A Change in Plans

Image: Teri Case

A Change in Plans

Dear Friend,

This newsletter is the second letter I’ve written to you this week. The first has been shelved to be shared at a later date. I had planned to reveal the cover and description of my third book, but when I started questioning my novel’s title (again), I realized it’s not ready to be shared. For now, I’ll continue to refer to it as Imogene, the one word that has consistently been in all of the titles I’ve considered, and therefore, probably the best title.

blame thank author and book coach Sheila Athens for the change in plans. My partner, Ted, too.

First, Sheila.

Sheila participated in an online book club for Tiger Drive last week. She asked, “What message did you hope to deliver with Tiger Drive?”

As usual, I couldn’t say just one thing:

  1. Hope is a powerful motivator, and we can offer hope to those who need it.
  2. The truth shall set you free (I actually didn’t say this, but should have).
  3. Poverty is as much psychological as it is economical.
  4. Mental Health resources were scarce before the 1990s, so think before you judge your ancestors’ choices.

Of course, I babbled and was not succinct. However, while writing steadfastly toward “The End” of my third novel, I paused and asked myself, What’s the concept, theme, or message of IMOGENE?

Sometimes I don’t know the theme when I begin writing a new book. I know the characters’ misbeliefs, desires, and fears (and, funny enough, I often know the ending)*, but the characters reveal their message over time. It’s a beautiful experience, really. And to be honest, the message that the characters of Imogene have to share is my most powerful and challenging concept to convey to date. And it is growing, and as long as it continues to richen, the description and title must remain fluid.

Second, Ted.

I bounced Imogene’s concept off Ted. I LOVE THE WAY TED THINKS. We had a very long discussion on the matter, making it clear I was not ready to settle on a book description. Then I mentioned that I had intended to share the book cover in this newsletter, and he asked, “Why are you telling people about a book that’s not done? Why aren’t you sparking conversations about the books you’ve published?”

Hm. Good one. Why aren’t I? So I’m in the process of creating an online space where we can all come together and have private chats in addition to this newsletter. And of course, I always welcome your direct emails because I LOVE THE WAY YOU THINK.

If you read Tiger Drive, first, thank you. Second, what was the key takeaway for you? I won’t be surprised if it’s not one I mention above. If there is one thing I’ve learned from releasing a novel into the world, it’s that the final message is up to the reader and no longer mine to define.

Note for new friends: the following offer was included in my weekly email newsletter and the offer is for subscribers only. Sign-up for future opportunities.

In the meantime, I have several giveaway codes for the audiobook of In the Doghouse for use at Authors-direct.com. And there is nobody I’d rather share them with than some of you, dear subscribers. So, if you are open to using Authors-Direct.com (you can download the Authors Direct app via Apple or Google Play) and would like to have a free listen to In the Doghouse (perhaps while you’re cooking, driving, exercising, etc.) send me an email, and I’ll send you the code, first-come-first-serve. And if you have friends who you think might like to participate, encourage them to subscribe to my newsletter for future giveaways by sharing this newsletter. Note, the audiobook is available across thirty-plus, vendors. I simply only have giveaway codes for Authors Direct.

Until next time, thank you for being you, and if you celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you receive as much gratitude as you give!


*Thanks to Lisa Cron’s book, Story Genius, and the Author Accelerator Story Genius Workshop.

Creative Congratulations Corner

Congratulations to JT Hume for his newest novel, A Sheriff in Nevada: Downfall.

Congratulations to Kate Pickford for her work in Megastructures: A Hard Science Fiction Anthology.

Congratulations to Dave Edlund for his newest Peter Savage novel: Lethal Savage.

Congratulations to Donna Barker for the release of Scrappy Rough Draft: Use science to strategically motivate yourself and finish writing your book. 

Congratulations to Amanda Zieba for her new novel, Close Quarters.

Congratulations to Bobbi Mason for her heartfelt story included in #EMERGINGPROUD Through Suicide: Stories of Hope & Transformation.

Congratulations to Cathey Nickell on her release Yazzy’s Amazing Yarn and a finalist at the 2019 Best Book Awards!

Congratulations to Kim Hamilton for her new fun mystery sequel to Accidental Lawyer: Don’t Mess With Jess.

Congratulations to Cassandra Austen for her release of The Portrait. The audiobook is now available. And it has won Bronze at the Readers’ Favorite Awards!

Congratulations to Lisa Manterfield for the release of the audiobook version of The Smallest Thing.

Congratulations to Kathy Ramsperber for finishing the draft of the sequel to The Shores of Our Souls. And congrats on The Shores of Our Souls recognition by Readers’ Favorite and the DC Writers Project.

Congratulations to Joan Fernandez for finishing the first draft of her debut novel!

Congratulations to Michael Raymond for finishing his draft of his first novel.

Congratulations to Kelsey Browning for the release of her novel, Striking EDGE (Steele Ridge: The Kingstons, Book 4).

Congratulations to Pamela D. Toler for the release of her non-fiction work: Women Warriors: An Unexpected History

Standing Ovation to Robert W. Fieseler for Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation.

Congratulations to Colleen Waterston for her release of Our Minnesota Community: A Big Shared World Activity Book.

Congratulations to Jack Schaeffer, who is sharing his new male romance novel, Prairie Fires, chapter by chapter via his newsletter.

Have you reached a creative milestone? Let me know!

P.S.: I recently removed links on this section to test the poor mail delivery of my newsletters. If you can’t find one of these authors, email me for the link.

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