Hello ladies! It's Pandem again, with another wonderful interview!
This week I'm interviewing Shelli Stevens. Shelli is the president of the Seattle chapter of Romance Writers Of America (RWA) and a writer herself. She has several books out there right now, and Dangerous Grounds and Tempting Adam soon to be released in print from Samhain Publishing. Shelli, who calls herself "the author your mother warned you about," lives in the Pacific Northwest with her young daughter, where she is President of her local RWA (Romance Writers of America) chapter. She currently writes for Kensington Publishing, Samhain Publishing, and Cobblestone Press and is represented by literary agent Laura Bradford from the Bradford Literary Agency. When not writing, Shelli enjoy music, reading, being outdoors, exercising, and spending time with her family and friends.
And now. . .hang on, loading up the Question Gun. . .okay. . .and now, the interview!
How did you get interested in reading romance novels?
I stole one off my mom's bookshelf when I was about eleven. Read it straight through with wide eyes. Was a bit shocked and instantly addicted. Went right back to the shelf and grabbed another.
How long have you been in RWA? How long have you been president?
I've been in RWA for seven years now. This is my second year as president and fourth year on the board.
What are your duties as chapter president?
Declare war, veto bad...oh, wait. Wrong pres. Let's see, keep the chapter running smoothly and working with my fellow board members. Be active on the loops, run meetings, help m.c. during conferences, help oversee the conference committee is working out well, gosh there's a lot.
What's your favourite part of the job?
I adore getting to know everyone in the chapter and being so involved. I'm a classic over-volunteerer.
What's your least-favourite part?
It's a bit of a time suck, but obviously I'm willing :)
The romance market is a crowded field, to put it mildly. Do you have any advice for authors on how they can make their books stand out?
I would say....don't be afraid to take a chance. The book I finally sold to NY was one several agents turned down for being somewhat controversial. But my editor snapped it right up. It was a book I wrote that was just burning up inside me. And I knew it was pushing the limits, but it was so fun and exciting I had to do it.
Has reading romantic fiction had any effect on your real-life romances?
Hmm. Probably given me way too high of standards for men. Though I'm getting better. And I think reading too many HQ Presents growing up gave me unrealistic expectations about how an unplanned/unwed pregnancy can turn out. I'm a single mom now. *Grin*
This blog centers around paranormal romance. Are you a fan of that genre, and if so, do you have any particular favourites?
I do enjoy paranormal romance! I enjoy shifter books quite a bit, and am thrilled to be in the upcoming Sexy Beast VIII. I'm generally not a big fan of vampires (blood/puncture wounds *shudder*) but I LOVED the Twilight series. It really was like crack.
What are the benefits of becoming a member of RWA?
It's a really great support group, valuable information, and what I personally find the best part is the local chapter community. I get the most out of that, and know many people feel the same.
What genres of romance do your members like to read/write?
Our members read and write across the board. Romantic Suspense, Urban Fantasy, Futuristic, Erotic Romance, Category. You name it. We're a hugely diverse and talented chapter. I'm so proud to be a part--let alone the president--of the Seattle chapter!
What does your chapter do for fun? Other than dancing all night? (NOTE: I first met Shelli, and several other members of the Seattle RWA, at a dance after a writer's conference. We danced until the place closed down, and I can personally vouch for Shelli's mad dancing skills.)
LOL that dancing--Club Muse during the conference--was a first for us. We also have our monthly meetings, sometimes do lunch after, and of course the holiday party and the conference. We're thinking about getting some fun field trips in.
Any messages for the DV fans out there?
Keep reading and writing. Reading, because without readers we writers would be nothing. And writers, well we all need more good books to read!
If you enjoyed this interview, feel free to check out Shelli's site at http://www.shellistevens.com/!
Our thanks to Shelli for doing this interview, and happy writing to her and all of the DV fans. Till next time,
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Hello ladies! It's Pandem again, with another wonderful interview!
Friday, January 30, 2009
I want to crow ;-) about something before I begin...Friend and fellow author, Kenzie Michaels, received a publishing contract for her upcoming release, All She Ever Wanted. Sorry, Kenzie, I'm drawing a blank on the publishing house that contracted it. But I did want to shout out: "Hell yeah!" and "Congratulations!"
The Crow. What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the Crow? For me, aside from the black birds that scavenge, it was the mystical belief that they are omens of death.
In my writing, I needed a mystical creature that could deliver a riddle from a higher power about the future. So, I started researching and quickly became fascinated by the Crow. Similar to the Raven it appears in mythology as a soothsayer, as a creator and cleanser and as omens of death. Okay, so I wasn’t completely wrong, but neither did I know near all of it.
Among the North America tribes the Crow was considered as the guardian of the sacred law that could see not only the past, but the present and the future. Ah, so a soothsayer that could easily be used in my story to deliver a riddle about future events.
In Celtic lore, the battle goddess Morrigan would shapeshift into either a crow or a raven and they were both seen as allies and companions.
Scottish folklore said the crow had 27 different sounds and each one of them correlated to an occasion, foretelling anything from coming guests to good fortune to an imminent death. Truly I found this fascinating and wanted to learn more about the 27 different cries. By the way, the number 27 was derived from the magical 3 x 9 derivative.
To the Greek, the crow was considered an unlucky warning. In fact, while crows were sacred to the Greek goddess Athene, she refused to allow them to perch atop the roof of Acropolis in Athens because they were omens of death. Even though they were considered omens of death, it did not prevent the Greek god Apollo from shapeshifting into a crow when he fled Typhon.
Medieval bestiaries saw the crow as birds of parental devotion and it was said that the crow led the migration of storks. Medieval Christians thought the crow was a sign of the devil because of its scavenging conduct, but it was also an icon of fidelity because it was thought that crows did not seek a new mate when its mate died. Magical properties were given to the crow as well, which included the skill to foretell the future, dismantle the past and to educate humans about how to mix humor, playfulness and love.
Interesting lore—or so I thought—was the Australian aboriginal legend. I found it in The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures, written by John & Caitlin Matthews © 2008:
“In Australian aboriginal legend, Crow, along with Tortoise and Frog, dissented in the corroboree (gathering) that suggested that Kangaroo and Emu, and Dingo and Goanna should mate. The animals fell to fighting but when they grew hungry, pelicans dived for fish to feed them and a fire was started to cook them. Crow warned them that to cook fish away from where they had been caught was illegal and the animals began to argue. Frog threw his voice to make it sound as if Crow was insulting Kangaroo, so confusing the other animals that they fell out even more and decided for ever after to have their own languages.”All of this was a far cry from the 1994 movie, The Crow. In it, the lead character comes back as an undead entity bent on avenging his and his fiancée’s murder. Entertaining, yeah, and maybe he was loosely considered an omen of death, but he was really the cause of the death of those that murdered him and his fiancée. It was revenge and nothing more.
So, what do you think? Do you believe in the magical elements of Crows? For me, I don’t know, but I do know I had fun using the crow as a magical creature that showed up, shapeshifted into a beautiful woman with birdlike qualities and clothing made of feathers.
I hope everyone has an awesome weekend!
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Please welcome K.T. Bishop who will be chatting today about his debut: How to Cure a Cajun Cold and other things in an interview he did with himself. =)
Q: Thought Picking Cotton was going to be your debut this fall?
K.T.: It was, and I wrote a short free read for Red Rose Publishing. Then, the Cold took off unexpectedly and we went opted to release that first. I wasn't mad. I am just thrilled to have something out there and a cover that's all my own.
Q: Does your attitude change about e-book trade, any advice to people?
A: Work hard at making the book well enough where a publisher would be interested. From there, prepare to spend a lot of time promoting the script online, at websites that has your genre. You can never do enough promoting. Believe me, I know.
Q: What's next for you?
A: I am doing a novella Interracial Basketball Series called Getting a Boot. It's about an Italian woman and black basketball player meeting in Rome taking off.
Q: Any teams you’re following?
A: Being a sports writer means lots of busy times covering football. What Alabama resident and former student isn't excited about the Crimson Tide being unbeaten. They need to beat Auburn, then Florida and probably Texas for the BCS national title. Roll Tide!
For those who want to purchase the book, go to this address:
Also, make sure to leave a comment in order to be entered to win, How to Cure a Cajun Cold. We'll be picking a winner late tonight.
**The Winner is Sandy! Please email us at email@example.com** Thank you!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Today we're having special guest, Skhye Moncrief, instead of myself blogging. Don't worry though! If you'd like to get your weekly fix of me, I'll be "covering" an... interesting topic over at my blog on condoms in romance novels.
Enjoy and leave plenty of comments for Skhye. She's a pleasure to have here with us.
Happy Hump Day!
I'd like to thank Deadly Vixens for inviting me over to chat today.
Yesterday, I learned my latest paperback, HAUNTED HEARTS, was available at amazon!
Looking for a book with a hunky kilted guy on the cover?
Remember, it's HUMP DAY!!!
HAUNTED HEARTS is a Time Guardian anthology containing
the novella SACRIFICIAL HEARTS, the novel NAKED ON THE STAIRCASE,
& the Time Guardian glossary from www.timeguardians.com.
I invite you to read the story blurbs...
a Time Guardian Valentines' tale
Alone, Twila Deeds tries to find her lost brother and stumbles upon a cult she believes is preparing to sacrifice her in a Valentines-Day sex ritual. She learns her brother has joined the cult and claims to be saving her by bringing her into the fold. She can't trust her brat brother, a selfish teen who never did anything for anyone. He's got to be dealt with. And she intends to dole out the punishment as revenge for his latest betrayal. Nor dare she trust the cult's gorgeous member who arrives to escort her to the cult's Scottish castle on his motorcycle. She's terrified of motorcycles. And the man forces her to climb aboard at gunpoint. After the terrifying motorcycle ride, she has no intention of falling victim to the sacrificial blade before her baby brother is served his just dessert.
But Illusion manifests as free will. (~1st Point of Time Travel)
Gerard Abercrombie can't seem to convince Twila that his time-travel brotherhood has only her welfare in mind before his patience wears thin. Time-travel Code will save him because only the fairies know what the future holds as the Gods send two SACRIFICIAL HEARTS racing toward their destiny.
Reviews for SACRIFICIAL HEARTS:
"Intense, original, suspenseful, and dramatic... an unpredictable, topsy-turvy romance... the suspense builds with every page. In a world where symbols mean everything, magic is the way... "Sacrificial Hearts" dramatically offers a romance that is both in and out of time... overall, a very fun read. " ~Snapdragon; LASR
"Have a thing for a tall, dark handsome man on a motorcycle? This is your book. I won't go into the details but Skhye Moncrief whips out and perfects her well-known worldbuilding skills in this story to perfection. It's well worth checking out. Cheers, Sky"~
"Skhye Moncrief mingles fantasy, and love with Scotland, could it get any better? With delightful feisty characters and a well laid out story line, Ms. Moncrief delivers a spectacular tale! A perfect read for Valentines Day that will warm your heart. 5 Hearts"
~Book Reviews by Crystal
NAKED ON THE STAIRCASE
a Time Guardian Halloween tale with a psychic vampire
A demon stalks Druidess Aron MacKintosh, trying to use her to gain control of the timeline in present-day Scotland. Time plows toward Samhain when the doorways open between the Now and the Happy Otherworld. She finds herself in a strange alliance with an unusual time guardian, Cowboy. The duo struggles to defeat the demon. If Cowboy can’t earn her trust, the integrity of the timeline could be endangered. Only Cowboy’s charm and southern idea of chivalry has what it takes to leave an ancient evil bound NAKED ON THE STAIRCASE.
Reviews for NAKED ON THE STAIRCASE:
"NAKED ON THE STAIRCASE is a complex time-travel fantasy that should appeal to lovers of the genre... huge fans of time-travel and alternative timeline stories. The characters were entertaining... Skhye Moncrief has written an interesting tale with an original plot and fantasy world."
~Manda; Dark Angel Reviews
But I had two releases this month!
Aside from HAUNTED HEARTS' release, on January 14th, my were-assassin Time Guardian novella was released. This book is about as hot as I could make a dark short paranormal tale without it writing erotica. The female were-wolf was what The Wild Rose Press was searching for. And then, they said hotter than hot. Well, it was a challenge. I wanted to write something like LadyHawke but based on what I studied in Medieval Literature.
So, THE SPELL OF THE KILLING MOON was born...
One must die so the other can live.
A werewolf and a time traveler’s carnal attraction becomes a curse
when she arrives in medieval England to kill him for turning against his time-travel brotherhood.
He must guard a relic. She doesn’t care if she gets in his way.
Druid Elspeth is a were-assassin sent to Cumberland to kill a renegade time guardian.
She never expected to find him her soul mate.
All she knows is she must stop Aidan Gordon from changing history.
The sexy powerful knight proves too tempting to refuse.
If his noble actions convince her he was wrongly accused,
she will be forced to haunt the frenzied wood
under THE SPELL OF THE KILLING MOON.
Reviews for THE SPELL OF THE KILLING MOON:
"Skhye Moncrief pens and interesting tale of shape-shifters, duty, honor and the undeniable power of love!
You don’t want to miss it!" ~Highland Lassie; Highland Lassie Reviews
All of my titles are available in e-format at:
So what is Skhye Moncrief all about?
Gaelic peoples! For the most part, that means kilts. And sexy legs. And big hunky guys. Oh, I forgot long hair. Those hunky kilted guys need long hair... My Time Guardians have magic swords-- time-travel keys that only work for the hunky kilted guy who was awarded the sword. Voila, sword-in-stone twist. How you ask? Well, the fairies give these keys to Time Guardians--Masonic knights from the future who travel through time as kamakazie bodyguards for their soul-mate wives, i.e. Druids who study history. And these swords can penetrate stone...
Okay, because of the soul-mate angle, anyone may be an incarnate of one of these Time Guardians, whether male or female. So, you may just wake up to find you're biggest fantasy unfolding around you. Anyway, that's not all of what Skhye Moncrief is about.
I'm formally educated in geology and archaeology. So, I tend to be a geek. Just check out my blog where I'm recording my reference library--just in case a big hurricane demolishes it. I might need to let the insurance company know what I need to restore! Hurricane Ike blew over last fall. I live in La Porte, TX, right next to Shoreacres. The drive through Shoreacres wasn't pretty... So, if you're into researching the paranormal, mythology, or history, check out my blog, http://blog.skhyemoncrief.com. You might find a reference book that will kick off your next best-seller. And if you're into contests, check out my blog too! I post everything there. If you enter a contest, subscribe to learn if you win!
As for contests, anyone who tells me the name of the heroine in HE OF THE FIERY SWORD, http://www.skhyemoncrief.com/Page_5.html, as a comment here today by midnight CST will be in the running to win a Celtic music CD, Loreena McKennitt's PASSPORT.
And don't forget to check out my dark paranormal free read, VOW OF SUPERSTITION: DRAGON'S BLOOD
http://tinyurl.com/aa7fyd. It's my only piece written in 1st person. And who wouldn't be interested in dragons, ladies, princes, and blood! It's as close to hot as one can get with a very short free read.
Thanks again for having me here, Deadly Vixens.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
No surprise that I’m psyched about my latest book release, Wicked Redemption , my second paranormal romance, and also a full contemporary. That’s right, no time travel, no historical or futuristic elements, although this one does get a little strange at times, but hey, it’s a paranormal. They’re supposed to get a bit weird. Just straight modern day paranormal.
People always ask me where I get my ideas. They really raise an eyebrow when I talk about paranormal ideas.
The idea for Wicked Redemption came from my usual asking myself “What if?”. What if a woman, Maggie Webb, possesses the ability to communicate with the dead? What if she hates that ability? What if her “gift” ruins everything good in her life? The hatred for her gift literally forms all that she is, molds her in such a way that her ability and her identity cannot be separated.
Enter Cole Turner, demon who comes back to Earth to seek revenge on the one woman who’s been interfering with his mission of stealing souls.
Guess who she is? Yup, poor, unsuspecting Maggie Webb.
How to make Cole fall in love with Maggie, the heroine whom he despises posed the biggest challenge for me. This was something that literally kept me up nights. And if a plot keeps me up, I never give up on the story. I can’t. My characters simply will not allow it.
Purchase Wicked Redemption as an E-book here:
Sunday, January 25, 2009
When I think about pitching, I always think about a baseball pitcher on the mound licking his hand, spitting on his mitt, in preparation for a good pitch. Then when he’s ready, he pitches the ball as hard as he can with a purpose of hitting the strike zone. What about in writing?
Of course there are preparations that must be done—a good story and (correct me if I’m wrong) spiel. What else?
But how exactly does an author pitch her story. If you’re in a conference, is there a pitching booth or do you wait until you see an agent then approach him. Or can you call a 1-800 number to make an appointment to pitch?
Maybe a lot of you are shaking your heads, or rolling your eyes because my questions sound amateurish. But, hey. I’ve learned that to know things, simple or complicated, you have to ask.:)
Having said that, is pitching another form of proposing a story?
Someday soon, I will pitch my own story. With your comments, I might be able to sell my story in one sitting. :D
brings you passion, love, romance...
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Welcome to the first interview by me, Pandem Buckner, former romance editor, for The Deadly Vixens! No, I am not a vixen (or a mixen, as I think a male vixen should be called), I just somehow got talked into doing this and the occasional guest blog. The Vixens can be very persuasive.
For my first victim, um, interviewee, I chose Zanoni Rose, whom I used to work with at The Wild Rose Press. She was very willing to give an interview and speak to everyone, so, without further ado, here's Zanoni!
1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Zanoni Rose. I work full time as an editor for The Wild Rose Press in both the historical and paranormal lines.
2. Tell us a bit about the publisher you edit for.
The Wild Rose Press is a romance publisher of ebooks and print books. We’ve been in business for two and a half years. We like to think of ourselves as the publisher that grows authors, because we not only work with the ones we publish, but we also provide detailed feedback to the writers we don’t accept for publication.
3. What makes you a good editor?
I like to think I’m good at finding errors, but also at finding ways to make a story be the best it can be.
4. When an author has you for an editor, what should they expect in terms of deadlines/corrections/reasons to fear you?
I like to work with quick turnaround times. I’d like to think I’m not someone to be feared, but someone who has the best success of the author in mind.
5. Why is your favourite manuscript, of those you've edited, your favourite?
I love it when an author takes several characters or subplots and weaves them together so that they are all tied up neatly at the end. Most of the books I’ve edited have at least some mystery element, so I’ve enjoyed working on them all.
6. Why is your least-favourite manuscript, of those you've edited, your least-favourite?
I don’t like having to add or remove a lot of punctuation. One other thing that annoys me is anachronisms – words or phrases that were not in use at the time of the story. This can happen in historicals or time-travel stories and it always throws me out of the story—and of course it has to be changed.
7. Do you have any particular editorial likes?
I like being able to concentrate on the story arc and not having to correct spelling, grammar or punctuation. In fact, I will no longer accept stories that need a lot of work. I like it when the author has taken the time to polish the manuscript.
8. Do you have any particular editorial dislikes/pet peeves?
I don’t like having to tell an author they need to take out elements that are not acceptable to our publishing house, such as rape or marital infidelity. I think an author needs to do enough research to know what is acceptable when they submit to a publisher.
9. Any advice for published authors or prospective authors?
You’ve probably heard this before, but I’d recommend you read, read, read in the line you are targeting. This helps you to know what we’re interested in buying, but also can give you clues about what we’re seeing a lot of and what may be a cliché.
10. What are your goals as an editor? Have you achieved any of those goals yet?
I love it when my authors get good reviews from review sites and when their books are in the top bestsellers for our company – and that happens, so I’m pretty pleased about that!
11. What, if any, words are overused in the manuscripts you read?
I know there are very few other choices, but ‘gaze’ is one. I saw a manuscript recently that had the characters wink at each other a lot. Once or twice in a book would be enough.
12. What, if any, words are underused?
I can't think of any words that are specifically underused, but I do like it when a word is used correctly in context and I have to look it up to be sure I know the word - expanding my vocabulary!
13. What are your favourite writing/editing resources?
I use www.Etymonline.com for checking anachronisms. I also use www.thesaurus.com and the Chicago Manual of Style. I have an American Heritage dictionary on my desk, too.
14. Can you give a brief overview of a story you've seen in which the paranormal aspects were handled very well?
I edited a book recently in which the author told the story very well. She included several paranormal elements but didn’t give a lot of back story or stop to explain every detail, she wove it in gradually. She assumed the reader was able to infer the meaning from context and it made me feel she respected my intelligence as a reader.
15. Can you give a brief overview of a story you've seen in which the paranormal aspects were handled poorly?
Most of the problems I’ve seen are not with storytelling or with the paranormal aspects. Most of them are with basic writing craft. The trouble is, people don’t know what they don’t know. So if someone has problems with spelling or punctuation, or overuse of adverbs or adjectives, or point of view switches, they don’t know it. Sometimes they don’t have a critique partner who is able to help them correct these issues.
16. What do you do when you're not editing?
I read at least two books a week from authors other than my own. I’m also writing an Urban Fantasy story and I’m in a writers’ group with a well-known, published author, so I’m very fortunate to have that level of help available to me as a writer. I think working with the writers’ group has sharpened my skills as an editor.
Thank you very very much, Zanoni, for being interviewed, and for being my first interview!
If there are any questions that you, the readers, think I should have asked but didn't, or you'd like to see posed to an editor or author, please include it in the comments below!
Pandem (not the best at keeping track of times zones or, really, time itself)
Friday, January 23, 2009
Awesome Friday everyone! *waves* My apologies for posting this late.
I had a supernatural topic I was going to post today, but then I decided I would propose a question to you. Do we writers spend too much time in our heads?
I ask this because all I’ve done this week is create scenes and dialogue in my head. My kids are talking and I’m fantasizing about dialogue between my characters. My husband is rambling about work and I’m masterminding detailed love scenes in my mind. The television is playing my favorite show Supernatural and I’m creating a new monster of the week to wreak havoc on my heroine/hero.
This daydreaming got me into a spot of hot water yesterday too. My oldest son reminded me that I had promised to take him to Wal-Mart so he could purchase a fish tank with his money. He’s caught a Salamander out of the creek in our backyard—all ready named it Rocky (I am sooooo rolling my eyes)—and he thinks it should have a home in MY home. My opinion, it looks a lot like a lizard, so it isn’t happening! My youngest is backing him, arguing vehemently that I agreed, which is strange because they never agree on anything—ever. Anyway, I said, I never promised that and I’m thinking to myself “Are they smoking crack?” because I would NEVER agree to allow a lizard-looking creature into my home! They know this. So…to back up his defense he commences to repeating where we were, what we were doing and the exact conversation when I agreed to the SNAFU. And somewhere along the way of the retelling I have an “A-ha!” moment because that was when the heroine in my head said to the hero, “Come here, cowboy.”
Yep, you guessed it, hot-freaking-water! Now, how do I get myself out of it? I can’t confess to an eleven and seven year old that I was thinking about risqué dialogue that ended up in sexual positions during our conversation. So, it looks like the slimy little sucker is going to have a home in my home. *shudders*
So, again, my question…do you as a writer spend a lot of time in your head, daydreaming, spinning scenes and dialogue? Or do I spend too much time in my head and should seek psychiatric help to come out of my fictional world? ;-) Seriously wouldn’t happen if everyone told me to do it, because quite frankly some days I like the fiction I create better than the world I live in. =)
I hope everyone has had a fabulous week and hope you have an equally awesome weekend!
Thursday, January 22, 2009
I write erotic romance as E. Jamie and work as a freelance writer as well. I've published two erotica shorts with Amira Press 'To Love A Knight' and 'Forbidden' and a steamy outlaw western erotica novella called 'Redemption'. I'm working on a contemporary erotic romance called 'Till Death Do Us Part' that I hope to submit by the end of this month.I've been writing since I was eleven years old and for a while I was straddling the line between writing and acting until I decided writing was less difficult on my nerves...though not on my sanity! Big distinction there.
I took the insane leap last year and left a horrible job to follow my dream of being a writer. I was lucky that I didn't have a family to support but in the same vein, I had no one to lean on if things went bust. I had already been taking on some freelance writing gigs so that helped a lot in that I already had my metaphorical foot in the door. It was frightening but there was something in me that told me this path, writing, was the path I was meant to take. I think a lot of writers hear that voice. Some can answer it at the time, some must wait but I urge you to answer it.
When I did, it was like things started coming together. One of my freelance gigs turned into a regular client and merged with a dating mega site and thathas allowed me to fulfill my dream of writing full time. I'm a big believer in perserverance meeting luck, leading to opportunity.
Without having to juggle an outside job, I have time to focus on my real love: writing romance. With the successeswith Amira and now this, it has been a wonderful year to say the least.My favorite genres to read are historicals and myfavorite paranormal genre is time travel. Needless to say that one of myfavorite series is Diana Gabaldon's Jamie/Claire time travel romance series.Another series I read every year is Paullina Simon'sTatiana/Alexander series. I also enjoy reading Karen Marie Moning, KinleyMacGregor, Julia Quinn, Victoria Alexander, Lisa Kleypas and many many manymore!
I thought I'd share a small excerpt (adult content ahead) from my current release: Redemption: Now Available from Amira Press!:
On the run from a murderous uncle, Katie married outlaw Ben Cready the day before he was supposed to hang. They shared one night of explosive passion and for six months, she'd believed herself a widow. Now Ben is back to claim what's his, and that includes the sweet bride he'd never been able to forget.
Nominated for Best Western Romance of 2008 by Love Romances Cafe!
Here's a wee peek:
The first time she’d lain in this bed, it had smelled like him. Ben had told her it had been his mother’s house, a small cottage hidden in the mountains. The perfect hideout for Ben Cready and his gang. The perfect place for Katie to disappear.
Katie had lain there, staring up at the wooden beams above and closed her eyes, letting his warm, musky scent transport her back to the night before when he’d moved over her, doing things to her that had made her body greedy, open, wet and wanting things she had no understanding of.
And oh he’d given. He’d given hard and deep, plunging his cock into her again and again, but she could feel the restraint there in his muscles, saw it in his face.
He had held back, for her. It made Katie want it all the more. Want him.
Playing that night over in her mind, Katie had stared up at the ceiling, feeling her most intimate place grow damp. She reached down tentatively under her night gown and jumped at the first touch. She’d let her eyes drift closed and remembered the heavy warmth of his body and his strong, rough fingers stroking her gently, then harder as her passion grew. Katie followed his movements, trying to mimic them with her own fingers. She pushed her fingers into her body. Surely it wasn’t shameful now that she was a married woman.
They weren’t the same as his cock. There wasn’t that deep full thick feeling of being possessed, claimed, taken. He moved slowly, gently with her and Katie realized with a burst of shame that she had bitten into his shoulder once. The memory of his cock hitting a particularly sweet spot made her whimper and gush a little. The broad tanned muscle of his shoulder was there, beckoning her mouth and Katie had only meant to run her lips along the tight skin, but then he’d angled his hips and hit that sweet spot and the sweet burst of sensation had been too much to bear and she’d sunk her teeth into the muscle. He’d groaned above her, pumping a little bit harder.
Reliving that moment, Katie had angled her fingers trying to mimic the movement and while the sensation wasn’t quite the same, Katie had bit into her pillow as she felt the funny climbing sensation begin to tug deep in her belly.
With her other hand, she’d tried to copy how he had stroked that swollen bundle of nerves right above her opening. Here the sensations grew sharper and Katie barely had time to breathe before her body arched upwards, the heels of her feet digging into the mattress and the intense feeling of release seemed to explode through her blood.
"What was that?" she had asked him when it first happened.
"You came, honey," he hissed through his teeth as he pushed his cock into her.
‘Came’. Such a simple unassuming word to describe the most exquisite feeling Katie had ever experienced.
Check out the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcZuEaB0RBQ
Visit E. Jamie at http://www.ejamie.net/
Wanna win your very own free copy? You can comment here at The Deadly Vixens with your favorite read of 2008! I'll pick a commenter at random and e-mail the winner this Saturday!
Our apologies to those of you expecting to read a guest blog today. There was a SNAFU with our guest blogger and we were unable to coordinate with her/him. Please check back next week for another awesome guest blogger.
The Deadly Vixens
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Music has always played an important part of my life. So, it fit that my debut release, Melody of Love, dealt with the music industry. It also was a lot of fun to write. It’s not uncommon in my household for someone to break into song at any given moment, whether human or feline.
When I'm at my computer, I'm almost always can be found with my headphones on. I rarely write without a "soundtrack" to the novel. Most of the time with a band that seems to portray a mood or emotion that resonates with the novel or even a specific character. I have gotten more ideas from listening to music than almost any other source, and in this way, it's almost like a muse to me. I love all kinds of music. It merely depends on the mood I’m in at the time.
The hero for Melody of Love came through listening to a band I was crazy about at the time called Trapt. Ever since I started going to concerts when I was pretty much in middle school/jr. high school, I've wondered what if I could one day meet my favorite singer, and what would happen if he happened to fall in love with me. The story brewed in my head for several months, while I consumed the band's music, focusing on the lyrics and relating them to my story idea, as if Alex Brown, the hero, was talking to me.
Finally, I wrote out the outline, which happened to be the first one I ever outlined, and the book came together in one month as a steady flow of words. The outlining helped a lot, but I also believe that just having the creative input of music helped ideas to keep soaking into my subconscious.
As I said last week, I'll give a little more information on my last post, but not too much! My website is fully up and running with it's wonderful new design and layout. My blog also had a spectacular makeover, so make sure to let me know what you think! It's absolutely gorgeous and means a lot to me since it reflects aspects of my Urban Fantasy novels that I can't really tell about or it would be a big spoiler. Also, the full request was on my novella, Night of the Tiger, about a Siberian weretiger who falls in love with an Amazon Princess. I can't wait for it to get a home, since it was such a fun story to write.
And to finish up my blog, I want to ask you guys, does music have as much influence in your writing as it does for me? If not, what inspires you while you're writing or pursuing creative endeavors?
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Thank you for taking the time to interview with us. C.A.'s newest release is The Chosen, which came out in July 2008.
1. When/how did you know you wanted to write?
A part of me has always wanted to write. My first experience with writing came in high school when in English class we were asked to write a book report. Instead of writing the report, I decided to do soemthing different and write a 4 page short story and submit that instead. For my effort I got top marks and was embarrassed infront og the classas our english teacher decided to make a class announcement about my venture. Needless to say I didn’t write anything more after that, until 1989 when I sat down and wrote 26 short stories. In 1989 is when I knew I wanted to write.
2. How long did it take you to become published?
From the first draft of The Chosen that I rewrote back in 1994 til 2008 was 14 years. But it was much longer than that.
3. Who are some of your favorite authors?
Clive Barker, Stephen King, H.P.Lovecraft, E.A. Poe.
4. Who do you count as your literary influences?
I would say that after reading Misery by Stephen king, I knew that I wanted to do the same, although not exactly the same, if you get what I mean.
5. How long does it usually take for you to research a book?
It takes me some months to gather ideas from what I see when I travelling.
6. Many authors are doing strictly e-books, do you think this is just a trend, or does it spell the end of real books?
I think it is a little of both. Personally I would like to think that real books are alive as they always were, but I know that is not true, when with how everything is readily available today on the I-Net, it does make it a lot easier for readers to download a book to their Palm PC.
7. How long does it take for you to write books?
The Chosen took me 9 months to write. So far, Bloodline of Darkness has taken me 10 years. Of course, I haven't been writing it the whole time, but for a number of years I put Bloodline on the back-burner while I lived in the real world, you know the scenario. Starving artist needs a real job to pay the real world bills, and somewhere along the line I became a work-a-holic and forgot about writing for a long time. FAR too long.
8. Is there any character in your books that you can really relate to?
I would like to say that there is a part of me in each character. That's not to say that I am like Jamiesonn, where I am scheming to take over the world! But, some of his traits are from my own deep flaws.
9. Do you see yourself writing in the same genre in 10 years? If not then what?
After Bloodline of Darkness then Prophecy's End, I believe that I am going to venture into films and produce a sci-fi/fantasy short. I have wrote several different genres in my time, such as fantasy, futuristic, drama. I stay clear of comedy and romance though. I tried those genres once and I discovered that I cant write those.
10. What advice do you give to those who are just starting out or trying to become published?
There are probably a lot of new writers out there who have no idea where to start, but, if you are an aspiring writer looking to get your first work out there, start with a good letter to an agent or publisher. That is your starting point. A good letter with the synopsis of your novel will get the attention of the agent or publisher, even if the response is a polite “No thank you”. Learn by my example. It took 14 years from the main draft of The Chosen to now to get published, which shows that it is worth the wait. That is not to say that it will take 14 years for you to get published! I am saying this as I left mine sitting on the back-burner until I was ready. Yes, you will get rejection letters, or even worse yet, no reply at all. Don’t worry about that as it will happen. Those rejection slips only tell you that you are on the right (write) track! Okay, now that you have your email draft ready to go out to agents/publishers, make sure you do your homework, by checking out what genres they represent. If it is unclear on their web if they are accepting new clients, don’t be afraid to ask! Make a mental note on some of the authors they represent. Also, if you come across an agent or publisher that charges a fee of any kind, stay away from those. They are predators who will take your money and you will never hear from them again. I don’t have to ramble on about this topic as there are dozens of websites about this. But what I will say in concluding is this: If you have the ability to write, you have a gift. Like any skill, it is a talent that should be nurtured and polished. Find your niche, and keep on writing, no matter what wanna-be’s may tell you.
11. What do you do when preparing to write a story?
I sit and stare at the laptop.. No, I try and get an idea from my own experience and put that into a character. When I get stuck, I work around it. Like, in Bloodline, the main character, Alex, was in an elevator with an ever present darkness growing around him… and there he sat for a year as I had no inspriation on where to take the plot. So as I sat infront of my lappie recently, I came up with this idea, "Dream sequence". Okay, that works! He wakes up and finds himself in the elevator.. I will not sday what happens next, but I will say that in this next book, Illusion IS reality..
12. Where do your story ideas come from? Do you use people you know as characters sometimes or even sometimes a certain event from real life happenings?
Sometimes I base a character on a mixture of people I have known in my life or from the profiles of tyrants of history. Other times I will develop a character from scratch.
13. What is your favorite part of writing?
Getting involved in the story. I am very a very visual person, so I write exactly what I see. I never see what is infront of me, like the PC or whatever else. That for me is the favorite part, and seeing exactly where I am taking the story.
14. Do you have a specific schedule in which you write?
No. I write when I get inspired.
15. Do you have any projects you are currently working on?
I am writing the second book, Bloodline of Darkness, and I have a book in the pipeline that is non-fiction, which is based on my journeys here in Russia.
16. Are you ever influenced by something you see and think, that would go great in a book?
Well without telling to much, but when I went on a day trip to a city called Chapayevsk, I had been told about the state of this city, and you can bet that my imagination went on a field trip! From the legends I had been told, Chapayevsk resembled the town Silent Hill, so you can imagine for a second that I was expecting to see flesh-eating zombies from beyond the grave, and paint ascending into the sky, but no such luck. No flesah eating zombies and no dudes wielding a 20-foot steak knife! But, the city of Chapayevsk is really run down, to the point where they want to relocate everyone and demolish the town, and that is enough to let my imagination run riot!
17. Did it take a lot of rejections for you to finally get published or was it pretty easy for you?
Yes. When I sent out a query letter, I got 51 rejection emails.
18. Do you write your stories out with pencil and paper first or do you work straight on the computer?
I do it on the lappie (laptop)
19. You just recently were published. How does it make you feel?
To be honest, when The Chosen first came out, my wife and I were going through a lot of turmoil in Sydney, so for a while it was hard to get into the realization that I had been published. It wasn’t until maybe November when I could sit down and take a look at my book and start to feel good about what I had accomplished. Even now, I still look at my book and I am still amazed that it is finally out. Finally! It is a dream come true..
20. Getting back to your books coming out soon. Tell us a little about what to expect from them.
In Bloodline of Darkness, it is set 10 years after The Chosen. Alex has gone through a lot of hardships in the past decade, and now everything he was and knew is nothing more than a distance dream. Before he can understand his otherwise mundane life, he is once again pitted against dark forces that have arisen, only this time the battlefield is his, with visions and dreams so real and frightening that he begins to think he has gone insane. Tanzac has found his way back into the world, and Alex has to relearn everything he once knew, and in doing this he is sent back in time to witness the downfall and destruction of the ancient ones. Only he has the power to stop the forces from arising, but his time is running out.
21. When and where can we purchase your books?
The Chosen can be purchased through Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Chosen-C-Milson/dp/1934475815, and through many other book retailers online.
22. How do you feel about fans doing fan fiction and/or roleplaying on the web based on your or other author's works?
I think a RPG based on The Chosen would be good to see at some point.
23. How has being recognized in public affected your daily life or has it?
Sometimes the celebritism is nice, being known as an author rather than an unpublished author. I do get a lot of looks and stares from people in the street, which, although flattering, can be unnerving. I am a private person and rather introvert. So the thought of doing things like public speaking are as about as thrilling for me as a labotomy. But, I am not going to shun that as it is nice to be seen, which I think everyone likes on some level. I definitely don’t let it go to my head though, and I don’t think I ever could. I am approachable as anyone else would be.
For your chance to win The Chosen, make sure to leave a comment and check back in the comments section after 11 pm EST to see if you won!
Monday, January 19, 2009
Hey everyone. Many of you probably don't realize that I've pretty much been awol from the internet lately. I've managed to get my Monday posts in, but that's about it. I hope you don't mind, but my post today is probably going to be more of a rant than anything writing or paranormal related. I'm going to spill the beans about what's going on in my life right now, in case you're interested.
As some of you know, I'm a travel nurse. I've been in Texas from September through December, at which time I went home for the holidays. Well, I was due back in Texas on January 12th to start the second contract I signed with the hospital. Great! I arrived here and went back to work. No problem.
Well, my computer decided that it was tired and needed a rest. So, I sent it in to the shop to be fixed. I tried to call the company to have them change the shipping address so it would be returned to me here in Texas, as they told me to do. Unfortunately, I didn't get an answer in time and it was shipped back to Missouri. My mom had to pick it up and ship it to me here. I haven't received it yet, but hopefully today. No problem.
I found out my temporary nursing license for the state of Texas was to expire on January 16th. I still haven't received my permanent one yet. So, I called the board to find out what was going on. Apparently the fingerprints I sent in for the background check weren't accepted and I had to pay more money to get them electronically scanned. I couldn't do this in Missouri, where I was when I found out. I had to be in the state of Texas to do it. Fine. I did it first thing Monday morning when I got back. Put in my 12 hour shifts at the hospital for the week and waited to hear something about my license. I called the board later in the week to find out what was going on.
Here comes the really bad news...they can't get my permanent license to me for another 2 to 3 weeks. I can't work until that time. And no, they can't extend my temporary license for that long, it's not allowed. Uck! NOT GOOD!
I notified my company of the latest news on the license. They want me to go home until it gets straightened out. Okay. So, I'm supposed to go home when I don't even get my check until this coming Friday. The company won't pay for my apartment or rental car while I'm not working, so if I stay until Friday, I have to pay for it myself. Eeeek.
This is not mentioning the hundred dollars I paid for concert tickets back in December for a concert this coming Sunday, which I guess I'm going to have to miss. :( This is also not mentioning the almost one thousand dollars I paid back in December to keep my apartment so I wouldn't have to move everything out and back in again. And only get to say for a week once I'm back.
They expect me to lose three weeks of paychecks, live on one paycheck for those three weeks, plus pay my bills and moving expenses to go home and come back here again once my license comes in.
I'm at my wits end. I have no idea what to do. If I don't come back, they can sue me for not fulfilling my contract. If I wait around for three weeks, there's no way I can pay my bills. The mortgage company doesn't like it when I don't pay the house payment. Neither does the loan company for my car payment.
Ok, so there you have it. My life so far in 2009. Please tell me it's going to get better. Please, please, please!
Ok, just to put a little writing stuff in here. No, I haven't been able to write one word since the year started. Nada.
I'm having withdrawal symptoms from not getting to talk to my friends. I miss you all. Hope to talk to you soon. Eeek. It just occurred to me that I'll have to cancel my internet here and pay to have it turned back on when I get back. Drat!
Sorry for the rant today. I had to get my frustration out. I really just meant to let you all know where I've been and why I hadn't been around. Really, I did. :)
Sunday, January 18, 2009
While online visiting authors’ websites, hopping from one blog to the next, I saw at least three announcements about authors who sold their stories to NY publishers such as St. Martins, Berkley and Kensington. My first reaction was, “Dang, I want that.” Followed by a question, “How did they do it?”
Of course, the answer to the latter would be, “They wrote a spanking good story.”
I know that.:D
But after they wrote the story, which I am sure as polished as it could be, then what?
Most NY publishers don’t even have their submission guidelines added on their website. (Am I wrong?) So if guidelines aren’t even available how did these awesome authors manage to snag a contract from them?
While staring at my screen, I began to wonder if there are steps one must follow to sell a book to NY publishers. Okay, I know the first step. Write a great story. Can you tell me the next?
Perhaps some of you would say to do a bit of research to know the answers to my questions. Yeah, I could do that. However, if you have a piece of advice to share, I’d appreciate it if you post it here. Whether you are contracted with any of the NY pubs or not yet, I am sure pros, readers and readers like me would appreciate reading your comments as well.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Please read no further if you do not wish to read my In Memory Of post about a dear friend I lost....
I’ve wracked my brain this week trying to figure out something uplifting and positive to write. But it's not come to me. It’s been a difficult week because I lost a friend to cancer. Maddie (or Madz as I called her) had been fighting it for 2 ½ years and last Friday morning, she gave up the fight. I didn’t know about it until late Friday night. So, it’s been a week of ups and downs for me.
Wednesday was the first day I pulled up my current WIP and tried to work on it because I’ve been too melancholy to even try and write. Probably because my friend was always eager to read something I had written. But, mostly all I did was stare at the WIP or Google just about anything that popped into my head.
I don’t want to depress you all, but I did want to memorialize Madz in some way because she was a person that inspired me to be a better person. She was a special lady that worried more about others than she did herself and was often caught saying, “Don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine.” But she wasn’t fine. She was sick, she was dying, she was in pain and she still worried about me. She had a heart bigger than anyone I’ve ever known and she was eager to laugh and joke. Even through all that she was suffering, she was a joy to be with.
Madz and I both shared a love of the television show Supernatural. So I watched it last night with equal parts joy that it was back after a seven week hiatus and sadness because Madz wasn’t here to watch it and wouldn’t be able to discuss it with me later. I will sorely miss you, Madz, and the hole in my heart will never heal.
Sorry for the melancholy.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
So, it's really late, and I'm getting around to doing my blog. Last night I received a rejection letter, and then I sent out the story to another publisher to receive a request for a full this afternoon! Wow! I'm in shock and awe...and the need for going over my novella in a frenzy to make sure it's good!
My website is also undergoing a MAJOR overhaul, and I have an actual webmistress as opposed to having my husband the IT tech handle it for me. Needless to say, it's been a bit stressful and hectic around my place.
So, until next week... *grins*
Monday, January 12, 2009
Wouldn't you know it, I'm finally back home and my computer decides it needs repairs. So, it's off at the shop and I'm stuck one more time without a computer to use. Anyway, I'm back at the public computer for now until I get my baby home. Not the best start for the new year.
I have high hopes for 2009. I've been reading my horoscopes and tarot online trying to decide if this is finally going to be the year for me. The last few have left plenty to be desired. So, my time has to be coming, right? You can just agree here, I don't mind if it's not true. I just need the empty confirmations for my peace of mind. Can anyone say "grasping at straws"?
Anyway, I have big plans for this year. I'm wanting to take my writing to the next level. I think I've spent enough time spinning my wheels and not enough time moving forward. So, I've decided that this is going to be the year for it. My horoscope told me to write down my goals on Dec 27th and read them occasionally, this is supposed to help me meet them. Well, it should. I mean if I'm constantly being reminded of them, that should keep me focused, hence it will help. Anyway, I did what I was supposed to do like a good little girl and wrote out my list. We'll see what happens.
I've done absolutely zero writing since the new year started. Not very promising as far as my writing goals are concerned. I'm not letting that get me down, though. It's just because life has decided that I need to focus on other important things at the moment. I do not believe that it means I won't get much writing done this year. I refuse to believe that. I've convinced myself that I will progress no matter what. If I set my mind to it, it can happen. I'm of the belief that anyone can get whatever they want out of life if they work hard enough to make it happen. Once I get my computer back, I'll be able to accomplish a lot more, and that will help.
So, I've made my goals for the year, but what about resolutions. Everyone makes New Year's resolutions. Well, no that's not true. I don't. Most of the time anyway. I've made no New Year's resolutions this year. Yes, I know I should have, there's plenty about me that needs to be changed. But really, do resolutions work? Not for me. If I want a change, I just need to set my mind to what I want and go for it. I do better with goals. If I'm working towards something, I have a tendency to push myself until I get it. I know I can't get everything I want, but I try to set my goals realistically. At any rate, are resolutions and goals the same thing? Yes, and no. In my opinion. I could make a resolution and forget about it easily by February. Don't ask me why. But, if I set a goal for myself, I usually don't give up on it. Maybe it's just the difference of wording, but I guess we use whatever works best for us.
Have you made any New Year's resolutions? Made any goals for the year? What are your opinions on the subject? Leave a comment and let me know. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
May we all meet our goals this year, whatever they may be! Good luck!
Friday, January 9, 2009
Last Friday I was in New Orleans cheering on my football team. I’m sad to say, my team lost….poorly. It was an awful upset. *shrugs* Oh, well, life goes on and my paycheck isn’t any different. But, as a family, we had an awesome time in New Orleans. Truthfully, I was more excited about going to New Orleans than I was getting to watch the football and I LOVE football. But this city is so gritty and raw, it appeals to me in some strange way, like it’s calling me home. Even stranger still, I feel at home in New Orleans.
We rode a horse drawn buggy. My sons thought that was awesome, being their first adventure and all. We got to see Johnny White's Bar, the one that refused to close even during Hurricane Katrina.
We watched juggling, men doing flips, standing on their hands, and men covered in gold paint standing like bronzed statutes. The human statutes amazed me how well and how long they could hold their pose. I'm sure my ear or armpit would need itching within 30 seconds if I tried to strike a pose for long. lol
Some of the artwork was amazing. But most of the pictures that I liked well enough to photograph had signs posted asking that you not snap any photos of their artwork. That’s cool and I understand it, but that just means you didn’t get to share in the visual pleasure with me.
Our first night there, we came across what I would call a Jazz singer—but what do I know she could have been Blues or something else—and I recorded it. Here’s a YouTube link if you’re interested in listening to her:
Dragon Blood, the current book I’m writing is set in New Orleans, so I was able to get a good layout of the French Quarter, along with visual details, in my head. All the maps I stole from the hotel were in the name of research. ;-) They’ll assist me as I continue to write and my memory fades.
Tell me your favorite vacation. Have you ever made it the setting of one of your books?
Thursday, January 8, 2009
An author’s first release is a life altering experience. (I meant book release get your mind out of the gutter.) It takes some time to get there and having thick skin is a necessity if you want to make it in this business. There are rejections to face and naysayer’s who want to hold us back. Not only do you have to deal with all the odds against you, but you also have to write a bright and shiny manuscript which you’ve polished to within an inch of its life, and hope a publisher wants it. After that there’s the nail biting and obsessive email checking. It makes you wonder why we want to go through it.
In the end, when it’s all said and done, it is totally and completely worth it. When you catch the first glimpse of the cover of your book or receive feedback from readers, you are blown. You know you’d do it all over again in a second… well not a second. *wink*
Though Cara’s Christmas Fantasy is not the first book I’ve ever written, it is my first published work of fiction. It will always have a place in my heart for that reason. The idea came to me during a challenge. We had to write a book in a week (more like novella in a week) and it had to be about Christmas. Since I love all things erotic (okay almost all things erotic) my story is of course very naughty. I adore stories when two hearts, which have drifted apart, rekindle the love that brought them together in the first place. That’s exactly what this story is all about. Cara struggles with self-esteem issues, unknowingly pushing her husband away when all he wants is to be with her. At the time I wrote this I knew there would be many people who could relate to this story, including myself. This is a very sweet, yet spicy tale that will warm your spirits and possibly your bedroom. The experience of writing it from beginning to end was a labor of love. I hope everyone who reads it is able to share my passion for the story.
Here’s a blurb to tempt you and give more insight into the story.
Plagued by her weight gain, Cara’s self-esteem has taken a downward spiral. No longer feeling attractive she unknowingly pushes away the one thing she truly wants; her husband’s affections. Mike considers himself to be an understanding man but enough is enough. He wants his old Cara back--the wild, vivacious woman he met and knows is waiting to be revived. His desire for her compels him to create a plan that will bring them closer together emotionally and sexually. But will Cara be able to open her mind and body to the man she loves or will she push him away for good?
I want to thank you so much for inviting me to come in and trip all over your blog. *is still struggling to put on face from earlier debacle* You’ve been most gracious to the lost newbie. Oh, and before I go I have to send a shout out to my baby. He’s just turned 2 today… even though he’s been terrible for months now. So much for terrible 2’s lol!
So long and thanks again for having me!
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Since Sierra covered rejection on Monday, and Tierney talked about rejections a few weeks ago, I figured I'd talk about something else authors deal with during the submission process... waiting... and waiting... and waiting some more... So, my question that I pose is How do you handle the wait?
I tend to try to forget about the submission, but hope that it gets a speedy "congrats, you've been accepted" or "sorry, well-written, but not for us" (which I've gotten many of). Rejections sting, but I realize that what doesn't work for one editor or agent, another agent or editor can fall in love with. I'm of the mind to shop a story to several agents and/or editors, then if they're all passing, there's probably a problem.
Anyways... wow, got sidetracked there. I currently have a couple of submissions out, so I'm in the stage of waiting. What I've been doing is working on editing one novel while working on the sequel. I haven't thought about the submissions too much, but when I do, I'm not immune to thoughts of wondering what they think, or if they've even gotten to it yet. Working on the next book is probably the most important thing an author can do, since that's what we do... we write books. That's the way we hone our skills.
So, your turn to answer the question. I'd love to hear what y'all have to say about this subject.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
I recently had the opportunity to read Nora’s Soul by Margay Leah Justice. The story is a sweet romance about Nora Kendall, a lonely woman who’s all but given up on life. When her brother died at a young age, Nora thought that God had forsaken her, and she’d given up her belief in angels. Throwing out everything she owned that depicted the heavenly creatures, they somehow managed to turn up everywhere.
When her boyfriend dumps her for another woman, Nora is surprised and confused. She’d expected something completely different. Her job also proves to be a constant source of tension in her life. Finally, deciding she can’t take any more, she quits her job. With the loss of her job and relationship, she agrees to help out her best friend by becoming the nanny for her friend’s brother, Kyle.
Kyle Cameron is fighting his own demons. After an unplanned pregnancy ruined his plans for the future, he took up responsibility and married the woman he really couldn’t stand. He’d still be stuck in an unhappy marriage, if his wife hadn’t passed away, leaving him with two adorable twins to care for.
Kyle really needs Nora’s help, but the two of them share a past. He’s not looking for a replacement wife, even though Nora might be just the woman he’s looking for. Tension rides high as the two try to live together with differing opinions on how to care for his kids. Can Kyle keep Nora at a distance, or will he realize that sometimes the chance for happiness can be staring you in the face?
Nora has loved Kyle her entire life, even though she doesn’t feel worthy of him. She’s not trying to become his new wife, although it would be a dream come true for her. She’s just trying to get through life as happy as she can be, considering she feels like she shouldn’t be alive. Why didn’t God take her instead of her brother? He was the good one, as far as she is concerned.
When two very different, but appealing men show up in her life unexpectedly, she has no idea that one is after her very soul, and the other is trying to save it. Unaware, that her own life hangs in the balance, she must realize that life is too important to give up or risk losing her soul.
Nora’s Soul was a very interesting read for me, nothing like I’ve ever read before. It had all the elements for a good story. Good vs. Bad, the struggle to find out who you really are. Nora has many challenges to overcome, as does Kyle. Tension fills the story from page one.
Ms. Justice does an excellent job creating the scene. I felt myself getting angry and aggravated right along with the characters. She brought me into the story and kept me there until the end. Good job, Margay!
Monday, January 5, 2009
I know we’ve discussed this before, but I recently received my first Rejection and so it’s been on my mind lately. It was very difficult to receive the comments. I didn’t take it as a personal attack or want to get back at the editor. I know it was nothing personal. But, that doesn’t make it any easier to take.
I received a lot of feedback, so much so, that the editor really didn’t have anything nice to say about my story. I think if they would have said something nice, it would have made the rejection a little easier to take, but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. At any rate, the editor found plenty wrong with the story. There is a lot of work ahead of me if I want to fix it and resend it out. I haven’t decided yet what I’m going to do, but that’s a lot of work to just let go to waste. Many months have gone into writing and revising the book.
I did share the comments with my critique partners and they did not agree with the assessment given by the editor. That made me feel a little better. But, I’m still questioning my writing abilities. I’m sure that happens a lot with writers when they receive negative feedback. I have to admit that I didn’t agree with everything she said either, but I do know that she was right about some of it.
All we can really do is keep plugging along and try to improve our craft as much as possible to decrease the amount of R’s we receive. I’ve been considering taking some online classes to help me improve my writing abilities. I’ve heard good things about some of the classes online and they can be relatively inexpensive. Of course, in this economy, it doesn’t take much to be too expensive. Anyway, that is my plan for the first part of the year. I will keep writing as well, but I do want to work on my writing at the same time.
I’ve heard many times to just read to improve your craft, but I’m afraid that method doesn’t work well for me. I’ve tried it numerous times and although I have to be absorbing some of it subconsciously, I’m not getting the full effect that many people get from it. I know my problem is that I get too involved in the story and forget to notice the writing. Maybe I should reread something I’ve already read, that way I already know what happens and then I can pay more attention to the writing itself. I’ll have to try that next.
Have you taken any online classes that you recommend or don’t recommend? Let me know your experiences with them, I’d love to find out more. If you haven’t taken any online writing classes, how do you feel you learned best? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Here at The Deadly Vixens we respect ALL AUTHORS. We DO NOT believe in the US vs. THEM mentality of some authors regarding print vs ebooks. Please keep that in mind as you are commenting. Ebook published are published, same as print published. They are published, too. That's what matters, right? We're all in this together.
The Deadly Vixens
Last week, I posted about reasons why readers prefer ebooks rather than print books and vice versa. The comments were very informative, useful and insightful (thank you all for taking the time to read the post). The last comment by Evia made me decide to post a follow-up. She raised questions that I thought are good discussion topics.
1. Do you think e-publisher’s expectations from authors are lower than print publishers? Why?
2.Why did you go the e-pub route? Are they the stepping-stones to getting published?
3. Do you think print publishers are taking an even larger risks financially compared to the e-print pubs?
4. Readers, have you read an e-book so poorly written that you swear never to try buying e-books again?
I look forward to reading your comments.
Happy new year everyone.
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Friday, January 2, 2009
I hope everyone had an awesome New Year’s Day and aren’t suffering too much from all the partying New Year’s Eve. ;-) I’m in New Orleans. Arrived yesterday (Thursday) and have both of my boys with me, so not much partying going on my end. We’re planning to browse the Flea Market today, eat some beignets and just sight see until tonight. Tonight we’ll be cheering our favorite college football to victory—I hope! =)
So, like Sarah, I’ve got to scream and shout my excitement at finishing my novelette, Bloodlines! Finishing a WIP (a work in progress for the non-authors) is like winning the lottery. Or at least how I imagine it would be like to win the lottery because I haven’t been so lucky yet. I guess I need to purchase a ticket to have a chance to win. ;-) I stayed up until 3:00 a.m. Sunday, December 28th—or maybe that was 3:00 a.m. Monday, December 29th—until the novel was complete. Either way, it was late, late for me. And when that last word was written I threw my hands in the air and squealed like a schoolgirl! Yes, I really did!
Julija and Landau are complete, their story written, but the work has only begun. Now I have to edit, revise and then edit and revise some more. I haven’t gotten motivated to start the editing process yet. I love to write, but editing is tedious for me.
I’m going to give myself about a week, reboot my brain so to speak while I’m working on Dragon Blood, and then start edits. I wish I could just write it perfect the first time around. Anyone else out there agree with that? lol Probably ALL authors, right?
I’ve made New Year’s resolutions. I’m sending Wytch Blood to an agent and crossing my fingers that they will like it. Either way, I’ll keep sending it until I’ve exhausted my list of agents…which is pretty long. My next resolution, write more in 2009, to actually carve out time everyday to write. I find it’s easier to write when I’m doing it on a regular basis. Every month, I’ll set new goals for myself to meet by the end of the month. January’s goals: Finish edits on Bloodlines and write 10-20K words on Dragon Blood, both to be completed no later than midnight January 31st! I didn’t want to set my goals too high, so I’m hoping I exceed them both. I have other resolutions, but all personal like exercise more, be a better mother and wife, keep one step ahead of the housework …yeah, I know, the typical song and dance.
Any of you have any writing goals you want to share? Or share any New Year’s resolutions that are non-writing related?