I am reaching the point that I am almost ready to self-publish another novel. I am only 30 pages away from having Recipes for Gingerbread Children fully edited and formatted.
Do you know that feeling of dread you get when you go back to a completed manuscript that you have left in the cooler for a bit? You don’t? Is it because you have never done that? Or because you have never dreaded it? I was terrified that, as good and wonderful as I thought the story was when I wrote it, the impression was a false one based on self-delusion and narcissism. I dreamed in my nightmare about re-reading it and realizing it was total garbage and a total re-write would be necessary.
Well, I was worried about nothing. On rereading it, I discovered that the things I was sure I had messed up on were executed well. The story was precisely the way it was supposed to be after mulling it over and plotting for more than twenty years. The structure I built it on still seems to work beautifully, and the key themes are still present for the reader to interpret as he or she sees fit.
There is nudity, violence, and horror in this book, but not done in a way that leaves the wrong message in a young reader’s mind. In fact, it answers questions about life that, as a former school teacher, I strongly believe are on young people’s minds. It has characters who are nudists and want others to become nudists too. It has stories about Nazis and concentration camps. It also has fairy tales that are almost as gruesome as those of the Brothers Grimm.
The main character and focus of the story is an old German woman who is a Holocaust survivor, a story-teller, and a baker of gingerbread. The character is based on an old woman who lived in our little town when I was a boy. But though the character is inspired by a real person, the real Old German Lady was not a nudist, nor, as far as I know, a storyteller. So, most of what you learn about Gretel Stein in this story is really about a story-teller who is me. I promise, however, that I did not wear a dress at any point while researching for this book.
It will be a story about fairies fighting to have a place in the modern world though they have shrunken in importance to the size of mice and insects. It is about finding the courage within yourself necessary to survive a terrible thing like the Holocaust. It is about self-sacrifice. It is about love. It is also about baking cookies and telling stories. There’s a werewolf in it. There are also two twin sisters in it who are nudists and spend a lot of the story naked. It is about standing up for yourself and becoming the hero of your own story.
And the most exciting thing for me is, soon this book will be available from Amazon.