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September 24, 2013

Chris Keniston ~ Road to a Book

Road to a Book

I remember the frustration at reading another bestselling author tell the story of inseparable childhood friends who drifted apart through the years and reunited after some personal crisis.  As a woman who has maintained friendships with her best friends from school through the decades and across the states, I felt cheated.

So, fingers at the keyboard, I decided to write a book about women whose friendship withstood time and distance.  Since I am a total pantser (an author who writes by the seat of her pants), all I knew at this point was that I had to have:  at least three friends, a problem, a handsome hero, and a solution that will take 100,000 words to find!  Oof I typed!

And typed.

The fun thing about being a pantser is I'm as anxious to finish a book as my readers because I don't know how things will end until I get there. After months of typing, the input of many a critique partner, beta reader, advisor, editor, and even the occasional bark of approval from my four legged supporters, a book was born.

First title. All for One.  Seemed fitting to follow the Three Musketeers, plus one.  And the book finaled and won contests under that name. But alas, those in the know insisted the title was too boring. So we moved on to the second title: When the Bough Breaks. Seemed fitting to have a lullaby verse. With that title the book finaled in the prestigious Golden Heart contest.  But alas, those in the know insisted it was still not right. Sigh.

Finally, I turned to my Plotting Princess friends. After all, the book is about friendship, support, and happily ever after. And the third and final title: The Champagne Sisterhood. (Tthank you, Liese.)

Now, we move on to book covers--oh dear.  A romantic women's fiction story in the vein of Robyn Carr, Susan Wiggs, and Emily March, what to put on the cover?  Hunks sell books. My contemporary romance Aloha Texas is a great example of how a dapper (no, I'm not that old!) cover can help an author appeal to new readers. But the Champagne Sisterhood isn't about a hunk. Well, not all of it anyhow. So hunk is out. What about a couple? That also sells books. But the book is about more than the budding romance of two people. 

So moving on, we decided a picture background is more appropriate. Set in suburban San Francisco, what could be better than the Golden Gate Bridge?

Like the title, I was told it didn't tell much about the book. So on to the next one. Champagne in the title champagne should be on the cover. Right?

But, by now my other two romantic women's fiction titles have a completely different cover style. So back to the drawing board, and finally, we have the cover to be released on August 25th -

You can find out more about the Champagne Sisterhood, including an excerpt of Chapter One, at my website: .


chris keniston said...

So glad to be here! Sorry I was a little late - the story of my life!

I would love to hear what y'all think of the covers that never were?

What do you like to see in a cover?

What makes you stop and pick up a book?

Kathy Ivan said...

A good cover will always draw me in. But I will feel cheated if the cover doesn't deliver on its promise. I can get by with the wrong hair color on the hero or heroine, clean-shaven versus mustache.

But if you have a sexy clinch on the cover, that better be in the book. If you have animals on the cover, better have some tail wagging or feathers flying. LOL

So i let the story dictate the cover, as long what's between the pages meets the expectations I get from that very first impression--yep whether you like it or not, everybody judges a book by its cover.

Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

a cover is great. That's why I pick it up; however, it's the back cover with the synopsis that draws me in.

chris keniston said...

I'm a little bit of both of you - The cover draws me in and then I turn it over to see what it's about. And I like happier looking covers - lol - A lot like my movies- :)