Hello all! It gives me great pleasure to announce that I have successfully created an eBook. For those of you who don't know, I wrote what is likely the world's only alpaca fantasy novel about four years ago. Filled with adventure, talking alpacas, prophetic mice and caverns of doom. A book that Kirkus Discoveries called "a cute, well-written and suspenseful animal-adventure story" and "a charming, enjoyable read."
What in the world would inspire me to write an alpaca fantasy novel? Well, the short story is that my mother wanted to publish a book about alpacas. I write books, so I volunteered to write it for her, with the stipulation that, since I pretty much only write fantasy, it had to be a fantasy book. She agreed. I wrote it (under the pen name Albert Packard--Al Packard writing about alpacas. Get it?), a friend did the book design, and his friend (the illustrious Shawn Boyles) did the cover illustration and 25 interior illustrations. It was buckets of fun to do, and I really look back at the process fondly.
Up until this point, you could only buy it in print, but as I looked at all the eBook craziness happening right now, I thought it would be fun to make an eBook myself. I mean, I had the rights to the eBook, so it was only a matter of a bit of effort to get it online. Of course, I thought it would be a quick little process, but it turned out to be quite complex. 16 hours of work later, I now have a book written by yours truly, available in two places right now: Amazon (in Kindle format) and Smashwords (in pretty much any other format you might want). In a few weeks, it should be in the iBookstore on the iPad and in Sony Reader's bookstore. But for now, it's just a click away. I've made half of it available to view online for free, and the whole book is priced at $4.99.
If you don't have a Kindle or iPad, you can also read it on your computer screen. The pdf version is perfect for that sort of thing. Anyway--please check it out. Buy it for a friend. Heck--buy it for your 5,000 closest friends. Buy one for every alpaca you know. :-)
Oh--and if you've already read it, I really wouldn't mind a few reviews up there, too. I know--I'm being so demanding. I'll shut up now. Enjoy!
FULL KIRKUS REVIEW:
A cute, well-written and suspenseful animal-adventure story
The heroine, Buttersby, is a dominant alpaca who reigns over her Virginia ranch. Since she has won many championship ribbons, she has become, simply put, a self-centered snob. After being kidnapped along with Meander, a male alpaca whom Buttersby scorns no matter how often he helps her, she arrives in Peru among alpacas who refuse to acknowledge her superiority. As such, the outraged Buttersby finds herself at the bottom of the social system, and she's sent into the jungle with a quest: to find the legendary cave of the alpaca ancestors, aided by a prophetic mouse, ancient Vicunas and the trusty Meander. Told entirely from the alpacas' point of view, the story zips along in short chapters adorned with illustrations as whimsical as the narrative, and young readers will recognize Buttersby's failings in her well-drawn character. Most memorable, though, is the confident, wise-cracking Meander, who sticks by Buttersby despite her disdain. Packard displays a good feel for both comedy and suspense. Though the kidnapping is never fully explained, and though it may be difficult to understand why the conceited Buttersby would be the chosen one, Cavern of Babel is a charming, enjoyable read.
Readers will have fun and learn a great deal about alpacas. Well-done. (Fiction. 8-12)