How we got a cover for BLUEPRINTS

 

BLUEPRINTS by Barbara Delinsky

If you’re reading this blog, you’re currently looking at the cover of my new book, BLUEPRINTS, which debuts this coming June. What do you think? Does the cover draw you in?

This isn’t an idle question. It’s one that my publisher and I have been asking ourselves since this cover became “the one.” We think it works. But then, we’ve already read the book. You all won’t have read it when you spot the book on sale next June. So will this cover lure you to buy?

I have a title!

Blueprints

Book titles arrive different ways. Some crop up at the get-go, even before I start writing a book. Others come when my publisher reads the opening of the book and a word or phrase pops up that is perfect. Others take longer to find.

My preference? I like having a title early on. It helps me focus.

When I write about home construction

Does life imitate art?  Not for me.  For me, it’s the other way around.  When life happens, I write about it.  For instance, after my husband and I built our house, I wrote about home construction in the Crosslyn Rise Trilogy.  When we began spending time in small New Hampshire towns, I wrote Lake News.  When my aunt developed Alzheimer’s disease, I wrote Shades of Grace.  When I felt overwhelmed by life’s demands, I wrote Escape.

My Valentine’s Day Trifecta

Three Hearts (sm)

Valentine’s Day is my kind of day.  I was a romantic before I ever wrote a single romance, and once I did that – and discovered that people loved reading what I wrote – there was no end to my hearts-and-flowers imagination.  All told, I wrote fifty romances, sometimes eight a year, I was that into it.  But being a romance writer wasn’t, in fact, entirely hearts and flowers.  There were friends who politely told me that they didn’t read “that kind of book.”  Worse, there was the family member who actually told me she didn’t read “that kind of trash.”  There were booksellers who hid me in a back corner when I came for a signing, rather than up front, where other visiting authors sat.  And then there were people (male, usually, like the one selling me my first computer) who blithely said, “So now all you have to do is cut-and-paste different names, and you have a new book.”

What’s coming for Barbara in 2014

Couture Fashion ModelYoung chick, old boots.  That’s my theme here.  As 2013 fades to 2014, it’s only natural to think about ending the old and beginning the new.  But is that what really happens?

Not in my book.  And I mean that both literally and figuratively.  I don’t see that we end and begin.  Life is a continuum.  What we do today is colored by what we did yesterday. We appreciate what’s in front of us all the more for what’s behind.  We are the sum of our parts.

Which brings me to the newest Barbara Delinsky book, my work-in-progress.

Help Barbara understand All Is Lost

All Is Lost

Please note:  This blog contains spoilers.  If that doesn’t bother you, read on.

I’m talking, of course, about the new Robert Redford movie, All Is Lost.  Which I loved.  But then, I’ve always loved Redford.  I loved him with Jane Fonda in Barefoot In The Park and loved him with Barbra Streisand in The Way We Were.  I loved him with Newman in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, loved The Sting, loved All the President’s Men.  I could go on, but you get my drift.

I hear you!

The notes you send have a huge impact on me.  The most  obvious instance occurred in June, soon after Sweet Salt Air came out.  One reader said she thought the book started too slowly.  I promptly turned to my work-in-progress, reread the opening with a critical eye, then switched Chapters 1 and 2 so that the reader learns the opening plot twist sooner.  It wouldn’t have worked for Sweet Salt Air.  But it did work here.

Where SWEET SALT AIR came from

Most of my books are inspired by things I read about in the newspaper. The inspiration for Sweet Salt Air was much more personal.  I have three sons, all of whom have recently had children, and when each of those babies was born, its umbilical cord blood was harvested, frozen, and stored. The premise is that cutting edge medicine is starting to use the stem cells harvested from such blood, and the closer those stem cells match to the DNA of the recipient, the better.

Dealing with the loss of my characters

Readers feel this.  You’ve been engrossed in a book for however long it takes to read it and then, suddenly, the characters are gone.  You write me asking what they’ll do now and whether they’ll ever be back. But if you miss them, think of what I’m feeling when I finish writing a book.

Take Sweet Salt Air.  I’ve been living with Charlotte and Nicole and Leo and his dog Bear for a year and a half, so finishing the writing and having to let them go is bittersweet for me, too.

Working through the books in my beach bag

Actually, it’s not a beach bag, simply what would be in a hypothetical beach bag if I was to read at the beach as opposed to the lake, where comfortable, non-sandy, tree-shaded chairs abound.  I had read Home, by Toni Morrison, the weekend before, but last weekend was for Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl.  And mind you, I’m no formal book reviewer, simply a woman who reads books and has friends who ask for my thoughts.