All the News that's fit to print (Or Post?)
One month to go to get my editor's feedback. I hesitate to start a new writing project in the meantime since Jingle Boys will take my full attention once it's back in my hands. I've started reading books by other authors again—something a don't do much of when I'm in the middle of my own writing project. Still, it's nice to take a breath and relish the works of others. Love a good book!
I am making plans for getting some advanced reader input. Reach out to me if you'd like to be considered for my advanced reader list. You can connect here.
After a crazy and horrible 2020, I'm grateful for the blessings I was still able to find, and there were many. One such blessing was getting my upcoming book, Jingle Boys, over to my editor on the last possible day of the year. Now, it's in his capable hands and I eagerly await his edits and further direction so I can get the book in print sometime in 2021.
I've had some nice feedback on my placeholder book cover for Jingle Boys, but I intend to have a professional help me put together something nice that captures the feeling of the book.
I'm eager for you to read it and hope you like it half as much as I enjoyed researching and writing it. Stay tuned for more information as I get closer to publication!
I'm very excited about my recent rewrites to my upcoming novel, Jingle Boys, aligning my story with events of 1943 and 1944. Beyond WWII battles and cultural events which drive parts of my story, I've sought information on some of the historical minutiae like times of sunset and sunrise and historical weather details. To get the real story, I requested climate data from the US Department of Commerce's National Centers for Environmental Information. You can too, in case you're curious about what the weather was like in certain US cities at different points of time, and it's totally free! It's been very cool to see data collected on air temperature, precipitation, wind, etc. and then work those details into my fiction. The best historical fiction (in my opinion) draws from historical fact and I always try to honor the realities of the characters I develop. Attending to the details of the past, allows me to build characters that move around in a believable historical world (even when that world is partially fictionalized) and, hopefully, make such characters more real for my readers. Half the fun of writing historical fiction is the time traveling I get to do!
November is also the month we honor veterans. Honoring veterans is built into my very existence. I'm named for my grandfather who gave his life just over 76 years ago in service to the Army and to our nation, fighting in WWII. While I'm sure my grandfather was no fan of war, he was willing to leave his wife (my grandmother) and young daughter (my mother) and put himself in harm's way to defend the freedoms of Americans and others across Europe. He died in Italy where he was eventually buried with only the thanks of a grateful nation making their way back to my grandmother. His life and his death set the course for the rest of my grandmother's life and my mother's—and eventually my own. My mother was too young when he died to remember him and my grandmother was so grief stricken she refused to talk about him until Alzheimer's disease stole even those memories she refused to share. Now I write historical fiction, creating stories of brave people like him, since his stories were lost to me in 1943. Veterans should be honored. Their stories should be told, even the painful ones, and no one should ever forget them. After all, in the end, all that is left of any of us is our story.
It was that time again to take my novel, Jingle Boys, away for the weekend. This is where I resist my usual urge to edit and tweak as I review, and just read the novel all the way through, cover-to-cover, as a reader would. Of course, I flag and tag and note things in the margins, but the work is really intended to assure a solid read and give myself a list of "to-do's" for a final edit before turning the work over to a professional editor. It took a solid 3 days of reading sequestered alone, but boy was it worth it! Lots of places to pump up the narrative and deepen the story. Stay tuned!
Well, just like everyone else in the world, COVID-19 had other plans for 2020. Needless to say, I've had to adjust my publishing plans and my writing schedule, but I'm back in the saddle and having fun with Jingle Boys. Hope to have my first full draft to my editor by October and maybe still make that year-end publishing goal. Stay tuned and send good karma!
Plugging away on Jingle Boys. Nearly done with my first full draft and, as things go, it's always hard to say goodbye. Fun things happen, sad things happen, scary things happen, and I'm working hard to make it a good read. A few more things to research, then personal life will keep me busy for a few weeks. Hopefully, soon, I'll take my novel away for a long weekend, sequester myself, and return with a clean second draft. Next, a full professional editorial review and a final draft after that. My hope is to be ready with a publish-ready draft before the end of the year.
Be good to me muses!
If you're reading this, then you're on my newly-minted web site. Does it smell like a new car?
Feel free to browse and take it for a test drive. If you click on News & More, you can check out fun photos from my research trips, read my writing on writing, or learn about upcoming appearances.
You can even use the Contact link to reach out and say hello. I read everything, I promise! I've even participated in a few book club discussions—sometimes via Facetime or Skype—when the club is reading something I've written.
Thanks for stopping by!
I've been spending a fair amount of my time working on Jingle Boys, my new period piece set in 1943.
This time, I follow the trials Wally Lipkin and his friends as they navigate New York in the middle of WWII. Wally is a gifted eighteen year-old piano player with the same fears and hopes of other young men facing service on the front line—only Wally has a little problem. He faints whenever his fears or anxieties get the best of him. This could create a real challenge if he was to find himself on a battlefield. His uncle came back from the Great War with a similar problem and they locked him up over at Brooklyn State Hospital.
Now, poor Wally thinks he's got a choice between two horrible options—serve in a war which will surely spell his doom, or tell his family and the government about his problem to avoid the war, only to get locked up for the rest of his life.
That's when luck strikes in the form of a jingle contest over at WKOB, "The Voice of Brooklyn." The station is running a contest for a war bond jingle and the winner gets fifty bucks, local fame, and a government job—the perfect chance for Wally to serve his country, but avoid the consequences of his condition.
Of course, nothing so good has ever happened to Wally, and there's more to the contest than meets the eye. There's even a beautiful young woman involved who could spell trouble for Wally with a capital "T."
His adventures take him to dangerous places, both in the world and in his mind. Soon, it's not only his life on the line, but the fate of humanity. Yep, things get serious, fast!
If things go according to plan, Jingle Boys should be available by the end of 2020.