More than a few years ago I worked on an anthology project with the Fresno Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers. It had a pretty cool theme, with stories that were connected to a specific family and place, as well as to the stories preceding and following our own.
The place was a fictional town in England by the name of Woadsbury (known for growing the woad dye plant and making the blue dye itself). The family was the resident, or in some cases, ruling family of the town. There was no restriction on time period, and so the antho opened with a story that pre-dated history and ended with one set in the far future in space.
The story I wrote took place in the early 1600’s during one of Europe’s witch-hunting phases, and was a charming fantasy about a young healer and her dog. It’s my mother’s favorite story that I’ve written.
Unfortunately, the FSFW group disbanded and its members are now scattered across the world. Our ambitious little anthology (our second such project) withered away with no one to curate it, and our stories of Woadsbury and its family sit idly by on desktops and laptops and forgotten flash drives.
Recently, I took out my Woadsbury story and dusted it off with the idea of fleshing it out a bit and publishing it as a stand-alone novella. In the process, it changed from semi-YA to YA, gained a new title, and tripled in word count (nearly novel-length). It’s also tied more securely to my middle-grade/YA series, Forbidden Doorways, that I’ve been working on here and there for many years.
So, to make a long story short (one about me making a short story long), I will be looking for beta readers who enjoy YA fantasy. This is a bit of a sweet romance, with a little humor and a little darkness here and there. Oh, and magic. It has lots of that.
Stay tuned for my next post, in which I will include the opening scene from “Saving Magic”.