I decided it was finally time to wrap this one up and get it out the door, so I gathered all of the notes I’d gotten from various beta readers and spent about a week and a half polishing. As usual, the hardest part was writing the summary. I loathe summaries. Somehow you’re supposed to summarize the entire novel in one page. I’ve never managed less than two pages. And they’re usually awkwardly written.
Yes, I know I’m a writer and a writer should be capable of writing a one-page summary without collapsing into a gibbering, sobbing heap. But I still have trouble with them, and judging from comments made by other writers I chat with, I’m not alone.
I’ve been talking on and off about changing the name from Murderous Requiem to something else, since the piece of music in the novel ended up being a standard mass, rather than a requiem. But though a number of people offered good suggestions, none of them seemed quite right. I considered Missa Mortis (Mass of the Dead), but rejected it because I didn’t think a Latin title would be well-received and the English translation felt weak. I tried several others, but my husband finally just said, “I still think Murderous Requiem is good.” So screw it. The novel is a murder mystery involving a piece of music that may or may not be capable of raising the dead. Murderous Requiem it is.
The next question is, will Dreamspinner Press be interested in it? I’ve sent them stories that I felt were really something they’d be interested in. But this one? I’m not sure. I think it’s a good novel, and I think it’s got a decent romance at the core of it. My beta readers had a lot of good things to say about it. But I delve deeply into a subject that makes many people uncomfortable: ceremonial magick. And I do it in a realistic manner with considerable detail about preparation, methods, and the underlying belief system. Then there’s the “free-love” environment. M/M romance novels are often far raunchier than I tend to write, of course. But the idea of the two heroes participating in that kind of thing will probably put some readers off.
So we’ll see what the editors have to say about it.