Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Good titles are hard magic! #amwriting #HowIwrite #authorblogs #BloggersBlast

 
 
 
Good titles are hard magic or Words mean things or
How I choose a book title!

This has been an interesting topic to follow in the blog challenge, one which I've read with a bit of jealousy. How do I choose a book title? The answer? Not so easily.

(And let me apologize now because I got longer and longer as I typed. I had no idea I had so much to say on the topic. Stick with me and you might be surprised at what you learn about my writing and thought processes. ;) Short attention spans are not us!)

Once Upon a Time, when I was writing books years ago, (things you may or may not ever see) I'd tend to choose my title...I don't really know how. They just came to me. Sometimes it was an overall theme in the story (think Trevor being an artist whose art comes with a heavy karmic "inheritance" in The Artist's Inheritance, or Caitlin's acquiring of the locket embossed with a mourning dove in...well, her latest installment, Mourning Dove Locket), sometimes not. More than once, the working title went by the heroine's name.

From about the time I started indie publishing, the title muse left me. Yep. I'd get, or tend to get, downright stuck when it comes to titles. In one case, I had a working title for Passion's Sacred Dance, that my editor thought might leave people going "WTF?" and suggested I change it, to Passion's Sacred Dance. I guess she thought it would help. In my opinion, it said nothing about the book (not like, think: DragonFlight, Sailor on the Seas of Fate, Weird of the White Wolf [although, I bet a lot of people outside the field wonder what he meant by "Weird" which is technically, misspelled] etc).

Then other writer friends of mine pointed out an author workshop on titles. The workshop giver claimed keywords were the way to go. Specifically for ranking in Amazon. Celtic, Magic, fantasy, romance, cooking, and Druid. Anything you can think of can be a keyword, if it's mundane and known enough, so the theory goes. Sure Sailor on the Seas of Fate might have a keyword (your choice as to which one!), Dragonflight might have a keyword. But then, so do a lot of titles. For instance, how many Duke or Viscount or (fill in desperate attempt to copy Jane Austen titles here) this and that's or The (keyword: Corporate big whig Job Title's) (keyword: Such and Such) Secret (keyword:What-Not)...  book titles can you think of in the Romance genre? And I see it way more in romance than I do anywhere else, to be honest. Do keywords help you rank in Amazon? 

I tried it, but I am skeptical because it feels like really dumbing things down (and talking down to people frankly, which I hate as both a reader and a writer). And let's be honest, when Harry Potter and the Philospher's Stone came out back in 1997 when no one knew that author from Merlin, do you really think its target audience knew what the hell the Philospher's Stone was, let alone what a Harry Pot....er, Potter was? (do you know what a philosopher's stone is? I do....and I don't even remember said kids' novel's author mentioning that definition but it's been ages since I read her book.) Or let's just take another: Rama Revealed or Rama II. Only if you know Indian Mythology do know who Rama is. Would you guess that's a science fiction novel that has very little to do with the Rama of Indian Mythology? What about Lord Valentine, Majipoor Chronicles, or  Valentine Pontifex? Only if you know Majipoor is the name of the world in Robert Silverberg's Majipoor series and Valentine is a figure in that world, would you know those are some of its keywords. And yeah, I do wonder how often now browsers of "Valentine's day stories" run across Lord Valentine's Castle, and Valentine Pontifex and wonder if they've fallen off into Alice's rabbit hole. *gigglesnort*

But getting off the fan girl rant and back onto the subject... I decided to be open minded and do a little hunting. I don't know about you but I really don't search titles based on keywords. Genre, maybe, keywords no. It smacks of that "I don't know but the book is blue" meme.

Do people really do that?? (And if they do, what's the point of worrying about your title anyway? Except to have something to put in Amazon's search engine.)

Let's just take Passion's Sacred Dance as an example (whose cover by the way is kind of stormy purplish ;)).  Guess what? Well, it turns out Dance is a low ranking keyword in Amazon. In fact it brings up so many books about "Sacred Dance" in the non-fiction aisle I began to wonder if the editor  knew "dance" was a euphemism for battle? But the "passion" part, I trusted, would get it in front of at least the wider target of romance readers. Surely my true target audience (those interested in Celtic Mythology [possibly those that like Norse mythology too] based fantasy and/or fantasy romance stories) would get the dance double entendre?

So also Druid, Magic, Fantasy, Celtic, Warrior, and Tarot. All of them keywordy as well as fitting. Some of those words, though, I think turn people off. So in reality, no matter what you pick, you are shooting in the dark.

Stick with me, here, friends, there's a point to this chatter, I swear.

Fast forward to this December, and I got to kicking around last minute ideas for titles for a new book, and casually mentioned the title of my 2014 novel Drawing Down the Shades to (of all people) my husband. Yeah, this one:



Imagine my surprise when I had to explain to him what "Shade" means in terms of my book.

Do you know?

*flips open copy of Miriam Webster dictionary site*

Shade:

  

   definition 3:  an evanescent or unreal appearance


  definition 5a:  a disembodied spirit:  ghost
    Now, that was my first thought when a friend suggested that title: Shade is another word for ghost, and a nice play on words. It never occurred to me that the general populace wouldn't know that. Particularly, I thought for sure my target urban-paranormal fantasy target audience would know it! (Dear readers, I know you are all educated, and wide-read, with big vocabularies to boot, so please tell me I'm not wrong, here!)

    An audience of which my hubby is part having been married to me and seen all the books I've collected and seen damn near all the same movies and TV shows I've seen. Nope. He said until that day I explained the meaning to him he'd never heard that use of the term. So that left me with the question, if you use a keywordy title and the people who you think will know the keyword don't know the keyword, what use is using keywords in titles? Maybe I should've called it Witching Down the Shades but that sounds stupid, as does Ghosting Down the Shades. (Witch--er, which, by the way, "ghosting" someone or something has the meaning killing, don't you know?)

    And shade these days (here, three years later) means still another thing altogether! Neither of which have much to do with Drawing Down the Shades .... (except ghost=kill might loosely, maybe, point to how the ghost that Caitlin helps in DDTS ...*spoiler alert* ... got to be the ghost).

    I was thinking a bit keywordy though, (before it was fashionable!) as I figured (as I did with Caitlin's Book of Shadows) that "Drawing Down the" would lead to another target audience trigger: Caitlin being a pagan witch and  drawing down the moon, not to mention books of shadows, being a Wiccan/pagan ritual thing!

    But never once did it occur to me that "shades" would pose a problem.

    *sigh*

    (I must admit, I'm a little mystified about why Kim Harrison's marketing team(?) thought it was a good idea to mimic so many Clint Eastwood titles in her Rachel Morgan series. Yes, they're adorable, but if you misread "Every Witch Way...", A Fistful of ... or "The Good, the Bad and..." and think: Clint Eastwood movie, not UF book, you could easily overlook or be annoyed by the fun that is Rachel Morgan. I still love 'em, though).

    So how do I pick a book's title? Basic bibliomancy (choose by pointing at manuscript with eyes closed)? Hope for the best? It's enough to make a gal mad (by which of course, I mean crazy! ;)). That just leads me back to the post's subtitle: titles are hard!

    And now, you know. :) Sorry for the long rant, er read, but thanks for sticking with this.

    Other indie authors, help me out here, how do you pick a good title?

    ****


    Juli D. Revezzo is the author of the MOURNING DOVE LOCKET, the latest in the Antique Magic paranormal series, also the Celtic Stewards Chronicles fantasy romance series, as well as the Victorian Romance HOUSE OF DARK ENVY, among others. Her books are available at Amazon and elsewhere.

    Sunday, March 26, 2017

    Oops


    And...oops! Let me apologize to those who just got a post from me about titles being hard. I meant to schedule that post, but backdated it instead. Please disregard that email. It will be fixed and coming out in a few days.Grr...stupid scheduling. Mea culpa!


    If you're here looking for my Sunday Update Post you can find it here.


    ****
    Juli D. Revezzo is the author of the MOURNING DOVE LOCKET, the latest in the Antique Magic paranormal series, also the Celtic Stewards Chronicles fantasy romance series, as well as the Victorian Romance HOUSE OF DARK ENVY, among others. Her books are available at Amazon and elsewhere.

    Sunday morning March 26: Bloggeista fail. #amwriting #blogs #BloggersBlast #SundayBlogShare

    blog banner, Sunday Post blog banner, author Juli D. Revezzo's blog, paranormal romance author, fantasy author, pagan paranormal author

    Sunday Post was conceived by Kimberly at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.


    Good morning, all. How are you? I'm just up, but thinking about...stuff. Thunder Brain, a friend of mine calls it. I've been having dreams of some lost family members this week. Very strange. (Strange that it happened more than once, not strange dreams.) I don't know what they mean except that the boys are checking in on me, but it's always welcome.

    All right, for my non-pagan readers, I think that's all the woo stuff right now (I don't know about you, but I just discovered that word "woo-woo", via the tarot blog/youtube community, and I kind of like it).

    So, what did y'all do this week? I tried to participate in Bloggeista, but didn't get as much done as I'd hoped. Though, in my defense, I did look at the behind the scenes things that were bothering me (didn't find my solution yet, but I'm working on it) and I made a comment or two on the Twitter chat. So there is a little half tick on the list.

    I also had some pictures on the camera that I meant to, well, get off the camera and haven't done that yet either. What's keeping me from all this? Well, I have something important to get out to a *cough* audiobook editor *cough 😇* so my computer time went to that. (Stay tuned [via my mailing list, here, or you can follow me at Amazon] or stay tuned to the blog or my site.). More on *cough*audiobook*cough* in the near future!)

    I had lunch with my writing ladies, too, and that's always something I look forward to. We plan and plot a lot, and that's always fun. It's nice to get into a new environment every once in a while, too. Shakes the cobwebs out of ye ole brain, don't you know! 😉

    The rest of the week was filled up with, you guessed it, working on writing and of course, mucking around on Twitter. I'm just about ready to send a certain other story off to a last *fingers crossed* polish reader, so we'll see. I would've done it already but that Thunder Brain of mine decided, "Wait!! do this first". *sigh* Oh well. Now, we wait and work on something else. Again, more on that soon.

    What'd I read this week?
    Progressed in Rules for a Proper Governess by Jennifer Ashley and Grace Unbound by Suzanne G. Rogers. Finished a book on Social Media. Didn't think much of that one, oh well.


    Also, if you missed it, here's what I blogged about this week:
    How my family deals with my writing.
    Yeah, a whole lot, I know. Maybe next week will be better.


    So that's been my week! How was yours? Good, I hope. Now, please excuse me, won't you?  I need to get some more coffee, and try to schedule up some posts. :)


    Sunday morning March 26: Bloggeista fail. @julidrevezzo http://bit.ly/2n5I9qQ #amwriting #blogs #BloggersBlast #SundayBlogShare  Tweet This
     


    Sunday morning blog banner, blog of author Juli D. Revezzo, #amwriting fantasy author, pagan paranormal author, paranormal romance, fantasy romance, Raven Queen Publications

    ***
    Juli D. Revezzo is the author of the MOURNING DOVE LOCKET, the latest in the Antique Magic paranormal series, also the Celtic Stewards Chronicles fantasy romance series, as well as the Victorian Romance HOUSE OF DARK ENVY, among others. Her books are available at Amazon and elsewhere.

    Wednesday, March 15, 2017

    How does my family deal with my writing? #amwriting #authorslife @julidrevezzo




    In thinking about the answer to this question in the blog prompts (yes, I am somewhat following these prompts, even if not officially part of that group),  I have to say... I've been fairly lucky, in this respect. My parents always supported my writing endeavors—my father even said, one time, that he'd had dreams about my success at it (though I lament to say I haven't  [yet] reached the level of success he hoped for). My mother, brothers, and husband all support me as well. (Some of them make me blush at how proud they are!) Heck, my father-in-law gave me my first word processor (lo, decades ago). My mother gave me the use of her old typewriter, before that. Mom's responsible, though, I'm sure. She's the one that shoved The Hobbit into my hands (which was about the same time as a friend gave me Elric, so they're both to blame!), and Mom has a set of books that had all the good faery tales in them. I think that's where I first found the Arthurian legends. Mom's good at listening to me plot aloud, too. Case in point, we recently found a shawl pin that resembled a sword referenced in my Celtic Stewards Chronicles series (among other bits of plot babbling) and she's even went so far as to go on a research trip with me for a book I've planned for the Antique Magic series—one that is still a few books into the future. She's even let me steal backs of envelopes and old notepads from her desk when I run out when we're...well, out, if necessary. (Prior to the advent of smartphones, that is).

    And then there were our ...well, playful things? The answer to "Mom, how do you spell__" was always "Look it up". In response to which, I'd get snarky and say: "How can I look it up if I don't know how to spell it?"

    (To this day, on the rare occasion when I have to look the spelling of something up I still think of that exchange. :))

    I also have grandparents and aunts and cousins who are proud as punch, and a nephew (two, actually) who want to be a writer. Before she passed, even my husband's grandmother was known to announce “my granddaughter is a writer!” with a certain amount of pride. :) And my own grandmother, who was a writer herself, was pleased I'd followed in her footsteps, so to speak (though I'm not sure how she felt about my chosen genres)! There was never a point where anyone said “put a time limit on this and if five years from now you're not, xyz, go get a waitressing job,” or whatever. So, how else do I answer a prompt like this one?

    Even considering the real work that goes into it—you know, the hours of sitting in front of the computer typing away. The moments when I emerge to scream “It's all crap. What am I, crazy?” or “Why the f*** do I still do this?” —my hubby always supports me (the answer to that rant is invariably “You know why, dear. You love it. You know you do” ). To the point of (see previous sentence) talking me off the ledge sometimes. (Not to mention, the several friends that do the same). He will even make sure I've saved before shutting down for the night.  There have been times when (on the rare occasions when I've been out of town) he's been on the receiving end of calls that go “I need a note from a certain old notebook. Would you be a dear and dig three levels deep in such and such a place for me?”  or “get into my email and look for something about…” Yes, that happens. Organized?  Who? Me?

    So, how does my family deal with my writing, you ask? Very well, I'd say. Are other authors not as lucky as me?

    ***


     
    How does my family deal w/ my writing? #amwriting #authorslife @julidrevezzo [Tweet this!]





     


     ***
    Juli D. Revezzo is the author of the MOURNING DOVE LOCKET, the latest in the Antique Magic paranormal series, also the Celtic Stewards Chronicles fantasy romance series, as well as the Victorian Romance HOUSE OF DARK ENVY, among others. Her books are available at Amazon and elsewhere.

    ***
    Image above: Unsplash Source: unsplash.com

    Friday, March 10, 2017

    Smashwords sale take 2: #ebookweek17 #sale #pnr #BookBoost #BYNR #IARTG #YA #fun

    Oops, I should've added,  CHANGELING'S CROWN is also in the Smashwords #ebookweek17 sale:
     

    Changeling's Crown by Juli D. Revezzo, New Adult, fantasy, romance, pagan paranormal romanceWhen Ianthe began her career in Everland as a faery godmother, she stumbled so badly that Snow White will probably never speak to her again. After a long suspension, she’s finally been given a chance to redeem herself…but everything on this latest assignment is going wrong.

    But why?

    Worse, she definitely doesn’t need an attractive mortal man distracting her from her duties. Of course, needs and wants are two different things.

    Briak has had his eye on Ianthe for a very, very long time, but he’s been waiting for just the right moment to make his move. Despite the fact all hell’s about to break loose on his watch, he can’t resist the opportunity to insert himself into her earthly assignment. Can he convince Ianthe of her true calling and thereby win her heart? Or will his subterfuge ultimately cost him her love? 
     
    You can find it here:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/449603
     
    Again, use code RAE50 at checkout for 50% off! Thanks again, for reading and everything you do! :) Have a great rest of your Friday!

     
    ***
     
     
    Juli D. Revezzo is the author of the MOURNING DOVE LOCKET, the latest in the Antique Magic paranormal series, also the Celtic Stewards Chronicles fantasy romance series, as well as the Victorian Romance HOUSE OF DARK ENVY, among others. Her books are available at Amazon and elsewhere.

    Read an ebook week --#ebookweek17 #discount #pnr #mystery #BYNR

     
    Just a quickie post today. I wanted to give a heads up, I've put MURDER UPON A MIDNIGHT CLEAR into the Smashwords Read an Ebook sale. On #sale for one more day! Use code RAE50 at checkout for 50% #discount.

    You can get it here:

    https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/701095

    Get it while it's hot!

    Juli D. Revezzo, Murder Upon a Midnight Clear, discount ebooks, ebook, mystery, paranormal romance, Romantic Suspense, sale, Small Town Romance, suspense, supernatural suspense, witch, witches, women's fiction


    If you've already read it, please feel free to pass this notice along to someone you think might enjoy it. :) Have a great weekend, y'all, and thanks for reading!  
    ***
     
    Juli D. Revezzo is the author of the MOURNING DOVE LOCKET, the latest in the Antique Magic paranormal series, also the Celtic Stewards Chronicles fantasy romance series, as well as the Victorian Romance HOUSE OF DARK ENVY, among others. Her books are available at Amazon and elsewhere.

    Wednesday, March 8, 2017

    Favorite things--#blogging #WritersLife #HowIWrite #favoritethings



    Hi everyone. I've been silent because I've been working on getting the word out about my latest release HOUSE OF DARK ENVY, as well as working on some new stuff. Plus it was a week of birthdays and stuff so I've been away from the internet posting mindset, the last week.  I do have a couple blog posts flitting around my head and thought I'd get some out, finally. The first (this one here) was actually inspired by this list of themes from blog hop I've seen going around. 

    Favorite things.
    Well, there's a reason this one got stuck in my head. As a kid, every now and then, I was subjected to the movie that has a song of that title (you know the one) ...and I'm sorry to admit this: It drives me crazy!!  I'm not a huge fan of musicals anyway (though I do have a sparse few I like) but that one just makes me grind my teeth. So to get that stupid song out of my head, I thought why not give the theme a shot?

    Writing
    First and foremost, it should go without saying, but one of my favorite favorite favorite things is writing. :) I enjoy daydreaming about what a character might do, and making up his or her story as the daydream goes along--getting a little lost to the world when I'm writing--is just the best. :) Since we storytellers no longer roam the countryside, trading our stories for bed and board (like the druids and bards of old) writing it down for others to enjoy just comes with the storytelling territory.

    Favorite music:
    Well, if you've seen some of my Monday Music posts, you know I have eclectic tastes. I'll listen to just about everything that catches my fancy. I grew up on rock and metal, (as you know, Heart, Metallica, and Stevie Nicks are among my favorites, as are DIO and many others). In fact,I have to say, DIO and Stevie Nicks even have influences on my writing. (Shocked, aren't you?)

    I love some Americana bands: Shovels & Rope, being top of the list, and right under them, Jason Isbell.

     Also on the list are Loreena McKennitt, Kate Bush, and well...too many to list.

    Music inspires or informs, or even finds its way into many of my novels and stories.  My characters hum something, or listen to something somewhere in darned near every book. *nodsnods* Even if it doesn't always show up by name, it's there, trust me.

    And of course the favorites list also includes many books and movies.

    Books
    Too many to mention, but if you poke around my blog, you get a feel for them, Celtic mythology, first and foremost, and the Arthurian legends have always tickled my imagination. One of my favorites of those is the story of Bran called The Voyage of Bran, and well as the Welsh story "Branwen the Daughter of Llyr" in the Mabinogion. (He's even my favorite of the Celtic gods and despite the Welsh story being named after his sister, I see it as being more all about him).

    Anywho, from the gods that Caitlin deals with in Antique Magic to Celtic Steward Chronicles, (and a few things in between! ) yes, those old myths and tales are still the top of my favorite books list and obviously have more than a little influence on my writing. Also authors such as  Moorcock, Anne McCaffrey, Anne Rice, Tolkien, Arthur C. Clarke, Asimov, Suzanne G. Rogers, Jolene Dawe, just to name a very few, belong on my favorites list.

    And if you were to ask me paper or e-book? Hell, I can't decide. I'll take 'em all. :)

    Movies
    There are about a million movies, too, and from all different genres. In no particular order:

    Excalibur
    The Star Trek series (except 1 and 5).
    I think my favorite of those are Undiscovered Country and First Contact. :) and Star Trek; Into the Darkness and Star Trek: Beyond
    Star Wars
    Fifth Element
    The Lord of the Rings series (shocked, aren't you?)
    Pan's Labyrinth
    Labyrinth
    Underworld
    Timeline
    Terminator 2
    Pitch Black and Chronicles of Riddick
    Ghostbusters :)
    Hellboy 2: The Golden Army
    Hellboy

    50 first Dates
    Cold Mountain
    The Aviator
     etc. You see how this list could go on and on and on.


    Flowers--especially, purple ones. Obviously, if you've poked around my blog or my instagram account at all, you know I have a thing for nature. :) Now if I could just keep mine alive!

    (And yes, though I heard it's not something adults admit to [really????], my favorite color is purple. I have a favorite color. Deal with it.)

    Of course there are more categories I could add here: TV: *I must say, I would like to see more good fantasy-based shows on FREE television, please. If we can have 7 million cops and autopsy shows, we sure as heck can handle the blood of, say Game of Thrones. So what if they show a little skin? I admit, I love Sleepy Hollow (no, not just for Tom Mison--okay, maybe a  little ;)) I enjoyed Exorcist, too (I hope it hasn't been canceled??) 

    And I was intrigued this weekend by the premiere of Time After Time. It shows promise. We'll see.

    Also, food, Youtube videos, jewelry, tarot decks (the Llewellyn Tarot), blogs, clothing, birds (ravens!) not necessarily all in that order, etc.


    That's the short version, But I don't want to put you to sleep listing everything I love!. :)  . Do you see any of your favorite things here?

     
     


    ***
     
    Juli D. Revezzo is the author of the MOURNING DOVE LOCKET, the latest in the Antique Magic paranormal series, also the Celtic Stewards Chronicles fantasy romance series, as well as the Victorian Romance HOUSE OF DARK ENVY, among others. Her books are available in ebook and paperback at Amazon in  and elsewhere.

    Juli's Books

    Available at Amazon. Some also available at Audible, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and Createspace.
    Frigga's
    New audiobook @ Audible
    Victorian romance, historical romance, Juli D. Revezzo, historical romance, read free with Amazon Prime, Kindle Unlimited
    The Artist's Inheritance, Antique Magic book 1, by Juli D. Revezzo, Gothic fiction, witch fiction, pagan paranormal fictionCaitlin's Book of Shadows, Antique Magic book 2, by Juli D. Revezzo, short fiction, free ebook, witch fiction, pagan paranormal fictionDrawing Down the Shades, Antique Magic book 3, by Juli D. Revezzo, Gothic fiction, witch fiction, pagan paranormal fiction
    Lady of the Tarot by Juli D. Revezzo, Gothic romance, historical romance, tarotHouse of Cards, Reign of Tarot book 1, by Juli D. Revezzo, pagan paranormal fiction, witch fiction, tarot-themed fiction, Gothic fiction, supernatural horrorPassion's Sacred Dance, Celtic Stewards Chronicles, book 1 by Juli D. Revezzo, fantasy, romance, pagan paranormal romance, read free with Kindle UnlimitedDruid Warrior's Heart, Celtic Stewards Chronicles, book 2 by Juli D. Revezzo, fantasy, romance, pagan paranormal romance, read free with Kindle Unlimited
    Sing a Mournful Melody by Juli D. Revezzo, Gothic fiction, Vampire fiction, short storyChangeling's Crown by Juli D. Revezzo, New Adult, fantasy, romance, pagan paranormal romanceMurder Upon a Midnight Clear by Juli D. Revezzo, paranromal mystery, Christmas romance, pagan paranormal romance, read free with Kindle UnlimitedWatchmaker's Heart by Juli D. Revezzo, Steampunk romance, Victorian romance, read free with Kindle Unlimited
    Bicycle Requiem by Juli D. Revezzo, Gothic fiction, zombie fiction, novelette, borrow with Kindle Unlimited

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