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Velvet Lies News

Velvet Lies

Velvet Lies is a novella that shares a setting with my fantasy novels Cantata in Coral and Ivory, and Pavane and Pearl and Emerald. It is free on amazon for the kindle for the next few days. Plot-wise it’s a murder mystery: no fantasy elements at all except for the non-earth setting. But it’s really more about exploring a culture*, and people making (hopefully) witty remarks, than it is about catching crooks.

For my ad on Goodreads, I used the tagline: A comedy of murder and manners. I don’t know that it’s actually all that funny — more snicker-ific than LOL — but oh, well. My publisher wanted the “You mean the man’s own servants won’t say who killed him because it wouldn’t be polite?” quote, and that was the best I could do with the limited space remaining.

*Since the culture being explored is an imaginary one, yes does pass the “does this book actually need to be fantasy/sf?” test, even with the complete lack of expected fantasy elements.

That Time of the Year

I think I’m supposed to be saying something Christmasy right now. So Happy Holidays everyone!

We don’t do a lot of celebrating at our house, just because we’re not into making a big fuss. But I always enjoy having my family around and getting to spend time with them, and the presents are appreciated and all the Christmas chocolates fully enjoyed. 🙂

It’s also the end of the year, so I am desperately trying to finish everything I hoped to get done this year, and, as usual, failing. But here’s one thing off the list: Velvet Lies, a Coral Palace murder mystery novella is now available for the kindle at Amazon.

(You can only get it at Amazon right now, because we decided to try some of their exclusive programs and see what we thought of them. In three months we will start making it available elsewhere. In the meantime if you are a member of Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program you can read it for free.)

In the meantime, my health slump continues, and now with a traditional Christmas cold on top of everything, I am once again reduced to playing boardgames while lying down in bed instead of sitting up at a table. ::grumble::

But I am still taking regular walks, and will get back to a more extensive exercise program as soon as I can! (Mood: determined)

Writing Progress

“Frozen Witness” has arrived in the editor's inbox and I'm supposed to hear back in about a month.
“Velvet Lies” is in the mail. (Thank you, Zeborah, for your comments, they were a big help!)

And, I have 11 out of 19 Chapters worth of fixes done for _Talking With Winds_, which I'm hoping to get into the mail next week. Although, I keep *reading* it instead of fixing it. (I just get this huge kick out of Asond going around insulting everyone. I'm sure this means I suffer from some serious character flaws, but I can't help it.)

Catching Up

“Crimson Courtesies, Velvet Lies” has been sent off to people who expressed an interest. (If you are interested and didn't get a copy, feel free to ask for one.) It has also been read by my husband and oldest son. Ben often reads favorite lines aloud, and although I had already deluged him with a selection of my own favorites from this one, which probably took some of the fun out of it, he did find one I had missed telling him about: “Politeness is the art of insulting someone in such a way that they are not allowed to act offended?” He also read the ending out aloud.

I continue, slowly, to work on the Cantata cover for Boyd. I'm still doing the 3D model of the Coral Palace, but with Lies essentially finished (I hope!) I already have another use for it, so maybe it wasn't crazy to embark on that project after all. 🙂 I also have been messing around in Second Life, as of last week, although my sister has been visiting this week, and between that and trying to get Lies finished I don't seem to have had much time/energy to spend on that particular form of relaxation. We spent, instead, about 8 hours yesterday playing a six player game of Age of Renaissance. It was the first time we've ever actually managed to finish a six player game of that. Alloria, my 9 year old, won.

I'm not certain, really, about what I should be concentrating on now. I feel badly about how my Dad's work is going. He isn't making money. It's not my fault, because I didn't get him into this, but I said I would help and clearly I'm not managing to be helpful enough. My dad may be more important to me than writing, but his project really isn't and I would rather be writing than working for him. But I still feel guilty whenever I think about even trying to get started on the next writing project. I also feel like going back to bed and sleeping for a couple days, so maybe worrying about what to focus on next is a trifle premature. Very little schoolwork happened last week, either, and I am once again behind in logging the kids hours.

Finished Lies!

Crimson Courtesies, Velvet Lies
Word Count: 25828

Yay, yay, yay!
:::happy dance:::

Now I need to do spell checks and copy edits and stuff, and then give it to some nice people who will tell me why it doesn't work. But it's all there, in the computer, so that I actually *can* do spell checks and copy edits, and I *can* give it to people, and I have at least a chance of getting it to the point where it does work.


Crimson Courtesies, Velvet Lies
Word Count: 22768

I have only 10 pages of the original handwritten manuscript left to go.
Which makes the story about 25 000 words, not 35 000. Still a little long for your average short-story market, I fear, but much shorter than I thought. Part of that is because I discovered that I had put quite a bit of redundant information in the sections I had decided to rearrange, which, come to think of it, was why I decided to rearrange things — so that the clues would build into each other and we wouldn't keep jumping about rehashing stuff we had already gone over in order to be able to make connections that weren't adjacent in time. The rest of it is the difference between word count vs page count on text that is mostly description vs text that is mostly dialog.

Author's Note on Ialfa

There is a scene in the movie Slipper and the Rose, in which the Chamberlain explains a few political realities to Cinderella. 'It is not possible that the king give his consent to this marriage'. I loved that scene, and wanted to build a world where I could set romantic fairy tale style stories against a background of reasonably realistic political and cultural situations. But sometimes when you start work on a creative endeavor you discover that it seems to take on a mind of its own.

I decided to create continents by randomly smashing tectonic plates up against each other, and when it came time to start peopling my world, I ended up placing my 'reasonably realistic political and cultural situations' on a landmass the same approximate size and location as our world's Africa. The fairy tale romances I wished to tell became exotic tales of tropical splendor and intrigue.

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