I figured it would be a good idea to clue you good folks here into what I've been up to since finishing the There Goes the Galaxy trilogy. (While I remember, The Purloined Number is on sale this week only on Amazon for $0.99 and reduced similarly on international Amazon sites, so if you haven't grabbed a copy, you can get it here in the US: https://www.amazon.com/Purloined-Number-There-Goes-Galaxy-ebook/dp/B00FLYGDWE/ and in the UK here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00FLYGDWE/)
But as I was saying, I have a new book project I'm working on. It will still be humorous, but this time it will have a Victorian Gothic fantasy spin. It's based on characters from Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, but with a number of people and twists you might not expect. It's called The Curious Case of Mary Ann and I'm really excited about it. I've been a Lewis Carroll fan ever since I was a kid. The stories just spoke to me because they took such a magical, playful look at life. You could find wonder and mystery in something as simple as a cake or a tiny door, the unexpected places between. I want to tap into that aspect of it.
So to give you a sense of it, I thought you might enjoy just a taste of the draft I'm working. Likely this will change a bit in subsequent drafts, but I think it sets a tone.
How many Unbirthdays was it for the Queen so far this year? Three? Four? Mary Ann Carpenter wondered, as she wound along the path to her father’s house. At least three, she tallied, the last one still quite vivid in her mind. Oh, the FUSS Mr. Rabbit made about having his uniform just so, and the gift presented thus and his coronet polished to a dazzling shine. As if Mary Ann would ever fail him in any of those tasks. As if she had some long history of negligence—of slatternly methods—and hadn’t been running the household silently, smoothly, all along.
And now the fussing had begun anew. Mary Ann only prayed the Queen’s latest gift would live up to expectations. The young housemaid had truly stuck her neck out for this. She wasn’t even sure how it happened. Her employer had been working himself into the usual tizzy over Royal gift-giving, and in a mad moment of actual vocalization Mary Ann heard herself say WORDS. And those words suggested Mary Ann’s very own father should craft the piece for the Queen’s special day. She’d baffled herself with the very sound of it. This was a land where outstretched necks met the swift, sharp chop of the executioner’s axe should Her Highness not be properly delighted.
Now she wished she hadn’t spoken at all.
Mary Ann’s father was, of course, not only a talented contractor but the finest woodworker around. He put real passion into the items he carved, and Mr. Rabbit had commissioned a piece that was likely to astound. The designs alone had been enough to send the furry gentleman’s gloved hands a-flutter, whiskers quivering in anticipation, sweet words predicting a future of royal favoritism, rich comfort and bright possibility.