Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Getting Back to My Roots (Also Called The Helping Hands)

It’s been busy ‘round these parts, in more ways than one. While brainstorming for Book 3 in The Whisper Legacy (yes, it has been started!), I have completed The Sour Orange Derby and am in the formatting stages. But in addition to these books, I am also getting back to what started this whole crazy writing dream – The Helping Hands series.

I started The Helping Hands in middle school, finishing it when I was about 15. After 2 years of editing, it was published just before the end of my senior year of high school. We’ll skip ahead from here - otherwise I will end up saying not-so-nice things about the company that made “traditional” publishing such a miserable experience for me – and just leave it at, as of 2 years ago, that book and its sequel, The Iron Fist: Legacy of the Helping Hands, are out of print.

I let these books go for a few reasons, particularly when I started The Whisper Legacy, but always planned to return to them when the time was right. Let’s face it, as much as I love Whisper and her many adventures, The Helping Hands is, and always has been, my baby. I love the story, and I don't care how arrogant that sounds. I started with this book, and now I’m ready to return to it.

So what does this mean? Well, for starters, it means that everyone who has read the first two books of The Helping Hands series will finally have something to look forward to – the remaining 4 novels! For new readers, it means the chance to check out previously published and now out-of-print books that have been revised and edited to meet my own nit-picky standards.

On that note, Holy Hera was I wordy at 15. I’ve cut out a lot of excess while still staying true to the story. Readers of The Helping Hands need not worry, for no significant changes were made, only edits to make the narrative a bit more concise.

That being said, what changes can be expected?

For starters, better writing. I can admit to my faults with the original, and that my writing has much improved over the years. I think that readers will enjoy this new version much more (note that I am not actually adding/removing anything, just rewording for clarity). These edits also make the book shorter, which means it will be cheaper (the original company’s completely absurd price is another reason why I didn’t promote it often).

In addition, I’ve changed a character name. Don’t fret – it’s just a minor character. Those who remember Melanie’s cousin, Shawn Hunter, will now know him as Scott Hunter (I’m curious to see if anyone can guess why I changed this name). If you haven’t read the books, then this won’t mean anything to you.

And finally, a new cover. I’m not sure if I will use the original because, honestly, I can’t find it. I’m in the midst of searching through my floppy disks (yes, it was THAT long ago) to see if I still have it, but I’m pretty sure I don’t. Just for fun, check out my floppy disk collection:

These are all stories/books I've started and either never finished, or never published (save for The Helping hands series):

 These are all for The Helping Hands series. HH fans - see that disk with the green sticker? That right there would be Book 3 in the series, written and ready to go:

I’m excited to see what kind of cover the designers come up with.

So, that’s the news for now. The re-release of The Helping Hands will likely be in about 7 months, perhaps a bit more. Until then, I plan to keep y’all entertained with The Sour Orange Derby and news on Book 3 in The Whisper Legacy. Stay tuned!

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