Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Daze

Okay, that was the most clever title I could think up.  That seems to be the way my brain is going these days.  Not unusual, I know.  I think that one of the things that we often do when going through major life changes is not giving ourselves grace, letting our minds and bodies learn to accept (for want of a more original term) the "new normal."  So, I'm giving myself some grace and not expecting myself to come up with a fresh and superlative blog title.  I have been in a bit of a daze these last few months.

Speaking of titles, we finally have one for the sequel to The Saddlemaker's Wife.  It will be called The Road to Cardinal Valley.  It was difficult coming up with a title to this book.  My editor, agent and I tried many combinations of words; I searched throughout the book looking for key words and this was a title we all finally agreed on.  It's not my favorite title (hard to beat those quilt patterns), but it does reflect what the book is about.

I thought a lot about how I wanted to begin this book.  If you remember The Saddlemaker's Wife ended with Ruby going to Nashville to help her sick brother.  I started The Road to Cardinal Valley with a prologue from a new character's point-of-view--Ruby's mother.  Then chapter one is from Ruby's point-of-view and she is driving into Cardinal again, this time a year later with her brother at her side.  Though The Saddlemaker's Wife had a criminal suspense element to it, this book is different.  There is no crime except for the emotional ones that people too often inflict on one another.  It will be published under Berklely Prime Crime despite there being no elements of mystery to the plot.  That wasn't my choice, but that of my publisher.  They felt it would make it easier for my readers to find it.  Just wanted to let you all know that.  Writers really have very little say about where and how their books are marketed.  I hope you all enjoy finding out what happened to the characters in The Saddlemaker's Wife.  As the publication date (January 2013) comes closer, I'll write more blogs about the book itself and tell you a little about what inspired the plot.

Right now, I wanted to let you know that the paperback edition of Spider Web will be out in a few days.  It's official publication date is May 4, but you might be able to find it in bookstores now.  I know some of you wait until the paperback comes out to buy it, so I wanted to give you a heads up.
As of right now, I don't have a contract for more Benni Harper books.  That is not to say there will never be another one, but sales are way down and that is the single thing that means anything to publishers.  Ebooks have changed publishing forever and everyone is still waiting for the dust to settle, to see what will eventually happen.  As changes happen, I'll try to keep you informed.  I just read an article today that said sales of dedicated ebook readers are way, way down.  People are buying the tablets instead!  (I admit, I have both a Kindle and a Kindle Fire).  So, it'll be interesting to see what happens.  All I can assure you is that writers will still write and the good ones (mostly) will be published.  How is still up for grabs, I guess.

The rest of my life is going along just fine.  I finished the final, final rewrite of The Road to Cardinal Valley.  They've sent me some preliminary ideas for covers and I've liked them.  As soon as I get the real cover, I'll have Tina put it up on the website.  I've got some trips planned, not promotion trips, but actual trips...so, who knows, maybe an idea for a novel will come from one of them.

Hope you all are looking forward to a wonderful summer.  Right now things are in "June gloom" mode here in Orange County.  Every year it gets like this in May and June (cloudy and cool) and every year we are surprised :)  I love this kind of weather which is why Allen and I are thinking about retiring (years from now) in the Pacific Northwest.

Happy Trails,