Douglas Arvidson is a past winner of the WICE/Paris Transcontinental International Short Story competition. His short fiction has been published in Paris, Prague, and in literary magazines in the United States and he was recently invited to be a staff writer for the Prague Revue, a cutting-edge, online literary journal ( The novels in his fantasy series, The Eye of the Eye of Stallion, include The Face in Amber, The Mirrors of Castaway Time, and A Drop of Wizard's Blood. His new novel, Brothers of the Fire Star, was selected as a finalist in the ForeWord Reviews 2012 Book of the Year national awards and as a finalist in three categories in the 2013 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards: Action Adventure Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Young Adult Fiction. It has become part of the pantheon of Pacific literature and is now included in school literature programs. Brothers of the Fire Star is an adventure story set in the Pacific during World War II and concerns two boys of different races and cultures who escape the island of Guam in a small sailboat when the Japanese army invades. They must then struggle to survive as they master the secrets of the ancient Pacific navigators. Appropriate for young adults as well as adult readers, Brothers of the Fire Star is available on Barnes & Noble, ( and Visit the author's website:

Monday, June 21, 2010

Another Novel Rises from the Soil of the Mind

The universe is made up of stories, not of atoms. - Muriel Rukeyser

Good children's literature appeals not only to the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.

                                                                               - Anonymous

It's a stomach-lifting thrill to finish writing a novel. And that's because it sneaks up on you. When you sat down to work that morning, you knew you were near the end of it, but of a sudden, there it is. There is no place left to take your characters. The plot line has lived itself out, the arc completed, the denoument drawn out and sewn up neatly.

So you sit there and let the shocks of the thrill wash over you, one after another. It's done, over. It's like graduating from college or winning a prize. And it's a rare enough delight to cause you to get up and bother your wife and call your daughter with the news and plan a small celebration of some sort involving champagne and a good meal.

A feeling of loss? I've heard of that before and I've experienced that before, too. You will miss the adventures your characters have taken you on, the vicarious wonders you were experiencing sitting in your writing room alone all these months---no, make that two years on this one.

But still, there is a lot to be done. The first draft is such a rough-cut creation. I need to expand some scenes, add even more action, make sure the characters are complete and true to themselves. In other words, I've got a couple of months of re-writes ahead of me and then a trip to Guam and have the book read by my friend, the master traditional navigator from Puluwat. And then another re-write and then, maybe, a professioinal editor will give it a go-over. Then, maybe next winter, say sometime in February, it will go out and find a publisher.

But the essentiality of it is done. I've written another book. Imagine that.

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