In 2003, I was barely twenty-one and wrote my fourth novel, River.
It was an odd book, a reversal on werewolves not about battling the beast within but accepting one’s inner human; the titular character, River, was an alpha female of a wolf pack, bitten and changed into a human where she was forced to live as a teenager. Left without her mate, her territory, or her pack, she had to learn to navigate the frightening, baffling world of human beings all the while searching for a way to go home.
In 2004 it was accepted for publication; March 2006 it was published; 2007 it tied for the Best Fantasy EPPIE Award with Piers Anthony’s Dragon’s Gold. Years passed and people dug the story, enough so that I broke down and wrote a sequel that was published in 2009 called Wolfe.
Then in 2013, I just felt…done. It had been a decade. I’d changed drastically as a writer, so much so that I loathed my earlier work and pretended it didn’t exist. I requested the rights back to both River and Wolfe, which was granted, and thought I was done with it.
I was wrong.
Readers still inquired about the book and, I had to admit, it had never been released on Kindle so there could be an untapped market there. At last I did some math, figured out what it would cost for some heavy proofreading after I finished rewriting the book, the cost of stock, the cost uploading to a quality printer for paperbacks, and then the fees associated with running a crowdfunding campaign and the cost of perks to encourage donations. In May 2014, I launched a campaign on Indiegogo to fund the book thinking “Okay, if you want it re-released, here’s your chance”, entirely prepared to bury the book on my hard drive when it didn’t make the goal.
And what a goal it was. $1000. It seemed preposterous to me; surely I didn’t have the fanbase for that.
It took a few weeks but it hit $1000. Then climbed higher. Soon the next stretch goal was hit, enabling me to hire blogger Melissa Hayden of My World…in words and pages to book a re-release blog tour. Then it climbed further. And further.
The final total was over $2100, guaranteeing not only River’s re-release but that of the sequel, Wolfe.
It’s staggering and quite humbling to me that the goal was not merely achieved but doubled. There’s a broader issue, too, of realizing that writing—this entirely solitary act—can draw so many other hands in to help.
I did the rewrites but River wasn’t resurrected by me alone. This book was made possible by existing readers who loved it, new readers who wanted to try it, friends who believed in the work, and countless supporters who are working to promote the work and get it into new hands.
This book was made possible by a pack. Which seems only fitting for a story about a werewolf girl searching for her own.
RIVER by Skyla Dawn Cameron
Defiant, nocturnal, moody–though River sounds like a typical teenager, she’s anything but. River’s a werewolf.
The life of an alpha female wolf was irrevocably changed the night she was attacked and bitten, and awoke confused, alone, and human. Three years later, thrust into a world where she doesn’t belong and living in foster care, River barely tolerates humanity and still doesn’t know who bit her or why.
But River isn’t as alone as she previously thought; someone’s been watching her, someone who holds the answers she’s been seeking. And though the human who changed her seems to be a step ahead of her at every turn, River is determined to beat his game and return to her pack and mate.
As if being stuck in a world she hates, with a life she never asked for, and faced with a destiny she doesn’t want wasn’t bad enough, River still must find a way to survive every human’s greatest challenge: high school.
eBook ISBN: 978-1-927966-02-0
Print ISBN: 978-1-927966-01-3
Release Date: August 25 (ebook), September 1 (print)
Buy Direct: http://www.skyladawncameron.com/product/river/
Nook, iBookstore, and Kobo coming soon.
For a list of tour spots and to find out more about River—including the first seven chapters free—at http://skyladawncameron.com/river/
Award-winning author Skyla Dawn Cameron has been writing approximately forever.
Her early storytelling days were spent acting out strange horror/fairy tales with the help of her many dolls, and little has changed except that she now keeps those stories on paper. She signed her first book contract at age twenty-one for River, a unique werewolf tale, which was released to critical and reader praise alike and won her the 2007 EPPIE Award for Best Fantasy. She now has multiple series on the go to keep her busy, which is great for her short attention span. She is also a proud Writer of Unlikable Female Characters™.
Skyla is a fifth generation crazy cat lady who lives in southern Ontario, where she writes full time, works as a freelance designer, stabs people with double pointed knitting needles, is an avid gamer, and watches Buffy reruns. If she ever becomes a grownup, she wants to run her own Irish pub, as well as become world dictator.
Visit Skyla’s site at www.skyladawncameron.com
Facebook: Author Page
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