The one where I debut my gothic novel as a serial

You received The Prologue to my gothic novel Obscurity on Friday at midnight—and you’ll receive a new chapter every Friday at midnight until… October, when chapters lock down for paid subscribers only. 

Read these next few chapters and see if they’re something you’re into. If you want to keep reading, or even just want to support my newsletter, become a paid subscriber and receive new chapters every week through June of 2022.

About Obscurity

Obscurity is a gothic novel in the vein of DraculaThe Count of Monte Cristo, or The Phantom of the Opera. It was inspired by the years I spent reading gothic novels written in the 18th and 19th centuries. Once I was finished reading all the classics, I wanted one more, but with a female protagonist and a lush, Americana setting. So I wrote it myself—and it became Obscurity.

Set amidst the wild palms of 1790s Louisiana, the widow St. Vincent appears in the wake of her husband’s death the most wealthy plantation owner in the South. But strange occurrences ensue in her wake and the town becomes obsessed with their superstitions about her. As the town attempts to unravel the widow’s secrets, we find she knows something of their secrets as well—and the philosophical underpinnings of their pasts all surface to haunt them all. 

The book reads like a wandering through apothecary shelves—each step revealing a vignette more dark and mercurial than the last. The Prologue is just a taste—a sip of what’s to come. Remaining chapters will be longer in length—between 1,200 and 2,200 words—and by the end of it, we will have read a complete, full-length novel about 80,000 words in length.

The book is already written and edited and I will not skip a week. I will release a new chapter every week right through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve, delivering the epilogue to you on June 17th, 2022. After that, I will host an in-person wrap party in Salt Lake City the weekend of June 24th, 2022 for subscribers who wish to attend. (Details to come.)

Start with The Prologue and sink into Obscurity

You might not like my book

A few disclaimers before we get going…

My novel is NSFW—meaning there are dark things hidden in the corners. Though my book is not a horror novel, it is a gothic novel. There are deleterious drug scenes and persons who fall asleep in the arms of opium. There are nuns who behave piously and priests who do not. There is a woman who is found in a bloodbath of her four lovers. There are acts of violence—the kind that occur only in the depths of an unsound mind and the kind that are actually acted upon. If you are sensitive to this kind of content, please do not purchase my novel. 

My novel is also a work of fiction—meaning I made the entire thing up and you might not like the kinds of things I make up. Reading is subjective and I don’t expect everyone who enjoys my newsletter to also enjoy my novel. That’s why you will receive the first four chapters of my novel for free and you can decide at that point whether you wish to continue. If you don’t, that’s fine too! I will see you right here in my newsletter twice a month.

My novel costs money. In trying to change the paradigm around how artists get paid, there will inevitably be some who are unable to support my novel at this stage. That’s totally ok! After I’ve completed serializing my novel via Substack, I will put the whole thing up on Wattpad for free in July of 2022! If you are able to support my work and want to receive early access to my novel now, that is very much appreciated. If you are unable to, I’ll be just as excited to see you on Wattpad in a year!

How this will work

You will receive the first four chapters of my novel for free—after that my novel will lock down to paying subscribers only. Paid subscribers will be able to read the whole novel, be part of a private Discord community around it, and even have the option to receive a collector’s edition copy of the book when it’s done—all while supporting me writing novels for an entire year. 

For those who wish to subscribe, there are two pricing options:

Readers at $50/year: Receive the whole book, with new chapters every week through June of 2022, plus private access to my exclusive Discord community and an invitation to my in-person wrap party in June of 2022. There is also a $10/month option for those who wish to be month-to-month.

Collectors at $200/year: Receive all of the above, plus a signed, hardback, (very) first edition collectors copy of the novel with your name printed in the acknowledgments section. It will be linen-bound and gold foil embossed and will match my second novel in size and shape so that they will ultimately go together as a set. Collectors also receive access to a secret “collectors” channel in my Discord community.

The (very) first edition will be a limited run depending on how many orders are made. In February of 2022, I will cut off orders and print the exact number of copies ordered. There will be no further print orders at that point, and I will never print the book again. The (very) first edition will be a collector’s item that will only ever exist in the original quantity ordered.

If enough of you support me—roughly 2,000 of you at $50/year or 1,000 of you at $200/year, or some combination thereof—I will quit my day job and write serial novels (and this newsletter) full-time. Until then, I will be taking my newsletter down to twice a month (one newsletter and one interview) so I can focus on writing my next novel!

My dream for this whole thing

I’ve said that my goal for this whole thing is to become a full-time novelist—to write books, serialize them for you via this newsletter, and earn a living doing it (who wouldn’t!)—but really it’s more personal than that.

In the preface to his book A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens wrote:

I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.

—Their faithful Friend and Servant, C. D., December, 1843.

If I’m really dreaming, I want my book to do the same. I want it to pleasantly haunt you the way A Christmas Carol once pleasantly haunted me. If there is just one other person who delights in these dark pages the way I do, I will count this whole thing a success!

Subscribe here to join me:

The First Chapter is coming for you at midnight on Friday. In the meantime, do you have any questions about the book? About how the serialization process will work? About the print book and what it will be like? Meet me in the comments section and I will happily answer any and all of your questions:

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Thank you so much for all your excitement and support!

Until Friday,

Elle