A happy announcement: It’s been a while since I finished the first draft of my recent novella, I Will Be Waiting for You at the End of the Story. It took me no more than three weeks to write it but more than two years to put everything together. I could’ve done it faster, but I don’t want to scold myself–we’ve all lived through challenging times with the pandemic and other changes we had so little time to adjust to. I’m simply happy to come so close to publishing it.
The book’s “passport”: I Will Be Waiting for You… has 120 pages (about 25,000 words). My previous book had started with the cover; this entire journey began with this long, inconvenient title I liked so much.
I’ve hinted at the storyline and the characters in one of my earlier posts, but if you haven’t read Best Friends and Other Lovers (and by no means are you obliged to do it), these little clues wouldn’t mean anything to you. But, I believe you could forgive me for a little bit of bragging–I’m truly delighted about my newest release.
This book continues a year after the conclusion of the previous story. A contemporary romance with a fresh set of primary characters and a plot spiced up with a pinch of suspense, it’s set in the fictional town of Bonnybrook, in the Colorado mountains. (Why Colorado? I don’t know, but all my stories are located there.) Since this is a novella, the time span is short–a couple of days–with the exception of the last chapter, a sort of epilogue, that takes place a year and a half after the main event.
The characters: With all her imperfections, Harper McCain, the heroine of I Will Be Waiting for You, might just be my favourite so far. She’s prone to assumptions; she’s not always sure about her decisions but not ashamed to admit it; she’s stubborn but not unbendable; she has “a problem for every solution”; she’s vulnerable but brave enough to show it. She’s feisty and courageous; a fighter and a survivor; a woman capable of deep, unconditional love. She has strength to forgive and move forward. At least this is how I envision her; readers may see different character traits.
The story is told in first person, from Harper’s point of view. I can just hope that I succeeded in building Jamie’s character as well because we know him only from her perspective and their interactions. I like him, too. Jamie and Harper have superficial differences, which I think makes their relationship more interesting, but they are similar in fundamental ways, which makes their love strong and resilient.
The names: One of the quirkiest aspects of writing, at least to me, is naming the characters. I don’t remember how I came up with the name for Harper. She’s pretty rather than beautiful, very feminine, with a heart-shaped face, red hair, blue eyes and freckles and, for some reason, her name suits her perfectly. Jamie was named after Jamie Fraser, who was, up until book five of six of the Outlander series, one of my most beloved fictional heroes. Lyra was my nephew’s ex-girlfriend and, regretfully, never-to-be daughter-in-law to my sister. Ty Prince was surnamed after my husband’s friend, Guy Prince. Not unlike my fictional character, the real Haya is an astoundingly beautiful woman, but I can tell you right away that she is not a nurse and she definitely doesn’t live in Colorado or on this continent.
Bonnybrook is a community in Calgary. I’ve always liked the sound of its name and I decided to use it as a fictional setting for this story.
Trivia: This story has some traces of real events, changed and modified though my fictional prism. Some of the characters featured in my previous stories: Harper, Jamie, Harper’s son Mathew and her larger-than-life grandmother Bridget appeared in Best Friends (the story); Haya had a cameo role in Once Upon a Night. My trademark character, Dr. Gerd Falkenstein pops up here as well, connecting the two of my imaginary realms.
The invisible support: Meet my editor/proofreader Kristin Muraki and my book cover designer Meera Thakore. Kristin has been smoothing and polishing my stories from the beginning. Meera designed the cover for Best Friends and I loved it so much that I asked her to do this one as well. The fact that we work together makes things easier. I’m more comfortable dealing with people I know and trust than with some strangers. Kristin and Meera did amazing jobs again and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them once more.
Formatting: Now that I have all the prep work done, the next step is formatting. A (very) small part of me is techy, and I’m looking forward to it. It might take me a couple of days or weeks, but my goal is to put the novella up first on Smashwords, along with my other books, Best Friends and Other Lovers, The Two-blood Legacy and Guardian of the Realm, all available for free downloading, and then on Amazon (for no apparent reason except to make my life more complicated).
And finally, a question for you: If you found my post interesting, would you mind sharing how you choose the names for your characters?