I name this book… tips for choosing a good title

Kim Talks Books:

Choosing a really good title is one of the hardest aspects of writing. Sometimes it feels even more difficult than actually writing the book that needs a title. Roz Morris shares some tips with us for how to choose attention-grabbing titles that will woo readers…and that’s always a good thing. :)

Originally posted on Nail Your Novel:

3919477288_8ff29f2eda_oFor every manuscript I see with a head-turning title, there’s another with a title that’s limp, unassertive and would never tempt a reader to look closer. Or a title that’s too tricky to remember.
I had a great discussion about this recently with Peter Snell (you know, from Barton’s Bookshop) in our show for Surrey Hills Radio (find it here, on show number 10) and I thought it might be fun to elaborate on it further.

Numbers are powerful
For non-fiction, you might add a sense of value by putting a number in your title. 50 Tips To Help You Build A House sounds like it offers far more than just Tips To Help You Build A House. Numbers also create a sense of insider knowledge, that an expert has chosen just the tips you need and discarded the others. When Peter and I recorded the…

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…what we Authors can learn from Don Vito Corleone, the ultimate Godfather…

Kim Talks Books:

Fellow writer Seumas Gallacher, shares an insightful post on what we as writers can learn from the Don…Don Corleone. I am a big fan of Seumas’s irreverent way of getting to the nitty gritty of writing.

Originally posted on Seumas Gallacher:

brando

…apart from the fact that I write crime fiction novels, far be it from me to entice yeez into a life of criminality… sure, a wee bit of murder, mayhem, and madness can go a long way… but usually only if yeez don’t get caught… Mario Puzo’s superb depiction of the Mafia is legendary… the movie trilogy of the book has held me entranced for over 40 years… now, don’t get me wrong… I’ve no desire to go around topping people… well, maybe a coupla dozen (hundred?) politicians… but, by and large I live a fairly respectable honouring-the-law-of-the-landexistence…

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…funny thing is, many of the quotes from the movies have stayed with me all this time… and I profess that the film versions can teach us a whole bundle about running a business… ‘this ain’t personal, it’s business’… as quill-scrapers we are all engaged in ‘the business of…

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One More Week Until NaNoWriMo

Only one more week until NaNoWriMo and I am nearly done with my outline. I’m getting really anxious to start. I don’t remember feeling this excited last year–which is probably why I didn’t finish my 2013 NaNoWriMo effort.

This year, as I mentioned in my last post, I’ll be returning to Copenhagen and writing about Laney and Mads. We meet them four years after the end of the Maybe Baby and Maybe Tonight. I’ve made a vision board for the novel and it’s been a great help during this outlining stage.

I wasn’t going to share the plot just yet, but I changed my mind. Here’s the gist of the story I’ll be working on:

Add text-2Now married with two kids, Laney and Mads are finding life together is not as simple as it used to be. Laney is struggling with juggling a new baby and her four-year old daughter, Liv, and pressure to come back to work early from her maternity leave. She’s also worried that she and Mads are drifting apart. He’s so caught up in his furniture making business that he’s forgetting promises made to Laney and to Liv. And he’s missing signs that all is not well with Laney…

When the pressure gets too much for her, Laney takes the kids and goes to the US, hoping to find sanctuary with her aunt Cecily, a former school teacher who now teaches yoga and meditation to pensioners and at-risk teenagers in Florida.

Will Laney and Mads find a way back to one another…or is it too late?

Next Saturday I’ll be ready…and I will probably exhaust myself (and my fingers) the first few days, but I’ll keep writing. I’ll also have a temporary page here on the site where you’ll be able to read the very, very rough versions of the chapters I pen. I hope you’ll cheer me on. If you want to follow my NaNo progress, save this link.

By the way, the cover image is just inspiration. It’s not the final cover. I made it just to keep me motivated. When it’s time for publication, I’ll be contacting Arijana at Cover It! Designs for another amazing cover. :)

I wonder how many of you will be joining me for the NaNoWriMo challenge…drop a line and let me know! :)

 

Prepping for NaNoWriMo

Every year, I (and loads of other writers) go a bit bonkers in the pursuit of completing a 50K+ word novel in a month. Yes, I mean NaNoWriMo.

 

 

My 2011 NaNo novel became my first novel, Snowbound, which I published last autumn. I had a blast writing it and a lot of people enjoyed reading it, even though some people thought Mia didn’t deserve an HEA. Well, I am already working on a little story about Mia & Jake so that might be a Christmas present to their fans. :)

My 2012 NaNo novel became my second novel, Maybe Baby, which I published in March, ended up for a while in the Kindle Top 100 list for its genre and won an award. It also caused many women to fall in love with Mads, the Danish sperm donor/furniture maker. I don’t blame them. I have a bit of a crush on my own creation too. ;)

Last year was not a good NaNo year for me. I managed to write a 25K manuscript, come to the realization that I hated what I was writing and couldn’t muster the energy or resolve to finish.

But this year is different…I feel ready to write my heart away, and we’ll be returning to Copenhagen for more of Laney & Mads’s story. So this weekend, I’ll be prepping an outline so I won’t find myself sitting in front of my MacBook Air and wondering what the heck I am doing. I’ll also interview my characters and update  my dreamcast–which I always do when I write–so that I can envision each chapter like scenes in a movie. Here’s the dreamcast that helped me write Maybe Baby.

Dreamcast Maybe Baby Collage

 

I’ve already decided that my new novel will feature the same cast of characters as Maybe Baby, with a few extras, so most of my dreamcast work is done. I just need to find 3-4 new characters and also imagine some of the locations. Maybe I need to take another trip to Copenhagen too. ;)

I don’t want to reveal too much of the story…but I’ll tell you it takes place a couple of years after Maybe Baby and Maybe Tonight and, unlike my WIP Maybe Tomorrow, the focus will be on Laney and Mads.

Come November, I’ll keep you updated here with progress reports. I’ll even post excerpts so you can see what’s going on–but keep in mind it will be a very rough draft and probably full of typos. :)

Blog Hop: Getting to Know Eddy Halliwell

Hiya, peeps! XIO AXELROD invited me to join this really cool blog hop in which I introduce you to one of the main characters from a newly released/WIP/soon-to-be-released novel. I should have posted this yesterday, but my brain is a sieve. :) Well, I’ve already introduced you to Laney, Mads and Niklas from Maybe Baby. Now it’s time to get to know Eddy, who you might remember as Laney’s cousin who actually gave Laney the idea of going to a sperm bank in Copenhagen. Naughty girl. ;)

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I should tell you right now that no one calls me Edwina. Not if they want me to be nice to them. I hate being called that name. It’s an old woman’s name–and I am only thirty-five. I’m not ancient. I don’t smell like mothballs. I don’t put my teeth in a glass of water before I go to bed. Call me Eddy instead.

My mother named me after her favorite aunt. Apparently, there’s always been an Edwina in our family, and all of us have a reputation for being free-spirited, stubborn and going our own way. Which I kind of find hard to believe, because my great-aunt Edwina was super-religious. She didn’t seem very free-spirited to me. She was always telling me to tell the truth and let God love me or that I was the most sinful girl she’d ever met. I don’t know about that… I have my moments. Don’t we all?

Up until a few months ago I was living in Stockholm and having the time of my life. OK, I’m exaggerating. I wasn’t having the time of my life but I had a pretty good life there. I co-owned a successful boutique  with Andreas, my gorgeous (and slightly younger than me) boyfriend. We had the most amazing apartment in Kungsholmen and I really felt like we’d finally begun settling down. Well, then he came home one day and told me he didn’t love me anymore, that he wasn’t sure he’d ever loved me and he met someone else. Not exactly what you want to hear when you thought you were having a good run. I guess I should have expected it. He wasn’t very good at the whole “be faithful” thing. Neither of us were. Not really. I don’t think we trusted one another with our hearts. I don’t think I have trusted anyone with my heart, not since Colin. And he’s ancient history. We’re not going there. Not today. Let’s just say Colin and I had a habit of making each other feel wonderful and then making each other extremely miserable.

So Andreas and I…we broke up. I couldn’t sleep. I got this wacky idea that I wanted to move back home even though I didn’t really know where home was anymore. I’d lived in Sweden so long that I sometimes felt more Swedish than American. Sometimes I even dreamed in Swedish, but for some reason I decided I wanted to move back to my hometown of New York and reinvent myself. Or…no, not really reinvent myself, rediscover the girl I used to be.

And then my cousin Laney asked me to house-sit for her while she was on her honeymoon. I figured it was all part of my bridesmaid duties. All of my stuff was either in storage in Stockholm or on its way to a storage unit in New York. I didn’t have anywhere to live, so a month in Copenhagen sounded like a damned good thing. And then I met Henrik, the best man…and the groom’s cousin.

Fucking hell…he wasn’t supposed to be so charming or good-looking… and now we’re spending so much time together. And there’s this chemistry between us… I feel it whenever I’m around him.

I’m not supposed to want him.

I’m moving home. I am not staying in Europe.

I am tired of love in translation….right?

Eddy2

 

 

 

You’ll be able to find out more about Eddy & Henrik (and Laney & Mads) in Maybe Tomorrow, which I hope to release later this year. No release date yet. 

And don’t forget to head over to these blogs to check out the next authors and characters in the blog hop:

MARA WHITE is the author of one of my favorite novels of 2013, Heights of Desire, and she loves all things romantic. She’s also a Bikram yoga enthusiast. Her latest novel, FEAR OF HEIGHTS, was launched last week. She lives in New York with her husband and two children.

TIA KELLY is the author of Taste for Love and The Affair, both of which I loved and I think you will too!  She’s a sports fan, a foodie and a consummate people watcher. Like me, she calls her hometown Philly! Her latest novel, READY For LOVE, is available now.

STACY-DEANNE is the author of Captivated, Worth the Risk and the just-released Empty. They are great reads! Add them to your TBR list! Stacy writers interracial romance and interracial romantic suspense. And like me, she loves Butter Pecan ice cream–but she has more willpower than me and resists its siren call. Her new novel, OUTSIDE WOMAN, will be published in October.

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 15.03.00Have you ever wanted to ask an author about how or why they write? Or talk about their novels with them? Well now you can do just that with Goodread’s Ask the Author function. Initially, it was only available to some of their top authors, but now they’ve made it available to all Goodreads authors.

I’ve decided to check it out, so from now until the end of August, you can ask me any questions you like about writing, my novels or my characters. Want to get the inside story on Jake and Mia? Ask away! More interested in Laney, Niklas, and Mads? Yup, you can ask about them too! Or are you hooked on the teasers from my WIP, Maybe Tomorrow, and want to know more about Eddy and Henrik? Yes, you can ask about them too.

Head over to my Goodreads author profile, post your questions there and I will answer them as best I can!

And then there is other news for you: According to Kindle Direct Publishing, the updated and complete file for Maybe Tonight is now available for purchase. For those of you who have the old version of the file, you can either wait until KDP confirms that the changes were critical (which I’ve already informed them they were–it’s the last 12 chapters of the novella!) or you can call their customer care executives who will make sure you get the updated file now and help you do a manual sync. Here are the numbers to call:

  • US & Canada: 1-866-216-1072
  • International: 1-206-266-2992

For people who have the older version of the file, make sure you give them the ASIN when you call. They will probably ask you when you purchased Maybe Tonight, which you should be able to find when you go into the “Manage Your Kindle” section on Amazon.

For Kobo users: as far as I know, the file should update automatically, but I will check with them as well.

 

Thieves, Finalist and Endings

Maybe Tonight Cover for WPWell, the last thing I expected this week was to find out that someone has uploaded my books to pirating sites. Some of these sites present themselves as stores–but none of them are distributing partners with Amazon, Kobo or Bookbaby. Other sites offer my books for free.

If you really want a free copy of my book, I’d rather you contacted me and simply asked for one as an ARC. Or if you think the books are too expensive, just wait until I do another half-price or 99 cent promo. But don’t go to an illegal download site. That’s just stealing from me and any other author.

On the plus side, I found out that my novel Maybe Baby is a finalist in the Chick Lit category for the 2014 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards. On September 1, we’ll have the next update about the contest, so I will keep you posted.

Finally, I wrote the last chapter of my serial novella, Maybe Tonight. I’ll be updating the electronic book file over the next few days and then will upload the updated files to Kobo and Kindle by the end of the week. I don’t know how long it will take for Amazon alert readers of the update. Hopefully, it won’t take too long.

I’ve got the football bug…

I don’t know about you but my World Cup fever is finally beginning to wane…well, just a wee bit. I am not the world’s greatest football (read: “soccer” for my fellow Americans) fan. I never watch the Swedish Football League matches. I think they are incredibly boring. When I am in Italy, I never watch those matches either. Why? Same reason–boring. But give me the European championships or World Cup and I’ll pick my favourite teams and scream and cheer with the best of them.

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This year, my favourite team, Italy, didn’t fare well. Still, my love for Gli Azzurri reigns. I know, I should have been cheering for Team USA–and I did! I was so happy that we did as well as we did this year, but I was convinced the Italians would make it to the final and bring the trophy home to Rome again–just like they did the very first time I was ever in Rome. I still have fond memories of that trip and it’s mostly because of how great the Romans where as they celebrated the return of their team.

Now that Italy and the US are out, I am not sure who to cheer for. The Swedish team didn’t even qualify for World Cup, so I can’t cheer for them. I like the Dutch team but Robben is making it hard for me to cheer for them because he is crying wolf too much with all his exaggerated “falls”. C’mon, Robben, then Dutch team has always been renowned for playing honourable football, so get with the program! I could cheer for Germany, but the games are always boring. You know they are going to win… And the Brazilian team… I used to love the Brazilian football team. Now, they’re just not doing it for me.

Tord just told me he misses the Biter (Uruguay striker Luis Suarez) but we can always  giggle about how he inspired a nipple clamp. Maybe I should add this to one of my novels. It could be amusing. We can all laugh about it now, but you do have to wonder what’s going on in Suarez’s mind when he thinks biting someone is no big deal. At least he finally apologised to Giorgio Chiellini, though it took him long enough.

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Chiellini is much nicer than me. But then again, I am a grumpy Capricorn, so I hold grudges. I am trying to learn not to do so. But it isn’t easy.

Well, I will watch the final. As I write this post, I am watching the Netherlands-Costa Rica match. It’s in overtime and the score is *still* 0-0.  How will I survive when World Cup is over? I hadn’t even planned on watching it. I guess I will have more time to work on my next novel. ;)