Some time ago, my friend and fellow author, Jaye Wells, put out a call for help. Following the success of her first novel, Red-Headed Stepchild, she asked for the readers of her blog to come up with a possible title for her second Sabina Kane story. The one caveat was that the prospective title had to include the word “black”, as each title in the series is to incorporate a different color.
A great many responses came in, including one that I suggested—Black Light District. For any of my readers who have read Jaye’s work, the idea of fantastic characters working as prostitutes seemed like a good fit. Anyway, it was just one of several good ideas that were put out there and I soon forgot about it.
Jaye, however, did not.
A few months after the call for possible titles, the title of the new book was chosen—The Mage in Black. Obviously, this is not what I suggested, but that was not the end for the Black Light District. Jaye later sent me an email saying that, while it was not going to be used as the title, she liked the idea so much that she used it in her story and would include me in the acknowledgements when the book came out.
This made me very happy. Not only was an idea of mine making it into a published novel, but so was my name. Sure, I’d prefer to have my name on the front of one, but I was really excited all the same, one step closer to my ultimate goal of publication.
The Mage in Black is slated for release on March 31st, but some stores have been putting it on the shelves early, including a Wal-Mart in nearby Paris. I wasn’t expecting to find the book, or even looking for it, but as I scanned the titles looking for something interesting while my wife was shopping, there it was, next to, of all things, a Nicholas Sparks title. At first I thought it was Red-Headed Stepchild, put out in advance of the new title, but the truth soon dawned upon me and I snatched the book off the shelf as though I feared The Last Song my snap at my hand.
Book in hand and smile on my face, I flipped through the book until I found the acknowledgements page. And there it was. My name. In a novel. Not a character with a highly coincidental name, but me. It was a bucket full of original recipe awesome.
Needless to say, I bought that copy and, unbeknownst to my wife, I have plans to buy a few more, not only to help out the author who so kindly mentioned me, but also so I’ll always have a fresh copy in case I want to show it off. My wife even took my copy to church this morning so she could show our friends there, despite my fears that the book would burst into flames upon entering holy ground.
So, for all my readers (yes, both of you) who are looking for a good read, I strongly suggest you pick up a copy of Red-Headed Stepchild and its follow up, The Mage in Black. Jaye spins a fast-paced, tense, and often laugh-out-loud funny tale with more twists and turns than a bag full of angry snakes. And I’m not just saying that because my name’s in there.