Between books, I'm working on a series of short stories from perspectives of side characters.
I love Moss Hill. It's not just because I'm the creator of this magical island. Even if I hadn't thought of the idea, I would still think of Moss Hill and Vale as the perfect places to live. (I put a large picture of the island at the bottom of this page.)
I also love the people of the island. Maren with her outrageous need to butt into everything, Barnaby with his curiosity about others' lives, Holly with her need to mother everyone: these characters all deserve a spotlight. That's why I've decided to give them one.
I have dedicated this week and next to writing short stories about the people of Moss Hill. I hope to put these stories out as a 99 cent novella at the end of the month. Right now I don't have everything sketched out but I do know that I want to have at least four short stories.
I have ideas on a story for Maren about her life in the bakery - spicing it up with a little magic in the mix. I also have an idea for Barnaby, though unlike the loose-lipped leprechaun, I won't spill any secrets on the plot for that one yet. I've been wanting to share more about Tilly, the star reporter and her own sleuthing skills. And, of course, I'd love to share more about Varick's and Jane's relationship, because Cari and Maren only get an outsider's point of view on that.
I've only got one of these stories written so far, but I realized that I really enjoy writing short stories. It's a lot more condensed than a novel and the plot isn't as twisty-turny as a novel, but focusing on just one central character and a main event allows me to write with more character depth. I'm finding that it not only helps me get to know these characters and flesh out the world more, but it also helps me as a writer. I'm learning how to express these characters' personalities on paper and I hope those skills transfer into my future work. I'll let you be the judge of that when I finish my next book, Potions and Panic, which should hopefully come out in May.
Actually, writing these short stories will help with that novel because the "panic" part of that book involves a bit of upset in the communities as a whole. This will require me to get to know the community so I can share their perspectives with you. If It were a real place, I'd interview the people and get their individual stories. In a way, that's what I'm doing with these short stories. Only I'm bringing all of you along with me, because I'm sharing my world building in this upcoming novella with you.
I'm thinking of calling this book of shorts "Mosssie (Mis)Adventures." What do you think? Also, are there any characters from Moss Hill you want to know more about? Let me know on Twitter or Facebook and I'll try to incorporate them more into future works.