FROM THE RIVER BANK…COVER REVEAL!
An Occasional Newsletter by Kay Jennings
Topic - Code: Tsunami Cover
It is with great pleasure that I present to you first (well, actually, my husband got to see it first so, technically, that makes you second) the cover for the third book in my Port Stirling Mystery series. Ta Da:
New Yorker Claire Brown is the designer. Claire is also producing five-generation family trees for two families in my story whose history is intertwined back through time. And, in a really fun project, Claire and I have designed an illustrated map of Port Stirling, featuring places prominent in both Code: Tsunami and in my previous two books. The family trees and the village map will be placed at the front of the book for easy reference as you read along.
I still have some work to do on the book, and I can’t give you the exact publication date yet. I’m still hopeful for late May, but it could go either way. My editor requested some fixes, and I’m working on those now. At this point in re-writes, when I change one thing, it often leads to more changes down the road. Truth be told, I dislike this part of the process. It’s much more rewarding for me to tell my story from beginning to end than it is to go back and tinker with it.
There are also choices to be made at this stage. If I like something and my editor, or my husband, or my three wonderful beta readers don’t, do I bite the bullet – because I trust them all – and delete it? Or, do I get all snooty about it and say “It’s my story”, and leave it alone? The truth usually falls somewhere in the middle.
Here’s an example: I am by nature an optimistic person. My new editor leans a bit more to the darker side (she would say ‘serious’ side, I suspect). A big part of Code: Tsunami is about a major natural disaster that wreaks havoc, chaos, and widespread destruction on Port Stirling. I deal with it and then I move on, but she wants more misery, fear, and complete devastation in the story. The truth is that if what happens in this book ever really happens, her version would be closer to the reality. But me being Pollyanna, I question if readers in this current environment really want more misery? I’m working hard to find the right balance.
Here’s another example: One of my excellent readers of my first book, Shallow Waters, didn’t like it when I inserted brand names like Columbia Sportswear and Nike into my characters’ lives. But years ago, I worked in tourism for Oregon, and I’m still a promoter of my great state at heart, so I stubbornly left in the references. Besides, my main character would definitely wear Nike running shoes because he’s a former athlete.
However, one of the first things my new editor said was “Delete all references to brand names – it’s just not done.” That remark from her made me feel like an amateur, sooo…out they’re going in this book. There’s a phrase in this biz: “Kill your darlings”, and sometimes you have to.