Here’s my problem with blogging: Every time I sit down to do it, I’m just one click away from my open Book the Third document. And I LOVE Book the Third. I would rather be wandering around in that world than watching TV or reading or even, yes, blogging. Plus, Book the Third is constantly calling to me in a seductive voice: Jessica, come back to me. Stop wasting your time eating and sleeping. Let me show you how much I love you…
Basically, Book the Third is my crack.
And to show Book the Third how much I love it, I’m going to give it a name. I can’t tell you what I’ve got the document named on my computer because then you would all decide not to buy the book on account of its lameness. Trust me. But from now on, for the purposes of this blog and anyone who asks me what I’m working on, the book is called HEARTLANDIA.
Is this the final title? No, it is not. In fact, my editor probably just choked on something when she read that title (if she reads this? unsure), but it’ll do for now and I kind of like how it rolls off the tongue. Also it’s a little corny and makes zero sense to anyone but me. Perfect. Welcome to the world, HEARTLANDIA. Now stop waking me up in the middle of the night with plot twists.
Moving on. I’ve spent the last week looking at first pass pages of BOOK 2: THE UNTITLED YEARS (isn’t mystery title game fun??? For family night this week the wee Martinezes will be playing name-that-book!!! It’s like Madlibs with people who don’t know nouns from adjectives.) Anyway, it’s been sort of wonderful falling into the story again, and sort of painful not being able to rewrite whole chapters. I don’t think I’m supposed to admit that. Oops. But I know it isn’t because the book needs a ton of work—it’s because the better things get, the more mistakes I see. Violin is that way too. The closer to perfect a piece of music gets, the more tiny things appear screaming to be fixed. It’s a magnification issue, but knowing that doesn’t make it any less overwhelming. This is the last time I get to make changes to this book, so I want it to be my absolute best work. I just re-read that last sentence. Um, duh, captain obvious. Sometimes I should not write everything I’m thinking.
What else? Cover art for Book 2 is on the horizon, and I’m biting my nails. It’s hard to have so little control over something that means so much. I’m hoping to get to see it soon (before Christmas?), and I have seen pictures my editor took from the photo shoot of the models getting their hair done and posing. It was such a relief to see the models. They’re BEAUTIFUL and they really do look like how I pictured the characters.
Before they started shooting the cover my editor asked me if I had any ideas for it. Now in the back of my mind, I knew that this was the same thing as when they asked me which dress I liked better for Carmen to wear on the VIRTUOSITY cover. Meaning, they’re very nice to make me a part of the process, but at the end of the day my ideas are first to be flushed down the toilet. Don’t get me wrong—this is how it should be. I am not a visual artist. Knowing that, however, did not stop me from getting all junior high on them. And by that I mean, getting out a pencil and a piece of paper and constructing my own book cover. I can’t say much good about junior high, but book report cover pages? Oh baby.
So here’s the picture I drew, photographed, and sent to my editor. I thought it would be cool to have a similar feel to VIRTUOSITY with dark silhouettes over a bright splash of color. She may very well have laughed hysterically and shredded it, and that’s fine. I got to relive the only bright spot of junior high so I consider it a win for me. Once I have the real cover maybe I’ll post them side by side for a comparison. Or maybe not.