Sunday, September 23, 2007

Hello, Readers and Writers!

For those of you who spend time writing, I hope this finds you producing work with astounding depth and sublime allusions.

Or at least writing. Something. A few lines that make your mother chuckle? Or a conversation that smacks of reality?
Wherever you are in the writing process - be is poetry, essays, historical pieces, or novels - keep going and write every day.

That piece of advice has been touted often, and I must say, for the most part, it is sound. The more you write, the more your skills evolve. Of course there are days when you will want to take break and just live. Breathe. Laugh. Swim. Gorge yourself on life. And those days usually fill the writing well with plenty of material, don't they?

And those of you who read 'til your heart is full and your soul satisfied - I know you appreciate the effort that goes into the process.

Frankly, I'm amazed at how much my own prose has changed - and changed again - even over the past few years.

Remember I mentioned a while back that Tremolo: cry of the loon, is coming out soon? Well, we now have an official print release date from Paladin Timeless Books (an imprint of Twilight Times Books): November 15th, 2007. Tremolo is the third Gus LeGarde book, a prequel to Double Forte', that whisks Gus, Siegfried, and Elsbeth back to the summer of 1964. It's a "coming-of-age mystery." Genre slotting is so hard to do these days, but since my publisher is a literary independent who doesn't get all bent out of shape by precise genre tagging, I think it will represent the book well and should suffice.

Anyway, I finished revising the manuscript for the umpteenth time. I spent ten days on it, refining and tweaking to smooth the prose, removed ungainly adverbs (like ungainly, LOL), hacked away at the excessive prepositional phrases, removed the "ups and downs" sullying the prose, and much, much more. It's a tighter read now, and I'm glad I did it.

If you'd like to read an updated excerpt - click here.

On top of all that, I prepared many cover designs for my publisher to consider, and she's chosen the one I've posted here.
A back cover blurb is almost as important as the cover art. Once you attract the potential reader with a dazzling cover, they normally flip the book over to glance at the blurb. If the first sentence or two doesn't capture them, enticing them to open to chapter one to sample the first few sentences - all is lost.

So, back cover blurbs are often honed (at least by me) like a fine work of art, with much solicitation from critique partners. If you have only 150 words to describe your entire novel, you must choose words judiciously to pique your reader's interest.

Things have been hopping in other areas, too. Kodak has contacted me to do a video shoot for their website They want me to share my passion about print and how it's affected my life as an author. Of course, it's all about connecting with readers! I'm very passionate about that. ;o) They'll be filming me on October 9th in and around the Genesee Valley and Geneseo, NY, the historic and beautiful locale where the LeGarde Mystery series takes place.

Did you ever think your lowly and humble LeGarde Mysteries author would be a movie star? LOL!

Okay, so it's not The View or the Oprah show. But it should be fun. And they're going to giveaway ten copies of Tremolo each week for ten weeks as a promotion. A very nice gesture, don't you think?

In keeping with this whole crazy Tremolo week, I'm going to share the current blurb I've written for the back cover. I'd appreciate comments from those of you who have been through this grueling process before. As always, I welcome your suggestions.

Here's a statement I've developed to help define the target audience. Like Stephen King's movie, "Stand By Me," or my all time favorite "To Kill A Mockingbird," Tremolo features young characters, but is not targeted exclusively at young readers. I actually wrote it for folks in my generation who may have grown up in the fifties/sixties or those who wish they had. ;o)

"A book with universal appeal, Tremolo will satisfy adults who yearn for simpler times as well as young readers seeking adventure and mystery."

How does that sound?

And since my mysteries often combine elements of poetic family scenes interlaced with chilling terror, I've come up with this little blurb to help explain it.

"Tremolo is the perfect blend of the sublime and sinister."

Do you think that will attract interest?

Boy, this marketing stuff and all the things that go with getting a book out are really a lot harder than writing the actual book! But they're important. After all, as someone once told me, "nobody ever bought a book they haven't heard about."

Tremolo, Rough Draft of Back Cover Blurb:

"Summer, 1964: Beatlemania hits the States, and the world mourns the loss of JFK. For eleven-year-old Gus LeGarde, the powerful events that rocked the nation serve as a backdrop for the most challenging summer of his life.

After Gus and his friends capsize their boat at his grandparents’ lakeside camp, they witness a drunk chasing a girl through the foggy Maine woods. She’s scared. She’s hurt. And she disappears.

The camp is thrown into turmoil as the frantic search for Sharon begins. Reports of stolen relics arise, including a church bell cast by Paul Revere. When Gus stumbles on a scepter that may be part of the spoils, he becomes a target for the evil lurking around the lake. Will they find Sharon before the villain does? And how can Gus--armed only with a big heart, a motorboat, and a nosy beagle--survive the menacing attacks on his life?"

Well, thanks so much for stopping by. I'm actually simultaneously babysitting for my grandsons this morning, so it's been a bit of a challenge getting this prepared and tending little boys' needs at the same time. Daughter Jenn has nursing clinicals in the city today, and she had to leave really early, seven AM. Phew. I hope this all makes sense!

Warmest wishes for a wonderful week,

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