Second Edition: What’s New?


When the first printing of The Fiddler’s Gun surprised me by selling out in early December, I jumped at the opportunity to revise the book rather than merely reprint it. There were several aspects of the first edition that I wasn’t happy with, and I was anxious to set them right. So I hunkered down in January and worked through a fresh edit of the book.

As soon as people heard there was a second (and improved) edition in the works, they started to ask what was new.

The answer is: a lot–and not so much.

If you are wondering whether there’s a different ending or new scenes or characters, I’m sorry to have to disappoint. The new edit was primarily to address some pace and flow issues at the sentence level. The result is that this edition will be a much cleaner, more compelling read for the first-time-reader. Although there are some scene changes and rewrites, you’ll not likely see much difference unless you have a keen memory.

However, I’ve also taken the book formerly known as The Fiddler’s Gun: Letters (previously only available digitally or as a limited printing of 100 copies) and added it as an appendix. These seventy-five pages of extra content contain a sundry collection of letters and ships’ logs that, taken together, illuminate sections of the primary narrative from the first person perspective of Fin Button and a select few other characters. If you’ve ever pondered the vast conspiracy surrounding the Brandenburg Strudel or wondered who the Boot Snuffler is, these letters contain valuable insights, and more than a little humor. The careful reader may also wish to pay special attention to the expanded glossary–it’s positively indibnible.

We’ve also given the book a facelift so that it matches the quality of Fiddler’s Green. The colors on the cover are more vivid, we’ve added cover flaps, and the interior typesetting is more appealing. All in all, I think it’s turned out wonderfully. It wouldn’t be complete, however, without a beauty mark. Much like a certain mole on Marilyn Monroe’s lip, I’ve added a delightful typo to the first page (entirely on purpose!) that does a marvelous job of accenting the beauty of the book as a whole. Be sure to snatch up one of these specially flawed copies. They are true collector’s editions. If you don’t believe that story, well, there’s always the third edition to look forward to.

The second edition is also available on the Kindle (sans appendix) for just 99 cents. Why? Because I’m out of my mind. The iPad version is on its way.

The Fiddler’s Gun (second edition) in the Rabbit Room Store.

The Fiddler’s Gun in the Kindle store.

Pete Peterson is the author of the Revolutionary War adventure The Fiddler’s Gun and its sequel Fiddler’s Green. Among the many strange things he’s been in life are the following: U.S Marine air traffic controller, television editor, art teacher and boatwright at the Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch, and progenitor of the mysterious Budge-Nuzzard. He lives in Nashville with his wife, Jennifer, where he's the Executive Director of the Rabbit Room and Managing Editor of Rabbit Room Press.


  1. Val

    THANK YOU for the $.99 Kindle deal! I’m hooked!!! And then I just HAD to get Fiddler’s Green. AND Im’ telling all of my favorite people. I haven’t loved a book this much since Madeleine L’Engle’s stuff. I <3 Fin and I promise to keep spreading the word!!!!

  2. Patrick

    What made you write about a girl? (intrigued by the questions of Ugly Biscuit that I would never have thought to ask) I’ve been writing a book with a female protagonist, and it never occurred to me that might be an issue for anyone- that the how or why one might write from a gender other than their own might be bothersome to someone.

    I have some ideas for my reasoning, now that I am thinking about it, but the question seems to assume that fiction writing is just the author turning themselves into a make-believe hero and writing about it. For me, my female character was a minor part of a fragment I wrote years ago that became something more as I began to integrate several short story ideas into one fuller story about this particular character.

    Just sharing my thoughts out-loud here, wondering IF gender might be an issue I should consider and why it might actually be an issue. I understand the assumed challenge of authentic viewpoint- but I think I’ve got that part of it- what else?

  3. Ugly Biscuit

    To me, it can be plenty hard just to write about some notional guy, being a guy. But it would seem harder to write about being a girl when infact, you weren’t one. Like they say, (You should write about what you know.)

    So, to me, its just an interesting query.

  4. Pete Peterson


    Good question.

    I didn’t make a conscious decision to write a female character, I simply wrote the story that I had, or that was given. It didn’t even occur to me until halfway through the book that writing from a female perspective might be unusual. Once it did occur to me, I was very conscious of it and paid a lot of attention to trying to make sure it felt authentic. This is no small feat for a man who’s been single for 39 years. Getting inside a woman’s head isn’t something I’ve got a lot of practice with, but if there’s one resounding piece of feedback I’ve gotten from readers, it’s that Fin’s character feels authentic. She resonates very strongly with women of all ages, and I’m grateful for that.

    I think the key rests primarily in forgetting that the character is female. Man or woman, we’re all human in the end. The same things drive us, the same things hurt us, the same things heal us. By trying to write a character that is wholly human, the male and female of the matter fades away, blends into the little details here and there that anchor the character. If you’ve read the book, you’ll understand the irony of that because one of Fin’s primary struggles is with how people either have or have not defined her by her gender. It’s all proof to me that storytelling is a far more complex miracle than I’m likely to ever completely understand.

    The book certainly appeals to both men and women. It has a strong female lead and a romantic subplot, but it’s a war story full of pirates, revolution, cannons, naval battles, barroom brawls, and a slew of other things that aren’t typically found in women’s fiction.

  5. Ugly Biscuit

    Well, i didn’t mean “Unusual” as much as i meant “Arduous.” Like asking for extra headaches.

    39 years huh?

    Remember “Original Jams and Coca Cola Shirts?” Crazy!

    Well, it sounds like you hit a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth!
    Just going by what Buck wrote, which in my mind stuck out the most, she seemed to be so inspired by it that it helped her to write something incredibly Crabapple as well.

    I just turned 40. It was nothing!
    30 however, liked to have killed me!

  6. Loren

    So I’ve put both this and “Fiddler’s Green” in my shopping cart…and am trying to justify buying them now for my husband’s birthday which is in August 🙂 . I’m pretty sure he’ll enjoy them (and I want an excuse to get them so I can read them!)…. Hmmm, ‘fraid they’ll have to sit in the cart for a bit. Maybe a July anniversary gift!

  7. Fellow Traveler

    Do you think the book could legitimately be seen as coinciding with a feminist agenda? Or not?

  8. Fellow Traveler


    I guess what I mean is, if some feminist were to pick up the book and write a review where she went on and on about how in her opinion, “Peterson boldly overturns traditional gender roles…blah-blah-blah,” what would your reaction be?

  9. BuckBuck the Nordic Wonderduck

    Oh, got it. Maybe I run in the wrong circles, but I haven’t seen many feminist critics who are willing to actually listen to what a book is saying anyway. I have a hard time respecting this school of literary interpretation, because the term indicates an agenda from the get go. Perfect example of the dangers of eisegesis.

  10. Fellow Traveler

    All you have to do is walk into a literature class and you’ll get plenty of the wrong kind of lit. crit.

    I know somebody who remembers taking a class where the teacher was quite seriously advising another student to write a paper about Richard III arguing that Richard III was a woman. “You might even get it published,” she said earnestly. Scariness.

  11. EmmaJ

    Way to go, Pete!
    I ain’t never wrote no books… but I done made a lot o’ other stuff… and I know what it’s like to see flaws in the finished product that no one else might notice, and how satisfying it can be to have the opportunity to go back to tweak those things and polish it up just a bit more. When you care about something, it feels good to see it shine.

    So, congrats on putting out the new edition!

    Do you ever knock of work for the day and then sneak back into the room and flip the lights on again for one last look at your nice boxes of printed books? Because that’s what I would do. I mean, that’s what I find myself doing when I finish a sewing project, and I would be about 1,000 times more ridiculous if what my little hands had made was a book.

  12. EmmaJ

    Oh… and I was meaning to add…
    On the matter of fleshing out a character different than oneself, as the matter has been raised…
    As a female reader, I felt like Finn Button was a believable character. While not strictly feminine in certain surface matters, I think the essence of who she is as a girl seems true to life. One key element that makes that true is that her most important choices and deepest regrets center around relational concerns.

    At any rate, she didn’t strike a discordant note in me that made me say, “This female character was obviously created by a man! Blah! We aren’t like this at all!” As much as I like Jane Austen, sometimes I wonder if men feel that way about Mr. Darcy, Mr. Knightly, et. al.

  13. Pete Peterson



    I do occasionally smell the boxes when no one is looking 🙂


    I believe it’s already available for the Nook (although it’s the first edition). I hope to have the new edition available soon. Just a matter of finding time to get it formatted.

  14. Pete Peterson


    Fellow Traveler said: “if some feminist were to pick up the book and write a review where she went on and on about how in her opinion, “Peterson boldly overturns traditional gender roles…blah-blah-blah,” what would your reaction be?”

    My reaction would be: “Why, thank you for reading my book, ma’am. Yes, you do indeed have my permission to distribute thousands of copies at feminist rallies all over the country. Let me show you where to order . . .”

    Seriously, though, you can read all sorts of things into it if you like, but that doesn’t make them intentional, or even accurate. I believe “eisegesis” is the word of the week.

  15. Paula Shaw

    All I have to say is “Epic Movie”! It’s got to happen, Pete! And I STILL think Amy would be a kick-butt Fin. Although, that little girl from “True Grit” sort of made me think twice about her little self. Dye her hair red, and . . . just sayin’!

  16. JWitmer

    Argh. I just bought Scarce… the RR is testing the limits of my self-control regarding discretionary spending. =)

    Pete, have you written anywhere the story of how you wrote and successfully self-published and distributed this novel? I’ll bet I (and maybe others) could learn a lot.


  17. Bob

    I picked up this book when I saw that it was available for the Kindle. I really didn’t know what to expect, but dove right in. At first, I was wondering if I would like it. A spunky orphan girl getting into trouble in an orphanage? As a guy, that just wasn’t getting it done for me. As I continuted reading, however, I got drawn into Fin’s world and began to see things through her eyes. Gradually the world of the book widened and much greater dangers loomed on the horizon. In short, the book developed into a swashbuckling good time!

    Pete is a talented writer–it runs in the family! I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and the same day that I finished it, I went right back to Amazon and bought Fiddler’s Green, which I’m reading now. I would encourage everyone to check out these books. Pete has created a rich tapestry of characters that are deeper than just serving as a means of moving the story forward. You’ll find yourself struggling with Fin to make sense of the world, and cheering her on through each adventure. Do yourself a favor–get these books!

  18. JJ

    I wonder what will happen if I buy the updated Kindle version (the 1st edition was my first Kindle purchase last November). I’m guessing it replaces what I have? Hmm..

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