I have some serious rewriting to do. Then there is the editing as well as having a few non-writers read it. I already have one beta reader. (A beta reader is someone who reads it as he or she would read any book and expresses an opinion, honestly and, if necessary, brutally. Beta readers don’t edit; they just enjoy the book—one hopes—and gives the writer a response to the material.) I will be asking four more people to be beta readers. Following their input, I may do more rewriting, etc., before sending it off to the publisher.
Right now, I’m fretting about a title. I’ve been using The Boating Party as a working title, but it may be misleading since the story has nothing to do with boating parties. You see, the main character, Liz Michaels, has an affinity for the works of the painter Mary Cassatt. She is especially drawn to Cassatt’s painting entitled The Boating Party. In this painting, there are three figures: a woman holding a small child and a man. They are in a small boat with a simple sail and the man is at the tiller. The man and woman sit across from each other. The painting appeals to Liz because it represents a safe, close-knit family to her, something she did not have growing up.
Liz, born out of wedlock, lost her mother at age nineteen and feels abandoned by her father. Because she had no other family, her mentors, the Kernans, took her in, providing the support a young person needs. Liz, now in her thirties, has fared poorly in the romance department and is divorced when the story opens. However, she is co-owner with the Kernans of a publishing company in Pittsburgh and has proven to be a very talented and savvy executive. Although she never realized her dream of family with either her father or her husband, she is content. However, life is quirky. Events that put her in danger bring love back into her life and also place her again in the position of uniting with her father’s family—with a surprising twist.
Other titles I’ve been considering are
- Incidental Daughter (kind of like this one)
- Daughter in a Minor Key (but there's no connection to music)
- Lost and Found
- Ivy's Daughter (her father was Ivar Arnesson)
- Late Delivery
- The Fourth Daughter
- Loose Ends
- Life is Quirky
By the way, you might enjoy reading John Meeks' book Bogey's Final Gift. It's a racetrack mystery that takes place in Charles Town, West Virginia. He has a sequel in the process of publication. http://bogeysfinalgift.com/
Beth Baxter's book Two Sons is a thought-provoking novel about a man's loss of his son and his journey to adopting the boy who pulled the trigger. The novel raises issues about the juvenile justice system that need to be addressed. http://www.bethanybaxter.com/
My friend and mentor, Sunny Fader, has penned a delightful little book about a very unusual cat she once owned who had everyone in the neighborhood fooled. You'll enjoy The Cat Who Loved Dogs. http://www.sunnyfader.com/
Another writer friend of mine, Maxine Davenport, has published a collection of stories that take place in Oklahoma during the Depression. Her style in some of the stories reminds me of Steinbeck. I believe you will enjoy reading Saturday Matinee as much as I did. http://www.davenportstories.com/
And if you are curious about the doings of the social divas of Santa Fe, you'll enjoy the hilarious competition between them in Jon McDonald's Divas Never Flinch--A Comedy of Manners.
You'll find all of these books on Amazon.com and other retail outlets.