Thursday, August 25, 2011

Book Titles and Editoral Suggestions

The initial title Margaret Mitchell gave 'Gone with the Wind' was 'Pansy', the original name for Scarlett. Her publisher persuaded her to make the changes. Good thing she listened to her editor and the book became a best-seller.

There is a good lesson here for writers. When you land a contract, listen to your editor. Consider her advice. Just think if Margaret Mitchell had refused to make the changes, her book may have not sold as well with a title like 'Pansy', and it may not have become a movie. Another lesson is to think about your titles. You want them to have 'oomph', not be blah-say.

Someone not long ago told me she thought my titles for the book series would not bowl over readers and instead I should have titled them with the main characters role. I did not agree. After reading about Margaret Michell's changes, I am glad I chose the titles I did. So was my publisher.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Heroines and Blueberry Cobbler

There are so many ingredients that make a story good. Strong narrative and dialogue. Sensory description. I love these elements of writing, and the small additions that make a book come alive in a reader's mind.

Some of these additions are animals, pets, clothes, craft, and food. Food can express a mood, and if you are reading or writing a historical, it can transport you back in time.

Currently I am writing book 3 in the 'Daughters of the Potomac Series', entitled 'Beyond the Valley'. Here's a little snippet where I use food as a way to evolve my heroine Sarah.

          “And I am a good cook, baking mostly.”
          Mr. Sawyer’s brows shot up. “I am exceedingly fond of blueberry cobbler.”
          “I can do any task required of me, sir, including cobblers. I’ve run my own house, though a humble one.”
          “You would fit right in with my staff. My cook is in need of another pair of hands . . . .

Without giving the scene away, it seems she has hooked Mr. Sawyer with visions of blueberry cobbler and other delights on his china plate at the supper table.

I found this fabulous blog, Vintage Victuals. Here's a blueberry cobbler recipe that is to faint over.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Cover for 'Before the Scarlet Dawn'!

It has arrived!

In 1775, Hayward Morgan, a young gentleman destined to inherit his father’s estate in Derbyshire, England, captures the heart of the local vicar’s daughter, Eliza Bloome. Her dark beauty and spirited ways are not enough to win him, due to her station in life.  

Circumstances throw Eliza in Hayward’s path, and they flee to America to escape the family conflicts. But as war looms, it's a temporary reprieve. Hayward joins the revolutionary forces and what follows is a struggle for survival, a test of faith, and the quest to find lasting love in an unforgiving wilderness.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Colonial Recipe From the Up-and-Coming Novel, 'Beside Two Rivers'.

From The Compleat Housewife, or, Accomplished Gentlewoman's Companion by E. Smith, published in London, 1754.


To make an Apple Tansey,
Take three pippins (apples), slice them round in thin slices, and fry them with butter; then beat four eggs, with six spoonfuls of cream, a little water, nutmeg, and sugar; stir them together, and pour it over the apples; let it fry a little, and turn it with a pye-plate. Garnish with lemon and sugar strew'd over it.

You can print this recipe out on a 3x5 card from here: