Counting Down

At the end of this month, I officially become unemployed. I’ve talked about it before, and while there are still some lingering mixed emotions, for the most part, I’m ready to be done and out of here. My employer extended my position for one more month before it transitions to California, so I could finish up fiscal year end programs and tasks. Unfortunately, IT never got the word, and they shut off my network account. I still can’t get back into many of the systems I need to complete the tasks I stayed on for. It’s been frustrating, but on the plus side, it’s given me a few weeks where I was able to work on and wrap up two of my manuscripts.
I got good news about one this morning- the third book in my Marchand BDSM romance series has been accepted by Sizzler Editions. Sadly, I still don’t have a title, but I have a few ideas (and if anyone has any suggestions, I’ll take them! lol) It’s an equestrian eventing set tale, which is why coming up with a title has been a bit tricky – horses, BDSM – wouldn’t want people to get the wrong idea! 😀  I don’t have any further information yet, but will be sharing as I get it.
I also wrapped up Warrior’s Wrath and sent that off to Pink Flamingo, though now I’m in a bit of a panic because I think I left something out of a scene, but I’m not looking. I figure my editor will point it out if I did and since there’s nothing I can do about it at the moment, no use making myself sick over it unless I really have to.
I’ve also been spending the last several days revising The Night Club – my next vampire romance. This book has been in the works for a very long time. I first wrote it shortly after I finished The Taste of Magic, in 2003! Various events conspired to knock me out of the writing game for a bit – the unexpected pregnancy with my son and his infant and toddler years, specifically. Babies take a brutal toll on the creative juices. Thankfully, we’re done with those days.
In any case, when I got back to writing, I took a huge detour from that book and tried something new. Some of you know I tested myself by writing a very popular Harry Potter fan fiction (Dramione, anyone?). It got such a good response that the darn thing took on a life of its own and really helped my confidence (I will advise you don’t go looking for it, it’s been removed from all the sites where it once appeared).  From there, the Marchand series was born. One thing led to another, and I wrote Warrior’s Vengeance, which was another book I started back in my early days. Since my goals and genres changed drastically, I didn’t give the vampire book a second thought.
Until I re-released The Taste of Magic. It did very well, so I dusted off The Night Club and decided to revise it. Turns out, this baby needs a whole lot of re-writing. Not only was it written back when my voice was significantly different, there are a lot of issues with the writing in general. Too much passive voice, more telling than I’d prefer, and plotlines that go off in all sorts of directions. I’ve been deleting a lot of things, streamlining the plot and cutting down on the word count. It’s still over 90K at this point, but I suspect it’ll wrap up around 80-85K when all is said and done.
Once that’s complete, I’ll be starting my next series, which I talked about before – Vikings! I have plots for two books. The History Channel show has inspired me so much, and last week’s episode was particularly awesome! Hail Earl Ragnar!  lol  I’m inspired, motivated and excited to get started. And with the next several months of actually having time to write, I’m salivating waiting for May to come!
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Changing of the Seasons


Not really a complete change though – technically the cooler fall weather and the leaves turning won’t really start for a few more weeks around here. But summer vacation is ending, school is starting in a few days, so to me that signals the change. And I’m hoping it will bring a little more order to our little corner of the world.
It’s been a busy and eventful summer. On the home front, I can now honestly say I can’t wait for my daughter to get her driver’s license. The chauffeuring gets old fast, and somehow she had somewhere to go nearly every night. Much easier when her friends come over here, but that brings its own set of dilemmas. At least now, I can say no to Tuesday night guests and not be made to feel like I’m the evil stepmother in Snow White!
I turned a lot of my focus toward revising my next vampire story, The Night Club. It’s just about finished – I’m still doing some final revisions and adding a couple new scenes and just trying to get everything clean and logical. Which got me thinking ahead to my next vampire book. I actually began sketching it out. Just jotting down some ideas of what I think should happen, no real writing. Yet. You may remember Josh and Sophie from The Taste of Magic – well, they have their own tale to tell. So I started my spreadsheet for their story.
In the midst of that, I also began the sequel to Warrior’s Vengeance. Rowan Langley is the hero in Warrior’s Wrath, and if you read WV, you know him as Marissa’s brother. He learns a few things about himself that turn him very angry and bitter. This doesn’t bode well for the heroine, Aeron, a Welsh woman who steals from him. I’m having lots of fun getting this first draft down, and hopefully will complete it quickly. At the rate I’m going, there’s actually a good chance of that.
I’m also doing some minor work on the sequel to Prince of the Universe. I had lost my fire for that story a couple months ago, but it’s back. Christina and Reygar’s story is a bit more difficult to pinpoint. I’m focusing on world building at this point, and making my usual lists – these are of various cultural customs and societal norms. With each one that becomes clear, the trouble between the Aldarran and “Earth Woman” gets stronger. This book will be set entirely on the planet of Aldarra – and civilization on that planet is very different from Earth’s.
Lots of irons in the fire, which is kind of crazy, considering the insanity and chaos of the rest of my life. But my mind just works that way – I suppose because I’m a Gemini and there are way more than two of me in here! 😀 Each part of me wants to be focused on something, so to appease them all, I spend a little time on each planned book, at least so when I finish the two I’m neck deep in, I’ll have at least two more to get to work on. The madness keeps me focused – I get 2 to 2 ½ hours a night to write, so I’ve been trying to use it wisely. With school starting, I may even gain another hour – no more kids staying up late because they don’t have to get up in the morning! It’s really hard to concentrate on medieval England when Mario’s in the background trying to save the Princess!

Title Trouble

Another month gone by, so I guess it’s time for another post. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to talk about – there’s a lot going on, as usual. But then it hit me. One of the most important aspects of a book is the title. It’s what the reader sees first. It should be intriguing, and make the reader want to look closer at the book, and it should also hint at what the book is about. At the very least, I think it should give a clue to the general theme or setting of the story.
And I am in a big title dilemma right now, which ironically enough, helped me with this post.
I am about 2/3 of the way through the next book in the Marchand series and I still have not been able to come up with a title for this one. I’ve set it in the equestrian field, and of course, like the other books in the series, the sexual relationship between the characters involves lots of BDSM fun.  I want something that gets at both of those factors, but many of the ideas that sprung up were just too… weird, icky, or plain old silly. Seriously, anything with the word “Riding” just came out so wrong! So I’m putting the task aside again until I have no choice to deal with it. I know, I’m a chicken, right? I should face this bump in the road head on and tackle it into submission. But I’d rather write the book at this point, and I’m hoping something will pop into my head before I get to end.
My sci-fi erotic romance, Prince of the Universe, will be out in a few weeks. That was a title I had no trouble coming up with. The theme song from the Highlander movies and TV show, as performed by Queen, always seemed to pop into my head from the moment I first started writing the book. After all, Vega is a prince, and he has traveled across the universe. It fit, perfectly, in my opinion. And as a nod to my love of all things Highlander, I couldn’t resist.
Warrior’s Vengeance was another title that came to me fairly easily. The funny thing is, when I first created these characters, way back in the late 90’s, I wasn’t writing anything remotely erotic. Sensual and hot, but without the intense, sexually charged (and kinky) love scenes. There were love scenes, and they were hot, but I don’t think anyone would consider them erotic by today’s standards. The book was originally called Passion’s Vengeance, which kind of sucked, but I was way worse with titles back then. I’ve learned a bit since. Worst of all, hero and heroine didn’t even come face to face until somewhere around chapter five! When I decided to dip my toe back into the medieval pool, I tossed everything I’d ever written about Marissa and Ian and started from scratch. The original title was always in the back of my mind, but once the story changed – drastically – the title just reworked itself. And I liked it.
The Taste of Magic was thought up by the book’s original publisher. I won’t even share the working title, it really, really sucked. (Not sure if I meant that pun or not! lol). But it does what it should do – tells you a little of what the book is about. It is one of my personal faves – maybe because someone else came up with it! 😀
The vampire book I’m revising, The Night Club, was a fairly easy title to come up with. A large part of the book is set in a nightclub, and of course, even though my vamps can function in daylight, nighttime is the real playground for the bloodsuckers. I’m also really excited about this book, another one I started way back when. I’ve made drastic changes to it, and hope to be getting that one on the submission rounds. The characters, while they have a sensual and steamy relationship, are pretty much vanilla, so this book is authored by my other alter-ego, Gina Rosavin.
How does everyone else come up with their titles? Is it easy, hard, somewhere in between? What titles have you found interesting – the ones that stick in your head, even if it’s been years since you read the book. What books have you read, simply because of the title? I’m curious. And open to any suggestions 🙂
* Yes, I changed the post title. Guess the issue isn’t just limited to book titles!