Naming Characters, Slow (Limbo?) Paperbacks, Reviews

A midweek blog post wasn’t in the plans, but when something leaps into my head … well, there it is.

One difficult thing when writing is finding character names. Now, sometimes a person’s name is obvious. When I wrote Book 1, Lydia, Beryl, Sylvie, and Andy’s names flowed out of my fingers. That’s who they were. Polly and Henry couldn’t have been anyone else either.

But then more people showed up. It’s Bellingwood, you know. Rather than calling him ‘the guy down the street,’ he needed a real name. And not just a first name, but a last name, too. Sometimes characters are named after people I know and love, but often I stare at the screen trying to come up with something … anything.

Last names are the worst. I might be able to look at a person (in my head) and know what their first name is, but then what?

Would you believe a little phone book is the perfect answer? Errr, what? A collection of last names and I don’t have to work at this? Well, duh.

My sister handed me a fresh list of names (new phone book) at Christmas. I laughed and laughed. It’s becoming dog-eared because of the number of times I’ve thumbed through it while writing Book 21 – and I’m barely at 25% of the manuscript. Yeah, yeah, everybody needs a name. They may never show up again, but they still need a name.

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SIGNED PAPERBACKS IN LIMBO

(Alert: long story ahead.)

For those of you patiently waiting for paperbacks to arrive in your mailbox, well, here’s what it is. I think. Oh, who knows. I despise making excuses for not delivering on time.  I hate this, hate this, hate this.

However, I don’t yet have paperback copies of Book 20 in my house. None. Not a single one. I hoped to get shipping confirmation in the last couple of days, but nope. Not yet.

This has been the craziest publication I’ve experienced to date. Someone told me that after successfully publishing 19 books, it was probably time for the process to spin out of control. Joy.

From the first step of creation, publishing Book 20 to paperback has been a problem. Let me assure you, it’s a fluke. Nineteen+ books have happened with no issue. Maybe they held them all just to frustrate the baloney out of me now. You know, how’s her patience doing?

This company always gives me a date that books will arrive on my doorstep. It’s usually about a month after I place the order. That’s never phased me – they nearly always arrive within a week and a half. Easy. Right? Except that I can’t say much about it until February 1st. If I complain, they’ll tell me their policy and I’ll end up giving them a nod and a smile.

This, of course, followed a crazy-stinking week of even trying to get the book through the process. The company requires a minimum of 24 hours to approve each step. It usually takes 12 hours or less. For this book? Every single thing took the minimum 24 hours AND in the middle, they completely screwed up the process, causing me to lose two days while they looked into it.

My patience was tested. I didn’t scream. I didn’t throw a tantrum. I remained calm. Let me tell you, I treated myself to an adult beverage for good behavior. LOL.

So … as soon as I receive confirmation of shipment, I’ll make announcements, you’ll order books and we’ll get reading material in your hands. If you can’t wait any longer, you can order a paperback directly from Amazon. I’m certain you’ll receive it long before I get mine!

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REVIEWS

Thank you all for writing reviews on Amazon. Each time you write one, another Bellingwood book gets its wings. No, wait. That’s not right. But those positive reviews do help other readers see my books. I do appreciate it.

If you would like to write a review on Amazon, it would be greatly appreciated. And who knows, maybe those books do get wings.

13 thoughts on “Naming Characters, Slow (Limbo?) Paperbacks, Reviews

  1. Bonnie Thomas

    I’m retired in Oregon and my daughter is in NJ and we love your books… We fight to see who gets the next one first… We share with each other… Lol. I personally have read all of the Bellingwood books…some even twice. Thank you so much for writing them.

    1. Anne Jesseph

      Only twice? I have read them over and over. These have become my favorite books. I am back in book two right now.

  2. Mandy Davis

    i have just finished book 1 – again! I have read them all twice! I read them as they are published, then read the last one just prior to the new publication so i’m up to speed. This week, for some unknown reason, i have started them all over again at Book 1. I think it’s because it’s now a round number of books, round number of years. Five years on – time to refresh. They never grow old – I never tire of them. The lives are an adult version of the books I loved when a child – everyday life such as Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, What Katy Did. Keep on keeping on Diane, you are a wonderful painter of verbal pictures!

  3. Bonne Kelly

    I always get your new book for me first and then log out as me and log back in as my 94 year old mother and get the book for her (as she is somewhat Amazon challenged). I do adore Polly and the gang and have since the first day I met her!

  4. Joanne Carley

    Sometimes I wonder if you read my mail… Cause I am amazed that you use so many names that are near and dear to my heart… And then Filenes… I went there since I was a child all the way up to date hey closed! .. I worked in the area you spoke about in the prequel… And my daughters are buried in west Medford… Sometime we seem to be in each other’s head…. Lol

  5. Gaynell Timms

    I love your books very very much
    I wish there was a town like that and I would live there
    I get lost in ALL of your books. I am patiently waiting for the next one hurry up now!!!!!!

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