My 19K word novella.
This novella has been in my cache for almost twenty years. As there isn’t much of a market for novellas (or novelettes), I decided it was time to give it a final edit and get it out there (but not for free). Even if I don’t win the contest, it’ll feel good to have finally made this available somewhere. Rereading this was like reaquainting myself with an old friend.
Though I usually post short poems based on my book, Because of Mindy Wiley, this novella stars one of the minor characters (who has a major impact on the protagonist in the book; after all, her name is in the title), so it is related to my other Fiction Friday posts.
From the glacial terrain of Bear Creek, Idaho, to the lush landscape of Deep South, Florida, Elder Cather, a Mormon missionary, meets Sister Wiley, a three-time divorcee, current temple wife, and mother of a teenage daughter. At the risk of being caught with their temple garments down, facing excommunication by the Church and shunned from the only life they know, they fight against the rules imposed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints by living life on their terms. However, Elder Cather will learn a heartbreaking, coming-of-age lesson from the fickle one who accepted his greatest gift. The Mormon Missionary’s Mistress is a hypnogogic trip with a heavy hit of magical realism and a dose of spiritual occultism. It is a Southern Gothic horror with shades of Shirley Jackson, laced with the absurdity of extreme religiosity prevalent in the American Deep South. It is the story of the sexual fever that grips young men who must think only of God, the sexual frozenness that grips middle-aged women who must think only of their husbands, and the dire consequences that can result when these two forces meet.
Keywords: magical realism, Gothic horror, Deep South, coming-of-age, Mormon, LDS, Bible belt
For more information about the contest: https://www.amazon.co.uk/b?ie=UTF8&node=12061299031&fbclid=IwAR2HcEbfeepSgy5MlM1OLrfwpAPzu047MMfU5T7GAQHsj9ZPJG0yVqD8-2w
- Free books. I don’t consider PDF downloads “real” books, but I love the free ones (especially on writing) offered on amazon.com. It’s a great way to connect with other authors and learn something about the craft. (I highly recommend “How to Write Poetry, by Cynthia Sharp; it’s not free, but it was well worth the $2.99). I already have a free e-book idea of my own I am developing (writing prompts with examples), as a way to gain followers, and perhaps even contacts.
- Samples: I can sit anywhere (like in bed) and read a sample of the book before I buy.
- Instant gratification: I don’t have to wait for a book in the mail.
- It’s minimalist. I hate clutter (I can count on both hands the number of DVDs I own, and there is a cap on how many of anything I allow myself to own); nothing looks junkier than a bunch of dog-eared paperbacks. Plus, the electronic device is also much more sanitary than a used book that someone may have read while on the can. (Hey, going to the bathroom is boring.)
- I can send documents. http://www.amazon.com/gp/sendtokindle/email. This is my favorite feature, because I’ve been wanting to print up a booklet of all the kids’ songs I sing to my daughter (as I haven’t learned all the verses to them yet–even the lyrics I wrote myself), but now I can just send a Microsoft Word document with all the songs as an attachment to my Kindle e-mail. I can also read my own work, thus saving ink (but I can’t edit it).
There are a few drawbacks to an e-reader, like not being able to give away a book you will never read again. (I don’t pay $3.99 for a book to just delete it.) A few of the authors I read, like Lisa Jackson and Sandra Brown (mainstream fiction authors, whose focus is on plot, unlike literary fiction, where the focus is on characterization), I won’t read again. I know the plot, and the characters aren’t compelling enough to revisit. (I like to compare mainstream novels to milk chocolate, and literary novels to dark.)
Furthermore, I was under the impression that Kindle books were cheaper, but they are not, considering I rarely ever buy a new book. I generally by “Like New” books in hardcover, or, unless they are by one of the authors I mentioned, I buy a cheap paperback.
Also, there is nothing like browsing the bookstore for an hour. It’s one of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon (usually with a coffee). I say, I will never buy an illustrated children’s book on any kind of electronic device. My daughter likes turning the pages, and I like the aesthetics of a shelfie.
So, I am what I call a hybrid reader–beloved books will still have a place on my shelf, but pure escapism can be relegated to my Kindle.