My serial web novel, Silver Buckshot, is now complete: all 39 episodes worth!
Thirteen-year-old Princess Flavia has endured a lot recently. Polio crippled her legs and killed her mother, her father is sunk in grief, and her servants veer between negligence and cruelty. She takes refuge in her books and never complains. But she draws the line at being murdered. Fourteen-year-old Frank Barron conceals her when the shooting starts. This is no accident: a letter told him what to do. It’s signed, “Love, Flavia.” She has no memory of it. And she can’t tell the future! Can she?
You can read the whole shebang on Amazon’s Kindle Vella site. The first three episodes are free: the rest cost a nominal fee.
I wrote the book with the lofty intention of telling a rip-roaring adventure with fantasy elements balanced by realistic ones from my own experience. My dad had been lamed by polio when he was a kid, so I had a son’s-eye-view and wished a similar case on my heroine. I set the story in the year when I was the same age as my young protagonists. This gave me the zeitgeist for free. Since I spent my youth studying smartassery with diligence and zeal, I could bestow this upon my hero and turn the banter up to eleven.
I’m working on Book Two now. I’ll appear as new episodes in the same place as Book One, starting with Episode 40. But don’t wait! Book One is very much a complete, stand-alone story in its own right.
Flavia and Frank are still imprisoned in Rancho Vampiro, locked in one of the bedrooms. Things quiet down for a while, but they have a nasty surprise when a pair of vampires try to break in for a midnight snack. The intruders are dealt with in an unexpected manner. A Polaroid camera is involved.
Frank arranges some target practice before lunch, since he and Flavia are going on a mysterious and dangerous mission in the evening but neither of them has fired their new pistols. Target practice involves leaving the palace and going to a range in the middle of nowhere.
Will this work as planned? Frank and Flavia don’t want to be the targets, they want to be the targees!
In the morning, Flavia discovers two letters she doesn’t remember writing. One, addressed to Frank, reveals that someone will try to lure them out of the palace tonight with a ruse that wouldn’t fool a child. It’s a trap! The letter announces that they’re going to walk right into it.
Princess Flavia is seated at the foot of the Royal Table at dinner, with Diane Maréchal, a cousin of Louisa’s, on her right hand. Diane’s parents want to know if it’s true that Louisa (the black wolf of the Maréchal family), has disgraced herself.
But the real action happens when Flavia is summoned to her father’s study after dinner, where, to her amazement, she learns … but that would be telling. Read all about it in Episode 25: Foot of the Table.