Here’s an excerpt from The Keys of Death that sort of explains the photo above:
David Brightman and his wife, Joanna, had made plans for the next day. They were going to Allerton Park in Monticello. It was October. The trees at Allerton would be gorgeous, and if the weather cooperated it was not likely to be cold.
It was an easy half hour drive from Champaign, south on Route 47, to the park’s main entrance. They’d divvy up snacks, water bottles, and a picnic lunch between two backpacks and set off for the formal gardens, where they would wander around and irreverently rename the statues and attractions. Poor, Lethargic Adam, The Garden of the Scary Blue Dogs, and the Not Lost Anymore Because We Found It Garden. There was an immaculately trimmed boxwood hedge feature that looked like it could have been a maze, but David had renamed it Not Really A Proper Maze Because You Can See Over The Top.
When they had amused one another enough, they would pick up the “yellow trail” (it was a yellow line on the park map) take it about a mile past the Creepy Little House in the Big Woods to the Headless Centaur, which wasn’t really headless but looked that way until you got up close, because the sculptor had, for some reason, positioned the centaur’s head at an incredibly acute angle to its shoulder. From there they would follow the “brown trail” for about a mile until it came to their favorite section of the park. It was a large, circular lawn surrounded by trees, with a concrete plinth in the center for the featured statue, a huge figure by Carl Milles called The Sun Singer. David and Joanna had come up with numerous names for it over the years: The Flasher, Look, Ma! No Privates, Bloody Great Immodest Git, Nothing to See Here—and so on.
Want more? The Keys of Death, a veterinary medical thriller, is available at amazon in Kindle and paperback editions, barnes&noble (Nook or paperback), and kobo.
Thomas Lark says
Just discovered you, quite serendipitously.
Loved what you said about “Watership Down.” My wife used to teach it to her middle school students. Very sad to read of Mr Adams’s demise. Still, a life well lived, as we all agree.
I am rather desperately seeking a literary agent. Might I ask who is yours? I should be very glad of any help, guidance or general advice from you.
Many thanks! Hope to hear from you.
–All the best,
Clare T. Walker says
Thanks for your input!
Regarding literary agents — I am an independently published (i.e. self-published) author, so I don’t work with a literary agent. I publish my print books through CreateSpace, e-books for the the Kindle through Kindle Direct Publishing, e-books for the Kobo reader through Kobo Writing Life, and e-books for the Nook through Barnes & Noble. The traditional book publishing industry, in which authors must find a literary agent to represent their work to editors who work for large book publishing companies (now known as the Big 5) has changed a lot, and many authors are abandoning that model in favor of self-publishing, also known as independent publishing.
There is a ton of information out there on self-publishing:
podcasts — Rocking Self-Publishing, The Creative Penn, The Sell More Books Show, and many, many others
blogs — J.A. Konrath’s Newbie’s Guide to Self-Publishing, The Wayfinder (Hugh Howey’s blog), Holly Lisle’s blog, and many, many others
There are also lots of books on the subject. If you type “how to self-publish” into any search engine (amazon, google, bing, whatever) you’ll be inundated with resources.
After finishing my debut novel (The Keys of Death) I did what a lot of new authors do: spent almost 2 years trying to find an agent to represent my book to the big publishing companies and/or a smaller publisher. Eventually, I realized that I could grow old and die before finding an agent or a publisher, while new and experienced authors were already out there experiencing success by publishing their books independently. So I decided to go for it. So far, it has not been lucrative, but I chalk this up mainly to the fact that I only have two books out there and I currently do not expend much time, money, or energy on marketing. As I build my backlist, I expect my career as an independent author to build into something great!
Thanks again for your interest! Keep reading — and keep writing!!
Clare T. Walker says
Here, for example, is a good end-of-year article from J.A. Konrath: