View Full Version : Publication of The Girl with the Face of the Moon, my first work of fiction

Ellis Amdur
2nd January 2015, 03:58
I am writing to announce the publication of my novel, The Girl with the Face of the Moon. At this time, it is only available through Amazon Kindle, at this link: http://tinyurl.com/pycavup (NOTE: even if you donít have a Kindle device, you can still read it on your computeróor other tablets, using the Kindle app - http://tinyurl.com/mg7s3qk )

Of course, I would love to see it in print as well, but that will only happen if it sells enough to get the interest of a publishing house. It came so close, actually, but the decision was made that the book, crossing too many genres (literary fiction, suspense, historical, horror), would not sell. I hope you would do your small part in proving them wrong, by purchasing the book, AND, if you find it of merit, either writing a review on Amazon or Goodreads (www.goodreads.com) or helping make it go viral by recommending it to those whom you think might enjoy it. It is astonishing to me that I actually began plotting out this small book about forty years ago. I wrote a first draft back in 1990, and the computer, with no back-up copy of the hard drive, was stolen. I abandoned it until about 2010, when I began writing again.

And for those amongst you who are martial arts friends, there is a fair amount of combat, and within that are techniques and esoteric training that you may recognize from some of your own training or things Iíve previously written about.

Hereís a brief description of the book:

A young woman of samurai lineage is raised in an impoverished mountain village by bitter parents, identical to the peasants among whom they live, but for their ancestry. Unloved and mistreated, she runs off with a Matagi, a man of a caste of hunters, who were outcast but nearly free from the rules that governed the rest of Japanese society. After a few years of happiness, their child is stolen by a being perhaps human, perhaps not. Bereft, the young woman will challenge death itself to recover her child.
The Girl with the Face of the Moon is set in Bakumatsu and Meiji Japan, a transitional period in the mid-1800's, when Japan went from Medieval to Modern in only a few years. This, however, is not a book about the privileged few; rather, this is a story of those on the fringes: a blind wandering masseuse, the abalone divers, the aboriginal mountain folk, a wild yojimbo (body guard and bar thug both), the hunters who worship bears, seeing them as the true power of the mountains, and a woman with no place in any of Japan's societies.
The Girl with the Face of the Moon is a combination of two of the oldest stories of humanity, the heroís journey and the tale of revenge: a mother seeking to save her child from hell. The description of the heroís training and that of her allies are based on historical figures and the actual training methods and techniques of archaic Japanese martial arts, something the author learned, first hand, for thirteen years in Japan. Threaded throughout is the terrible question how one can retain oneís humanity, and even further, what happens to love, in a world of pervasive terror.

10th January 2015, 01:34
I'm surprised they thought it wouldn't sell. While certainly not the same, I would categorize it into a similar genre as the "Tales of the Otori" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tales_of_the_Otori) which apparently did well enough to justify several books.

Ellis Amdur
10th January 2015, 02:58
Thank. Here's where they are different and why publishers had difficulty. Tales of the Otori is a well-trod genre. A reasonably well written, fantasy with a Japanese gloss. My book, first of all, was classified as "literary fiction" - it has a spare writing style in which the writing itself is a goal of it's own. Then, it's historical fiction, it's very short, AND it's classified as dark suspense/horror. They didn't know what to do with it, predicting that many who like Tales of the Otori or Shogun wouldn't like my work. Then the intensity of the violence was very disturbing (and given what is published these days, one comfort I took from that is that I must be a pretty good writer to have editors not want to publish because it's too violent--yet it doesn't approach, in graphic description, all the carnography (a pornography of blood, literally) that is out there. So, their prediction is that it won't sell.
I only hope that it'll go viral and prove them wrong. Amazon doesn't advertise. Rather, they track by algorithm. If people buy Moongirl and buy "b" and buy "c," then others who buy "b" or "c" may have Moongirl pop up as something "you may be interested in." The more sales, the more that happens. Reviews on Amazon and on Goodreads help.
What I cannot bear doing is jump onto a hundred social media sites that I've not previously joined and start advertising my book. So, we'll see if it takes off. I hope so.
I'm writing a second novel now in the same historical period, based loosely on the life of Murakami Hideo, of Toda-ha Buko-ryu - beginning stages, but I'm hoping to weave in something on the Taisho terrorists (Genyosha, Kokuryukai, etc).

15th January 2015, 02:48
Interesting. Okay, I can see how it differs then. It's certainly less... fantastical. Not that this is in anyway a comparison to your own work... However, I happen to personally know Stephanie Meyer's (author of the Twilight series) publisher. She found Meyer's manuscript in the trash bin at her office... and the rest is a very profitable history. Point being, publishers get it wrong.

I found your method of conveying the blind masseur's thought process interesting for it's staccato fashion. Almost programmatic or algorithmic in the way I interpreted/read it. Yet, more than sufficient to convey her mental state.

15th January 2015, 03:47
Odd... the last line of my post was cut off...

Your second novel sounds interesting. That's a curious period of history and I will look forward to reading your take on it.

Todd Lambert
21st January 2015, 23:03
I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I hope positive word-of-mouth and Amazon algorithms make it a runaway success.