Friday, September 23, 2016

Puns and Names and other low forms of humor

I enjoy puns. Not too many of them at a time, because it gets tedious, but those little, sly puns that are accidents or semi-intentional or little sideways throw-away jokes.

I also like giving my characters names that mean something. Sometimes with these French books, I give them names that mean something when pronounced in English, or sound like something else.

Most of the time, though, I go through lists of French names until I find something I like. Last names are from 17th century censuses or from place names. I need something a two- or three-day ride from Paris. How about... Bures!

In the Châteaux and Shadows series so far, all the stories have had one of the de Cantière siblings as a protagonist. That one, I chose on purpose: de Cantière leads to the same root as canticle or chant or chanson. After all, the first scene that popped into my head of Indispensable was of the comtesse Aurore singing in a village square. (And Aurore is, of course, the aurora, the light before dawn, the northern lights. She's very light.) Dominique is more for this guy I had a mild crush on in high school, Dominic. And another male friend named Dominique. Dominion. Dominant. (But not, you know, Doms and Subs. It's not that kind of book.)

Her brother Henri (who gets a novella with the love of his life, Marcel, due out early 2017....review copy PDF available now that the galleys are signed off on. So hit me up. Anyway. Ahem.) I chose "Henri" because it's a nice French name, cribbed from kings. I originally called the older brother Hervé, but having two names that start in He was confusing. I had to pick one of them to change, at which point I noticed that Henri, when pronounced in French, sounds quite a bit like "ornery" when said in certain American dialects. "awn-ree." Henri is pretty ornery. (And Hervé is now Cédric....my favorite Hufflepuff. RIP.)

Emmanuel in The Chevalier is named for this guy I once knew and for one of my husband's nephews. I always liked the nickname Manu. Man. Manufacture. He's with Catherine the Great. And she's catty.

And now I'm on Melisande. (I should have named her Mariane for the girl in Le Tartuffe, since that's the Moliere play I'm winking at this time. I can still rename her...) I've named her sperm-donor father d'Yquelon. Yquelon is a city in the north of France. I bet there was even a noble with that as his name. But doesn't it sounds like "dick"? Not really? Sorry, it sounds like my French husband getting mad and calling someone a "deeck."

But I still don't know why I keep naming bad guys Bertrand and Bernard and Albert. They're bears? I can't bear them? I know a French Bertrand and he's a pretty nice guy. So this is some subconscious thing.

So what do you think of names? How do you choose them?

Read my fabulous name choices here:
Indispensable Wife
Honorable Officer
Chevalier

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Lots of little things

Re-reading my galleys ONE LAST TIME for my novella (3.5 in Chateaux and Shadows). The sooner I get it back to my editor, the sooner she can schedule it. Then the promo starts all over again. Whee!

Still in the middle of a big edit/rewrite of the book after that.

I'm also spending too much time messing around on the Internet. Editing and rewriting are not my favorite things. I mean, I love layering in the new things that pop in my mind, I even like cutting parts and adding new parts to make the story work better. It's just that I love writing new stuff *more*. I keep saying I'm someday going to write the Editless Draft, which will be perfect from the first moment.

My sons are both doing well in high school, though the older one is stressed and neither boy apparently realized that one of the most important parts of writing is editing and rewriting. (As I sit here editing and rewriting).

My daughter doesn't talk about what she's doing in school very much. She has days where she gets all her jobs done and days where....uh, no. I went to Target after dropping her off this morning because she declared she needed more clothes (Because all laundry duties belong to Mom, so even when the clothes are clean and just not sorted, she has nothing to wear. She's 8 and could probably root through the basket....) There were a lot of cute graphic t-shirts, but I have recently become more nervous about what to choose for her, since she won't wear just anything.

I'm still looking for a part time job, but haven't applied anywhere else for a few weeks. I might end up doing seasonal work at Target or B&N or something. Retail. And around minimum wage. But it's work and it pays actual money...

So anyway. Back to reading for me (also just baked banana bread and have yeast bread dough rising. It must be carb day).

Go forth! And buy my books! 17th century France!
The Indispensable Wife
The Honorable Officer
The Chevalier


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Accountability....am I keeping up?

So in among the excitement of a blurb and excerpt tour on several blogs, I'm busy busy.

Am I reaching my goals?

I'm still editing Melisande and need to get that to my editor so she can read it and get it in the queue for a contract.

I've done exactly nothing with Christmas Spirit, my previously-published Christmas ghost novella. I have edits from an editor and have barely glanced at them. I still need a cover and to set up a time to work with a fabulous author friend to learn how to format it for self-publishing.

I haven't been submitting my new adult novel, Chill, and just sent it to a small press today. I still need to get it out to more small presses. If the big presses aren't going to do New Adult anymore, I'll still find a way to get this out.

So I have the rest of this month and all of October to do all that stuff.

Then NaNoWriMo and I'm thinking of doing something *not* romance for it. Crazy talk. I don't even know where to start. I mean, I don't plot my books out anyway, but I usually know the main focus and a few characters, maybe even some scenes. On the other hand, the sequel to Chill keeps knocking at my head, so I need to get at least the scenes I have in my head for that typed up.

And that's my writing life.

What are you up to these days?