By Catherine Hedge
When I climb on a carousel, I’m pretty sure where I’m going. Up and down and around. The route is the same with variation provided by bejeweled horses, tigers, and occasional chickens. If you’re timid, you can ride on the sleigh and have a nice, safe trip. Predictable, but safe. But, it takes a real adventurer to ride on a roller coaster, especially for the first time. You start climbing up that endless peak, not knowing if you will come down into a bank, an upside-down spiral, or split off into some nether world and never be seen again.
Listening to a rough draft of a novel is a lot like taking carnival rides. Sometimes the trip is smooth with a clear destination evident. The author spices things up with interesting characters and keeps up the pace. A fine carousel of orderly writing with a satisfying end. (Probably wrote an outline.)
But sometimes, you have a carnie like Raji Singh, who goads you into riding a monster… towering, twisting, bedeviling… a manuscript that careens into creativity. When we listened to the first draft of Raji’s Tales of the Fiction House, we were sometimes lost, confused, but always surprised. We hung on believing that eventually, Raji would revise his tales and get us to the end safely. Exhilarated, but safe. And so he did!
We at Pen in Hand are delighted to announce the release of Raji Singh’s book, Tales of the Fiction House. Sample chapters are available. Once you’ve finished, you can delve into new original tales posted on his blog. We can guarantee you’ve never been on a ride like this one!
(Raji has kindly agreed to share his book description.)
Tales of the Fiction House, by Raji Singh
My great-great grandfather and I were best of friends, although we never met.
Fire and shipwreck orphan us – 140 years apart. We escape to imagination to survive our fate. There, midst flights of whimsy we find one another. Companionship quells our loneliness. We create fables and tales, shields against a harsh existence. We must battle animals and humans of prey.
Together, he, the future abolitionist-publisher James Thaddeus ‘Blackjack’ Fiction, and I vault from glory-laden adventures to tragedy and then to triumph.
I am Raji Singh and this is my story.
Tales of the Fiction House, for adults but suitable for younger adults, follows in the grand tradition of Aesop, Grimm, and Hoffman. Whether you’re spending 1,001 nights in Baghdad, itching to hitch a ride on the Canterbury trail, or wringing your sweaty Hans Anderson on a hot summer day, you’ll enjoy a cool respite with these all new legends and myths.
You’ll encounter a land-sea creature with as many tattooed tales on his shell as his shipmate an ancient mariner -the Poseidon of whale-talers- can ever spout-out. You’ll sail along on the Beagle and be privy to Charles Darwin’s Victorian secret romance with Harriet Beecher via carrier pigeon air-mail. You’ll claw your way through jungle dangers with the help of a kind ‘Tiger-man’. Vicious ‘gator-men’ will lore you to their swamp. The stories’ wise ladies, a gentle butterfly named Calico, and a hardened ‘Captain Polly’, will fly you to exotic worlds no human’s ever seen.
A thousand and one Tales inhabit the Fiction House.
You’ll want to visit them again and again.
©2012 by Raji Singh
(Thank you, Raji, and Best of Luck! )