You may remember that yesterday I was giving a run-down of my various Home Town Novel projects according to the order they supposedly happen in real time (measured in years). Here is what I went over yesterday;
Superchicken, set in 1974, the first Home Town Novel that I completed.
The Baby Werewolf (also possibly titled The Wolf in the Attic), set in the Fall of 1974, not yet completed.
The Forever Boy, set in Spring 1975, not yet written in manuscript form.
Sweet Pickles, set in the Fall of 1974 and Spring of 1975, half written, but possibly too graphic to publish.
Under Blue Glass, set in 1977 and not yet written in manuscript form.
When the Captain Came Calling, is set in 1983-84, the manuscript is currently at 25,000 words and being worked on.
And the novel I am editing for publication this week, Snow Babies, set in the Winter of 1984. Snow Babies is the story of how the small town survives the raging blizzard and faces the prospect of freezing to death. Valerie Clarke, in the picture above, is the central character in a large cast trying to avoid being the one the snow spirits have come to claim.
The second generation of Norwall Pirates, the boys’ club of dreamers, goofballs, and liars, have come to be led by a girl, Mary Philips and Valerie is the second girl ever to join the club.
The next novel has undergone two transformations. It started as a book called Little Boy Crooner. It is about an orphan from France who comes to live with ne’er-do-well Iowegian relatives. Homesick and deeply troubled, the boy has discovered a natural talent for karaoke, and has a voice that people come from miles away to hear. Then, the clowns of the Dreamlands began invading this story and had to be renamed. It is now called Sing Sad Songs… with Clowns. I may, however change the name to just Sing Sad Songs.
Sing Sad Songs and the next novel in the series, Fools and Their Toys, happen at the same time in 1985-86. They not only share a setting and many of the same characters, but they share a villain and many of the same plot-shaping events. They are, however, very different stories.
Fools and Their Toys is the story of autistic Murray Dawes. Because he has never really been able to communicate before, his turning point comes when a new member of the family, an adopted little brother, makes for him a ventriloquist’s dummy in the form of a zebra. He calls it Zearlop and uses it to unleash the hidden intelligence that was there through all those years when other people thought he was retarded. Unfortunately, just as Murray is blossoming, a serial killer comes along, targeting young boys. More unfortunately still, some from the area believe Murray may be the killer.
Leadership of the Pirates is passed from Mary to Valerie. And in 1988 I have set my current contest novel The Magical Miss Morgan. Valerie passes the leadership of the Pirates to her highly imaginative and extremely annoying cousin Timothy Kellogg. Tim is a the second most important character in the story of the teacher, Miss Morgan, who loves to teach. Miss Morgan is the sister of original Pirate wizard, Milt Morgan. Because of her brother, she inherits responsibility for a local war between good and evil fairies, while at the same time trying to save her job from evil principals, parents, and school board members and teach a lesson or two worth remembering forever. This full manuscript novel is currently being judged for the contest, and will be submitted for publication after.
Tim Kellogg is one of two main characters in the next novel, The Bicycle-Wheel Genius. Orben Wallace, the inventor, is the title character who may have accidentally created a time machine. The novel is set in the years from 1988 to 1990, and it is about how the genius’ old inventions come back to haunt him as he tries to solve the problem of having invented a time machine, having worked on mysterious government projects, and having helped to fight off an alien invasion. This novel is also complete and merely awaiting the proper time to get published.
Catch a Falling Star is the published novel that started this blog and my dream of making it as a novelist. It is set in 1990 and tells the story of when the Telleron alien empire of frog-like fin-headed aliens fail to invade Norwall, Iowa because they hadn’t reckoned on meeting the Pirates.See Catch a Falling Star on Amazon here.
I guess I leave it here for today. It seems there is enough more to fill another blog… Part 3.