Finishing a Series

I’m working on the second edit of Belief (Book three of The Estelle Series) There’s at least one more edit to go (mostly typos) before the book heads to the beta readers. I love that phase, beta readers tune in to so many more issues than I can see.

Case in point, when I was writing Fly:

The kingdom is suffering a terrible drought. So much so that people are becoming sick. Hank is worried. He fills bottles with lake water to take home. He is invited to a big party and to get ready he takes a shower. A shower.

I read and edited the book three times, but it was a beta reader that noticed Hank takes a shower. So I’m grateful for all the extra eyes.

Speaking of which, the e-book of Fly is free today on Amazon.

Head on over and download a copy!

 

fly-meme-moonlightBelief is cool. I think you’ll like the final book. Very much. Estelle has to rise above her fear and do something that turns her into a true hero.

Not a superhero. There’s no hidden power or talent or skill that she calls upon.

Just an ordinary girl who courageously takes responsibility for what is wrong.

Anyway, thanks for being a reader. I’m working hard to get it finished.

And even if you already have a copy of Fly, maybe you need another one. Possibly?

xox,

H.

 

 

Book Club Questions for Fly

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Will your book club be reading Fly this year? Would you like a list of good questions?

  1. Does Amelia view her constant flying as a curse or a gift? How does her view change over time? And would you like to be able to fly?
  2. Before Amelia met Hank she was happy and carefree, but he explained to her about the water shortage, put her in dangerous situations, and caused her to feel sadness. Do you believe her life was better having met Hank? Was being brought down to earth a happy ending for Amelia?
  3. Amelia’s flight gave her independence and carelessness, and when she felt connected to others, she regained her gravity. Which state, independence or connectedness, do you prefer? What are the downsides and benefits of both?
  4. Though Hank was a lowly guitar-strumming, surfer-boy, he had enough confidence to try and change the Princess’s views about the drought. Once Amelia believed she mattered, she changed the course of her Kingdom’s history. If you believed you could fix a big problem, which would you choose, and what would you do to solve it?
  5. Read Fly by H.D. Knightley along with The Light Princess by George MacDonald. One of The Light Princess’s themes is that gravity, weight, and sorrow are necessary for love. Compare this to the themes of Fly—what are the similarities and differences?

Learn more about the water issues in Fly:

Water Privatization:http://www.citizen.org/documents/top10-reasonstoopposewaterprivatization.pdf

Patagonia’s Dam Removal documentary http://damnationfilm.com

Local Water: https://lawaterkeeper.org/volunteer/

A list of International Water Organizations: http://waterfortheages.org/international-water-organizations/

 Buy your copy here: http://www.amazon.com/Fly-H-D-Knightley/dp/0985567465 (Want to order a stack? Drop me a line and I’ll see what I can do to help!)

Here’s a print-out:

book club questions fly– Fly by H.D. Knightley

 

Let me know if I can help in any way!

H.D.Knightley

 

 

 

Fly is for ages 8 and up.

I realized the other day that Gail Carson Levine’s books Ella Enchanted and Ever are listed as for ages 8-12.

I have changed Fly’s listing to the same. It’s perfect for ages 8-12. It’s romantic. It’s a love story. It’s also a punk rock fairytale. My teens loved it, my 10 year old loved it, my friends loved it.

Also, it’s about a Kingdom and a drought, sound familiar? A looming dam?

 

fly something extra

Fly, the Cover!

The newest book by H.D. Knightley, a fairytale based on The Light Princess.

 

 

Editing and the surprise pen and shower.

Perhaps the recurring theme of this blog would be, I’m new to this.

It’s been about a year since I began ‘writing’ as a ‘writer’ and about 3 months since I published my first book. A year that was rife with error and missteps. I’m kind of amazed by what I didn’t know at the beginning and what I think I might know now. Of course I may be wrong. I often am.

With the story Bright, I made about 3 editing passes before I thought it was perfect. I passed it to my editor who declared it highly flawed and handed it back. I took a deep breath and gave the book about 4 more passes before handing it back and then a few more for good measure. I then passed it to a friend to read.

There’s a scene in Bright where Estelle is called into the Office to complete a questionnaire so that her future husband can be chosen. I describe the scene thusly:

The Inquiry Room, the first step in every appointment, was sparsely decorated and too cold. My guess is they kept it frigid, so we wouldn’t dawdle or fall asleep. There were four big comfortable chairs at desks with screens. Was the chair we chose part of the test? I chose the one farthest from the door. 
Once seated, my screen flashed a welcome message, “Hello, Estelle Wells, Welcome Back,” and up popped a short multiple choice test… 

Later, Estelle is called into the Office again, to fill out another questionnaire and the receptionist hands her a pen and a paper. Seriously, I had read this book at least ten times and hadn’t noticed. My editor hadn’t noticed (though in her defense there were a ton of other things she was noticing. I assume she would have eventually.) There was a pen where there shouldn’t have been.

It took new eyes to see.

In my new book Fly, I’m writing a fairy tale about a princess who flies and a Kingdom that is having some serious water issues. A young man named Hank lives in the valley and the water is gone. It’s been dammed and is held in tanks and the villagers are sick and leaving and when we meet Hank he  gives water to a friend in need. He’s a fine, upstanding man, kind, generous. Hot. So I read this book about 8 times. I declared it perfect and handed it to a friend to read and give me feedback.

She pointed out that to prepare to go to a party to meet the Princess and tell her about the water issues, Hank takes a shower. A shower. I hadn’t noticed.

It took new eyes.

I guess what I’m saying is learning new things is grand, and perfection is a worthy goal, but pick a friend and ask them to help with it all. And listen to their notes, they have new eyes.

Thank you Denine Dawson, Heather Hawkes, and Deborah Marcus.

 

 

The Last Word

I may have told you that I wrote another book in November. While my Kickstarter campaign was running and my editor was editing and I was mama-ing with nothing much else to do, I signed up for NaNoWriMo and wrote 35,000 words. Not quite making the deadline or the goal.

January I added to it here and there until I had written a pretty passable 50,000 words by the middle of the month. I really like it. I began a first pass. Revising and editing and made my way through bit by bit. Changed the main characters name, now she’s Amelia. The main guy is now Hank-formerly Henry.

In this rewrite/revise as I neared the end I knew it would need to be heavily altered. The book is a retelling of a fairy tale after all, but I didn’t want the ending to simper. It should be happy like most of the best of the fairy tale persuasion (I mean modern versions of course) but not sappily. I feared that my ending was so sweet it would require a spoon full of salt to help it go down and as I neared it I knew it was true. Then it came to me. Amelia is no shrinking flower awaiting her rescue, she’s a pissed off bad ass and she reacts accordingly.

For about three days she was literally hanging off of a very tall something. I had written a ‘cliff-hanger’ and then couldn’t figure out how to climb her back off. This was a very weird experience. In the past, if I read a cliff-hanger I knew that the rescue was within the next few pages, already written, on its way. This maiden had no rescue and so she just dangled there in the back of my mind. I would mention it to the kids occasionally, “So, Amelia is still on the cliff,” and we would laugh.

Amelia’s not there anymore. The rewrite and revision is done. I’m ready to pass the story to a couple of beta readers. Yay!

I’ve written the ending of the story, Fly,  and the last word is: waves.