This is the long novella / short novel, set directly after Tuyo, that involves a Lau surgeon going into the winter country to care for the soldiers too badly wounded in that final battle to immediately travel back to the summer country. But, well, which is it? Calling this a novella versus a novel is essentially an aesthetic choice because it matters only with regard to how I define it on KDP. Here are the choices:
A) Call it Tuyo: Book 5 and consider it part of the series
B) Call it an “associated novella” or other related work.
If Suelen were under, say, 150 pp, I’d say fine, it’s a novella. But it has (I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn this) gotten a bit longer over time, not shorter. It’s going to be about 220 pp (68,000 words). That’s in novel territory. Any number of older novels (and recent novels if you look at romances) are about this length, even though my personal novels average about twice this length.
It’s shorter than Nikoles, but not a lot shorter. That one was about 75,000 words. If I called Nikoles part of the series, well, how about Suelen? The former was set before Tuyo; the latter is set immediately after Tuyo; there’s no obvious guidance from in-world continuity.
I’m about done with revisions, by the way, and just about to begin proofing.
I decided it probably wasn’t necessary to put an animal on the cover. The element that seems like it ought to be emphasized is the Sun. I sent the artist various photos like this one from Pixabay and suggested some variation on this theme. I did consider animals, but nothing came to mind that seemed as suitable.
I will add, Suelen’s actions in the winter lands are undoubtedly going to cause significant ripples in Ugaro society, and arguably in Lau society as well. I hadn’t realized that before I started writing the story, but it certainly became obvious before I reached the end. I think it’s fine that those ripples aren’t showing up yet in Tarashana — there are excellent reasons for a lag — but I’m going to have to remember this for the future.