FINALLY : PUBLISHED
After the frustration of Legacy of Danger (and about five different titles) I decided to work on another story. "Guardian Angel" styled in the tradition (I thought) of Harlequin Romantic Suspense. That didn't work. They don't take stories about Parisian concert pianists turned strippers, even if they're escaping from a mad man. I sent the ms to their critique section and although they told me it would be rejected, they gave me encouragement and helpful tips.
On to Romeo vs Juliette. I thought that a very original title, also in the tradition of Harlequin, but Romeo vs Juliette was a title used many times. (titles aren't copyrighted, so you can use the same title, but who wants to?) After agonies over this, I went back to Legacy and took out half the characters. Another frustrating attempt later, I tried to take a short story, "Willed Accidents Happen" that had been rejected by Hitchcock, and turn that into a novel. It worked as a short story, but unfortunately, not as a full-length mystery novel. Back to Legacy and off to a new adventure. This time I took a discarded character from Legacy and placed her in "In the Arms of the Enemy." She fit. I wrote the book based on horses and insurance fraud, and pitched it to Harlequin. They liked it and asked for the full manuscript. You had to peal me off the wall, until that, too, was rejected. They wanted me to re-work it. I did and found my present publisher, LSPDigital, who subsequently published the work. (Thank you, Linda Daly and LSP Digital LLC)
Back to Legacy. The plot was changing and I was thinking about turning it into a paranormal. Who would be the ghost? Three choices came to mind. Either Alex had a wife who was murdered or Elena had a husband who was murdered and there was Elena's grandmother, Magda, who had been killed by a hit-and-run drive. Accident? I think not. It was murder. I tried Alex's deceased wife and it didn't fit. Kind of like ill-fitting shoes. Elena didn't have a big enough role, and she was the heroine. So, out went Alex's wife. How about Elena having a husband? More plausible. But then, who was Mikhail? Huh? Where did he come from? I had to find out--who was Mikhail? More self-induced turmoil.
I slammed the book back into "documents" and worked on "Waterlilies Over My Grave," about story a psychologist who divorces her psychotic psychiatrist husband and spends the novel pursued by him. I spent my life adding and subtracting chapters and scenes and put my characters in as much trouble as I could think of. I finally figured out what worked and submitted. A second novel published.
By this time, LOD was driving me crazy. I mean totally nuts. This was my third, no fourth version of the story, but it was, slowly, coming together. Meanwhile, school was driving me crazy and exhausted me. My dog showing days had died out along with my four beloved collies, and even with subsequent (rescue) dogs, I was too tired to go to class, let along show anybody in anything. My voice was gone from all the talking above the child caterwauling. And then there was all that marketing.
I burned out. No other word can describe it. Blank pages and plot detections took me spiraling down into a black hole. No matter how I tried to market the published books, they didn't sell well and that sent me into depression. I stopped and did other activities--horses, other books, watched Agatha Christie, Ellery Queen, Nero Wolf DVD's over and over.
I took a good long break. I got over it. (I think)
To be continued: Part 3 getting over writer's block. Part 4 setting goals.
Have a great day.