Monday, November 28, 2011

What Is an Allegory?

When I tell people The Inheritance is an allegory, many don't have a clue what that means. The definition found at is, "a representation of an abstract or spiritual meaning through concrete or material forms; figurative treatment of one subject under the guise of another."

In The Inheritance, names of characters and places all add a secondary level of meaning to the story. People can read and enjoy the book as a fantasy, without considering a deeper meaning, but readers have told me they enjoy the thought-provoking allegorical element.

When choosing the names in the book, I tried to find words that sounded more like a name. For instance, my main character Jejune, originally started out with the name "Bother" because he is bothered by an inner emptiness that leaves him restless and looking for something more. This nagging feeling bothers him. For me, the word "bother" just didn't work. After researching the possibilities, he became Jejune--lacking experience or knowledge. It was a perfect match!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Journey of The Inheritance by Donna Sundblad

My latest novel, The Inheritance, is now out in print and kindle and as the author I celebrate my latest release with this new blog. You may think I'm going to tell you all about the story in this first post, but instead I want to tell you about the book's journey and some of the people who played a part in making it possible.

I started writing The Inheritance eight years ago when I still worked a nine-to-five job. The book is a fantasy, but written in the allegorical fashion of christian classics like Pilgrim's Progress and Hinds' Feet On High Places. I knew not everyone likes to read fantasy, not everyone likes to read allegories, and not everyone wants to read a book that makes them think about what they believe or why they believe it. But I wrote it because I knew I had to. I wrote it not knowing if it would ever be published. One goal was not to make it a religious book, but a story everyone can enjoy, one that entertains but makes them think.

My publisher did not accept "religious" books, but six years after finishing the book, the acquisitions editor, Joan McNulty-Pulver, brought the book up. "I don't think it's religious," she said. And the book was accepted.

As it went through the editing process, Joan's health deteriorated. I thought the book would be out for Christmas 2010, but progress slowed. Joan passed away in March. The book was edited but stuck in layout. Margaret Carr, the editor-in-chief, made slow progress. She had the book ready to submit to the Epic for Authors eBook competition on the last day of May 2011.

Margaret passed away unexpectedly at the end of July, and with her death my publisher of seven years closed their doors. The Inheritance was ready to be published in print, but now I didn't have a publisher. Then in August I lost my job as a staff writer. I prayed for what to do.

In September finalists for the 2012 Epic eBook awards were posted and there it was! The Inheritance finaled in the Spiritual/Metaphysical category! That spurred me to move forward with the book, and now it's available!