Sometimes the Universe steps in. After much discussion with my publisher and the acquisition editor, I am rethinking what to do with The Lost Song Trilogy. Though a simple story, the books have broader themes that may be more suitable for a different publisher. In fact, it was suggested I look for a Chic Lit publisher.
Though flattered, I wondered about that distinction. Yet, I have never thought I was a regular romance writer. A crossroads like this always makes you doubt your ability and whether you have something to say. But when I was faced with cutting the trilogy by half, I examined what I was trying to do and realized that I would sacrifice much in order to be published. Then, it became clear there was something else at work here that was bigger than me.
I looked again at Kim Clune’s insightful review of The Bowdancer, and was once more humbled by her words. (If you wish to read it, here’s the link: http://thepaganandthepenbookreviews.blogspot.com/2010/04/bowdancer-by-janie-franz.html ) Kim understood the nuances of the story and why I have been so enamored by who Jan-nell is. The Lost Song continues the story begun in The Bowdancer, the tale of a village healer who keeps looking for belonging and family, and her further experiences in The Wayfarer’s Road and Warrior Women–all by the same publisher.
But The Lost Song explores more than exotic landscapes and sexual delights that this particular publisher is producing. And there is an eager market out there for it. And for awhile I thought I was producing that kind of material, but I wasn’t. As Jan-nell searches for belonging, she is continuing a spiritual awakening that her training as a bowdancer had only begun and that is tied to a sexual awakening. Her encounters with foreign cultures and beliefs show her deeper connections to strangers that she felt to kin in her village. There is strong feminism within the saga that includes men who are equals. There is a respect for other cultures and an awareness that teachers come in all forms–even in the minds of the young. In addition, there is also an dark look into cruelty that is shaped by belief.
So, I’m shopping for a new home for the trilogy. I have it under consideration with another publisher now, but I may still need to look further. And I may need to do a lot of work on it. Though I don’t know what the outcome will be, I stand by my story.
But for some reason, this shaking up of my world made me realize that this was a strong message from the Universe to move forward. The Bowdancer Saga has been a very unusual journey for me. When the first book was published, I asked, “Why this one? Why not something else I had in a drawer?” And the answer that came not only from other writer friends but also from somewhere deep inside my spirit was that this was the correct one to begin my life as a published novelist. As the series developed, I found themes that I never thougth of in the original story but tied to it strongly.
And the writing of the next two books and then the trilogy began to influence other books that I wrote and now have pending with other publishers. Currently, I have four other pieces in the hands of two publishers, plus what is happening with The Lost Song.
I have to thank many writer friends who showed me that they could offer many books under different publishing houses because they had different things to say in different forms. It is just good business to put your work in the hands of experienced folks who know what to do with a particular genre or type of book.
Currently, we are finishing up the final work on The Wayfarer’s Road, the second book in The Bowdancer Saga. It will be out August 6. I’m very excited to have that work read by all of you. I think you’ll like seeing what happened to Jan-nell after she left her village. And I know you’ll enjoy Khrin the wandering bard.
I’ll keep you posted on what happens to The Lost Song and the other work I have pending.