I thought I had finally cracked it when an Australian editor said she was interested in the book now titled Mark and the Impostor-King of Lazaronia but wanted me to do more work on the characters. Apparently they didnt develop enough, didnt learn from their mistakeswhatever that means. I think the fact that I started my story with my hero flying a kite in the local school grounds and ended it with him flying a different kite in the same place confused her. Unfortunately by the time I got back to her she had left the publishing house and the other editor who had read my work obviously didnt like it as much, although in her rejection she invited me to submit further manuscripts. But one of the things the first editor asked me to do was to write some blurbs (the few paragraphs on the back page of a paperback that tell you what the story is about). And I had naïvely thought that was her job!
For more on the above, see More Writers Frustrations. There are two links like the one below at the end of the text: one to return here and the other to return you to the question on my FAQ page.
Anyway, I wrote blurbs for both sets of novels and below is what I sent for The Earthlight Quest. The ellipses ( ) indicate where parts were left out of the quoted text.
Blurb for THE OBSIDIAN QUEST
In the moonlight the tall gabled house looked even more sinister than it had in daylight. The blue light hovered over a door in the basement. The door slowly openedand there stood the man who had said he was a retired scientist. Come in, greenhorn.
He scrutinised Peter closely. Yes, Im sure youre The One. When I took you to my cave that day and something intervened before my master could assess you I was sure of it. only The One could have given all that trouble. That uncle of yours for all his so-called wisdom hes nothing but a fool. He regarded Peter thoughtfully. I wonder he said softly, as though to himself. Peter suddenly felt as though something touched his brainsomething loathsome and slimy.
When Peter comes to stay with his dead mother's twin sister and her husband while his stepfather is away on business, he is immediately plunged into a chain of frightening and bizarre events that cant possibly have anything to do with himan ordinary, somewhat solitary boy. But then, is he really so ordinary? Is his unclea complete strangeras ordinary as he at first appears? As for the retired scientist, what ordinary man has the type of power he seems to wield?
Blurb for LORD OF OBSIDIAN
I am the Power of Obsidian, the Essence of Obsidian, the Spirit of Obsidian, the voice boomed at him. I am the Omniscient All-seeing Eye of the Obsidian Orbthe Quintessential Nucleus of All Sorcery. Am I inside the Obsidian Orb? Peter dared to ask. Oh indeed not, the Power of Obsidian replied. You are within the Essence of Obsidian or, if you prefer it, inside the Book of Obsidian the most powerful book ever written about the most potent source of magic the world has ever known. Yes, I know, Peter said. But why cant I learn from the Book of Obsidian the same way that I learn from other books? Why do you have towell swallow me?
Sujad Cariotis has stolen the refashioned Obsidian Orb and made himself Lord of Obsidiana very powerful enemy who is yet only a servant to the real Enemy. But, unknown to Sujad, Peter has made an unusual secret friend to help the Earthlight in its continuing fight against the evil that threatens to swamp the planet.
Blurb for THE THIRD AGE OF OBSIDIAN
The inscription was so large that Peter was able to make it out from a fair distance. The words seemed to give off their own light. In a soft whisper, which echoed in strange sibilants around him, he read:
Commanders of Light and Darkness waged war within the womb. Corruption and vicious treachery then led one on to doom. But in the Great Halls of Draining Light, in a fortifying bower, The Sleepers weave dreams while invoking the revival of their power. The friend of the One through willow shower With silver concord protects his power. But the Commander of Darkness with vicious might By false claims of kinship asserts unjust right.
When the Essence of Obsidian tries to explain this prophecy to Peter by describing the word womb as a poetic euphemism for the beginning, Peters final quest for Earthlight only becomes more difficult and confusing. And in the meantime, his and the Earthlights enemies continue to grow in both numbers and poweruntil Peter discovers the dreadful truth and in his mind-numbing horror seems to be about to lose the final battle.