Thursday, September 29, 2011

Valentine's Day 2012

Only 4 months and 15 days until my second novel, ROMEO FAILS, comes out on Valentine's Day 2012! Can't help it - excitement building!

ROMEO FAILS is nothing like SHADOW POINT. So, if you liked SHADOW POINT, you can be all "what a delightfully refreshing change of pace!" If you didn't like SHADOW POINT, you can be all "thank you, Jesus!"

Such a win/win, people.

How is ROMEO FAILS not like SHADOW POINT? Let's review:

- No ghosts
- Not a sequel - totally different story. A more traditional love story (well, as traditional as I can get) with a dash of mystery. (of course!)
- Set in the Midwest. The Mysterious, Romantic Midwest...
- The protagonist is a young woman named Dorsey Larue, who has two wonderful brothers named Goodman and Shaw. Together, they run the family business, Larue's Swingtime Hardware.
- I promise you don't need to know anything about hardware, Shakespeare or swing music to enjoy this story. (although the hardware store cats, George and Ira, might recommend the latter) (if you got that one, I may wish to marry you) (we'll talk)


ROMEO FAILS: the story of a lonely heart,

a red Volkswagen bug and

a love affair that is anything but simple.

COMING FROM BELLA BOOKS
VALENTINE'S DAY 2012

(awwwwwwwwwwwwww)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Word Count Wednesday!

Untitled Post-Apocalyptic YA Novel
Goal: 60,000 words (at least)

04-01-11: 0
04-27-11: 2774
05-04-11: 5528
05-11-11: 7757
05-18-11: 10020
05-25-11: 10560
06-01-11: 12107
06-07-11: 15082
06-15-11: 18120
06-22-11: 20762
06-29-11: 22677
07-06-11: 26073
07-13-11: 26748
07-20-11: uh...
07-27-11: 29196
08-03-11: 34137
08-11-11: 35239
08-18-11: 38805
08-24-11: whoops...
08-31-11: 40495
09-07-11: 42129
09-14-11: 44136
09-21-11: 46325
09-28-11: 47647


I numbered the chapters this week - always a big milestone for me and a sign that the end is kinda sorta almost near. And by "the end", I mean the beginning of the first rewrite. :-) Woo hoo!

I also named the chapters in this book, which is a first. Well, I used the days of the weeks as chapter titles in HEAVENLY MOVES (which takes place over the course of 13 days in July 1982), but those were more "markers" than true chapter names. To me, at least. We'll see if these post-apocalyptic chapter names stick.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Artichokes Began To Drool

A rare event for me - a blog post that is not writing-related. So the local TV station has started showing reruns of The Big Bang Theory. As a musician and a fan of the show, I feel it is my civic duty to share with you the following tidbit. The first few words of the theme song are "Our whole universe was in a hot, dense state..." Simultaneous with "state" is the delicate ping of a chime. I don't know why, but I just love that little ping! Listen for it: Our whole universe was in a hot dense PING!

It's delightful. :-)

Saturday Quote-O-Rama!

"Kicking it's hard, but the bottom's harder."

Aimee Mann

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Word Count Wednesday!

Untitled Post-Apocalyptic YA Novel
Goal: 60,000 words (at least)

04-01-11: 0
04-27-11: 2774
05-04-11: 5528
05-11-11: 7757
05-18-11: 10020
05-25-11: 10560
06-01-11: 12107
06-07-11: 15082
06-15-11: 18120
06-22-11: 20762
06-29-11: 22677
07-06-11: 26073
07-13-11: 26748
07-20-11: uh...
07-27-11: 29196
08-03-11: 34137
08-11-11: 35239
08-18-11: 38805
08-24-11: whoops...
08-31-11: 40495
09-07-11: 42129
09-14-11: 44136
09-21-11: 46325

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Saturday Quote-O-Rama!

"But false cheer is draining..."

Alice Hoffman, Practical Magic

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

We Interrupt This Blog Post To Say

SURVIVOR!!!

Yes, the 23rd season of Survivor starts in just a few minutes, Dear Reader. I'm a big fan. (don't judge me :-)) (oh, stop, Judgie McCritical - I'll bet you do dumb things, too)

Although I enjoy watching Survivor, I'd never win. Those bast-... people would vote me out in a heartbeat. And I'm so charming, too...

I also do not watch Survivor for actual survival tips. For that, my new go-to show is MAN, WOMAN, WILD on the Discovery Channel. Very entertaining.

My need for survival tips is primarily research for my post-apocalyptic YA tale, in which two teenagers are making their way across a hundred miles of post-apocalpytic Northern California wilderness, on foot, with very little gear.

They're in Berkeley for the moment, in case you're wondering. Or what was Berkeley...

The rest of my need for survival tips is Just. In. Case.

And though I may have semi pooh-poohed research in a recent post (which is totally different from the FULL ON pooh-pooh), I do not disdain it when it appears on my TV screen and entertains me when I least expect it. So, yay for free, unexpected and valuable research! And who knew you could do that with kelp?

Gotta go - think I heard Probst say "Come on in, guys!"

Word Count Wednesday!

Untitled Post-Apocalyptic YA Novel
Goal: 60,000 words (at least)

04-01-11: 0
04-27-11: 2774
05-04-11: 5528
05-11-11: 7757
05-18-11: 10020
05-25-11: 10560
06-01-11: 12107
06-07-11: 15082
06-15-11: 18120
06-22-11: 20762
06-29-11: 22677
07-06-11: 26073
07-13-11: 26748
07-20-11: uh...
07-27-11: 29196
08-03-11: 34137
08-11-11: 35239
08-18-11: 38805
08-24-11: whoops...
08-31-11: 40495
09-07-11: 42129
09-14-11: 44136

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Title Town USA

Let's talk titles. How does an author name her book? Mine have been obvious choices so far.

1) SHADOW POINT is a story set in a place called Shadow Point.

2) ROMEO FAILS is a story set in a place called Romeo Falls, where someone has just spray painted the highway sign outside of town to make it say Romeo FAILS instead of Falls. Get it? Maybe not - because now I'm hearing and seeing references to Amy Briant's new book Romeo Falls. D'oh! It's FAILS, people, FAILS. If you call it ROMEO FALLS, that would actually be a fail.


Is it too late to rethink the title of this book? :-) Nah... I love it. Besides, what else would I call it? Love & Interpersonal Conflict At Larue's Swingtime Hardware? Small Town Midwest Lesbians In Turmoil? It's So Damn Annoying When Your Best Friend Is Straight? (actually, that last one has kind of a ring to it...)

You know, I always loved those 19th century books that had a long, explanatory subtitle, so maybe... Maybe not.

3) HEAVENLY MOVES is a story about a girl named HEAVENLY who MOVES into a new apartment. See how hard I work on this stuff? Actually, I did have to work a little hard on this one. For years (decades?), the working title was THE LUCKY STIFF. When I finally finished the book and found myself thinking hopeful thoughts about publication, I checked Amazon to see if there was already a book called THE LUCKY STIFF. I figured there would be at least one. But maybe it would be from years ago, so no biggie. It might be a mystery - with a name like THE LUCKY STIFF, that was definitely a possibility. But, I figured hey, what are the odds it would be a recent lesbian mystery? Then I checked Amazon. D'oh! There I found LUCKY STIFF by Elizabeth Sims, a recently published lesbian murder mystery!


COME ON! WHAT ARE THE FREAKIN' ODDS?!

Okay. No problem. Renamed my book HEAVENLY MOVES, which I think will actually be better in the long run if it ends up being the first in a series. I've already got plans for #2, HEAVENLY MISSES. Yay. It's all good.

By the way, after seeing LUCKY STIFF on Amazon, I went to the bookstore, bought a book by Elizabeth Sims and greatly enjoyed it! Even better, I then got to meet Elizabeth Sims in person at the 2011 Golden Crown Literary Society (GCLS) conference this past June. I said hello, introduced myself, then told her I'd read and enjoyed her book, the one titled... er, blanked and couldn't come up with the name for a split second, so said something like "you know, the one with the rabbit? Todd?" (I know someone who's married to a Todd who used to have a rabbit, so that stuck with me) For just the briefest of moments, she looked at me like I was completely nuts and I thought in horror, "Oh, no, was that NOT the book with the rabbit named Todd?" Because going around talking about rabbits named Todd to random people is NOT a good thing. (Back me up on this, Elwood P. Dowd.) But then she nodded, smiled and was very gracious. Thank you, Elizabeth Sims.

4) THE BOOK OF KELL is a book about Kell.

So... titles: you want it to be catchy, memorable, something that will reach out and grab the reader standing in front of the shelf (including the cyber shelf) and make her pick YOUR book over everybody else's. Eventually, you hope your name on the spine of the book will be what sells. As I look at my own bookcases, I see some BIG NAME AUTHORS with little teeny titles. Ha.

Often a title is a cliche or well known phrase. ('cause it's catchy, memorable, etc.) You can't copyright a title, which is why you see books, movies and songs with the same titles.

When it comes to titles for a series of books, the author (or publisher) has some thinking to do. Name each book based on its plot? Or come up with some device that will readily identify it to the reader as another volume in the series. Obviously, starting each title with "Harry Potter and the" worked pretty well for J. K. Rowling. (not to mention Scholastic) I've mentioned Sue Grafton's alphabet series before, using the "a is for, b is for, c is for" device.

Depending on the author and the publisher, sometimes one of those parties decides on the title and sometimes the other. The publisher will likely make the decision on cover art, perhaps with input from the author. And what about the author photo, if there is one? Usually up to the author to have that taken, unless he or she is a big time author with a huge publisher. I always check out the author photo - don't you? The classic seems to be the "wearing the black turtleneck headshot while posing with chin on fist." Classic! Cracks me up every time.

Note to self: buy black turtleneck.

Saturday Quote-O-Rama!

"...and when your secret heart cannot speak so easily...from a whisper, start..."

John Hiatt

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Word Count Wednesday!

Untitled Post-Apocalyptic YA Novel
Goal: 60,000 words (at least)

04-01-11: 0
04-27-11: 2774
05-04-11: 5528
05-11-11: 7757
05-18-11: 10020
05-25-11: 10560
06-01-11: 12107
06-07-11: 15082
06-15-11: 18120
06-22-11: 20762
06-29-11: 22677
07-06-11: 26073
07-13-11: 26748
07-20-11: uh...
07-27-11: 29196
08-03-11: 34137
08-11-11: 35239
08-18-11: 38805
08-24-11: whoops...
08-31-11: 40495
09-07-11: 42129 (AKA page 143 - closing in on 150!)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Aunt Misbehavin'

As previously noted, I self-identify (heh) as a mystery writer. Everything I write has a mystery component to it. After all, isn't Life just one big ole dang mystery?

So, as far as I'm concerned, I write mysteries. The reader, the publisher, the booksellers, the Library of Congress might slap some other genre tag on there. Doesn't matter much to me - at least, not so far. I even came across a website recently that had SHADOW POINT tagged as "aunt fiction." Who knew there even was such a thing? It's true, the protagonist of SHADOW POINT is an aunt (at age 28) and her relationship with her 5 year old niece is a big chunk of the story. Other chunks being ghosts, murder, romance and an English bulldog. (romance AND an English bulldog, not romance WITH an English bulldog)

Aunt fiction... what a weird categorization. Is there some subculture of people out there obsessed with aunts? Well... probably.

I'm having genre-related thoughts lately, because I'm wondering a little bit if my work-in-progress, The Post-Apocalyptic Young Adult (PAYA) tale, is really turning out to be YA. Or is it simply a story about two 17 year olds (aka YAs) struggling to survive in a dangerous PA world?

And the answer is: I don't care. (at least, not so far) I think lots of teenagers read stories written for adults, and vice versa. I certainly DO care about writing the best, rip-roaring-est, exciting adventure tale I can. And it's coming along. I went back to page 38 this morning to add one more sentence (I cannot hope to STOP myself from rewriting and revising and self-editing, I can only hope to mitigate it) and found myself caught up in a scene, even wondering for a split second what would happen on page 39! You dummy - you WROTE page 39. Oh, yeah.

That bit on page 38 is from a chapter currently (and, if you knew the context, ominously!) entitled "The Apple Tree." Here are 2 sentences: "The birds, which had grown quieter and quieter as we squabbled, suddenly all took flight as if there'd been a silent signal. I think we all jumped."

Hey, that was the first public bit of PAYA! Aka THE BOOK OF KELL. Woo hoo.


Defining YA is a bit tricky. Most folks seem to agree it includes fiction written for young adults with a young adult as the protagonist. After that, the definitions get a bit fuzzy.

I guess I'll worry about writing the book first, then decide how I feel about the genre. After all, I think I once described SHADOW POINT as a MysteGhoRo or something like that. (mystery/ghost story/romance) Maybe THE BOOK OF KELL will turn out to be a Post-Apocalyptic Provocative Adventure Young Adult story - a PAPAYA!


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Saturday Quote-O-Rama!

"I just feel so beat."

Aimee Mann