My Novel from Foundation to Roof
My debut novel, SpaceHive, features a 12-year-old boy, Jason Anderson, who finds himself kidnapped by giant alien wasps in a ship called SpaceHive, from which he wants to free himself by destroying the wasps and saving the world. However, the Black Wasp General Vard wants to stop him from this, and if he’s successful, will cause Jason to experience the end of the Earth as he knows it.
Can Jason save Earth or will the vicious General Vard kill humanity and inhabit Earth?
Got stung by wasps in a friend’s backyard one summer and my friend also was stung, and had an anaphylactic reaction. I began to wonder what if these wasps were 9 feet tall and vicious aliens from another planet, bent on destroying Earth?
So my writer’s imagination took over and I began to draft the first chapter of what was known then as The Jive Hive (I later changed the name).
Lots of research on-line and through word of mouth about Bees and Wasps, and such Apian ways as the Queen Bee and her appearance and her role in the hive and the eventual swarm. Took liberties with the facts on Earth to suit my Jive Hive antagonists.
Also researched chemistry, biology, music, and future trends such as electronic cigarettes, computer technology, travel including India, and the effects of radiation.
TWEAKING THE IDEA
The Jive Hive originally was twice the length of SpaceHive and targeted at an adult sci-fi/fantasy audience.
With the invaluable assistance and advice of Cheryl, who is now my publisher, I carved the novel in half and wrote sci-fi/fantasy for a middle grade/young adult readership.
We brainstormed to change the title and came up with SpaceHive, what we agreed was a perfect title.
FINDING A PUBLISHER
A fellow author on-line suggested on Linked-In that I contact her traditional publisher, Cheryl Tardif at Imajin Books, and Cheryl liked the story but not well enough to offer me a contract.
After several months of editing and heavy handed revisions on my part and influenced by Cheryl’s guidance, she suggested not one but two contracts: an eBook and a trade paperback version.
SpaceHive was released in August 2012 in eBook and September 2012 in print.
MARKETING AND POST-PUBLICATION
The work of getting a successful novel out there in the public eye had just begun, and continues to this day and well into the future. Cheryl had many ideas to promote the book, the foremost being free KDP Select days, consistent tweets on Twitter, and a launch on Facebook.
I plan to do an author’s reading in schools in September, and have hosted book signings in Chapters bookstores; plan to do more.
I joined free promotional sites and also paid for some, with varying success.
I remained active on social media sites and although the first six months is over and the book is no longer on KDP Select, still the onus for promotion and marketing is on the author in today’s publishing world. My bio and books also appear on Amazon’s Author page.
I ordered print copies through my publisher and am selling them through a couple of Chapters bookstores, hopefully Audrey’s here in Edmonton, available worldwide on Amazon, B&N, and through my home.
SpaceHive is also available in certain public libraries throughout Canada, including Ontario and the Edmonton Public Library here at home.
I’ve written two other books, The Insanity Machine, a nonfiction account of my journey with schizophrenia, co-authored with Austin Mardon, PhD; and DISCOVERY: A Collection of Poetry, both available through Amazon worldwide, selected bookstores, and myself.
A charity event, Authors for Altruism Charity Book Sale and Silent Auction, is taking place on December 7, 2013 at the Legislature in Edmonton, Alberta. I’ll be selling my books there at a table and have donated a $25 Starbucks gift card to serve as part of the silent auction. The silent auction proceeds and 10 percent of the proceeds from book sales will be donated to an Alzheimer’s society. This event was conceived by my friend and fellow author, Rick Lauber (Caregiver’s Guide for Canadians) and his colleague Alison Neuman.
I’ve been told that the more books I have out there (I also write articles and short stories) the more successful my first book may be, as my name becomes known.
The building of a novel continues with BIGFOOT BOY: Lost on Earth, which was recently accepted by Mockingbird Lane Press.
About the Author:
Kenna McKinnon is a freelance writer and self-employed medical transcriptionist, occasional runner, sporadic karate and boxing student, and frequent walker. She lives alone in a high rise studio suite in the quaint neighborhood of Oliver in the City of Edmonton. Her most memorable years were spent at the University of Alberta, where she amazingly graduated with a degree in Anthropology. She has lived successfully with schizophrenia for many years and is now a senior woman, member of the Writers’ Guild of Alberta and the Canadian Authors Association. She has had three wonderful children and three grandsons.
Kenna is the author of SpaceHive, a middle grade sci-fi/fantasy novel traditionally published by Imajin Books; The Insanity Machine, a self-published memoir with co-author Austin Mardon, PhD, CM, including the latest research available at the time of writing; and DISCOVERY – A Collection of Poetry, all released in 2012. Her books are available in eBook and paperback worldwide on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and selected bookstores and public libraries. Kenna’s newest MG/YA novel, BIGFOOT BOY: Lost on Earth, has recently been accepted by Mockingbird Lane Press.
Her author’s blog: http://kennamckinnon.blogspot.com