PUBLISHING DIARY: The most challenging 250 words of a novel are…

PUBLISHING DIARY: The most challenging 250 words of a novel are… Care to guess? Are these the first few sentences of a new story?  No.  The ending?  Not even close.  Believe it or not, it’s the summary that goes on the back of the book that is the killer!  Maybe it shouldn’t be, but I’ve heard the same complaint coming from people doing their doctoral abstracts.  Distilling an entire 700-page book to a few sentences meant to interest a reader is nearly the hardest part of writing for me.

It is difficult, yes, but it also very useful.  Today as I sat at my favorite morning writing hangout struggling with this, I actually changed the name of the second book (the one I hope to publish in the next two weeks) from Conversion to Resurrection.  Why the change?  When you sit and sweat and try to figure out what this book is actually about, what it’s central theme is, you can honestly find that it wasn’t what you thought it was.  Also, if it’s part of a series, as mine are, then you might even look at the title against the other books in the series.  Until it’s published, anything can change.  Today, the title changed when I wrote this…


Brutally beaten to death in front of her, the tragic loss of Vanarra’s mother had always defined who she was.  Van was an orphan, a mixed blood, and a victim of the great family houses’ unyielding hatred of her kind.  Her lifelong friendship with Sahnassa de Orturu helped her change those houses, grant mixed bloods equality, and live far beyond a normal Thurian lifespan.  Although coming to a bitter peace with her distant past, Vanarra never forgot those brutal moments of her beloved parent’s pitiless injury and murder.  Now, seventeen hundred and forty seasons later, she stares down in utter astonishment at her very own mother lying upon a hospital bed, inexplicably alive and recovering from those very same injuries.

Matching her mother’s plight, the once great houses that Vanarra restored now exist in an utterly wounded and failing state.  Their rights were unjustly torn away by corrupt politicians.  Their ranks were insidiously infected by Sahnassites and Vanarrans.  Their once noble leadership has been reduced to either twisted perversion or despairing impotence.  Vanarra faces the task of not only helping her mother recover and find a new place in this far distant time, but she must also aid and restore the family houses.  Failing to resurrect the great houses will undoubtedly cost Thuria its future.  Failing to help her mother survive in this new time would cost Vanarra de Gonari her very soul.

She has no choice but to bravely face both the consequences and requirements of … resurrection.

I hope that got your attention, made you want to read the book, also.  I feel pretty good about it, as I do about the title change.  So, short status report.  All of the edits are in and have been incorporated into the manuscript.  The master documents for the eBook and the paperback are complete.  The abstract is written, and now I’m dealing with final tuning.  I also have to put the preview of book three, Ascension, at the end of this book, and then it will be ready to go out.  The image shown with this post, also, combines the amazing work of Kat Miller with Genesis Whitmore.  I’m very grateful to both of them for this amazing collaborative cover.

Soon, hopefully, I’ll be able to add another chapter to … The Thurian Saga.  See you in the future…


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