Friday, December 19, 2014

A New World For Writers…And Fans

with guest blogger, Walt Mussell.

Have you ever dreamed of visiting a world you’ve read about in someone else’s book?

I have. I would love to sip ale in The Shire or fly aboard the Enterprise. In my own manuscripts, I’ve tried to create a world that I hope people would want to visit (though, in my case, avoid the guys carrying swords because they’re pretty good with them). 

I recently learned that it is possible to play…TO WRITE…in a favorite author’s world.
In October, I received an e-mail from Amazon, asking if I wanted to participate in a Kindle Worlds launch for an author whose work I’ve been reading for years.

My reaction was …huh? I nearly tossed it as spam, but instead e-mailed the author who confirmed it was legit. From there, I asked myself the following:
What the blazes is Kindle Worlds? 

I discovered that Kindle Worlds is a fan fiction offering run by Amazon. Authors license their creations, allowing fans to create their own works based on characters created by the author. Those authors set rules on what’s allowable. Amazon reviews submissions to make sure rules are met. From there, the fan fiction stories are sold as e-books, with the fan fiction writer earning money from his/her story. 

There are currently 31 worlds to choose from. Anyone can submit. (Click here) And though all the worlds are secular, Amazon does have its own rules, most of which center on keeping submissions relatively clean.

As I mentioned, I was asked to participate in a launch. When Amazon launches a new world, some authors are contacted in advance and asked to write stories to be available for the launch or soon afterwards. For me, I joined the most recent launch: Body Movers by Stephanie Bond. When it comes to hilarity, Stephanie occupies the same rarefied air as Mary Connealy. Her funniest work is likely her Body Movers series. 

Body Movers is the story of Carlotta Wren, a young woman growing up rich, until her father, under criminal indictment, skipped town with Carlotta’s mother, leaving then 17-year old Carlotta to raise her nine-year old brother, Wesley. The series begins ten years after Carlotta’s parents left town. The parents are still missing, the police are still looking, and Carlotta’s life is still upside down. (Click here to see the books.)
I have two items out related to this launch.

The first is a short story titled Revenge Is A Body Best Served Cold. It takes place in an interval between two books in the series and is told primarily from the POV of the now college-age Wesley Wren, Carlotta’s younger brother. 

The second one is a novella titled Even Bodies Fall From Trees. Assuming everything is on schedule, it should be out this morning. This story is a prequel that occurs at the time of the initial arrest of the father. However, to indulge my fascination with Japanese history, I set the prequel in the Yokohama foreign settlement of 19th century Japan.  

A number of published authors have also written wonderful books for this launch. Please click here  to see them. 

So, in the comments, let’s try anyone of several topics.

  •  If you could enter the favorite world of any author, what world would it be and where would you take the story?
  •   Pick a favorite Seekerville story and move it somewhere else. What would you do?
To celebrate, I’m giving away five copies of Even Bodies Fall From Trees. Please note that current Kindle Words’ works can’t be purchased/sent outside the U.S., but they’re working on it. Also note this is obviously not inspirational romance. 

In the meantime, since this is Seekerville, virtual food is a necessity. The virtual food of the day is red velvet cake and Baroida coffee. (This coffee is so good, you’ll drink it black.)

Walt Mussell primarily writes historical fiction with inspirational and romantic elements. His favorite setting is medieval Japan and he refers to his writing as “Like ‘Shogun,’ but the heroine survives.” His Kindle Worlds Body Movers novella, Even Bodies Fall From Trees, debuts today.  He also has a Body Movers short story, Revenge is a Body Best Served Cold. Walt also writes Biblical fiction and is working on a manuscript with a 19th century American setting. He has one published novella in the Christmas anthology, Hot Cocoa for the Heart.


  1. Congrats, Walt, on being invited to write for Kindle Worlds. I hadn't heard about this opportunity before, but it sounds exciting.

    If I could slip into the world of any Seekerville author, I'd choose Janet Dean. Since she writes for Love Inspired Historical as I do, I would choose one of Janet's secondary characters and have her travel to California, where she would meet a certain fellow and experience her HEA. :-)

  2. Walt, this is totally wonderful! What a fun venue to jump in and test the waters... and your flexibility!

    So I have a question for you my friend...



    With your own voice and twists, of course.

    Let me say this again, darling man...




    Got that out of my system!!! :)


    Oh, happy day, oh wonderful day, oh thank you my friend!!!!

    Walt and I share a love of God, family, writing and BASEBALL....

    We are buds. So it's okay if I ream him out here in Seekerville....

    Nicely, of course!

    I didn't even know these fan worlds existed. Walt, do they have one for inspy authors... I'm going to check, we need a fan world!!!

    (pauses... takes a breath... because what if they do and no one likes her stuff???????? Can the ego take the hit??????)

    Squares shoulders and says "Yes!"

  3. I realize in my post that I did not say thank you to the ladies of Seekerville for inviting me to blog. I always love visiting here, but blogging here is a special treat. :-)

  4. Keli, thank you. I have to admit, I love Janet's worlds, too. If I start a book of hers in the morning, it's done before they day is through.

  5. Ruthy,

    My adorable bud and fellow baseball fanatic, I don't quite get your question. The opportunity this offered to me here was the chance to finally put out something that was set in historical Japan. I've been trying to do that since before the first day I showed up in Seekerville. I am beyond thrilled on that. I've even got sequels (yes, plural) in my head to the Japanese story that I wrote.

    I don't know if they have a world for inspy author, but that's what fan fiction is. You take an existing world and then you write a variation on it. If you want to write an inspirational variation on a story you enjoy, then that's fine.

  6. HAHAHA!! Way to harass the guest, Rufus!!!!

    I must go get Dunkin' Donuts to keep him happy.

    Favorite, Walt, dear? Maple bars maybe?

  7. So wouldn't it be fun to write a Mary Connealy contemporary version of her Sophie's daughter's books????? Generations later. Or time traveling????

  8. Yes, Tina, anything with maple is appreciated. :-)

  9. I love Mary's Sophie's Daughter series. (There will always be a spot in my heart for Mandy, but she belongs with Tom.)

    You could time-travel them to the present. You could write about great-grandchildren. What would also be cool is to re-set in the WWII era.

  10. Tina, unless Facebook is lying, we need birthday cake (or birthday donuts). Happy Birthday, Walt.

    This is such a fascinating topic. I looked at the list of worlds. Really interesting. Years ago, when I was writing Revolutionary War historicals, I used to imagine my characters interacting with some characters in Cynthia Wright's books that were set in the same time period. I haven't thought about that in awhile.

    What brave new worlds this Internet brings us.

  11. Duh! I forgot to say congratulations on being invited to participate and good luck with the launch.

  12. Thank you, Mary. Yes, it's my birthday. I consider blogging in Seekerville a great present.

    I did not know a lot of the worlds that there were there when I first examined it. the one I knew the most about, other than Body Movers, was Barry Eisler's John Rain series. I love reading this series. However, given the sheer amount of fighting skills and weapons knowledge that Barry Eisler puts into his work, I would feel lost trying to bring something to that.

    What would work, however, is for me to take the character of Rain's best friend, Dox, and send him back to high school.

    What your talking about in your Revolutionary War type musings is exactly what fan fiction is.

  13. Congrats Walt! What an amazing adventure for you! I hope the launch goes great!

  14. This is so interesting, Walt! And it sounds like SO MUCH FUN! I can remember as a kid/teen who loved to write, I'd make-up stories based on favorite books & TV shows. (Wish I'd kept some of them!) How wonderful that now "fan fiction" is available for adults to read and write! I'm looking forward to checking out your stories! Congrats, Walt!

  15. Wow what an awesome opportunity! I'm so glad you were invited to participate. Congrats to you!

    A world doesn't occur to me right now....I tend to think of towns like my Milford as a fan fiction of Zora Neale Hurston's Eatonville. I changed the name, time and locale though because her estate has a whole lot of lawyers. I'm so glad Amazon is giving you a new opportunity.

    Happy Birthday!

  16. Your birthday!

    Happy Birthday to you.
    Happy Birthday to you.

    Happy Birthday dear writer guy.

    Happy Birthday to youuuuuu!!!

  17. Morning Walt and welcome to Seekerville. What fun. And super CONGRATS on the Kindle Worlds publication and getting a story set in Japan. I know you are happy. smile

    My friend Carolyn Hughey writes for Kindle World. I was invited but am so dense. I wasn't sure what it was. Dummy me. I am glad you took advantage of it.

    I love the fan based fiction. During the summer I do writing workshops and many teens came and talked about stories they write in fan based fiction. It is such a great venue for them.

    And the red velvet cake is appreciated. Thank you.

    Have fun today.

  18. Jackie, thank you. It's been a learning experience.

  19. Glynna,

    Thank you. There's a lot of fan fiction out there's more than Kindle Worlds. However, a lot of it's unregulated (i.e. the original author isn't compensated) or involved.

  20. Piper,

    Thank you. This is a lot of fun and a good outlet. (My wife likes it, too.) Still, creating your own world that others want to visit is the best.

  21. Glynna and Tina, thank you for the birthday wishes.

  22. Sandra,

    I've learned that a lot of fan fiction is teens writing about favorite characters and it is a way to express yourself through writing. I think Amazon limits its fan fiction writers to being at least 18, but I'm not sure about that.

  23. Morning, Walt! Happy Birthday!! Wow, spending your birthday with us is BIG!! I'm feeling very special right now : )

    I'm a huge fan of anything Amazon and I hadn't heard of Kindle World. Time to hop over to Amazon and poke around all the new things they've thought up.

    What a wonderful opportunity to write dream stories based on your favorite author's series. How cool is that?? Silly me, I didn't think anyone else got so sucked into an author's series that they come up with stories of their own using the characters. What a stroke of genius!!

    I'm heading over to all your links and checking it out.

    Always good to see you in Seekerville and especially wonderful for you to share your words of wisdom with us, Walt!!!!!

  24. Walt that's awesome! I heard Stephanie Bond speak once -- she's amazing.

    Hmmm...I'd enter Stephanie Plum's world and hang out with her family! They seem fun.

    PS, Listen to Ruthy :)

  25. Audra, thank you. It is a lot of fun. In the case of Stephanie's Body Movers series, she has six books and a novella. They came out fairly quickly and anyone will get sucked in once they start reading it. Fans have been waiting for Book 7 for years. (Supposedly Book 7 is imminent and she has several books plotted out beyond that.) When you've got that kind of pull on a specific set of characters, I think it lends itself to fan fiction.

  26. Sherri, thank you.

    I always listen to Ruthy. :-)

  27. Walt, darling, let me 'splain....

    This is funny, right?

    And your original stories were more serious.

    So if you like writing along this genre/tone, would it be fun to do more of it?

    (There, see if that's understandable, I tend to type and write in a stream of consiousness manner that drives my family crazy but makes PERFECT SENSE in my head.

    They need to work harder to get on board.

  28. Walt, congrats on the fan fiction. The title and cover of EVEN BODIES FALL FROM TREES is BRILLIANT!

    I hopped over to Amazon and read the blurb about The Body Movers and it sounds like a contemp set in ...hmmm.. NYC, maybe (?), so that means that in the fan least for The Body Movers, you can not only change the geographical location, but the time period, yes?

    Your prequel should pull in historical readers to the Stephanie's series. How clever!! :)

  29. Congrats on the new fan fiction novella!
    Happy Birthday!
    Enjoy your cake and coffee.
    And I would like to immerse myself in Iris Johansen's world of Eve Duncan.

  30. Ruthy,

    I love funny. It's just that I've never been able to write funny. There's always a subtle element of humor in what I do and there are few funny lines. However, as I mentioned in the post, Stephanie is in Mary's strata when it comes to funny.

    I do write funny in my nonfiction essays. Never had any luck selling that, except rare one-offs.

  31. Pam, Body Movers is a contemporary set in Atlanta. (Stephanie lives in the Atlanta area and she's diligent about making sure the stories have the right feel.)

    As for what you can change, that's up to author and Amazon. Amazon tries to keep it clean so no gratuitous sex or foul language. (My contemporary short story has foul language in it, but it fits in with the story.) As for the rules Stephanie set, authors cannot begin a story where the current series has ended (unless they go out to 2100).

    I'm hopeful that it pulls in historical readers. I briefly hit Top 20 status in Japanese historical, meaning that my book was listed on the same page as Clavell (the author of Shogun). Wonderful image to have.

  32. Marissa, thanks. I'm familiar with the Eve Duncan series and know it's set in Atlanta, but I've never read anything in it. I've heard it's amazing.


    WOW. That's all I can say. Like you and most of your commenters, I have never heard of Kindle Worlds, which is no great surprise since I live a pretty sheltered life. But it sounds like a fascinating idea, and HOLY COW, to actually become a part of a favorite author's world is TOO COOL!!

    I guess if I could be a part of any author's world, it would be Gone With the Wind, but possibly in modern times. :)

    LOVE your titles!!! Especially "Revenge is a Body Best Served Cold." Which makes me wonder -- has Stephanie Bond read your work or commented on it??


  34. hi Walt!
    first, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
    second: I LOVE the Body Mover series and am pining for that elusive seventh book. Stephanie Bond is a favorite author. Huge congrats that you got asked to write in her world. That is SO COOL!!!!! I'd love to read what you created.

    I think I'd like to visit Bond's Sweetness, Georgia series that have Baby, I'm... in the titles. Like a visit to Sweetness before the tornado destroyed it.

    Anyway, I've been writing fan-fic since 1997 in the world of Pern that Anne McCaffrey created. It's been via an online writer's "club" that posts flash fiction sized stories to a private list. I'm surprised that Pern isn't one of Kindle Worlds worlds.

    I had no clue that Kindle Worlds existed. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing and letting us know about your stuff too. Very exciting.

    As for which Seeker book... that's like asking who is your favorite child. :( I think, because it's fresh in mind. Revisiting Connealy's Trouble in Texas series in contemporary times to see if/how the Regulator's offspring maintain that closer than brothers bond.

    okay, this is getting long winded. I'll stop now. Great post Walt and again, Happy Birthday.

  35. Walt, Happy Birthday. So if Amazon limits the age to 18, I'm glad you are finally legal. Congratulations on that too. I'm not a writer, but reading about it sounds like fun.

  36. Julie, thank you.

    I can think of other people I know who would want to be part of Gone With the Wind. :-)

    Stephanie has read Revenge. The Japanese story just finished within the last week, so I doubt she's had a chance to read it. She's supporting/helping all of the authors in the launch. However, she's also working on getting Book 7 out as soon as possible.

  37. DebH, thank you. Yes, there are a lot of ways out there to post fan fiction. Kindle Worlds is just one of them. I don't know what's involved in getting a World listed.

    If I were to go to a different Bond world, other than Bddy Movers, I would choose her Voodoo series (Mojo, Louisiana).

  38. Marianne, thank you.

    Yes, I'm definitely legal. I have a teenage son who's close to legal. I hope you enjoy the books.

  39. Wow, I'm gobsmacked. I'm familiar with movie/tv based fan fiction, but actual books. I'm...well gobsmacked. I guess because I'm thinking copyright and authors and publishing houses and plagiarism. Anyone remember back in the day when there was all the hoopla about kids starting Harry Potter websites and writing fan fiction and the movie company demanding they take their websites down?

    If I were to write fan fiction for a Seeker many choices. How about stepping back in time and giving a certain adopted O'Connor child her own happily ever after too? Mind you, just saying that, makes me think what if Julie Lessman is already planning to do that? That brings up a whole other conundrum--

    What happens if the author's next book resembles a fan fiction book? Think of the lawsuits, the claiming that the author stole creative ideas. What a mess that would be. Or what if a diligent author looks over all the fan fiction being written and finds his/her options narrowed because so many storylines have already been done?

    Can you tell you've discombobulated me? I'm bounding all over the place now so I'll shut up now.

  40. Kav,

    That actually is part of the issue with fan fiction. The only rule Stephanie really set is that authors couldn't write anything that occurred after where here last book finished (unless you went out a century).

    One of things you acknowledge when you do this is that your rights stop with the book. In my contemporary short story, I created a police computer specialist called Livia Dunn. Once I put her in there, Livia became part of the world. Anyone else can use her. They can kill her off, resurrect her, zombie-fy her. Doesn't matter.

    In other words, the writer acknowledges that his/her only claim is to the book itself.

  41. Walt Mussell said...
    I briefly hit Top 20 status in Japanese historical, meaning that my book was listed on the same page as Clavell (the author of Shogun). Wonderful image to have.

    That is majorly fun :-)

    I've been looking forward to your post since I read about it in the WE. I wrote fan fiction for a moderated site for several years. It was a good learning experience. Loved reading fans' comments and observations.

    Congratulations on being asked to participate in Kindle Worlds ... may it bring you many readers.

    And (cue the music, open the confetti) HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    Nancy C

  42. Chill N,

    Thank you very much.

    I want to point out that anyone can participate in any of these worlds. The only reason people get "invited" is that they want material available in the early part of the launch. It's open to anyone who wants to submit.

  43. Walt, I didn't used to be as funny as I am now.


    It's Connealy's fault. And Indie publishing's fault. They opened the doors on normal humor being acceptable and that's made my life FUN beyond words!

    It's like cast-fishing.

    Tweak the line with grief and sadness, then toss in some humor bait because that's the reality of life.

    Analogies are helpful humor starters.

    Mary adlibs them wherever she goes. She's hysterical, and saves me the work of making fun of her because she makes fun of herself.

    And then posts it on facebook.


    You have my permission and No One Will Ever Know.

    I give you my word on it! :)

  44. I need food. Real food. I've just written 1500 words in a very fun novel and there are BAD GUYS involved.

    And a woman with a baby and a gun and two knives.

    A modern-day Connealy heroine.

    I'm hacking Connealy!!!!

  45. Ruthy, I can understand modeling after Mary C. However, it's a lofty level.

  46. How fun, Walt! I think I've heard mention of Kindle Worlds, but until today, I had no idea what it actually was!

    When I was a teenager, my best friend and I wrote Star Trek fan fiction. Just for ourselves, of course, though we did send one of our favorites to Gene Roddenberry. We never heard back from him--surprise, surprise.

  47. Walt, welcome! I remember reading about Kindle Worlds. I'm so glad you're doing this! I'm sure it's fun. Stephanie's stories are so fun.

  48. Stephanie Plum! Yes! I want channel Grandma Mazer!!

  49. Someone tell me how Itis Johannsen is putting out so many Eve books. Is her son or husband writing them as well???

  50. What's next for you writing wise, birthday boy???

  51. Did you save a screen shot of your top status and frame it????

  52. Missy, thank you. It has been fun.

  53. Hi Walt! Happy Birthday! And congratulations on this amazing opportunity!
    I'd never heard of this before, so it sounds like fun!
    Though I'd be intimidated trying to jump into another author's world. For instance, I think it would be great to hop into the "Outlander" world and write some fun scenes with Jamie and Claire - but how intimidating would that be?? (Can you use the author's characters or do you have to invent all new ones?)
    Anyways, wishing you much success with your ventures!
    P.S. From Canada so don't enter me in the draw.

  54. Tina,

    I couldn't get Clavell and I in the same screen shot without shrinking it down to nothing. (Long way from #2 to #20.)

    Next is me working on new query letters as I still need a new agent. I also have to get some requests filled to publishers.

  55. Susan,

    Thanks for dropping in. You can use any character you want.

  56. But Tina!!! You just described my book in Hope for the Holidays Contemporary Collection.

    It's Belle Tanner and Silas Harden's great, great, great, great grandson Tanner Harden and he still lives in the house Silas build for Belle. (they've added electricity and a few other amenities)

  57. I said happy birthday to you on Facebook, Walt. But I'll repeat it here.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  58. TINA, I think the Rosetti Curse was a Colorado version of Janet Evanovich.
    I loved that book.

  59. Walt I already have Revenge is a Body Best Served Cold but I just bought Even Bodies Fall From Trees.
    Can't wait to read it. You know I love your work!!! (You do know that, right?)


  60. Hi Walt,
    I love your story about almost deleting the message thinking it was spam. Wow, life experiences sometimes hinge on us taking a moment to ponder and ask questions. Congratulations.
    Sandy Elzie (awa Sandra McGregor)

  61. Walt, this Kindle Worlds fan fiction program is new to me. How fun to be asked to participate! Huge congrats on the release of Even Bodies Fall From Trees! That's got to be better than Odd Bodies.

    Cringing at my pathetic attempt at humor.

    Happy Birthday Walt! These are exciting days for you!


  62. Keli, we could do it! A CA setting. What time period?


  63. Walt, red velvet cake must be your favorite birthday variety! Yay!


  64. Mary, thank you. I haven't read your Christmas story yet. I haven't read much of anything for the last two months.

    Thank you for the kind words on my work. The title is a play on a Japanese proverb. Glad you like it.

  65. Sandy, after deciding not to delete it, I e-mailed Stephanie and asked if it was legit. She confirmed it was and I got to work.

  66. Janet, thank you. Yes, red velvet cake is my favorite.

  67. Myra,

    Just realized I missed your comment.

    I'm a huge Trekkie. The closest I ever got to him was knowing someone who knew him. He had worked with Roddenberry on tour and used to go visit Roddenberry at his house.

  68. Congrats, Walt, on being asked to launch Stephanie's world! Good for you. Love those titles, and I know the stories are top notch!

    Thanks for explaining how Kindle World works, and thanks for being with us on Seekerville today!

    Merry Christmas to you and the family!


  69. Thanks, Debby! Enjoyed being here!

  70. Hi Walt:

    Happy Birthday!


    Thanks for the heads-up on Kindle Worlds. This step seems to have ratified current ‘fanfic’ in that the fan can be paid for the derivative work. This also allows the fan’s writing to be sold and thus distributed on Amazon. ('Fanfic' can’t be sold since the author could sue the fan for copyright infringement. Fans have created and distributed 'fanfic' without permission because the author cannot prove any damages. In many cases 'fanfic' can be shown to help sell more books! Which I'm sure is the point of Kindle Worlds.)

    I love the idea of these Worlds.

    I could write something right now if they had, Nevada Barr, Janet Evanovich, or M. C. Beaton.

    Unfortunately, I have not read any of the current Kindle Worlds authors.

    When will there be a Seekerville World? As a great fan of Louis L’Amour and Mark Twain, I think I would feel most comfortable with a Mary Connealy book. I already have the story outlined. In a paranormal version of, “It’s a Great Life,” Sidney does not die but rather finds the Lord, becomes a great husband and father, and by using his amazing talents and wealth, goes on to found hospitals and universities. Best of all, his palace on the top of the mountain, becomes a beacon of hope and inspiration for the entire world. Years later William Randolph Hearst would pattern his San Simeon Castle on Sidney’s mountain masterpiece.

    QUESTION: Would it make sense to read your two “Body Movers” books if I’ve never read any of the original Bond books? I would think the fun would be in seeing how close the fan came to writing like the author. But then, maybe not.

    Please place me in the drawing for your works. I enjoyed your Christmas novella.


    P.S. I might be able to write a Fort Rickman story involving a case where an Air Policeman has gone rouge on the Army Post. The heroine is interested in both the CID investigator and the AP sent to help with the case. "The Blue or the Green".

  71. Happy birthday, Walt!

    These are such fun questions!
    I'd love to take the villains in Jane Austen's world, find their motivations, ramp them up to create character sympathy, then give them their own happily ever afters--after they work through the messes they've made by being evil to our favorite hero's/heroines. I'd probably set them all in Texas or Mississippi during the 1800s. :) Now there's an idea.

  72. Congrats, Walt --I love that you write historicals in Japan ... Kindle Worlds sounds interesting! There wasn't any books/fandoms I'm interested in, but it was neat to see "big" authors/series like Kurt Vonnegut, Pretty Little Liars, Veronica Mars, etc.

    I'm on my work break, so I can't read all the comments now, but are all these Kindle Worlds published material considered "canon" or approved by the author/creator of the original series? I read a couple of Star Trek short story anthologies in which authors submitted original Star Trek stories (though they could use characters, settings, etc. from the television shows/movies) and the editors selected stories to be published:

    I've read more fanfiction than I care to admit ... mostly because I love the series or characters so much, I want more even if the author has moved on or if the next movie hasn't been released yet.

    "If you could enter the favorite world of any author, what world would it be and where would you take the story?"

    I have way too much ...

    C.S. Lewis' Narnia --I'd love a Shasta and Aravis story with them as adults. It's the romantic in me, but I want to know how they fell in love and about their lives in Archenland. =)

    Brian Jacques' Mossflower and Redwall Abbey. I always hoped that he'd write another Redwall book with Mariel and Dandin, but alas, it wasn't to be since his passing away several years ago ...

    Aw, man ... my break's almost over, so I'll stop there and read all the comments when I get home. =)

  73. Very interesting post Walt, thanks for sharing! I will check into Kindle Worlds.

    If I could enter the world of a favorite author it might be Ken Follett's 12th century England from Pillars of the Earth. My story could be told from the struggling monk's POV, who finds himself caught up in church politics. The Master Builder has just walked off the job due to non-payment from the evil Bishop. The monk suddenly finds himself in charge of cathedral construction but can't read the drawings. Oh no, he then discovers the Bishop is secretly drinking the blood of the saints down in the hidden chamber. But wait, demons are involved but so are the angels who fight to save the day. In the end the monk's eyes are opened to read the drawings and everyone repents!

    Seriously I did love that book and I can see it has influenced the project I'm currently working on.

    Thanks again Walt for a thought provoking post. Way to go!

  74. Happy Birthday, Walt!
    And congrats on this fun opportunity!

    Years ago my son had to write an additional chapter for Of Mice and Men for his literature class. I had fun thinking about that! I'm going to check Kindle Words out.

  75. Hi Walt,
    I love your story about almost deleting the message thinking it was spam. Wow, life experiences sometimes hinge on us taking a moment to ponder and ask questions. Congratulations. Sandy Elzie (awa Sandra McGregor)

  76. Vince, I wrote both the short story and the novella with the idea that readers would be able to read them without prior knowledge of the stories. However, the short story takes place between Books 3 and 4 in the series, so it's like checking out the series.

    The Japan novella is an alternate universe prequel. I wrote it to attract fans of Asian-based fiction as much as I did to attract fans of the series. The series comes with backstory. I attempted to write the backstory, but set it in 19th century Japan.

  77. Natalie,

    That sounds great. To take the villain's side of things is like the popular show that looks at Oz from the Witch's point of view.

    Setting them in Texas or Mississippi sounds even better.

  78. Artist Librarian,

    There are base rules that apply to all the worlds. Each author licenses and set rules that they want to apply to their world. However, the author does not prescreen material prior to it being published, only Amazon does.

  79. Mark,

    Thank you for your kind words. I will have to check out Pillars of the Earth.

  80. Walt,
    I love that you found this way for readers to discover just how talented you are!