Remember back when I did the A to Z April Challenge, how I said I was going to be a good girl and blog every day?
*insert mad laughter*
It didn’t work out. Life – work, family, garden – came in the way. For a while, it was really bad: I didn’t have the time (or energy) to write, which actually (and I’m serious now) not very good for my mental health. I know some people say that writing is like breathing to them – without it, they wouldn’t survive. Personally, I think that’s to exaggerate for a wee bit, because you DO survive. Actually. I know, however, that whereas I’m concerned, if I don’t get to write or do anything of those artsy things that I love, I start to feel very disconnected after a while; rootless. I don’t feel comfortable in my own skin, and my mind gets terribly overactive. So that’s not good. Luckily, the period with no writing (or any other artsy stuff) didn’t last for that long. For the rest of the time, I’ve been rather active (I think I made up for the inactivity…).
So… An update. This is what I’ve been doing (in terms of being artsy):
- Editing AND completing my contemporary whodunit, currently called Moving in with Murder (I’m not going to recount all the various names this novel has had over the years – and I’m not sure I’m going to keep this one, either…). I will get back to you on this one, but as it is right now, I’m very pleased with how the story developed after my last edit. It’s tighter – I killed a lot of darlings – and hopefully an easy, fun read. I’ll submit it to a few agents, just to see what happens, before I take any decisions on self-publishing.
- Reading. This was mainly done on a sunbed in Greece (yes, I did get a bit of holiday in between all the work – and it was lovely). I finished The Life I Left Behind by Colette McBeth, which was totally okay. And then, finally, I got to read Dawn French’s According to Yes. And as always, she made me cry. This kind of twisted Mary Poppins / von Trapp family tale (I saw so many fun references to fairy tales all over the place) where the main character is really just playing the part of catalyst for the minor characters really touched a nerve. I love her books!
- Checking book covers
The last point, I’d like to talk about some more. I love browsing book covers on the Internet. There are so many beautiful, premade covers out there!! For Legacy, when it was time to publishing it, I couldn’t find a good one. It wasn’t until I found Lee Avison’s photo of the sad girl holding her flowers that I finally felt I had something good. The toned-down image really captured the gist of the story. So I bought the license and designed the cover, and I think I did pretty darned well, too!
Covers are a tricky business. They matter. More, I think, than one can imagine. There are so many examples out there of books that have just hideous covers… Diana Gabaldon’s Swedish version of “Lord John and the Private Matter”, for example… If you didn’t know it was a mystery novel, and you didn’t like (or love) Gabaldon’s book – would you pick up this one?
Especially since it’s translated to “Lord John and the sweet torture of love” (seriously – wtf??).
While the current cover for Legacy is elegant and beautiful, and while I love it to bit, it MAY be just a bit too introvert for some readers, and they may refrain from buying it. Just a theory, and I haven’t really seen it as a problem… but now that it IS a fact that I will lose the license for it, it could be interesting to change approach.
I didn’t have any alternatives until the other day, when I was browsing a cover for Moving in With Murder (for fun!). I came across a cover I actually liked – but for Legacy. Totally unexpected, and at first, I told myself to get over it, but I kept returning to the image and I was pulled to it. This cover is so much different from my current one – this one shows a woman who is looking outwards, her eyes aglow with dreams and visions, radiating hope and pride. Her slender figure makes her fit the image of the main character, Emily. You also see a garden, which can be both symbolic and connected to the story – that’s up to the reader to interpret.
Needless to say, I went ahead and bought the cover. I made sure to change a bit on the wraparound, adding paragraphs and making it look a bit more professional and easy to read. Soon, I don’t know when yet, I will start pulling back the old Legacy from the shelves and introduce this one.
How it looks? Well, here you go….. *drumroll*…..
As for Moving in with Murder, this one is a tough nut to crack. I have no idea how I want it to look. Is it fun? Should I go for a glossy, quirky look? Or a serious one? This is where the title plays up against the story, and where I feel there is a clash. So…. this one needs to brew for a while. I’ll probably fill you in on this as we go.
Next on my to do list, is to finish my contemporary romance novel. Mainly because it’s such fun to look for covers…