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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Back to Book 2 . . . revisions

Late June 2010 - When it rains it pours. I’m still working on the end of the book I wasn’t pleased with in the first place. My critique group says one thing and I can’t help but think it is too simplistic. It needs more. I’m determined to find the right ending for Charlotte’s story.

I rework the scene, rearranging elements and adding a few new pieces, and I finally end up with something I’m happy with. I’ve read it to my critique group members and when I saw the smile on their faces as I approached the final paragraphs, I think I have done it.

Now I’m going back to write a couple of new scenes. I should be finished with this in another week. I’ll need to reread the entire book, just to make sure, before mailing it to New York.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Re-starting Book 1

Early June 2010 -Two weeks after starting in on Charlotte’s story, Augusta’s book is back—the galleys.

I open the title page to read: THE SUITOR LIST—the alternate title is missing and there is no reference to it being book 1 of The Gentlemen of Worth series. Oh, well. Maybe it’ll be on the cover. We’ll see.

I sit and carefully reread the typeset pages. What surprises me is how much I enjoy it. I hope those readers who pick it up like it too.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Goodreads Giveaway

You can sign up to win the first two Gentlemen of Worth series book.

The Suitor List and recently released Perfectly Flawed at:

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Middle of the Beginning

June 18, 2010 - I'm waist-deep in my first series, nearly halfway through, and semi-overwhelmed by the amount of work I've accumulated today.

A month ago I was happily writing the third book of The Gentlemen of Worth series.

Two weeks ago I received the revisions on the second book. I put the third book on hold to work on the second book.

Yesterday the page proofs/galleys for the first book arrived. Not only is the third book on hold but the revisions for the second book have also slid to the back burner.

Like I said, semi-overwhelmed. I never would imagine I'd be working on all three books at the same time. The last time I had all three stories bouncing around in my mind was while the ideas, the sisters were in development.

My head might explode.

Monday, October 31, 2011

November Break

I'm taking a break at the Citrus Parlor blog while I head off for vacation for a few weeks.

Here's the cover for my latest release book 2 of the Gentlemen of Worth series Perfectly Flawed which can be ordered at:

You can follow this year's island adventures at:


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Book 3 Comes to a Stop

May 2010 - That was faster turnaround than I expected. I slide Book 3 aside to work on Book 2.

Charlotte’s story is back on my desk with a few suggestions from my new editor. What changes is she asking for? Let’s see less of Muriel and more of the hero.

I can’t say I disagree . . . and it is supposed to be a Romance novel. Perhaps my editor could speak directly to Charlotte’s sister and ask her to move into the background.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Starting Book 3

April 2010 - I reread the chapters, browsed through the notes to reacquaint myself with the characters and the story. Muriel can feel free to take charge of this story. And I’m finding she does, without any urging from me.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Book 2 is Due

My self-imposed deadline: March 15, 2010. Check. Book 2 is on its way to New York. I don’t expect to hear for a few months at least. I just make sure they’ve received it and it doesn’t go into the slush pile.

I’ll take a week or two off before diving back into Book 3. I have to reread, and rethink, what’s there. Is where I’d started it =really= the beginning of the book?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Book 2 - The Sagging Middle

January 2010 -

Charlotte’s suitors are on the run.

Of course Muriel has helped her come up with ideas to reconsider their affection for her, making Charlotte not as perfect as they’d first thought.

By February I’m nearing the finish of the second book.

The end is in sight.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

On the Homefront

October 2009 - I’m trying to adjust to the empty nest and I’m taking advantage of the quiet. November is the annual vacation. I’ll be Blogging at the annual Mini Maui Blog for the first two weeks of November.

November 2009 – I’m enjoying myself in the tropical paradise. When I return home Thanksgiving is right around the corner. The kids return and we send them off a few days later.

December 2009 – The kids take their finals right when they get back to school. Then they head back home for their Winter Break and will stay until well past the beginning of next year.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Name Game

September 2009 - Charlotte’s suitors come and go very quickly. It’s a chore coming up with names, non-repetitive names, names that don’t sound similar—names I haven’t previously used.

I’m glad I spent the time making a list of characters back when working on the first book.

Friday, August 26, 2011

It's Real Now

August 2009 - The contracts arrive in the mail. I sign and send them off. The revisions for Book 1 are minor and the revised manuscript goes in early. I want to get back to work on Charlotte’s book. Oh, the hero is too fun. Again, Muriel’s trying to take over the book.

I’m working really hard to make sure Charlotte stands out but she’s just not a strong character. Kind and sweet but not strong.

Then I realize we see the hero through Muriel’s eyes. And there’s more foreshadowing for Book 3 than I thought might be there.

I’ve got to admit that the hero does not look good when seen through Muriel’s eyes. He likes to tease her. He has to win her approval, it seems that Charlotte can’t help herself but fall for him the instant she meets him.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Back to the Keyboard

End of July 2009 - After I return from the conference I figured if my editor liked Book 1, I best go forward with Book 2. I pulled out the notes and chapters I'd written.

I reread the chapters, browsed through the notes to reacquaint myself with the characters and the story. Charlotte, Muriel, Aunt Penny, and Edward the duke. Some of the suitors from Book 1 return, and then there are Charlotte's suitors . . . they make themselves known to me at once.

My editor calls me two weeks later and she’s going to buy the series.
What does she mean by the series?

"How many books?" I asked her.

"The whole thing," she says.


The W-H-O-L-E thing!

I am completely speechless.

Friday, August 12, 2011

RWA National Conference – Washington DC

Mid-July 2009

I meet up with other writers, catch up, and share ideas. It’s a place where I can get together with other Avalon writers.

It’s also a place where we can see our editors and agents face to face.

At the Publisher’s party I saw my editor. She’d received my submission and liked it. The book, I asked. All of it, she said. She read the whole thing? And loved it!

I am thrilled beyond belief—but, I remind myself, it’s not a sale.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Whole Vision

Early July 2009 - I’ve finished the first three chapters of Book 2 and Book 3. I also have a general idea of what the stories are for the last three books. Do I include them or not? Well . . . I’d like my editor/my publisher to see what I have planned for the entire series. I’m hoping for a nice series logo, similar covers . . .

I think they will like Book 1. Maybe they’ll accept Books 2 and 3. That would be pretty cool. They’ll also have a peek at the last three stories and maybe they’ll consider buying them at a later date. I really hope the publisher wants them. I see bits of scenes which include some characters from Books 1 through 3, they’re exciting story ideas and I’d love to write every one of them.

While I’ve decided on book titles, I’ve kept my Gentleman title references. I add those below the title in parentheses. The editors can choose whichever ones they think works best.

I’m submitting the entire Book 1, three chapters each of Books 2 and 3, and on a separate sheet of paper a brief synopsis of Books 1 through 6, consisting of a few paragraphs every one of them. In my cover letter I promise delivery a time period of 6-9 months between each book.

I mail it all off. I’ve met my self-imposed deadline of “before” the conference. Now I can enjoy myself in Washington DC.

Then it dawns on me . . . what if they don’t like it? I don’t have a Plan B. I’ve put all my thought and energy into this book . . . these books, this series for the last two years.

Friday, July 29, 2011

A Third New Start

June/July 2009 - I’m just getting into Charlotte’s story and I have to stop and do it all over again for Muriel. I know what happens in the book but where does the book start? It’s sort of frustrating to have to go through this again, so soon. But I push forward.

I learn that Moo was precocious at 12, at 15 she’s developing a mean streak, now at 17 . . . I’ll have to say she’s downright devious.

The inciting incident I have in my head happens at the end of Chapter 1. How fun it is to get it down on paper. I can see the end of the book, how event will play themselves out.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A New Start . . . again

June 2009 - After finishing The Suitor List I need to work out what I think Book 2 is about. I know the basic story but where do I begin?

I know Charlotte even more lovely, with a sweeter disposition than her elder sister. I have to take care that she did not come across as weak. Worse than that, Muriel’s trying to take over the book. How could demure Char-Char possibly come to the forefront of her own book?

Some of the characters from The Suitor List will return. I make a list of their names.

I’m enjoying this book . . . it’s going to be such fun to write. I've reached the end of Chapter 2, Chapter 3 . . . and now I have to stop.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Selling the Series

May 2009 - I have a happily ever after for Book One. The title: The Suitor List.

I spoke to my editor about what she needs to see to consider a series. She asks that I submit the entire first book, and two or three chapters from the next two books.

I need to finish up Augusta’s book and figure out where the next two begin. I know Book 2 takes place in 1813 and Book 3 in 1815. For everyone to be the age I’d like them to be, Book 1 has moved from 1801 to 1811.

Talking about leaping forward! And it does NOT make this a time-travel.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Heading for the Finish Line

April 2009 - The end is in sight. As always my mind drifts to the next book . . . I need a hero. I need a title! I need a real title for this book. I need ideas for the last three books.

Now I’m seeing the whole series as two parts. The first three are the Worth sisters trilogy. The last three almost could be stand alone books, not nearly as interesting without the reoccurring characters.

I’ve got the Gentlemen titles for each book but I’m struggling with the real titles. I’ll need them when it comes time to submit. Now that I’m nearly finished . . . what will my editor want to see when I’m pitching a series? I’ve never done this before.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Duck, Duck, Goose

March 2009 - I’m having difficulty keeping Augusta’s suitors straight. I need to know what they look like. I spend a few hours on the Internet looking at men dressed in Regency garb. I search under Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, and PBS.

Most of these men I’ve never seen before but others are familiar: Colin Firth, James Mcavoy, and even Sir Laurence Olivier. Don’t they look handsome in their cravats and tailored jackets? I’ve matched each character with an image. Now when I work on my book it’s like watching a period movie before my very eyes.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Sagging Middle

February 2009 - There’s too much going on for the middle to sag. Here we are introduced to the Citrus Parlor at Faraday Hall. Charlotte plays a larger role in this book than I expected. It turns out that Muriel isn’t going to be ignored--even though she’s now 13. She’s had a birthday since the beginning of the book.

Interesting new characters, some, I believe, will be reoccurring throughout the series. And—Augusta has told me there is a younger brother . . . Frederick. Where did he come from?

Does this mean there are SIX books in this series?

Monday, May 30, 2011

From Miss Quinn's Quandary Comes . . .

January 2009 – A character I’ve wanted to bring forward has emerged.

Lord and Lady Rushton (uncle and aunt to the Sir Randall and Larissa all characters from Miss Quinn’s Quandary host a small party where Lord William Felgate meets Lady Augusta.

I don’t know what is in store for Wills but I am glad he is to appear in this book.