Comes, Keep in a Cold, Dark Place.
Today launches one of my most favourite books that I’ve written. I’d like to think I’ve grown as a writer and this one stuck with me long after the writing (probably because of all the rewriting!).
It really did all begin with reading the directive on a bag of potatoes to Keep them in a Cold, Dark Place.
Here’s the back copy:
Reaching for her dream, Limpy unleashes a cute, fluffy, NIGHTMARE …
Keep in a cold, dark place. That’s what’s written like some ancient law on every bag of potatoes the family farms. And it’s where Limpy fears she will always remain.
It’s also carved on a box of spheres she discovers in the cellar. Spheres that hatch.
Cute at first, the creatures begin to grow. Then the chickens disappear. The cat is hunted. And something sets the barn ablaze. To survive, Limpy will need to face her greatest fear. The whole family will. Or they may end up in a cold, dark place indeed.
It’s funny how book ideas come from all sorts of things. I’ve generated a book idea based on going to a new country and wanting to make it a research trip (Hurakan). Another came about due to a generalized fear of death (The Terminals), but this is a first for me, actually taking the title from a bag of vegetables. And from it came, setting, tone, theme, character, and even plot.
The book of course morphed a great deal from the original concept. Its first draft was about 30,000 words, so the length almost doubled as well. I tend to under-write my initial drafts. It was blighted and moldy to be sure.
And that’s what I want to talk about here:
I feel the acknowledgements section of books are too little too late for thank yous. So let me lay it all out now.
I need to thank my editors Catherine Adams of Inkslinger Editing (developmental), and Stephanie Parent (proofing) and Graeme Hague (line) of Polgarus Studios. As well as my literary agent Gina Panettieri and, although she may not realize it, Arianne Lewin. Both Gina and Arianne pushed me to dig a lot deeper. Martin Stiff gets full credit for the Amazing15 cover and Polgarus Studios for the exquisite formatting.
Like a potato needs water, earth, and sunlight, I need the support of my Writer’s Group at Sunnyside Library, the Odyssey Writers Workshop alum, and the intrepid Inkbots. You are all a big part of the leaf mould of my mind.
Last and never least, to my wife, first reader, and best friend, and to my baby potatoes, for whom I write, thank you all. I love you. You always deserve your cookup.
To you dear reader, should you dare, I hope you enjoy this book and more importantly I hope your fears remain small and your dreams grow and flourish.