Dawn Reader

Dawn Reader
from Open Door Coffee Co.; Hudson, OH; Oct. 26, 2016

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Memoirs of Victoria Frankenstein

I'm going to try something--something I'll surely regret.  Which, I guess, is as good a reason as any for trying something?  A little background ...

On October 24, 1997, I was out jogging in Hudson (I still had accommodating knees in those days).  I had retired from the Aurora City Schools in January and was working very hard every day on the research that would lead to the YA biography of Mary Shelley (now available on Amazon--a Kindle book).  I was casting about for something a little "lighter" to do, as well, and that day, running the mean streets of Hudson, I got the idea for a YA novel about a modern-day relative of Victor Frankenstein, an eighth-grade girl named Victoria, who, in the course of the novel, discovers both her remarkable abilities and her ancestry.

I wrote the book--discovering along the way that I had a trilogy on my hands (better than a rash?!)--and I started the second one.  Then life intervened.  I went back to teaching for another ten years at Western Reserve Academy; I began a heavy schedule of book-reviewing for Kirkus Reviews and for the Cleveland Plain Dealer; suddenly, I had no time to write or revise YA novels.  Oh, and I was soon writing a YA biography of Poe, then of Shakespeare--both of which are now on Amazon, as well.  The Victoria books lay on the floor of my study for a decade.

Recently, hearing time's wingéd chariot hurrying near, I went back to the book about Victoria Frankenstein--a book with an appropriately lengthy nineteenth-century title: The Papers of Victoria Frankenstein; Packet One: I Discover Who I Am; Edited by Her 8th Grade English Teacher, Robert Walton.


I wrote and revised like mad ... then stopped again to revise and re-format all the books I would subsequently upload to Kindle last year (Link to books on Amazon).  But now I'm ready to go again--though I'm simultaneously working on a memoir about my ten-year pursuit of Mary Shelley.  My life remains all a-clutter.

Anyway, I thought it would be fun (not to mention motivating for me) to serialize Victoria on this blog.  So ... starting tomorrow ... Wednesday, 9 January 2013, I will begin doing so--three days a week (M-W-F).  What you will see will not be absolutely the final version.  But it will be close.  And I will finish the book on this site, revise it once again, and then upload the full-meal-deal to Kindle.  I didn't write it as a serial, by the way, so some of the stopping places will, I'm sure, not be all that--what?--tense?  Cliff-hangery?

Overall, though, I think it's better to try being a serial writer than serial killer.  So I'll give it a whirl.  See how it goes.  But I remember Stephen King's wry, corrosive comment about why--after serializing The Green Mile in 1996--he would never serialize a novel again.  It was something like this: Why give the critics six chances to kick your ass?

Feel free to let me know what you like.  If you don't like it, just, you know, shut up.

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