirement, then the pandemic, going online to teach, moving from Fredericksburg to Charlottesville, and finally in 2021, I got back to the novel. A revision. Then, my extraordinary friend and free-lance editor, Ellen McQueen, went to work on The Golden Boy.
Now here we are, with a new title, In Light’s Shadow: A Fairy Tale, and a signed contract with JMS Books, whom I contacted to re-release The Werewolf and His Boy in 2020. The golden boy is still alive and well, but over the years, some things have changed, and Gavin Bookers is a far more active hero. The novel is about him, and about their relationship, as it evolves from their boyhood to adulthood in a dystopian world. The motifs of light and dark, shadow and light, multicolored lights, are sharper, and more vivid.
I hope you like the novel.
Post 1, January 2022
If you are reading this post, then my website, Kingdom of Joria (https://kingdomofjoria.com) has gone live.
This is my second website. The first I created with the assistance of Jim Groom, former head of DTLT, at the University of Mary Washington. Well, more like I assisted him. For various and boring reasons, that website has been buried in a local cyber graveyard. Thank you, Jim!
Here, you will find descriptions of and excerpts from my published fiction, cover art, and buy links. There is a calendar of upcoming events, as they are scheduled. Also, you will find a writer’s bio and contact information.
I want to thank Digital Learning Support’s amazingShannon Hauser and Jerry Slezak. Without their support, hands-on assistance, and troubleshooting, and answering questions, I could not have constructed this website. I want to especially thank Shannon, who directly shepherded me through this process.
So, what can you expect to find here in these occasional posts? Raves and rants, reflections and musings on writing–my writing and the writing of others, for starters. Thoughts on storytelling and the craft of writing, on language, on metaphor. On science fiction and fantasy, on fairytale and folklore, especially gay-themed science fiction and fantasy, as this is mostly what I write. Gay SF and fantasy I see as rhetorical acts, and ongoing arguments for their inherent value, their essential nature, their truths,
Yes, I know not to expect a large audience, or an audience period, especially not at first.
So be it. Thanks for stopping by.