"This is a very interesting read to review as - some of the descriptions are brilliantly vivid and original while others have completely been done before. The book is action packed and would likely be a fast read even if it weren't so short. The formatting was clearly done with care and the result is gorgeous." - Goodreads, LaceyAnn
Cover Artist: Cherry Tigris
Vengeance was the only burial gift he could bestow.
When Angli cattle thieves slaughter his wife and son, Dwras son of Gwyn vows revenge upon their murderers. But how can a mere farmer prevail against ruthless, trained warriors? For the answer Dwras must look not to his sword, but within his heart.
The Challenges of a Short Story
The title of this topic you have assigned me is so ironic, because the next short story I plan to release—soon—is titled “The Challenge”!
Writing a short story always has been a challenge for me, since I seem to gravitate to the full-length novel (as in, 100K+ words). In fact, I only began writing short stories at the insistence of a writer-mentor as a means of honing my novels. Every word must count in a short story, and mastery of this technique does indeed improve my longer works.
First I have to pick a plot to which I can do justice in 20K words or less. Since my primary focus is on my novel-length works-in-progress, this usually means selecting an incident that relates to the story arc that occurs “offscreen” or between novels in a series.
In the case of “The Color of Vengeance,” however, I lifted its plot from different chapters of Morning’s Journey at a time (nearly 20 years ago now) when the parent work was languishing unpublished with my literary agent, and I had learned of a magazine where it might fit. Getting any story accepted at a major publication (as this magazine was) is a challenge unto itself, and “The Color of Vengeance” was rejected. The publishing biz being what it was in those days, I let this story—as well as “The Challenge” and other unpublished story I had written—lie fallow until 2013, when I ditched the traditional avenues in favor of publishing my work myself.
I recently rediscovered “The Challenge” quite by accident on a flash drive that I hadn’t accessed in a long time, or I would have likely released it by now too. The third story, “Twins”, I’m vacillating about releasing yet because the events it describes occur in the series arc about twenty years beyond Morning’s Journey. Perhaps if I get enough positive reader response, I will release “Twins” for publication soon too.
Marketing an independently-published story presents yet another challenge, one that I hope to overcome by offering “The Color of Vengeance” as a permafree download for people to get a taste of my writing style and the world and characters I have created. Thank you so much for your interest in and support of my work, and I appreciate the opportunity to discuss it with you today!
About the author:
Kim Headlee lives on a farm in southwestern Virginia with her family, cats, goats, and assorted wildlife. People & creatures come and go, but the cave and the 250-year-old house ruins—the latter having been occupied as recently as the mid-20th century—seem to be sticking around for a while yet.
Kim is a Seattle native (when she used to live in the Metro DC area, she loved telling people she was from "the other Washington") and a direct descendent of twentieth-century Russian nobility. Her grandmother was a childhood friend of the doomed Grand Duchess Anastasia, and the romantic yet tragic story of how Lydia escaped Communist Russia with the aid of her American husband will most certainly one day fuel one of Kim's novels. Another novel in the queue will involve her husband's ancestor, the seventh-century proto-Viking king of the Swedish colony in Russia.
For the time being, however, Kim has plenty of work to do in creating her projected 8-book Arthurian series, The Dragon's Dove Chronicles, and other novels under her new imprint, Pendragon Cove Press.