One week in the books now, experiencing a lot of ebbs and flows both in the number of visitors and the creative process. I spent much of today manning the dreaded self-edit pen, with all the cleaning and polishing and sporadic disappointment as the word count tumbles downward. But a few new chapters and some added character depth did emerge today, along with the awesome cover art.
Wait... what's that? Have I not actually mentioned what this project even is yet? Whoops. Let me remedy this.
As many are apparently unaware, 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the release of Alice in Wonderland. There are a number of things going on in commemoration, and Marsha and I decided to do a little something of our own. The result is The Beast of Wunderland, a darker, more sinister take on the story. That's not actually quite true, since the story has changed entirely. I've incorporated many of the old familiar characters - the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat, and several others - but in revised, reworked roles following a whole new story arc.
I'm not entirely sure how to phrase what it is I'm doing. I'm not re-writing the novel, because the plot and story have changed. I'm not setting a new book in someone else's world, because Wunderland and Wonderland are pretty distinct and disparate. And I'm not placing someone else's characters into a new setting exactly, because aside from the names most bear little resemblance to the original. I guess the best I can do is to say it's a tip of the (top) hat to Lewis Carroll's work, painted with my own brush.
Speaking of painting, Marsha's cover art has captured exactly what I wanted for this. She listened to what I had to say about it, read what I'd written to date, and went to work. I couldn't be more pleased with the result.
It won't be a full-length novel, more like a nice long novella. We're pondering our options in terms of how to release it - whether a DIY self-release, or search for an interested publisher - and there are a few other ideas we've come up with that would take it in a new and visually exciting direction. When we know more about the ultimate finished product, you'll be the first to know!
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Photo credits: Biff Mitchell