Contracts, Covers, and Blurbs…

How I see Marianne

My contract for, His Perfect Passion came and with it, some Homework assignments.  First, I had to describe my characters in specific detail, height, weight, physical characteristics, etc. along with other elements key to the storyfor a cover questionnaire.  I was invited to provide a link to a photograph of a person I could “see” as my character.  This part was fun.  I have found inspiration in paintings several times for my writing and it  was a John William Waterhouse painting of Boreas that inspired my vision of the heroine, Marianne.  The hero of my book, Darius Rourke, was just as fun to imagine.  Darius is half English, half Italian, and a cultured but domineering gentleman.  I found the perfect man one day in a cologne ad from a magazine.  From the moment I spotted the photo I could not picture anyone else as my Darius.  He is him, in my vision at least.  Actually, ‘he’ is a Spanish model named, Oriol Elacho.   I love his hands in the picture.  You can feel the ‘cultured elegance’ just by looking at his hands.  Delicioso

Oriol Elacho as Darius Rourke

The less fun part was writing three separate book blurbs.  The first: 25 words or less for use on ads.  The second: 50 word blurb for use on the website.  The third: 150 words or less for the back of the book.  Now, this was rather hard to do in my opinion, and the hardest blurb, by far, was the 25-word one.  I did it, but it took me several hours to get it right.  Condensing a novel down to just two sentences and conveying the essence of your story is a challenge.  As a writer you have to make your book sound interesting enough that people will want to read it.  That’s the tricky part…but also the beauty of writing–the part that keeps me typing away.


The luck of the rabbit…

Today  marked the beginning of ‘The Year of the Rabbit.’  My mother tells me, (she has unlimited knowledge in these areas) that the animal of your birth year in the Chinese calendar will prove lucky for you throughout your life whenever the year comes into your animal.

Well, it was RABBIT the year I was born, so I guess I’m due a sh$%load of luck now that it’s come around again!

Mom said informatively, “You’re getting a book published, so it’s already working for you.”

I have to say, I’m generally a pessimistic person, but considering how exciting the last few days have been, I’m thinking Mom’s luck theory has some merit to it.

Yeah, RABBIT luck works for me.  I’m not complaining.  “Here little bunny…”


Getting the call…

Well, surprise, surprise.  Today was the day!  January 31, 2011, the day I went from unpublished writer to soon-to-be writer under contract.  Yahoooooo!  Publisher (I’ll name as SBS) want to publish my novella, with a release date of June 2011.

Actually, a very nice acquisitions editor, named April, wrote a 2nd email to say, “Hi, we sent you an offer to publish your manuscript on Jan. 20th but have not heard from you.  Check your spam folder.”

Uh, say again?

Sooooooo, thinking there couldn’t possibly be anything good in my spam folder, I checked it.


There it sat:  RE:  Offer to Publish, His Perfect Passion.  I just about fell out of my chair.  The damn thing had come 11 days before!  God!!!!!

This all happened in the morning before school started.  Before my 1st graders came bouncing into my classroom, ready to start their Monday.  I had to actually teach after that!


Next comes the contract.  I’ll let you know how that works.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times / January 29, 2011)

On another note…

The bald eagle story caught my eye.  Now that’s gotta be true love there.  A wild male bald-eagle keeps coming to the Orange County zoo enclosure where a female bald-eagle resides in captivity.  The animal handlers have never seen anything like it before.  There’s a story in there just waiting to fly.


Waterhouse inspired…

Ophelia     1889     John William Waterhouse

Ophelia 1889 John William Waterhouse

Have you ever looked at a painting and seen a story in it?  What story could be told about her?  Why is she there?  Is she alone?  Waiting for someone?

For  me, she is Marianne, a character in a story I wrote called, His Perfect Passion.  For the Romantic painter, William Waterhouse, she was Ophelia from Hamlet.  Just as Shakespeare inspired Waterhouse to paint, Waterhouse inspires me to write.

A painting got me started on my writing.  I saw Ophelia there in the field, looking so lovely and mysterious, and had an epiphany, became obsessed to the point that I couldn’t let it go until I wrote about her.  She became Marianne in my story, but I always return to the painting for reference when I need to see her. 

Waterhouse’s work is irresistible to me because he painted knights and goddesses and beautiful creatures like mermaids and fairies–stuff that’s right up my alley.  Thanks to Mr. Waterhouse, I have plenty of inspiration.  Now if I can just block out the sound of my sons playing Black Ops in the other room, I might get some writing done today! ;0