Have questions about “The Mermaid and the Unicorn”? Here are some answers! If you don’t find your question here, please send us a line at ElizabethAHajek(at)gmail(dot)com.
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What is the recommended reading age for this book?
The heroine of the book is a nineteen-year-old college student, but my intention as an author was to create a story that would appeal to a wide range of readers. The age of the heroine means that the book will probably be categorized as adult fiction, but content-wise there is nothing that most 13-year-olds shouldn’t be able to handle. There’s a little violence, a little kissing, and a few very veiled references to more mature topics, but I think the book would be considered tame even by most YA standards. Indeed, I think the biggest issue for my Protestant readers will be discussing the Catholic elements with their pre-teens. I’m quite happy to answer any questions from parents determining whether to give this book to their child. Please feel free to write me at ElizabethAHajek(at)Gmail(dot)com if interested.
How can I get an autograph if I buy the book on Amazon?
We are happy to send you a bookplate! Find the instructions here.
How big is the book?
The answer to this keeps changing somewhat as we go through the formatting process! The trim size will be 6×9 (the same size as the Fairy Tale Novels for those of you who own them and want a reference), and right now we are at 338 pages with fairly tight margins. The latest wordcount is just over 127,000 words.
Will I be able to buy the book from my bookstore?
At this point, unlikely. It is difficult to publish independantly and get into a big bookstore like Barnes and Noble. Smaller bookstores (particularly Catholic ones) may choose to carry the book if they get request from readers – (that’s you!) – but right now my book probably won’t be carried in any publishing catalogs so bookstores won’t know about me unless you tell them! And even then I may not be able to offer them a good enough wholesale price for it to be lucrative for them. For now, I am focusing on online marketing and in person appearances. (If you own a bookstore and would like to discuss wholesale terms, please contact me at ElizabethAHajek(at)Gmail(dot)com.)
Will I be able to get the book from my library?
If you request the book, they may decide to carry it. I am applying for a Library of Congress Catalog Number, which will be useful for this aspect. Once the Amazon page is up, it should have all the relevant info for you to request the book from your library. I am very willing to give a discount to any libraries interested in carrying my books. (Contact me at ElizabethAHajek(at)Gmail(dot)com).
Will there be a hardcover version?
Not unless there is a LOT of interest. It’s more work to pull together, and costs significantly more. I’d do it if there was interest down the line, but it is currently low on my priority list.
Will there be an audiobook?
Honestly, I’m surprised that I’ve gotten this question, but I have. It’s so early in the game that right now I have no plans whatsoever to even think about doing an audiobook. It is a very expensive process, and since I’m deaf, it is not something that I personally can exert much control over, so I am very reluctant to imagine it happening. On the other hand, I know a lot of people in my life love audiobooks, so if the right mix came together, I am not opposed to it. It’s just very unlikely.
Are you going to do book signings? Talks? Conferences?
God willing! I certainly intend to do as many venues as I can, as it is a key part of marketing, but right now so much depends on my very unpredictable health. As of right now, I can’t schedule anything because there is only a 50% chance that my health would allow me to make it. I’m hosting a launch party for family and friends and that is the biggest commitment I can make right now.
I am, however, very interested in doing blog visits. So if you have a blog and would like to interview me or host a guest post, please contact me and let me know! I would love to discuss ideas with you! I wish I could visit podcasts, but since I am deaf, there are some logistical issues there. 😉 Please send me an email at ElizabethAHajek(at)gmail(dot)com if you’d like to talk about visiting your blog!
Is this a series? Will there be more books coming? Are you still connected to that series at Chesterton Press?
Yes, it is a series! “The Song of the Fay” is the official title, and I currently have two novels and a novella planned for sure! (The first draft of the novella is half written). None of these are at all connected to the Chesterton Press series – we connected my book completely from that and I’m now writing in my own universe. This is good because it means you are finally getting to read this book, and it should also mean that the next books in the series come out faster because I’m only coordinating with myself, and not multiple authors.
I definitely still love Chesterton Press and everyone there, and highly recommend their works if you’re looking for Catholic Fiction (and of course I recommend the Fairy Tale Novels to anyone and everyone all the time, haha). Everything is very amicable between us all. 🙂 I owe them a big debt for getting me started on this story in the first place, and they continue to be lovely mentors. 🙂
The book is still Catholic, right?
Yes, it is! It’s a little weirder for me now, since I’m no longer writing this series for a Catholic press, but I wrote “The Mermaid and the Unicorn” as a love letter to my wonderful friends at the Fairy Tale Novel Forum, and I’m sticking to that. Also, I find Catholicism easier to portray in print than Protestantism. I’ve contemplated doing a spin-off series in this world featuring Protestant characters, but there’s nothing fixed about that right now, just ideas.
Either way, my goal is to portray my characters accurately, and to tell a good story with human truths that resonate regardless of religious affiliation. I think writing characters of all beliefs is a good way to grow as a writer. I just wrote a Star Wars scene with a friend where I had to write a character who was working for the Empire, which was really bizarre, but also made me think really hard about motivation and development. And that, in turn, grows my abilities as a writer.)