Project #5: Undoing Alice


Posted on October 7, 2014 by

My favorite books growing up were Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There, but as much as I enjoyed the first, the second I adored. However, there was always something about it that never felt right. I know the game isn’t a normal game and although the moves are all legal, the objective of Alice was to become Queen, and capture the King. It was more of a chess problem than a real game.

But I like endings – I like loose ends tied up. As Queen, Alice could have “finished” the game easily, capturing the Red King. Instead, she got angry and went home, leaving the game in limbo.

Also, what about the pawn she replaced? The infant daughter of the White King and Queen. With the game unfinished, Princess Lily could never take her place as a real pawn.

And from that, Undoing Alice was born. It’s a quest-story, a sequel to Through the Looking Glass in which the now sixteen-year-old Lily decides that enough’s enough. It’s time to restart the game. Despite the apparent opposition to her plan, she travels through the Looking Glass world, meeting the other chess players and drawing them all back into the game.

Of all my projects, this one is the one I love most.

And it’s all ready for publication. It’s been professionally proofed, has a cover illustration and all that’s left to do is format it, insert the illustration into the cover template and come up with the back of the book blurb.

Yet, I haven’t done it. There’s no reason why. I’ve already spent all the money I need to for publication and to not publish wastes that money. I think the “why” has to do with the lack of sales of previous publications. With discoverability the main issue, why should I go through the effort of publishing something that no one is going to buy?

Of course the answer to that is quite simple – there is no expiry date on books and the more I publish, the more people have to buy. It’s a long game, a very long game, counted in decades, not months or years.

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