It’s Launch Day!
No, I’m not Elon Musk, though I hope he’ll take my ashes into space someday. I haven’t had a novella published since 2015, and the idea came to me in early December I should put out another. Today’s that day!
Lest you think I wrote 20,000+ words in December and rushed to publish, I realized I had a potential novella already available.
Late in 2016 I brought myself out of my post-election funk the only way I knew how–by writing a story about it. I came up with a novelette (10,000 to 20,000 words) titled Who Watches the Watchmen? The draft went off to beta readers and an editor, and it was published in early 2017.
You may remember it.
Nah, I didn’t think so. It sold a few copies, but it was a great giveaway at author events.
What was it about? It’s sort of a follow-on to the short story “Brave New World” in the collection Spy Flash II. In that story, a world leader asks Mai Fisher, now the head of The Directorate, to help him swing an election for his preferred candidate. She refuses, citing lofty ideals and democracy. Unknown to her, a member of her inner circle at The Directorate has no such ideals and is influencing the election for the other candidate.
When she discovers the traitor, she has to determine the appropriate punishment and sentences him to extraordinary rendition and incarceration for life. Someone else, however, doesn’t think that punishment is sufficient and takes matters into his own hands. That’s essentially Who Watches the Watchmen? in a nutshell.
The title comes from many sources: a graphic novel, a Star Trek episode. The Directorate traitor asks the question of Mai, telling her she has too much power.
But What Happens Next?
That’s what a reader asked after finishing Who Watches the Watchmen?, something I hadn’t considered, though I’d had an idea for another story that involved a big shakeup for The Directorate. That what-if from a reader got me to develop that story idea and connect it to the previous novelette. The result was Hidden Agendas.
Hidden Agendas begins the day after the 2016 election and ends the day after the 2017 inauguration, and that’s all I’ll say about that. (Spoilers.)
Again, a few people bought it, but I ended up pairing it with Who Watches the Watchmen? as a giveaway to people who bought one of my novels.
However, when the thought struck me I should publish a third novella, combining the two novelettes seemed like a perfect idea. I re-read both and saw I could combine them with only a few transitions, and this was a great opportunity to, ahem, fix the inevitable typos that missed my and the editor’s scrutiny before.
And What Did We Get?
We got A Change for the Better. The title comes from a line in Hidden Agendas, and since both novelettes dealt with big changes, that was perfect for a title–on a number of levels.
So here it is for you visual peeps:
Yes, we got a new cover, too. I liked the world map in the background because that’s significant to the now-combined story, and what better to say spies than an early method of sending messages, Morse Code?
If you preordered A Change for the Better for your Kindle, it’s already shown up on your device or in the app. And you got it for a great price–99 cents. However, for those of you who didn’t preorder, that ebook price will remain in effect until the end of January, and who knows? I might throw in a couple of free days, too. You can find that out on my Facebook Author Page or on my Instagram.
A Change for the Better is also available in paperback. You can find that on my Amazon Author Page.
Go ahead. Give the novella that brought me out of my election funk a try!
Need more convincing? Take a look at this book trailer for A Change for the Better: