The Writing Business III

I have good news for anyone who considers me a friend. I have signed an early contract with Macmillan. They are considered one of the “Big 5” publishers in the English language. The bugs are still being decided as to when the book will come out, and I believe a new cover will have to be designed and everything. This is a day I have been waiting a long time to see. On Wikipedia I read Macmillan’s impressive history of authors:

Charles Kingsley (1855), Thomas Hughes (1859), Francis Turner Palgrave (1861), Christina Rossetti (1862), Matthew Arnold (1865) and Lewis Carroll (1865), with the latter first meeting Alexander in London on 19 October 1863. Alfred, Lord Tennyson joined the list in 1884, Thomas Hardy in 1886 and Rudyard Kipling in 1890.

Other major writers published by Macmillan included W. B. Yeats, Rabindranath Tagore, Nirad C. Chaudhuri, Seán O’Casey, John Maynard Keynes, Charles Morgan, Hugh Walpole, Margaret Mitchell, C. P. Snow, Rumer Godden and Ram Sharan Sharma.

Beyond literature, the company created such enduring titles as Nature (1869), the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1877) and Sir Robert Harry Inglis Palgrave’s Dictionary of Political Economy (1894–99).

I hope someday I shall be remembered with these names–I remember telling an older friend in college, “I am very ambitious; I hope to be like Charles Dickens one day.” The friend said, “Yes, that is very ambitious.” Yet he seemed to believe I had good ideas even back then. He said he found Children of the Cat Goddess–when I first had the idea–a real mindbender. He always seemed to like that I was thinking. I guess I was…

I don’t want to think I write books that are simply sweet or charming… I want them to be tough intellectually… Yet I admit that when you write about religious themes, people assume that you are something I never felt I was: a proselytizer or a saint. I remember in college I had a teacher weird enough to use some of the Narnia series as our text book. I wouldn’t have minded if it were a class was a children’s literature class (and I can see the value in such a class) but I wondered if some of Lewis’s answers about his faith might only be convincing to a child. I mean, the books are imaginative, and I don’t blame Christians for liking them, but his best arguments have been made better by philosophers who, Christian or not, wrote their books in ways adults understand them. For instance, he argues that there is a morality inherent in humankind, that for the human being, there is an instinctual feeling that good and evil exist. I won’t argue the point, but Kant made a similar argument about the reason you could tell there was a God was because moral reasoning required one. I really thought Kant’s argument was cleaner, admitting that it did not refer directly to Christianity (and of course, Kant was a Protestant).

That being said, I do hope to write books for children, and have read some. Most of the children’s books I have written are collections of stories, but I am hoping to write one massive one Jeanie and the Gentle-Folk. It does have a raison d’être: the justification of both a mystical belief in a God who reveals himself in different ways in different cultures and also a justification of the moral stories that glue cultures together. In it–though I won’t reveal it here–I have a proof of sorts for the existence of God. I wish I could say another book I am going to work on (right before Jeanie and the Gentle-Folk) would appeal to children, but Mom and my friend Jamie both told me it would be more suitable for adults. So it was that Oz Revisited, an Odyssey into the imagination of L. Frank Baum, but the little adventurer is the grown up Dorothy Gale’s young daughter Rosie Hughes (Dorothy’s husband is Paul Revere Hughes). When I write about Baum’s ideas, I will explore whether his socialism, feminism, or pacifism are workable in the real world. I have my doubts, yet perhaps his fiery idealism does have something to say about real people, even though it is written about the world I portray Rosie, like Dorothy, of visiting.

Despite writing for children at times, and religion often, I hope people do take me seriously whether in books like The Bible According to Eve; Faust in Love (a novel satirizing Trump); Brazil partly rewritten; Poor Folk; and Tales of the Firebird.

Published by hadassahalderson

I am a professional author who lives in Wichita, KS. I went to Friends University and spent one year at Claremont Graduate University. My published work includes: The Bible According to Eve I-IV and Faust in Love.

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