The novel is somewhat autobiographical as the main character is a caregiver for an Alzheimer's family member. However, not all of the aunt's mental incapacity is from my own experience. I have several friends who are also dealing with aging parents and I took licence with their stories.
The most difficult scene I wrote was when I killed the aunt, by accident. She fell down the stairs. But then my cat took ill and eventually succumbed to pneumonia. Which is why I couldn't kill the darling aunt. It took too much out of me. Besides, it's romantic women's fiction. The ending wouldn't have been the same.
The most difficult thing I've had to do FOR the book is find a cover. I have gone through nine different covers. I had 12 friends choose. It was a 4-way tie. I found two more covers. I changed the title. I still don't have a cover. My friend Katrina has a camera. We took test pictures this morning. We're going to take more tomorrow.
I enjoyed the process of writing this novel. I kept track of how much I wrote and how long it took me. I think in total 45 days to write 104,000 words. 279 pages. An average 6 hour writing day was 4500 words. However, those six hours were broken up over the course of 14. It was a very rare occasion to get all six in one fell swoop.
This book was my summer novel. I started during Spring Break in April, and worked on it until the end of school in June. Then on and off during the summer. I was also working on another Regency as well, so time was divided. I had hoped that I would finish by the end of the summer, but things got a little hairy at my house-- the cat got sick, we went back to school, volleyball, and well, I finished the book last night.
I went through it I can't tell you how many times over the course of the last two weeks. I rewrote the ending three times. I'm still unsure of certain word choices, but for now they're staying. No, I did not drop the F-bomb. However, maybe I did have a few choice words, but they're in Italian. They give it flavor.
This is one of the covers I did for it. And the cover copy.
Upon her arrival to Rose MacLaren’s house, Abby found her aunt a ferocious hoarder, had frequent bouts of forgetfulness, and a penchant for choosing her clothing according to color rather than season. Conversations had to be pieced together to make sense. Convincing Rose not to drive proved to be a covert operation.
When Abby set out to help her aunt, she thought it would be simple enough. All she had to do was clean the house and get it ready to sell. Rose was moving in with her daughter in September. However, as family skeletons started falling out of the closet, Abby’s only confidant was the mechanic next door.
Dealing with him was another story.
So, this is where I've been and what I've been doing.
THE MECHANIC NEXT DOOR will be published SOON.
And for those of you who didn't know, yes, Robynne Rand is my other pen name.
Anne Gallagher (c) 2017