Titles – Often the Hardest Part of the Whole Book

Image purchased from Adobe Stock

Image purchased from Adobe Stock

If you’ve ever tried your hand at writing advertising copy or even had to come up with a title for a paper in school, you’ll understand how difficult today’s blog challenge topic is.

“How I Choose a Book Title”

It’s such a seemingly innocent, easy answer. But that’s like calling a crocodile gentle.

I don’t have a set process for picking my titles, but I’m going to try to break the basic idea into steps:

  1. Working title – I usually start out with some idea of what the book is going to be called, even if it’s really rough. Been Searching for You was called Romance all the way through the end of the first draft because I couldn’t think of anything better. Morgan’s Story and Isolde’s Story are called just that right now. However, when I’m lucky, like with Madame Presidentess, the book idea comes with its title and it doesn’t change. But that doesn’t happen often. When I don’t know, I go with instinct or anything that makes sense. At that point, I’m the only one who sees it and only a handful of people hear it, anyway.
  2. Research – I always look on Amazon to see if a book with my title already exists, and if it does, if it is in the same genre. If not, I go with it. If it does, I look to see if I think readers will get it confused with others. (Have you ever tried to search for a book called Hide without knowing the author? There are like a million. That’s the situation I’m trying to avoid.) Been Searching for You got its title after someone else beat me to publishing a book called He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not (which was its second working title). But that turned out to be a good thing because its current title fits the book better.
  3. Marketability Polling – Once I come up with a solid idea that isn’t already taken, I ask a few reader friends what they think. They have a pretty good barometer for what resonates with readers and what is pretty snooze-worthy. I’m going for something that will grab you and tell you something about the book. One of my pet peeves is titles that don’t have anything to do with anything. Like Twilight. What the hell does that have to do with vampires? Nothing frustrates me more than finishing a book and not understanding the title.
  4. Cover Art – I’m usually certain of the title by the time I get to this point, but seeing it on the cover is the clincher for me.
  5. Series – Series are difficult because you want all the book titles to tie together somehow. That makes it easier for readers to know the books are all connected. For example, I knew way back when I started my Guinevere books I wanted the titles to be in the format of “x of y.” Book 1 was originally called Guinevere of Northgallis. When I decided that was too boring, I held a poll of blog readers and also consulted my best friend. Somehow, all of that resulted in Daughter of Destiny. I wanted Book 2 to be called Queen of Camelot, but there’s already a book with that title, so I settled for the very similar Camelot’s Queen. Book 3 has always been called Mistress of Legend. I just liked it because it evokes something we all know about Guinevere (that she was unfaithful to Arthur) and ties in the idea of an enduring legend. Similarly, I’m hoping to have all of the Chicago Soulmates books have titles that tie in the idea of searching/finding/looking, etc. that started with Been Searching for You.

I know some people take a line from the book as the title, but I haven’t had any yet that sound like they’d make good titles. I’m sure traditional publishing houses have their own scientific methods to make book titles attractive. If anyone ever finds out what they are, please let me know!

Authors, how do you choose your book titles? Readers, what makes a book title appealing to you? If you had to rename any of my books, what would you call them? Ideas for Isolde and/or Morgan’s book titles?

Music as Muse

untitled-1Appropriate timing for this week’s blog challenge: Music to Write By, as I was just a guest on Roz Morris’ Undercover Soundtrack earlier this week, talking about songs that inspire my books.

I’m also participating in the #authorlifemonth challenge on Instagram, where a few days ago the topic was writing music.

Each of my books has a playlist, which you can listen to on Youtube:

But when a scene doesn’t have a specific song, I fall back on about a dozen or so movie scores that always work for me (see picture on the right). I love listening to movie scores for a few reasons: 1) I can’t listen to music with lyrics when I write; it’s too many words in my brain at once, 2) they have built in moments of emotion and drama due to the storylines they go along with, and 3) I see stories in my head when I hear classical music. Even if I know what scene a song goes with, often my mind gives the music a totally different story. In this way, the music acts as inspiration.

A few others not pictured that I love:

  • The Last of the Mohicans
  • Becoming Jane
  • The Dutchess
  • North & South (BBC 2004)
  • Mansfield Park (1999)
  • Jane Eyre (2011)
  • Northanger Abbey
  • Wuthering Heights
  • Cider House Rules
  • Chocolat
  • Pretty much anything scored by Alexandre Desplat, Rachel Portman or Nico Muhly

What is your favorite music to listen to? Do you like film scores? If so, which ones? Do you imagine songs to go with your favorite books? If so, what’s on your list?

PS – Yes, I skipped last week’s blog challenge. I was busy and it was about hobbies – I don’t really have any outside of reading, writing book reviews, and research, which are related to my writing. 🙂

Madame Presidentess Awarded Indie B.R.A.G. Medallion

brag-medallionI am super excited to announce that Madame Presidentess has been awarded the Indie B.R.A.G. medallion for excellence in independent fiction. Camelot’s Queen was given this honor last year.

The B.R.A.G. medallion is one of a handful of honors that attempts to distinguish the best of independently  published books in an effort to help readers weed through the glut of books and showcase the professionalism and excellence of certain works. It differs from programs like Library Journal’s SELF-e program in that it is not run by a particular organization within the publishing field, but rather by readers.

The Undercover Soundtrack – Nicole Evelina

My Memories of a Future Life

redpianoupdate-3The Undercover Soundtrack is a series where I host a writer who uses music as part of their creative environment – perhaps to connect with a character, populate a mysterious place, or hold a moment still to explore its depths. This week my guestis award-winning historical fiction and contemporary romantic novelist Nicole Evelina @nicoleevelina

Soundtrack by Sting, Fever Ray, The Civil Wars, Black Veil Brides

Every one of my books has a theme song/album – music without which the book never would have been written.

Capturing the essence of a legend

the-undercover-soundtrack-nicole-evelina-1The theme song to the Guinevere’s Tale trilogy is “ Thousand Years by Sting. This song came out just weeks after I began writing Daughter of Destiny, the first book in the series. There is something about the cyclical sound of the melody that calls to mind reincarnation, the thousands of versions and re-tellings Arthurian legend…

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‘Cyclical melodies, beginnings and endings’ – Nicole Evelina

A little preview of what you will see tomorrow in longer format…

My Memories of a Future Life

redpianoupdate-3I had a hard time this week picking just one pull quote to represent my guest’s work. She’s a writer of two halves – historical romantic fiction and contemporary romance. And she’s now also venturing into biographical historical fiction as well. The common thread is always music. A song by Sting that evoked for her a sense of an untold angle for the Arthurian legend. Or a friend who recommended music by The Civil Wars that gave her the opening and closing lines of a modern romance. What could be more fitting with Valentine’s just around the corner? Drop by tomorrow for the Undercover Soundtrack of Nicole Evelina.

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Meet My BFF: Courtney Marquez

Photo credit: Eli Marquez

Photo credit: Eli Marquez

The blog challenge for this week is “Meet My Best Friend.” That would be fellow writer Courtney Marquez. We actually met through our day job (we work for the same company, but in different states), but quickly found out we share a love of all things books and writing. That was in 2009 and we’ve been friends ever since. We’re even planning on writing a book together. (I think that’s on the schedule for 2019.)

What’s one thing you’d like all our readers to know about you?
I’m going to tell you one thing which will give you some context for my answers to the other questions. I’m a pretty curious, nosy if I’m honest, person. I tend to have wide and varying interests. I like everything from R&B to bluegrass. Romantic comedy to foreign films. Classic literature to popular fiction. So, just keep that in mind as I answer!

Favorites:

  • Book
    It’s like picking which child is my favorite! I guess I’ll go with the book which has had staying power with me. L.M. Montgomery’s Anne series has been a long time favorite. Each book has been more meaningful at different times in my life. However, as a young girl, Anne proved I wasn’t as odd as some may have led me to believe.
  • Author
    Hmmm. I have a few authors where I pre-order their next book as soon as I hear about it. Like, I squeal when I find out the next book has a publication date and an Amazon page where I can go and say “take all my money!” Sooooo, I guess right now I’d say C.S. Harris is at the top of my list. Or maybe Deana Raybourn? But, who can forget Michelle Moran? Okay, I’m totally cheating and we all know it. C.S. Harris it is. And, just for your edification, her next book in the St. Cyr series comes out in March. Oh, I forgot about Margaret George…
  • TV show
    Honestly, I don’t get a whole lot of time for the TV. But, when I want comfort TV, I always go back to Friends. My family can quote them line and episode.
  • Movie
    I’m going with staying power on this one as well. Time is limited with kids and a busy life, so keeping up with movies is tough. I think I’d have to say Die Hard with a Vengeance. It’s Jeremy Irons, what can I say?
  • Color
    Rainbow! I love all colors. They all represent different emotions and memories for me. I gravitate toward blues and greens though.
  • Flower
    Gerber daisies for sure. They are so happy!
  • Food
    We have a saying in my family. “Do I look picky?” We love food! However, I think my favorite is probably this mustard cream sauce over chicken that I make. It’s amazing and only takes 20 minutes to make.

Tell us about your family.
I come from a pretty tight knit nuclear family. My mom, dad, younger sister and I moved a lot due to my dad’s job in the Air Force. When you move every four years and the only constant are those people, it really makes a bond. I have since moved to my parent’s hometown and get to live near a fairly large extended family. I’m married to a wonderful partner. We have two children. Kailen who will be 18 this year and graduates high school in May. And Eli who is 9, going on 25.

What do you do now and what do you want to be when you grow up?
I am currently a brand manager for a fairly large health care organization. When I was little, I had no idea what any of that even meant! For a few years, I wanted to be a marine biologist who studied sharks. Then it dawned on me that I wasn’t great at the STEM subjects. I have always loved to read, so I majored in English Literature. “Maybe a professor,” I thought. I may still be deciding what I want to be when I grow up! Ha!

What are your hobbies?
Reading and reading. I also listen to a lot of podcasts while I do housework or computer work. I’m going to add my kids to this list as well. It’s where I am in life right now.

I know you’ve traveled all over the place. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Visiting is one thing. Living is whole other deal. I think living someplace really gives you a chance to understand a culture and the people. I LOVED living in Cairo in college. LOVED it. I’d go back there in a heartbeat. I loved the people. I loved the crazy activity of that huge city. I loved the mixture of modern and ancient.

What’s your guilty pleasure?
Since we’re all friends here, I guess I’ll tell you. I love stroopwafels. They are this amazing little caramel treat from the Netherlands. You can sit the cookie-like creation on the top of your mug of tea or coffee and the caramel inside gets all soft.

If you could only read one genre of books for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
This might actually kill me. Go back to the first question for a reminder about why. I’m sitting here looking at my bookshelves and it’s so hard to decide. I guess I’d probably have to say historical fiction. Ugh. So hard.

What first attracted you to me? Or what do you remember about the day we met?
We sat next to each other at a large meeting. We had to do one of those awkward ice breakers to get to know everyone at the table. You said you were writing a book. That cinched it for me. You were too cool for school.

What do you think has kept us friends? (Read: How in the world do you put up with me?)
I’m always on the lookout for people who will challenge me or look at the world differently. We have some key similarities, but we’re very different. I think that keeps the friendship fresh and interesting. We challenge each other, but in an encouraging way.

Thank you, my dear! Be sure to check out Courtney’s blog and say hi in the comments below.

An Open Letter to the New York Times Book Review

nytbrLast week, the New York Times Book Review announced they are eliminating several of their bestseller lists. Here’s the original article from Publisher’s Weekly. This will have profound effects on many authors, especially indie and genre writers. I emailed the following letter to the editors this morning. It not only expresses my opinions on this issue, but also voices my (possibly far-fetched) hope that they will someday add coverage of indie authors to their pages. 

As both a long-time reader of the New York Times Book Review and an author, I have to say I am dismayed at the recent move of the NYT Book Review to remove many of the bestseller lists, especially the ebook lists. As an indie author who, due to the nature of my mode of publishing, is not carried in big name book stores, that is my only hope for ever hitting your lists. And I do plan to be on them. I still hold the moniker of New York Times Bestselling Author in high regard.

Whether you mean to or not, this move alienates a lot of authors, both indie and traditionally published, who rely on ebook and mass market lists to “earn our letters.” You are hurting traditionally published authors who are in digital-first or digital-only contracts, an increasingly common practice at major publishers, especially in the romance and other genre markets. In the traditional publishing world, foreign rights, bonuses, movie rights, and the money an author can demand on his/her next contract are often determined by making your lists. By eliminating many options, you are hobbling the very people you should be supporting.

In addition, readers are increasingly choosing ebooks over hardbacks/trade paperbacks for convenience and cost reasons, so you are essentially saying their buying choices don’t matter. Not to mention that eliminating the ebook and mass market paperback lists smacks of elitism and of a digging in/siding with the old guard traditional publishing industry in an era when prestigious publications like the NYT should be opening up to new modes of publishing.

Here’s the thing. Indie publishing isn’t the free-for-all mess it used to be. I, and many other indie authors like me, apply the same levels of rigor and professionalism to the production of our books as traditional houses – at least in part due to the hopes of selling enough to make your lists. We spend thousands of dollars of our own money on professional proofreading, editing, cover design and marketing. Yes, there are still those who slap their books on Createspace/Amazon without a second thought, but there are also low quality books produced by traditional houses. There will always be outliers.

We are no longer the authors who “couldn’t make it” in the traditional industry. Many indie authors are former traditionally published authors who have grown frustrated with increasingly anti-author contract terms and/or the antiquated slowness of the industry in an age of print on demand. Some are “hybrid authors” who publish some things traditionally, and some independently. Others, like me, have never been traditionally published and made the choice to go indie in order to control our work – our covers, our editing, our marketing, how/where our books are published – so that we are free to write the books we choose, rather than struggle with an editorial/publishing house agenda or idea of what will sell.

If you need proof that indies are professionals, look to the SELF-e Select books endorsed by Library Journal as the best of independently published books, or to the Indie BRAG Medallion honorees, who are put through a rigorous quality process before being honored. (Full disclosure: all of my books are SELF-e Select and one has earned the Indie BRAG Medallion.) Groups like the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLI) and Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) promote best practices among indie authors and reward those who produce high quality work. We’re trying to make our corner of the publishing industry better. We may not have traditional gatekeepers, but we want our best work to shine at a national level and make the same lists as our traditional counterparts.

That is why I am asking you to not only reinstate the ebook and mass market lists, but to cover indie books as well as traditionally published in your pages. There is room. Readers have written in before expressing dismay with the seemingly random essay/editorial/opinion sections that don’t adhere to what this publication is about: reviewing books. And I agree. Perhaps you can replace those with an indie book section. I’m not even asking for a weekly section, though that would be ideal; it could be monthly like your column that faces the back page that covers debuts or other groupings of books.

To date, the only indie authors I have seen your publication cover are those who were later picked up by traditional publishers. I’m happy for them, but they are the exception, rather than the rule, in our community. It would send a strong message of support to ALL authors if the NYT Book Review were to recognize indie authors and show you understand the changing nature of the publishing industry by keeping lists that allow a wider range of authors to be honored for outstanding work.

Sincerely,

Nicole Evelina
St. Louis, MO

If you agree or have your own opinions on this issue, I urge you to contact the NYT Book Review at books@nytimes.com. I’d also love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Mea Culpa! My Top 5 Common Writing Mistakes

Quick Writing Update
I’m busy working away on my non-fiction book on Guinevere – three research books away from writing. I’m going to try to do my own cover and format that myself. Right now I’m thinking a summer release. I’m also researching for Mistress of Legend. I already have some great new ideas on how to improve the draft I have. I’ll probably be writing on that one in late February. I’ll get back to more book-related blog posts around that time.

I’ve also decided to take a break from social media (Facebook and Twitter) for a while. It’s just not fun right now with all the political stuff. I’ll still be on my FB author page, Instagram and Pinterest, if you want to interact. If nothing else, this will give me more time to read/write.

On to the Blog
This week’s blog challenge is “Sorry, Editor! My Common Writing Mistakes.” No one is perfect (even though I like to think I am). No matter how hard I try, there are some mistakes that I make over and over again. My poor editor and proofreader are probably so sick of them. To compile this list, I went back and looked at previous edits to see what they pointed out.

  1. Comma splice – This is by far my most frequent offense. My proofreader is probably sick of writing “Comma splice. Em dash or ellipsis recommended if you want to pause for effect.” Here’s an example of a line I did wrong: “We didn’t have much experience seeking out the spirits; usually they came to us, and privately at that.” It should be “usually they came to us – and privately at that.” I seem to think commas are enough of a pause when they don’t really function the way I think they do in these cases.
  2. “Was” phrases – Because I write in past tense, I have a tendency to say things like “I was walking to the door when it suddenly opened from the other side.” Many times that can be better phrased as “I walked to the door…” The “was” makes the sentence more passive. I have to break myself of that habit.
  3. Forgetting “had” – Again, because I write in past tense, I sometimes forget that when you are talking about the past in a past-tense book, you need to use “had” to indicate the action took place in the past. For example: “My suggestion of a theme had come at the end of a long brainstorming session…” My tendency is to want to write “My suggestion for a theme came at the end…”
  4. Redundant phrases – I think a lot of people have problems with this, partly because of the way we speak. It’s common now to say things like “she was just a tiny little thing.” You really don’t need both “tiny” and “little” since they both mean the same thing. My most common mistake here is “sit down on the chair.” Where else are you going to sit, but down? You can sit up, but when you’re talking about being seated, down is the only way you can go, so you don’t really need that word.
  5. Typos/misspellings – I used to be an okay speller, but as I’ve gotten older and learned to rely on spell check, I’ve gotten bad at it. Part of it is because we don’t always say words the same way they are spelled. Plus, there are some words I have a mental block against, like “convenient.” Typos are more of an early draft thing, but sometimes they make it into the published book. (Eeeeek!) Missing words tend to be most prevalent, I guess because I’ve read it so many times I see it as it is supposed to be rather than how it is. Also, my brain moves faster than my fingers so sometimes not all the words make the transition from mind to keyboard. I seriously love readers who point out the typos they see so I can get them fixed.

Plus, every writer has tics that show up in a book. In Madame Presidentesss, everyone smiled and nodded a lot. In Been Searching for You, people pointed with things a lot – pens, forks, etc. In Daughter of Destiny, I kept emphasising Morgan’s red hair to the point that my editor commented something like, “OMG, she has red hair. We get it.” Whoopsie.

 We all write in some form or another, whether it’s in email, social media, blogs, for our jobs or for books. What are some of your bad habits? Please tell me I’m not alone!

Gimme More! Shows I Binge-Watch

I don’t watch much TV. In fact, the only reason I even own a TV is to see weather reports during tornado season and traffic reports in the winter. I have turned into my college English professor (he didn’t own a TV, which at the time we thought was crazy). I prefer to use the time to read, research or write.

Needless to say, I don’t have cable. The few shows I do watch are through Amazon Prime on my Kindle Fire.

orphan-black-image-orphan-black-36398134-1280-920Orphan Black (BBC America)
I wasn’t sure what this show was about for the longest time, so I avoided it, but one of my co-workers finally convinced me to watch it and I was immediately hooked. I won’t say what the main plot point is in case you haven’t seen it yet, but I can confidently say, there is nothing else like it on TV. I mean, the lead actress (Tatiana Maslany) literally plays 14 characters and she is so good that you forget that they aren’t actually different people. I binged the first two seasons over a single weekend. Starting with season three, I had to watch week to week just like everyone else. Unfortunately, the upcoming season is its last. Should be a good one because they have so many questions left to answer and loose ends to tie up. But they better not kill off Cosima. If they do, the fans will revolt. Or at least I will.

Mozart in the Jungle (Amazon Original)
mozartI love this show because not only is the writing fabulous, the acting is great and the music is amazing. An intelligent show that promotes the arts! FINALLY! And who would have thought the symphony could be so scandalous? The show is based on a book, which was based on real-life. If I ever get the chance, I want to read it. I need to add it to Goodreads.

I watched the whole first season in one weekend. The second was pretty much the same. I was worried when the third season started in December that it might be getting a little old, but the writers are doing better than ever. I will watch as many seasons as they can keep witty and fresh. Any show with Bernadette Peters is worth watching in my book, and Gael García Bernal (Rodrigo) and Lola Kirke (Haley) have become two of my new favorites. Saffron Burrows fascinates me for some reason, and even Malcom McDowell grew on me. This one is a must watch for any classical music or theatre lover!

Good Girls Revolt (Amazon Original)
good-girls-revolt-tv-show-on-amazon-season-1-canceled-or-renewedThis show follows a group of women working at the fake publication News of the Week in the late 1960s. They decide to secretly band together to file a gender discrimination suit against the magazine because they aren’t allowed to become reporters. Only men can be reporters; women are stuck as their researchers and don’t get bylines even if they rewrite the articles and/or do most of the work. The general plot is based on real events at Newsweek that changed women’s roles in the workplace across the country. But the producers admit to taking lots of liberties (probably the sex and drugs) with the characters. It’s a really great period show and I’m glad it introduced me to actress Genevieve Angelson (who plays Patti), whom I now adore. Amazon shocked fans of this show by cancelling it, even though it is one of their highest rated originals ever. I will never understand that decision. But I also can’t say I HAD to have another season. I enjoyed this one – watched it in 2 or 3 days – but toward the end it was getting a little much.

Murder in the First (TNT)
mitf_s2_g_coverI started watching this police procedural because Kathleen Robertson is in it and she’s my inspiration for Mia in Been Searching for You. I was also interested because Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter) was in the first season and I hadn’t seen him in any other role at the time. Man, can he ACT! One of the unique things about this show is that each season follows a different major murder case from start to finish. The first was about a tech billionaire (Felton), the second about a school shooter (with a subplot about a drug dealer) and the third was about a drinking and driving hit and run involving the DA. And just as I was writing this, I found out there won’t be a fourth season. Excuse me while I go sit in the corner and cry. This was one of the best shows on TV! Please go back and watch it, especially the first season. That is some fabulous, edge-of-your-seating writing and wonderful acting.

I also really want to see Blindspot. I saw one episode on my flight back home from Oxford and was hooked. I just haven’t wanted to spend the money on it yet.

And I will watch any Property Brothers’ show when I’m at my parent’s house, but I haven’t gotten myself to buy any seasons yet.

These aren’t out yet, but I will be binge-ing them as soon as they start, just based on the pilot episode. All are Amazon Originals.

The Last Tycoon
the-last-tycoon-amazonBased on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s final book, this show “follows Monroe Stahr, Hollywood’s Golden Boy as he battles father figure and boss Pat Brady for the soul of their studio. In a world darkened by the Depression and the growing influence of Hitler’s Germany, The Last Tycoon illuminates the passions, violence and towering ambition of 1930s Hollywood.” I loved it because the sets, costumes and cinematography are top-notch and the storyline is utterly enthralling. I also have a thing for 1930s Hollywood/New York lately. Something about the glitz and glamour reels me in. The acting is great too, although I really want to introduce Lily Collins’ eyebrows to a pair of tweezers. My new fascination is Jessica De Gouw, who plays Minna, the late wife of the lead character. She’s going to be the inspiration for one of my characters someday; I can tell.

zZ: The Beginning of Everything
This show is based on the novel Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler, which tells the life story of Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald. While I liked the book, I LOVED the pilot of the show. I think it gives the story the drama and fun the book sometimes lacked. Oddly enough, I don’t normally like Christina Ricci, who is in the title role, but she is PERFECT for this role. Can’t wait to see more!

The Collection
collectionI haven’t even seen a pilot for this, but the trailer looks amazing. Here’s Amazon’s summary: “A gripping family drama and entrepreneurial fable, set in a post-war Paris fashion house. It exposes the grit behind the glamour of a rising business, spearheaded by two clashing brothers. The atelier staff survived one war, but others loom; rivalries and romances pitting family against family, protégés against mentors, the past against the future.” I love shows  about the fashion world (yes, I loved Project Runway when I had cable) even though I’m not particularly concerned with fashion in my own life. I’m hoping this is going to be a great period piece chock full of drama.

Highston
highstonJust when you thought I was all about serious or period shows, I throw this one at you. It’s about a boy named Highston (God, do I hate that name) who not only hears voices in his head, he sees them as celebrities and imagines them as his friends. In the pilot, it was Flea from The Red Hot Chilli Peppers. And OMG is this show hilarious. It’s also way too relatable for writers.

As I was gathering images for this post I also came upon Flesh and Bone, about ballet dancers, and Maison Close, about brothels and prostitutes in late 19th century France. May have to give those a binge as well.

What are your binge-worthy shows? What else do I need to see?