Well, it’s finally here. My novel Covenant of the Hollow comes out tomorrow after a 3 week pre-order period, and I couldn’t be more excited if I tried!
I figured I’d take the opportunity to talk a little more about the release, and drop a link to an interview I did on the same subject on the wonderful Michele T. Berger’s blog, The Practice of Creativity. You can find the interview here.
Writing Covenant of the Hollow is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done as a writer, in part because it’s my first full length novel. Although I deeply enjoyed writing Diary of the Hollow (and the experimental style was the most fun part of it!), Covenant connected with me on a deeper level. It’s definitely not in any way biographical, but I did connect with Annalise Silva’s struggles to gain acceptance and claim power over her life after hailing from a destructive family culture. My own upbringing was what one could call messy, so there was a bit of personal experience blended with the information I gleaned from interviews with a Puerto Rican friend about her cousin and her culture.
I’m deeply grateful for the experience.
There are a few interesting bits about the book I’d like to discuss. The ones that affect the plot are in spoiler tags, so it’s your choice whether to find out now or after you read the book. The Kindle format is available for $0.99 today through release day, and that price will increase to the full price of $2.99 on February 22nd, 2018. It’s also available for Kindle Unlimited and in paperback form. The paperback is $14.95, and is on Amazon and at Page Turner Books in Kent, WA.
One is that the chapter headers are pieces of Dasha Berenzety’s suicide note, which was a decision I made early on in the book’s conception. She’s the protagonist in Diary of the Hollow, and also plays a key role in why the antagonist, Ga’algaaysi, chooses to harass this particular group of friends.
Another interesting tidbit is a note on historical accuracy. I covered this in my interview, but Elizabeth Bathory was around 10 years old when she got engaged to Ferenc Nasdasdy, and may have been around 11 or 12 when she either had an abortion (according to some accounts) or gave a child up for adoption. Regardless, the idea of writing sex that young made me all kinds of squicky, so I aged her up in my novel. The magical powers of fiction writing allow me to do that.
I also had to fudge some dates involving hurricane Maria (named Misty in Covenant) both for time-line and for story tension reasons. I wanted to showcase the effect that losing a family member can have on people that have moved stateside, and the terrible racism and sexism women of Puerto Rican descent experience despite being citizens. Although I didn’t get to dive as deeply into that as I would have liked, the conflict introduced at the beginning involving Annalise’s father, Estefan, was one of the most painful things I wrote in the book.
I wanted the story to showcase two flawed women experiencing very different sides of the patriarchy’s ability to crush the human spirit, and how things really haven’t changed as much as we’d like to think across the centuries. People seem to have an issue relating to flawed female characters, because the Madonna/Whore complex is still alive and strong in today’s culture. My hope is that this book will help bridge that gap.
I’ve gotten a couple of emails asking about Prisoner of the Hollow. Right now, I’m working on trying to get it out toward the end of May.
It primarily deals with Ga’algaaysi’s backstory involving the demise of his dimension with the Brightening, his condemnation at the hands of Harmony, and his master Sti’da’s role in everything leading up to the events of Covenant of the Hollow.
I’ve had a blast doing the research and world building for it, and I think it’s going to be a real treat. It’ll also be on Kindle Unlimited when it comes out, unless Amazon does something major to restructure how the program works between now and then.