Saturday, November 17, 2012

Dark Persuasion Wins Award


Yesterday I was informed that Dark Persuasion came in as a finalist in the USA Best Book Awards for 2012. The official "award statement" is as follows:
Award-Winning Finalist in the 'Fiction: Romance' category of The 2012 USA Best Book Awards, sponsored by USA Book News 
The list of official winners/finalists can be found at USA Best Book Awards.  

To be recognized as an independent publisher is wonderful, especially when I competed against authors from big-named traditional publishing houses.  Over 1500 entries were received from mainstream and independent publishers, which were then narrowed down to over 400 winners and finalists. Entries were judged by a panel of industry judges with extensive editorial, PR, marketing, and design expertise. Needless to say, I'm stoked!

Of course, every book I write contains the help of many friends and professionals. My beta readers who give me feedback are invaluable, as well as my two main editors, and Robin Ludwig, my graphic artist who did the stunning cover design.  Also, I must thank Jimmy Thomas, the male model on the cover, from RomanceNovelCovers.com for the stunning pose of Patrick and Charlotte.

I guess I'll keep writing!

Cheerfully yours!
Vicki Hopkins


Monday, August 13, 2012

Five Star Review from NightOwl Romance





Okay, I'm stoked. I woke up depressed this morning about all the work I put into my books wondering if I really want to continue writing.  Really...I did. 


Then later this morning I get an email from NightOwl Romance that the review to my book, Dark Persuasion, was published.  Suddenly, I was smiling again.  Five Stars - ***** - Top Pick Award. 

I guess I will keep writing!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Final Cover for Dark Persuasion Print Version

Finally, Dark Persuasion is at the printers.  A proof is being generated. As soon as I receive a copy and have a chance to swoon over handsome Jimmy Thomas aka Patrick Rochester on the cover, I'll take the next step. I need to make sure the interior has no glaring errors. Once I do, I'll sign off.  A few days later it will be up on Amazon and flying around the world on other venues.  I'll release the Kindle version when Amazon lists the print version.  As a reminder, the eBook version is for sale now on B&N, iTunes, Diesel, Sony, and Kobo.

Thank you for your patience. This book is dear to my heart, for some reason, and I want to make sure I've given my readers an enjoyable few hours of fantasy. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Dark Persuasion - iTunes

Finally, Dark Persuasion is on iTunes. I am praying this is the revised version that was uploaded after the recent copy editing. If it's not, hang in there, a new version should be reloaded behind it.

Still waiting for Kobo and Sony to pick up. :sighs:

iTunes - Books - Dark Persuasion

Available for download on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iBooks and on your computer with iTunes.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Barnes & Noble Kicks it Up a Notch

Well, good news for B&N. They're coming up with similar technology like Amazon's Kindle. About time.

Their newest feature is downloading the Nook reader to your computer, just like you can download Kindle to your desktop. Don't have a handheld Nook? Want to read on your computer? Here's the place to go to get the application.

NOOK FOR WEB

Next nifty feature, is "Read Instantly" feature, which is like the Amazon "Look Inside" feature. The cover to the book has a small turned up corner in the lower right-hand side. When clicked you're given a sample of the book. Here is a link to Dark Persuasion.


As much as I like Amazon, Barnes & Noble is a classy site. I hope they continue to evolve to meet the needs of readers.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Distribution Update for Dark Persuasion

Dark Persuasion now available on Kindle and Nook. It will be available on Kobo in the future. I've decided not to distribute through Smashwords any longer due to their lag time.

If you have an iPad or an iPhone and use Apple for your books, please remember you can download apps from both Kindle and Nook for your Apple Products. You do not have to go exclusively through Apple to purchase books.

As far as the print version, I've had to put that on hold this month. It probably will be delayed until July, but I'll keep you advised upon its release.

I'm happy to say I've sold a fair amount of copies already. Only one review has popped up thus far on Amazon, but I'm not surprised. On an average only .008% of the people who read any of my books leave a review, though I often get positive comments elsewhere on blogs, Facebook, and in email. I think there are a lot of shy people who read, and a few outspoken who post reviews--whether good or bad.

If you've read the book and would like to review, I'd sincerely appreciate it. Reviews, thumbs up, and agreeing with the search tags, believe it or not, help with search results on Amazon when readers are perusing. Amazon uses those algorithms to make recommendations when you're surfing. If you're too shy to write comments, you can help your favorite authors by tag agreeing and thumbs up instead. Every bit helps.

In any event, that's the current state. I'm still looking into an audio version, but that will not come about until later this year. I really want to hear this story read by a narrator, because it holds a sweet spot in my heart.

My next project, of course, is The Price of Love for The Legacy Series. My sales for the series in May were astronomical, and I'm getting bombarded for requests for book three. I recently uploaded a revised edited version of The Price of Innocence to clean it up a tad more. In mid-July, it will be offered free under the historical fiction category, rather than historical romance.

As usual, thank you to all my readers -- old and new -- for supporting my work. Without you, I'd probably have another hobby of crocheting pot holders while sitting in my rocking chair. Frankly, I prefer writing. ;-)

Sincerely,
Vicki

Monday, May 21, 2012

New Release on Kindle

NEWS: Kindle - Dark Persuasion is up and ready for purchase.

Hope you enjoy! You can be assured, it contains a happy ending. Of course, I do tend to torture my characters before that bliss arrives.




Monday, May 14, 2012

It's Hard to Let it Go

I thought that I would post an update on the progress of Dark Persuasion's release. I've been going through another rounds of my own edits recently. 87,000 words of text can be overwhelming. I've corrected a few more inconsistencies and deleted a few more superfluous words/sentences that just don't need to be there.

The formatting of the print version is a time-consuming task. It has to look "print perfect" before going to Lightning Source to put into book form. My practice has been to work on the print version first, and then convert it to eBook HTML, which equates to additional hours of formatting. It's no easy task. The one good thing of being traditionally published, is they do all the work! Not so, with an independent author.

Most of my beta readers have read and commented. Overall, the story has been well received. I've taken to heart a few suggestions regarding rough places in the story and either clarified or expanded where needed. I changed the opening paragraph, as well, to rid it from a cliche.

I'm trying to be very diligent regarding the content of this book, making sure, first of all, that it goes out the door typo free. That's the biggest challenge. Other minor edits in grammar and word usage will help, but it's not my total focus at this time. I want it to read well out loud, so that when converted to audio it will sound decent. My writing style is a bit different in this book. I'm finding that my style is changing somewhat, but after four books, that's bound to happen.

In any event, June 1st is my absolute deadline to get this up on Kindle and distributed through Smashwords. I may hold off on the print version, because there are fees associated with changes to the text after uploading. That is not the case with Kindle or other eBook formats. You can change and upload again without charge, so eBooks often change and are corrected, as needed, throughout the life of the book. Frankly, I like that.

I've taken some vacation time around Memorial Day to finish Dark Persuasion in eBook and upload it to Kindle, etc. Hopefully, by June 1, unless the world ends or I croak, it will be available to the public.

Thanks for your patience,
Vicki

Monday, May 7, 2012

Invaluable Eyes

If love is blind, so is proofreading. After working on the text for Dark Persuasion, the words have become a blur to me. Thank goodness, I've found a group of invaluable eyes that are helping me find my typos, missed words, and incorrect references.

Dark Persuasion is currently out to my trusted friends, some of whom have walked this path with me before. I trust their opinion regarding my stories and appreciate their help. Already, I've incited one to hate Rupert, but that was inevitable. He's probably the best antagonist I've written, except for Robert Holland's looney wife. She seems to draw a lot of comment, too.

In any event, I'm slowly correcting mistakes and polishing the interior. I'm still shooting for an early June release. I linked The Price of Deception to this blog on all the Kindles to generate interest. I sold over 1,000 copies of The Price of Deception since last Thursday, which is a miracle.

Using the KDP program to put The Price of Innocence up for free was the best marketing ploy I've tried yet. Over 31,000 copies were given away. When it went off the freebie list Sunday at 12:00 a.m., The Price of Innocence moved over to the best selling list for paid. About 320 have been sold since Sunday, alone. It's been one great ride that hopefully keeps going.

I will say in closing that each of the characters in this book are extremely special to me--but, hey, I'm the author and can say that. Charlotte is endearing in her own way. Lilly, her sister, is priceless. Rupert is a stinker. And as far as Patrick goes, well, I'm madly in love with Patrick. He was definitely the muse behind the story, who moved me to write his tale of the tortured male. He brings me to tears at the end, and I hope he will do the same for you.

That's the update for now. Five are reading it with their invaluable eyes, while I patiently wait for their feedback.


Vicki

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Lilly Collins - The Sister

Another character in Dark Persuasion, who plays an important role, is Lilly Collins. Charlotte has three sisters. The eldest sister is married and lives in the Americas. Lilly is her middle sister, who is also married but lives nearby. Charlotte is the youngest of the three and has a close relationship with Lilly.

Once again finding visuals is always fun. I thought the picture to the left said it all. The look on her face is priceless. Across the room sits Rupert Rochester in the parlor of her father's house visiting Charlotte. He is definitely a man she does not trust and for good reason.

You will discover that Lilly is very protective of Charlotte. In many ways, Lilly is Charlotte's eyes at important occasions such as her coming out ball. She chaperons Charlotte's meetings with Rupert Rochester and doesn't hold back her ill opinion of the man. She's also Charlotte's maid of honor at her wedding. Lilly wholeheartedly agrees that Patrick is the best choice and eagerly helps Charlotte gather her trousseau.

Lilly is also Charlotte's confidant. They talk about the intimacy between a man and a woman and giggle behind closed doors. Her sister gives her visual descriptions of the two brothers vying for her affection. She conveys a rather bland picture of Rupert, but describes Patrick as Greek god. Lilly has a gift for blurting out statements that border on impropriety and has no shame whatsoever in declaring what she likes about men.

I enjoyed creating Lilly, since I never had a sister My imagination filled her with endearing qualities such as being a good listener, a wise woman, and a wonderful counselor for Charlotte. Her role in the story far outweighs that of her mother, who I rarely quote or mention.

Here are a few choice lines from Lilly Collins:
(Speaking of Patrick Rochester)
“His eyes were so dark and expressive. If I were not married myself, I would throw myself at his feet and beg for a kiss and not care one ounce what impropriety would be thought of it.”
(Speaking of Rupert Rochester)
“If he sports the same lecherous gaze this morning as he did last night, I’ll personally throw him out the door.”
(Conversation between sisters)
“You must tell me how he performs in bed after it’s all over. I’m dying to know if the Greek god is as romantic as he looks.”
Lilly sounded to Charlotte like the little girl in a candy store waiting for her sweets to be handed over. “Good Lord, Lilly! You couldn’t embarrass me any further, if you tried,” Charlotte screeched, abhorred over her sister’s lack of modesty.
“You know you want to tell me,” Lilly teased. “I shall not relent until I know each juicy detail and the size of his taut muscles.”

“Come near me so I can slap you,” Charlotte laughed. “If only mother could hear us, she’d absolutely die!”
I hope you'll enjoy Lilly as much as I do. A few more edits are in store. There were some rough areas in the middle of the book I'm rewriting, hence the delay. Hang in there! It's coming.

Cheers,
Vicki


Friday, April 27, 2012

Rupert the Rascal

While introducing you to Dark Persuasion, I've focused a lot on Patrick Rochester. Of course, with the handsome Jimmy Thomas as the visualization of my hero on the cover, it's hard not to focus in that direction.

Dark Persuasion, though, is more than a story about Patrick and Charlotte. Another main character, is Rupert Rochester, Patrick's younger brother of two years.

Today I surfed Dreamstime attempting to find a picture that came close to my visualization of him. I'm not sure this one is exactly how I picture him physically, but his actions are spot on. Now, just add a group of women standing around drooling, and you've got the picture of the flattering rogue that I've created.

Of course, like any other character, there are reasons he acts as he does. Rupert is no different. His childhood has forged him into a man who doesn't care to feel much of anything. His hobbies are to conquer women and make a study of their underskirts, rather than the law classes at Oxford. It makes him feel in control and conceals the wounds of his childhood when he had no control.

His current relationship with Patrick is strained. Rupert holds a deep disappointment in how his brother has evolved in life. Patrick feels the same about him. His brother has a conscience; Rupert has no conscience. He's out to play the game of seduction and conquest. Charlotte Gray is his target, because there's something about seducing a vulnerable woman that's arousing to his debase senses. Yes, he's a sick bastard.

It will be interesting to see how you feel about him as the antagonist of the story. He really can be vulgar. On the other hand, he's a bit endearing, too. You sort of want to scoop him up and give him a hug or maybe just slap him across the face to knock sense into his pretty little head. He will shock you, entice you, and you'll wonder what to do with him.

I had a lot of fun of creating Rupert. There are times as an author I feel like Victor Frankenstein. I steal bits and pieces of personality quirks, physical aspects, and brains. Then I sew them together on the operating table of my imagination. I create a unique character. I make him talk, walk, think, and devise evil plots - just like me.

In the end, I get to make a choice. Does the mob of my readers want to see him killed off or do I redeem him and let him live. No wonder some authors are on the brink of mental illness. We are diabolical creators of living characters and have absolute power over their fate. It's sort of quirky - like Rupert.

Well, whatever I decided to do with Rupert Rochester, you'll just have to read the book to find out. In the meantime, here are a few choice lines from Rupert you might enjoy as he speaks to his brother. Such love.
“What the hell are you doing here?” he pressed for an answer. “We just get back to uncle’s, and the first thing you do is ride into ye ole’ Sherwood Forest.” Rupert shook his head. “Damn, brother, you’re losing it.”
“You son-of-a-bitch! You’re so damnable righteous in your attitude. What a bloody, pretentious, self-absorbed ass you are.”

“Well, that’s a bloody load of drivel!” he spouted. (After signing a letter he pens in closing as "Regretfully Yours").
I'm sure you get the drift. Rupert Rochester is literally a piece of work .

Back to editing!

Fondly,
Vicki



Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Excerpt - Dark Persuasion

With great trepidation, I give to you an excerpt. Patrick meets Charlotte. Of course, it's subject to change and further editing.

My readers wanted a tortured male. I give to you a tortured male. The character of Patrick Rochester is a dear. I loved creating him, and I hope you'll fall for him as I did! That's half the fun of romance novels, isn't it . . . falling in love.

* * * *

Patrick strolled into the crowded assembly hall of his uncle’s palatial residence. It appeared as if the entire region had been invited to the gala. The walls were lined with mingling groups of ladies and gentlemen. The sound of violins and cellos filled his ears. Dresses of silk swooshed by him in the arms of men dressed in their finest formal wear. Dance cards twirled from the wrists of women. The atmosphere radiated gaiety among the attendees. Patrick, however, could not revel in the moment. His nauseated stomach over what lay ahead would give him no rest.

He had paid particular attention to his own attire that night, having dressed in black tail coat and trousers, starched white shirt with a winged collar, and a black bow tie. Patrick hated the collar and moved his neck uncomfortably. He felt choked and irritable, but surmised it was merely his nerves that were on edge and not the collar’s intent to torture him. As he glanced nervously in the mirrors that lined the large hall, he laughed over the absurdity of it all. Why had he bothered to look impeccable for a woman who couldn’t see him?

He began to meander aimlessly about the peripheral area, occasionally glancing at the dancing couples in the center. Patrick had purposely arrived rather late. Many guests had already been received and were enjoying the festivities.Rupert hadn’t arrived, and he wondered if his brother would bother to attend. He expected him to do so out of utter curiosity, if nothing else.

Patrick saw his uncle out of the corner of his eye standing at the far end of the hall in a receiving line. His aunt stood to the left alongside another couple he presumed to be Miss Gray’s parents. To the right of his uncle stood the young debutante dressed in a mauve gown and on her right side stood another woman who appeared a few years older.

Miss Gray’s dark hair had been arranged in a coiffure, adorned with a modest tiara. Her stance appeared awkward. Other than the two quick observations, nothing else registered in Patrick’s cluttered mind at that moment. He watched curiously as the remainder of the arriving guests were introduced by his uncle to the debutante and her family. As figures approached her, she appeared to look straight ahead, but it was obvious by her lack of eye movements that she beheld no one.

Patrick noted the collection of flowers. Only a few bouquets were on a nearby table, which pained him deeply. Perhaps it was good that she could not see the missing well wishes from potential beaus. No doubt, most of the gifts were from family and friends.

Dazed by the sight of the young woman, he quickly turned away to catch his train of thought. After struggling to suppress his intense emotions, he turned and caught the eye of his uncle. He shot a commanding look his way to present himself posthaste.

Patrick, miserably ashamed,kept his gaze away from the receiving line while approaching. His eyes darted in various directions, except to where Charlotte Gray stood. His feet slowly dragged toward her as if weights were tied to his limbs.

Patrick’s conscience pricked and begged him to run the other way. He nearly halted, but proceeded with caution. The unfathomable moment of meeting his victim would soon be upon his tortured soul. How could he ever look into her eyes after what he had done to alter her life?

“Patrick, you’ve finally arrived. I was wondering if you were going to come or not,” his uncle said. He sounded pleasant, but looked displeased.

“I apologize for my delay,” he offered in a dismal voice, averting his eyes.

“Miss Gray, I’d like to introduce you to my nephew, Patrick Rochester. He’s visiting for the next few months.”

Patrick slowly shifted his gaze upon Charlotte’s face.What he dreaded arrived in a mixture of anguish and pleasure at one brutal moment. There she stood—innocent as an angel and blind as a bat.

Instantly, he found himself awe struck by the beauty of her delicate features. She appeared like a fine portrait that had been painted by a great master. Her complexion radiated perfection in tone and color. Yet, it was her eyes that he found to be the most impressive of her features, with dark arching brows and thick, long lashes that fluttered like the wings of a butterfly.

Wretchedness strangled Patrick’s throat when he looked straight into her chestnut-colored orbs. They were empty and void of expression. His uncle had been correct. The window to her soul had been closed. His deed reeked of brutality, and the taste of bitter remorse filled his mouth

When his uncle made the introduction, her head tilted in his direction as if she knew where he stood. Patrick felt the room beneath his feet shift like quicksand. Her uncanny exquisiteness and warm spirit captured his heart with such ferocity he froze like a statue. He couldn't breathe while she waited for him to acknowledge his uncle’s introduction with a simple statement of greeting.

She reached out her hand. He hesitated. Then with the greatest of care, he touched her as if she were a porcelain doll. Tenderly, his white, gloved hand grasped it. He felt the coolness of her fingers through the fabric, which betrayed her nervous demeanor. A slight tremor confirmed his suspicions. He quickly kissed her hand.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you Mr. Rochester,” she spoke softly, breaking the silence between them.

Without a second thought,he bowed, forgetting that she was unable to see his action. His uncle grinned over his fool-hearty animation.

He noted the small debutante bouquet in her left hand consisting of pink, baby carnations, and a dance card tied to her right wrist.

“Would you allow me the honor, Miss Gray, of dancing with you this evening?”

She smiled and tilted her head in the direction of his voice. A faint smile parted her ruby lips.

“Of course,” she said,holding out her dance card that dangled from a white ribbon. “Would you be so kind as to include your name? I have a few gentlemen who have decided to brave the dance floor with me.”

Patrick took the small pencil and noted only two others had dared to sign. Where was the heroism of the men in the room? Did they think she deserved to be a wallflower because of her disability? He felt irritated over the lack of response to her many introductions. Patrick quickly jotted his name on the empty slot choosing a waltz by Strauss that would begin within the hour.

“I’m sure that you waltz divinely, Miss Gray, and I look forward to our dance together. When the music strikes the waltz I’ve chosen, I shall return to obtain your hand.”

Her lips moved as if she were about to speak again, but Patrick could no longer tolerate the moment. He turned and briskly retreated. No doubt, he shocked everyone with his abrupt departure.

The introduction had been more painful than he anticipated. Charlotte Gray exemplified the most impressive of female creatures, and he had destroyed her life.

What purgatory has God given me? he moaned with inner anguish. It’s more than I can bear.

Patrick grabbed a glass of champagne to soothe his nerves. Swiftly, he took a drink and then turned around to look in the direction of Charlotte Gray from across the room.

* * * *

Copyright Vicki Hopkins 2012

* * * *

That's it dear friends! No more for you until publication, unless I throw out a few quotes here and there.

Vicki

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Language of Congenial Intercourse

Sorry to disappoint you, but this post is not about sex. It's about congenial intercourse, which we could also term as the art of conversation. Let’s face it, our abrupt language today leaves much to be desired when compared to the Victorian era filled with manners and polite communication.

My style of writing in the past has been somewhat remiss of the way people spoke in the late 19th century. This time, I’m trying to make it more true to form. I will admit, it’s been a challenge. I don’t want my text to read like an Elizabeth Gaskell novel, who by the way had some hefty run-on sentences. Take this one for instance: 

The chill, shivery October morning came; not the October morning of the country, with soft, silvery mists, clearing off before the sunbeams that bring out all the gorgeous beauty of colouring, but the October morning of Milton, whose silver mists were heavy fogs, and where the sun could only show long dusky streets when he did break through a shine. (I’m out of breath.)
I am, however, trying to make my dialogue more true to life, as well as inner thoughts. Let’s face it, the English knew how to speak romantically. I shan’t bore you, however, with too many idioms. I have delightfully discovered, though, that watching Netflix and the huge collection of English movies, is a keen way of gleaning some particularly divine phrases:
  • How delightful
  • So lovely
  • Not directly
  • How kind of you to call
  • Pay my respects 
  • And the sugar-coated niceties go on and on. 
Then on the other hand, how did people talk crass in the 19th century? Well, there are great websites to glean slang and curse words. 
  • Frigging (the akin to that F word we use this day)
  • Bloody (the typical English curse)
  • Dolly-mop (a nice term for a prostitute)
  • Tail (another street term for a whore)
In any event, be forewarned of the sweet-talk that may come your way wile reading Dark Persuasion. Of course, when it comes to the bedroom scenes and speaking of the other definition of intercourse, things could get a little vulgar, as well as smoldering—depending on who is delivering the words. I'm becoming a bit more braver under the covers, if you get my drift.

The slow and tedious process of editing continues. I’m finding it torturous this time, rather than enjoyable. Perhaps it’s because I’m dying to release the book and this is cramping my plans! Nevertheless, one must pursue the correct course of action in order to release a stellar novel. 

Cordially yours, 
Vicki 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Final Cover Design - Breathtaking!

Robin Ludwig has finished my cover. I'm so grateful for the beautiful job she did putting this together for me.

If you're wondering how it came about, I can tell you it's a composite of three different photos. Jimmy Thomas and his beautiful model were purchased with a different background. The background of the trees (which alone will be the back cover of the print book), was a separate purchase from Dreamstime. The banner and floral swirls came from Dreamstime, too.

I'm extremely happy Jimmy Thomas noticed and liked the cover. He's favorably commented on the design on both Facebook and his Romance Novel Covers website. Frankly, I think he deserves the best in final cover art and this proves it. He has a wonderful portfolio of photos to use in a variety of genres. Some are a bit erotic for my writing and visuals, but they're nice to drool over nonetheless.

I'm more than happy to recommend Robin Ludwig to other authors. If you have an idea of what you want, she has the creativity that we, as authors, sometimes lack. I know I've tried my best, but I'm never really satisfied. I'm not a graphic artist, I'm a writer.

Her fees are fair, as far as I'm concerned, and will more than pay for itself in sales just from the cover drawing interest to the book. There are some other wonderful authors I know, too, that are great at making covers and have their own side businesses. I encourage you to check out the gifted people in the industry, some of which are on Facebook.

As an author, it's important to remember that readers are visual people. They want to imagine what your hero and heroine look like. I was hoping to accomplish that with Dark Persuasion, because the characters of Patrick Rochester and Charlotte Gray have become dear to me. This visual has been my continual inspiration.

Thanks for all your comments about the artwork too. I really appreciate it.

Vicki

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Editing - I Said It's the Very, Great 'ing of it All


You know what would be great? Hours on end just to write stories. Nothing else but buckets of words poured onto my computer keys, filled with conflict, romance, love, and for the most part, happy endings. That would be the life for me.

Unfortunately, the part I dislike most about writing is editing. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind the rewrites. You know, it's those embellishments to your story that you make to polish it like a shiny new car. You fix those inconsistencies, add a little more umph, and perhaps another chapter or two.

What I dislike, is the tedious and difficult hours upon hours of checking that every word is in the right order, used correctly, hasn't dropped an "r" off of "your" or a "h" off of "his." It's that time you realize you should have gone back to your ophthalmologist last month and had your prescription to your glasses updated.

Then there are those dang words you just can't keep from typing. It's the "very" "great" too many "ing's" and every other word you beat to death on a page. Autocrit is a great program to catch those suckers. When it comes to grammar, I love Grammarly. The English is English, if you get my drift. "Colour" not "color," so you have to watch those types of things. Other than that, it really reminds you how boring grammar classes were in grade school and why you never listened.

To top it off, as you read through your story, you find inconsistencies. In Chapter 13 you tell your readers Patrick doesn't like to smoke, but has a cigar with his uncle. Then in Chapter 31 you tell your readers his favorite pastime is to have a ciggy while taking a morning stroll.

That reminds me, what is with "said"? I keep reading don't overuse it in all the how-to-write dialogue books, and then I picked up a book I purchased a few weeks ago and circled at least eight he/she saids in two pages. Apparently, editors at the big houses really don't care. Then I wonder, why should I? I was once called out in a review for saying so and so "asked" after a question mark. I found that instance too in the big house book. Let's face it authors, we just can't win.

In any event, I'm up to Chapter 14. I have 27 chapters to go. This could take a while, so beta readers be patient. After I do this run through, I'll read it once more and package it up for comments.

As I go through the book, I will admit this is by far my favorite. I've laughed, cried, felt disgust, and swooned along the way. I really hope you like it when it's all said and done and that you like it very, very much.

Cheers,
Vicki


Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Chapters

This weekend I am going to start the heavy editing of Dark Persuasion. Hopefully, I can hunker down and focus without distraction, except for the occasional "I need attention" clawing from my cat.

I tried something a bit different for this book. Underneath each of the chapters there will be a subheading that gives a hint as to content and who is the center of attention for that particular portion of the story. As a teaser, I thought I'd share them with you today. There shouldn't be too many spoilers, except for three chapters I've deemed need to be kept unknown. Sorry, but I've omitted those subtitles to protect the plot. Muwahaha!

In other news, I've turned to Robin Ludwig, my cover designer, in desperation. I just can't seem to decide what I want for this book. The main picture I chose, the background is still under consideration, the text layout and fonts are up for grab. Robin has the eye that I don't, and I trust her to help me through this indecision. She's already done four covers for me, so I might as well go for five. Frankly, I cannot put the cover spine and back on the templates for my printer either and turn it into an acceptable PDF for uploading. Therein lies her expertise, as well.

So, without further adieu, I present you the chapters to Dark Persuasion. Let your imagination run wild and they may be subject to change:
  • Chapter 1 - The Ruffian
  • Chapter 2 - The Butterfly
  • Chapter 3 - The Confessor
  • Chapter 4 - The Debutante
  • Chapter 5 - The Sponsor
  • Chapter 6 - The Protector
  • Chapter 7 - The Scoundrel
  • Chapter 8 - The Suitor
  • Chapter 9 - The Warlock
  • Chapter 10 - The Rivals
  • Chapter 11 - The Victim
  • Chapter 12 - The Rescuer
  • Chapter 13 - The Charming Prince
  • Chapter 14 - The Counselors
  • Chapter 15 - The Mare
  • Chapter 16 - The Insincere Scholar
  • Chapter 17 - The Visionary
  • Chapter 18 - The Repentant Souls
  • Chapter 19 - The Proposer
  • Chapter 20 - The Groom
  • Chapter 21 - The Bride
  • Chapter 22 - The Engaged Couple
  • Chapter 23 - The Apprehensive Pair
  • Chapter 24 - The (Spoiler)
  • Chapter 25 - The Man and Wife
  • Chapter 26 - The Antagonist
  • Chapter 27 - The Honeymooners
  • Chapter 28 - The Virgin
  • Chapter 29 - The Pondering Stroller
  • Chapter 30 - The Fearful Soul
  • Chapter 31 - The Gifted Wife
  • Chapter 32 - The Beguiled
  • Chapter 33 - The Bewitched
  • Chapter 34 - The Graduate
  • Chapter 35 - The Challengers
  • Chapter 36 - The (Spoiler)
  • Chapter 37 - The Plug Ugly Witch
  • Chapter 38 - The Brokenhearted
  • Chapter 39 - The Reconciled
  • Chapter 40 - The Love-Sick Drunk
  • Chapter 41 - The (Spoiler)

I will be uploading pictures to my storyboard on Pinterest that represent the chapters. The first four are up. If you'd like to follow along in the weeks ahead, you can do so at this link: Dark Persuasion Storyboard.

That's it for now! Next on my to-do list, beside editing, is writing the dreaded synopsis. :shudders:

Vicki

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

First Draft Dark Persuasion Completed

“And the sunlight clasps the earth, and the moonbeams kiss the sea. What are all these kissings worth, if thou kiss not me?” (Percy Bysshe Shelley)

Is it possible to fall in love with your characters, even the despicable ones? I don't know what happened to me with this book, but I'm afraid I've fallen in love with Patrick, Charlotte, and Rupert.

When I first started, I wondered after writing three other novels if there was anything left in me to write. I guess the well hasn't dried yet, because this one turned out to be a geyser in disguise.

I started writing the last week in January, and had my first 8,000 words down by February 5th, which was a good start overall. Ten weeks later I've stuff 83,000 words into 42 chapters.

My mind was constantly musing over this storyline. It didn't stop churning but for a couple hours a day. Scenes and lines kept coming like a psychedelic schizophrenic overload. At the beginning, I was writing chapters out of order. Then by mid-book, it came in order one after the other. The only drug I was taking was M&M's, as far as I know. In any event, it's always a release to get to the end of the first draft.

And now? Well, hear me moan. It's a deep guttural moan over what lies ahead. It's called WORK. It's that time when you want to take your draft out to the backyard, shoot it, and bury it in an unmarked grave. The only problem is the muse won't let you. He makes you dig it up, run it through Grammarly, rewrite, clean it, expand it, cut it, baby it, preen it, and change it until your book reads at least like a good read and not a suck read. Then after you're all done, you can go out and have a good cry before you send it off for professional editing.

I know I have beta readers out there ready to pounce, but it will be a good couple of weeks or more before I'm at that stage to let the cat out of the bag and get some opinions about the story. Keep calm. In the meantime, buy your munchies for the longer than usual read ahead, and I'll contact you when I'm ready for opinions.

Right now, I'm tired and heading for the bed. Maybe the pesty muse will award me with a good night's sleep for obeying his "get it done now" prompts.

In any event, I torture myself because I love my readers. But the truth of the matter is, I torture myself, because I find peace in my conflict-generated imaginary worlds that strive for happy endings. (I still need therapy and a good kiss from some handsome man.)

Nightie night!

Vicki

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Victorian Wedding

I thoroughly enjoyed writing the wedding scene of Patrick and Charlotte. Of course, you know, me. I had to throw in a little conflict on the way to the altar, but you'll be happy to know they were pronounced man and wife.

Everything in the Victorian era seemed to be dictated by proper etiquette. Weddings were no different. There were rules about fashion, the time to wed, and the reception. It was quite an interesting read doing research about the subject. I tried to incorporate as much as I could within my text. Hopefully, I will not get raked over the coals in reviews for errors on my part.

If the bride married in a church, a gown with a long train and a veil of the same length was the style of the era. The veil remained over the bride's face until after the wedding ceremony. I've read conflicting statements regarding kissing at the altar, so I let Patrick have a smooch anyway.

Pure white had not yet become the standard of choice in wedding dresses. Colors varied. The dress pictured in this post is from roughly 1890. I like to visualize it as Charlotte's dress. I love the detailed bodice, the fabric, and the long train (not shown here). Bridesmaids often wore the same color of dress as the bride.

Superstitions abounded. There were rhymes about what day of the week was best to wed, the color of a bride's dress, and, of course, the famous saying: "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a lucky sixpence in your shoe."

After the service, the tossing of rice, grain, or birdseed was used for good luck when it came to fertility. A carriage drawn by four white horses waited for the bride and groom after the service to take them to the reception.

The reception was usually held at the bride's home. In my book, it's held at the Rochester estate. Weddings took place in the morning around 11 o'clock, and the reception consisted of a wedding breakfast.

An area for a receiving line would have been set up for the bride and groom at the reception. Brides were addressed first, unless the guest only knew the groom. In that instance, the groom would introduce the bride. I must laugh when I discovered that the bride was never congratulated, as the honor of marriage was conferred upon her already for agreeing to marry the groom. (Lucky spinster finally finds a husband, I guess.)

Guests enjoyed their breakfast, but there was no entertainment at the reception. Evening receptions, with dancing, only occurred at lavish wedding affairs. I kept the Rochester wedding a morning affair for other reasons.

After the wedding, Charlotte changes into another dress for her honeymoon journey. Only the groom and the best man knew the location, which by tradition was a well-kept secret.

Like other brides, Charlotte could only speculate what lay ahead in her marriage to a man that she barely knew and could not see. If you were in her shoes, how would you feel? It's been an interesting journey writing Charlotte's emotions from the perspective of a blind woman, and also that of the man who has made her his wife.

There are many websites regarding Victorian-era weddings. The link in this post has quite a bit of detail. However, the Victorian era spanned many years, as you know, so traditions changed somewhat as the years progressed. Nevertheless, this site is an interesting read.

I'm heading down the home stretch and should have the first draft done in two weeks. Then the painful part begins--rewrites, edits, and formatting. Hopefully, by the time the end of July arrives, Dark Persuasion will be in your hands or on your Kindle. That's my goal. I truly hope you enjoy the book. I think it is quickly becoming my favorite.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Antagonist

Definition (copied from Answers.com)

  • One who opposes and contends against another; an adversary.
  • The principal character in opposition to the protagonist or hero of a narrative or drama.

  • I confirmed a fact during the penning of Dark Persuasion. I love writing the part of the antagonist. Actually, last evening I worked on a rather heated scene between two brothers and took liberties I've not done before. It may shock you, but how in the world can I get you to react to the antagonist if I don't shock you?
    • He's supposed to be despicable.
    • He's there to irritate you and irritate all the other characters.
    • He's the opposition who wants to ruin the happily ever after.
    • He's the type of guy you'd really like to get rid of.
    He is the antagonizing antagonist. Meet Rupert Rochester.

    Rupert is Patrick's brother, two years younger. When I started the story I had thought of making him a cousin or perhaps a friend. However, as I thought about building their characters and the situations that make each of them who they are, it was obvious to me I only had one choice--brothers possessed by sibling rivalry.

    At first they have a strong bond in their younger years, because they are both trapped in a difficult situation. As they grow into young men, they part taking different paths in life. Those paths change their ways and thinking. As a result, they are opposites of what they were once like as children. Life has changed them. Personalities have been molded. They are no longer compatible. However, the competitive games they once played innocently as children, have turned into a more serious affair.

    Conflict in a story is the spice of a writer. Rupert Rochester is a contemptible scoundrel. Be forewarned. His vernacular in my last chapter may cause you to gasp. I can hear the voices now, Vicki!

    Well, Vicki needs a little fun once in a while. To make a character come alive, you have to make them real. I don't want Rupert in the minds of my readers to be just a bad boy. He has to be a really bad boy to make a lasting impression.

    I used some rather vague physical descriptions of him in the book. Since my cover gives you an idea of Patrick, I thought I would leave Rupert to the imagination. That might be fun. However, I did find an interesting old photograph of a silent movie star who seems to fit the bill for me. I might share it, but then again, I might not. I could just antagonize you and keep it to myself.

    Cheers,
    Vicki

    P.S. I'll get around to the Victorian wedding post next time.

    P.P.S. And if you're on Tumblr, I've started a storyboard with photographs. You might enjoy the visuals as the story progresses.

    Friday, March 30, 2012

    The Victorian Trousseau

    This week I worked on the proposal of marriage offered by Patrick Rochester to Charlotte Gray. After torturing the man for a good five pages, she finally relented to marrying him.

    Her sister, Lilly Collins, is actively involved in preparations for the wedding. One task that she is helping Charlotte with is preparing her trousseau. This French word refers, of course, to a bride's bundle of personal possessions amassed prior to the wedding that include undergarments and clothing. Late in the 19th and early 20th century a collection of household wares (tablecloths, towels, linens, etc.) were included.

    My story is set roughly around the 1885-1890, so Charlotte's collection of personal items deal mainly with fine undergarments and clothing. Below is an excerpt from Vintage Connection describing a typical trousseau around 1884. It would include the following:


    "... a dozen chemises trimmed with embroidery or insertions, a dozen nightdresses, six well-trimmed combinations, a dozen drawers, nine trimmed petticoats, one French petticoat, nine camisoles, six vests, five flannel petticoats, two dressing gowns, three bed jackets, a dozen pairs of fine-quality Lisle stockings, three pairs of silk stockings, two dozen handkerchiefs, a pair of French corsets, a bustle, a satin nightdress and a lace-trimmed sachet."

    Women wore such beautiful clothing compared to our jeans and t-shirts of today. I feel like a slob half the time when I read about everything a lady possessed in her trousseau. Maybe that's why I don't feel like a lady!

    In my next post, I'll write about the Victorian wedding and post some stunning pictures of period wedding dresses.

    There are quite a few vintage clothing websites, if you search Google, where you can purchase period clothing still intact. I doubt, however, that I have a waist that would fit into any period clothing unless I squish my organs with a corset.

    Here is a nice French corset from 1891 and interesting article, as well, about how they were poor for your health, but made you look stunning in a dress. Click Here.

    Hope you enjoy!

    Vicki

    Monday, March 26, 2012

    The Romance Genre - It's a Tough Gig

    Every time an author sits down to write a book, you ask yourself a lot of questions. Is the story any good? Is the plot okay? Are the characters believable? Is there enough conflict and suspense? Is it too predictable? The list goes on and on.

    I just received a new book on how to write good conflict and suspense. The only books I read are how to be a better writer. I always hope that my next novel will show growth in my craft and become more appealing to readers. I'm still tuning my style and finding my voice. Of course, this being my fourth fiction, you'd think I would have found it by now!

    Today I stumbled across a few historical romances on Amazon from best selling traditionally published authors. I wanted to read why people liked what they wrote or why they didn't like it. Wow, what an interesting exercise, which reminded me that the romance genre is one tough gig.

    Here is a sample of the few colorful comments written in reviews:

    • So predictable as to be tedious
    • Horrible
    • Awful
    • Dull
    • No romance
    • Boring characters
    • The hero is an idiot
    • The heroine is stupid
    • Zero chemistry between the hero and the heroine
    • Unbelievable plot
    • Historically inaccurate
    • Just threw the book against the wall
    Boy, it's hard to please women!

    So, what are women looking for in romance? I'm asking that question as I start the second half of Dark Persuasion. I don't really follow the "rules" of writing romance novels (yes, readers there are rules). I'm becoming hesitant about adding the word "romance" to my search terms. I've been told by another author that my books are more "historical fiction, with romantic elements." Perhaps, I should stick with that description. However, when romance is the best selling genre around, you sort of want to keep your toe in the water to get noticed.

    In any event, I'm back to that question, what are women looking for in romance novels? It seems there are more earls, dukes, lords, rogues, and rakes than you can shake a stick at. Covers are never-ending back-bared women in flowing dresses with handsome men sliding their hands down their bodies. Does every story need to sweep a reader off their feet? Does every story need to have a strong woman as a character? Does every story need to have a hero that makes your heart melt into a pool of jello when you imagine his hot lips capturing your own?

    After reading all those comments today, it makes me a bit nervous with this book. I find myself back to the question: Do I write to please the masses or do I write to tell a story? I'm waffling here.

    I'll do my best with Dark Persuasion; but if you don't like it, I give you permission to throw it against the wall. It won't be the first time, since The Price of Innocence has taken that journey due to its ending. I was glad to hear today it wasn't the first book that had made that trip.

    You gotta love it!

    Cheers,
    Vicki

    PS - Thanks to handsome Jimmy Thomas for one more hot picture to drool over. He makes a handsome Patrick Rochester, don't you think?


    Saturday, March 24, 2012

    Tiny Taste of First Impressions

    I'm over halfway finished with the novel. A few weeks ago, I was writing like a maniac, but then my life situation threw me a few curves and my time to write came to a screeching halt. I hate it when I lose momentum.

    At the present time, I'm looking at Chapter 18 and am at a pivotal point in the storyline. Sometimes you reach a point in a story where you stand at crossroad with a variety of paths to follow. Right now I'm at the intersection trying to decide which way to go.

    As usual, I've picked a story that's not the cookie-cutter formula for romance. You may find Charlotte Gray a gullible, weak-willed woman who is easily duped by the men in her life. Of course, she has the disadvantage of not being able to see her suitors. She can only formulate her impressions about a man based on his voice, words, actions, and through the recommendations of others. Charlotte Gray may follow her inward instincts, but what if she is wrong? It's a challenge indeed.

    The question is will you like or dislike her when you read the peril she places herself into because of her trusting nature? I guess I'll have to wait to find out. The other question, of course, is what you'll think of the two brothers who vie for her attention and love. Yes, we have rivals and a game to play between the two.

    In the meantime, I thought I'd give you a taste of her first impressions. Hope you enjoy:

    *****

    (Copyright 2012-Vicki Hopkins - Draft)

    Charlotte floated into the carriage. The evening had far exceeded her expectations in every way. Lilly scooted next to her, no doubt eager to ask her every delicious detail about her dances. She wondered if her father and mother were smiling like Chesire cats.

    “I’m very pleased at how the evening turned out, Charlotte," commented her father. "Lord Rochester’s ball was undoubtedly the social affair of the county and to think it was in your honor.”

    Honor.

    A word that Charlotte rarely considered should be given to her as a blind woman. Yet, she had to admit a twinge of pride welled in her heart over the evening's events. It had gone well. She could have danced the entire night and not felt fatigued.


    “I will acknowledge that I am surprised over the attention I received. Hopefully, it was not pity, but laced with some sincerity of interest toward me as a woman.”

    “Pity?” exclaimed Lilly. “Hardly, my dear. I wish you could have seen their faces and the looks in their eyes, Charlotte. Especially that of Patrick Rochester.”

    “Patrick Rochester?” It was not the name she cared to hear. “What of Rupert, his brother? How did he look at me?”
    The carriage grew strangely quiet. She heard her father clear his voice.

    “It’s difficult to put into words. Don’t you agree, Lilly?”

    “Indeed,” she drawled, apparently pondering carefully how to describe him. “I would characterize him as smugly curious.”
    “Smugly curious?” Charlotte’s heart sank as she repeated the words. “I don’t understand what you mean by smugly curious.”

    “He acted far too sure of himself, as if he were doing you a favor Charlotte by asking you to dance. I did not see any real adoration in his gaze. He was smugly curious and a bit indiscreet in the way he looked at you.”

    “I will say,” interjected her father, “the elder brother, Patrick Rochester, appeared quite anxious to be in your presence. In fact, he stood like a mesmerized fool for quite some time staring at you, my dear.”

    “I didn’t like him,” Charlotte quipped. “He seemed stiff and unyielding when we danced. I thought at one point that he frankly was performing a token duty for his uncle in asking my hand for a waltz.”

    Charlotte erased the distasteful look from her face and smiled warmly. “Rupert Rochester, on the other hand, was quite amiable. I found his personality to be lighthearted and warmly gregarious. It was a breath of fresh air.”

    “Well, just because he may not dance well,” Lilly defended him with a tone of annoyance
    , “doesn’t mean the man is not a good catch. I dare say that Patrick Rochester was undoubtedly the most handsome man in the entire room, as far as I’m concerned.” Lilly squeezed Charlotte’s hand. “His eyes were so dark and expressive. If I were not married myself, I would throw myself at his feet and beg for a kiss and not care one ounce what impropriety would be thought of it.”

    “Lilly!” exclaimed her mother. “Such talk from a married woman. Mind yourself!”


    “I suppose that is one advantage I possess as a blind woman," Charlotte announced with pride.
    No man can entice my interests merely because he looks like a Greek god. I’d much rather be in the presence of a warm and attentive man, than a stiff and boring one.”

    “That’s where we differ, my dear sister, and I’m sure you’d agree with my assessment, if you could behold the elder brother and see his sincerity.”


    “He is also the heir to the Rochester estate when his uncle dies. One day he’ll be the richest man in the county and the vast land holdings and residence will belong to him," her father added, as if spreading frosting on top of a delicious cake.


    “Oh, now, I should not only fall for his good looks, but his money as well?”


    Charlotte turned her head away. She did not wish to hear of the preferences of her father and sister. Rupert Rochester, in her mind, was far more appealing in personality.


    *****

    Hoped you enjoy! Subject to change and editing, of course, but you get the drift. I'll keep you apprised of my progress.

    Thanks!




    Tuesday, March 6, 2012

    The Debutante

    Taking a lunch break! It feels good to have Internet access for an hour. I've been so pent-up not being able to express myself except through a few posts via telephone on my Facebook page.

    In the meantime, after unpacking my boxes from moving into my condo, I've settled down into a routine of writing once again. Apparently, I didn't forget to pack the muse. He arrived safe and sound with no damage.

    Dark Persuasion is coming along wonderfully. If you haven't guessed by now, my heroine is quite different than any other woman I've written about. She is blind. Writing from her point of view has been a challenge. I'm relying heavily upon her other senses to portray her surroundings.

    In addition, I've also had to deeply examine what it would be like not being able to see. How would you judge a man when you met him? It's a challenge not seeing a person's facial expression and looking into their eyes -- the window of their soul. Could you fall in love? Would you dare? How could you trust? Those are all questions I'll explore as the book progresses.

    I've also done quite a bit of interesting research. Though Charlotte Gray cannot see, I am affording her opportunities like any other woman in spite of her disabilities. When you read the book, you'll discover why.

    One major event in her life will be her introduction into society as a debutante. It was common for an aristocrat or upper class family to sponsor a young lady by introducing her into society. Charlotte Gray, in spite of her disability, has a unique connection with Lord and Lady Rochester, who have offered to present her on her 18th birthday.

    Research into the debutante occasion has proven to be quite interesting. Writing it from the perspective of a blind woman has been even more challenging. From her gown, to the receiving line, to her introductions, and the dance card upon which potential beaus sign, made me close my own eyes and imagine the challenge. I am enjoying writing this book from a different perspective.

    Of course, by popular demand of my readers, we have the tortured hero - Patrick Rochester. It's at her coming out that he is introduced to Miss Gray, after which he terms as his "purgatory." I can only say his sad, puppy-dog eyes will tug at your heart. You'll feel sorry for him. You'll want to rescue him. However, Charlotte Gray will feel very little of those feelings toward the handsome rich man, who her sister scandalously describes as a Greek god.

    In any event, put on your dancing slippers, dress in your 1890's style debutante gown (as shown above thanks to Wikipedia), and waltz the evening away. The first few chapters will not only introduce you to Charlotte Gray, but to the story and characters of Dark Persuasion. As usual, I've added a scoundrel to the story for conflict. You'll just despise him, I'm sure.

    That's it for now! I'll be back after March 11th when my Internet at home is hooked up.


    Saturday, February 11, 2012

    The Characters

    As I begin to pen this book, I'm hesitant to tell my readers too much about the synopsis. It's going to be a bit different and unlike anything I've tackled. I like the challenge, and I hope that it makes me grow in my writing skills.

    When I get closer to release, I'll open up more about the background of the story. I can only say that I'm going to have to do some heavy collaboration with certain individuals to make the story not only believable, but heartfelt as well. As a result, I hope one day to introduce you to those I've found to help me with this storyline.

    Who are the characters? Well, after much agonizing I've come up with names. I'm beginning to formulate their personalities early in the story. Here is the cast:

    Lord and Lady Rochester (must have aristocrats)
    Patrick Rochester (nephew to Lord Rochester - that handsome likeable guy in the pictures)
    Rupert Rochester (the not so likeable brother to Patrick, because we all need a rascal to deal with)

    Charlotte Gray (the heroine and focus of the story)
    Lilly Collins (Charlotte's sister)
    Roland Gray (Charlotte's father)

    There will be other characters that will come and go, of course, but for now these are the main individuals.

    As far as setting, we're in the late 19th century (1890's) in England. I'll be doing some more research about the Victorian era and hope to incorporate that into the story in more detail than I have in my past works.

    I'm excited to begin the process of a new book and hope to bring you a rather heart-touching story that will make you fall in love with my new tortured male character - Patrick. Thanks once again to Jimmy Thomas and his wonderful photos for inspiration and covers. The picture in this post represents the first time Patrick and Charlotte meet at a ball held by Lord and Lady Rochester. For those of you who love research, you might enjoy this website and the page regarding Victorian Era Balls.

    As usual, thank you for sharing this journey with me.

    "The advantage of the ball in the upper classes is that it brings young people together for a sensible and innocent recreation, and takes them away from silly, if not bad ones, that it gives them exercise, and that the general effect of the beauty, elegance, and brilliance of a ball is to elevate rather than deprave the mind." (Quote from Victorian Era Balls Website; The Habits of Good Society: A Handbook of Etiquette for Ladies and Gentleman Published in 1859, James Hogg)

    Thursday, February 2, 2012

    A New Story

    Inspiration for stories are often birthed in my heart in the strangest ways. My wandering thoughts and pondering of various life situations are usually the place of creation.

    I know I'm due for The Price of Love, book three of the Legacy Series, but I need something in between. I had tried to write Radcliffe and had finished five chapters. However, when it came to conjuring up my paranormal ghost, I hit a road block. I just couldn't find the imagination to continue. It felt uncomfortable and the wrong time to pursue paranormal romance, and I was tired of staring at a blank page.

    Dark Persuasion is bubbling up like a well at the present time. The story seems to be coming in bits and pieces and scenes are floating in and out of my mind. I seem to be grabbing them out of the air and writing the story piecemeal, which is not the way I usually work. However, when the muse arrives in a black jacket, leather boots, and handsome face, you're inclined to get motivated.

    Thanks to an author friend directing me to a new website, I'm really excited about the visuals I've found on RomanceCoverNovels.com by Jimmy Thomas. As most of you know already, I love to surround myself with a storyboard for inspiration. This blog will serve that purpose. I hope you enjoy the music and the beautiful pictures.

    What is Dark Persuasion about? It's an unusual story set in England in the Victorian era (where else?). By popular demand I can only say that my hero will be the tortured lover filled with anguish and guilt over one cruel act he took part in as a young boy. To find peace, he will seek absolution from a woman shrouded in darkness. It will take the art of persuasion to not only win her heart, but to keep it after she discovers his secret past.

    Here we go again! Another journey into a world of fantasy and love. I hope I can bring out another full 80,000 words or more to keep my readers fascinated. As time permits and the story progresses, I'll post occasionally on this site. You can sign up for e-mail notifications when I post.

    Wish me luck! I so need this, frankly. Creating characters, worlds, and romance heals my lonely soul.

    Vicki