Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Just received the galley for STROKE OF GENIUS, which is one of the last steps a book goes through before it heads to the printer. I was sent a PDF of the story, typeset to look exactly as it will on the pages of the book. At this point, my tweaks are limited to spelling, punctuation errors, inadvertant eye-color changes (Don't laugh! It happens!) This is my last chance to make the book as good as it can be.
It's been long enough since I typed "the end" on STROKE OF GENIUS that it all seems very fresh to me as I read through it. One of the things that strikes me about it is how very unloveable my hero is. (Only at first, I promise Crispin will grow on you!) But perhaps I should warn you my editor calls him "the Regency's answer to HOUSE!"
He's vain, brash, calculating and fiendishly clever. Good thing he's also outrageously talented, handsome beyond the lot of mortals and fabulously wealthy.
And wounded (physically and psychologically). His pain saves him. Otherwise, I'd have been tempted to toss him aside as a total jerk when he first began insisting I tell his story. Check out an excerpt to see what I mean.
Have you ever read a story (or written a story) where you really didn't like the hero much at first? What changed things for you?
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I love a story, any story where the author has the ability to take a hero, make him unlikable at first, then turn the story so the reader is cheering him on and excited for him to conquer all that conflict internally and externally. It draws the reader so deep into the story you don't want to put the book down.It is the what can he possibly do next factor. Crispin sounds like my kind of hero! LOL!! I can't wait to read Stroke Of Genius!
i can't wait for this book! i featured it on my recent "book i covet" post and i covet it indeed!! crispin sounds very interesting :)
You chose the perfect name from your contest for his footman. Wyckham is perfect (even if it wasn't my entry).
Off hand I can't think of the title of the story, but the first Kat Martin story I read had a less than lovable hero and there have been others.
My opinion will change if something in his background that is responsible for the behavior is explained. He must also grow during the story. He can't remain the obnoxious man he is, he must grow and improve.
JaneL-I always want my characters to have room for growth, but Crispin has light-years to go! LOL!
Chelleyreads--Thanks so much for mentioning STROKE OF GENIUS on your blog! Word of mouth is the most powerful method of reaching new readers. I appreciate the boost very much.
Pat--I didn't pick Wyckham. My readers did. The Name a Character Contest last summer was all reader-driven. You all submitted the names and voted for the winner. It was a tight race, but Wyckham squeeked by with the most votes.
Crispin sounds *fabulous*!! I am totally fine with heroes who start out unlikeable. (In fact, I'm writing one right now. And toning him down just a little, because he was getting on my nerves, and because I can, mwa-ha-ha. How cool to have a hero in my power!) I'm even fine with historical heroes who remain more or less indifferent and uncomprehending about the female point of view, as long as they are caring and well-intentioned, because it seems more historically accurate to me.
Barb--Men were definitely less in touch with their feminine side in earlier times. Hmmm... could be why I write and love historicals!
Now that you mention it, I do remember voting. Actually I think I voted for Wyckham. In the context of the story, it is even better than just a selection.
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