How to Skin a Cat the Butterfly Way

Don’t freak out. I love cats, and I would never ever skin one.

The point of this post is that there is more than one way to write a book, and to get book ideas. I thought it would be fun to divulge how I got my first book idea. It wasn’t difficult to find. In fact, it was practically served up to me on a silver platter.

First, I would like to discuss the phenomena of the back cover page of a paper back book. I am a marketing major so I have a great appreciation for that wonderful teaser they flaunt to get you interested in what’s inside. Actually, the back of the book is my favorite part. If there isn’t a compelling description, I don’t read it. I am also very shocked when the book makers don’t even bother to put one on. Don’t they know they’re losing sales? I’m picky, and I can’t be the only one.

Sometimes, there is a definite difference between what you expect from a book and what you actually get from the book (straight from my business classes. this comes with a great big x shaped graph. It’s curvy and beautiful). This is actually how I got my idea for my first regency romance novel, To Love a Beast by Teri Butterfly Harvey available on Smashwords. (Just for funzies, the original title of my book was The Bad Duke).

In my search for the perfect read, I ran into a book called “The Gilded Web by Mary Balogh.


Figured I’d give her a little shout out. The book was okay, but not what I expected at all from what the back of the book said. In fact, It was completely different. Here is what I saw on the back cover copied from, but it’s basically the same.

All she wanted was to escape the hot, crowded London ballroom. But moments after stepping into the bitterly cold night, she is seized by a pair of strong hands and spirited away. Fully expecting to be ravished, sheltered Alexandra Purnell instead finds herself at the mercy of the man who saved her from certain scandal. Edmund, Earl of Amberley, is bold and sensual, tempting Alexandra to be reckless for the first time in her life. But as passion ignites, Edmund’s offer of marriage takes Alexandra completely by surprise. Now a woman who craves her freedom above all else is about to discover how far one man will go to protect and possess the woman he loves.…

Like I said, technically, that is what happened in the book, but not at all what I expected. I was expecting some fire, some passion, some scandal, but the heroine was lukewarm and nervous as all hell the whole book (how did the hero come to fall in love with her again?). The hero was soooo honorable. Yes, he had a mistress somewhere, but she was disenchanted enough to tell him to go marry this poor girl he accidentally ruined…and on and on. This is not a book review.

The point, I wanted to read the book they promised me on the cover. I wanted to read a book like that! Maybe my imagination and hope ran away with me when I bought this book, but damn!

Then I started looking around for something that matched what I imagined. There weren’t very many storied with the storyline I envisioned, so, by damn, it was my mission to write one, and The Bad Duke was born.

I took the original back cover summary. Then I created two spectacular 3 dimensional characters, and put them into battle. (Charles, a Duke who is over confident, used to getting what he wants, every cunning and a touch evil.) (Maddie, the beautiful country girl with a wicked temper and brains to boot…don’t take no crap from no one.) These two are perfectly matched, at least I think so. These two characters practically wrote the book themselves, and I was just along for the ride. So all you writers out there, be vigilant! You never know when your next book idea will smack you in the face.

Buy a tie dye.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks


  1. * bflyzone says:

    Just wanted to let you guys know, I did not hate The Gilded Web. It is a very good, though sometimes frustrating, read. I was disappointed because it wasn’t what I expected, but it was the catalyst for my writing career. I will always be grateful.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 4 months ago
  2. * Kate Patrick says:

    You remind me of myself in the fact that I couldn’t find any books that “got down to business” until way back in the book, so I decided to write one with lots of hot scenes! Is your book available in a Nook format? I want it. Loved your excerpt.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 4 months ago
    • * bflyzone says:

      Smashwords is “reviewing” it for the premium catalog. If it makes the catalog, which I followed all the directions to get it in, it should be available in any format you want. Thanks so much for your interest! You have no idea how happy it makes me.

      | Reply Posted 8 years, 4 months ago

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: