What I #amwriting

Alarm clock quote ray bradburyI normally begin my day at about 5:30 a.m. with editing for my clients–I like to do that when I am at my sharpest which is always in the morning.  I spend the afternoons writing, and right now I have two manuscripts that I am working on, and several short-stories. My evenings I either write blog posts or work on designing book covers.

Other than writing, most of my work these days centers around finishing up publishing the second editions of the Tower of Bones Series. The book itself, Tower of Bones, has been republished, and book II in the series, Forbidden Road, is in the process of being proofed and should be available soon–hopefully within two weeks.

In addition to revamping the TOB series, I hope to have the prequel to the series, a stand-alone novel, Mountains of the Moon, published by July 15, 2015, with a few copies to take to the PNWA conference. That means it has to be finished and ready to proof by June 25–which may be pushing it. However, things are moving so perhaps I will be able to meet this new deadline.

As I said, I have two novels in the works: concurrently with The Wayward Son, I am fleshing out the final book of the Tower of Bones series, Valley of Sorrows. This book deals with the aftermath of the events in Forbidden Road and winds up that story.

The road to hell Phillip Roth QuoteIn the aftermath of an incident that occurred in the last days of the war in Mal Evol, John lost the use of most of his magic. He has managed to keep that disability a secret for thirty years. The Wayward Son is the story of John’s redemption, and explains the events that happened in Aeoven while Edwin and the others were gone. These incidents culminated in John and Garran being sent to meet Edwin in Braden at the end of Forbidden Road. 

John Farmer’s story is intriguing to me, because he is a man concealing many secrets. A lot is going on under the surface–he suffers from survivor’s guilt and PTSD, which often develops after a person is exposed to one or more traumatic events. In The Wayward Son, John’s rocky relationship with Garran is explored, and also his love affair with the Abbess of Aeoven, Halee.

While I was re-editing the series to date, I took the liberty of changing several once-minor characters’ names, as they had suddenly become important in the two later books, and their names were too close to other, already prominent, characters’ names. Since I was changing them anyway, I made them widely different. Thus Marta Randsdottir is now Halee Randsdottir. Her original name was nearly identical to Edwin’s wife, Marya, a problem since the two women figure prominently in The Wayward Son.

The problem was inadvertently begun in 2009 when I was writing Tower of Bones as the story-line and walk-through for an RPG, and was scrounging around for good character names. I didn’t know at that time it would become a book, and it didn’t occur to me that NEVER naming any character with a similar sounding, looking, or rhyming name is something every author should take note of. This is important, no matter how minor the characters seem to be, because, just like Halee, they may have a larger part to play later and the confusion will ruin the story.

The magnitude of the problem first became evident when I was writing Forbidden Road, but I thought I was stuck with it. Referencing the two women in the same paragraph was dreadfully confusing, since their names were only one letter off from each other.

ok to write garbage quote c j cherryhFor a long time, I didn’t know what to do about the name problem. I thought I was stuck with it, but one of the beauties of being an indie is the freedom I have to make adjustments when a gross error is discovered. Since I was completely revamping the series anyway, it was the perfect time to take the plunge and rectify that mistake. The series now has new maps, new interiors, and new covers.

It was just another lesson I’ve learned since leaping into this mad circus of indie publishing, but now I know to never name two characters in the same book with names that begin and end with the same letters. Don’t do it!


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