GUEST POST: Eucatastrophe by Kerry Nietz the author of Amish Vampires in Space
~ About the Book ~
Title: Amish Vampires in Space
Author: Kerry Nietz
Published: January 14th, 2014
Word Count: 137,000
Genre: Science Fiction
Content Warning: Minor Violence/Gore
Recommended Age: 13+
~ Synopsis ~
Jebediah has a secret that will change his world forever and send his people into space.The Amish world of Alabaster calls upon an ancient promise to escape destruction. Then end up
on a cargo ship bound for the stars.But they are not the only cargo on board. Some of it is alive...or used to be.Now, with vampires taking over and closing in on the Amish refugees, these simple believers
must decide whether their faith depends upon their honored traditions or something even
Kerry Nietz is a refugee of the software industry. He spent more than a decade of his life flipping
bits, first as one of the principal developers of the database product FoxPro for the now mythical
Fox Software, and then as one of Bill Gates’s minions at Microsoft. He is a husband, a father, a
technophile and a movie buff. He has one non-fiction book, a memoir entitled FoxTales: Behind
the Scenes at Fox Software. Amish Vampires in Space is his fifth novel.
“Eucatastrophe” is a term coined by J.R.R. Tolkien to mean “a dramatic event that results in the protagonist’s well-being.” Now, I don’t know if I can claim that anything that has happened regarding Amish Vampires in Space rises to the level of Gandalf and the Riders of Rohan charging in to rescue Helm’s Deep, but there have certainly been moments that have seemed eucatastrophic in nature.
Amish Vampires in Space (AViS) originally released in October of 2013 from Marcher Lord Press. However, in December of 2013 I got word that the owner of Marcher Lord was selling the company. The catch there for me was that while the new owner wanted to retain the rights to my other four novels, he didn’t want to keep the rights to AViS.
Why, you ask? Well, the reasons are mostly his own. I can say that it wasn’t because he thought the book was poorly written. He hadn’t read it! The only reason I got was: “To actually incarnate a punchline isn’t something I would’ve done.”
The move came as a shock to me, of course, because sales were good, the early reviews were great, and the buzz for my genre mashup was outstanding. It had been mentioned twice in Publishers Weekly, twice by Library Journal, given a nod on Dave Barry’s blog, and was the subject of an article in the Washington Post.
So at Christmastime, I was left with this dilemma: I had a book that I’d spent most of a year writing and promoting. The talk and sales were still good, but it was soon to be without a publisher. The end result? The previous owner and I scrambled through the holidays to get AViS to the point where I could sell it
independently. Thankfully, I already had accounts with all the major eBook providers and CreateSpace, so the process took less than a month. And the book remained available the entire time.
Skip ahead a couple months to March of 2014. By then the buzz and sales had leveled off, and I was beginning to think the ride was over. A friend of mine, Dawn Shelton (who is an excellent proofer) had read the book and found a handful of typos. Since sales were now a trickle, it seemed the perfect time to incorporate her changes. With the eBooks, that process was almost instantaneous. I fixed the files and uploaded them and they went live as soon as they were approved. The book was always available.
Such was not the case with the print book. As is CreateSpace’s procedure, the moment I uploaded a new interior file, the book went out-of-print on Amazon pending approval of the new version. And while the changes to AViS were trivial, there are some graphic elements in the book that always send up red flags for their reviewers. Also, the approval process only happened in the middle of the night. So every time they flagged a problem, I’d have to call support, who would attach a note, and then I’d have to wait until the next morning to see if it finally was approved. It took most of a week to get the interior finally approved. On Tuesday, March 11th, AViS was available for sale again. That very night Amish Vampires in Space was mentioned by Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show. The buzz, and consequently, sales, exploded all over again.
A eucatastrophe? I think even Tolkien would think so.
~ Excerpt ~
Jebediah had a secret.
It was a weight, really. Something the songs of church service
couldn’t lighten. Even daily prayers and scripture reading were no help. It was always present.
“It is Gelassenheit,” his father had said. “Surrendering yourself for
So Jeb bore the weight. It was God’s will. Like Abraham tying Isaac to the altar.
We hold the knife with the faith that God will stop us from using it.
With a groan, Jebediah
pushed his way out of bed. Beside him, Sarah sighed and rolled his direction. Even with the
passage of decades, she still appeared as beautiful to him as when they married. A day twenty
years ago now. Her in a simple white dress and kapp. He in his best black suit. Family
and friends, similarly attired. A simpler time. A happier time. An early spring.
secret had passed to him.
“Is it morning so soon?” she whispered.
Jeb smiled. “Ya,
She made to get out of bed, but Jeb frowned and held out a hand. “Stay in,” he said.
“At forty, you’ve earned a few more minutes.”
She put the back of her hand over her mouth
and yawned. “So much to do today. The Troyers need breakfast. And Eli will need help with that
baby. And the garden.”
Jeb glanced out the bedroom window. The sun had not yet begun
to rise. And neither moon. Only a few distant stars and the mass of what was commonly called
the Morning Nebbit. Still very dark. That was a comfort, at least.