Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Books, Blogs and Blurbs

Mein Kampf?

It's a long time since I last posted. My excuse, in case I need one, is that I've been struggling to get my new book out. And it has been a struggle, I can tell you. I've set myself various deadlines - all of which came and went, passing me with a whooshing noise I found terrifying. I hoped to announce publication in late March, then for Easter in April, then Mayday. (Mayday is about right. By that time I felt like sending out an SOS.)

Editing was the problem. My editor didn't like the ending. He thought it was vague and the heroine's actions were questionable, to put it mildly. I thought Verity (the said heroine) behaved very much in character but I made most of the changes he called for, stripping out over 2000 words in the process and tweaking things here and there, until he was happy. Then it was time for one last read through by someone who hadn't read it before. Calamity! My reader — a great spotter of typos. She found eleven! — said almost exactly the same thing about the ending and although she didn't quibble about Verity's motives, her reaction was enough to make me reconsider, and then re-write, the last two chapters all over again. So back it went to the editor for yet another 'last' pass leading to yet more re-writing and tweaking.

Finally, with the end in sight and only the formatting for Kindle still to do — and a formatter lined up to do it — my husband offered to take on the job. We'll pass over this bit. Suffice it to say I'm still married, though, for a while there, it was a close run thing.

Now, at last, it's published and Strictly Murder, my funny whodunit/cozy mystery/chick lit mongrel of a book is now available on Amazon. You can see it here : http://bit.ly/K1MC6U 
And here if you use Amazon. com: http://amzn.to/L40ayY

Now the promotion and marketing — two words that spread terror throughout most writer's hearts — begins, and I've been writing posts for other people's blogs (another reason I've not blogged here)

First up was a terrifying interview on Joo the Grand Inquisitor's blog followed by an, only slightly less scary, visit to Katie Stewart's site 'Trees Are Not Lollipops'
Katie is a very talented lady. As well as being a writer herself, Katie is also a brilliant artist and designed the cover for Strictly Murder. Working with her was a delight and much the easiest, most rewarding, part of getting the book 'out there'.

And, lastly, I was invited to supply a guest post for fellow mystery writer, Cecilia Peartree's blog.

Blurble, Blurble

My post for Cecilia was all about the joys of writing the description or blurb for a book. "So, what's this book all about, then?" is the sort of question which would normally elicit from me the snarky response of, "why don't you read it yourself and find out?" but, sadly, this is not an option for writers. Having expended months, even years, of our time and thousand of words in telling a story, we are now expected to condense all that into three paragraphs at most or, better still, a single sentence. If you want to know how hard that is, do go and read my post for Cecilia. If you just want the shortened version, here it is.

The estate agent’s details listed two reception rooms, kitchen and bath. What they failed to mention was the dead celebrity in the master bedroom. Personal assistant Verity Long’s house hunt is about to turn into a hunt for a killer. It will take some fancy footwork to navigate the bitchy world of dance shows, television studios, and dangerously gorgeous male co-stars. When Verity looks like the killer’s next tango partner, she discovers that this dance is … Strictly Murder.

The End

So there you have it. I hope to post more frequently in future, whilst continuing to market my books and write the sequel to Chamaeleon demanded by my readers. Still, no one said this was going to be easy, right? Right.

Until next time.

Happy reading, happy writing too you all.

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