1. I entered the Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest which closed the first of this month and made the first cut. Out of 5,000 entries I was in the top 1,000. The next cut -- the quarter-finals -- closes March 22nd. Based on the novel synopsis, the field will be cut to the top 500. Here's hoping! Everyone please wish me well.
2. I am working on my next series which is geared primarily to women. I call it the Jennie Graves series. Yes, there is a play on words for my main character's name. Each book will have a dual storyline. One will be the life of Jennie Graves, her family and friends who live in the vicinity of Golden Oaks, a mythical community in the greater Sacramento area. One will be the family history lives of the ancestors of her family, friends and the members of the club to which she belongs.
I struggled over the name of this club, but came up with the GOFFS which is an acronym for Golden Oaks Family Focus Society. This society is not a genealogy society, although there are a few genealogists among the members. However, the members have a variety of interests centering around the theme of family. The club is set up so they meet once a month for members to share their accomplishments and so each can take a turn giving a presentation in their area of interest or expertise.
Back to the Jennie Graves series. My first book lays the groundwork for the series. I thought I had the first five chapters of the first book, Family Secret, pretty much rough-drafted out, since I actually started this series before I wrote Aurora Rescue. However, I experimented with third-person voice and first-person voice. Then I got excited about a storyline I wanted for another book in the series, titled Armitage. It was only then that I decided on the voice I want. All well and good except that when I went back to the opening novel -- the one that lays the groundwork for the series -- I found most of the chapters that I wanted in third-person voice were written in first-person, and vice-versa. So, here I have my adult reader/critiquer ready to read the first five chapters of both novels side-by-side since I have some very specific advice I wish her to give me on these two books, and they are not as ready as I thought. I have been busy re-writing the chapters of the Jennie Graves first novel, Family Secret, to get them into the voice I want. I hope to be able to do this by this weekend or Monday at the latest. Then I will double-check the first five chapters of Armitage and get them off to her along with my questionnaires, i.e., opinion surveys.