Editing my novel Snow Babies has led me to realize that I need to align the events and character progressions in all the related Home-Town Novels. So here is a feeble attempt to make sense of the wealth of crap that this whole project has generated.
The first novel in the series is called Superchicken.
This story is about a boy who comes to live in the small town of Norwall, Iowa and struggles to make friends and fit in with a close-knit and inter-related group of sixth, seventh, and eighth graders. It contains the origin story of the Norwall Pirates, a boys’ gang and liars’ club who cause most of the chaos in the story. It is intended to be an Iowa-River version of Tom Sawyer, a picaresque novel where the main character uses his natural instincts to try and gain the recognition of the world that he exists and has worth as a person.
The second novel is not completed yet. It is a story called The Baby Werewolf. It is about the Norwall Pirates pursuing an encounter with a very unusual child shut away in the attic of an aging house by the harried adults in his life.
All of these stories are humor novels written for a Young Adult genre audience. This one, however, also introduces elements of the horror genre.
Three more unwritten novels exist between this set of Norwall stories and the next set which introduce a whole new group of Pirates. Of the original Pirate stories there is an encounter with immortal beings who are somehow more than human and include a villain who is secretly an un-dead Chinese wizard looking to kill and consume another immortal who has taken refuge in Norwall. This novel does not yet have a name. The working title is The Forever Boy. Another novel involving the Pirates is called Sweet Pickles. It takes up the story of a girl nicknamed Pickles who is desperate to be loved and joins the junior high football team to impress boys. The novel includes the sexual awakening of more than one member of the Pirates, and though it is half-written, it may never see publication. I am not a pornographic writer, but the issues of this book have become so explicit, that it would have to be gutted and rewritten completely to be acceptable to my chosen genre. A more likely story is Under Blue Glass, the story of the Pirates handling their teens and high school and the excitingly horrible prospects of leaving home.
The next set of Pirate novels cover the 1980’s. The Captain Came Calling is about the reformation of the Pirates with Mary Philips, the story-teller’s little sister, taking on the daunting task of leading the Pirates through a new decade. South Pacific island magic brings the cursed Captain Noah Dettbarn to a farm town about as far away in all of North America as you can get from any ocean. The captain is cursed with invisibility and has to get to the bottom of a terrible family secret to cure it. Meanwhile, another terrible secret is destroying the family of Valerie Clarke, the main character of the novel.
Snow Babies is actually the second novel of this group, although it is the second novel being published. I will talk more about it as the process goes along and it actually reaches a state of publication.
After that comes a group of unwritten novels that are nebulously plotted out. I am thinking I probably need to declare halftime on this post at 600 words and do the second half of this timeline tomorrow.