Friday, April 1, 2011

Paranormal Historical Romance Novel: Wait Until Midnight, Author: Amanda Quick

“The face of the dead medium was a ghostly blur beneath the bloodstained wedding veil.”

Intriguing. Slightly sinister. What is the genre here? Gothic? Paranormal? Mystery?

“Such deliciously ominous-sounding words, she thought happily. The phrase ‘grave importance’ practically vibrated with the promise of a Startling Incident.”

What period is this? Contemporary? Historical? Futuristic?

This is a novel whose protagonist is a novel writer. But not any ordinary novel. Oh no. Carolyn Fordyce writes ‘serial novels.’ She is contracted to write a section / chapter of 3000 to 5000 words each week for 26 weeks; completing her novel.

“You’ll be pleased enough with this installment of The Mysterious Gentleman, sir,” the boy assured him. “It begins with a very startling incident and ends with a fine cliff-hanger.”

And throughout the book, Wait Until Midnight, by Amanda Quick, Carolyn has fun writing this novel. She derives great enjoyment doing it.

When we (Carolyn and the reader) first meet love interest, Adam Hardesty he is posing as Adam Grove.

“No doubt about it; he was the perfect model for the character of Edmund Drake.
She quickly wrote ‘Charges atmosphere with masculine vitality’ in what she hoped was an offhand manner, as though she were merely making a shopping list.”

Later Adam snatches the paper Carolyn’s been making notes on from her hand:

“I am curious about your list of errands, madam.” He scanned the page quickly, his expression turning colder by the second. “‘Dark gray jacket and trousers’? ‘Fierce features’? What the devil is going on here?”

And this sets us up for a running joke throughout the book:

“You took notes about my appearance and attire so that you could apply them to the hero of your story?”
“Heavens, no,” she assured him with an airy wave of her hand. “Whatever gave you that idea? Edmund Drake is not the hero of my tale. He is the villain of the piece.”

That joke being: (remember that love interest Adam is Edmund Drake in the serial novel she writes)

“Edmund Drake will meet a right dreadful fate. All of Mrs. Fordyce’s villains come to terrible ends in the final episodes.”

You may know that Amanda Quick is one of Jayne Ann Krentz’s many pseudonyms. Amanda Quick writes historical romances. If you’ve read them you know, the characters are quirky and the plots are funny. They are addictive which is okay because she’s written several. This one is also paranormal in a sense; although all the paranormal elements are eventually proven to be fraudulent.

I haven’t done justice to this book which I really enjoyed reading. I blog about it today for a PURPOSE.

I am on the brink of writing a serial novel. Maybe. I would like your input.

I have a novel written and partly revised. I have a sequel close to finished as a first draft. I have extensive notes about the third novel in the trilogy. I am dragging my feet about finishing anything.

I am further discouraged about the major upheaval in the publishing industry and reluctant to enter the chaos of it at 53yo. ( See Cherry Forums / Publishing And the many articles about not making a living as a writer. (See same forum and, in fact, several references by Jenny Crusie herself in her blogposts at Argh.Ink.)

So I thought, why not serialize my first novel on my blog?

If I commit to this, I will write a regular blogpost on Monday and Wednesday and post a section / chapter 3-5000 words long for however many Friday's it takes to finish my novel.

What do you think?

Oh and one last thing about Wait Until Midnight. A ‘mourning brooch' is a part of the murder scenes. As you can probably guess from my blog décor, I like brooches. (One of these days my daughter will return the brooch she designed and made for me in metal smithing class in college and I will put a pic of it up.)

So here are a couple of pics of ‘mourning brooches’ which, as the name suggests, were worn during periods of mourning during several eras of history.

                                                   Creepy with hair braided in it.


I eagerly await your opinons on my plans for putting out - putting my novel out on my blog for free, that is. Have a great weekend.

Judy, Judy, Judy


  1. Judy, Judy, Judy,

    I think it's actually a really exciting time to be an author! Marketing is truly dreadful but I think there are ways to team up with other authors to work around it. Never in history has the author had more opportunity to actually make money from their work. Will we all manage to make a living from our writing? Probably not. But that's been the case with any artistic endeavor.

    To serialize or not to serialize. I think if you want to, if it seems fun to you and a way to get your work into the world, then you should.

    If you want to make money from it? Maybe not. Bob Mayer tried making selling a serialized novel and gave it up as a bad job. It didn't work for him.

    But it certainly could be a way to gain readers and fans as you make your way toward publication. Or it could be the avenue by which you put your work out into the world.

    Don't be discouraged by the upheaval in the publishing world. I try to look at it as an opportunity.

  2. Hmmm...I don't know about this one. On the one hand, it might gain you readers. On the other, it is EXTREMELY hard to do.

    The thing about serials is that, for them to make sense and/or not have a deus ex machina ending, you have to have outlined very carefully. Then you have to follow that outline. It's harder than it sounds, because it doesn't allow for more organic growth within the story. It's hard. Hard, hard. (heh)

    Also, for me, if I'm going through all the work of writing a novel, I'd rather not give it away for free. Even posting it to Amazon for $.99 is a more viable option for me. (Note the repeated for me). So, I think what you really need to do is figure out what it is you want from all of this, and whether serializing will give it to you, you know?

    That didn't really help you, did it?

  3. Kate - I responded to your comment earlier but it's out there in cyber space somewhere. I had considered the notion that serializing #1 of the trilogy might help get 2 & 3 published. My primary motivator would be it gives me a reason to finish.

    Dee - The thing about not allowing for organic growth in a serial novel is true. The funny thing is even in AQ's book, the fake novelist runs into the problem of having sent off a section and wanting to change it because of where the next section heads.

    Don't know. Just don't know.

  4. As a reader I also have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I don't think anyone should GIVE away their art/craft for free. On the other hand, I'd love to read a story here, written by you.

    A difficult one, that's for sure.
    p.s. I've seen some of those Victorian mourning pieces before, they are stangely cool.

  5. i thought about it, Judy. i actually did it (with a second blog on WP), and just took it down, mostly because it didn't end up making me write any more regularly than i do (which is to say, NOT regularly at all). one thing you should make sure to do is make sure your page is copyrighted. you don't want anybody stealing your stuff, and, in addition, not be able to go after them if you do see your stuff on the web elsewhere.

    and, as to the whole not being able to make money. i think i've pretty much accepted that. sad, though.

    that said, i will read whatever you write!

    love your page design. the brooches add wonderful color, sparkle and texture to your page:)

  6. Julie - I promise - just for you - that if I decide not to serialize - I'll put up a short story that I've written.

    I really can't decide. I have decided that I'm going to announce a decision next Friday April the 8th.

    Pike - you came by! I love the brooches. I have this funny thing about jewelry. Once upon a time in shiatsu class, the teacher told us that jewelry blocks the flow of energy. Since then I have trouble wearing any. I already had trouble with necklaces for fear they would strangle me. Now, no rings or bracelets or ankle bracelets, either. Brooches are just so non-threatening. And sometimes beautiful.