Keeping characters alive
By Denise Baran-Unland Correspondent December 20, 2012 1:00PM
the revised cover for "Demon of Undoing," by Andrea Alton of New Lenox. SUBMITTED PHOTOS
Updated: January 22, 2013 6:02AM
Andrea Alton, 66, of New Lenox, was setting up books for an event at the New Lenox Public Library when someone introduced her as an author.
A woman looked up and said, “Is that who wrote ‘Demon of Undoing?’ My son loved that book!”
The rights for “Demon of Undoing,” which Baen Books published in 1988, have reverted back to Alton. So Alton collaborated with that fan—he did the formatting—and self-published “Demon of Undoing” through Amazon’s Createspace.
Alton is currently working on the sequel she always wanted to write. “I plan to have the first draft done by Christmas,” Alton said of her next book. “I don’t want to wait five years before publishing another book.”
Alton’s book centers on Fenobar, a crippled Imkairan outcast that chooses a Demon (the Imkairan name for “human,” because their concepts and inventions could destroy the rigid Imkairan society) as his secret ally and source of strength.
A poorly written medieval romance novel inspired “Demon of Undoing.” After reading it, Alton, a science fiction fan whose only writing credits included two newspaper articles and a couple of short stories in college, thought, “My God, this stinks! I can do better than this.” Then she sat down and began composing her fictional world.
During the time Alton began submitting the completed manuscript to literary agents and publishing houses, she began a correspondence with Jacqueline Lichtenberg, author of the then popular Sime-Gen Universe series.
“I wrote short fan stories about her universe and then she read my book,” Alton said. “She liked it so much that she talked to her editor about it.”
Alton was visiting a friend in Colorado Springs when she received the news that “Demon of Undoing” was accepted for publication. She couldn’t help running outside and screaming in triumphant exultation.
“Because I was in the mountains, I could do that without attracting too much attention,” Alton said. “So then my book was published.”
When Alton isn’t building fantastical places, she’s making and selling jewelry, a creative outlet that began with her parents’ fondness for rock collecting. For many years, her parents hunted, collected and polished beautiful rocks.
Alton’s father kept a rock grinder in the garage. It was Alton who began fashioning necklaces from pieces from their extensive collection. The jewelry she sells only by word of mouth.
“People see something new I’m making and want it for Christmas presents,” she said. “I love seeing my jewelry go to a good home.”
She now works with many varieties of beads: glass, metal, jade, agate jasper.
“I just try to find interesting stones,” Alton said, “and then I go from there.”
Buy “Demon of Undoing” at www.amazon.com.