Cover art reveal: Star Song, coming soon from Shadowpaw Press

Star Song, cover art by Dan O’Driscoll

Shapers of Worlds, the Kickstarted anthology featuring work by some of the first-year guests on my podcast, The Worldshapers, will likely be the next Shadowpaw Press title, but I’m also working on others, including a young-adult science fiction novel called Star Song…and here’s the cover art! (Dan O’Driscoll is the artist–he does covers for Bundoran Press, so he also did the covers for my novels Right to Know and Falcon’s Egg.)

Star Song (then called The Minstrel) was based on my short story “The Minstrel” (which you can read in Paths to the Stars), and was the first novel I seriously submitted to publishers. It came heartbreakingly close to being published by Walker & Company in the early 1990s, when the late Josepha Sherman was editor there: she looked at my initial submission, told me it needed extensive rewriting, and when I submitted a revised version, was (she told me) “ready to make an offer”…and then the publisher died and his son took over. Said son then decreed Walker & Company would no longer publish science fiction, and that was that. Star Song never found a home anywhere else. But now, I have my own publishing company!

It’s also almost thirty years later and I’ve done just a bit more writing since then, so I’m in the throes of a complete, start-to-finish rewrite. Which is why I’m not giving a release date just yet. However, here’s the preliminary blurb (this is what I used to use in query letters):

Kriss Lemarc is a teenager alone on a remote planet where he doesn’t belong. The guardian who raised him in a backwoods village has been murdered. His parents died when he was a baby. His only link to them is a strange musical instrument, an instrument that pulls his innermost feelings to the surface and pours them into the minds of his listeners.

Kriss plans to take that instrument off-world and trace its origin and his own–but the artifact proves to be far more than just a musical oddity. It holds the key to ancient alien powers, and ruthless people will stop at nothing to get it.

Befriended by a girl of the space-going, gypsy-like Family and a former Family member, but mistrusted and even hated by some of their comrades, Kriss seeks to learn about his parents and his true home, to keep the instrument from falling into evil hands–and ultimately, to learn his own worth and find a place where he truly belongs.

I can’t wait to share it with you and the world!

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