Feedback on My Curious Adventures With a Witch

23 Jan

I met up with Michelle and collected the student feedback for my Aunt Amaryllis novel. Three student groups (out of six) from her YA Publishing class chose my novel, and they all agree there’s too much in the one book. They also all agree in changing the title, which is fine with me since My Curious Adventures with a Witch is the fourth working title. And they all agreed that it’s middle grade rather than YA, which I thought might happen, even though the protagonist is seventeen.
I’m thinking I’ll make it into a series. I’ve got other ideas for writing about these characters, so I have thought about a sequel anyway.
Strangely, I’m talking about characters I invented and started writing about back when I was sixteen years old. Originally Aunt Amaryllis was purely escapist, something fun to write about while living as a social outcast in rural Indiana. The novel started out as short stories that I decided to string together and call a novel since I was compelled to keep writing about these particular characters.
Perhaps the main characters you invent when you’re young are the ones who stick with you the most. I certainly haven’t been as attached with other characters as I have been with Aunt Amaryllis and Violet.
Because of the success of the Harry Potter books and the consequent popularity of YA fantasy, I decided in 2003 to dig out that old manuscript and revise it and expand it. Violet became Aunt Amaryllis’s apprentice rather than just a niece who shared her adventures; I also made it more clear that Violet is the protagonist. I filled in chronological gaps between chapters/stories.
I’m doing somewhat last-minute work on a fairy tale novella inspired by the European witchcraze. It has a due date of Feb 10. That said, it’s far enough along that I can also get back to work on Aunt Amaryllis. So much to write!

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