Stolen Mountain

The story of Trowbridge Vermont looks as messy and chaotic as the forests here. The first novel in the series helped me scrape the rust off the process of writing novels freeing me from the structures of technical writing, but I stuck too close to exposé. When done with the novel called “Trowbridge Vermont”, I called it a flop.

I jumped into a second book about Trowbridge. This book, being released in September of 2024, starts in metro-Boston then lands in Trowbridge twenty or more years later. That book earned the name “The Little Ambulance War of Winchester County“.

Needing a book to release in 2025, I put my focus back onto the flop called “Trowbridge Vermont”. I re-wrote it from scratch. I think I kept part of one chapter. When done with the manuscript, I looked at the nameless digital manuscript. T2 is a terrible name. I don’t need Arnie Schwartzenegger telling us all he’ll be back

How to Create a Title

Me, I had a lot of bad ideas before a good one. In a book about fraud, started thinking about stealing things. Fraud is theft. Theft of confidence. Theft of property. Theft of money. I played on that idea. Stealing Monday. Stealing Tuesday. Tuesday’s on the phone to Wednesday. Wednesday was in a movie I watched recently. I wonder what we can watch on streaming tonight? The following day, I recognized that the bad guy(s) stole a mountain. I pictured it like those magicians who stole Lady Liberty and the Eiffel Tower decades ago. Poof, you’re mountain is gone.

Then because stream-of-consciousness, I wondered what a Stollen Mountain may taste of look like. Even that image worked for me, a lumpy fruit bread with icing and icing sugar. It isn’t a festive bread served during the yule tide, it is a novel about the woman who chased a guy who stole a mountain from the good people of Vermont.

Different is Good!

After recording the audio-book version of the novel, “The Little Ambulance War of Winchester County”, the files went out for quality checks. I’ve been getting funny notes from the QA/QC person. Well she tells me she is laughing. I tell myself, the book is funny.

She had another message for me. With rapt attention, she reads my words and listens to my voice. She tells me that they don’t match. She loves the story and I seem to be coherent and flowing, but like a jazz musician, the audio is more performative than literal. Good? Bad? She encouraged me to write then record a message to the listeners. It goes like this:

“I offer you my thanks for buying and listening to The Little Ambulance War of Winchester County. I am Aiken, the author and narrator. Friends and family call me Christina.
One of the production team pointed out that this left-handed dyslexic author (me), occasionally did not read her own words correctly. Just in case you are the sort of follows an audiobook with a print edition open, please enjoy the mild variations between the spoken version and the written version. It’s the same story. The deviations are minor.