Saturday, August 31, 2013

Another Update on The Price of Love

This morning I drove to Office Depot and had the book printed off (340 pages) for a grand total of $26.91.  Geesh!  That was expensive. My Epson printer at home would have gone through two ink cartridges, no doubt, costing me $48.  I guess I saved a few bucks.

To top it off, I had no highlighters around, so I went tromping off to look for one highlighter. How hard could that be since all the school supplies are out?  Purchasing one highlighter is an impossibility at this time of the year. They are bundled up for school in multi-highlighter packages. I ended up with a six-pack for $5.99.  Highway robbery.  Why can't I just buy one for a buck?  Well, I suppose I could look at this way, I have six highlighters I can use on six more books.

Next week, I'll be reading through the text on the printed page. I've stared too long at the book in MS Word format on a computer screen and can no longer see my typos.  There is something about looking at it in print that gives you another view.

Things are progressing, though I have this feeling it's not going fast enough.  October 1st is still my deadline for release of the eBook.  Print will come later, because I need to reformat it entirely and design the interior and back cover.

When I get bored, I keep fooling around with the cover.  Yes, I know I have one already, but I'm a Photoshop junkie of the worse kind.  I downloaded a new font today that's really curly-swirly.  I'm like a kid playing with a new toy.  I've even got stand-by covers that are totally different, too.  

Well, back to work!  I have five more chapters to run through Grammarly, and then I'm reading and holding in my hand six brand new multi-colored highlighters as I read 340 pages.  

Pray for me.

Fondly,
Vicki


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Komtesse Angelique Jolene von Lamberg

As an author, I've been accused of writing characters that irritate people. Reviewers are probably right.  I think it is quite obvious, from those who have read my books, that I do not sugar coat reality or emotions when I create stories.  

My characters are created with both good and bad qualities for a purpose.  It sets the theme of the book, gives them conflict and challenges to face, and ends with resolutions that often border on forgiveness, restoration, or love. I'm not the cookie-cutter romance author.  It's the reason I remain an independent author, so I can step away from the expectations of agents and publishers as to what is acceptable and create something unique.

The Price of Love is no exception.

Let me preface this post by letting my readers know ahead of time that there is no romance in this book.  Zero. Zip. Nada. Nothing. There is one stolen kiss in a scene and that's it.  The temptation to fall in love exists. The book will be categorized as family saga/general fiction.  Is there any love in it?  Yes, but a different kind.  It's the love of family. 

As I read through the text again for the third time, I think readers will find some enduring qualities about Angelique and also some irksome qualities that ruffle feathers.  Listen folks, no one is perfect.  Neither are the people I create.  She is on a journey in this book to discover her heritage.  For the past eighteen years she has been reared by an Austrian count and instilled with morals, rigid views, and responsibility.  She is confident, unyielding, judgmental, and opinionated (almost like her biological father she doesn't know). Angelique (who goes by the name of Jolene throughout the book) does have endearing qualities, too, which may not always be evident until the final chapters of the story.

The Duke, Suzette, and their son Robert will also come back, along with Marguerite (the Duke's sister, her husband and son).  They are really secondary characters in this story, as it heavily relies on Jolene who drives the entire novel to its conclusion.

I have this urge to take off the book's cover Legacy's Conclusion, because the ending is a doorway into another story that could turn into romance for one of three people.  Why do I think this family saga will continue?  Perhaps it's because my imaginary characters are poking at me while I work on book three.  I'm not promising anything, but it's a possibility.

Well, back to editing.  It's coming.  Eventually.

All my best,
Vicki

Friday, August 23, 2013

Update on The Price of Love

The Price of Love is consuming my life. This is my third round of re-reading the text and making changes. Each day I'm working on it to correct, enhance, and make it a better read. In addition, I've been running it through Grammarly (a nifty online program you should try out). 

Hopefully, by September 9th, I will have it in the hands of my beta readers and real editor extraordinaire. I am aiming at an October 1st release in eBook and October 15th release in print (or no later than 10/30). 

Editing, at this point, really takes patience. In return, I hope you will continue to be patient as I work to deliver to you a good story that will make you shed a tear at the end. I'm hoping this one won't get thrown against the wall. 

All my best, 

Vicki

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Finished Second Draft

I wanted to go to Cannon Beach, Oregon, and walk the shore this weekend.  But, alas, I worked on The Price of Love instead.  Finally, I finished reviewing the first draft.  And again, I came to the end and cried.

After 93,000 plus words, you really get involved in your make-believe characters and their struggles. The ending, of course, is extremely emotional.  The first three quarters of the book is merely a journey--a search for truth and identity, if you will.  The last quarter is revelation. It tells the story of lives coming back together in one colliding reunion.  It's called the climax of the novel, you know.

How do you think everyone will react with the return of Angelique?  Will hatred between the Duke and Philippe still exist? Will Philippe ever be able to forgive Suzette for her adultery?  Will Robert, find Angelique's pardon for shoving over her bassinet?  (Of course, I had to throw some humor in the mix.)

Needless to say, after a long weekend, I am a bit burned out.  Next week, I'll start running the 93,000 words through Grammarly.com and make further revisions.  After that, I'll post again and let you know what my next steps will be.  There will probably be a third run-through before I hand it over to beta readers and editing.

Since the story concludes in Paris where it all began, I'll leave you with a quote that I found by accident. It was purely coincidental that I chose a book for Robert to read that contained the words below.

“For love is like a tree; it grows of itself; it sends its roots deep into our being, and often continues to grow green over a heart in ruins." (Victor Hugo - "The Hunchback of Notre Dame"

There are in The Price of Love, many hearts in ruin.  But it's love in the end that grows green and covers the past. 

Vicki


Friday, August 9, 2013

The Legacy Series - Plans for the Future

I've been thinking quite a bit about The Legacy Series.  In past reviews there have been a few call-outs of errors on my part, all warranted.  

The Price of Deception does contains instances where I use the incorrect verbal address for a Duke (I beg your forgiveness, your Grace.) Those criticisms have come from reviewers in the United Kingdom.  

I will admit that I was somewhat lax in making sure I used the correct form of address for aristocrats when the book was released in October of 2011. (Of course, it was pre-Downton Abbey days, so who knew?) However, I did research many other aspects in the book to make sure it was historically accurate.  The same thing with The Price of Innocence.  A lot of what is in that story is unbelievable to some readers. I make no apologies for the reality of poverty in Paris in 1870 and not romantically sugar-coating the book to make it easier. There is nothing in there that I did not find from hours of research about life of the homeless, being a laundress, or a prostitute.   

As far a The Price of Love goes, all of the formal verbal greetings of aristocracy done by staff, society, close friends, etc., have been researched to death by me and correctly included.  I found many references on line, one being on Wikipedia:  Forms of Address in the United Kingdom.  I even researched Austrian nobility too.

What are my plans for the future?  I will be updating The Price of Deception text after release of The Price of Love to make sure corrections are made.  I will also no longer make it exclusive to Amazon KDP program for the first two books and will begin to resell it worldwide on Sony, iTunes, Kobo, B&N, etc., in eBook format.

The Legacy Series has sparked either love or controversy from readers.  From the first day The Price of Innocence made it to #1 in Historical Romance Free Books in May of 2012 (Amazon US) and stayed there for four days (22,000 plus downloads worldwide) it drew a lot of attention. 

Some of that attention turned out to be critical, but I have my thoughts where that came from but won't go down that road.  Needless to say, as much as it has been criticized, it continues to sell well worldwide every month. (Even though readers have been warned by reviewers to save their money, it appears readers prefer to make their own decisions).  

Regardless, I have a wonderful fan base of people who love the series. As an author, you focus on those who appreciate your work and realize that you cannot please every reader's taste in the entire world. It's an impossibility from the very famous writers who sell millions to the writers who sell a few. It's part of the gig of being an author.  You either handle it professionally or have a meltdown and quit. I prefer the first route.  

As far as The Price of Love, I am now up to Chapter 7 in editing.  This is a very slow process, but I refuse to let this book fly out the door in a hurry.  Once again, be patient, as I bring it to a close (though I know people are going to email for number four.)

Next time I post, I'll write about Angelique.  I'm sure you'd like a little character sketch beforehand.

Thank you,
Vicki

Monday, August 5, 2013

I'm Editing & Revising - Second Draft & Reading Royal Commissioned Traffic Reports

I promised to keep you in the loop! I'm up to Chapter 6 in my first round of revisions and edits.  Pray for me.

In any event, I had to do a little more research on the side.  Did you know the population in London during 1905 had a staggering total of  five-million plus people?

Sixty-five (65) percent of the streets still had horse-drawn omnibuses and hackney carriages, while motorcars were fighting for room on the road. Of course, the "tube" had already begun its weaving underground London too.

I spent time yesterday picking up a few facts from a copy of a Royal Commissioned study. It's really interesting!  I just wanted you to know that I do research what I write, even though I've been accused otherwise.

The streets of London were as crowded as they are today (frankly I don't see much difference when I visit).  In the report the commission makes all sorts of recommendations for fixing the traffic problems, including making it a law that slower traffic drive close to the curb (or "kerb" as they penned it) and adding more electric tramways above ground.

The information about the demographics of London and those who traveled into the city to work are fascinating as well.

Who knew your author would get excited about a London traffic report from 1905?
Cover of: Report of the Royal commission appointed to inquire into and report upon the means of locomotion and transport in London. by Great Britain. Royal commission on London traffic.

Report of the Royal commission appointed to inquire into and report upon the means of locomotion and transport in London.


Published 1905 by Printed for H.M. Stationery off., by Wyman and sons, limited in London .
Written in English

 


Angelique will be enjoying a ride in an early Rolls Royce. The Chambers family (you remember, the ones who made their fortune off slave trading and sugar plantations) will own a motorcar.

Yes, The Price of Love is coming along.

Cheers,

Vicki

If you feel like reading the report, here you go! For a report over a hundred years old, it's pretty comprehensive and very impressive.



Thursday, August 1, 2013

First Draft of The Price of Love is Done!

The first draft of The Price of Love is DONE!!!!  

85,962 words (which will change a bit during revising and editing) consisting of 33 chapters.  

Whew! 

This picture pretty much tells it all . . .