My debut, A Rose and the Thorn, was published in August 2019. For a poorly edited, unmarketed, published-on-a-bit of a whim book, it’s done really quite well. We’re not talking “retire and live off the royalties”, we’re talking lovely reviews, an ok-number of sales, and it’s been read almost every day since publication on Kindle Unlimited.
It’s the little things in life.
I published ARATT at the age of 29, but I’d been writing since I was twelve. As such, more than a few projects have been left at the wayside…
Here they are, together with the reasons they were abandoned:
The Adventures of Ariadne McKane
This was a gender-swapped Harry Potter rip-off about a girl that goes to a school for witches and wizards after discovering her mother has been lying to her her entire life. I remember the castle was alive like in Beauty and the Beast and she had a talking mirror. The villain was a spider-lady. I finished this when I was 13 and it will NEVER SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY. I don’t think I have a copy of it anymore, and thank God, because it was CRINGE.
The Chronicles of Orin
This was my first foray into fairytales and featured a princess named Melody going on a quest for the lost Chronicle of Orin—a magic holy book—after her world is invaded by a race of monsters called “The Forgotten”. Spoilers: they were the ugly creatures her ancestors left behind when they forged a new world. Joining her on her quest were a fairy, a unicorn, a pegasus, a mermaid, and a hot stable boy. I promise you, this story was absolute trash and once more, you will never see it. I think I finished it when I was about 14.
The Legends of Naeum
This was LOTR meets Chronicles of Narnia but poorly written, chock-full of teenage romance, and had every cliche in the book. It was swimming with ideas and scenes that had nothing to do with the story and was just slammed in there because I liked it. It was about a group of teens that were sucked into a magical world and told they had to save it. It was atrocious. You will never see it.
Kit Kennedy wakes up one day and can see dragons. She eventually discovers that she’s a dragonrider—part of an ancient order sworn to protect earth against an evil race of necromancers from “the lower plains.” This series featured time-travel, sassy dragons, sympathetic villains, and a platonic boy-girl friendship at its centre. I finished the first draft when I was about sixteen.
So, this project I actually really like. I conceived the idea as a teen and have rewritten it dozens of times since. The latest one I’ve done in the past 3 years is passable, but still not quite right. It borders the line between MG and YA so it’s a bit of a hard market, and it’s an ambitious project at 10 proposed books. I definitely couldn’t do this one alone, so I’m saving it for traditional publishing.
King of the Naga
I conceived and wrote most of this book (and fair bits of its sequels) when I was at university studying creative writing, so thankfully the style of this book isn’t as shocking as some of my others. It again featured the trope of 3 teens getting sucked into a magical world and told they needed to save it, but it had way more of the emotion that my later books have become known for. It was multi-POV and featured lots of romance, but at its centre was the three girls (witches representing the trifecta of mind, body, spirit) and the friendship they shared. It also features naga (snake-folk) as the villains, which is a rarely fantasy creature, and some really fun characters, if I do say so myself.
I’d like to return to this project one day, but I shelved it because it needed more work doing to it than I had time for, and it’s contemporary YA—not the kind that adults secretly enjoy, if that makes sense!
So, there you have it. The first 5 books I ever wrote, 3 of which shall never be spoken about again.
Have you ever shelved a book or left one behind in childhood? If so, let us know why in the comments! ^_^