The first epiphany was the big one. But I'll get to that in a minute.
First off, even though I have loved the title 'Wrongful Termination' since I thought of it way back when, something about it has been bothering me. It doesn't quite fit with the story. That title implies events not in evidence in the story. So, despite the fact that I have been working with that title forever, have covers with the title, my editor already has the book, and I've talked about that title ad nauseum, I tossed it out. The book will now be known as Accidental Death.
Another epiphany came when I was trying to take a nap and the premise for that book's sequel slapped me upside the head. And it makes more sense for it to be called Wrongful Termination. Tada!
Then as I was trying yet again to get into this rewrite for Fertile Ground, I realized the problem. I was trying to fit a oddly-shaped peg into a square hole. Frank does not belong in this book. I love Frank. I think he's an awesome secondary character. But I never meant for him to be a hero. So, despite the advice of several dear friends, and maybe the expectation of some readers, Frank will not be getting his own book. Or at least not this one. Rick Jensen will remain the hero. I'll just have to make him less of a douche. And having decided that, last night's rerere-write went really well. I was actually excited about working on this book again.
Now, for the big epiphany... As much as I love having input from family and friends on my writing, I ultimately have to decide what my books are all about. This is one of the great things about self-publishing. I can write my books my way. I kinda forgot that. It doesn't mean I don't still need your help and that I won't ask for advice. I just have to choose to do what's right for me and my stories.
Speaking of help, maybe all y'all can do a gal a solid. I'm having trouble coming up with a zippy tagline. I want something that jumps off the cover like 'Revenge is better hot' (which also looks awesome on a bookmark). What I've come up with so far is...
Murder is never incidental.
Random acts of homicide.
Something to go on the cover underneath the title. Here's a quick blurb I threw together that might help you think of something...
Detective Dennis Haggarty doesn’t want to go to Serenity, Colorado and help mourn a brother-in-law he never met. He sure as hell doesn’t want to face his baby sister after years apart. Finding a corpse outside the memorial service certainly won’t make matters better. Even worse considering the local authorities believe the death was accidental.
Too bad Dennis doesn’t believe them.
Now he has to follow a string of unlikely deaths to find the person behind them. All the clues point to the city manager’s widow. If only Dennis didn’t feel like he was falling in love with his main suspect.
(Yeah, it's lame, but I'll make it better. Right now, it's just to give everyone an idea of what this book is about.)
And I'll pick one commenter - whether I choose the idea or not - to win a signed 'Revenge is better hot' bookmark from Dying Embers.
Oh, and here's the cover I'm currently tweaking: