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Details, details, details

by pattianncolt 17 August 2011 One Comment

August 25th.  That’s D-day at my desk.  It’s when my first independently published book, The Rock Star’s Sheriff, will be available on Kindle and Smash Words and in print — fingers crossed, knock on wood, creek don’t rise, etc. etc.  That’s just the beginning of this roller coaster ride.  Five short stories will follow in September and October.  Check my website for more details.

When I made this decision, I had some idea what I was getting into, but as with any new endeavor, there were surprises along the way.  They weren’t the ones I thought they’d be, though.  I was prepared to deal with book cover art and interior design and the tricks to good formatting.  But who knew I would take to heart that frequent complaint that self-published books are bad writing and bad formatting and bad, bad, bad.  The result was that I crawled through an edit – six effing weeks! – and challenged every detail, every sentence, every plot point.  I reread the thing three times (against my usual once) before handing it off to my beta readers.  Who knew I’d add two people to my already solid cadre of beta readers just so I would get this thing right.  I’m at the point now where I’ve won’t let myself edit anymore.  I’m just on a search and destroy for mistakes and formatting problems.  Book cover is finished after months of fiddling and tweaking and it’ll just have to do.   Back cover blurb is still in progress – refining and smoothing – and probably will remain so until the very last second.

On August 25th, it’ll be out of my hands and in front of my readers.  I’d like to think I’ll relax then, but probably not.  Not until I see how my readers like this new little town and whether they fall in love with the Murphy family and Zach and Leia in particular.

Details.  The little things.  These give our story richness and yet its possible to go into too much detail and not leave enough to our reader’s imaginations.  With my heroine being a rock star, it would have been easy to slip over into complex descriptions of her clothes, her cars, her possession.  I purposely didn’t do that, leading to a comment by one of my beta readers that I didn’t do enough descriptions to do her lifestyle justice.  (Yes, I did go back and add in more – but honestly, I’m done editing!)  One place I did go deep into the details was her music.  I got to mix up/make up song titles and lyrics and blend them with a true affinity with her guitar through the story.

I could have gone further than I did.  At the end of the story, our rock star sings a love song to her sheriff.  I had a particular song in mind when I wrote this scene, even had the title there – expecting that as an avid romance reader you’d be as zealous about this stuff as I am and you’d go look up the lyrics.  By the third time I read it, I decided that kind of details was unnecessary, that saying she sang him a classic love song would let you put your own spin on what would be romantic enough of a song for a finale like this one.

Was I right?  Possibly only reading it will tell, but leave me your comments anyway!

Shameless plug:

Pop diva Leia Shae ventured forth from small town America and made herself a superstar.  After fifteen years of stardom, she’s hollow and lost – so lost that her run in with the law outside Parson Corners, Colorado launches her into a quest for a place to belong.

Sheriff Zach Murphy has a pre-teen rebellious daughter, a meddling family and a wary wounded soul.  When Leia crashes into his life, the instant attraction batters the walls Zach has built to protect himself after devastating losses in his past.  When the media descends on his town looking for their favorite rock star, how will he choose – protect his daughter and his hard-won stability or risk his heart for sexy, loving Leia?

One Comment »

  • Dr. Laurence Brown said:

    Thank you for sharing the details. I will check it out

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