ebook publishing, fiction, Kindle, period fiction, product description, revising, self-publishing, West Virginia, writing the story blurb

Writing the story blurb

. . . ain’t easy!

A brief, intriguing concept. A dash of the personalities in play. A teaser.

This is what I need for the back cover of my new novel, Cold Comfort, and for the online product description.

The story blurb must attract the right readers, be truthful to content, and not give away too much. It’s not the same as an agent query or synopsis, which would include the ending.

For nearly two weeks, I’ve been writing and rewriting the teaser for Cold Comfort and putting it out for critique. Have to say, many other writers have helped, because when my words are fresh in mind, I’m a poor critic. So the result is peppered with their phrases. My job has been to keep it from looking like a creature built by committee.

Here it is. Subject to change, of course. 🙂

When feisty Wanda Wyatt is left widowed, penniless, and disturbed by recent fits of rage, she turns to the one person she hates ─ her grandmother, ex-moonshiner Lucie Bosell. Lured by a vague invitation, she travels back to her mountain roots with two goals in mind: money and revenge. But at what cost? Prohibition has come to West Virginia, and with moonshine worth more than ever, Lucie wants in on the action. Playing along, Wanda finds that being as mean and deceptive as Granny hurts her chances with a compelling man from her past. Worse, the old woman’s high-stakes business attracts ruthless people and big trouble. Wanda learns the hard way–revenge is cold comfort.

I hope this blurb works for you and thousands of your friends!

Cold Comfort–Coming soon to bookstores in the cloud and the real shelves of my favorite local retailers.

adventure, fiction, self-publishing, The Girl on the Mountain, Writing

Blog Tag – I’m IT

I’m playing Indie Author tag today, and I’m IT. Being “IT” means that I share information about my work in progress (WIP).

The Rules

1.Give credit (including a link) to the Author who tagged you.
2.Play by the rules, therefore you must post the rules!
3.You MUST answer all ten questions (below) some are quite hard but do your best.
4. List five other authors with links at the end that you have “tagged” so that the game can continue.

Link Back

The author who tagged me is P.C. Zick, author of Trails in the Sand, “a family saga with love triangles, sea turtles, and an oil spill. P.C.’s work in progress is temporarily titled “Safe Harbor.” It’s contemporary fiction with an environmental theme. Read more about P.C. and her work at www.pittsburghwriter.wordpress.com.


What is the title or working title of your WIP?

I’m on the third working title. The first was The Legacy of Lucie Bosell. Second, Wanda’s Revenge. Third, Cold Comfort. That one may stick. Please leave a comment if one of these appeals to you.

What genres does your novel fall under?

Like The Girl on the Mountain, it’s historical, with emphasis on adventure and romance.

What actors (Dream Cast) would you choose to play the characters in a film version?

WandaCameron Diazshe needs to be feisty, and dancing’s a plus

Lucie – Brenda VaccaroWanda’s moonshining granny. I think she’ll like the part!

WillKirk Acevedothe good guy, romantic interest, picked for his dramatic good looks.

HargisSteve Buscemihe can be so nasty.

Virgie – Lisa Kudrowyou’ll love her.

What is the main outline for your book?

Widowed, broke, and newly susceptible to fits of rage, Wanda leaves her small daughter and travels to the West Virginia town she left fourteen years earlier. She’s been summoned by her grandmother, Lucie Bosell, a woman she met only once, a notorious moonshiner. The year is 1915, and the territory has been devastated by fires and floods. West Virginia has just enacted prohibition, and Granny Lucie, who’s lost her home place, is eager to get back into illegal distilling. With the promises of a legacy for her daughter, Wanda plays along with Lucie’s schemes. But the whiskey business attracts bad people, and Wanda is soon fighting for her life.

Will your book be Indie published/self published, or represented by an agency and sold to a traditional publisher?

I’m already making plans to publish this myself, but I’m open to suggestion.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Six months for the first draft. Six more to the fourth, where the work is now.

What other books in this genre would you compare your book to?

I haven’t a clue. I’m flattered by a review that compared my first novel to Twain, Steinbeck, and Charles PortisTrue Grit. Must be my gritty characters. Others have said Edith Wharton (I wish) maybe because my writing style is direct and unadorned.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

When early readers of The Girl on the Mountain said 13-year-old Wanda might “steal the show,” I decided to make her the focus of the next story.

What else about the book might pique readers’ attention?

Like The Girl on the Mountain, this one is full of one-of-a-kind characters. There’s a lot about moonshining, for which I’m thankful to members in the historical forum at www.homedistiller.org.

Five other Indie Authors I’m tagging: Please stop by their sites and say hello.

M. J. Ascot www.mjascot.com

Tom Gondolfi www.TANSTAAFLPress.com

Annamaria Bazzi http://www.annamariabazzi.com

Tobias D. Robison www.Ravensgift.com

F. L. Williams flwilliams.wordpress.com/

fiction, historical fiction, map of setting, setting

I should have included a map

At least one early reader of The Girl on the Mountain suggested I create a map of the region. I started, but didn’t carry through for several uninteresting reasons.

It’s still a good idea. Maybe I’ll do it for the sequel.Winklr.map

Here you see my hand-drawn concept. The first chapter starts with May Rose in the mountainside cabin, located on the map near the middle of the map. A logging railroad climbs the mountain past the cabin to Camp Six (top) where her husband works through the week.

The map shows two paths down the mountain to the mill town–one rail, and the shorter path through virgin forest.

Winkler, the town built and managed by the Winkler Logging Company for its employees, stretches along the narrow valley below, with the mill taking up all the flat land. In the bottom right, you see a dot for the boardinghouse. The map is sadly out of scale.

I’ve termed The Girl on the Mountain ‘historical fiction,’ but it’s actually ‘period fiction,’ meaning it describes a way of life in a particular period. Winkler is a fictional town, a composite of a number of places, most similar in layout to Thomas, an old town in Tucker County near the Canaan Valley ski resorts.  I also had the vanished town of Spruce in mind, which in logging days had no access except by railroad.

The sequel to this story brings back several characters to the same region, now drastically changed. Proposed titles: (1) The Legacy of Lucie Bosell (2) Wanda’s Revenge (3) Cold Comfort. If one of these sounds intriguing to you, let me know!