Book Club



My Neverending Story…

In my last post, I argued that writers should blog because it’s a great way to keep family and friends (i.e., your diehard supporters and those most likely to buy your book) updated on the progress of your manuscript. After all, they’re going through this weird and wonderful journey right along with you.

Naturally, my diehard supporters called me on this.

Seems I haven’t kept them abreast of the status of my (our?) neverending story.

Lest I ignore my own (and original) reason for blogging, as we say in Newfoundland here’s “where da book is at”:

The publishing industry has capped Young Adult (YA) novels at 90,000 words. True, plenty of YA books are over 100,000 words, but for a first time author it’s wise to keep within the word count guidelines. It has to do with the cost of producing and distributing books. A 90,000 word book could yield a reasonable return on investment for a publisher, whereas a 95,000 word book (selling the same number of copies) could result in a net loss.

My friends, a net loss does not lead to multi-book publishing deal. I’ve planned nine novels in this series – need I say more?

Book one, entitled “Crossing the Rubicon,” should come in right around that 90,000 mark. There are currently 35 chapters in all, 19 of which have solid drafts. Another 7 chapters are in a rough, first draft state and the remaining 9 have been outlined.

I spent months agonizing over the first half dozen chapters (more on that in a later post). To make the beginning work, I had to add a second point of view (pov). This second pov meant I had to add four more chapters (four of the nine in the outline stage above). And on-and-on it goes …

My workplan to complete “Crossing the Rubicon” is as follows:

  • May/June: finish the manuscript
  • July/August: manuscript with beta readers, flesh out ideas for book two
  • September: make final edits to book one
  • October: start shopping for an agent (book one), start outlining book two.

61 days, 12 hours and 22 minutes to deadline. Better stop blogging and start writing.

Later gator.

Valerie Francis

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

Well, you’re not going to believe this. Reece Witherspoon and I picked the same book for our February book clubs. Sort of.  Late last year, I came across THE MYSTERY OF MRS. CHRISTIE by Marie Benedict and was fascinated by the premise. Benedict writes historical fiction, much like Philippa Gregory,

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Valerie Francis

A Girl Named Howard

This month, rather than recommend one book to read, I’m recommending the entire body of work of one author because Anne Rice, who passed away December 11, 2021, single-handedly revolutionized the role of vampires in literature.  Yes, vampires.  And the impact she’s had is more significant than you might realize.

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Valerie Francis

The Christmas Bookshop

If you’ve had it up to your eyes with holiday preparations and are looking for a light-hearted story to escape into, The Christmas Bookshop, by Jenny Colgan, might be just the ticket. The title is a bit misleading, in my opinion. Yes, there’s a bookstore. Yes, the plot unfolds in

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