Saturday, March 22, 2014

Blind Stitches Cover & Progress

I have been making headway on BLIND STITCHES. My first round of edits are done, I have the cover copy (description for the back cover) and a cover concept. Hopefully the cover conveys a psychological drama feel with a hint of romance and mystery. I’m open to suggestions and observations.
Nikolai Solvay has been dreading his sister’s wedding, but when his father dies unexpectedly two weeks beforehand, his return to New Hampshire promises to rake up his worst nightmares. 
Meanwhile, talented young seamstress Juliet Glitch has been putting the finishing touches on the wedding dress. Mother of the bride—former prima ballerina and Russian expatriate—asks Juliet if she ‘would hem her blind son Nikolai’s trousers for the funeral’ … and the wedding.

When Juliet meets Nikolai, he draws her into the whirlwind of his unraveling family that makes her own quirky domestic situation seem normal. Confronted with the Solvay’s delusions and narcissism, Juliet must decide if her developing relationship with Nikolai is worth the turmoil as she deals with her own unreconciled past.

Either way, Nikolai cannot stave off the repressed memories surrounding his mother’s defection from the Soviet Union twenty years earlier. Against the backdrop of autumn 1989, during the Glasnost era, Nikolai’s family secrets crash alongside the crumbling Berlin Wall. 
Next, another round of beta readers, more edits ... more edits ... and more edits .... 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Blind Stitches and Winter Survival

No, I haven’t fallen off the grid—okay, I might have slipped the grid a little, but I’ve not done so in my usual winter slump. I’d like to think it’s because after years of practice, I’ve learned how to survive winter a little better. No, full-spectrum lighting is not part of my W.S.K, (and as soon as I post this—just because I have posted this—I may very well fall into a deep dark place), and I haven’t returned to medication (aside from an occasional glass of wine in front of my keyboard). And in spite of the brutal cold outside that started in November and is now stretching into March (many mornings, like as this morning, it has been well below zero), this winter has flown by for me. My secret? I’ve been completing my first draft of my next novel, formerly known as Blind Sight.

Now that the first draft is complete, a more appropriate title has emerged, BLIND STITCHES It fits much better since one of the main POV characters is a seamstress, and the other is vicariously ‘blind’—that is, his delusional mother believes he is blind.

Having said thatabout not falling into my usual winter slumpI must add a disclaimer about the way winter may have affected my writing. BLIND STITCHES is a little on the darker side, psychologically speaking. Then again, it’s difficult for me to be objective about my novels, especially when it comes to gauging how dark, or twisted, or disturbing my readers might consider them. I will admit to a sensitive constitution—I don’t like horror stories, and while I enjoy the occasional thriller, it takes my nervous system days to recover. So, what I consider dark may seem merely ‘dim’ to someone else.

I don’t have a projected date of publication for BLIND STITCHES, but I anticipate having it out there within the next six months. I need time away from it while it’s out with my beta readers, and I will use that time to read some Russian literature and to work on the cover layout.

Meanwhile, Portrait of a Girl Running has received some nice reviews and mentions—check these out if you are inclined:

And I would especially like to thank a loyal reader whom I shall refer to as Mr. Left8, from over on the WoodenBoat Forum, who started a really nice post about mybooks. (For my long-time readers, you may recall that when I wrote Uncharted: Story for a Shipwright, I spent a fair amount of time researching over at the WoodenBoat Forum, and it was grand fun!) That thread, and those who contributed to it, were a huge perk that helped me stay out of the doldrums!