Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Reading Tastes Change

The Girl Who Chased the Moon: A Novel
I'm looking forward to reading Sarah Allen Addison's new one, The Girl Who Followed the Moon. I fell in love with her writing at first bite, Garden Spells, and I also loved The Sugar Queen.

Hardbacks are something I rarely buy now, preferring trade or paper, but I just couldn't wait for Addison's next one and blew my hardback money for the last copy in town.

Her style contains a truth, relationships, depth and whimsy, not an easy combination for a writer to handle well, and "well" she does.
Garden Spells (Bantam Discovery) Enchantment lingers in all of us, that special charm, a residue of childhood times when we believed. When we believed. Addison brings that back to the adult female, a time of fairies and enchantment, all rolled around sometimes harsh truths.

My reading tastes have changed and I'm enjoying a whole new realm of writers and topics, included Melissa Senate's work. I loved her The Secret of Joy and look forward to her next one; I like her journeys, and those realities.

Jackie at Farm Lane Books blog undertakes explaining this with reader age compared to reading material. She even has an equation, if you want to check that out.

I'm busy at work with my own stories, but enjoying this whole new realm of reading material in Women's Fiction.

Age does have something to do with what we read, but I wonder if now with some darker times upon us, if we don't look for lighter material.

Smart writers do not write to trends however. They write what they love and what they know.

I am just hoping for more of Addison's brand of reading on my bedstand.

Friday, March 12, 2010

E-Books Now and Soon

While one new writing project is on hold, I'm editing earlier books for new life.

I've fallen in love with the stories all over again. Though years have passed, Rugged Glory is still good old basic school marm meets cowboy. He's got a problem teenage boy and she's adopted her two little nieces to protect them. They both have a lot to learn in a make-do situation, or as romance writers like to call it, "propinquity".

I'm digging up the reviews on these and will post them, but the sales were good, Waldens bestsellers.

As Cait London, my contemporaries are everywhere, and many are available on Kindle, Sony, Mobi, etc. as these will be. But these early CAIT LOGAN books still hold a part of my heart. It's quite something to look back at early work and say, "Hey, I still like the story." As a reader, I'm enjoying them that way, too. Readers liked Rugged Glory enough for Berkley to republish it.

A little tweaking to update from early on, and they'll be ready to lift up online in different formats. The most work is in removing the publisher's formatting, and these books all rated high with reviews and bestselling lists, so I feel they are worth the eye-straining effort.

Little periods like to dance in places they shouldn't be. Lots of that stuff, separated words that need re-joining, 1's for I's, stuff like that.

But the stories hold true. Or I think so.

I'm looking at cover ideas now and after two categories completed, I'm looking at a western historical, my first, but not my last. See Tame the Fury earlier, with its gorgeous cover.

This is quite the adventure, a review of books so well loved by readers. And to see them revived in different formats.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

First Big Book Backstory

Tame the Fury, my very first western romance and quite the challenge. I'm reviewing it now, preparing for re-publishing and remembering how scared I was, leaping into this new writing adventure.

As a writer, I really welcomed new opportunities, but did weigh each carefully. Tame the Fury proved to be a good opportunity.

Let's get that title out of the way first: Not to my liking, thought it sounded like S&M, but ohmigosh what a cover. Loved that cover, which cannot be reused in newer publication.

The lead in the Berkley Diamond line and the first of several historicals, Tame the Fury was quite the little exercise. Here's some of the backstory:

1. I'd written a few SCALs, Berkley's Second Chance at Loves, they'd placed well on sales (see previous post) and my then-editor invited me into writing a western historical. The phrase "scared stiff" didn't quite frame my fear.

2. Not a clue as how to market it back then.

3. I wrote about current Washington state's 1890s-1900s historical town, using my growing-up area as a base--we have lots built into us, if we'll only use it.

4. Made it through one draft, which was okayed by the editor.

5. THEN THE CALL: Apparently the excellent author created a mistake so far as the heroine's hair color. Since I'd used blonde/golden as the wheat fields, etc. and the artist had portrayed Rebecca as raven/black-haired, all my similes were cold stone dead.

So I got this frantic call from my editor, rewrite and change the color. I was working a day-job then, with 3 teens, and under contract to another publisher, so writing time was scarce, let alone a RE-DO.

I balked a bit, and then my editor stated firmly, "Okay, then, I'll just stuck blonde in where you have raven and black."

Fear gripped me. All those lovely wheat fields and sunshine similies tossed out the window. I agreed to said VERY FIRM request and set to work. It was a last minute scramble, but came up with the idea of using a Scottish type poem to "drive the book". My Highland Rose was the result.

Take a Big Note: This stuff happens really frequently in publishing, not only with covers, but formatting, publishing dates changed after all ad work has gone out, just reasons for all, but I was really, really happy with the end result of this cover.

6. Everyone seemed satisfied with the result, which was actually probably better than the original.

You can see more of my western historicals at my website. I traveled to research each one, including driving the Oregon Trail, which was delicious to me, but not to the pioneers.

And so it began. I'm having quite a time revisiting these early books, remembering all the really enjoyable research and Travel. Loved the travel to research bit.