Verity is Published and is #1

Verity by Marian Keen

Verity is a medieval romantic novel for ages 12 to adult.

My book Verity is now published on lulu.com, and it s listed as number one in its category (romance novels)! This is so exciting! I can’t wait to have a copy in my hands! Verity is a medieval fairy tale, suitable for ages 12 to adult. (Since this post was uploaded, Verity has been re-published and is available for purchase here – please have a look! And leave us a comment. We’d love to hear from you!)

When I was a child my grandmother looked after me and my sister when Mom needed a sitter. Gramma told us stories about the days of her childhood. Her stories were so fascinating that one day when Mom asked what story do you want me to read to you, I blurted, “Tell us about the old fashioned days when you were a little girl.” My mother was rather offended by my innocent request as she felt she wasn’t old enough to qualify for such a category.

She said, “What story from this book do you want me to read?” The book was Grimm’s Fairy Tales, and my sister and I knew every story in the book. The one I usually favored was “One Eye, Two Eyes, and Three Eyes” because it was the longest story in the book. The one I never asked for was “Bluebeard.” It was too gruesome.

Mom read us horse stories, dog stories, young heroine stories like Heidi and Little Women and so many more. We were very lucky. It was better than TV. My imagination received a good workout.

The calendar was about to turn into a new century when it came to my attention that the Disney company was almost out of fairy tales. So I decided to write a fairy tale worthy of a Disney production so that Bluebeard could stay in the closet. My story has all the elements of a proper fairy tale – orphaned female, wickedly cruel witch, handsome prince – but I threw in bullying, overcoming great odds, strong friendships, and a little magic. It all evolved into a medieval love story. I still love reading it aloud to any new guinea pig – especially the wicked witch part (heh, heh, heh!). Verity is available on lulu.com and is suitable for ages 12 to adult.

Why THEIR Way?

Imagine their problems in trying to help those who won’t help themselves.

A magazine article for writers spelled out hundreds of formatting requirements for submissions to agents or publishers. I read the advice with painstaking patience, but when I had finished reading, I had to think. It seemed so arrogant and demanding of them to require such detailed adherence to their formats and to make the threat that not conforming earns your manuscript the circular file. I had to smother my resentment. Any writer is naturally creative, so it’s akin to wearing handcuffs.

I thought again. Fortunately, my creative nature allows me to walk in their shoes — that little exercise made clear the benefit I could receive.

I picture the agent or editor sitting in the office sipping on a morning coffee when the secretary enters with one thousand submissions for the day. (I can exaggerate. I’m a writer. I’m sure they do.)  

  1. The first submission has a cover letter running five pages giving the author’s history including her experience with a nasty divorce.
  2. The second manuscript is printed single spaced with light blue ink on colored paper. Pretty and unreadable.
  3. The third is printed in columns.
  4. The fourth has the required three chapters but each is stapled firmly and one is covered with coffee stains.

PLUNK!  THUD!  BANG!  THUMP! Into the wastebasket they go until she sees one respectively addressed to her, presented in her required format, clean and easy to read. She sips her coffee and settles to work.

I want my “audience” to pay me that kind of attention, so I’ll follow all the rules I can, but—-If I miss one rule, please know I tried to abide, so please take my side and don’t crush my pride.

At least read it.

Children’s Book Market

Write a children’s story if you have the imagination, but submit it only if you have courage and tenacity.

The children’s book market is so competitive today that if you investigate the situation you can’t help but be intimidated. A book for children is short compared to an adult novel. The plot is simpler. The descriptions are conveyed by pictures. So how hard can it be to write a children’s story? It’s not hard; it’s dead easy especially if you have a fertile imagination. Writing stories is not the problem. It’s getting them published that pulverizes your soul.

Just read “It’s a Bunny-Eat-Bunny World”, by Olga Litowinsky, to understand the problem. Her book would reduce the thousands of would-be children’s authors to a mere trickle if they all had the courage to read the whole book. I read it when it first appeared and then dropped it into my slush pile fast. However I kept writing because I just couldn’t quit.

Now I’ve read it again. I recommend it to any writer who wants to know the true picture of the publishing business. Now it’s made me determined. Now I have people urging me to get my work published. Now I must try again. Yes, I’ll make mistakes. So what? I only need one publisher. Wish me luck—-NOW.