I’ve always been attracted by the idea of painting a persona, be it via cosmetics in the morning, dressing for the day, creating a fantasy world and characters. Or even a masquerade. And this last year has been the year of the masque for me.
My first novel, The Stumpwork Robe, was published by peer review site You WriteOn.com (UK) in 2008 in their first ever sortie into POD publishing. For me it was a successful escapade, teaching me such a prodigious amount about the world of book promotion and publicity. Rather like a masked ball, I met people whose faces I shall probably never see and we danced to a tune of our own making.
The sequel, The Last Stitch, was published in 2009 and the crisis point of that novel is a masked ball taking in place in the fantasy city of Veniche, in the eldritch world of Eirie. Early this year, as part of the promotion of the books and celebrating my tentative steps into blogland, I invited two close ‘e-friends’ to join me in hosting a virtual masked ball on my blog.
It was such an exercise! One lives in California, one is in Maryland and I’m in Tasmania (Australia). We took on personas for the ball (I was one Signora Lucia Brabante) and built back-stories, and those who attended created their own back-stories as well. The two hour virtual ball became a three hour event, during which time we cavorted and gossiped and never once took off our virtual masks. It was breathtaking!
We wrote a flash/fan fiction story called Masquerade in the three months prior to the ball and now we’re editing it (I’m a writer, one of the ladies is an editor and one is an illustrator, miniature book maker and former costume designer) and running it through Lulu. In addition, the miniature bookmaker created a miniature book to celebrate the event and called it The Masked Ball. (www.bopressminiaturebooks.com)
After it was all over, the masks had to come off and like Cinderella, I had to return to my workplace, sweating on revising the latest manuscript ready to start querying in the next couple of months. But I can honestly say that the masquerades in which I indulged this year were the highlight of this ingenue’s writing life!
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