Over the course of my career, both before and after I became a published author, I’ve written tons of short stories (defined as stories under 7,500 words), quite a few novelettes (defined as stories between 7,500 and 17,000 words), and going on 40 novels. The one thing I’d never written was a novella, which is something longer than 17,000 words, but shorter than a novel. (It depends on whose definition you look at as to what constitutes a novel; a commonly quoted number is 40,000 words, although your chances of getting a 40,000-word novel published are pretty damn slim.)
This spring, after turning in the manuscript for REPLICA (my next YA novel), I had a little free time on my hands–which, let me assure you, is a rare thing. I did manage to take a little time off in the hopes of staving off burn out, but it wasn’t long before I found myself feeling restless. I was hearing from a lot of readers bemoaning the end of my Faeriewalker series, and I knew there would be a significant gap between the release of the last Faeriewalker book and the first Replica book (right now it’s looking like REPLICA won’t come out until next summer).
I didn’t want to leave my YA readers in the lurch for two whole years, but I also didn’t have time to write a whole Faeriewalker novel before I would have to get started on book 3 of my Nikki Glass series. It seemed like the perfect time for me to try writing a novella for the first time. Especially now that it is possible to self-publish so easily. In the past, there really was little to no market for novellas–which is the main reason I’d never written one before.
The result of my little experiment is a 21K word novella entitled “Girls’ Night Out.” I had a blast writing it. There was no deadline, no expectations . . . in short, no pressure. It was the first time in a long while I’d written anything just for the fun of it. Sure, I was planning to self-publish it, but I hadn’t made any commitments. If I hadn’t had fun writing it, or if I hadn’t liked the finished project, I could have scrapped it without feeling like I let anyone else down. Writing it reminded me why I love writing so much in the first place.
I’m not sure exactly when it’s going to come out. The cover is in the works, and I’m waiting for the copyedits. But as soon as these are done, I’ll be able to put it up on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. (What a difference between turning a book in on March 1 of this year and having to wait until next summer for it to be published!) I got my first peek at the cover concept today, and I’m thrilled with it. I wish I could share it, but there are still a number of corrections to be made before I can go public with it. I may well be able to reveal it next week, so stay tuned. (I’ll update this post to add it if and when I can.)
I can’t share the front cover, but I can at least leave you with the back cover blurb in hopes it will tantalize you.
Dana is finally getting comfortable with her life as the only Faeriewalker in Avalon. She’s formed an alliance with the Erlking, a truce with the Queen of the Seelie Court, and best of all, no one’s tried to kill her for weeks.
Enter Althea – the teenage daughter of Mab, the Unseelie Queen. Dana knows from the moment she sets eyes on the wannabe Goth chick that Al is trouble, but she finds herself drawn to the wounded soul she glimpses beneath the Faerie glamour.
When Al asks Dana to take her into the mortal world to visit the human boyfriend her mother has driven away, Dana refuses, knowing that Queen Mab would hold her personally responsible if anything happened to her daughter. But Al is a Faerie princess, and she’s not used to taking no for an answer.
Will Dana ignore her common sense and risk the Unseelie Queen’s wrath to help her new BFF? And if not, just how far is Al willing to go to get her own way?
Edited to add:
As promised, here’s the cover for “Girls’ Night Out.”