Thursday, April 12, 2007

Her One And Only Valentine

Yes I can confirm it! My 13th sale to the London offices is done and dusted and winging it's way to copy-editing as we speak! Yaayyyy... *unlucky* number thirteen is gone!

Anyone who follows my ramblings on here will know the story as Last Chance Family but it's official release title is Her One And Only Valentine.... anyone wanna hazard a guess what month it's out next year? Anyone??

This is Rhiannon and Kane's story and it's my first 'secret baby' tale. Now don't cringe! If you know me at all you'll know I've done my very bestest to throw a modern day twist on it. Whether or not I've pulled it off I shall leave to my wise readers...

Actually, all told, I think it's an emotional read. There is one scene in particular that made me cry when reading it and it's one of those scenes where knowing the characters well meant they created the dialogue themselves... which in turn led to the emotion... in one line as it happens. It's also the longest romance I've ever written, with one heck of a lot of story packed into the very upper limits of the line's wordcount! And it could quite merrily have gone longer if I'd let it! That's the third one in a row that wanted to do that...

So what did I learn from this one? I learnt first and foremost once again that the delete key can be my friend and not my enemy. Sometimes, even when there is absolutely nothing wrong with a scene and it supplies us with information and leads the story forwards, and basically does all the things it's s'posed to do - it's still gotta go! Cos if it's a choice between a scene that can have the same information filtered in somewhere else or a scene that has real impact or sweetness... well... you get where I'm heading here, right? As writers we can become very emotionally attached to the story. It's that whole 'wood for the trees' thing. And if we're on a deadline and desperately need the wordcount to be going up and not down - then it can be so very hard to bite the bullet and use that delete key! This book taught me to be brave.

And sometimes that bravery has to extend to things like character names. When I got stuck and things just weren't going the way I wanted them to - I made the decision to rename my heroine and her daughter. When I did, it changed them a little in my mind, and that change was enough to move me forward, getting me through my slump so I could get to the good stuff at the end!

But most of all I learnt that with every book I do I'm setting myself a higher and higher standard to attempt to achieve. Which means every one is a little harder than the last. And I think that's the way it *should be* but it's flipping hard work! Thing is, I'd rather suffer now than suffer when it's in print...

To read an excerpt of Her One And Only Valentine just click on the title and you can see the behind the scenes story there too!!!

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