Monthly Archives: September 2014

Writing

Spellbound Jealously

I’ve been going through Spellbound Haze again, trying to work out the kinks, and I’ve found quite a few squee moments. So, I thought I’d start sharing them.

This is fairly early on in the story. Liam is the love interest. Calvin is not. But Liam doesn’t know that. 🙂


Sunday night dinner at the pub was a village institution and the place was packed. Hazel clambered onto a barstool and gazed at the specials board.

“What can I get you?” Calvin came to a stop in front of her. He looked nice in a crisp white shirt, with the pub’s logo on the pocket.

“Chicken schnitzel and a Coke, thanks.” She paid then asked, “Did you think about my offer?”

pub_people

photo credit: Anders Adermark
 via photopin cc

“Yes.”

“And?”

Calvin sighed. “I’d like to stay. If you’re sure your parents won’t mind.”

Hazel grinned. Mum would probably have a conniption. Which was why Hazel didn’t plan on telling her.

Calvin wandered over to the kitchen and hung up her order slip.

A hand landed on her shoulder. “Excuse me, ma’am. I believe you’re in my seat.”

Hazel glanced over her shoulder. Liam loomed over her, sending everyone else in the pub into greyscale. She raised her fists. “Fight you for it.”

“No way.” He sat on the stool beside her. “I know you, you’d fight dirty.”

“Damn straight.”

Calvin stepped up in front of them. “What can I get you?”

Liam turned to him, a frown flicking across his features. He gave Calvin a once-over, like he was sizing up a threat.

“This is Calvin,” Hazel said. “Remember, I told you? He’s the one who saved Sean.”

“Hi.” The word rolled off Liam’s tongue like a warning.

Hazel smacked his arm. “What’s up with you? Be nice.” She turned to Calvin. “This is Liam, Sean’s brother.”

Calvin folded his arms across his chest and met Liam’s gaze straight on. “Hi.”

Hazel rolled her eyes. Boys. They’d start thumping their chests in a minute.

Liam stood up. “I need to talk to Mum.”

He headed to the back of the pub and banged through the door into the kitchen. Hazel watched him through the window. He towered over Maggie as he jabbed a finger towards the bar.

“I think I’m about to get fired,” Calvin said.

Maggie caught Liam’s hand and gave him that look that all mothers seem to share. Liam’s shoulders curled. Poor boy. He was getting told off.

“Nope.” Hazel smiled. “You’re good.”

A minute later, Liam sat down beside her, his gaze still firmly fixed on Calvin. Then his arm went around her shoulders, and he pulled her hard against his side. She let out a squeak.

What was he doing? He was acting like a jealous boyfriend. Like he’d believed her joke about wanting to rip Calvin’s clothes off.

A swarm of butterflies danced a musical number around her stomach.

He’s jealous. He likes me.

“So, what’s the plan for tomorrow?” Liam asked.

“Dinner and a movie.” She placed a hand on his broad chest and pushed herself upright, giving herself room to breathe. “You better not ditch me again.”

Liam finally tore his eyes away from Calvin and grinned at her. Dimples appeared in his cheeks and sent the butterflies into an encore. “No way. Sean might, though. I’m not sure he’s up to it.”

Hazel tried to look disappointed. “I guess you’ll have to do.”

Her fingers drifted to the necklace that hung hidden under her shirt. Maybe it was a good-luck charm after all.

Writing

The Name Game

When you’re writing a book, you have to call it something. Because “that story I’m writing…no, not that one, the other one” gets unwieldy to say.

Grow, for a long time, was known as “Forester’s story”. In fact, the Word doc is still called “The Story”. As I typed the story (Ha!) up, I chose a working title. I still like that first title, but it wasn’t quite right. About 6 months later I came up with another idea. But it wasn’t right either. Too jokey. And then another year later I settled on Grow.

Man, I’ve been working on this damn story for so long! Actually, way, way long. I first wrote about these characters when I was fifteen.

Grow seemed to fit really well because Forester likes growing stuff, and he, Ally, and Duncan all get a chance grow (emotionally or whatever) during the story. This, of course, is still a working title and may change. Again.

For Spellbound Haze, I brainstormed a title while I was still in the writing-it-longhand phase. The MC’s name is Hazel, and I knew I had great pun potential because one of the plot points is repeated memory loss (a mental haze, if you will). So I wrote a list of titles in the form of “Haze of Something” or “Something Haze”. I tried to convey the fact there’s magic involved and find something that fit the urban fantasy genre. “Spellbound Haze” was the 11th one I came up with. I liked it. Now I have to make every title in the series deliciously punny. Which is not as easy as it sounds. But first I have to finish the damn book.

The Savage Trilogy was a little easier. It features a special boarding school (yep, it’s one of those stories) which I named after one of NZ’s greatest and best known prime ministers, Michael Joseph Savage. That surname has so much potential, especially since it turns out things aren’t all they seem at the school. I called the first book Savage Dreams. And this was where I hit a snag.

I googled it. I hadn’t done that before. And I found out there’s already a book out there with that title. (It’s completely different, but still.) Which led me to discover a book title can’t be copyrighted (mostly). Though it can be trademarked. And you’d probably be dumb to call your book the same thing as one that’s really famous (say, Twilight) because it would just lead to confusion.

Rights of Writers gives a great explanation of Titles and the Law if you want to read more about it.

spark_booksWhich leads me to this duplication currently on my bookshelf.

Spark, Spark, and Spark. I swear I don’t choose books based on their titles.

And now I’ve typed spark too many times and it’s doesn’t look like a real word any more.

Right, that’s enough rambling about titles. I’m off to finish the damn book.