Visit the main website
Author of the Faye Longchamp Archaeological Mysteries
Checkout Floodgates and the rest of the books!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Where on Earth Do You Get Your Ideas?--Part Nueve

I've had a day to cool off after the piracy scare of yesterday.  The upshot is that it's not obvioius yet whether my work has actually been pirated or whether someone in the Ukraine is just trying to get a cut of the sales by funneling customers to Amazon in exchange for a kickback.  And that cut would be obtained legally (I think) and it would not come out of my pocket, both of which I consider positive developments.  My publisher is checking into it, so all will be made clear.  In the meantime, let's talk about...

Yes, pirates.  How timely, considering yesterday's potential piracy!

When I was planning to set the upcoming book in the Keys, I did a lot of reading about pirates, and I'm finding that this knowledge is transferring well to the new setting, south Louisiana, which has had its share of pirates over the years.  Slave traders, too.  And sometimes those were the same people...

Since I like to have dual storylines in my Faye books, one in the past and one in the present, the notion of piracy past and present appeals.  Not sure what I'm going to do with that, but it's early days yet.  I'll figure out some way to get my 16-year-old guest character entangled with a pirate or two.

Considering this discussion through the lens of the sausage-maker, maybe it would be interesting to my readers to look at the publishing timeline as it relates to my schedule.  It is May 2010, and I am beginning to write a book intended for publication in October or November 2011.  (And yes, I'm behind.  I'll finish on time, but I'm pushing my luck.) 

I am beginning to do publicity for Strangers, which will be published in October 2010.  At the moment, I'm getting review copies to reviewers and setting up appearances for October and November.  It's early to be booking gigs, but I'm trying to make the most of the Columbus Day tie-in with this conquistador-themed book, and it's working.  So far, I've got five gigs in five days during the release week, and most of them pay an honorarium, so I get publicity, book sales, and some cash, too.  Score!

Personal appearances to promote the current book, Floodgates, are infrequent at this point in the book production cycle, but I have a few scheduled this summer.  I will also be politely reminding attendees at these events about my newest paperback, FindingsAnd my backlist sells well, so I'll flog all of them, actually.  Which means that I may be asked to answer a question about a book I wrote in 2001, while my head is six books into the future.  It's enough to give a girl vertigo.

Returning to the book of the moment, I really need to name the thing.  There's some rationale for naming it after the Gulf oil spill.  DeepwaterSlicksDrillsRigsPlatforms

No?  I didn't think so.

I could do something Mississippi River-related--Pilots?  Gamblers?  Riverboats?  Paddlewheels?--but none of those sound like mystery titles.

I'm leaning toward that pirate theme again, so the frontrunners are PiratesBuccaneers, Plunder, Privateers, Brigands, and Brigantines.

Do any of you have any opinions or suggestions?

Mary Anna


  1. Well, not Plunder, but only because it needs to be a plural noun, like the rest of your titles. It's a theme!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Plunder confuses me. Is it singular? Is it plural? If a pirate brings home one gold coin, it's plunder. If a pirate brings home twenty coins, it's plunder. If a pirate brings home a chest full of coins, it's plunder. Ten chests full of coins? Still plunder.

    If a pirate brings home a ship full of treasure today and he has already brought home a ship full of treasure last year, maybe we'd be talking about two plunders? I don't think so. The only time I'd use the word "plunders" is in the context of "He plunders Nassau every time he's in port."

    Maybe I should do the professional writer thing and consult a dictionary. And I shall. But I like to drag my feet a while and think through the options on my own.

  4. Even if plunder is plural (oh, the alliteration!), I wouldn't choose it, because I want the *sound* of the plural to match the other titles. The sound is as important as the meaning.

  5. You're right, Michelle. Otherwise, I would have already committed to PLUNDER, because it's a pretty cool title in other respects. My agent and editor like it, so anything else I come up with has to be better in their eyes.

    You realize that there's a synonym to PLUNDER that I briefly considered, then firmly rejected: BOOTY. :-D Or make that BOOTIES...