At Home ‘In Maine’: Nights Before: The Novel
My first novel in my home state began as six novella-length e-books, connected by holidays. The story of Jocelyn Tavers’ encounters with a science fiction author, a law enforcement officer, a tow truck driver, a military psychologist and an absent father:
New Year’s Eve is a time for reflection and change. Jocelyn has more changes coming at her from all directions beginning on a Portland, Maine winter day than she’s faced since her mother’s death. None of it bodes well for the junior editor’s fledgling career when her fiancé abandons her. If not for three unwise princes, a Viking warrior and a sinkhole… [first paragraph of Back Cover description of Nights Before: The Novel]
The settings of the Nights Before novella series are based on the places I knew during my childhood. All along the Bayonne corridor where many French settlers established farmers and businesses, there are villages and towns that reflect this francophone heritage. In The Night Before Labor Day, Brad Foster speaks French. Joselyn learns that Rodney gave his heart and lost it to a girl of French descent in The Night Before Veteran’s Day.
Rodney’s lighthouse on the rocky coast where Jocelyn hosts the book launch for Gordon Fieldcott in The Night Before Labor Day resembles the colorful cottages on the coast of the French Mediterranean.
Jocelyn lives in a residential area of Portland, sharing a duplex with the owner, the father of a Viking warrior, with stairs in her livingroom that go nowhere — a hiding place for her most treasured possession. As an editor for a small publisher, she has the opportunity to work with that eccentric professor. Although Gordon takes a romantic interest in her future, he isn’t the one who captures her heart.
As you see from the image of the six e-book covers above, the story begins on the last night of one year and comes to its happy conclusion one night before Christmas Eve. Each of the installments features one of six American national holidays. This gave me a framework to tell Jocelyn’s story, adding external events to complicate the interaction between her and the men in her life.
In October of 2015, I published the six novella-length e-books as a print edition: Nights Before: The Novel. This edition isn’t available in digital format but as you can see from the image above, it is beautiful to behold and, for those who prefer their reading material in traditional paperback form, Nights Before: The Novel does the job.
I’m proud to say that NB:TN has been featured in an academic paper about fiction set in Maine. Not having seen the paper, I can’t say how my novel fared with regard to the competition. I do know that the academic thought the cover was beautiful.
The novellas and novel are all available through major online retailers including the iBookstore, Smashwords, Barnes & Nobel and Amazon.