Wednesday, March 07, 2012

The Duchess of the Shallows

Dan and I are excited to announce the release of The Duchess of the Shallows, the first in a series of novels set in the fog-shrouded City of Rodaas. The story features the redoubtable Duchess, whose adventures we hope you will enjoy as much as we do. We spent the better part of three years, and almost the entirety of the last three months, getting this work ready for its debut. Self-publishing is complicated and time-consuming, but we're ecstatic about the results.

Some of you are no doubt wondering, "Self-publishing? Weren't you guys working with a literary agent in hopes of a book deal?" We were, and I could try to soft-pedal this, but...she dumped us. I won't go into detail in this forum; suffice to say that after months of work it became clear that Rebecca Strauss was confident not in the story we wrote but in the one she envisioned. That might have been a great story, but not one Dan and I were interested in writing. Ironically, the more Rebecca pushed us in another direction, the more closely we came to understand our own vision. In a way, we couldn't have made this story without her.

Just as integral to this work was the amazing Amy Houser, creator of the gorgeous illustrations that grace the book. We were delighted to secure her services, and she bowled us over with every sketch. We could not have been more pleased with the work she did.

Although TDotS (that's our clever acronym) is set in an imaginary world where the supernatural is possible, it is not genre fantasy. Duchess will not quest to find the Sword of Destiny. She will not face off against King Sinister or Lady Evil. The story will not culminate in the ultimate battle of good versus evil. In TDotS, the scale is smaller and the stakes more personal, and all of the characters – Duchess, her allies, and her opponents – have motives that are genuine and understandable, if not always sympathetic.

On several occasions we've been asked, "Is there anything I can do to help?" The answer is YES. Post about TDotS on Facebook. Write a blog post. Tweet. Tell your friends. Recommend the book to your reading club. We hear most books are selected based on word of mouth, and all these methods help get that word out. And we are grateful for all of it.

Speaking of gratitude, we have to tip our hats to the people who gave our manuscript a look before it went public. There were many, and we're grateful to them all, but we have to call out those who spent particular time and effort: Daniel J. Linehan, Mark Fabrizi, Sean McGarry, Rosemary Auge, Rob Wetzel and Amy McClenahan. You folks are on the dedication page!

The book is available in print or in electronic form, and you can find links to both at Peccable Productions. You'll also find free sample chapters, so you can try before you buy. In time, we hope to add some audio files of Dan and me actually conceptualizing the Imperial City of Rodaas, and the sketches Amy made that, wonderful as they were, did not make the cut. Eventually, there will also be spoilers for the next book in the series, The Fall of Ventaris, so check back once in awhile.

In the meantime, enjoy!


Blogger Amy McWeasel said...

I'm so happy for & proud of you gents. I can't wait to dive into this final version. Congratulations!

12:07 PM  

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