Imogen Howson’s Frayed Tapestry is a spellbinding urban fantasy novella based on the ancient Greek myth about Hades and Persephone. Here is what Imogen says about the story and the anthology:
When I wrote Frayed Tapestry, in 2007, I was kind of trying to find my way with writing. I’d recently finished writing an 130,000-word epic-ish fantasy novel, I’d had no success finding an agent or publisher for it, and I was feeling really daunted about embarking on another long project with no guarantee of publication at the end of it.
So I’d taken a break and had written a few shorter stories. A novella had been accepted by a very new, very small (and, as it turned out, very badly funded because it had to close fairly soon afterwards) epublisher, and a young adult science fiction story had been published by another very new, very small epublisher.
I was keen to build on my small success. But having so far gone from epic-ish romantic fantasy, to not-so-epic-ish young-adult-ish romantic fantasy, to young adult science fiction romance, I wasn’t really sure what my niche was, or who my audience might be, or where to go from here.
Also, although I was happy to be epublished (seriously—five years later my daughters still remember how I jumped up and down and screamed when I was offered my first contract, and at least two subsequent contracts made me cry), I’d always wanted to see my work in print, and writing short stories and novellas wasn’t a great way to get there. So I was hoping to write enough of the same kind of short stories to have them collected for a print edition.
As it turned out, Frayed Tapestry wasn’t really the same kind of story as any of the others at all. It’s more “new adult” than young adult, although in 2007 that categorization didn’t exist, it’s not romance, and it’s a very different sort of fantasy from the other books I’d had published. But the idea came to me and by then it was too late to not write it.
I actually love the story—possibly more than the other two stories I had published around the same time—and I adored the cover that the publisher designed for it. But I was pretty sure it was never going to see print.
Especially when that publisher, too, closed, and Frayed Tapestry returned to sit in a folder on my computer.
I’ve moved on since 2007. I have seen my work in print—a full-length novel from a digital-first publisher came out early this year, and another book is releasing from a New York publisher June 2013. The publishing industry has moved on too. With a lot of successful digital-first publishers, digital-only imprints at many of the big publishers, and significant success for self-published books, print is no longer quite the holy grail I used to feel it to be. After all, the first thing I do now when I hear about a book I want to read is download the sample to my Kindle!
But there’s still something about your words turning into an actual object, something that can be held and passed round the family and placed on a shelf. And book covers look a whole lot nicer in physical form than they do on my black-and-white-only Kindle screen.
So, when Dragonwell Publishing chose to include Frayed Tapestry in an ebook and print anthology, it was the fulfillment of a dream.
My author copy arrived the other day. Photographic proof below!
Isn’t that a gorgeous cover? It has a really nice feel, too, sort of velvety, as if it’s taken on the texture of the girl’s dress. (I would like to point out that when I took the photo, my smartphone automatically focused on the girl’s face. Quite possibly in preparation to use face recognition software on her and fit her to a contact (who?) in my address book. Sometimes, I feel, my smartphone is a little too smart.)
So, five years after I wrote it, Frayed Tapestry appears in print. As it did the first time it was published, it sits slightly oddly between my last print release, another fantasy romance, and my next, a—yes, another—young adult science fiction. But I still love the story, and it’s wonderful to see it not only in print but in the company of some pretty great stories. If you buy it, I hope you enjoy them all!
Imogen lives near Sherwood Forest in England, with her partner and their two teenage daughters. Imogen has published several novels and short stories. In the virtual world, she can be found at her website www.imogenhowson.com, blog imogenhowson.com/blog, Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/imogenhowsonauthor, and Twitter twitter.com/imogenhowson. She loves to hear from readers and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.