Some writers choose titles for their stories before they start research. Others know before they complete their outline. A few finalize the title with the first draft. I’ve never been able to choose until the very last version and sometimes only days before the story goes to book layout.
Three Weeks Less a Day came easiest. As I mulled over possible names and descriptions, on a whim I wondered how long it took to tell the story. I subtracted the dateline of chapter one from the date on the final chapter and calculated the difference at twenty days. One day less than three weeks I thought. Three Weeks Less a Day was another way of looking at that time period, and I immediately fell in love with the title.
The process was longer and more painful for each of the following stories. So, take a guess at my current challenge. You’ve got it! Novel # 5 is almost ready and I’m still struggling for just the right title to draw in readers. So, I’m asking for your help.
I can’t tell you too much about the story yet, but let me share these insights. Howard Knight returns. Suzanne Simpson plays a larger role as she copes with unimaginable challenges in her leadership of Multima Corporation. And Fidelia Morales becomes a major character. Some of you may remember Fidelia as Howard’s lover in The Multima Scheme where her actions were completely at odds with her given name.
The first page of novel #5 also portrays a famous quotation of Sir Walter Scott more than 200 hundred years ago: "Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!"
Novel #5 creates suspense and raises deceit to new levels as more than one character weaves chaos into the inner workings of Multima Corporation at precisely the time a global pandemic starts to unfold. I think you’ll like the story. But the novel needs a title and I need your help. Please tell me your preference.
Here are titles I’m currently considering:
1. A Thoroughly Entangled Web
2. A Web of Deceit
3. A Tangled Web
4. A Jumbled Web
5. None of the above
Please tell me your preference by entering the number of the title you prefer in the "Comments" box. If none seem like a winner, choose #5 and I'll keep searching!
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A few days ago it suddenly struck me that I’ll spend this winter entirely in Canada for the first time in almost a quarter-century!
In the winter of 1996, I was asked to spearhead expansion of a new business into Europe and spent several December days in the beautiful city of Geneva. Most days were in meetings, but I still had a chance to experience picturesque Swiss winter weather nestled near the Alps. Of course, I saw snow, but the atmosphere was different from most of Canada.
A few weeks later, I enjoyed a delicious lunch with a prospective customer in Mandelieu on the French Riviera. It was a surprisingly warm and sunny February day. Glancing up from our business conversation, the alluring blue Mediterranean dominated a picturesque background. But in a pool steps away, several topless young women frolicking in the sunshine caught my eye. I think it was probably at that moment I decided winters in warm places should become a fundamental new life goal!
In the intervening years, I’ve had the good fortune to spend winters in Europe, Asia, Florida, and the Caribbean, with only extremely brief intervals to touch base with folks back in Canada. Much of the research and settings for my stories resulted directly from those warm winters away from Canada.
This year is different in almost every respect. In April—when I first realized personal appearances in bookstores to promote my novels would be improbable for the remainder of the year—I started to work on story number five. Using self-isolation and limited social interaction to advantage, I wrote steadily throughout the spring and summer and started the editing cycle in October.
The manuscript is progressing well, and I think readers will really like the new story. I’ll be polishing it until January with my expert editors. By the end of February, it will be released.
The next few months mean promotion of a new novel and building on sales of earlier ones. I plan to use the dreary days of a Canadian winter to learn new digital selling skills and develop a better online presence, increasing penetration into the eBook segment as well as traditional print versions. I invite you to come along on that adventure with me.
If you choose to subscribe to my VIP List, I’ll start sending monthly newsletters directly to your email box. Starting in January, I’ll talk about writing, promoting, and selling books, but I’ll also talk with you about how I’m managing to cope with Canadian winters after being away for more than a third of my life!
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Dictionaries might define the word ‘rendezvous’ as a meeting with someone that is arranged for a particular time and place (and that is often secret); or a place where people agree to meet at a particular time; or perhaps a place where many people go to spend time. Here, Rendezvous is a place where we can share information and get to know each other better.
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