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Sunday, June 18, 2017

J.D. Blackrose Guest Post: Novellas Rise from the Dead

Novellas Rise from the Dead
It Was Good Enough for Dickens
The poor novella. Unloved and unwanted, it has lived in the no man’s land between a short story and a novel, not quite either, not something better.

It wasn’t always this way. Charles Dickens and Alexander Dumas published serial fiction in the pulp magazines of their time. Duma published The Three Musketeers as a serial, and every one of Charles Dicken’s novels were published in this manner. The pulp magazines dominated the reading market from 1896 to the 1950’s.

Write it Up; Spit it Out
Pulp magazines were literally the cheapest paper around, so pulp stories garnered a reputation as being cheap as well, despite the now-heralded luminaries that published in them. This wasn’t without reason. Many of the high-volume pulp authors of the time didn’t spend much time writing or rewriting. It was a write it up, spit it out business.

The novella, and serialized fiction in general, eased out of popularity as paper became more expensive and other media, such as television, entered the public consciousness.

Dickens Got It
Experts at the George C. Gordon Library Worcester who are preserving Dicken’s works as serials, comment:

“The novels appeared not all at once, but in parts or installments, over a space of time. Publishing his novels in serial form expanded Dickens’s readership, as more people could afford to buy fiction on the installment plan; publishers, too, liked the idea, as it allowed them to increase sales and to offer advertisements in the serial parts. And Dickens enjoyed the intimacy with his audience that serialization provided.”

The reasons for publishing serial fiction remain true today. Novellas can:

· Increase sales opportunities, by offering each novella for sale individually, and then combining them into an omnibus for those who want the story all at once,

· Create an ongoing conversation between an author and her readers, particularly if the author uses social media effectively, and,

· Allow readers to try new authors, without gambling too much money.

Little Bits of Deliciousness
The novella is back. Running an average of 30K words, but possibly going as long as 50K, these little bites of deliciousness work well with the digital publishing world of today. Combining careful storytelling with professional editing and artwork, the new novella provides a quality read that a person can read on a subway train, or in a night or two, without committing to a long book. For folks with e-readers, these compact stories cost a pittance at ninety-nine cents to about three dollars. If you hate it, no big deal, and the low cost makes it easy to try new authors.

Falstaff Books, the publisher of my new serialized novel, The Soul Wars, believes this new/old format is an integral part of publishing today, John Hartness, one of the principals at Falstaff, says, “Serial novellas are a part of our publishing philosophy. We can take more risks with novellas, because the production costs are significantly lower than with a novel.”

Hail the Novella
Proving that everything old is new again, the novella is making a comeback. For those readers who relish a good read, like following characters over time, and want to build a relationship with their favorite authors, this retro style is perfect.

Souls Collide (The Soul Wars: Book 1)
by J.D. Blackrose
June 2 2017
Pages: 120
A Valkyrie and a Vampire battle together for the fate of the world in Book 1 of The Soul Wars, a stunning new fantasy series!

Kara, a Norse Valkyrie warrior, and Gaspard, a centuries-old vampire, find themselves in an improbable alliance to prevent the Soul Wars, an epic battle between vampires with souls and those without, which a real god swears could shake the very foundations of the Earth. Can Kara and Gaspard set aside their natural enmity, or stranger yet, nurture their unexpected feelings for one another while fighting for their lives?

In Souls Collide, Book 1 of The Soul Wars - Things thought long dead reappear, forcing Kara, Gaspard and their paranormally sensitive neighbor Adelaide, to work together to put them to rest forever, or at least, for now. Kara and Gaspard’s growing attraction forces Kara to reconsider her feelings about vampires and her belief that they are soulless monsters.

The Soul Wars novella series is a new series of short novels, similar to BookShots. Souls Collide is the first in the series by urban fantasy author J.D. Blackrose. 

About the Author:

J.D. Blackrose is the fantasy pen name of Joelle Reizes. She loves all things storytelling and celebrates great writing by posting about it on her website,

When not writing, Blackrose lives with three children, an enormous orange cat, her husband and a full-time job in Corporate Communications. She’s fearful that so-called normal people will discover exactly how often she thinks about wicked fairies, nasty wizards, homicidal elevators, and the odd murder. As a survival tactic, she has mastered the art of looking interested.

About Falstaff Books:
a digital and print publishing company based in Charlotte, NC dedicated to carrying on the tradition of Weird Tales, with a diverse offering including fantasy, science fiction, horror, and mystery blended together into something unique. Falstaff loves bringing amazing stories to light and giving incredible writers a voice. The battered, ignored, rejected “misfit toys” of fiction are all welcome at Falstaff Books, where we understand that every scar is a story and only with different voices can harmony be created.

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