A Sword's Poem

Hurrah! Huzzah! A Sword’s Poem is now available, both in ebook and print!

Here’s the blurb:

Hikaru and her one true love Norihiko defy both their families and kitsune (fox fairy) tradition by getting married.

Then an evil magician kills Norihiko, steals his soul, and reforges it into a sword.

Hikaru seeks the sword, determined to break the curse and bring back her one true love, no matter the cost to herself or her family.

Set in Heian era Japan and composed of three novellas: The Making, The Breaking, and The Reforging.

Some background:

I actually started this novel a long, long time ago, back in 2003-2004.

Back then, I’d work on two novels at the same time. I would do the research for one while I was writing the other. So I was finishing up The Jaguar and the Wolf when I started researching A Sword’s Poem.

However, a few things went wrong along the way.

First of all, I sat down with a friend and plotted out the novel arc. I was a new novelist at the time. I didn’t realize that plotting out so much of the novel arc would kill so much of the energy for me.

So when I started writing this novel, instead of being very excited about it, I knew too much, and was kind of blase about it.

Second, I chose the wrong way to tell the story. All the characters spoke in first person, which led to six first person POVs. I wasn’t a good enough writer at that time to handle that (I still may not be a good enough writer to handle that–but at least I recognize that at this point.)

Third, after I’d written the first 18,000 words or so, my mother died.

In the first chapter of this novel, Norihiko is killed, and Hikaru spends much of the novel dealing with her grief.

I was at a much different place in my own grieving process with my mother than Hikaru was with Norihiko. After six months of struggling, I realized I couldn’t write this novel, at least not at that point.

So I put the novel to the side in the fall of 2005. I kind of stopped writing for a while. Almost two years.

Eventually, I got back to writing, and eventually, I got out the old files for A Sword’s Poem. And I got to finish this story. It was always sitting at the back of my mind, like an itch. Unfinished.

I’m glad that we live in this new age, when I could go back and finish up what I’d started so long ago.