I’m Going to Camp!

I decided to try something different for the month of April. I am going to participate in Camp Nanowrimo. The object of the camp is to complete a 50,000 word novel between April1 and April 30, 2013. I will be working on a suspense novel with the working title, BLINDED BY FEAR that I would like to have finished for May 8, 2013 when I hope to pitch it to Love Inspired Suspense. Other members of my writing group will also be participating, and it will be a great exercise in motivation and commitment.

Let’s face it; this has been a long, cheerless winter, with far more gloomy, snowy, icy days than anyone needs. As much as I enjoy writing, when the weather turns nice, I’m going to want to get out there, soaking up the sun! Since I have never backed down from a challenge, this will be an excellent way to stay on target.

You can learn more about me and my camping experience at: http://campnanowrimo.org/campers/mhslm

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A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words: Getting Inspired

The cover for my novel, FIRE ANGEL, was released last week, and when I looked at it, I realized how important images are in an author’s world. The cover of a book is critical to its sales potential, and I have to say Crimson Romance did a fantastic job on mine. It’s eye-catching and I think that will go a long way in generating interest in the book.

When I am looking at new books to purchase, whether they’re paperbacks or e-books, it’s the cover that draws my attention first, then the title and author, and finally the blurb on the back. Truth be told, there are a lot of books I’ve bought over the years simply because of the cover image, and others because of the author, but there are also a lot that I never looked at twice because they just didn’t have a visual that appealed, interested, or excited me.

It isn’t only cover images that matter to me though. Photographs and images serve another purpose; they give me ideas that lead to plot and character development. As I get ready to go to nano camp, I’ve decided to do something different. I’m doing some pre-writing. That’s right, I’m doing the synopsis first this time — the dreaded synopsis, the must-have for every book pitched.

For each of the five novels I’ve completed, I finished the book before I wrote the synopsis. Now, you’re probably saying that makes sense — write the book first, then write it’s resume, but when you realize how few words and pages you can use to accomplish that, and how easily you can get bogged down in minor details that do not advance the plot, you realize why most authors refer to them as they do.

In BLINDED BY FEAR, the book I’ll be writing next month, I needed ideas and where did I find them? I found them in images on the web. I’ve set the story in a small time that does not exist in upstate New York, along the Raquette River that does. I looked at pictures of the river for inspiration and pictures that I have taken at HIgley Floe State Park, one of my favorite camping places. That image has provided me with the location for the isolated cabin in the story. Things are so much easier to describe when you can see them. So, how would you like to have a cottage just around the bend?

Image

 

Second Guessing Myself

I am sure that, at one time or another, we have all second guessed ourselves. Lately, as it gets closer to the release date for my novel, FIRE ANGEL, I have begun to wonder whether or not I will ever have another great idea, one that, like FIRE ANGEL, will become a published book. I guess I tend to forget the number of edits I did to that manuscript before I pitched it, but right from the beginning, I loved the plot and Jake and Alexis, my main characters.

Currently, I have a work in progress, a historical novel, that I thought would be wonderful; it had it all — helpless heroine, Danielle, Elle, named after one of my muses, and a swash-buckling hero, Etienne — it should be great! But when I took a close look at it, it was flawed. Dang that muse for being difficult. Was there enough he and she time? It was supposed to be a romance, so where was the romance? Five chapters into the novel and the hero and heroine still hadn’t met again after ten years; something had to change; after all, you can drool over memories only so long!

So, I went back to the first chapter, back to the initial idea to figure out what I had missed.  I reworked the story, and rewrote/edited the manuscript. After several hours, I think I have a work that promises to be the novel I envisioned. I believe I have conquered the ‘what-ifs’, but you never know…Arg! I hate second guessing myself!

Dedications

I am finishing the final edits for FIRE ANGEL and the time has come to write the dedication for the book — who would ever have thought that this would be so difficult?

Without a doubt, my wild imagination is a gift from my father who told me countless stories as a child. I was a picky eater, not a problem now unfortunately, but Daddy would sit at the table and tell me of his jungle adventures, and I would gobble up everything on my plate. Of course my mother gave me the drive to succeed in school, and without that English degree, so many things would never have happened.

Becoming an author would have been impossible without my husband who has put up with me saying that I want to write a book for years. If it weren’t for his patience and tolerance, I probably would not have been able to sit at the computer, hours on end, working at my story.

Next, I have my children who have always encouraged me as I encouraged them. As Jake, the hero in FIRE ANGEL says, “If you want something badly enough …” My son, Greg, is my web designer, and is hard at work creating my online presence.

And then, there are long time friends like Faye, who has been after me to write my books forever, Fred who says “I knew you could do it,” and a lost friend, Judy, who died of cancer. This isn’t the first book I’ve written, but it’s the first I’ve sold, so a promise is a promise and I credit her too.

Last but not least are the ladies in my writing group — new friends, but friends without whose support I would never have done this. Each of them is a new or aspiring author. Take a bow Amber, Charlotte, Debbie, Elle, Laura, and Misty.

So there you have it; my dilemma.  The dedication isn’t supposed to be as long as the book, but how canI leave anyone out?