“Knights, Maidens and Dragons”

The original 1998 book cover

Several things happened this week, including the successful reprinting of my one children’s book. In 1998, “Waiting for True Love: And Other Tales of Purity, Patience and Faithfulness” came out published by Chariot Victor. I so loved this book; the six tales in it were lovely allegories I had taken from the 12-book Little Colonel series and re-done for the 20th century child. Homeschooling types especially liked it plus anyone who had kids over 8 years old who enjoyed tales of virtue and heroic exploits. It was selling well enough until 2000 when the publisher yanked it out of print without notifying me beforehand so I could have at least bought some of the books. I was beyond furious in that although I’d gotten the print rights back, they had retained the rights to the art. Neither I nor the artist, Diane Magnuson, could do anything for 10 years. But in 2009, a different group of people were heading up Chariot Victor. Throughout the years, I’d contacted CV, asking and asking for the art rights – this time I actually got through to the president of the company who ordered the folks under him to release the rights.

Veeka and her lion

Diana and I were quite happy about that but it wasn’t until 2010 that I realized we really didn’t have the art prints per se. It took some searching about and Diana had to re-do one of the prints. Meanwhile, I’d talked with some folks in Colorado about publishing the book – and they had been so faithful throughout the years supporting the book, which I’d gotten reprinted as a Print On Demand edition through Xlibris – but without the illustrations. They were the ones who suggested renaming it “Knights, Maidens and Dragons: Six Medieval Tales of Virtue and Valor.” The previous title was pretty girly even though boys were the main protagonists in half of the stories. But a few months ago, I decided to go with a friend who runs Chalfont House, a small publisher just south of Washington DC. It took us awhile to draw up the contract and still longer to get all the needed materials to Chalfont House (the delays were my fault plus the fact that one of the stories, I discovered, was nowhere to be found in my system. So I had to keyboard in the entire text). Anyway, once Lynellen at Chalfont got everything she needed, she put the book together and got her mom and sister to do the proofreading. The book was ready earlier this week.

Veeka at art class

And so you can find this delightful edition, illustrations and all just as it originally appeared, here. We worked to keep the price down (the color prints weren’t cheap) so please feel free to order lots of them for Christmas gifts. All this goes to show that perseverance does pay off, especially in the book world. It took me more than 15 years to get “Days of Fire and Glory” into print and, again, 10 years to get the illustrations returned for the KMD book. Waiting and perseverance seem to be the story of my life.

Above, you see my daughter at her latest round of lessons, this time art lessons, since what she gets in school seems to be pretty general and I am convinced she’s got a genuine artistic talent. She’s been learning lines and shapes and all sorts of fun things there. We just had Thanksgiving yesterday at Rob and Jan’s condo in Gaithersburg; to get there, we took the Connector: a new highway that bisects Montgomery County. It is quite expensive: $4 to go from one end to the other and wouldn’t you know it, it’s almost a straight shot from Rob’s home to where he works. But … $8/day for transport? Although some of us reminded him at dinner that most people who commute downtown pay at least that for the Metro and parking.