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Cat on The Witches of Greenwitch

Cat recently did an interview for Beth at writing it out on her free serial novel The Witches of Greenwitch I was interested in Cat's decision to publish one of her earlier novels online serially, a move I expect to see more often in the future, and invited her to tell us a little more about it.  When you're done reading her post, please click over to the site to check out the story and illustrations.  Here's Cat:

A Different Approach to Blogging

I confess that I am no good at blogging. I try but somehow time slips by so fast that I forget to post regularly. Also, I find it hard to come up with topics others might be interested in - I don't think dissecting bull's eyes or cleaning out hunted animals qualify. On the other hand, I really do want to reach new readers since I know that there are people who like my stories (like my German agent for example). I needed something a) interesting for my readers that b) could be posted regularly and that c) wouldn't eat up too much of my writing time.

What better could I use than one of my existing stories? I decided to serialize my MG-All Age Fantasy ""Die Hexen von Greenwitch", a story I wrote a few years ago and that my agent had considered too short to publish traditionally although she loved it. In the story, a mysterious stone magics book-rat Melissa to the world of Greenwitch where she meets fairy tale creatures that are not at all what she expected. Desperately, she looks for a way home and tries to ignore her past which pops up at the most inappropriate moments. At the same time, dangerous pursuers are at her heels getting closer by the minute.

When I realized that I needed illustrations because the Internet is a very visual medium, I took the time to translate it and searched for the right artist. By the time I had found Eszter Bohus, the translation was nearly done. Eszter is a 16 year old girl from Hungary with an amazing talent for drawing any sort of creature. I stumbled over her deviantArt page when another artist I had contacted realized she couldn't deliver four pictures a month without fail.

I chopped the story into 52 bits of 1500 to 2000 words each and started posting "The Witches of Greenwitch" both in German and English on March 2nd 2010 without any obligation for potential readers. The site has had 100 hits the first day (by the way, new readers are always welcome).

For me, this idea is still good. I know I gave away first worldwide print rights with publishing the story online - but I do believe that I would never have gotten illustrations (especially of this quality) had I chosen the traditional route - and I might have faced a long wait. Also, with current technology, it should be no problem to PoD-publish the story with all the pictures and some additional information if enough readers pester ask me.

This post was written by Katharina Gerlach, a writer and triple Mum from Germany.


  1. I love this post Casey and Katherina.

    It's great to see you PAYING your dues in nontraditional ways, ones with potential downsides, but you have come out of the experience positive and excited, and with illustrations in hand. Awesome!

  2. Very cool idea. I'm headed to check it out. And I'm especially excited because I'm living in Germany now and learning German so it will help me learn!

  3. Cool idea. I've seen this kind of thing done once or twice before, but usually about Zombies and not taken very seriously.

    I'll have to check it out!

  4. super cool idea! i love that it worked out so well for her! :D

    another fab post, casey!


  5. This is fabulous, Cat and Casey.

    I think it is super smart to have a way to put yourself out there. It is the way of the future to have content for free. And the illustrations and your description of the story make me excited to show it to my children. I will check it out!

  6. Your book sounds really great. I've bookmarked it to read. Thanks for sharing another way to share your book with others.

  7. What a unique approach! I will definitely check it out.

  8. That sounds like a really interesting idea! I've often thought of publishing some of my short stories on my blog...but then I wasn't sure about it. I have yet to make up my mind! So awesome about finding an illustrator!! Will definitely go and check it out.

  9. How interesting. I've actually considered doing this with a few of my short stories but hadn't met anyone who had, let alone a full story. Way to go!

    Thanks, Casey.

  10. It is important to remember that you loose First Print Rights when/if you publish a story online. It is a decision not to be taken lightly.

    ;-) I am not sorry I did it. See you on my blog then.

  11. Cat,
    This was a helpful post for not only writers, but bloggers, too. I'm glad you pointed out the loss of first rights. This is a unique idea and one to consider! Thanks!

  12. Glad it worked out for Katharina - very cool idea. Thanks for sharing, Casey!

  13. I can write, but I can't draw. I wish I could, but the most out of me are stick figures. Kindergarten kids do better. Sigh.

  14. Hi Kati!

    Wow - you're German?
    I lived in Berlin for some years in my late teens and early 20's!!
    Where exactly do you live?


  15. What a fantastic idea. I love how she hooked up with an illustrator because she is right, internet is very visual!

  16. @Ann Marie: I'm living 1 hour south of Hanover in a wee town called Bockenem.