Book Launch: The Pup And The Pianist

It is 1814 and war is still raging between France and England.

Thirteen-year-old Max is a powder monkey aboard the HMS Wind, a British warship. His captain is in pursuit of a phantom French frigate, and he will stop at nothing to find it. When they reach the other side of the world, the French are discovered and battle breaks out at sea. Merciless cannons tear both of the warships to shreds right before a storm hits. Left with the choice to either sink along with his burning ship, or make the impossible swim to The Galapagos islands, Max barely makes it to foreign lands alive. He soon discovers an enemy lying on the shore, but the French boy’s face is burned so badly that he can no longer see. Far away from their homes, the war, and their countrymen, Max and his new companion fight to survive in their new reality at the end of the world.

p and p 1.jpg

The Pup And The Pianist is now available on Amazon Kindle and in print on Amazon! Grab your copy now!

– Sara Kjeldsen


Not a novelist

I think referring to myself as a “novella-ist” might be a more accurate way to describe myself. With the exception of my first YA novel (By the Sword), my other two books have ended up at novella length, even after much editing and “beefing up” of the plot line. I don’t know what it is, but writing tighter with fewer characters just works better for me.

I do envy the novelists, of course. But I don’t really think that is what I am. Perhaps one day I will write a 500 page novel to call my own, but right now, if my books turn out to be shorter than average, then why be concerned?

My opinion is that a writer has a story to tell. Period. Word count is irrelevant so long as the story and its characters are of excellent quality.

So, are any of you chronic novella writers? Do you know of any publishers that do accept novellas? I am curious.

The Next Big Thing

My very awesome fellow blogger Corey M.P. tagged me for The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. (She also just published her first novel, HIGH,on December 28, 2012!!)

So, “The Next Big Thing” is a great opportunity for writers to post about their latest WIP. So, here I go!

How It Works:

If I tag you, use this format for your post
. Include an introduction to your interview post and a link to the person who tagged you for participation. Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (Work In Progress). Include some pictures if possible. Tag five other writers/bloggers by sending them an email and then add their links to the end of your interview post. Their answers should go up the week after. The blog post should be labeled: The Next Big Thing Blog Hop.

Here are my answers:

1. What is the working title of your book? Frozen

2. Where did the idea come from for the book? Honestly, a couple of years ago I watched the film “Franklyn” and the disturbed, quirky, beautiful Emilia just absolutely inspired me. It was also winter and I was listening to a lot of Red songs, so this strange new world formed in my mind as I drove home that night. I wanted the story to center around this broken young woman and the whole concept of her living in an ice city just made me so inspired to start writng Frozen.

3. What genre does your book fall under? Fantasy, or possibly horror? Dark fantasy?

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? It is difficult to picture actors to play any of my characters, because they look so “different” from usual people. I didn’t have any specific person in mind as I wrote in each character. They are all originals in my mind. 🙂

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?  Ivea is determined to find out what happens after death – and when she does, she can’t decide if the hell she is sentenced to will be worse than the one that she is currently living in.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? It is a novella, so I will be self-publishing this book as well. 

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? Roughly one year. I have been editing it ever since.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Hm. The story as a whole is not something I have read before. Princess Ivea could certainly relate to Emilia in Franklyn to some degree, though.

9. Who or What inspired you to write this book? The film Franklyn, winter, the bands Red and Flyleaf, ridiculous religious practices, friends.

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? There is a secret that the high priest has kept from everyone – even from the other priests – that could set everyone in the city free.

P.S. I tag all of you! Just link back to my blog and let me know if you decide to take part. I’d love to hear more about all of your current works in progress!


Setting “Followed” Aside

The creative writing process can change so quickly. Four months ago, I thought that I was ready to publish my second novel, Followed, but after some very helpful beta readers, I realized that it wasn’t ready at all. I made so many changes from then until early December and then got wary of the whole thing. So, Followed has gone from almost published to sitting in my file folder.

I just need a break from it all. The underlying premise is good, but I need some more distance to figure out what I really want to do with it.

On the bright side? My third novel, Frozen, was also nearly completed around the time that I was editing Followed, so that is my “next big thing”. It is a novella, but my passion and drive for this story is immense, even from the beginning. More on it later! 🙂

I hope all of you have a wonderful new year! Here’s to many inspirations and completed stories!

Write On

Well, November and NaNoWriMo are long gone now. I did not end up participating in NaNo after all my talking and planning about it – I feel so bad! I ended up putting my focus in the freelance writing gig, and when that didn’t pan out so well… I scrambled to find a full time job to ease the stress and put me back in more of a creative writing mood. I’ve learned a lot over the past month, that’s for sure.

But all the above is rather boring and in the past, anyways. I am excited to say that Followed is nearly done the re-write phase. Soon the beta reader phase will be in order and I will find out for real if it’s as good as I hope it is.

I also started this new novella project (I know, I know. Here we go again!) that I have wanted to write for almost two years. It was actually inspired by a country-themed editorial shoot in a fashion magazine, but there is such an interesting story potential with the quirky model and the unique, whimsical surroundings in each image. *Sigh* But I will try not to get too side-tracked – Followed and Frozen are both nearly finished books and they need to be my main focus right now.

2013 will be an exciting year, book wise. 🙂

Since it has been much too long since I have heard from most of you, please tell me what you have been up to over the past month and a bit. Any new projects underway?


Two years ago, I was horrified when the first draft of my third novel sat at a mere 24,000 words. That was back when my life’s dream was to get an agent. I thought at the time that all the energy I put into a story I really had written from the heart was all for nothing unless I added a whopping 50K or 60K more words. The thing is, the skeleton of the story was good the way it was. Sure, it needed some work. With some editing, I have added more depth to the story but it still only sits at just over the 30K mark.

Some stories are just meant to be novellas. With Amazon and smaller presses, it is far easier to publish a short story. I am comfortable that this third book will never be a full length novel.

Now the question is, how marketable/desirable are novellas these days? I have been thinking about this with every edit.

I came across an article about novellas whole doing a Google search. It’s two years old now, but it is an interesting take on the step child of books. Apparently, they are no longer considered the “ugly duckling of the literary world”. Woot!

A lot of people might enjoy a quick yet intense read. Others may feel cheated and wish there was more. Or, maybe some people that wouldn’t normally read might pick up a book if they noticed it wasn’t super thick.

I am curious to hear your opinion about novellas. Would you purchase one? Have you? Do you like reading shorter stories?