Kicking B*utt at Making Names?

This morning, I found an important truth about my writing process. I would rather name a dozen historical characters than one contemporary one. Please remind me of that when it is time to name the heroine from A Heart Most Wanton, which will probably come sooner than I expect, because the way I am scheduling writing times now seems to be working.

Anyway, Melva and I are working on a contemporary collection with three stories. One hers, one mine, one ours. We have the ours one all worked out, and I can’t wait to see what her story will hold, which leaves only mine. Since I have met me, I know this has to have some sort of historical connection, or it is not at all happening. Do I know what that connection is? Ehhh, maybe? Kind of? Possibly? Whyever would I know something like that? Oh look, a kitty.

Make of that distraction what you will. As of this writing, my contemporary character naming process is not all that different from my historical naming process. Since all of my reference books are still in storage :weeps softly: that means I head to the interwebs. Figure out what year the character would have been born, find a list of most popular baby names from that year for their country of origin, and then open a random number generator. Generate a few numbers, write down the names that correspond to the numbers. Re-roll if needed, if you’ve hit a name that is on your automatic “no” list, or if it won’t fit this particular character or story. I personally don’t like to have hero and heroine’s names to start with the same initial, so whichever one of them comes first, that initial is out.

Melva’s and my collaborative process is a lot different. We throw names at each other and see what sticks. Seems to be working all right so far. With Chasing Prince Charming, our base for Meg’s name was that we wanted a one-syllable name. Since we had a heroine with a one-syllable name, we wanted to contrast that with a multi-syllable name for the hero, which is how we found Dominic.

Doing it on my own is…different. The vast majority of my contemporary romance reading is YA instead of adult, so I’m not finding adult names much in the contemporaries I read. For me, naming a character is important; grabbing popular names at random and slapping them down is not going to work for me. As a matter of fact, my list of “no” names for historicals (and probably carry them over to contemporary as well) are very popular in the genre…but they don’t work for me. It is what it is. So, what does work?

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

That’s a very good question. The name has to fit the character. That’s essential. Some characters do come with a name already, sit themselves down in a chair across from me, and introduce themselves. I am one hundred percent fine with that. I encourage it. I encourage it even when it involves a character telling me he doesn’t know what his name is, meaning the one given at birth. He has a thing that he’s called, sure, but it’s not his name. There is a difference. Yes, that has happened, and that’s one of the historicals I look forward to writing. Historical characters are pretty good about this sort of thing. I know where they come from, when they were born, which gives me a clear direction as to where to look for their names. Sometimes I will have to read through the entire section of possible/probable names until I find one that hits. Sometimes none of the contemporary to them (remember, historical characters don’t know they’re in a historical; they think they’re in a contemporary) and I go back an era or even more, to find a “traditional” name that may feel out of place for their time, but could well be a family name. the

With contemporary characters, of course I have an even longer span of history to work with, so it should be theoretically easier. Names I hear around me in everyday life. Names of friends, or their offspring, or even, for younger characters, their offspring’s offspring. Even so, I usually end up at “uhhhhh…..” as a starting point. Knowing the name helps me see the character in a visual sense. I don’t usually fantasy cast (and don’t get me started on the whole new barrel of worms that would be naming fantasy characters, so hats off to fantasy authors that do that every day) but I do have an image in my head. Height, frame, complexion, hair, eyes, facial features, manner of dress, etc.

Sometimes the image comes first, and the character makes me figure out their name, a la Rumplestilskin. None of my characters to date have actually been named Rumplestilskin. This is probably a good thing. Beyond the actual name, how do they feel about the name? Is that a name they like to hear? Do they feel that it fits them? Would they rather be called something else? If so, what? It’s not as simple as slapping a “hi, my name is X” (none of my characters to date have actually been named X yet, either.) on their shirt and calling it good enough.

Today is Housemate’s birthday, so it’s going to be a day of cavorting with some of her favorite activities. In the back of my mind, though, I am gestating the heroine for the “mine” story in the upcoming collection. Well, the proposal for it. Something to bring to the table when we confer. Anything can happen from there. What we call it, well, we’ll find that out.

Typing With Wet Paws: End of January Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. It’s zero degrees here in New York, and zero is exactly the number of us who want to go outside today. Aunt Linda and Uncle Rheuben both have to go outside to go to their jobs, but Aunt Anna and I get to work from home, so that is pretty cool, that we can stay warm. See what I did there? I got a million of them.

Speaking of warm, I have become very interested in Aunt Anna’s weighted blanket. Of course I love sleeping on it (Aunt Anna prefers under it, but eh, you do you, Auntie) but also I am super super super interested in what’s inside the blanket. Aunt Anna says that it’s glass beads and I should not be digging at it, even though it is fun fun fun (and a little frustrating.) The humans have been talking about getting a cover for the blanket, so I can’t make a hole in it and let the glass beads out. Aunt Anna says they would get everywhere. I will probably like the cover, too, and it may even distract me from the blanket itself, but I must lodge my protest anyway. The blanket does help Aunt Anna sleep, and that gives me a lot more cuddle time, so that’s good.

Aunt tested, kitty approved

For those who wanted to know what blanket she got, it is the Tranquility blanket from Wal-Mart, the twelve pound version. She thinks it is the twin size, even though her and Uncle Rheuben’s bed is either double or queen (they aren’t sure.) Uncle Rheuben doesn’t need the weighted blanket, so it goes on Aunt Anna’s (and my) side only.

Photo by Lina Kivaka on Pexels.com
aka not Aunt Anna

Now we come to the reading part of our blog Aunt Anna has reluctantly noped out of even a deferred version of last week’s historical romance readathon, because it was one of those weeks. She is pumped to get some more historical romance standalones under her belt, either rereads or finally reads, and has a bunch of historical romance audiobooks lined up, along with some contemporary YA, tending toward the darker ones. As usual, the “hm, how would this work in a historical romance?” thing happens a lot. She likes audiobooks right before bed, which coincides with kitty cuddle time, so I am all for that.

As far as the Goodreads challenge is concerned, Aunt Anna is currently one book ahead of sche3dule, with eight books read out of ninety. That puts her at nine percent of the way to her goal, which is not bad at all. She did manage to read two historical romances:

No Rest For the Wicked, by Lauren Smith (Pirates of Brittania connected world)

and

Duke of Desire, by Elizabeth Hoyt (Maiden Lane #12)

On the writing front, things are moving right along, or should I say, write along? Heh. She and Aunt Melva are fifty pages into the first edits of Drama King’s first draft. It’s going pretty well, although we had something that may be called the Empanada Incident, because a whole scene scarpered off from the working copy of the full manuscript, and Aunt Anna only found it because it was the only scene in the book that contained the word, “empanada.” Phew. They also did some plotting on Queen of Hearts, which was super fun.

Next weekend, they will be teaching their workshop on how to write through the tough times, for Charter Oak Readers and Writers. While Aunt Anna and I are in New York, and Aunt Melva is in Massachusetts, there is still no travel involved, even though CORW is in Connecticut. As with many things these days, they will be conducting the workshop virtually. They will be sure to give all the highlights on their own website, MelvaAndAnna.com, which is newly updated, with more stuff to come.

As for the historical romance side of things, that’s progressing as well. Aunt Anna is now eyeing the calendar for when her A Heart Most Errant manuscript comes home to roost, and then she can take the next step in the indie process. To get in the medieval mood, she’s planning to dive not some old favorite medievals, and some from the brave new wave of modern medieval writers. Do you have a favorite medieval? Let her know in the comments.

Okay, that’s all I have on the agenda (well, the part i haven’t shredded yet) so I am going to go take another crack at that weighted blanket. Maybe it’s filled with kibble!

Headbonks!

Typing With Wet Paws: I Feel a Draft Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. The draft I am talking about here is not coming through any doors or windows (our building is very well insulated, which is very much appreciated) but drafts coming from Aunt Anna. By this I mean of the booik variety, of course.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com
(not Aunt Anna)

Drama King

As you may have read in Aunt Anna’s blog, Drama King is now officially a draft. Aunt Anna is a little dazed over that because, well, 2020 was horrible. Now it’s time for the editing phase, which Aunt Anna actually likes. Strange, I know. It also means time for a new notebook setup for laying the groundwork for Queen of Hearts. Oh what hardship. (I am being sarcastic here.) There will probably be new pens and highlighters, too, or, more likely, appropriating some that Aunt Anna already has. One of the really fun things Aunt Anna is looking forward to is getting together things that remind her of the character she will be writing for Queen of Hearts, which, this time, will be the heroine. She really loves the heroes Aunt Melva writes, so this is going to be fun.

It also serves as a nice balance to the much more technical work of the editing process, filing in holes, smoothing out transitions, making sure that the best character (a cat!) has enough scenes and all that kind of stuff.

A Heart Most Errant is now in the hands of an actual editor, and in about two weeks, it will be back in Aunt Aunna’s hands. That means she will have some more tinkering to do, but there will also be formatting and cover art, which sounds an awful lot like…a real book. The kind that can be sold directly to readers, if you’re into that sort of thing.

This means that she needs to start thinking, now, about connected books, which is not normally a thing she does, but the market is what the market is. Trying new stuff is fun, and the idea of writing more books in that setting means that A) she has a really good excuse to read more medieval romances, and B) get back on track with The Walking Dead, because the whole concept of this story world is “post-apocalyptic medieval.” It takes place after the Bubonic Plague whomped out basically half of Europe. This is either incredibly good timing for this sort of story or incredibly bad timing. Aunt Anna figures it will all work out in the end, and she’s happy to be writing historical romance, period, so on with the show.

Reading

First, the good stuff. (well, Aunt Anna says all reading is the good stuff) Aunt Anna is currently one book ahead of her Goodreads Reading Challenge, with six books read out of her goal of ninety. That puts her at seven percent of the way home.

The thing that gives her pause (as opposed to paws; I provide the paws around here) is that all six of those books are YA (or NA) – two romances and four scary books. With all of them, she has, at one point or another, or multiple points throughout, wondered how that sort of thing would work in a historical romance. Maybe this counts as some sort of research? This can be mildly concerning when one remembers this was also the week of…

Historical Romance Readathon

Yeeeeaaaah. Aunt Anna did not do great here. Not going to hold it against her, though, because A) this has been a rough week with raging insomnia, and B) that kind of led into feeling pressure-y about hewing to her readathon plan, so she is going to call this a deferred readathon and still do it this week, although albeit unofficially. That’s how she rolls.

All is not lost, though, because Aunt Anna acquired a super neat thing this week: a weighted blanket. That means that it’s a blanket, filled with lots and lots and lots of tiny glass beads. The weight is often very good for people who have anxiety (which Aunt Anna does) and make it easier for them to sleep. This one, I am happy to report, works. I even tried it myself.

Hooman tested, kitty approved

Also, Aunt Anna has another anthology ready for weekend reading, Regency in Color (vol 1!) which has a story from Jessica Cale, who is one of Aunt Anna’s favorite historical romance authors. This bodes extremely well. She can confirm that reading historical romance under a weighted blanket, with a hot cup of cinnamon tea, and a beautiful, purring calico girl makes for a super duper cozy time. Aunt Anna is very much into this sort of thing. Possibly with extra pillows and a scented candle set well away from any place aforementioned calico girl can get to it. I am never ever ever left unsupervised around candles.

Okay, I think that’s about it. That weighted blanket is super snuggly, and I have a lot of napping to do, if I am going to be any sort of purr-sonal assitant. What’s on tap for your weekend?

Headbonks!

A Tale of Two Manuscripts

First draft of Drama King is done. Complete. Finished. Melva and I agreed during our video chat on Monday, and then I promptly crashed. Monday was also the day that A Heart Most Errant is now safely in the hands of an independent editor. Over the next two weeks, there will be editing, formatting, cover design, and then my baby will come back to me and it will be time to think about the next steps.

Storm says nap time is now required.

For Drama King, that will mean going over the whole thing in fifty page chunks, filling in some places that need plumping, tying up loose ends, working on a lot of transitions, but we did it. We. Did. It. Once we send that to our editor at The Wild Rose Press, who holds right of first refusal (or acceptance!) and we see how that goes. We are also laying the groundwork for the third Love By The Book book, Queen of Hearts. After that, we do know what comes next, and we are feeling pretty good about that. Add to that the fact that we are reviving our website, including some upcoming workshops. Super fun.

With A Heart Most Errant, having book one off in the hands of an editor, that means that it’s time to think about book two…which I never thought about before. I normally think in terms of standalones for historicals, but the market at present is heavily geared toward series, so now I get to do a new thing. That’s both exciting and scary, and also gives me a really good reason to reread some favorite medieval romances (and discover new ones) and honestly say that I’m doing market research.

Speaking of standalones, Her Last First Kiss is going to require some surgery, because when things flat out won’t move past a certain point, that means somebody is trying to drive the story in the wrong direction. (Me. That person would be me.) It’s not a big thing, but if it’s derailed a story I love for this long, them maybe it probably is. Le sigh. But one story at a time, which is why this is not titled A Tale of Three Manuscripts. That, I am sure, will come soon enough. Which is okay. It feels good to be moving.

Today also sees me in the middle of the Historical Romance Readathon week, with my nose in two anthologies, and, hopefully, I will be able to finish them both. Not that I don’t like either of them, because I like both, but because it’s been an annoyingly insomniac week. I have a new weighted blanket that should help a lot. It’s also super cozy for reading, with a bunch of pillows and a cup of cinnamon tea.

Feels pretty good, after this past year, to report favorably on two projects in the same post. Maybe a deep dive into reading some historical romance will help with the whole coming up with new medieval stories thingamabobble, and see how other authors of historical romance decide on how to pick the next connected project.

Comments, concerns, tips, all happily accepted in the comments below. Comments int he comments…yeah, definitely reading time.

Typing With Wet Paws: Happy Mew Year Edition

Tails up, Storm Troopers, and Happy Mew Year! I’m Storm, you’re awesome, and this is Typing With Wet Paws. We are all doing well here, and happy to have 2020 in the rearview mirror. I have as of yet made no moves toward the Christmas tree, though that may be because it is on the kitchen table, and I am not allowed on the kitchen table. Still salty about that, buy next year, maybe they’ll have the tree on a coffee table. Then, I’ll have news.

We had a really nice Christmas and New Year. Now we are getting back to the business of regular life. Well, with one exception. Since my humans love me very much, of course I got presents. The wrapping paper was super fun. I played with it all morning. I even got gushy food. There was one present, however. It came from Aunt Mary, Uncle Brian, and cousins Andrew, (Leah, who will get married to Andrew in a little while) and Aiden, who is a fur cousin. He is a dog, but I am okay with that. I really have no words for it, so here:

Does anybody notice the resemblance?

Please note the absence of nose arrow. That is how you can tell us apart, although our blacks and oranges are on opposite sides of our face. So that’s another way. Also, she doesn’t talk much. Like at all. Aunt Anna says that’s because Esme (her tag says she’s called Esmerelda, but we are calling her Esme, because she is smol) is stuffed. Hmpf. Honestly, I have never seen her eat a thing. I would also like to be stuffed. Which I have been, as Uncle Rheuben got some people tuna, specifically to share with me, and I think that speaks highly of him.

Anyway, Esme lives in Aunt Linda’s room, since I usually want to be around Aunt Anna. There were plans on the agenda to get a photo of “the twins” (which we are not) but calico said cali-NO. I don’t hate Esme, but she’s going to have to put into this relationship, know what I mean? Yeah. This was as close as Aunt Anna could get.

Hm, this does prove that I am now not the only one who can leave black, white, and orange fur sheds at the scene of an…um…incident. Like maybe with a hypothetical Christmas tree on a hypothetical coffee table next year. Okay, she may have her uses. She can stay.

In the getting back to day to day business, things are also going pretty well. Aunt Anna and Aunt Melva will be finishing Drama King oh so soon, and then begins the first round of edits.; And the second round of edits. Then submission, because their editor at The Wild Rose Press already said they could send it. Then if they want it, there will be more edits. Aunt Anna actually likes that part, Aunt Melva not so much, but it all gets the book to you, so it’s all good. If the publisher doesn’t feel the book will be a good fit, then they have other options, which would also be good, and they have a nice slate of stuff to see them happily writing through the new year.

They will also be reviving melvaandanna.com, because there is new stuff coming. Not only the very soon writing of THE END to Drama King, but their first video workshop of the year in February, and being the authors of the month in a book club in March. Then they will start on Queen of Hearts.

Aunt Anna is also, as I have said before, super excited about getting back to historical romance. She’s throwing around a lot of terms like “pirates” and “medieval” (but not medieval pirates. At least not at this point.) and picking out what projects would be fun to drag out from the mothballs (I don’t know what mothballs are, but I like balls. They’re fun.) There are notebooks and papers and ideas, and I am on point for assisting her every step of the way. By assisting, I usually mean sitting on whatever notebook or planner she has opened most recently.

One of those planners is her reading journal, which is what you see above. She’s still working on the setup, so it’s a work in progress. The printables are from Jesenia Printables (she got the Reading Set and loves it very much) and she plans to get them printed professionally rather than letting her printer and visual impairment duke it out over home printing.; Plus this will allow her to print extra book pages and record everything she wants to record. She also wants to make a different paint chip bookmark in colors that more closely agree with the pink/black/white color palette, and this time skip the stickers. Probably also round the corners, because she is fancy like that.

Along with recording how many books Aunt Anna reads this week, she is going to keep track of the genres/subgenres that she reads. She would like for historical romance to be the biggest category, but then also keep track of how many of what sort of historical romances she reads the most. Of course that is centered on what books she has access to, because one of the sucky things that happened in 2020 was being permanently parted from her classic romance collection, except for two boxes of favorite favorites.

So far, she has read three books out of a projected ninety, putting her two books ahead of schedule, though we are in the earliest of days. These three are all YA, two of which have strong romances, and two are scary. There is some overlap. She is currently reading a historical, with more on the way, so things will balance out very soon, Also, she has made a couple hours in the evening set aside for reading, and I am definitely here to do my part and sit on her to ensure feline paralysis, which goes really, really well with reading.

I t hink that’s about it for this week, and my sunbeam is here, so catch you next week.

Headbonks!

Happy Book Birthday, Chasing Prince Charming!

Today’s the day!

For everybody who has been Chasing Prince Charming, today is the day to catch him. Meg and Dominic have been let loose on the world, and, for the first time, people neither Melva nor I know (and some whom we do) get the chance to read the story of a fallen chick-lit author, determined to revive her career, the history professor turned romance publisher who beckons her out of her comfort zone in more ways than one, and their path through the writing process to their very own happily ever after.

Watch this space and melvaandanna.com (one word, all lowercase) for news on our upcoming author visit to Buried Under Romance. Melva and I will be having our regularly scheduled Skype chat, to celebrate, and work on our assignments for the next phase of Drama King. The best way I can think of to celebrate this achievement, of my first release in mumblecough years, is more writing. There were times, a lot of them, when anxiety and depression, and domestic tornadoes had me looking at what ws behind me, writingwise, to the point where I actually cried when Facebook thought I would like to remember when I had sold my last book.

There have been three anthologies since then, the invitation to the first two of them landing in my inbox the day after we moved out of our old apartment, and now a new chapter has begun. I don’t think I would have written contemporary romance on my own (jury is till out on the time travel, which is still on the back burner, until I figure out what the fluff is at the heart of that one, which may be more than one, thanks to my natural tendency to stuff ten pound cats into two pound bags) but as soon as Melva and I sat in that hallway outside the ballroom for a conference breakfast, and tossed around ideas until we landed on a simultaneous “we should write that,” it’s been a very natural thing to add to my usual bag of tricks, or, more accurately, binder of tricks.

my Love by the Book binder

My other great passion besides romance fiction is the whole world of planners and notebooks, but as I have said here before, all of my previous attempts have been the way I thought a writer’s notebook should be set up: always a three ring binder, always letter size, always with the same amount of sections that the package of dividers I bought had. Which never, ever worked. So, earlier this week, with the knowledge that the first book would be out to-freaking-day, and it says “book one in the Love By the Book series” right there on the cover, that people can actually buy, that is in peoples’ Kindles right the heck now (a huge thank you to those who have confirmed it’s on their devices) then I better make sure I do my part in getting book two to The End. Which meant a binder, which meant my kind of binder. (A5, I am making my own dividers, and applying tabs as needed.)

WIP binders

The binder with the white background is for my contemporaries with Melva, and the solid blush pink is for my historical solo romances. They both feel like home. I have three historical pieces, one novella and two novels, that are in need of (new) homes, and I need a place where I can comfortably settle in and get Her Last First Kiss to The End of draft two.

Her Last First Kiss binder

These notebooks feel like home, and these novels feel like home. This morning, I researched UK to US work visas, because the hero of Drama King has one, and part of Sunday pinning eighteenth century aesthetic images, for use in my Her Last First Kiss binder, to bring Bern and Ruby’s world into visual form. It works. Show up, put pen to paper, tell the story. As hard and as easy as that.

So, that’s my rambling for the day. Chasing Prince Charming is out. Meg and Dominic are ready to meet their readers. It’s a love story, of second chances and new beginnings, and digging down deep to find that, when we have to, we really, really can Do the Thing.

Happy reading!

Make A Decision and Move Forward

Tuesday morning breakfasts with N is always a highlight of my week, and yesterday was doubly so.  Yesterday, we got our notebooks out and made a plan to organize our writing for 2019, before it starts. Part of that was kicking around ideas for a second blog, dedicated to planning/bullet journals/related miscellany, and keeping this focused on the journey of the writing life. 

Third blog would actually be more accurate, because Melva and I had a long discussion on our Monday night Skype meeting, about what we want our joing author website to look like. What is our combined brand? (Spoiler: “uhhhhh” is not an acceptable answer.) What content do we want the site to have? So far, we are agreed on a bookshelf, with three shelves; Melva books, Anna books, and Melva-and-Anna books. Same with the author bios, and that puts the partnership bio on the top of the to-do list for that one. 

Today, after I finish this blog, possibly while I do laundry, I will start getting my notes ready for the first Tuesday in January, where N and I will attack 2019. We both have manuscripts we want to get to The End this year, so we need to plan for after that. I already know the next project Melva and I will tackle, but for my solo historicals (which I am definitely feeling, once again; getting a win will do that for a gal) there are a lot of options. Since I tend to overthink, this is where a logical plan of attack comes in handy. Time to take a step back and get some perspective. 

Between now and then, I get to muck around in my imagination, and haul the characters, plots, settings, tropes, etc, that I’ve kept in my writerbrain attic, out into the natural light, and take a good look at what I’ve got. What excites me the most? What would require the most research? What do I still need to connect the dots on before I know what I’m doing? What needs brainstorming? Am I trying to stuff a ten pound cat into a two pound bag, anywhere? (Definitely.) Can two things that aren’t fully fleshed out be combined into one cohesive whole?

Once everything is spread out, we take a good, hard look at it. That’s probably my favorite part of audition weeks on TV talent competitions. Everybody’s good, or they wouldn’t have made it to the week where the judges winnow down the best to the cast of the new season. There’s headshots and notes on performances, and each judge has their own things they look for in a finalist. Is it too much to have three ballroom girls in the top ten? Can the self taught dancer pick up choreography? How does the amazing freestyler do with partner work? I honestly would be thrilled to watch the unedited footage of this part of the process, or be there when it’s decision time. 

N has a sign near her desk, that reads “make a decision and move on.”  She’s unleashed it a time or two on me, when I get caught in overthinking, and it really does help. Make a decision. Move forward. This or that. Yes or no. Stick in a placeholder and come back to it later, but keep moving. I”ll let you know how it goes. Writer readers, what’s your favorite tip for plannign ahead? 

Typing With Stuffed Paws: Recently Contracted Edition

Hey. Sebastian Thunderpaws Hart-Bowling,  here on the windowsill, bringing you the latest edition of Typing With Stuffed Paws. There’s some stuff to talk about this week, but first, let’s get the compulsories out of the way, because it’s a cloudy Friday, and I feel a nap coming on in the very near future.

As always, Writer Chick was at Buried Under Romance on this past Saturday. Last week, she talked about the promise of romance fiction. If you’re curious about what that ight be (besides the Happily Ever After, that is) you can read it here, and this is the picture that goes with it:

BURpromiseofromance

Next we come to the part where I usually update about Writer Chick’s Goodreads updates, but it has been a week. More on that later. Instead of saying she is cheating again on her Goodreads challenge, she would prefer if I said that she is currently reading Heart of Iron, by Ashley Poston. More details on what Writer Chick actually thought of the book, when she has actually finished reading it (she is almost there.) She picked it because she liked another book by this author, Geekerella, which is a Cinderella retelling, but modern, with teenagers, no magic, and fandom. Heart of Iron is a retelling of the whole Anastasia thing, but in space, and with romance. Writer Chick says it reads like a really good medieval romance (actually two romances) but with space and I guess robots or something, but whatever.

091118Deskscape

Writer Chick also filled one morning pages book and started another. This one has birds on it.

Okay, I think that’ all the stuff I have to say before the big things. The first of which is that Skye came home. Well, sort of. She is the one in the box. It is kind of sad for the humans, because Skye is still on the other side of Rainbow Bridge, and also kind of nice, because there is now something to touch when they want to feel closer to her. In today’s picture, you see me trying to play nice with my sister. So far, so good. We both have exactly the same degree of interest in the green ball, so we have that going for us.

Now, we come to the next part. Writer Chick and Other Writer Chick now have a book contract. I cannot guarantee that Writer Chick will not blabber about this in a video blog (we thought she forgot about those things, but she has been watching a lot of vlogs, lately, so I can promise nothing.) Chasing Prince Charming, their first co-written contemporary romance novel, is now contracted by The Wild Rose Press

Since this whole thing is super new, as in this week new, there is not a lot of information to share as of yet, like when the book will be out, so you can buy it, or what the cover art will look like (you will have to wait for the art humans at The Wild Rose Press to make it first, which means Writer Chick and Other Writer Chick have to fill out some more paperwork when the publisher people send t to them) etc. If you are interested in this kind of thing, hit the subscribe button, to make sure you don’t miss any updates as they come along. Writer Chick and Other Writer Chick (humans call her Melva Michaelian) worked really hard to get this book to this stage of the game, and there is still a whole lot of work left to do.

First, there was paperwork. There is always paperwork. That is one reason I am glad to be stuffed. We never have to do paperwork. Not so for writer humans. There is even math involved. Writer Chick and Other Writer Chick have signed their contracts, and now the fun begins. Writer Chick actually likes the process of doing edits. Other Writer Chick doesn’t like it so much, but that’s probably one of the reasons it’s good that there are two of them. Writer Chick hates tracking submissions and things like that, so this probably shakes out to about equal.

Both Writer Chick and Other Writer Chick are still writing their own, solo, novels. Historical romance for Writer Chick, and the love child of contemporary romance and cozy mystery for Other Writer chick. In case you were wondering what is at the crossroads of combining both of those above genres, Chasing Prince Charming would be it. One of the things Writer Chick has on her agenda for this upcoming week, is to look into a joint website for herself and Other Writer Chick, because that is a different writer than only Writer Chick by herself and Other Writer Chick by herself. Do not ask me to explain the specifics. I don’t know if there will be a blog, but Writer Chick is involved in this, so draw your own conclusions.

There are a lot of things to figure out when this whole kind of two-headed writer thing  gets some momentum. Writer Chick knows what she has, for aesthetic and somewhat in the neighborhood of branding and all of that good stuff, and she could probably pretty accurately put something together for Other Writer Chick, because they have been friends for basically forever, and conference buddies for almost forever, not to mention co-writers for one whole book and part of another already. (I will not mention the “what are we going to do for the next series?” conversations that I may or may not have overheard, during Skype sessions. Public Stuffed Service Announcement: we stuffed guys can hear everything you’re saying, so please keep that in mind, and yes, please turn us around if you plan to do things that cannot be unseen.) What the two of them together look/sound like, though? Yeah, that’s new.  Writer Chick is probably going to use this as an excuse to play in one of her art journals, but, to be fair, she does that with pretty much everything else, anyway. It is what it is.

That’s also about it for this week, so I am going to call it naptime.

Later days,

SebastianWindowBye