Stephen Howard’s novel was years in the making but it only took him a month to get into book form.
“I busted out 50,000 words in 29 days,” he said.
That was in January of 2019. All told, he ended up with about 56,000 words for his first draft.
He and his family moved to Baker City in May 2019 and he started working on the second draft.
At the same time, he began work as a freelance editor for New Degree Press, a publishing company that works on a hybrid model where authors use crowdsourcing to fund publishing costs. The author retains 100% of creative rights to the book.
“The students I worked with went on to get their books published,” he said.
He also had a book.
On June 1, 2020, he submitted his own manuscript to the publisher.
It was accepted June 28.
Howard is nearing the end of his crowdsourcing. His goal is $5,000 which will result in paperback copies, an ebook, editing, cover design, layout, format, and copy editing.
Every supporter receives a signed copy of his book.
If he raises $6,000 he will print hardcover books. Hitting $8,000 will add an audiobook that he will narrate.
He plans to release “The City of Snow and Stars” in December under his author name S.D. Howard.
Here is the link to his pre-order campaign: https://igg.me/at/the-city-of-snow-and-stars/x/24124975#/
About the book
“The City of Snow and Stars” reflects hardships Howard has faced himself.
The book addresses three main challenges. The first is abuse.
“Abuse is prevalent in today’s society and it’s not talked about,” he said.
He is a survivor of abuse. His book addresses various forms, including physical, mental, verbal, emotional and sexual.
The second component of the book is human trafficking.
“No one talks about it because it makes them uncomfortable,” he said.
The third addresses this question: Why does God let bad things happen?
“That’s something that I’ve struggled with,” he said.
Looking at his own life, he said he would not change what happened — if he hadn’t endured those experiences, he wouldn’t have made the strong connections through his recovery.
“The City of Snow and Stars” is the first book of 12. He said the series will be divided into several trilogies.
“This book was supposed to be a stand-alone book,” Howard said. “I’ve been working on this world since I was 16 — this one is an introduction.”
His main character is Trinia.
“The fate of her people rests in her hands,” he said. “Everyone has access to a magical ability, a gift from God, that awakens when they turn 16.”
Her gift is to make perfect duplicates of herself.
Except her father, the antagonist, wants to exploit that gift to create an army.
“He’s the worst,” Howard said.
He describes the book like this:
“I hope that in reading this book you will discover the pieces of the flawed and broken characters who are looking for the answers in yourself the same as I did. Their story is our story in so many ways because the truth is this: We are all a little broken.”