Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Covers, Titles, and all that Jazz

Yesterday, I was quite sick and didnt get much done. I did some research reading (good chunk of David Starkey's Six Wives) and some needlepoint for the miniature games room I'm making, but that's about it.

My publisher is working on the Lingerie Addict cover and asked for input this morning. Covers, if you didn't know this, are about the first thing the publisher works on; they start even before the manuscript is due. They do that because it's one of the longest and most expensive processes of book making. The cover has to be designed, the art commissioned and finished, the lettering, etc. designed, the cover blurb written, the cover quotes in place, and probably other things I don't know about. Then all this has to be put together and sent to the printers, who take a certain amount of time. Plus the covers have to be done in time to be sent out to the distributors, who look at the covers and place their orders. When I worked at a small publisher (Oryx Press, now owned by Greenwood), I would see the covers for my books long before the author gave me a finished manuscript!

Cover art is chosen because the publisher wants a certain look--depending on the content of the book and the type of book (comedy, drama, gothic, futuristic, pirate, vampire, what have you). That is why sometimes the cover art doesn't always fit exactly what's inside the book. But it does fit the line, imprint, style, or whatever. I'm perfectly happy to let the publisher take artistic license when designing my covers if it makes a better cover.

On a reader board yesterday, I saw a reader astonished that authors did not always choose their own titles. That is true. Many times a publisher will have something else in mind and change it. But not always.

So far, all the titles I've come up with have not been changed (except Confessions of a Lingerie Addict, which had a slight change). The Pirate Next Door was my idea. The Care and Feeding of Pirates is mine. Even the more boring titles, like The Pirate Hunter, are mine. I'm not certain if this is good or bad! The mystery titles I've come up with so far (The Hanover Square Affair, A Regimental Murder, The Glass House, The Sudbury School Murders) have also stayed. But if an editor or someone in marketing thinks they can generate more sales by changing the title, they will. Single-title publishers, btw, are much more inclined to keep an author's title or work with an author on the title than category publishers.

Ok, now that I've talked about covers, cover art, and titles, it's time for me to dive into the most important part of the book--the inside! I must work on a few revisions to Sudbury School Murders and plan some things for Lacey Book 5. That sounds like a full day.

Take care,

Monday, September 27, 2004


Happiness is a working AC in 100-degree weather. Fortunately only a small part needed to be replaced, not the whole compressor (whew!). So a fairly small cost, and it's working again.

I'll be even happier when I get this draft done!! Hopefully I can get another 18-20 pages today. I've done 13 already. But I didn't sleep well last night, so might have to do some of that. My dear husband decided to take a blue ice pack, wrap it in a plastic bag and put it under the covers last night. But what can I say? It worked! Guess where the cat slept (yes, on the ice pack).

Someone stretch time for me, pleeeeeze?? Thank you.

Waiting for AC repair

Today I get to wait for someone to come and repair my AC. The drawback of living in a hot climate. At least the nights and mornings are cool now, so I won't get hot until this afternoon. I can't wait! I can always abandon ship to an air conditioned coffee house until the sun goes down, I guess. But I hate to leave my poor kitty to swelter. Will work something out.

Let's see if I can write and sweat!

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Lizards, AC, and other matters

Retrieved beleagured lizard from air conditioning (it tried to look invisible on top of the filter, so we just carried the filter outside and nudged him or her off), got house clean and food cooked for party, had party. Good party, actually; small but fun.

Now the compressor in the air conditioner has gone out. Thank God it's the end of September and not mid-August, but it's still in the 90s here, so must get it fixed. Ah, the joy of home ownership.

I didn't make my page count on Friday, though I did make up some on Saturday. Real life intervened. Author Bonnie Vanak weathered the storm in Florida last night without much damage, which I was relieved to hear. She was trying to get revisions done on her next book, The Cobra and the Concubine, due out next May I believe (somewhere around there).

I'm going to try today to get my thoughts together on the next Lacey book, Murder in High Places. I have about a hundred pages written, but need to sort out what I've got and what I want to do.

What I'm reading: Started Pamela Britton's Tempted. Pam is a sweetheart and her books are fun to read. She has a strong voice I much admire.

Take care,

Friday, September 24, 2004

Goals update

Working on today's 18 pages. I'm in the middle of a difficult scene that's an important plot point. I want to get it right, so it's slowing me down a little. I'm about half-way through, have nine pages to go.

People are asking how I'm writing 5000K a day. This is the easy part of writing. I know where I want to go with the story and how I want to get there. Now it's just writing it down. The map has been drawn, the bags packed, now I'm driving down the freeway.

Difficult will be what I need to do next, plot out my next Captain Lacey mystery. I have many threads, many ideas, and need to make them a coherent, tight story.

Another goal is to finish up Paula Reed's Into His Arms. It's got good plotting, a rogue hero who doesn't believe that true love exists, and a heroine who is teaching him that it does. This is her debut book. Looking at Amazon, she has another coming out from Kensington soon.

That's my plan. That and paint and install baseboards before a bunch of people invade my house tomorrow night! I decided to host a party. Now I have to cook and clean. What was I thinking?

Oh, and get the lizard out of my air conditioner. It's hard to rescue lizards. They don't understand they're being rescued.

Please, everyone in Florida, take care (again!). My thoughts are with you.


Thursday, September 23, 2004

Today's writing goal

I'm a little shy of my writing goal today, still need three pages. But I'm up to 69,000 words. I'm really pooped today for some reason. I will try to get those last three pages done before I go to bed tonight.

What I'm reading: Into His Arms by Paula Reed, a new author. I picked up her book at RWA when I walked by her table and saw that she too was writing high seas adventure. Had to have a peek! I've just started it, but so far, the histrical detail is vivid and well researched. I'm looking forward to going down to Jamaica with the hero and heroine. It's a "pirate and the puritan" story, and it just so happens that I have Cheryl Howe's The Pirate and the Puritan, so I'll have to read them both.

Also reading: David Starkey's Six Wives, to of course get his take on Anne Boleyn. His research was turned into a PBS series of four shows, which summarized the stories of each queen. I'm looking forward to reading the details.

Must take break. Brain is fried. Painting baseboards should take care of that. It's pretty mindless.


Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Made it

Made it to page 255. Up to 65K! Yessss!! Taking nap now. zzzzzz


More Writing Goals

Yesterday, I made my 18 page goal with hours to spare. Wooooo!!!!! I'm at 60K words on Lingerie Addict and rising. My goal today is another 18 (finished draft by September 30).

I was stunned that I finished by 3:30 in the afternoon. But I turned off the Internet and wasn't allowed to touch it. The outside world is so distracting! I had time to do some research reading and actually do the dishes. Can I stand it?

What I'm reading: Candiced Hern's, The Bride Sale. I know now why this book racked up so many awards last year. It's good! Temperature is mild; it reads more like a traditional Regency than a historical, but it's a sweet story well told.


Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Writing Goals

Today I will write at least 18 pages of Lingerie Addict. No e-mails, no posting on boards, no blogging except this entry. I swear I will do this.

I have 180 pages to go on this draft. If I write 18 pages a day, I will reach my 400 page goal by Sept. 30.

I'm keeping a record to see if I can do it! You know, I love writing rough drafts, even though sometimes it's hard . But the creative juices are flowing and I'm living the story along with the characters, much more so than in the revisions stages.

It's like the pleasure and the pain, do you know what I mean, writers??


Monday, September 20, 2004

Anne Boleyn

Here's my timeline for events beginning with Henry's courtship of Anne, the reign of Anne as queen, to her death. I plan to start well into the divorce case, and refer to earlier events.

1526: Henry begins to show his affections for Anne (letters, etc.)

May 1527: Secret ecclesiastical court to determine the validity of Henry's marriage
to Katherine of Aragon

June 1527: Henry tells Katherine of the investigation, asks her to withdraw to a convent. Katherine says no, her marriage with Henry is valid.

August 1527: Ecclesiastical court cannot come to decision, decision made to refer to pope for special dispensation. Henry has begun to give Anne gifts.

Summer1528: Henry and Anne separated while Anne's lady, then Anne, has the sweating sickness

Fall 1528: Campeggio, pope's representative, arrives. Anne and Henry believe decision in their favor will be shortly forthcoming

1529 May 31-July 1529: Legatine court in Blackfriars. Henry and Katherine arrive to be judged whether their marriage is valid. Cardinals Wolsey and Campeggio preside. Katherine makes impassioned speech to Henry, insisting she never consummated her marriage with his brother Arthur, and so is legitimately married to Henry. Campeggio has orders to stall, and after short deliberation, returns to Rome. Henry furious.

December 1529: Henry gives Anne precedence over his sister Mary (former queen of France) at a banquet.

Summer 1530: Wolsey reverses course and tries for a reconciliation between Katherine and Henry, and Charles V (Holy Roman Emperor and Katherine's nephew).

November 1530: Henry orders Wolsey's arrest. Wolsey dies of illness en route to London. Henry takes possession of Wolsey's houses--Hampton Court and York Place (later Whitehall palace)

September 1532: Anne made Marchioness of Pembroke. Acquires lands, queen's jewels, etc. etc.

October 1532: Anne and Henry in Calais (historians speculate they consummated relationship here during bad weather).

January 1533: Anne and Henry secretly marry

May 1533: Archbishop Thomas Cramner declares Henry's marriage to Katherine invalid and marriage to Anne legitimate. Henry is excommunicated

May 31-June 1, 1533: Anne's coronation: Progress, pageants, tableaus designed by Hans Holbein

Sept 7, 1533: Birth of Princess Elizabeth (later Elizabeth I)

March 1534: Act of Succession declared (making Mary, daughter of Katherine of Aragon illegitimate, and Elizabeth, daughter of Anne the legitimate heir)

April 1534: Thomas More refuses to take oath supporting Act of Succession, is arrested and sent to Tower.

Summer 1534: Anne miscarries

June 1535: Anne has stillborn child (speculative)

July 1535: Thomas More executed.

January 1536: Katherine of Aragon dies. Anne miscarries a boy--possibly deformed, bringing fears of witchcraft and incest

March 1536: Henry pays attention to Jane Seymour

March-April 1536: Jane Seymour and her brother are moved into rooms of Thomas Cromwell's (close to king's own rooms).

May 1, 1536: Smeeton arrested for supposedly committing adultery with Anne. Tortured Confesses to adultery and names others.

May 1-5, 1536: Arrested: Norris, George Boleyn (Lord Rochford), Weston, Brereton, Wyatt, Page

May 17, 1536: Smeeton, Norris, Rochford, Weston, and Brereton executed (Wyatt and Page later freed)

May 19 1536: Execution of Anne Boleyn. Anne's marriage to Henry declared invalid, and Elizabeth illegitimate

That's a basic, scratch outline of events. More events intertwine, of course, but that's the rough story.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Mini time

In my copious spare time I do minis--which means miniature room settings and furniture. My latest effort has been to finish a southwestern porch for my mother.

I built or modified everything here, though I did not cast the pots. I bought those from Poco Pots in New Mexico. I can't remember the woman's name, but she's been making these wonderful pots for a long time and sells at miniature shows/sales. I love them.

Got my desk cleaned off and everything filed (well, almost everything), got the front bathroom tile sealed and baseboards painted. Updated my site with some miniatures pictures, and thought about writing. (ha!)

Today I want to work on a timeline for the Boleyn book; what happened when and where so I can fit it into the context of the frame story. That and seal more grout, buy more baseboards.... (the writer's glamorous life).


Saturday, September 18, 2004

A writer's life

Today on my writing agenda:

Clean off my desk! There's not even room for my cat any more. (She is so offended.)
Seal the grout on my newly tiled bathrooms (hey, it's important)
Write another twenty pages on Lingerie Addict
Read good chunk of Eric Ives' bio of Anne Boleyn
Start redesigning my Web site (that will take a while)

I know it's Saturday, but a writer never stops.

Here's the icon that the ladies at RBL Romantica made for me. I love it!

Jennifer (

Friday, September 17, 2004


Woo hoo, I just hit page 200 of Lingerie Addict! Yes!

Now to get the next 200.

I try to do at least 3000 words per day. Don't always make it; sometimes I manage to do more. It averages out I guess.

Back to writing.

Massage Therapy

I had an appt. with a massage therapist yesterday. Since I had a tummy ache, I asked her "So, do you have a massage for indigestion?" She said, why yes, I do! So I got my tummy rubbed. Ooo, that felt good.

I don't know if the bug cycled through or the massage sent it packing or a little of both, but I feel so much better!

I hate acidy stomach things. A writer's life is stressful enough. It's hard to get into your heroine's problems or write a love scene when your stomach hurts! Bleh.

I'm all for massage therapy. It does your body wonders to get your muscles relaxed and your systems working like they should.

Back to writing about Brenda and her gorgeous hunk of a boyfriend.


Thursday, September 16, 2004

Big Book Giveaway Winner and other stuff

My contest is over, the big winner was Joanne in Florida (hopefully recovering from hurricanes). She gets a box of books, many of them signed by the authors, some goodies thrown in, and a copy of my first book, Perils of the Heart.

I'll do another contest sometime later this year, when The Care and Feeding of Pirates is around the corner.

Because I LOVE the cover art for Care and Feeding, here it is again:

And, what the heck, if we're throwing up covers, here's the next Captain Lacey mystery, The Glass House, out in December:

Gorgeous, no?

I have a slight stomach ache today, have had it for a couple of days--I think I have a bug. I'm going to chill today and take it easy. No writing. Just laundry.

Take care,


Friday, September 10, 2004

Site Updates and stuff

I updated my Web site with a few articles for writers. Learn about how to find an agent, how to write a query letter, how to create the alpha hero, and how to get your manuscript finished and your career going. Go to and click on "Tips for Writers" from the list.

I also added my reviews for The Pirate Hunter, which was out in May. I hadn't realized that I'd gotten so many good reviews. I'm flattered. Thank you reviewers! I have quotes from them on the site (under "Reviews").

I'm having fun researching for the Anne Boleyn novel. I've been reading books, listening to lectures, looking at letters, studying maps, learning how to make Tudor clothing and food. It's so much fun! I love to research (ok, so I'm a geek.)

The book will be out as far as I know sometime late 2005. When I know the title and pub date, I'll post it.

While I'm researching, I'm writing hard on Confessions of a Lingerie Slut. It's a comedy, a slice-of-life story, a family story, a romance--lots of things rolled into one.

I'm also writing hard on another Captain Lacey mystery novel, tentatively called Murder in High Places. This one will involve the intrigues of the ton and characters Lacey met in Spain. All of the secondary characters are present and involved.

I'm still running a book giveaway on my site until the 15th (which is next Wednesday). Be sure to sign up. At my site, click on "Contests" and check out the list of books I'm handing out for free. Good luck!!!