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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Wind Me Up, Scotty

I had to take a break yesterday. I've had so much news streaming in about my upcoming book, I needed time to process it.

In the big picture, it's good news, but man, I felt like it shot me naked from a cannon. TOUCH OF FIRE will release several months early! I can't give you an exact date yet, but it will be three months earlier than expected.

Be still my shaky fingers.

I filled out a questionnaire on my thoughts for a cover. Generally, publishers don't give you that option so I was grateful that I was asked for input.

As an artist, I am also wary about stepping on anyone else's artistic vision. I wrote the novel, but that doesn't necessarily make me the best judge on what should be on the cover. There's always the danger of getting too close to be objective.

So I offered three suggestions on potential backdrops, the colors I think should be used and a description of the two protagonists.

In addition to the description, I also sent along photos of celebrities that were similar in appearance to my characters. This was hard because while I'm a loyal movie fan, I don't have a good memory for names and faces.

This forced me to scour the internet for a place that had lots of celebrity photos, and I scanned through the pages looking for faces that could pass as my characters. There were no perfect matches, but I sent them a few names to see what they could come up with.

The rest is in their hands.

In every aspect of my life, I like to be able to give direction and walk away, confident that whoever received my suggestions could run with it. I am the same way when someone gives me direction.

I don't like to be micro-managed. I'm a big girl and have made some pretty savvy decisions entirely on my own. But I do appreciate a discerning eye or an objective opinion. I value those immensely.

The other day at Jaye's Blahg, she had a post on whether we were confident in our story vision when posting our wip to CPs and if we knew which suggestions to embrace and which to discard.

For TOUCH OF FIRE, I was in a mad scramble to get it to an editor quickly and I did something that was unthinkable in our group. I submitted a first draft. With crossed fingers, I hoped it was clean enough so my CPs wouldn't be pulling their hair or cussing me out.

ToF was terribly short, but I was stuck. I didn't know where I needed to flesh it out. So my CPs gave me suggestions for fleshing and strengthening subplots and I took it from there.

There are at least 15,000 new words they never saw, but thanks to their input, I think they'll be pleased to where I took the story.

I am like a wind-up toy. Turn me on and set me loose.

No, wait! That didn't come out right. LOL!

See you tomorrow.


dawtheminstrel said...

I'm so excited for you, Maria. This is just great.

Maria Zannini said...

Yeah, good and scary. Just the way I wanted to start my year!

Thanks, Daw! I owe you a lot.

Jaye Wells said...

Maria, thanks for the link. Best of luck with Touch of Fire!

Maria Zannini said...

Thank you, Jaye. And welcome!

Suzanne McLeod said...

Hey Maria, 3 months earlier! Wow, that's fantastic news.

Maria Zannini said...

Hi Suzanne,

I'm excited. But it kind of throws my promotional plans in disarray, so I'll probably spend the next couple of weeks re-figuring what I need to do when.