Friday, July 20, 2007
As I'm fresh from the Nationals overload, I'd love to know about your blurb/premise/title construction. I enjoyed the workshop I went to discussing this, and it seemed like a great many people get their "catch phrases" and titles in line while their stories are still quite vague. Just curious! :)
Since this works into my promised blog on where I stand with the contemporaries, let me try to do this succinctly. Not that I've ever been succinct in my life, but I do try.
I must admit, the word "construction" frightens me. That sounds like something my husband does involving precise measurement and power tools. I'm really really bad at both. It may take me a while, but I'll try to show that blurbs and ideas aren't gems grown on trees but lumps of coal to be dug from the ground and carefully studied, cleaned, chipped away at, and polished until you have something that might be valuable.
To tell the honest truth, I have no idea where or how I came up with the idea for an invisible island in the middle of the Channel for MYSTIC GUARDIAN, the historical currently on the shelves. I don't drink, so I can't blame a pitcher of margaritas. I do get giddy from exhaustion and too much talking, which may have been the original origin--a brainstorming session with some of my fellow wenches where I decided I wanted super pirates, and Things Happened. As to the title, I knew I wanted the island to be called the Mystic Isle, my editor wanted a hero on the book, so it was just a matter of time before we came up with a nice male noun that went with "mystic" that worked for both of us. Brilliant, hmmm? For me, it's mostly work and practice and headbanging resulting in an occasional Ah Hah moment. But admittedly, we came up with all three titles while the books were still stars in my eyes.
Back to the contemps. I've been writing romances mostly set in the Carolinas, because I adore the area and that's where I was living. It was wonderfully easy to build stories on characters in such a scenic setting, a place I knew well and understood. But I've moved to the middle of the country and now I want to play with what I see around me here. My agent has that proposal now and is excited by this new premise, but she also asked if I could do more books in the Carolinas, or at least, the Southeast. She wants to "brand" me, and that seems to be where I've built my contemporary voice. Since Mary Jo Putney, my wenchly astrologist, tells me I have Cancer rising or some such, I'm also very house oriented, so that's another part of my brand for the contemporaries.
So that was the very unmystical origin of two new ideas I'm currently blurbing and writing outlines for. Give me a house and the Carolinas, and I'm off to the races. Ideas simply leap and dance and wave for attention. But I wanted to do something different. Famous last words. I'm running out of time now, so I'll get back into this topic more tomorrow. Guess succinct isn't happening today!
Keep posting your questions. I'll answer as I can. They don't have to be about writing or even the topic of the day. But I need fuel to keep the blogging fire going, and your comments are it. (and since this hotel line is verrrrrry slow, I'm not trying images this week!)
The first of my new Mystic Isle series, MYSTIC GUARDIAN, was released at the beginning of July, and I’m tracking sales because I'm hoping this fantasy historical combo will sell well enough to allow me to dabble much longer in my mystical world. Watching sales can be torturous, and I’m not into suffering and pain. The book has hit the top 100 Bookscan list the first two weeks of sales,which is supposed to be a Good Thing. If readers keep buying it, it will be even Better, 'cause that means it has legs. (so does my mermaid, but that's beside the point. )
My first review on Amazon was a two and obviously demonstrated the reader’s lack of insight. Things are looking much more intelligent over there lately, not that I'm looking, mind you. I’m a wee bit jaded by this new release business. Reviews and numbers give me cold shudders. Aside from creating books, I prefer getting my jollies by talking to readers. That, and I get to wear PJs to work.
I turned in the manuscript for the second book of the series, MYSTIC RIDER, at the beginning of July. My editor won’t have time to read it and get back to me before mid- August, which is one of the reason I’m blathering now.
I promised to start a new blog on Monday, but I just realized I'll be traveling most of the day, so I'll post this now and see where I am Monday. If you want to start posting questions or things you want me to blog about now, I'll get the messages as soon as my laptop is up and running.
Hope everyone is having a lovely summer!