Thursday, 4 December 2014

What do Seinfeld, Show Boat and That 70s Show all have in common?

Big news! I've written my third full-length book just in time for the holidays.  It's called Sylvie and the Christmas Ghost and it's now available as an ebook and in print.

If you've read the blurb, the first thing you probably noticed was that Sylvie and the Christmas Ghost is set in 1994.  Why 1994, you ask?  Well, I think I got that idea when I was watching an episode of Seinfeld. Maybe you've had this experience too.  You look at the date the episode came out and go: "1994, oh yeah, that was 5 years ago... 10 years ago... wait, that was 20 years ago?"  And then you wonder what you've been doing for the past 20 years.

Around the same time, I was helping my mother clean her basement (a never-ending task) and I came across a hatbox containing all the programs I'd kept from the musicals I saw in the late 80s and early 90s.  I flipped through the one from Show Boat (which I wanted to show you, but seem to have temporarily misplaced) and nearly did a back flip when I spotted Cloris Leachman listed among the cast.  Apparently, in the mid-90s, I didn't know who she was because it didn't make a dent on my memory. Anyway, you'll notice, when you read the book, that Show Boat is woven into one scene.

Aside from all that, 1994 is kind of the year of my existence I'm always writing for.  When I wrote Tiffany and Tiger's Eye, I was writing it for ME at that age, but I set Tiff/Tiger in 1986.  The 90s just didn't seem distant enough. But now, considering 1994 was 20 years ago, I figured maybe it had reached retro status. A fourteen-year old reading Sylvie and the Christmas Ghost wouldn't have been born in 1994.  Heck, an
18-year-old wouldn't have been. It's like my experience with That 70s Show.  If memory serves, the first season was set in 1978? (yeah, that's a question because I'm not going to bother looking it up right now). I wasn't alive in 1978, so when I watched that show some things felt familiar and close-at-hand (I grew up wearing clothes like that) and other things felt retro and recent-history-ish. Hopefully younger people will have that experience with Sylvie.

Though my main character in this book is 14, I enjoyed reading it as an adult.  And you're probably thinking, "I HOPE you enjoyed it--you wrote the book, after all," but let me tell you: by the final proofing stage you've read your own book so many times you usually want to burn the manuscript (which is hard to do when it's a computer file). With Sylvie, I LOVED the book the whole way through. My editor enjoyed it too, and that's a compliment I really appreciated.  Editors don't always express a level of like or dislike for any given manuscript.

So now it's your turn.  If you're in the Christmas spirit, grab a copy of Sylvie and the Christmas Ghost from one of the retailers below:

Amazon Canada:
Amazon UK:

IN PRINT from Createspace:

UPDATE: The print version has popped up on Amazon here: but it doesn't seem to be hooked up with the e-book yet. They're both there, but in different places.

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