Wednesday, March 30, 2011


The final decision has been made and I now have a new title for my book. "Winter's Captive".

It feels so good to have it behind me and be happy with the end result. I dreaded this part of the process but believe me when I say, that once I saw the logic in changing the name, it became a fun, creative process.

For anyone out there who is faced with this decision, my advice is don't hang onto an idea just because you want control or believe you are "right". Open your mind up to the bigger picture which is "marketing".

Now on to the cover design. Another exciting step on the way to publishing my book.

Of course, I have my work cut out for me changing my book trailer, and anywhere else the old name appears.

Meanwhile, keep on keeping on writing.

Monday, March 28, 2011

...IT'S ALL IN A NAME do you give up your baby? I just spent a very painful week trying to come up with a new name for my book. The old name has been with me for so long, it is very hard to give up. I knew when I signed the contract in January that this day would be coming. My editor told me they wanted to change the name even back them. So we are now at the cover design stage and the name must be chosen.

I presented my argument to my editor as to why I love the name and how fitting it is to my story. She presented a very fitting argument back and in the end I bowed to her publishing and marketing expertise. I've come to the conclusion that my title is great for a non-fiction self-help book, but it does not fit with the entertainment value of the story.  It is, after all, a fiction story that entertains.

All of this brought me to realize how important the cover and the title are. No matter how good the pages inside are, the cover design and title do sell the book, in my opinion. I'm ashamed to say, I choose a book by it's cover. I gravitate towards names that catch my attention and rich, vibrant colours that I love. I may have missed reading some great books because of this, but being a writer is like being an artist. We are creative and we paint the story on the pages, so the title and cover need to paint a story as well.

In spite of the pain of leaving my comfort zone and giving up what feels like an old friend, the process has been fun and a learning experience. I'm not going to tell you the new name just yet, as I have it down to two and the final decision has not been made. I'm letting it gel and soon will take a deep breath and choose.

Until then, keep on keeping on writing.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Marketing, marketing, marketing!  I'm still working on my marketing to do list for my editor, while I wait for updates on the manuscript.  I just finished my book trailer for Losing Cinderella and posted it on You Tube. I'm posting it here so you can get a sneak preview. It probably took me a total of 30 hours over a three-week period to get it right. Actually, I enjoyed the creative process of making my video, a different kind of creative effort.

I used Microsoft Movie Maker and had fun finding photos to match the storyline, and even dragged my husband out into the snow covered ranch lands to get some. The hardest part was finidng the music. First of all, copyright can be an issue. But I found a classical piece of music out of copyright and paid to download it from the pianist who recorded it. There are lots of sites on the internet offerening music loops for book trailers. Be careful. Just because they offer it, doesn't mean they have the rights to allow you to download.

My book trailer video for my debut novel, Losing Cinderella, available in October, 2011 by Asteroid Publishing Inc:

One step closer to launch date.

My next project is to finish my website. Then I must find a photo to place on the back cover. I'm waiting until I go to Vancouver Island in April to a wedding. Hopefully, the weather will be beautiful and I can get an outdoorsy photo in nature. Since my writing inspiration comes from nature, it is fitting my photo follows that theme.

Although this is a very special and exciting time for me, enough about me and my book. I wish to take a moment to share my thoughts about the horror facing the Japanese people.

I don't think any of us can know what they must be feeling with this triple catastrophy. But we can keep them in our thoughts and offer our prayers and best wishes. The losses they have experienced just from the earthquake and tsunami are astronomical and now the threat of nuclear contamination looms over the entire country and other Asian countries, if the wind blows in their direction. One Japanese elder said it all yesterday when asked if she couldn't help but compare the present situation with Hiroshima, WWII. She said: "There is no comparison, Hiroshima is our past, the nuclear threat today is our future." That really knocked me back.
Good luck!Ganbatte ne!            がんばってね!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Time flies.  I strarted a new part-time job three weeks ago and it has flown by. I'm loving the new job, but it does curb my writing time. I haven't done much with my new book, Blended.

However, I have been working on the marketing task list given to me by my editor, for my debut novel, Losing Cinderella.  I'm just about finished the list, but in writng the required short and long biographies for various on line and print media, I came face to face with my past, which forced me to make an important decision. Thus, the heading of my blog post.

Yes, I am a survivor. My debut novel, Losing Cinderella, was inspired by events I experienced in my own life and the lessons I learned. I chose to convey this through the fictitious story of my main character, Georgia Charles. Years back, when I began this book as a fiction tale, I believed my own life story would be of no interest to anyone. Why? Because saying I was the victim of an abusive spouse, made me feel like a fraud. Again you ask, why? Because I didn't sport black eyes and broken bones, and serious physical beatings.

I have come to realize I suffered from mental abuse on a daily basis, and yes, there were forms of physical abuse. The only resason I avoided physical beatings is because I came to recognize that certain look in his eye. When I saw that look, I became instantly passive and subservient, while household furniture and objects became the focus of his rages. After nine years of living with this behavior, I realized this wasn't enough for him anymore; he wanted a reaction from me. "The "look" was suddenly being directed at me and my four-year-old. That's when I packed up and left, no longer able to deny the abuse I was living with and knowing what was to become the inevitable.

This brings me back to my marketing chores. Part of my bio package was to explain where my experience came from to write this story. I realized it was necessary to connect my writing of this book to my past experiences and I needed to be able to do so publicly. Another reason I was reluctant to recount my story in a non-fiction venue, was out of respect for my ex-husband's family and for the sake of my son.  I recently reunited with one remaining family member who gave me her blessing and I'm so happy to have her back in my life. My son is very supportive
I chose to share my life-changing experiences through the fictitious story of one woman’s compelling and heroic survival against all odds. My goal is the reader will connect to my main character’s plight on a personal level as well as be entertained.

Being raised by a very private, British mother who believes in keeping our private lives private, it was a difficult decision to "out" myself. But the decision is made and I am okay with talking publicly about my past and how it relates to my debut novel, Losing Cinderella. Do understand that the book is less aboout an abusive spouse, and more about the misconceived myths and expectations naive couples take into a relationship, only to be disillusioned.

So, my writing has proven itself once again to be a part of my healing process and I'm ready to shout it from the rooftops...yes, I am a survivor. 

Keep on keeping on writing!