Other than the actual creative process of writing an actual novel, there are certain aspect of the writing for public consumption process that present an author with rather intense challenges that can inspire much gnashing of teeth and endless consternation. I have always found the book teaser to be the most ire-raising little literary device…made all the more so by the immense importance of its function. This synopsis on the jacket, back cover or retailer website (along with the graphic elements of the cover) represent the first impression opportunity for a novel and can inspire a prospective reader to make the decision to purchase or pass on a product…especially if the novel they are considering is written by an author with whom they are not familiar.
The fantasy genre, by its very nature is one that lends itself to an expansive writing style because it offers entire worlds, cultures and mythos to be explored along with complex plots and a large cast of characters. Therein lies the challenge for my fantasy series, Journey through the Land of Shades: the distillation of a coherent and compelling 400 character teaser (limit imposed by the publisher for posting on retailers sites) from what is likely to be a three thousand page plus, character and plot driven, culture and mythos rich epic fantasy series. As I struggled with this literary device for the upcoming release of the initial novel in the cycle, I winced at every word culled and every letter trimmed from my initial draft. Still, there is the essence of the challenge, to craft a brief description of the novel that succinctly capture’s the artistic soul of the work in a way that is intriguing.
Here is the end result…though still a character or two over the prescribed limit.
Journey through the Land of Shades
Islena Doraux was an extraordinary woman living an ordinary life. Daughter of the Tempest…this memory whispered at the edges of her consciousness; echoes that were the stuff of legend in a dozen worlds. An ancient nemesis would reach across the boundaries of our reality and draw Islena into an antiquated world in search of the Proclamations of Omnipotence and compel her on a Journey through the Land of Shades.