Doing it our way (the release of our latest novel BURNED)

New release of our latest novel (BURNED)

Get your copy on Amazon Kindle for only $3.99 BURNED

Yesterday was an exciting day for Mom and me as we celebrated the release of BURNED into electronic format on Kindle. Releasing a new book is always exciting; however, this one took our excitement to new levels because it represents a monumental achievement that was a long time coming. Let me explain ...

BURNED was originally published under the title STONEY CREEK, ALABAMA in 2008. It's our second novel. The entire time we were writing the manuscript, we named the working title THE SAWMILL. (Those of you who have read the novel understand the relevance of this title as the story involves a sawmill.) However, when we submitted the finished novel to our publisher, he balked at the title, telling us that it had a grisly feel that was more fitting for a horror novel rather than a romantic suspense novel. Consequently, we scrapped THE SAWMILL and went back to the drawing board. We must've come up with a hundred titles before deciding on STONEY CREEK, ALABAMA.

I originally came up the name STONEY CREEK because the novel is set in a town of that same name. The publisher liked it but insisted that we add the word "Alabama." I wasn't too keen on this idea, but in the end, the publisher makes the final decision, so STONEY CREEK, ALABAMA it was.

Now, for all of my Alabama friends and family, let me state out loud and unequivocally that my hesitation in using the word "Alabama" had absolutely nothing to do with the state itself. I love Alabama with all of my heart and soul and hold my southern roots close to my heart. My hesitation came from one simple reason:  I didn't like the idea of having a comma in the title. Funny, I know, but a comma is a big deal to a writer and lovers of the English language. (Just ask my high school English teacher Mr. Paul Allred who would dole out a big fat "F"if he found so much as one misplaced comma in an essay.) That glaring punctuation mark--that comma--has bothered me for years.

Okay, I'm being a bit overly dramatic about the comma. The other beef Mom and I had about the original title goes deeper. When a book gets accepted for publication, the publisher gets the final say--about everything! It's kind of sad. The authors put their heart, soul, blood, kidneys, right eye ... (you get the point) into a book, and then someone else gets the final say about it.

This time around, we decided to do it our way! (Thankfully, Mom and I have a lot more say in what happens to our books now, as we are executive members of Arbor House Books. Our opinions matter!)

We gave the book a title that is in perfect sync with the heart and soul of the novel--both figuratively and literally. And we absolutely LOVE the new cover! The cover hones in on the three main characters and their complicated relationships with each other.

Releasing this novel under the new title and cover was liberating! While I will forever be grateful for our original publisher for "giving us a shot," I'm elated that we now have more control over the fate of our novels. It feels like we've come full circle. Perhaps, we have simply evolved as authors. Or perhaps we have simply grown up. Whatever the case, it feels good.

The body of the work is largely the same, with a few minor punctuation corrections. (Got to make sure those commas are in the proper place.)

It seems fitting that two Alabama girls would write a novel about football, especially considering that my dad, John Paul Poole, played for the great Paul “Bear” Bryant on the 1958 turn-around team when The Bear first started coaching at The University of Alabama. It was wonderful to have my dad’s insight and help as we crafted the football sections. This novel has taken on new meaning to me due to the fact that my dad passed away a few years ago. As a tribute to him and his love for Alabama football, his dear friends thought it only right that he be buried in a crimson-red casket, so they tracked one down and offered it to the family. We were touched by their love for our dad. His legacy will forever live on. Whenever I read this novel, I think of him and remember what a fantastic husband and father he was.

Dad, wherever you are, Mom and I want you to know that we love and miss you!

We dedicate the release of BURNED to you! Thanks for teaching us to fight for the things that are important. And thanks for always reminding us to never give up on our dreams.