On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Synopses 1 -- HeartMate by Robin D. Owens

Since I'm thrashing around in the synopsis for Time Shifter, I thought I'd share a few synopses with you. I have them for every book except Heart Quest, which was purchased as a "blind book," and for which I never turned in chapters or a proposal.

The following is the first few pages of the EXTENDED synopsis of HeartMate. I sent this one on the request of my editor for information for the rest of the company and the art department for the cover art.

For Fantasy works I like to break the synopses down into several portions: Characters, World, Rules (various rules like HeartMate rules or time shifting rules that will affect the book), then get on with The Story.

Celta, 400 Years after Colonization, Summer

Rand T'Ash: Long black hair to shoulders, bright blue eyes, olive complexion, white scars on chest, back, and limbs. Wears clothes rather like a pirate's, full sleeves, breeches, boots -- black or ash brown. Shirt cuffs show the name of the noble in embroidery -- green ash leaves. He is the sole survivor of the destruction of his Family and Residence, grew up in the slums area of Downwind. Now he lives in a mansion of curves and angles of smooth white concrete. He freed the berserker within himself to avenge his Family. Now, to contain his feral side, he suppresses his past, controls his present, and focuses on the future. His primary goal is to re-build his line.

Danith Mallow, small, curvy, brown hair and hazel eyes, hair to shoulders. Of the working class, she wears straight-legged trousers with a knee length tunic over it in blue. She is an orphan, deeply desires to live a "normal" life and belong to a large, loving Family. She once believed she had a unique Flair (psi power) but when she Tested, no Flair was found, and this old wound still hurts. She has a great need to be recognized as special for her own inherent qualities.

Zanth, large cat to T'Ash's knee, black and white, FLAT, TATTERED EARS (I have pics). Cohort, sage, trickster, Zanth is T'Ash's Familiar and a cat with an attitude. Huge, rough and battered, he insists on taking advantage of the good life.

The Setting: Planet Celta: Blue sun so consequently further away from the sun than Earth, sky is a deeper blue with tinges of violet/purple. 2 Moons, always in the same phase. Very wooded, with parks and groves and glades. Celta was discovered and colonized four centuries ago by Earth settlers who based their lives on ancient Celtic beliefs and who had psi gifts, now called Flair. Their class structure is a semi-feudal system of NobleHouses, Merchant/Artisan/Middle Class, Working Class. The three above classes each have Councils, but the society is dominated by the original families who funded the trip (by 3 spaceships) and who have developed the most powerful psi powers.

Passage is a change of life event for Flaired individuals. It occurs when an upsurge of Flair overwhelms the mind. There are 3 passages: first after testing to confirm the depth of the Flair and what sort of talent/Flair it is -- at age 7. Next, to help master the Flair, when hormones are high, 17; final to control the Flair at 27.

Celtans use a mixture of magic and technology. The planet ecology has stimulated Flair and increased life spans, but Family size has declined. Life is still a struggle because the population is small, and much of the planet remains uncolonized. There is no connection with Earth or other planets.

Plant and animal life: some Earth lines have disappeared, some thrived. There are hybrids of Earth and Celtan plants and animals, Earth native plants and animals, Celtan native plants and animals. Roses and tea grow well. Cats are rare, dogs rarer, and horses rarer still.

Discovery Day is a holiday before summer solstice, a time of thanksgiving, jubilation, celebration, fireworks, time of new beginnings, traditional to propose marriage, start new ventures.

HeartGifts/Jewelry: 1. A necklace, made by T'Ash at the beginning of his career so the metal links are not uniformly beautiful, studded with precious gems, ending in a large "roseamber" pendant, which is crystal orange-red-gold-amber HEART. WITH A FLAW OF GOLD IN THE CENTER THAT LOOKS LIKE DIFFERENT THINGS TO DIFFERENT PEOPLE, BUT IS ACTUALLY LOVERS EMBRACING.

2. Intricate celtic knot earrings of red-gold (red bronze).
3. Amulet holder, unfaceted stones, beads, crystals.
4. Cat collar for Zanth, 3 inch-wide choker of square-cut emeralds.
5. A charm of a spaceship (I don't have a design in mind).
6. 8 Bloodstone rune-dice, one broken, 12-SIDED blue-green stones incised with symbols in deep red. The broken one would have a symbol of a woman surrounded by swords (or laser light -- think light sabers).
7. T'Ash wears a child's ring hung on a chain around his neck, it is a circlet of ash leaves.

Weapons: T'Ash wears a broadsword on his right hip with a belt. On his left hip he wears a "blaser", sf gun of some sort (some have short-barrels). T'Ash makes a main gauche, a long dagger about the size of a short sword, but narrower (I have bad pics from the Victoria and Albert Museum, and a reference book).

The Story: T'Ash is jubilant when his Divination Dice foretell: Today you will meet your HeartMate. Now he can refound his Family and make a home -- a Family slain and a Residence burned when he was a child. His mate will soon belong to him. He'll provide her with everything she will ever want or require. They will be a HeartMate couple, complete in themselves.

To lure his HeartMate, and only she, he retrieves a necklace, his HeartGift, that he fashioned during his last Passage when his great power was freed. He deduces who his HeartMate is, a customer he'd tempted with his superb creations.

The inconceivable happens; Danith Mallow, his HeartMate, rejects it and him! Bound by a debt of blood and honor that comes due from an old friend, he can't pursue her, nor can he hunt the thief who steals his HeartGift. T'Ash's carefully constructed life crumbles into an abrupt, disturbing chaos.......................

So there it is.

I'll be talking more, or showing more in the following days.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very interesting. Having read HeartMate multiple times I enjoyed reading your synopsis and can see how it could help the art department come up with a suitable cover. Whanks for sharing.

7:22 AM  
Anonymous Marseille said...

You know, what we really want is the synopses on Journey and the next Heart book ... and the time Shifter series. :) Hints please.

1:31 PM  
Anonymous Marseille said...

Snippets please

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fully agree with Booklover and Marseille..
Please more!

7:06 PM  

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