Under The Cover

Wow! I just sent the information away for my Ebook cover artwork, including some sample images of the ‘mood and emotion I hope to evoke’.  Take a look at what’s going on in my brain right at the moment.  A mixture of this: 

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And… (OMG!) This…

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OK, Daniel Craig melts…my…butter. And when you read my book you’ll understand exactly which mental pictures were swirling around in my head as I wrote, feverishly at times.  I can’t wait to see what the artists do with this, will post the finished product as soon as it arrives! 

Same Planet, Different Worlds

A scene that encapsulates the story of my life – While studying French yesterday I was so easily distracted by Wade Bowen on the radio singing ‘Red Headed Woman With A Cigarette’… passé composé versus Texas Country, I don’t have to tell you who won that battle on a lazy Saturday afternoon.  

But it’s also a battle that’s raged inside me for as long as I can remember.  The tug of war between this…

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And this…

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 Between this…

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And this…

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My French forefathers immigrated to the new world and pioneered the mountain west.   Four generations later I am torn between the untamed and the refined, the rugged versus the gentile, the unruly against the sensuous.  It’s not surprising that these seeming contradictions also plague Lydia Surreault, the heroine of my first novel, a cowgirl who started out here…

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And suddenly is thrust into a world that looks very much like this…

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I’ll post the book title and cover in the coming week. 

May The Force Be With Us

Think of how different cinematic history would be if Han Solo’s first words to Princess Leia were, ‘hey, next time you’re in my part of the universe text me, maybe we could hang out together.’  Most likely there never would have been a Star Wars sequel, not to mention five of them. 

As writers we know the importance of building strong characters but George Lucas took it all to epic proportions – the universal struggle of good versus evil, supercharged with delicious villains, marvellous heroes, jealousy, love, hatred…a story that has enraptured children of all ages for going on 35 years.  It’s all based on character. The story evolves from the players and it is magic we should all aspire to. 

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I write this because my irrepressible nephew Christopher took time out from traipsing across Europe to attend the ‘Star Wars Celebration Europe’ convention in Essen, Germany, along with thousands of fanatics from all over Europe and the world.

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Chrissy is a bright guy with a big future…but Friday he was in his element, as awestruck as any six-year old.  Amazing when you think about it, the power we have to transport our readers. It’s truly a gift and a calling. OK, I’ll admit it, I still get a thrill up my leg when I think of Han Solo.  🙂 

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Beads of Sweat

And so the quest begins to ensure my novel rises to the surface of the ebook ocean and does NOT end up as one of a trillion tear drops. My biggest fan has provided yet another reason why the Ebook route is the best for emerging, talented authors.  A MUST READ for all of us trying to break into the biz!

Facts and Fakes 
Considering Eliot Weinberger’s Genuine Fakes 

by 

M.A.Orthofer

 

       I. 

       Eliot Weinberger’s short piece, Genuine Fakes, most recently published in his collection Karmic Traces (New Directions, 2000), begins:

About ten years after it was published, an energetic young man retyped Jerzy Kosinski’s 1965 prize-winning novel, The Painted Bird, gave the manuscript a new title, and submitted it to a dozen American publishers. None of them, including Kosinski’s own publisher, recognized the book, and all of them rejected it.

       “It was good joke,” Weinberger adds, “and a telling comment on how books get published, but the story does not end there.” Indeed not. But the story also begins elsewhere. 

       II. 

       In his piece Weinberger offers a simplified account of the joke: a nameless energetic young man, an unidentified new title, faceless publishers. He even begins with an approximation: “About ten years after it was published …..” The anecdote — the point — perhaps does not require more. 
       The facts have been well-documented elsewhere. Time magazine brought a little piece on it in 1979. Chuck Ross — the perpetrator — published an account of it in New Westmagazine. And James Park Sloan describes it in his biography of Kosinski (Dutton, 1996). What actually occurred was: in 1975 Chuck Ross typed up some 20 pages of Kosinski’s novel and submitted them as a sample chapter to four publishers, including Houghton Mifflin, who were Kosinski’s publishers at that time. Rejected by all of them, Ross repeated the experiment in 1978-9, this time submitting the entire manuscript to 14 publishers and 13 literary agents. Again, all of them turned it down, and apparently none of them recognized it. 

This story simply reinforces my decision to go the Ebook route AND to bust a sweat telling y’all about it. Last but not least, thanks to all who responded to my first blogging effort. Writing has always come easily to me, tooting my horn less so. I’m sure a lot of you feel the same way, let’s talk about it! 

Tears

I honestly thought the hard part was over. Three years learning about Lydia and Sean, the main characters in my romance novel, shaping them, learning to love and accept them, being surprised by their quirks and resoluteness, agonizing over their sorrows, revelling in their ultimate happiness.  Then came the second, fifth, tenth drafts, the justified criticism that I hated so much then and am profusely thankful for now. The next hurdle was generating interest, crafting a synopsis, sending enquiries to dozens…no, let’s be honest…over one hundred publishers and agents, followed by stacks of replies that the manuscript was ‘an impressive first effort but not quite good enough.’  

OK, I thought. let’s try the Ebook route. And as I began my research I instantly came across a most demoralizing quote…’posting a book on Amazon is like shedding a tear into the Pacific Ocean.’  Upon reading it, my first impulse was to cry enough tears to raise the sea levels an inch or two (AND increase the salt content!).  But on second thought, the seas will rise just as much through beads of sweat. Which is why I am here.

I am embarking on an adventure in marketing, name recognition and learning all of the technology that allows each and every one of us a global reach. I will be posting regularly about my exploits, offering advice as I see fit, gratefully accepting it from fellow writers and, perhaps, fans. More information on the way!