Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Door Into Light: Back Cover Copy

Okay, as you know, or at least as you may have hoped, I’m still moving toward releasing Door Into Light this year, if at all possible. 

This weekend, along with having Thanksgiving and moving forward with revising my actual WIP and enduring a pretty nasty and persistent cold, I also waded through the enormously tedious job of fixing everything my helpful volunteer copy editors found. No, I didn’t count the typos. Yes, there were a lot, or it sure seemed like a lot during the hours I spent fixing them. No, the two different helpful volunteer copy editors did not catch (many) of the same errors. Yes, that is amazing.

Missing words, repeated words, wrong words, endless queries about comma splices and oh did you mean not to have a period at the end of this paragraph … you can imagine, probably. Those of you who have done any copy editing: thanks for not sounding snarky when you point out that singular subjects take “is” not “are” and other similarly basic errors. I swear to God, I don’t make mistakes like that; they just appear by some nefarious kind of magic.

So, so tedious.

But that’s done. Whew. I really ought to order another proof copy and go over it one more time, but we’ll see.

Meanwhile! Back cover copy. Last time you all said, direct quote, “By all that’s holy, do not try to reintroduce all the characters from HoS in the back cover copy! Are you insane?”

So this time, I tried not to do that. This actually reads less like the back cover copy of a sequel and more like a standalone. I guess it could actually be read as a standalone? You will have to let me know what you think, eventually.

There are still, inevitably, a lot of names. What do you think? Too much, not enough, too many names, can you follow this, does it sound interesting? I have actually included a spoiler in the back cover copy, but really, it’s not much of a spoiler; it’s a plot point that’s revealed during, if I remember correctly, the early part of the second chapter. 

Here we go:

A coup against Geriodde Seriantes, ruthless king of Lirionne, forces his only remaining legitimate son, Prince Tepres, to flee to Kalches . . . nearly on the eve of war resuming between the two countries. Tepres may have won the friendship of Kalchesene prince and mage Taudde Omientes ken Lariodde, but in the face of his cousins’ hostility and his grandfather’s mistrust, not even Taudde may be able to protect the heir of the infamous Dragon from the perils of the Kalchesene court. Worse, his duty to his own country may require that he set aside every consideration of friendship . . . unless he can find another path both countries can accept.

In Lirionne, in a city poised to accept a regicide as their king rather than remain divided in the face of imminent war, Leilis holds too many dangerous secrets for comfort. She knows where Tepres fled, and with whom. She knows his father the king is still alive, and where he is hidden, and why he cannot declare himself and take back his throne.

But not even Leilis knows that the true conspiracy was not the one aimed at the king, nor at seizing ordinary power. The true conspiracy was always aimed at the true dragon, the dragon sleeping beneath the mountains of Lirionne. In all the lands of both countries, only Nemienne can hear the dragon as it stirs toward wakefulness. If it rises, Lirionne may fall. If the conspirators force it to their will, worse than that awaits. And Nemienne, only an apprentice mage, with no one to help her but the youngest and least-regarded heir of the Dragon, can find no way to stop any of the disasters poised to crash over both countries.

Still needs some work, I expect! Looking over it now, I can see some potential problems. Go ahead and tear it apart!

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9 Comments Door Into Light: Back Cover Copy

  1. Robert

    Well, I won’t tear it apart, but I would suggest that you may not need to include the king’s name, Geriodde Seriantes, since it’s mentioned only once. Couldn’t it just be “A coup against the ruthless king of Lirionne forces …”?

  2. Pete Mack

    What Robert said. No need for extraneous descriptions of secondary characters. (Even ‘ruthless’ isn’t necessary.)
    Also, possibly better parallel construction: ‘if it rises, Lirionne will fall’.
    Remove ‘any of’ from ‘any of the disasters’
    I like this much better than version one. Now I can’t wait.

    If you like alliteration ‘last living legitimate son’.

  3. mona

    Agree with all three, but I’d say ‘last legitimate’, and remove ‘resuming’ from the following phrase.

    I’m not sure you meant to say ‘In Lirione, in a city…’ or just ‘In Lirione, a city…’ Same sentence: ‘to crown a regicide rather than’ might be smoother.

    You used ‘poised’ twice in the whole blurb, which stands out for me, but probably not for anyone else.

  4. Mary Beth

    Agreed with not needing Geriodd Seriantes’ name since you thereafter reference him only as the king, but I would suggest that the first paragraph’s line “protect the heir of the infamous Dragon” expand to “the infamous Dragon of Lirionne” to ground it a little more and make clear that king = Dragon.

    Also I reread HOUSE OF SHADOWS over Thanksgiving weekend and still loved it. Looking forward to seeing Taudde, Leilis, and Nemienne again!

    (Do you pronounce “dd” in names as a long D, as in Korean, or a “th” sounds as in Welsh?)

  5. Rachel

    Thank you all! That is so helpful.

    Mary Beth, I personally pronounce the “dd” as a long “d.” But whatever pronunciation you prefer is fine with me.

  6. Allan Shampine

    I am not a writer myself, but my writer friends often talk about the importance of having a good circle of readers, preferably other writers who can provide concrete mechanical advice. Upon reading the other advice above, I concur, but I would not personally have thought to make these suggestions. Nice illustration here of how much of a difference getting quality editorial advice can make!

  7. Pete Mack

    Realized after posting that ‘if the dragon rises’ is ambiguous. I took it to mean rises up in anger, but it could mean ‘flies’ or just ‘wakes’. Not sure which you meant, but maybe wakes, from context?

  8. Elaine T

    I’m finally able to concentrate enough to toss in my 2 cents:

    First thought: a bit too wordy for a blurb. (Or my eyes kept glazing over, and it wasn’t always my migraine.)

    Suggested changes : agree with taking out ‘war resuming’ and just leaving it ‘war.’
    I keep thinking sentence #2 which starts “Tepres may…” to be going on to talk about Tepres’ cousins and grandfather, but it’s really Taudde’s isn’t it? Every time I look at it I make that mistake. And besides, I think you could shrink the references from cousins and grandfather to ‘family’s mistrust and hostility.’

    nothing in the second paragraph.

    3rd: how about the true conspiracy was not an ordinary one aimed at the king or at seizing power.

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