I looked at the blog and saw that it’s been a month since I posted. Wow, time flies! What have I been doing these past thirty days, I’ll assume you asked? Lots of things.
From April 1st to 14th, I was feverishly working on my novella for THE BITE BEFORE CHRISTMAS anthology. Longtime blog readers may remember that the first half of a novel is the hardest for me to write. This novella is close to the length of half a book, so it felt like pushing uphill the whole way. Despite this, I’m pleased to say that I heard from my editor yesterday and she really liked the story, so revisions will be of the lighter, clarify-this, expand-on-that variety. Cue me wiping my brow with a “whew!” sigh of relief. What’s this story about, I’ll again assume you asked? :). It’s a Cat and Bones tale called Home for the Holidays, where long buried secrets of Bones’s past resurface to take a bite out of their holiday cheer. I’ve mentioned in other places that a member of the Night Huntress crew has known some bombshell things about Bones’s history that even he wasn’t aware of. In Home for the Holidays, I finally get to reveal who that person is and share those secrets with readers, which I’ve been itching to do.
Then, on April 15th, I did something I’ve wanted to do for over a decade – moved out of South Florida. Don’t get me wrong, if you like the sun and heat, that is the place to be. I burn easily and get migraines in high temperatures, though, so from April through November (yes, heat indexes in April already topped the 90’s on a regular basis), I stayed indoors most of the time. That’s not fun, even for an introvert like me. I am now in the North Carolina mountains and I love, love, love it. I’ve been outside almost every day since I moved and it’s been wonderful. Even my dog seems to love it. She wants to go on long walks with every potty, whereas before, she’d run outside, pee, and then dash back into the air-conditioned environment, lol.
As with all things, though, there have been some drawbacks. At some point between our closing on the house and arriving there two weeks later, a valve on our water heater had burst and flooded the downstairs. Good thing I’d already decided I hated the carpet, because the sodden mess had to be pulled up. Then the movers had taken all my paperwork out of my various desks and piled it into one big box, forcing me to do something I hadn’t done in years – organize *cue screams of horror*. That took a scary amount of time, but now I’ve weeded through all of it and only saved the things I really needed. After doing that, I was bitten by the Organize bug and went through all my clothes, pulling out things that I had kept under the myth premise of “If I lose ten/fifteen/twenty pounds, this will look great on me!” Ahem. Goodwill, you are about to get a lot of clothes, many of them never worn.
Aside from that, we’ve had little blips. Took over a week for the cable to work properly, and it was a tennis match between Charter saying it was TiVo’s fault while TiVo lobbed the blame on Charter. The house needed blinds everywhere since it was a second home for the former owners and they must not have been here enough to worry about privacy. We also had security installed, the gas checked (the fireplace smelled, well, gassy to me), the furnace cleaned out, and the list goes on. Every day, a new company or repair person has been by to check or work on one thing or the other.
In the midst of that, I went through galley pages for ONE GRAVE AT A TIME and made a lot of changes and corrections. Every time, I think I’ve been so thorough at the copyedit stage, yet once the story is formatted and laid out in book form, I find so many glaring errors. It’s extra frustrating to know that the Arc’s will not have any of these corrections. Yes, every Arc is marked with a big note about how it’s not a finished copy and errors are likely, but one day, I dream of having a clean, error-free Arc! (Dream on, everyone in publishing just muttered). I don’t have Arcs yet, but when I do, I’ll hold my usual contests. Reviewers and bloggers interested in receiving one will need to contact Avon’s publicity department. I only get a couple for contests and have no control over which sites get sent an Arc for reviewing purposes, sorry.
Because of moving and deadlines, I wasn’t about to attend the Romantic Times convention in Los Angeles, but I heard that it was loads of fun as usual. I was also very happy to hear that ETERNAL KISS OF DARKNESS took the award for Best Vampire Romance. Big smooches to the RT reviewers for that, though they’ll have to wait until next year in Chicago to get those smooches in person.
A few people have asked if I could post deleted scenes from ETERNAL KISS OF DARKNESS. Sorry to say, but there really weren’t any. As for THIS SIDE OF THE GRAVE, there’s one small scene snippet featuring Vlad in a cowboy outfit that I’ll have to dig out, but give me a little time. I’ll be sure to let everyone know once it’s up.
And finally, I spoke to my editor firming up the plot summary for Vlad’s book and discussing my wish list for the cover. My editor and I are in agreement that we’d like to see just Vlad on the cover, with him and Leila on the stepback (kind of a reverse of the Cat and Bones covers). Now, I need to brainstorm a title for the book. It won’t have “grave” in it to denote that it’s NOT a C&B book, but I don’t know if I want a recurring word in his titles or not. Do you like it when a series has a recurring word in the title, or does that make you crazy? Also, if anyone wants to share their idea for a title for Vlad’s book, please do. If my editor gives your suggestion a thumb’s up, I’ll be sure to mention you in the acknowledgments, if you’d like.
That’s it for now. The rest of this week/weekend, I have some contest prizes to address and mail out, then on Monday, I start writing Vlad and Leila’s story. Onward!