News and Updates
Had a wonderful time at The Book Stall in Winnetka, IL last night. A few new faces mixed in with some familiar ones! Bloody axe cookies were a big hit! As were the “Red herrings” aka Swedish fish:)
There are loads of B&Bs to visit, all over the world. But did you know Lizzie Borden’s home, where the unsolved murder of her parents still hangs in the air, is one of them? True crime lovers will enjoy visiting the home and town where the famous murders took place, and they can decide for themselves if our girl was guilty or innocent.
The dress Elizabeth Montgomery wore portraying LB in the movie Lizzie Borden
The stove where Lizzie burned her dress (if you know, you know. If you don’t, read my book!)
And what visit to the Lizzie Borden B&B is complete without a pic of yourself laying on the (replica) sofa where Mr. Borden met his demise?
In writing MORE THAN A THIEF, I tried various ways in to the story. One of these attempts was a diary format, which, for various reasons I won’t bore you with, I eventually abandoned. However, I thought you might enjoy this brief outtake – a peek into my main character’s diary and state of mind, from an earlier version:
“In telling a perfect stranger my story, I would have to tell them that:
- I am a thief, but not your normal, run-of -the-mill kind. Most of the items I take are worth mere pennies at best.
- I don’t use anything I steal, but keep everything together in an old hat box in the garden shed
- I am immediately ashamed and remorseful
- I can’t seem to stop. Even now, as I write this, I have that familiar buzzing in my ears and fingertips, gnawing away at my resolve. And truly, I hadn’t even thought about quitting – it seemed such a harmless pastime, really – until I found out about Miss Lizzie…”
Poor Victoria. What’s a thieving debutante to do?
Feel free to preorder MORE THAN A THIEF to find out!
The day I found out I was losing my agent was also the day we got an offer on my latest book! It was heaping plate of Sweet and Sour Pork, served steaming hot. Joy and sorrow combined under one silver dome. And I’m not great with chopsticks.
The journey with More Than A Thief started in 2010, after my book Best Friends Forever: A WWII Scrapbook came out. Marshall Cavendish (the original publisher) was interested in another historical scrapbook. Having always been fascinated with the Lizzy Borden case, I decided to set the story in Fall River, Massachusetts and got to work. The story started out as a contemporary novel with the main character keeping a scrapbook about the Borden murders. There was a ghost/graveyard element too, and a very tragic yet handsome ghost boy. I wrote a chunk and sent it to the lovely Robin Benjamin, my editor at Marshall Cavendish. We talked, we planned. I wrote more. It was grand.
And then. Marshall Cavendish was bought by Amazon and Amazon was not going to be publishing historical fiction. Also, somewhere in there, my first agent (let’s call her Agent A) and I parted ways. I wrote on, and looked for a new agent. Fifty-some rejections later, I found two agents who loved my story. Hooray! I picked Agent B. One very frustrating and silent year later, I realized I should have gone with Agent C. I let Agent B go and signed with Agent C, who, after one more year, was the one who finally sold this book. Hooray!
But then Agent C left the business and I am now feasting on the aforementioned Sweet and Sour Pork. But that is life, isn’t it? Taking the good with the bad, the sweet with the sour. The sour? Back on the hunt for Agent D. The sweet? The wonderful and talented people at Owl Hollow Press who are hard at work on my book! They have been a joy to work with and I cannot wait to see the magic they do with MORE THAN A THIEF. If you’d like to get a behind-the-scenes peeks at cover design, advanced reviews, and whatever else the future holds for this crazy journey, jot down your email and I’ll keep you in the loop.
Until then, stay well. And look for the sweet!
When the good people at Owl Hollow Press sent me a handful of cover designs to choose from, I was bowled over.
Me? Choose a cover? Eep! With my other books, I had no input, so this was a huge change. And a little intimidating.
Each sample was beautiful and arresting in its own right, making it difficult to choose. I showed the samples to my husband and kids, then to my trusted writing buddies. Their comments were varied and fascinating, each person having a different takeaway from the images. Keeping their opinions in mind, I went with my gut and chose, indicating some changes I thought would make it better. Then came time for the font! Ei yi yi. Back to my family again, and also to a very accomplished artist. Still more interesting takes. Here is why I chose what I did:
Photo: The darkness and partial view of the girl invoke a feeling of mystery. The spot of color is the hand, almost red from the heat of the candle – what better way to symbolize a thief than emphasize the hand that steals?
Font: Unusual, maybe a little menacing, and surprising on a historical fiction cover. Will it make a potential reader pick it up? I hope so!
Here are a few covers whose font and artwork combinations I found evocative:
How about you? Do you have a favorite cover that caught your eye? Please share!
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