Post-NaNo Writing Update

I had a really good NaNoWriMo, writing 35,000 words of my next project, a World War II companion novel to my Phantom series. But 35,000 words is definitely not a full novel, so I’ve continued writing my draft through December.  My goal is to write an additional 20,000 words this month, and so far I’m on track!  I’ve written just over 10,000 words, putting me at about 45,000 total.

The storyline is moving along well too.  We’re up to June 11, 1940.  The French government announced they were leaving Paris on June 10, precipitating an intense exodus of people trying to flee the city.  So, as I sometimes think of it, this is the day when Rick left Paris, broken-hearted because Ilsa didn’t meet him at the train station – for you Casablanca fans out there!  According to the research I’ve done, Casablanca probably underestimated the chaos at the train stations.  120,000 people left Paris in a single day!

My heroine tries to get to a train, but can’t get through the crowds and ultimately decides to stay in Paris.  Which then brings us, of course, to the Nazi occupation.

For now, though, here’s an excerpt I wrote a few days ago.  It was for a Christmas scene – Paul gives Maggie a copy of The Phantom of the Opera, and she decides to tell him a secret…

I took a deep breath.  “My grandfather was the Phantom of the Opera.”

There was a pause.  He was still looking at me expectantly, as though he thought there was going to be more.  Then he seemed to realize that was the secret, and he blinked, brow furrowing again.  “Wait – you’re related to Lon Chaney?  You have one grandfather who was a famous composer and the other one—”

“No,” I said, shaking my head and smiling slightly.  “Not the actor who played the Phantom.  My grandfather the composer was the Phantom.  The real one.”

“But it’s a fictional story,” he said slowly.  “A novel.”

“Sort of.  I mean, a lot is fictionalized, but it’s based on real events.  I told you my grandfather’s name was Erik Rouen.”  I tapped the book.  “The Phantom’s name was Erik, he was involved in building the Opera Garnier, and he composed music.”

Launch Day: Entr’acte & Guardian Collection

They’re here!  If you want to complete your bookshelf of Guardian of the Opera stories, today’s the day.  We’ve been counting down, and now it’s launch day.  You can buy your own Kindle copy of Entr’acte, or get a paperback or Kindle collection of Entr’acte, Overture and The Confessions of Christine Daae in one volume. 

If you haven’t yet started the series, I have good news for you too: Book 1, Nocturne, is free on Kindle right now!  The deal only lasts through the weekend, so don’t miss it.

I’ve always loved spending time in this world, and I hope you’ll enjoy these extra chances to visit with these characters.  I know they’re not the Book 4 people have asked for…but I think they make a fun addition to the trilogy!

In case you missed it earlier, here are descriptions for each of the new releases:

Entr’acte

Fans of the Guardian of the Opera trilogy will enjoy this assortment of bonus material. Featuring deleted scenes, essays and an extended author interview, it adds new layers to the trilogy, as well as providing the chance to spend a little more time with favorite characters. Spend Christmas at the Opera Garnier with Erik and Meg, gain new insight into Jammes with a bonus chapter from her point of view, and learn the stories behind the objects in the Phantom’s parlor. Enjoy these and more in this special companion to the series.

Collection

Bundled together for the first time, this collection offers in one place the companion stories and bonus materials related to The Guardian of the Opera trilogy. Overture gives glimpses into the earlier lives of the principal characters years before their most famous story began, with three short stories focused on Erik, building the Opera Garnier; Meg Giry, dreaming of dancing; and Christine Daae, a young girl on the beach with her scarf. The Confessions of Christine Daae retells the primary trilogy from her point of view, unmasking her true feelings throughout. Entr’acte offers bonus materials in deleted scenes, essays and an extended author interview. Fans of the trilogy will enjoy these extra opportunities to enter the world of the Phantom of the Opera.

NaNoWriMo Day 30: And We’re Done! (For November)

It’s the final day of NaNoWriMo, and time for a final word count – I’m winding up the month with 35,026 words, right on my second goal of hitting 35K.  My highest single day was 2,010, and my lowest single day was 596, which was actually today – I probably could have done a bit more, but I hit the end of a chapter, and I liked the roundness of landing so close to 35,000.  And it was nice to have a light day at the end!

According to my outline, I’m a little over a third of the way through the story, and as to history, I’ve moved from July of 1939 to October of 1939 – though we’re about to move very quickly on to May of 1940 when the war heated up in France.

I’ve really enjoyed this dive into the story and return to NaNoWriMo after skipping last year.  I’m still engaged with my characters and my plot, and I’m planning to continue working on the draft in the next couple of months.  My goal is to do 20K each in December and January, which will hopefully bring me to the end of the story…maybe?  We’ll see if it turns out to be longer than that!

For NaNo, here’s one last excerpt – I’ve been wanting to get Erik’s opinion of the Eiffel Tower into a story for years, but since the previous books were set before the Tower was built, this was my first opportunity!

“So,” Paul said, and I could hear the smile in his voice, “what did your grandfather think of the Eiffel Tower?”  He had learned to ask this whenever architecture or music came up.  I kept offering Grand-père’s opinion, until I realized I was doing it and tried to stop.  Then Paul started asking.

I laughed now, remembering.  “He thought it was a nice idea they should have finished.”

“What do you mean?” Paul asked, looking towards the Tower.  “Isn’t it finished?”

“Everyone else thinks so.  You know the Opera has a steel frame under all that marble and façade?  Grand-père thought the Eiffel Tower was a nice frame and they ought to have put something on it.”

Entr’acte Count-Down: 1 Day

I’ve been counting down this week to my newest book, which will be out tomorrow on December 1st! Entr’acte is a collection of bonus material connected to my Guardian of the Opera series. Plus, I’m putting out a paperback combining Entr’acte, The Confessions of Christine Daae, and Overture.

Today’s quote is from a very special item in the collection – until almost the end of the process, Accompaniment included a chapter about Christmas.  It got cut in the end, but I’ve included it for you in Entr’acte as a kind of Christmas short story. I think you’ll enjoy spending the holiday with Erik and Meg!

Look for Entr’acte and the combined collection tomorrow – and you can pre-order today!

Entr’acte Count-Down: 2 Days

I’ve been counting down this week to my newest book, which will be out on December 1st! Entr’acte is a collection of bonus material connected to my Guardian of the Opera series. Plus, I’m putting out a paperback combining Entr’acte, The Confessions of Christine Daae, and Overture.

Today’s quote is from an alternate version of a key romantic moment in the series.  In the published book, that scene is from Erik’s point of view, but Entr’acte offers the same scene from Meg’s point of view, providing some different insights.  And since I made readers wait almost three full books for that scene, why not give it twice?

Look for Entr’acte and the combined collection on December 1 – and you can pre-order today!