How did you come up with the Mona character?

sitting woman with black corset

The Taste of HoneyHow did you come up with the Mona character?

When I finally figured out the title of the story ‘The Taste of Honey’, I knew how I wanted the story to end. Honey was a main character who wanted to live forever in her family and close friends. In her mind, for whatever reason, she firmly believed that her spirit could only continue on through a live roasting on a barbecue spit. Gruesome, I know, but in Honey’s universe, it’s a common practice among the community.

Knowing how the story was to end, I needed to create characters with whom Honey would share her meat. As I thought about how Honey would meet her end, I needed an avenue to get there. So, I hit upon the idea that she goes missing and someone hired to go find her.

BeautyIntroduce the investigator, Mona. Since my universe incorporated pervasive bdsm play, I decided that this character would be a masochist who enjoyed extreme play. So, her first name became Mona. Mona would be a play on the sound ‘moan’, which she would do a lot during her play.

To come up with her surname, I wanted her name to reflect her sexuality. Eventually, I came to the concept of ‘bend her over’.With a hidden message decided, I contracted it to Bendarova. To date, only one person I know has made this relate and called me on it. She smiled as she told me.

That’s how Mona Bendarova came into existence. She’s a smart, masochistic investigator who loves sex. Who’s your favorite character?

Inspirational Authors

Methuseulah's Children 1958 book cover

Inspirational Authors

I woke up this morning with thinking about my early days of reading. They started out when I was about seven years old. I read lots of YA books in those days, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew (yep her too), Tom Swift are some of my more memorable books. I grew from those quickly and looked for more interesting stories. I soon discovered authors Arthur C. Clark and Isaac Asimov.

Robert A HeinleinIt was when I discovered Robert A. Heinlein that I found my favorite author of all time. My very first book of his that I read was ‘Methuselah’s Children’. I was immediately hooked. I still have that particular 1958 edition in my library. It’s been republished over and over since it was first written in 1941.

Methuseulah's Children 1958 book cover‘Methuselah’s Children’ was Heinlein’s early stories into what became his ‘Future Histories’ books. Over the decades, this author managed to weave many of his other books into the ‘Future Histories’ line.

It was his character, Lazarus Long and his many incarnations, that really captured my interest. He was a ruthless yet caring character who could live, love and protect his family and friends. His story lines are filled with polyamorous love and sex of various flavors and experiences. Lazarus Long was a loaner and a family man. He was a father, a son, a husband, a widower, a soldier, a tradesman, a lover and a sinner. Deep down, he was a pacifist but would ruthlessly act to protect the worthy and the needy. He loved life and abhorred violence for violence sake.

As I read everything I could find, I was enamored with his books. I couldn’t get enough of Robert A. Heinlein. I was saddened when he died.

As I think about those days, reading his stories, I now realize that Heinlein helped shape me to be the person I am today. Instinctively, I’ve always known that about him. Now I understand it.

Who is the person that most influenced you in becoming who you are? I would enjoy reading your comments on my site www.richardverry.com.

Book Covers Help

So, I need help. I’m hoping you can help.

As a relatively new indie book author/publisher, I struggle every time trying to find the best photos to use as the basis for a cover. As I am also an artist, I like to do my own digital design .

In the past, I’ve licensed photos from iStock and 123RF. As I get deeper into book authoring and publishing, I am astounded by the covers I’ve seen from other indie authors.

I’d love to hear from all you indie authors as to where and how you develop your covers. Are there better sites for selecting and licensing photos for covers? Googling helps but I consistently get sucked in to sites that sell these services. I’d rather license the photo and do the rest of the work myself.

Oh, I need to keep the licensing costs down. One photo I found, the owner wanted hundreds of dollars to give me a minimal license. Suffice to say, I didn’t buy it.

I look forward to your thoughts and comments. Thanks for sharing.

Finished my draft of ‘Broken Steele’

Whew! This morning I finished my draft of my new novel, ‘Broken Steele’, book 2 in the ‘Mona Bendarova Adventures.  Next, I’m on to the arduous task of editing it and preparing it for publication. Yes, it’s true. I am an independent publisher under the brand ‘maggicalExpressions’.

First, I’ll be doing a once over edit looking for obvious errors and inconsistencies, which I am sure exists. Next I’ll be doing a more in-depth with my favorite person in the world, my partner Janet. She is quite good at helping me edit and was a huge help in preparing the last book for publication.  I’ll also be sharing it with one or two others who promise to help me edit it.

Which begs the question. To edit yourself or hire an editor? What do you think?

As an independent publisher who has yet to make his first million (alright, hundred) in royalties, I’d like to know. From research I’ve found all over the web, the recommendation is to not self edit but hire an editor.

Since I don’t have the money to do that, I have to resort to my own means to edit my books, and for that matter, design the book covers and everything else necessary to publish.

The second question that comes to mind is, if you hire an editor, how long does it take to get the book back and ready to publish? For that matter, does an editor format the book as well, or that still my responsibility?

What do you think?