Waverly Hall: A Book and a Challenge!
Posted by Brian
An old house, another world, a genocidal maniac, a teenage girl, and, yes, a squabbit… Meg was supposed to be exiled to Waverly Hall for an entire year. A year of boredom. A year of isolation. What she finds instead will mark her forever and may lead to the freedom of a world devastated by plague and kept under the brutal control of an insane dictator. Not bad for an eighth grader.
Well, as of this past week we here at LHP can now put our money where our proverbial mouths are when it comes to writing novels: My first work of fiction (I’ve written scholarly Civil War history before) is now available from Lantern Hollow Press! Waverly Hall can be purchased in print and as an e-book from Amazon, Kindle, and Smashwords. It’s a chance for those of you who have persevered with us for so long to see if we have the foggiest idea what we’re talking about!
Waverly Hall is the story of Megan O’Reily, a girl from Atlanta, GA who is forced to spend a year with her crazy uncle in his old home in the North Georgia mountains while her parents traipse across Europe on an extended vacation. While at Waverly Hall, she discovers a collection of portals that opens into a network of sentient worlds spanning multiple universes and times. Her first adventure leads her into a dark, sci-fi dystopia in the world of Relois. Relois is suffering from the effects of a centuries old plague that once nearly wiped out all life on the planet. The survivors, addicted to the serum that protects them from the plague, are forced literally to work themselves to death in the service of the man who created the serum, now called “The Keeper of Relois.” How Meg reacts will determine the fate of an entire world and whether or not she will ever find her way back home again.
There are multiple layers to the book, and that encompasses my challenge.
- First and foremost, I hope that it is a good story that you can read and enjoy from cover-to-cover. If you think no more of it than that, I am content.
- Second, as you read, you will probably catch snatches of the familiar. That is also intentional. I wanted the book to serve as a sort of bibliography to some of the many works that I love. Therefore, you will find references to many, many books, movies, authors, computer games, history, real physical locations, etc. etc. hidden throughout the book. I have attempted to hide these sufficiently well so that you can appreciate the story without being distracted by them, but might later enjoy hunt for them after you’ve finished your first read.
- Third, while I agree with Lewis in avoiding allegory, I have also adopted his approach of showing how things “might have been” if ideas and philosophies from our own world were to play themselves out in another. You will find some very real, very frightening statements coming from various characters in the book that, frankly, I didn’t make up. They came straight from the minds and lips of very real people right here in our own world. In Relois, we see how they might be worked out in reality.
And so, here’s the challenge: I dare you to dig into the book and find all the things I’ve hidden. Some references are as plain as the nose on your face. Others take a little more thinking. Still others I’ll be very surprised if anyone finds at all. In my first post each month for the foreseeable future, I’ll defy you, good readers, to unlock a specific portion of my code. If you can do it, email me before the day specified in the challenge, and I’ll give you credit in the post I use to reveal the answer at the end of the month. If you’re the first one to get it entirely right, I’ll not only give you credit, I’ll make sure you get a free prize (to be specified in the challenge) and some LHP swag.
Of course, to start, you’ll need a copy of the book! The e-book is currently on sale at Smashwords.com, but you can also purchase it straight from our e-store for your Kindle or get a hard copy from Amazon.com:
If by chance you wanted a signed hard copy, you can contact me directly (email@example.com). We can sell those for $9.99 plus shipping and handling.
Now, for this month’s challenge (You’re competing for a $20.00 Amazon gift card and an LHP T-shirt):
In the book, there are four characters whose names that are significant references to Lewis, Tolkien, and characters in their worlds. The prize goes to the first person to correctly name three out of the four and explain the connection!
BONUS: If you can catch all four, I’ll throw in a copy of the Kindle version of The Tales of Taleissin: with Other Poems of Mythopoeic Interest by Donald T. Williams.
You must get your entry in to firstname.lastname@example.org by 11:30 p.m. on July 21st. Good hunting. I hope you enjoy the ride. 🙂
About BrianI am a history professor and author living with my family in the Virginia Mountains. It's hard to improve on a life like this!
Posted on July 7, 2011, in Authors, Books, Brian Melton, C. S. Lewis, Characters, Donald Williams, Educational Resources, Fantasy, History, Humor, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lantern Hollow Press Authors, Political, Science Fantasy, Science Fiction, Social Commentary, Waverly Hall and tagged Brian Melton, C. S. Lewis, code, contest, Donald T. Williams, J. R. R. Tolkien, Lantern Hollow Press, Mere Humanity, Waverly Hall. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.