I'm giving myself the Christmas present of my original books: Star Axe and Snowcastles/Icetowers.
You know how they say everyone has one book in them? Well, Star Axe would have, could have been that one book. Except, well, I had more books in me. But it came from my pure love of LOTR's at a time when there wasn't a excess of LOTR's type books.
(My father challenged me to write two more books, and offered to get me a new Selectric typewriter if I did. So I wrote Snowcastles and Icetowers.)
I've scanned them, which is a messy process. I have to go through them line by line, which is a bit tedious. So I've decided to take the rest of the month to finish Star Axe at least. Snowcastles should be easier because I just downloaded a pirated version. (Heh). Icetowers is also going to be a chore. But I think I can get them done by mid-December.
Thing is, these books sold many more copies than anything I've currently written. They were mass market at a time when that was the market. They were in all the bookstores and newstands.
I got a single royalty statement for Star Axe which had numbers I may never again achieve. The publisher had a bankruptcy reorganization shortly after, so that was it. (Dorchester lasted another 30 years, the bastards. I took it to a lawyer and he scoffed at the paltry amounts. Paltry to him, but a few thousand dollars would have been nice back then.)
Snowcastles undoubtedly sold even better, because it was sold in the British Commonwealth, by a different publisher. They seem to be all over the world.
However, I was in my mid-20's when I wrote these, a pretty immature mid-20's at that. The innocence actually works pretty well for fantasy, but the writing is a little clunky compared to my current abilities, so I kind of wince my way through the transcribing.
I decided about a fourth of the way through Star Axe to change the more egregious sentences. I've decided that as long as I don't actually change the real content, improving the writing here and there isn't a crime. The book seemed to be liked by people--very much liked by some--so I don't want to change that.
But...improving a sentence only makes sense. I'm certain that no one will notice the difference.
It will be fun to have these available online, and why the hell not? Right?
6 days ago