Jennifer's Journal


Thursday, July 05, 2007

July Newsletter

The following newsletter was posted to my reader list.  To receive my newsletter by email each month, click on the "Contest" button on my home page, and then on the "Join this Group!" button found there.
Hi to everyone:
The year is half over.  Depressing thought isn't it?  The Christmas in July sales have already started.  Hate when they do that!  My year is back on track, however.  I shipped the latest book (GALLANT MATCH,
book 5 of the Masters at Arms series, publication date: February 2009) to my editor on July 3, only a month and three days late after a series of delays caused by family medical problems.  Then I went out to dinner to celebrate.  Yes!  The only thing better than starting a new book is finishing one.
The reason most writers love finishing a book is because the next one has usually taken shape in their minds by that point, and they can't wait to get to it.  So it is with me.  The proposal for book 6, TRIUMPH IN ARMS, due July 1, and was shipped at the same time as GALLANT MATCH.  The swordsman hero for this one is Christien Lennoir, a man of French-Natchez Indian heritage. My manuscript deadline is June 1, 2008, and the book will be published (all things being equal) in February 2010.  I'll be working on character and chapter charts for it over the next couple of weeks – but will probably start Chapter 1 before I'm done.
It occurs to me that you may not know what I mean by "the proposal."  Once a writer becomes established, he/she is normally offered multi-book contracts since publishers like to keep a good thing going.  Though a synopsis with a title is usually submitted for the first book during contract negotiations, others in the contract are listed only as Untitled Work #2, Untitled Work #3, etc.  When it's time to begin work on the second book, you write a synopsis for the story you have in mind, anything between five to twenty pages, and send it to your editor.  This synopsis, officially known as The Proposal, is then used to create the cover and blurb (back cover description) for the book.  The Masters at Arms contract was for six books rather than the usual three, an act of faith from my publisher that is much appreciated.  I had written book #1, CHALLENGE TO HONOR, before the contract was signed, and submitted one-paragraph descriptions of the other five books I had in mind for the series.  Book 6, TRIUMPH IN ARMS, will be the last in the contract then.  Next year about this time, I'll be deciding what to do for future books.  Will you be surprised if I tell you I have six or seven ideas to choose from?
A recent article in Romantic Times Magazine suggests that historical romance novels are making a come-back after nearly a decade of lagging behind contemporary and paranormal romances in sales.  What
do you think?  Are you feeling more like reading historicals these days?  I ask because one of the possibilities for the future will be more sword master books using a couple of characters introduced in
the stories.  But then there's a mystery series tumbling around in the back of my mind, also more books in the contemporary Louisiana Gentleman series and a futuristic story.  What's a writer to do?  I
think I need a clone!
Ever taken a trip by rail?  I've traveled by train in Europe, but never in North America.  Now I'm about to remedy that.  My husband and I, for our anniversary, are planning to take Amtrak from Louisiana to the Pacific Northwest, and then make the long Trans-Canada trip from Vancouver, BC to Montreal on their special train.  Should be an adventure.  I can't wait!
The winner of this month's autographed book is:  If this is your email address, please send a message with your name and a snail mail address to, and your book will be shipped ASAP.
Hope your July 4th holiday was grand and the rest of your summer is even better!
Warmest wishes,

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