Behind The Book: How I Decided To Ruin A One-Hit Wonder Penned For Whitney Houston

For the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing the soundtrack for Waiting For A Star To Fall, and how each song inspired or enhanced the creation of the novel.  Impatient? Full Spotify playlist is here.

The first book in the Autumn Brody series, Change Of Season, was named after a Matthew Good band song.  The reasons were two-fold:  not only did it capture the main character’s emotional state at the start of the book, but the title itself held a layered meaning for her journey.  The season at the heart of the story undergoes a change.

When I realized that I wanted to write a second book and create a series, I mulled the title for several weeks.  With only a loose plot idea to guide me, I was at a loss. I knew I wanted to name it after a song.  Beyond that…

My first approach was looking for song titles that referenced seasons, thinking I would be oh-so-clever and bind the series in that fashion.  Some of the rejected titles have been set aside for possible book three titles.  None of them seemed right for this story.

This is where the wealth of music trivia rattling in my skull came in handy.

I’d gone on a Whitney Houston run after chatting about The Bodyguard on Twitter.  This sent me down a soundtrack rabbit hole and further, into the depths of Wikipedia.  Knowing that the new book featured a stalking element, I jotted notes about characters referencing the Costner-Houston film.  Which they do, in abundance.

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Patience is a virtue (that you’ll need if you want to trad-pub)

In her second post in our Behind The Book series, author Carrie Morgan (on the traditional publishing path) delves into the preparations and process of querying agents – guaranteed to tax your reserve of patience beyond its limits.

More in this series

Wages of War

In my first post in this series, I explained how being published (and by that I mean traditionally published, going the agent-to-publisher route) has been my dream since I was a teenager.

What I didn’t know back then, and what I didn’t realize until I’d already started down the trad-pub path, was that whatever patience it takes to write book-length fiction is just the beginning. If you want to get your book out there on the streets as quickly as possible, trad-pub is probably not for you.

First, of course, you have to write your novel. How long this takes varies widely by person. In my case, setting aside the year or so that my novel concept swirled around in my head before I sat down to actually write it, it took me ninety-four days to write the first draft of my novel, The Road Back From Broken. While…

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Behind The Book: Second Editions Are Twice The Headache

This is part of a series of posts entitled Behind The Book, where fellow author Carrie Morgan and I share the ups and downs of the writing and publishing process — traditional and self-published.

We all judge books by their cover.

No matter how much we want people to judge our stories by their actual content, it’s a foolish notion.  Cover art matters.  Marketing and packaging matter.  In 2012, I knew this to be true, but as a self-publishing author in between careers, I simply did not have the funds to hire a graphic designer, nor did I have any awareness (if it existed at the time!) of services like SelfPubBookCovers.  I winged it, solicited reviews from bloggers and existing readers from the fandom world, and hoped for the best.

Word of mouth for Change of Season fared well, but I lost the casual browsers.  I knew it to be a risk, and accept that consequence.  That said, as my personal circumstances changed and a sequel formed in mind, I decided that my first novel deserved a new outfit.  I didn’t stop there, however; I decided that, based on feedback over the years, that alternate versions of scenes and new ones I’d omitted previously could be worked in as well.

Go big or go home, right?

So, if you’re going to re-release a previously self-published work, what do you need to know or consider?

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