Thursday, February 4, 2016
What We're Writing Week: @LucyBurdette
LUCY BURDETTE: The seventh Key West foodie mystery, Killer Takeout, will be on bookshelves soon (April 5.) Last month, that seemed a long distance away, but now the time will rush by. I have blogs to write, and proposals for new books to create, and recipes to develop, and the Key West Friends of the Library newsletter to produce. In other words, I am all over the place with what I'm writing. If I started to list it all, I fear I'd spin off into a great big ball of anxiety.
So instead, I thought you'd enjoy a little peek into the cover story for KT. I've mentioned before that I create a Pinterest board as I work on each book. This seventh book in the Key West series takes place at Fantasy Fest, a New Orleans-style 10-day adult-themed party. As you can imagine, adult themes and cozies mysteries are not a natural mix. So I edited what I pinned to my board, so the powers that be would not freak out. No naked people in other words. I concentrated on costumes and food and pets--things that might give the cover artists a good starting point. (PS, I love my cover artists!)
Here's the first draft of what they sketched. All going in the right direction, though I wasn't sure what was up with the expanse of pavement...or the stop sign...or the blue building in the background. None of this reflected the reality of the scene (which is okay, really.) But it also distracted the eye from the fabulous display on the picnic table, including requisite cat--this time on the hunt for a lizard. My editor agreed, so back it went for another draft. I should also mention that I was writing the book as this was going on, so the artwork sometimes changed what I had imagined in a given scene. For example, I added the food truck that they had drawn in the scene...such a cool process!
Here's the second draft, minus stop sign and with reduced blacktop...and with the addition of some kind of bead shop, who knew? And notice that the truck's name has changed to Beach Eats (suggested by Celia Warren Fowler.)
Back to the drawing board for more blacktop reduction. (I'm not kidding!)
And here's the "final" draft--but purple? Oh no, I had been lobbying for orange. Because the purple seemed too close to the blue of FATAL RESERVATIONS. We certainly didn't want readers getting mixed up and thinking they already bought the new book!
Was I wrong? I didn't think so. Was I displacing all kinds of other writer worries onto this cover? Absolutely!
Meanwhile, my editor had taken to Googling Fantesy Fest. And she'd come across photos of many naked people, albeit, painted. She called.
"Roberta, I can't quite believe what I'm finding online."
Me: "Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, some of it is a little x-rated. But don't worry, I didn't write about that stuff. None of that's in the book, you'll see."
Not much anyway. And then I begged for a chance to have orange on the cover.
She went to bat for me. Did I mention I love my editor?
You are invited to preorder KILLER TAKEOUT today!
(And PPS no, I am not going to post the naked people here either...only thinking of Hank, who is very modest. Though the truth is I do have some photos, because these painted people are not one bit shy about posing for a camera. Yeah, Hayley didn't get it either...)