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You Can’t Always Get What You Want

The Rolling Stones sang it best: you can’t always get what you want. This is doubly so in the case of publishing. If you’ve bought my novel The Beautiful Ones, you’ve probably read the back copy for it. That was not what I proposed, although I managed to massage the final copy a bit.

Here is what I wrote in the first place:

“Hector: A performer who dazzles audiences with his telekinetic powers. Once nothing but a poor boy with high aspirations, Hector is now successful and very wealthy; wealthy enough that he may have the woman of his dreams, the beautiful Valerie. Alas, it is a bit late. Valerie has already married into the Beaulieu family. But chance encounter with Antonina Beaulieu gives Hector the perfect excuse to show his face around the Beaulieu household. Perhaps this love story is not over yet…

Valerie: Fair and proud, married to a man she despises. The return of Hector Auvray ignites an old spark in her. Hector pretends to court Antonina Beaulieu, while Valerie pretends she feels nothing for him. Yet he is there, within her grasp and just out of reach. The farce cannot last…

Antonina: Transplanted from her country home, to the glittering city of Loisail. Gifted with telekinesis, she is astounded by Hector’s abilities, which she wishes to master, and flattered by his attention. She knows nothing of Hector’s feelings for Valerie, nor that her growing affection for him remains unreciprocated…

A fantasy romance set in a sumptuous world inspired by the Belle Epoque, where scandal is a dreaded weapon, The Beautiful Ones is a tale of desire and betrayal, and the struggle between conformity and passion.”

And here is what my publisher ran with:

“In a world of etiquette and polite masks, no one is who they seem to be.

Antonina Beaulieu is in the glittering city of Loisail for her first Grand Season, where she will attend balls and mingle among high society. Under the tutelage of the beautiful but cold Valérie Beaulieu, she hopes to find a suitable husband. However, the haphazard manifestations of Nina’s telekinetic powers make her the subject of malicious gossip.

Yet dazzling telekinetic performer and outsider Hector Auvray sees Nina’s powers as a gift, and he teaches her how to hone and control them. As they spend more and more time together, Nina falls in love and believes she’s found the great romance that she’s always dreamed of, but Hector’s courtship of Nina is deceptive.

The Beautiful Ones is a sweeping fantasy of manners set in a world inspired by the Belle Époque.”


No matter whether you like my take better or not, the point is that publishing is an odd ride. Covers change, release dates can be moved, manuscripts are revised. Anyway, this is just a brief look at how things are shaped and the process that takes a manuscript from a Word file to your bookstore.