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Rated: ASR · Bulletin · Writing · #1173755
Information & News. Published on Lulu.com
Cover for my book, "Across The Fickle Winds of History."

Author's Note: I thought I'd post my thoughts on the writing and publishing process of my book Across the Fickle Winds of History. I hope you find them interesting.

In September 2006, I published Across The Fickle Winds of History using Lulu.com.

You can find the story, in draft form here in my port:

Across The Fickle Winds of History  (13+)
Olga Romanov, the firstborn of the last Czar of Russia, flirts with history
#1024081 by StephBee

Originally, I planned it to be novella size, so while I worked on the project, I realized the plot & pacing had to be a little faster than my normal style. Also, the project is just a slice out of a bigger work that I have yet to put up here on WDC. My goals were to write an engaging first person narrative and to tell a historical "what-if." I love history, and I thought this would be a good story to introduce readers to the Romanovs if they were discovering them for the first time.

To my surprise, the reaction on WRITING.COM was amazing. It's the only item in my port to have been awarded a Plaque, and I'm very proud of that. Some of the reviews I recieved blew me away:

From: The Knight Has Found Romance
I am without my usual words.
This was marvelous. You have put so much imagination and creativity into this tale. Your attention to detail is remarkable. Only your true love of the story can provide such.
The whole of the writing is so rich in images and vivid description.
I am in awe. Thank you for sharing your talent with me.
Please accept this gift.



Overall Thoughts
I loved this novella! I'm particularly impressed by the obvious amount of research you put into giving this story such authenticity through the details given to the names of people and obscure places. Even though the story was told in 1st person from Olga's POV, you masterfully gave depth and life to each of the supporting characters through your superb use of dialogue. I thought the strongest point of this work was the narrative. You had to give a lot of historical background information about the people and places and you managed to pull it off in a very engaging manner. A lesser storyteller might have bored me and made reading some of the lengthier narrative passages a dread to drudge through but you kept it flowing and interesting. Naturally, I loved the underlying romance and that fantastic twist behind it. You really caught me off guard with that H.G. Wells thing you did (for lack of a better way of putting it--I don't want to give too much away!).

Grammatical Issues

There were minor mechanical errors here and there but nothing major that couldn't be caught on a thorough edit.


I thought the story was fantastic the way it is honestly, but if I had to suggest something... {{sigh}} I'm not a big history buff so I wasn't familiar with many of the factual accounts of this story. I know this fiction was based on fact so as I read, I often wondered what parts were fact and which were fiction, which people and places were real and which weren't. I suppose it's a testament to your storytelling that I couldn't tell because you made everything sound real,LOL. That said, kudos for coming up with such a compelling story. No wonder it's so popular among the readers here (based on the amazing # of reviews--wow!). Nice job!


J. Mallone

Excellent Work!!!
This is alternate history as it should be, taking real life characters and situations and giving the reader just a peek at what might have been had things gone a different way.
You have done excellent research and developed an enjoyable story from one of Russia's most confusing periods.
I like the way you used Olga as your main character instead of the much more famous (and over used ) Anastasia.
Of the grand Duchesses I think Tatiania is my favorite and I hope to do a story featuring her someday.
I would add one more chapter bringing the story back full circle to tie up the loose ends but other wise its great

I really enjoyed the story and hope to soon read more of your work.
Keep it up and write on !

James M


With the encouragement of these reviews I decided to publish the story using LULU.COM.

Lulu is a web based self publisher so I knew I had to tweak the manuscript as "mechanics" is my weak point. I worked with a Lulu Provider on a basic copyedit. She did a great job.

Then, I used another Lulu provider to format the manuscript and come up with a cover for the story. I was very pleased with both providers I worked with.

Why did I use Lulu Providers? #1 - my time on the computer and internet is limited and they knew what was needed for publication.

Did it cost money? It did, but I thought the services were reasonably priced. It allowed me to keep writing on my other other projects and I appreciated that.

Once it was ready, I uploaded the project to Lulu and signed up for an ISBN. Lulu offers to give your book an ISBN and make it availiable to sellers online such as Amazon.com & Barnes & Noble. Mind you, you have to meet min. standards, such as putting the ISBN on your copyright page, but once the standards are set, you're good to go.

I enjoyed writing "HISTORY," but I also realize I have to get out the word on the story and I have a limited marketing budget. To that end, if you buy a copy of the book and drop a review on Lulu, I'll give you a merit badge. Also, if you drop a review on Amazon & Barnes & Noble I'll give you a merit badge. One more thing, if you give the book a product review, I'll give you a merit badge. As I slowly move forward with my marketing endeavors, I'll keep you posted in my "I'm Going Pro" writing journal.

StephB's Going Pro Journal  (18+)
My journey to get published.
#1031464 by StephBee

Thanks for checking this out. I hope you found the bulletin informative.

*Smile* Steph

© Copyright 2006 StephBee (sgcardin at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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