Thank you, thank you, thank you to all my readers who encouraged me, to all my beta readers who sent me feedback on the 1st draft, my friends and family who left me alone to write it. Without you this wouldn't have happened. The 1st draft took me only 2 weeks to write, this one took 1 month. I have done something different this time. I didn't take weekends off, plowing right through them, and it sped up the process.
To all of you who pre-ordered CORNERS, you rock! I love you! Hang tight, I will be starting on the 3rd draft in January, and maybe even do the 4th draft in February, before going on my Amtrak adventure. After all said and done, the final draft should be in the hands of my fantastic new editor Sarah Liu no later than March 15th, and if all goes fast and well, by the time I'm back from the Amtrak ride (and hopefully with a completed first draft of TUBE), I should have the edited version close to being done, so some time in April CORNERS will be published. May the latest.
This book is a delight to write. I get to visit 25 of my childhood books, books I have grown up reading, books whose characters I get to interact with in CORNERS. Here is the list of them:
- The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen
- The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
- The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis
- The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe
- Bluebeard by Charles Perrault
- The Headless Horseman by Mayne Reid
- One Thousand and One Nights, The Seven Voyages of Sindbad the Sailor by Unknown
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
- Tale of Cipollino by Gianni Rodari
- Tales from Moominvalley by Tove Jansson
- Solaris by Stanisław Lem
- The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen by Rudolf Erich Raspe
- Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
- The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
- The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne
- The Little Black Hen by Antony Pogorelsky
- The Wonderful Adventures of Nils by Selma Lagerlöf
- Dracula by Bram Stoker
- Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
- The Golden Pot by E.T.A. Hoffmann
- Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers
- The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
- Ruslan and Ludmila by Alexander Pushkin
- The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
- Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
As you can see, quite an eclectic selection. At the beginning of each chapter I quote the book that corresponds to is, to whet your appetite a little. My hope is that after reading CORNERS you will pick up these books as well, or at least some of them, even if you have read them already.
You can download the 2nd draft here, if you want to beta read it. Send me your thoughts on how to make this a better story. And here is one of my favorite part of the draft, a little excerpt for you:
A novel by Ksenia Anske, Draft 2
Chapter 23. The Round Homes
"There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after." J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
The children stood at the foot of a grassy hillock spotted with round green doors. Apparently they led inside comfortable homes, because the top of the hillock held quite a number of smoking chimneys. It was sunny. It was warm. It was a perfect summer morning—as perfect as any summer morning can be—a bit late for breakfast, a bit early for lunch. Far off on the winding path between the knolls a stout figure with a sack on its back hurried off and over the crest of the hill and out of sight.
Bells stared with her mouth open. “Was that...Bilbo?”
“It was! It was!” Rusty had a hard time containing his excitement. “We’re in The Hobbit! I so wanted to see how they live! I can’t believe it! Let’s go look!” He hopped along the path and up to the nearest door.
“Rusty, wait!” Bells rushed after him.
“It’s a hobbit hole, Bells! Look!” He could hardly stand still, dancing on the spot.
Grand lumbered after them, but there was something joyful in his gait. “I am fully prepared to be quartered or beheaded or stabbed,” he told himself, “or even get fried alive by the Martians or the flaming salamander. They can do anything they want, for the chance to see a hobbit hole.” He reached and touched the glossy painted surface of the door, his face reddened. “It’s real. It’s real!”
“I can’t believe we’re here.” Said Peacock, passing both hands through his hair. “I mean, holy cow! A hobbit hole? A real hobbit hole? This is just perfect.”
I love you. Thank you!