Hi Gracen, and thanks for having me here on your Blog again. I really enjoyed it.
Okay, let's get this ball rolling, shall we? My name is Diane Taylor and a few of you know that I did an interview with this wonderful lady a while back and I enjoyed every moment. She's a joy to have around, so be nice to her or else you'll really get immortalized...in a book. *evil grin.*
I started out writing stories when I was a kid. Heh, in those days it was called Book Reports. Mostly it was the research that dragged me into it. It was an escape from being the black sheep of the family and the low totem at school. I spent all my free time in the library either reading or finding tidbits of history to add to things. Would you believe I did a report on UFOs for a social science class? The teacher turned it into a us government type class. *snort* I managed to sneak a report on that topic in with US funding and how the two relate.
It took me a little bit to get to writing complete stories, though. Actually, I started doing dark and nightmarish poetry and compiling them in a notebook. It was fun, then my brain started clicking into gear. My first complete story was posted on a freebie erotic story site. Fanfiction, who would have thought it would be something like doing lusty things to Kiefer Sutherland would bring me into writing full time. But, yeah, he did...in a series of six stories which got pretty good reviews.
My husband is responsible for launching me into writing full time by bringing home a website. For one month, I could legally go insane while writing. That was National Novel Writing Month, NanoWrimo for short. http://www.nanowrimo.org/ In 2003, I actually did write Shadow Demon in three and a half weeks. Even my mother-in-law was impressed. BTW, yes, you can write a 50,000 novel in 30 days. You just have to remember to write 1,667 words a day. *evil grin*
I actually didn't have to submit my novel anywhere, one of my friends from a chat room told me about this Publishing company that was looking for fresh storylines. So, I talked with their editor and Shadow Demon became my very first published novel in May of 2004. A month later, Fallen Angel Reviews gave it it's first review. 5 angels out of 5.
Since then, I've changed publishing companies and am now writing for Firedrake's Weyr Publishing. http://www.firedrakesweyr.com/ I still am shocked at how little time has past. Since that first day I've written 10 novels. In 4 years, that's a lot of writing, but I still have a Muse that keeps me jumping with more ideas.
Writing is not rocket science, however a lot of people seem to think that once you finished your book, it magically gets published. Au contrair, mon ami. That is farthest from the truth. Trust me. First there's the contract to sign, then the edits, and the secondary edits, then you get to work with the cover artists to make your book stand out in a crowd. Once that's done, then there's the blurbs and exerpts for promotional purposes. So yeah, writing it is just the tip of the iceberg.
Ideas for stories can come from anywhere. A movie, a picture in a magazine, even simply walking down the street. Shadow Demon evolved out of a tiny origami crane made out of a Starburst fruit Chew wrapper. It was, to me, an assassin's calling card. Merlion's Pleasure was formed out of watching Pirates of the Caribbean way too many times. The possibilities are endless.
I'm a seat of the pants writer, by the way. Trying to do the structured Outline thing only had me throwing the notepad across the room. Seat of the pants writer simply means that We Don Need No Steenking Outline. You just sit down and the storyline writes itself. No fuss, no muss. That's how I work. But be warned, many arguements will ensue when you start this. Your characters will want you to go left or right and you want them to go straight. Heh, be prepared to negotiate, it works better that way.
For now, I'm strictly an E-book writer. A lot of people get that strange look on their face and go, "What's that?" so I wind up explaining and then the lightbulb goes on. You'd be suprised at how many people still get confused about e-books. I prefer a good paperback in my hands, but my books sell pretty good as they are. Hmmm...one day...
A lot of people go, "Why paranormal romance?" I say, "Because it's the one genre that you can truly turn even the most mundane item and turn it into a a paranormal story."
Think about it. The loose thread on your shirt could easily turn out to be a strand of a rare tapestry that would give you the exact location to Atlantis and unlock ancient treasures. One problem, everyone wants it, including the ghostly guardians who are trying to keep that knowledge from being used. Or a single grain of rice that is could become the final key to unlock the one force that would cause the end of the world... and its in a locket around the neck of a woman who really has no idea what she has when suddenly a guy pops in and... *grinning* I'll let you figure that one out. hehehe
Basically I tell people that I write about things that go bump in the night...and the women who love them. I mean, who wouldn't want to get ravished by a very handsome hunk, then dragged off through an adventure of a lifetime??
When I'm not tormenting my characters with nefarious possibilities, I'm reading books by my favorite authors, Christine Feehan, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Laurell K. Hamilton, Mercedes Lackey and Anne McCaffery. Oh, and Robin D. Owens and Jayne Castle. Hehehe, I have more but it would take more time than I have today for that.
Either that or I'm watching movies on Starz and Encore. I just wish one of my books could get put into production for a feature film so I could say, "Yeah, I did that." But I'm content... for now.
For those of you who are just starting out or thinking of writing a book, don't give up. Don't ever put your ideas or dreams on a shelf because you think you're not good enough, or that someone told you that your story will never sell. Don't let anything stand in the way of what you want to do. If you get rejected by one publishing company, keep sending in query letters or talking with companies. There will be something out there for you, I promise. And don't stop with just trade paperbacks either. E-Book publishers are always on the lookout for more than just the regular stuff. Look into that angle as well.
We are all our own worst critics, people. We look at the manuscript we've written and go, "What a load of Crap!" but a publisher will see the diamond in the rough and go, "Wow! This is good stuff." Keep at it, because that crystal you think is flawed, could actually become a crowning achievement.
For me, there's a wonderful thrill the first time I get a contract for my books. The second thrill is seeing the book with my name on it up on the New Release list. That's the cake...the icing on the top is when the reviews come through. And, if you're like me, the strawberry at the top of the pile is getting one of your books chosen as a Top Pick for the month by a reviewer. Just like Beltane Fire was for me.:http://dianet-write.weebly.com/beltane-fire.htmlhttp://paranormalromance.org/blog/2008/08/reviewers-top-picks-august-2008_30.html
My most recent work, Mystique Rogue, is a re-release, but I still enjoy reading it every chance I get. It's not for small eyes to be reading as it is a Dark, erotic shapeshifting novel and there's more than a few graphically explicit themes within. It was actually fun to write and I couldn't decide which handsome hunk to take home at the end of the book...then I thought, 'Why should I have to choose?' so I took em both home.
By the way, if you're wondering, yes I do have picturesque inspiration for my leading man. In Shadow Demon, it was Oded fehr, in Wassail Woes, Sam Elliot, Beltane Fire was Michael Flatley, MerLion's Pleasure had the honor of Gerard Butler's visage... from the movie Attila, you get the idea. Mystique Rogue was Gerard Butler... and Adrian Paul *get the drool rags, ladies, no need to short out the keyboards* I have a file on my computer called Handsome Hunks. I get a feel for what my main man is going to look like and I go rummaging until I find the right guy...then I actually use it as desktop wallpaper. Of course, I have to change the looks so that I don't get into trouble, but.. well.. you get the idea.
Well, my Muse is getting me into trouble again. I'd best get back to work on my latest, Dancing with Death. I can't tell you what it's about because it's not under contract, but I can tell you that a very young Mickey Rourke is my inspiration... *think Wild Orchid or 9 1/2 Weeks young*
For those of you who want to talk, you can keep in touch by either e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or you can join my Google group: http://groups.google.com/group/order-of-demented-dreamers
Or you can see my blog: http://paranormal-minds.blogspot.com/
And last but not least, you can check out my books on my website: http://dianet-write.weebly.com and http://www.firedrakesweyr.com/
Until next time,
Be sure to check back on Saturday for our Weekly Contest, as Diane will be giving away a copy of one of her books to one lucky winner!
Disclaimer: The views expressed by the guest blogger do not necessarily reflect those of The Deadly Vixens.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Hi Gracen, and thanks for having me here on your Blog again. I really enjoyed it.