And Other Recent News
Gosh, it’s been a few minutes since I’ve posted here. But if you’re a newsletter subscriber, you’ve gotten mail from me all year, so that should count, right?
In any case, 2020 doesn’t count. We should all get a do-over for last year. As for this year… things out in the World continue to be topsy-turvy, and I ended up spending 3 1/2 months in California tending to family stuff. I’ll probably be going back before the year is over. As someone who does better with routine, trying to find a new one while crashing in other people’s homes was a challenge! And when I got home, I was so relieved I promptly got shingles. So that’s been a fun few weeks.
That, friends, was this year in a nutshell. But I have reentered the CREATIVE ZONE (cue dramatic music) and just finished rewriting the first Beverley Green book. Your first question might be the same as everyone else’s: “Andrea, why on earth would you do that?” So let me explain.
Why I rewrote Book 1
1. It’s the quintessential “first novel,” and I’m not that writer anymore.
In 2018, I started an editing business with two friends. Over the past several years it’s grown steadily, and I’ve edited quite a few books. Which not only helped me find things faster in that gigantic monolith also known as the Chicago Manual of Style, but watching closely for other people’s errors and tendencies has made me annoyingly aware of my own errors and tendencies.
I’ve become very familiar with “noob mistakes” when it comes to novel writing. And my first book suffers from almost all of them. Gah! But still, you might think, is that really cause enough to rewrite the whole darn thing? My answer is still yes.
There are now FIVE books in the Beverley Green series, with at least two more that are planned (one is in progress!). I just love her too much to let her go quite yet! And she still has a few more adventures before her story arc comes to a close. With this many stories about Beverley, the one and only entry point into her world should be as strong as possible. And I know I can now do better.
But don’t worry! The story hasn’t changed. It’s just been rearranged a bit so that the pacing flows better. Excessive word repetition has been eliminated. And, as a favor to The Popster, it’s now less quippy. At least 45% less quip! So it’s still the same story, just written more clearly and efficiently. At least that’s my hope.
2. That title tho
When I first wrote Beverley Green: Sasquatch Hunter, the whole thing was kind of an absurdist project/experiment. Which I would say, has worked out great. The book started with the title. I’d been following someone on Instagram (way back when Insta was about making friends, seeing snippets of people’s lives, and when it wasn’t about advertising, getting a crap-ton of followers, and making yourself look perfect) who drew Bigfoot pictures. And I don’t know, the mind wanders, and titles appear out of thin air… and the rest is history.
However, this book title has proven to be problematic. The short list of probs:
- People think this book is about Bigfoot. It is not about Bigfoot.
- My books are available on almost all platforms (well, the ebooks are, anywa) but sadly, Amazon accounts for the most visibility. And they keep grouping my book with BOOKS THAT ARE ACTUALLY ABOUT BIGFOOT. Which tends to piss off some people who buy my book and are disappointed to learn it’s more about a crazy chicken than it is about Sasquatch. Amazon also lists “books you might like” under mine that are completely off-target. Scary Bigfoot books. Sheik romances. I don’t even know where they get this. But it’s not helping my sales.
- Perhaps the title is a bit too absurdist. I love absurdist fiction – or should I say, I love Carl Hiaasen – but I’m not sure Beverley’s stories should be categorized there.
All this means, I’m going to change the title. I have one in mind, but the Brave Beta Readers who are currently getting the first look at the new version, will be able to vote on some choices. Oh, you want to vote too? Well keep reading…
A quick note to everyone who has sent me Squatchie related gifts (and I’ve gotten some good ones!): just because I change the title and it may not have a Bigfoot reference anymore, doesn’t mean he’s not still a big part of the books and I looooooove all the cool presents I’ve gotten. So thank you!
And as you may know, Bigfoot memes are always welcome in my Facebook reader group…
3. Where do the books go?
The Beverley Green books have been hard to pigeonhole. Now, normally this wouldn’t be an issue for me – I don’t like to be pigeonholed, either! I’m a GenXer through and through. Don’t put me in a category, don’t make generalizations about me (except labeling me as GenX, that’s okay, lol). But when it comes to selling books, they need a home. Are they romcoms? Mysteries? Regular ol’ fiction? One of my editing buddies made up a new genre for me: “cozy chick lit adventure fiction.” Which is cool, but uh, are there any other authors like that out there? If someone asked you, “What are some other authors that write like Andrea, so I can get an idea of what her books are like?” what would you tell them?
No, seriously, what would you tell them? I’d like to know!
Maybe I can make this easier on people by labeling them “chick lit” – at least for marketing purposes. I have a few dude readers out there that might be dismayed to know they enjoyed some chick lit, but MAN UP, Y’ALL and own your book tastes. And thanks for reading.
So what’s next?
The new book will be released in October! Stay tuned for an exact date. I will be offering this book FOR FREE to all newsletter subscribers, so if you want your free book, be sure to sign up now so you’ll be in the loop.
And the next Beverley book – we’re officially at #6 now – will hopefully be out in January. I hope. Let me just see how the rest of this year goes, okay? But I promise you, it’s in the works.
Want to help?
Check out this one-question survey to vote on title ideas for the new, rewritten, reimagined, revamped, renovated first Beverley Green book! Survey will be open until 9/15/21.
Here is a photo of me and Marcus on our way back from California to Oklahoma at the end of July. I don’t know what day this was or where it was. It was all a blur. Lol.
Catch ya later!