Mid-month news: August 2015

What happened since the last Newsletter in July:

I finished the self-edit of the “A Spy’s Daughter” and sent it to my beta-readers.

My dear friend and reader of this blog Marcy (A call-out and a hug to you here, dearest Marcy!) has read the book several chapters at a time and put some eye-opening questions to the end of the story. I was so happy to hear that she liked the protagonist. Marcy’s questions about a secondary character made me go deeper into the Hannah’s world set up in the sequel “A Life Upside Down”, of which “A Spy’s Daughter” is the first book. I discovered at least one more intriguing story during this exercise. You can read about the work on this new story below. I am sure I will discover many more interesting stories there. I’ll keep you updated.

Now, two other beta-readers are reading the book in its whole. And I play a game with myself, in which I am the forth beta-reader. It is challenging not to be too critical and to imagine the book being written by another writer and not by myself. It works when I read it for short periods of time and then change to another activity. If I do then longer than what feels like half an hour, a fight starts in my head, where the critic and the defender try to prove who is right in their opinion of almost each sentence and in some cases even words. The fun part comes when I notice and smile or laugh at this normal brain behaviour and switch to something else.

The work on the cover of the “Spy’s Daughter” has started. I purchased two great images and Alice Jago made a wonderful first draft of the cover for paperback, the front cover of which will also be the cover for the e-book. I showed this draft to my husband and his parents and got their encouraging nods and smiles. We all liked it. So, now the cover will have a break until after Alice’s edit of the book. Then, we will see if any changes to the cover are necessary.

What is happening now:

I’ve got now a working title for the story on language learning in Moldova: “Does Anyone Speak English in This Country?” The story is taking place in Kishinev, Moldova’s capital in the second half of 1990s.

But right now this project is set to rest, because the sequel “The Life Upside Down” occupies most of the attention during my writing time. Thanks to the feedback from Marcy, I realized that I have to find out more about a secondary character, who bears in her the original cause to the chaos in my protagonist’s life. Hannah’s mother. Her life is surely full of secrets.

As I dig deeper into her secrets I rediscovered the following truth: the ideals, which seemingly drive human behavior, are often just a cover to some deep and secret reasons arising from the pieces of our past, which we refuse to let go or which we resent.

The same is with Hannah’s mother. She runs away and resents her past so much, that she needs a hemisphere to stop finally and find her place and somewhat peace, which is of course another illusion.

What are the next steps:

The story about Hannah’s mother is too short to become a whole novel but too long for a prologue. So I am writing a prequel, which will be a short story or a very short novella. I am finishing the fifth chapter right now.

I am not sure how and when exactly I will publish it. But so far the plans are to publish it whether at the same time or shortly after the first book in the sequel.

The two beta readers, I mentioned above, have agreed to send me their comments in the beginning of September. I promised myself to have my own beta-reader comments at the same time. So the next time I write the newsletter I will let you know what surprises came out of this very first collective read.

One more step is planned. To turn marketing of my books and my platform as a writer into a daily habit. Writing turned from a wish into a dear and very pleasant habit, deeply ingrained into the rhythm of my day. And marketing is becoming one as well. I love speaking about my books to my family in friends. Going global with this sharing is somewhat scary but also exciting, as well as fascinating. I’ve read and am reading several sources on the topic right now. If you are interested in these references, then let me know in the comments and I will share the sources I found and find very helpful.

Have a wonderful third part of the summer 2015, dear friends!

Picture: this August’s gifts.