The final proofs of my latest book, The Elven Comedienne, have been ordered! If all goes well, the book should be available by the end of the year.
The Elven Comedienne is my first foray into comedy, and I think it works well. It's set in the modern world, except the world is reimagined to include elves and dwarves and orcs and magic. Jana Ashworth is a human private detective from Boston who uncovers a plot to enslave the Elven Goddess of Love. Traxy Ysiel'thar is an elven comedienne who would be a victim of this plot. Jana rescues Traxy and the two team up to try to stop the plot.
I think the book is a natural continuation for anyone who has read The Dragon Kaseraak series. It doesn't have the hook of a young apprentice to make it a true YA book, but there's nothing in the book in particular that would make it inappropriate for someone about 14 years old to read. To me it's aimed at the same sort of audience as The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams: a very funny book that is technically not YA but one that quickly became my favorite at age thirteen or so. There's violence and some suggested romantic interludes, but there's nothing explicit.
My humor tends toward the absurd, something that hopefully is apparent in the first chapter, as Jana takes a case from a woman who suspects her husband is cheating. It turns out that the woman cares not about "cheating" in the traditional marriage sense of having a romantic dalliance with someone outside of the marriage, but in fact is concerned with her husband's golf game. I took inspiration for the first chapter from my love of Raymond Chandler books, though as is obvious, I gave it an absurd twist. The first chapter is about getting to know Jana as a character, and I think she's a fun one.
While Jana is a fun character, she's certainly grounded in the reality of the story (which, of course, includes sorcery). Traxy, on the other hand, is not so grounded. In the second chapter, Traxy becomes victim to a ritual that will eventually infuse her with the spirit of the Goddess of Tricks and Games. I don't want to get too much into it because I don't want to spoil the book, but I will say that Traxy's approach to fighting bad guys is not one that would make any sense for anyone bounded by what we think of as appropriate and typical fantasy world tactics. An example: while Jana tosses fireballs and force spells, Traxy comes to battle armed with a pillow and a banana.
I've uploaded the first two chapters of the book to give readers a taste of the story. Unfortunately, that isn't enough time to truly capture Traxy's zaniness. That just takes too long to set up. I had a lot of fun with Traxy and especially writing dialogue between Traxy and Jana. I hope you enjoy it too.
And now I feel I have to disclose an additional circumstance for this book. For the first time in over seven years, I have submitted a query regarding The Elven Comedienne to a literary agent, in the hope that it might be traditionally published (and thus reach a far wider audience). I haven't done this in a way that might maximize success: I've chosen one agent who I think would most like the story and submitted it exclusively to her. It is, as one might say, a shot in the dark. Most such queries are rejected for various reasons and I am proceeding under the assumption that's what will happen. But to leave options open in the case it succeeds, I am not going to make the book available outside of this website and conventions I attend (and perhaps not even then under certain circumstances).
In any case, like my other books, I'm going to make the first two chapters available. You can download them here. If you like what you read, please contact me and I will be sure to let you know when the book becomes available!
I'll have more information on this book later in the month. Stay tuned!