I was all ready to buckle down and get back to work in January. Really I was.
Since I don't have contractual deadlines to meet, I like to take time after a new book releases to concentrate on promo and catch up on life. Since I usually time my releases for early fall, the holidays tend to sneak in gobble up big chunks of my time, too. Before I know it, it's January--time to dive head-first into a new project.
Until this year.
I started off fairly well. I came up with a basic plot outline for my new female bodyguard book Child's Play and completed my character profiles. I even managed to write the first chapter. Yay! That took me through the first two-thirds of the month. Then, for fairly obvious reasons, I hit a creative brick wall. Every day the news got worse, sucking up all my energy and natural optimism. By the 31st, I'd had it. Something had to change. I refused to let malevolent outside forces steal my life any longer if I could help it.
Along with everything happening in the nation and the world, my mood was not improved by the fact that I hadn't been able to exercise since the first week of December because of a nasty case of bursitis in my left hip. I'm not a fanatic--I don't run marathons or anything--but I am used to walking briskly on the treadmill five or six days a week. It boosts my energy and supports the illusion that I'm still young and lively. Since the main treatment for bursitis is rest, I had to abandon my routine when I needed it most.
On February 1st, I decided I'd given my body enough time to heal, and I got back on the treadmill. I'm starting slowly and alternating days with strength bands in an attempt to avoid another flare-up, but it feels good to move again. I'm also getting back into my book.
While I couldn't think about words, I worked with pictures. I like to have an image of the cover in mind while I'm working on a book for inspiration, so I played around and came up with this. What do you think? For continuity and branding, I used the same basic color scheme, fonts, and design elements (legs and gun) as the other two books in the series.
The heroine in this book is a PhD student in Child Psychology who goes undercover as a nanny/bodyguard to the four-year-old niece of a Professor of Egyptian Archaeology after he receives a veiled threat directed toward the child. The story includes stolen artifacts, a bad-tempered monkey named Balthazar, and an enigmatic villain named Fermin LeBlanc. Sounds like fun, doesn't it? Now all I have to do is get busy and write it!