Earlier this year I announced my latest book would be a short-story collection with a supernatural aspect. Today I’m excited to announce Black Lion Cottage will become my first novella to date! I’m a little behind after a horrible bout of flu but I’m catching up now and I’m in the middle of doing a third review. By the end of this week I intend to order a proof for my husband as he has kindly offered to review it. Soon I’ll be contacting my lovely beta-readers who will hopefully provide constructive feedback to strengthen the story before I release the book.
In a nutshell: Black Lion Cottage tells the untold story of brewer Derrick Carver who lived in 16th century Brighton. One evening Derrick gets arrested. Nine months later he is burned at the stake in Lewes. In 2019 Matt quits his job. He buys a cottage from an anonymous seller and rents it out as a holiday-let. There are twelve bookings (‘chapters’) and guests get caught up in unexpected and supernatural encounters. Is Derrick’s spirit haunting the cottage?
Most of you will be familiar with short-stories and novels but novellas and novelettes might not be very common. The key-difference seems to be the word count. Flash Fiction: 53 – 1,000, short Stories: 3,500 – 7,500, novellettes: 7,500 – 17,000, novellas: 17,000 – 40,000 and novels: 40,000 + words. Novellas first introduced in the early Renaissance became firmly established by the late 18th and early 19th century. A novella is sometimes called a long short story or a short novel. A couple of notable novellas are A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and Death in Venice by Thomas Mann. In general novellas can involve multiple sub-plots, twists, and characters. Its length constraints mean you’ll find fewer conflicts in a novella than you will in a novel, but there will also be more nuance and complication than you’ll find in a short story. Novellas are more often focused on one character’s personal and emotional development. In the past, the novella was often written with a satirical, moral, or educational purpose in mind. Therefore, it usually depicts the tale or story of a single character, but it can involve multiple characters.