Happy Holidays!

By Allan | Thursday, 24 December 2009 at 12:02
Category: Writing | Tags: , ,

Well, Christmas Eve already! Claudia has decorated our tree and our refrigerator is crammed solid, and most of the presents have been wrapped, so we’re all set for a few days off.

I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have posted and commented and written to me on this site - and all of those who have joined the fan club. It makes a huge difference to me to be able to interact with people who are reading my books and enjoying  them.

If things go according to plan, the next Faerie Path book will be in the stores on 1st February 2010 - that’s only a few weeks away now!

I have some other news about which I am rather excited. Those of you browsing my site will have spotted a new series I’ve been working on with the illustrator Gary Chalk - Sundered Lands. Well, the good news is that the series is going to be published in America as well as in the UK. Interestingly enough, the series has been picked up by a publisher who has links to the publisher of Faerie Path and Warrior Princess. But as this new series is a fantasy adventure for younger readers (8-12 years old), the publishers don’t want it to come out under the Frewin Jones name as they think people might be confused. So, I’m to be called Allan Jones on the covers of the new series. Oh, and it probably won’t be called Sundered Lands in the USA. The publishers have asked whether they can give the series a different title, and I’ve said that’s okay with me (and with Gary, of course - co-creator!).

Although Faerie Path readers might be a bit old for these books, they will be really good for younger brothers and sisters and for young cousins and possibly even nephews and nieces. I’ll let you have more details as soon as I get them.

Meanwhile, I’m working on new ideas with Gary, which is a lot of fun. I also have the American edits of Faerie Path 6: The Charmed Return to work on in the new year.

Here’s the opening comment from the American editor:

Oh my goodness, I can’t believe book #6 of Faerie Path is here! Bravo to Allan for wrapping this final adventure up in so much fantastic drama, magic, intrigue, and suspense.

But then the editor goes on to say that there are some things she’d like me to look at again for various reasons - so I’m going to be busy with this for a few weeks in January.

Then what? Well, the American editors still have the storyline of Warrior Princess Book 4to look at - I haven’t heard back from them about that yet, but once I do and everyone’s happy, I’ll start writing that.

And some time in Jan or Feb, Gary and I will be having a meeting with a website designer to put together a website for Sundered Lands.

Well, I think that’s all that’s new for now. Once again, I’d like to wish all of you a great Holiday Season and a really exciting and happy new year!

Storytelling Competition Results

By Allan | Saturday, 19 December 2009 at 10:55
Category: Fan Club | Tags:

Hello there - I just realized I haven’t put a new post up for a while! Quite a lot has been going on, though, and I’ve been kept pretty busy.

Here in the the south east of the UK we had our first snow of the winter yesterday - up to four or six inches around London, but there was only a thin coating where I live.  I’m a big fan of snow - but then I get to work from home, so I don’t need to go out in it, except to go down to the bottom of the garden with a kettle to un-freeze the water in the bird baths and keep the wildbird food topped up.

My wife Claudia has to go out in the bad weather, poor thing! But it’s only a fifteen minute drive for her to work, so it’s not so very bad - and today she brought home our Christmas tree. I’ve just set it up by my desk, and I’m going to let it settle for a while before we start to decorate it. Because Claudia is German, we tend to decorate German-style - which means all white and silver with just a touch of red here and there. The lights are white and the hanging balls and bells and stars are silvery, plus we drape lameter over the tree.  We inherited the hanging balls from Claudia’s parents - they are very delicate and made of very thin glassy stuff - so we have to be careful with them. Fortunately, Siouxsie the cat doesn’t find them interesting, or there would definitely be trouble.

Anyway, my chief purpose in writing this post is to let you know the results of that story writing competition that Marisa set up on the fan site a few months back. I have now had the chance to read through all the entires.

I’ll tell you guys one thing - every one who entered could make a living from writing if they wanted, I’m totally sure of that. I enjoyed every single one, and it was really hard to come up with a winner.

I was especially excited to read the ones that dealt with other aspects of the world of Faerie - like “Before Anita”, where Liz explained really well what it must have been like for Princess Tania when she first stepped into the Mortal World and got sick. And “Her Little Doll” by Laurelei was a great idea - seeing the attack of the Sorcerer King from the perspective of someone else in Faerie. I really liked that one a lot. And Kayla’s story of how childhood wings faded with first love was great - it’s such fun for me to see you guys taking part of the world of Faerie and adding stuff to it.

Christina’s Moon Spirit worked really really well, I thought - the idea of a love found but almost immediately lost was very intense. Oh, and I adored Reese’s idea of the elf who could make a carnation out of snow. That is a very Faerie idea indeed! I want to make a special mention of Kayla’s The Pigs On The Furniture story. I thought that was fantastic - totally weird but funny and engaging and a lot of fun. Come up with more stuff like that, Kayla, and you’re set for life!

But in the end - and it took a while, I can tell you - the story that really worked best for me was the one by Arya - the story of Ikos the Selkie. I know there are lots of stories out there of people saved by merfolk and suchlike, but somehow this story just rang really true to me - and also left a lot of questions unanswered, which is what a good short story ought to do, in my opinion. How had Elizabeth’s parents drowned? What kind of world is this story set in? Will Elizabeth survive her leap of faith? What is the underwater kingdom like? Do selkies always hear the thoughts of people about to drown, or was there a special bond between Ikos and Elizabeth? I really like thinking through questions like that after I’ve read a story. It leaves me wanting to know more.

So, well done Arya - all you now need to do is to go the the Contact Page and send me a message with your full address on it, and with the name you’d like the book dedicated to when I sign it. Then you’ll need to be patient with me for about 6 weeks, I think. I’m expecting to receive my copies of The Enchanted Realm a week or so before publication - 1st Feb next year - and I’ll sign and send your copy off as soon as I get it.

I do have more news - but I think I’ll save that for later…it’s nothing mind-blowing - just some updates on what’s going on work-wise for me. So, for now, congratulations to Arya - and I guess its maybe time for me and Marisa to come up with another competition. Anyone out there got any ideas?