Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Secrets of the Magic Ring

I have a new book coming out on November 8th, a follow up to my middle grade novel, Celia and the Fairies. This time around the main character is Celia’s very energetic, occasionally-annoying friend Paul.

I'd always envisioned the Celia book as part of a series, but I hadn't planned on writing this particular story.  I thought I'd write the story of Celia's grandmother (also named Celia) and her encounter with fairies when she was a little girl, and then I'd write a book about Jonathan, Celia's father, when he was a boy. That way each generation would be covered. I liked the idea of a trilogy too, the magic that comes with the number three.

At the end of Celia and the Fairies, Paul and Celia watch as a work crew digs an enormous hole in his backyard in preparation for an inground pool. I hadn't conceived of writing a book with Paul as the lead, but one night when I was nearly asleep the thought hit me—Paul was going to find something really cool and magical in the hole! The story, now titled Secrets of the Magic Ring, practically wrote itself. That almost never happens.

I made sure that the book works as a standalone title, something that was important to me. 

With each of my books, my publisher, AmazonEncore, has had me fill out a questionnaire asking for a summary of the story, the author bio, who I believe the target audience is, etc. I always have a lot of fun filling out these questionnaires. They'll ask something like, How is this book different from others of the same genre? and my answer will be that, unlike the others, I wrote this one. Ha ha ha.  And then I go on to answer seriously. I like to think they appreciate my efforts to liven things up, but maybe not.

When the questionnaire asked for my input on the new cover, my response was: I would love it if the book cover is similar enough to the Celia and the Fairies cover that it's obvious they go together. How the artist decides to do that is up to them. It could be the coloring of the cover as opposed to the images being alike.

Frankly, I had no idea how they'd manage this, but I was fairly certain they'd pull it off. I've been delighted with all of my covers so far.

When I got the email from my editor, Terry, with three proposed covers attached, I liked all of them, but I loved one the most. It was nearly perfect. Luckily, Terry and I each had some thoughts for the cover designer and after a few minor tweaks, the nearly perfect cover came out just right.

Nicely done! I am pleased. I'm even more pleased because this time around my publisher hired an illustrator, the very talented artist, Vincent Desjardins, to do the interior illustrations. In a future blog post I'll talk about how the artist was paired with the project, and give you a sneak preview of some of his absolutely beautiful artwork.




Bill B said...

I like hearing the inside scoop of how the story came into being! I'll be lookin' for it in November as a b-day gift for the young lady I gave Celia to (I think that one was a signed copy you let me win in a contest!). Great cover, too. I agree, they pulled it off nicely -- definitely goes along with the first book.

And I think you can rarely go wrong by adding a little levity to questionnaires and the like. Hey, I put smile faces in "serious" work correspondence and haven't been fired yet ツ

Pale Rambler said...

Fabulous! Best of luck with the new book. I, for one, am glad you went in an unexpected direction regarding the choice of your protagonist. It should be a fun read!

Christina said...

Christina - - Make sure they send me a copy to review for Book Room Reviews! Sound great!

Sean McCartney said...


Awesome news about the sequel. I am looking forward to reading it. My daughter is also excited because she like the first one so much. On a side note I self pubbed some short stories about my characters from The Treasure Hunters Club called Treasure Tales. My publisher was very supportive but hasn't done much to promote if you know what I mean. :)
Keep up the fantastic work and inspiration.

PV Lundqvist said...

New book, woo hoo!

Must have felt great to be back at writing.

Karen McQuestion said...

Bill, you're pretty generous with those smiley faces. In my mind, it's become your trademark.

Thanks for the wish of luck, Mark! I'll take it. I sincerely hope it's a fun read. I had fun writing it.

Christina, you're at the top of my list. Thanks so much! I appreciate it.

Sean, your daughter sounds wonderful. BTW, I just checked out Treasure Tales, and I LOVE the cover.

PV Lundqvist, your woo hoo made me smile. Yes, it's good to be writing again. ツ (<--hey, it's a Bill smiley!)

Sean McCartney said...

Thanks Karen. I figured simple was better. Looking forward to Nov. 8th.

Sean McCartney
The Treasure Hunters Club

Jon Olson said...

Congrats on the new book, Karen.

Jon Olson
The Petoskey Stone

Karen McQuestion said...

Thanks, Jon. I had to do something while I was waiting for you to finish your next one!

Suzanne said...

Karen, they did a lovely job on the second cover. And how nice that they actually listened and responded to your preferences. I bet it will result in more sales of the two books together!

Karen McQuestion said...

Thanks, Suzanne! I've often heard that a sequel will bump up sales for the other book, so it will be interesting to see if that's the case.

D. L. Marriott said...

Congratulations Karen!
Isn't it exciting to see that graphic representation of your story? I just got an e-mail from my brother (a graphic artist) with my cover. It gave me goosebumps.

Karen McQuestion said...

D.L., how handy to have a graphic artist in the family. And yes, there's something magic about seeing a visual of your story. Congratulations on the new book!

Cheryl Shireman said...


Karen McQuestion said...

Thanks, Cheryl! I think so too.