Novellas are just as viable a story form as any other. Books made up of several shorter stories are regaining great popularity.
You’ll find some great information to help you write your prose on this page of book promotion and author publicity.
Read additional information about this novel, The Tropics, and how I put three shorter stories together to make a novel.
What follows below is a Synopsis and an Excerpt from each story, intermingled with author photos, and some author publicity facts.
Child of a Storm
Caught in a Rip
Stories that shatter the myths of stereotypical islands of paradise.
For your viewing pleasure: (This trailer shows Legacy of the Tropics, which is the exciting rewrite of The Tropics.)
The revealing information on this page remains the same, though this book has been re-published as an eBook titled Legacy of the Tropics. It's the same book, only expanded and made more dramatic and more romantic. It also has a new cover and a revised video trailer. Enjoy!
The back cover blurb describing all three novellas: Perils and inherent dangers of the sea, and of island living, are cloaked behind a façade of sunny beaches, balmy tradewinds and swaying palm trees. Two women fall prey to nature’s wrath during inclement tropical weather.
In Child of a Storm, during the later ‘60s, the ketch “Mercy” sinks during a sea storm off Culebra near the Virgin Islands. Ciara Malloy assumes custody of her drowned fiancé’s son and learns a devastating secret about the boy that changes her life forever.
In the late 90s, underwater photographer Lillian Avery gets Caught in a Rip current and swept out to sea off Kauai in Hawaii. In facing death, she finds a way to leave a message behind.
A few years later, in Hurricane Secret, the two former neighbors from Puerto Rico are reunited on Kauai. A hurricane wreaks havoc in both their lives and threatens to expose secrets tightly held since the sinking of the Mercy.
Child of a Storm
A quickie Synopsis of the first of the three novellas (A little more detailed info will be given in these “off the top of my head” blurbs):
Ciara Malloy and Rico Rey are to be married. With Rico’s seven-year-old son, Pablo, they set sail out of Fajardo in Puerto Rico toward the Virgin Islands. They will finally discuss a wedding date. But Rico seems to have a secret he needs to get off his chest. Their plans are thwarted when a sea storm overtakes them and sends their ketch, the Mercy, to the bottom of the Caribbean Sea, and the secret with it.
"Here, Mama," Pablo whispered from behind. Without looking away from the snake that took its time, she slowly extended her hand backwards expecting to receive the walking stick. Instead, Pablo placed the handle of a machete into her grip. She squeezed it firmly and a wave of thankfulness washed over her.
The snake slithered down Domingo's shoulder and down his bare chest. How might it react if one of those droplets of Domingo's sweat fell in the wrong place? It slithered to the outside of his outstretched legs on the floor. Domingo fearfully opened his one eye and watched the snake slide along the length of his leg as the rest of the body and tail slithered down his torso.
Moving cautiously, the snake drew itself up over the leg and pulled the rest of its body between Domingo's flattened knees. It remained still momentarily, sensing and sensing, facing Domingo as droplets of sweat matted the hair on his chest.
That’s me signing copies of The Tropics after my presentation at B. Dalton in Las Vegas. It was one of the biggest groups to attend one of my presentations. Sadly, with the downturn in the economy, that great store closed.
Caught in a Rip
Synopsis of the second novella:
Underwater photographer, Lillian Avery, sells photographs of both sea and land life taken on Kauai in Hawaii. Her friend, Glen, accompanies her to Ke’e Beach on the North shore and drives her crazy with his neurotics behavior. It’s a lesson in cleaning up her life, namely not letting people drag her down.
NOTES: By now, you may have realized that part of me is in these three novellas.
Writing from experience affords a great opportunity for book promotion and author publicity. Suddenly, something experienced is a topic that the author knows a lot about because she or he has experienced it first hand.
She struggled to distance herself from becoming ensnared in the drift net. But each time the current shifted, the net moved perilously close. She treaded backwards to stay away and kept her face in the water to keep guarded watch.
Then something bumped the side of Lilly's head, one, two, three times. She froze all movement. A net full of captive fish was predator bait. She envisioned herself getting eaten by something or tangled in that net and never having a chance. Just like that gentle Honu.
This book signing was simply a table at the front of the store that opened out to the mall in Henderson, Nevada. I didn’t know I could get so many people to purchase my book simply by standing there and talking to shoppers who passed by. A real fun time! Moments like these test your ability at author publicity.
Oh yes, and once they realized how The Tropics was put together, many asked about writing novellas.
Off the top of my head Synopsis of the third story:
Ciara Malloy and Lillian Avery knew each other in Puerto Rico. A lot of years have passed and they joyfully reunite on Kauai. But all is not peaceful as Hurricane Naheka drags across Kauai.
Lillian begins to look at Ciara’s papers, almost learns the secret that Ciara has carried with her for years, but decides she has to know of Ciara’s demise before she unravels her life through the albums and documents.
Lilly leaned her head back as thoughts swirled about Ciara and her family. Lilly had never meddled in anyone's affairs but felt herself irresistibly drawn into the mysteries held tightly secreted by a friend whom she quickly loved.
Lilly visualized the grown up Pablo she had recently met, with his hair turning white, and wondered why he resembled his mother but looked nothing at all like Rico, his dad.
Snapshots of Rico, Pablo and Ciara were included during happier times. Most of the attached pages had been typed but the paper in the earliest sections had yellowed, the photos faded.
The book on her lap contained explanations to the mysteries surrounding Ciara, her husband and his son, Pablo, and Pablo's mother and her husband. Slowly, Lilly began again to open the cover.
The first of the two author photos above is poor due to the lighting in the mall and store. However, that’s me giving a Screenwriting presentation. I had just finished writing a feature screenplay for Child of a Storm, was full of information to impart, and did so. A lot of people attended, you see only a part of them here, but I don’t know why they did not occupy the front seats. Every group is different.
The second photo is me with the B. Dalton, Las Vegas crew after my presentation and signing. They were a fun, lively bunch!
Some final notes:
The third story of these novellas, Hurricane Secret, is what ties these three novellas together as a novel.
The secret about the boy runs through the stories. The time period that passes joins the stories, as does the decades-old friendship, rekindled, and the histories of each character.
When writing novellas, it will be difficult to get just one accepted for publication. If you can tie them together so that they become a novel, you stand a better chance of finding acceptance. See how I did it as I discuss Writing a Book.
Novellas are fun to write. I really mean that. You get to the end in quicker time – not that you should rush. Writing novellas is as serious a project as writing a full-length novel. Make your writing the best that it can be.
Once you’ve written something of substance and the story has been published, even before that moment, get busy with book promotion and author publicity.
Regardless whether you choose to write shorter novellas or a novel length story, start book promotion before you finish. Let people know what’s upcoming from your repetoire.
And start to write your next book soon as possible.
Keep the momentum alive!
SPECIAL NOTE: The Tropics is out of print. Used copies are still around. However, I have rewritten the book and published it as an eBook. Read about the exciting expansion of the stories under the new title and cover, Legacy of the Tropics.
The Tropics Character List