When I started reading JAFF I chose my books taking into consideration several aspects, and length was definitely one of them. Yes, I was prejudiced towards Novellas! I am ashamed to say it, but there it is.
One day, after reading Compromised by Joy Dawn King, I saw that the first chapter of The Trouble with Horses by Elizabeth Ann West was available as a bonus, and even though it was late at night, I decided to give it a try. That was the day my eyes were opened towards novellas! I liked the first chapter so much that I immediately bought the novella, read it without stopping and loved it!
And so it was that I left my prejudice behind, accepted that novellas can be just as good as longer stories.
As it was an Elizabeth Ann West novella that opened my eyes, I thought it only befitting to invite her to From Pemberley to Milton to talk a little about this genre.
I hope you like her post, and her very generous offer 🙂 And if you are prejudiced as I once was, who knows, she will open her eyes as well 🙂
***Guest Post by Elizabeth Ann West***
I don’t know about you, but I am busy. No. I’m not busy. I am BUSY, with all capitals! Like most readers, the time with my Kindle is my escape – my me-time that even little fingers wriggling under the door like the bathroom can’t ruin. But I don’t have much time, so when I sit down for a Darcy fix, I need a fix and I need it NOW. 🙂
And this is where novellas, a story form as old as novels, are seeing a major resurgence in digital publishing. People are busy. They are squeezing their reading in between lunch breaks, on commuter routes, even while waiting in the school pickup lane! And with a Kindle or Nook or Kobo or iBooks, your entire reading library is with you at all times on your smartphone or tablet.
So is a novella just shorter than a novel?
Technically, yes, the distinction of novel versus novella for many literary awards hinges on word count. But deeper than that, at the story level, a novella is usually either more focused on the main character’s plight or in my case, a serialized, episodic saga. In reading time, a novella usually takes an avid reader about an hour to two hours to read. Just like a TV show!
Novellas can be fun to read because there is something satisfying about that desire for more. If you really think about it, every GREAT story leaves you wanting more. More episodes! More books! More movies! More, more, more! Or even in the case where the author has given an epilogue, please give us a title to explore just that future! Am I right?
There are some who are prejudiced against novellas, that something shorter than a novel cannot possibly be “good.” But believe it or not, there are MANY cherished classic titles that are, you guessed it, novellas! Have you read Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s? What about Camus’ The Stranger? I know, A Christmas Carol, by Dickens, many had to read that book in school. From science fiction (The Time Machine, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) to political satire (Animal Farm), there are award-winning novellas in every genre. It is as authentic of a story-telling art form as a poem, novel, or short story.
I write mostly novellas, and for awhile I struggled with how different that would be for JAFF. But when I really take an inventory of the stories that affected me most, outside of Pride & Prejudice, which admittedly I was a late comer to appreciating that story, it is short stories and novellas that have most imprinted on my mind. Ray Bradbury’s All Summer in a Day and Ayn Rand’s Anthem plus a few unnamed short-stories in anthologies, all of these stories are as fresh as memories in my brain. I feel those stories when I think about them.
Perhaps that is just the power of those authors, but a big part of it is the laser focus those stories offer on the main characters and their struggles. Throw in a love for twists in stories like The Twilight Zone or Jeffrey Archer’s A Twist in the Tale and Twelve Red Herrings and you end with an author like me: a lover of writing novellas with high drama and a twist on the ending.
Try A Novella, FREE!
I would like to invite all of the wonderful readers here at From Pemberley to Milton to try a digital novella on me. I am offering any of my novellas in my Seasons of Serendipity series which is an ongoing saga reimagining what if Mr. Bennet died at the beginning of Pride and Prejudice. If series are not your preference, I also have The Trouble With Horses which imagines Darcy fell off his horse and Elizabeth saved him, and Very Merry Mischief, which wonders what might have needed to happen to get our dear couple together if Darcy never returned to Hertfordshire after Lady Catherine’s upbraiding of our favorite heroine. Not only that, but I will personally sign your file with my own technological magic!
Simply leave a comment on this post with your opinion on novellas, or any question you might have and fill out the Google Form here (http://goo.gl/forms/dQa7wOJ67p) and I will work through the list to send the novellas out to everyone who requests one. Yes. Everyone. This giveaway will contemplate all entries until the 6th of February inclusive.
You can read more about the books available on my catalog page here : http://www.elizabethannwest.com/roseroom/
Thank you so much for joining me today on From Pemberley to Milton and hopefully if you do not already read novellas, you will give them a chance! You never know when a short and sweet read will become a new favorite! XO
Elizabeth Ann West is a Jane-of-all-trades, mistress to none! Author of 7 novellas and 3 novels, her books have won reader awards and been purchased in over 20 different countries. Armed with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from a small liberal arts university in Virginia, she has worked for Walt Disney World, Alcoa, volunteered as an ombudsman for the U.S. Navy and moves wherever her husband’s military career sends them! Currently living in upstate New York, she is a mother of two, loves to fence, and has a soft spot for Japanese RPG video games.
I would like to thank Elizabeth for this wonderful guest post, which I personally find very interesting, her generosity in the giveaway, and her kindness in making every single copy a special and personalised one.
Thank you for coming to From Pemberley to Milton Elizabeth!