Like the character quoted in this picture, I feel like I have embarked on a rather perilous but exciting adventure with the publication today of my two works in the Paradisi Chronicles series. My coming of age adventure, Between Mountain and Sea, and the short story I co-authored with my daughter, Butler’s Brother, are both now available on Amazon–and there is no turning back!
The experience of collaborating with six other independent authors to create an open-source, science fiction universe was an adventure all its own, (see the background on the Paradisi Chronicles here), but I hadn’t anticipated how nervous I would be about actually publishing my own novel in this new universe.
I always wondered why other authors said they were writing new series outside their regular genre under secret pen names. But now I think I understand…because for the first time I have found myself asking questions like: What if no one buys my new novel? Worse yet, what if the people who do buy it don’t like it? And what if they say (as I am sure some will) “Locke should stick to writing historical mysteries”?
When I published my first historical mystery, Maids of Misfortune, and my first short story, Dandy Detects, I felt I had nothing to lose. It was early 2010, I had no expectations of success. I would not have been surprised if these works simply disappeared without a trace. Even a negative review pleased me because it meant someone had actually read what I’d written.
But then, once both the novel and the short story were met with positive responses, a preponderance of good reviews, and sales that were beyond my wildest dreams, my confidence in my ability to write historical mysteries solidified. (Not that I still don’t get a bit nervous each time a new book comes out, but I already know that many readers like my main characters, my mix of history, romance, and mystery and that helps.)
This time, however, the nerves have been worse. Because I don’t know yet if my existing fans will enjoy my foray into a new genre (both science fiction and young adult) and I don’t know if this work will attract new fans. So, last night, I suddenly had the thought that maybe I should have used a completely different pen name (instead of just dropping the M. and using Louisa Locke).
But then I reassured myself.
Because I always write for my own pleasure–trusting that if I enjoy the characters and stories and settings I create that someone out there will enjoy them as well. And I thoroughly enjoyed writing Between Mountain and Sea. In fact I fell in love with my main characters: Mabel, the young girl who set out with her family to colonize a new planet, Mei Lin, her great, great, granddaughter who never felt she fit in, Tesni, the Ddaeran girl with psychic powers, and Eurig, the charming sentient New Eden primate. So I have faith that some readers, if not all, will find as much pleasure reading Between Mountain and Sea as I had writing it.
However, not just my novel, but the six other works in the Paradisi Chronicles launched today, Do check them out at Paradisi Chronicles.com or click on the covers below and I am sure you will find something to your liking,