Saturday, November 27, 2010

How to Get a Husband to Stop Bugging You

Okay, so it would have to be my husband, but here's the story. After everyone left from Thanksgiving, I went to write. Usually I write in the living room, but hubby wanted to play an XBox game he got a year ago, so I went upstairs to my recliner in the bedroom (all good writers should have one lol, at least those that have hip issues). After a while, hubby wanders in and sits there. He'd finished playing the game for now. One child is on the computer downstairs and the other is playing the DS.

When I ask him what he's doing, he is done playing the game for now and doesn't really have anything to do. Which is fine typically, however, trying to write while someone stares you down isn't very easy. So I ask him about charts in Excel... I'm trying to make a word goal thingy like NaNoWriMo's NaNo Stats page, because it's really cool. I told him that I figured out what I want to have in there but would probably ask my favorite author friend to make it work for me. He volunteered to give it a go. He can program it, but it won't be too pretty. :)

So now he has a project for the weekend and I'm free to finish NaNo. How close are you to The End?

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Long Time No Write

In any sense of the word. I have written a bit, but mostly synopsis. I've decided to put my Hollywood stories on hold and work on a different Silhouette Special Edition. When inspiration strikes, sometimes it's best to follow it. Well as long as my editor is on board with it, that is. :) I am NaNoing again this year and hoping to finish Finding Home Again, working title, of course. Last night I brainstormed another book with some friends, so hopefully I'll be able to tackle that one too.

NaNoWriMo is where I first wrote L.A. Cinderella. For the month of November you write 50K which is only a little shy of the SSE word count. So it's perfect for me. And as long as the story is flowing, I'm in a good place. I haven't given up on Hollywood yet, but it's nice to do something different. So back to writing...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Last Week

18158 / 20000 words. 91% done!

The Yucks

Boy do I have them. They start kind of slow and innocent. You get back feedback and you grouse about it and try to continue working on the pretty shiny project you've been working on. Then you get feedback on a different project and you grouse about it and try to continue on pretty project. Everything stops.

The words no longer sound right coming out of your characters' mouths. Did you make the right decision to include this scene? Couldn't they do something interesting for a change? Is this even worth writing?

Then you decide to work on the revisions and the words you groused about end up being better than your own. Doubt weighs heavy. That other book you haven't touched for revisions yet. Well, maybe it really sucks and you should put it away for longer. Ignore it and the potential it has. Maybe it just isn't your style of writing.

I'm sure I'm not the only one with the yucks. Part of that has to do with waiting, which is part of the business. Part of it is just the fact that I can't be 100% confident all the time. I need those periods of yucks to make myself a better writer. To make myself learn more techniques. To bring my ego back down from whatever cloud it's been playing on. Loving what I do is essential to making the words flow and to get the word count. When I have the yucks, it tears down everything I've worked on, but it will also make me come back stronger. More determined.

Yesterday the words sucked. Today they could be so much better. The story is still there. The potential is still there. It might look like a filthy penny right now, but with a whole lot of elbow grease and shine, it could be gold. A project is never finished. Even after it is published, someone will make you wonder if you could have done something different to make it better. That's what makes an author good. The continuous striving for perfection in her work. The next story will be better and the lessons I learn on that one will make the following even better.

So no more yucks. No more giving up. Only hard work will achieve gold.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

When the Words Flow

Sometimes, when I sit down to write, it takes me 15 minutes to come up with one sentence. It's grueling and long and there are so many other things I could be doing with my time. And before I would have done them. This forced march, of sorts, is helping me be a more productive writer.

During the daytime hours, I write. My brain turns on and the synapses all fire correctly and the inspiration is there. Sometimes I will sit and look out the window for a second, but I'm still driven to get my 4000 words a day. I'm not a dumper. I can't just fly through a MS without thought of the words I'm putting down. I used to be able to, but I figured out I hate revision.

I mean it. I hate revision. I do them and I'll continue to do them but I hate them. It takes me a little time to find my editor voice detached from my writer voice. But when I find that bad boy, he does some amazing things. I get to the point where I can pick apart individual sentences, but it takes me a while to do this. And I need time away from a project before I can truly give it the cleansing scrub it needs.

These are things I learned by doing. I tried to dive right into Casanova's revisions and it took me a long time to get into the groove. But when it's been a while, the words seem fresher. It's easier to cut those lines that I worked so hard to find. It works for me. To that end, when I finished Fallen, I went through and applied the critiques I'd received, and then sent it out to Beta readers. I haven't looked at it since. I don't plan to. I'm fully involved in Robert's story right now. It's a different voice, a different world and when I'm done. I can head back to the dark world of Fallen and read it with different eyes. And when that one's ready to go, my editor bad boy will still be in residence, making Robert's revisions easy to tackle. This is the hope. This is the experiment.

Write 2 books, revise 2 books, write 2 books, revise 2 books. Rinse, repeat as necessary.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Past Two Weeks

Writing, well it happened. I finished the first 3 chapters of Alex and revised the synopsis and sent them off to my agent. I hadn't realized I didn't have synopsises for the 3 other books I was going to write. So I spent this week working on a synopsis for an unrelated SSE and worked on Robert's synopsis. And boy are those two loud. So loud that I started working on the first chapter and hope to keep going through to the end on Robert's. It was in the plan for this year anyway, so why not. :)

Next week working on the 20K goal and hopefully making it.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Last Week

18442 / 20000 words. 92% done!

I finished Fallen and took the weekend, Monday and Tuesday to get it ready to go out to my readers. Yay! So now I'm polishing the first three chapters of Alex and deciding whether to work on plotting for the other 3 or continue writing Alex... Decisions, decisions.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Changing My Tune

It's done, it's done, it's done. But of course, I'm not sure the ending is that great. First endings are never the best, usually takes me 3 or 4 tries to get the ending right. Beginnings for me are golden, middles not so back, endings....hell, brimstone and fire hell. I hem and haw over it for hours. But eventually my crit partners make me find the right one. :) *waves at crit partners* (They really rock!)

So to keep up the insanity, I'm putting Fallen on the backburner and taking up Alex's story. I have the first 3 chapters done, so during Nora time today I'll be going through my critique notes for those chapters and polishing them up. Why? So I can send them to my agent who can have them ready if my editor buys Casanova. Meanwhile, I'll keep plugging away at Alex's story.

For every story of mine, there is a soundtrack that I listen to to get into the mood. Fallen is very dark. A lot of metal and heavy music from bands like Tool, A Perfect Circle, and Smashing Pumpkins. The darkness and perpetual rhythm underlying Tool songs really perfected the mood of Fallen for this revision.

But now it's time for some lighter fare. Alex and Paige are a love story with just as much emotional depth as Fallen. Both have internal conflicts they must get over before they can be together and there are going to be scenes that feel just as dark as Fallen, but with a different edge. Songs in the playlist include Time after Time by Cyndi Lauper, I Can't Make You Love Me by Bonnie Rait, and Make You Feel My Love by Adele. I have an emotional response to all my songs in my playlists and some of them bring out different emotions that I've felt in the past. Sometimes I just need a light tune to come up every now and then to remind me that my Silhouettes aren't all hardcore emotion rollercoasters. To that end, I usually put recently downloaded songs like Cooler Than Me by Mike Posner and Your Love is My Drug by Ke$ha.

These songs help me find the tone and voice of my story because they mean something to me. They make me feel a certain way and that frees me to write the story of my heart.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Holy Wordcount, Batman - Thanks Goodness for Plotting

Yes, I use that joke a lot and no, I'm not tired of it yet. So today I'm going to talk about the importance of planning. :) I'm a plotter. I've always been a plotter, even if a pants a little in between. When I first started out writing, I tried every way of plotting. I storyboarded, I used notecards, I tried an outline, I studied everyone who had something to say on plotting. The point is I tried that stuff. However none of it really worked for me. I never got past 75,000 words no matter how much plot I tried to do or how many cards I tried to write.

Granted, I'm a fuller writer now. I don't write the bare minimum on first drafts. Each scene is complete with description, action, dialogue, senses, internal thought, feelings. So that probably doesn't hurt my word count, but even revised I couldn't pull more than 78,000 words. I'm currently at 95,000 on Fallen and it's not done. It's close to done, but it's not. Holy Wordcount, Batman!

What was different? My plotting technique changed quite a bit from those earlier versions. Instead of an outline detailing every scene, I wrote a synopsis. I know, the evil S word. I can't for the life of me write one of these when I'm done, but I found if I use it to plot....100K book, people.

I learned how to write a synopsis from a class taught by Katherine Garbera for Writing the Selling Silhouette Desire. During that class I plotted and created the synopsis for Catch a Star, which is now L.A. CINDERELLA. From that synopsis I wrote the story. Did the story change? Heck, yeah. But did the roadmap help? Heck, yeah.

For Fallen, I replotted again (cries softly inside), but this time I used the synopsis format.

First Paragraph - heroine, backstory and GMC (goals, motivation, conflict - what does she want, why does she want and what is keeping her from getting it)

Second paragraph - hero, backstory and GMC

If you have a villian you can do another paragraph on him.

What else do I need?

Beginning - how does it start? When does the hero and heroine first meet?

Plot points for the external conflict (making sure that the internal conflict also gets in there) and romance plot points.

  • External conflict plot points - plot points are your major events, generally there are three with the third being the black moment. With external plot points, think major setbacks or major victories that carry the story forward, but change the course.

  • Romance conflict points - first kiss, first sex (if it's in the book or even off screen), first realization of love by both hero and heroine and first declaration of love by hero and heroine

In between you have the filler. :) How do they get from Plot Point 1 to Plot Point 2, how do their feelings change, what has to happen before they can make it to that plot point and what decisions need to be made. This is the vague stuff in the synopsis, but sometimes clearer in my plotting synopsis.

Last but certainly not least is the ending. You need a direction to head so you aren't swimming in circles. Choose a course and aim for it, but realize that if another island with Scots in kilts show up along the path, that it's okay to head for that island instead. :) The main thing is that when you are finished, you can go back to the synopsis you formed in the beginning and tweak it to reflect what really happened in the book and then your synopsis is ready to go too. One less thing to worry about.

Maybe it's not the most elegant plotting device and my instructions may be confusing, but what can I say, I wrote over 4,000 words today and my brain is fried.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

End of Week One of Crazy Goals

9244 / 20000 words. 46% done!

Alright, so I didn't make my 20K for the week, putting me slightly behind. However, every day except Wed I had something else I had to do that I scheduled before this craziness began. Also, who gets Friday off after starting back to school on Monday. So I didn't get as much done as I hoped, but I have confidence that I can do 4000 words a day as on Wednesday.

Not much else to report. I'm going for 20K next week. We are still moving forward with Nora time, though not on the weekends.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Craziness I Has It

I'm horrible with goals. I make them and then I don't keep them, but I still try to make them. Since I'm not writing on vacation, I thought I'd look at my goals for the remainder of the year. Things I feel I have to get done this year include finally finishing the 3rd rewrite of Fallen and get Alex's story done and start Robert's story. Here's where the craziness begins. I can do all that if I write 2000 words a day while the kids are at school. Easy peasy. Piece of cake.


If I really want to kick into gear.... Are you prepared for the craziness?

I could finish Fallen and write the 4 Silhouettes I have plotted out and revise them before Christmas. Sounds great. Fantastic. The best I've ever done. Caveat...I have to write 4000 words a day except during revisions. I have accomplished up to 5000 words in a day, so I know it's possible. The real part of this is viewing my daytimes as worktime. When the kids leave for school, I have 7 hours. All my other obligations, cleaning, cooking, carting children around and checking email and playing on the internet, could wait until after the kids are home from school. Groceries can be bought on the weekend. And if I have to go to an appointment during the day I need to make up the hours in the evening.

Now that I've published, I want to stay that way. I want to write like crazy and clear out my idea folder and make those into books. I want to be able to earn a good wage for the time I put into the creation of my works. I want to feel that I can take a vacation and not feel guilty for not writing because I haven't been reaching my goals. I can do this. I can make this work. I'm insane, but it's completely doable.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What Isn't Working For Me

Project Nora is going well. When the kids get back into school, I'm going to do two 2-hour blocks. I find I can't blindly forge ahead in my manuscript. Today I had to stop and research shotgun and if I would call the shells, shells or bullets, but in doing so I realized she wouldn't use a shotgun. As impressive as they sound, they are not that impressive or accurate in shooting big bads. So I looked around and found a better option.

I also got stuck. Which meant I needed to do a little brainstorming on the spot. This also takes away from writing time, but this is how I function as a writer (your mileage may vary). I did jump on Romance Divas and do a few sprints tonight which brought my count up to 2,001 for the day. Which is good for a day I had PT and read and critiqued for a writing buddy. If I could keep up this pace, I could finish in 5-10 days.

Conference is in 4 days, which means I will not likely get Fallen's first draft finished before Nationals. But it does mean I will push to finish it before taking on Alex's story again. Those first 3 chapters need some work, I'm still blabbing too much about the previous books characters and while Mark and Kate are really nice people, they aren't the focus of this book. Okay off to bed with me. I need to write a post about musical inspiration and why I need music to write and silence to edit. :) Later.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cheating, Yup I'm Doing It

You know it's bad when you type in a title and the autofill pulls up the same one. Whoopsie. So I made it longer. So, Project Nora is going well, we are still meeting at the appointed time, but like a diet, there is this guilty satisfaction in cheating. Between not feeling well, having a child sick on the couch and the other one watching a movie in the same room (Mommy's roller desk is in the family room and she still can't handle a laptop on her lap), I didn't focus my time solely on writing.

However, I did make up for it and still clocked in over 2000 words today. How else am I cheating? Well... I'm working on my paranormal romance instead of working on a SSE. I do have the first 3 chapters done on the next one, including 3 more synopsiseseseses (seriously, how do you spell that?) for a little series. So I don't feel too bad, considering I have another book completed and in to my editor.

I really want to get this done and yes, it's got a new title, and no, I'm not going to blab it here considering all the people who ripped off the first title. :) No matter, it's going well. I've found the voice again and man are these people noisy. I'm ready to have them out of my head and onto the page. Currently sitting at 66K, we have a high speed chase and fight for Jude, a fight and black moment for the both of them (sick and twisted author rubs her hands together mwahaha), a trial... incarceration... escape. Wait am I still talking about the same book? Guess we won't know until it ends for the third time. Overall it's a much better book, I think. And more urban fantasy romance than paranormal romance, but I likes it. :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Project Nora

Yes, I'm still plugging away. 2 hours a day of devoted time. I sent off Casanova at the beginning of this week and have been working on the proposal for the follow up story. Today I finished the 3 chapters for the proposal and a little extra. I'm putting it to the side, to simmer :) And have started the read through of Fallen to get back into the voice and story. I've made it to Ch 2 today and will continue to read through all the chapters until I get to where I was when I got revisions from Casanova (eons ago). I'm currently a little over 60K, so need another 30K to finish it off.

I'm pleased with this project so far. I generally do more than 2 hours during the day, but those 2 hours are devoted time where I don't feel bad about telling the kids to do something else. It's a manageable amount for right now, but I'm hoping when school starts back up to have two 2 hour slots devoted to writing. :) I need to work my way up to the 8 hours.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Project Nora

The biggest thing with any challenge is getting the habit of writing in your schedule. With the visit of my brother and his kids, I've had to sideline my typical writing time, but I did get my 2 hours in yesterday. I'm still working on the polish pass of Casanova so I can send it back to my editor. Will be back on the 10-12 time slot next week.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Project Nora

The continuing saga...

Went well, with a little too much diversion by hubby sitting next to me, readng L.A. Cinderella for the first time. That and I got off on the tangent of research while writing (which we aren't supposed to do), but I had to look up First Class lounges at JFK and then hubby told me about seatguru.com which shows seat configuration for all the planes on all the carriers. I bookmarked it and then moved on with the story.

Fortunately the part I'd written before slid in effortlessly with a little lipstick to make it look pretty so I added 1300 words of a scene I'd already written, plus an additional 1000 words new, which has almost brought me to the end of Ch 2. One more chapter of Alex/Groom and a polish of Casanova and then I can dive back in full throttle on Fallen. No, I haven't given up on it. Yes, I'm still trying to finish it for the third time. I swear it's better this time. :) Then I'll finish up Alex's story or put together the proposal for my three book Silhoutte series.

Robert and Rachel?

I had an interesting message the other day from a reader. She thought Robert and Rachel from L.A. Cinderella would make a good story. In answer to that...

When I was writing, I wondered about those two. There could have been some chemistry between them. I even considered writing the story starting from Chase's and Natalie's wedding since they would be Best Man and Maid of Honor. However, Robert has thrown me a curve ball. In thinking up a few other stories, his Miss Right popped off the page. Hopefully my editor will love the story concept I've come up with that includes Robert and some of the cast introduced in Casanova Exposed.

Rachel, I'm thinking she needs a wake up call. She will definitely get a story. I have a title all set and a surprise that will shake up her life the way it needs to be. I really enjoy my L.A. characters and hope to bring more of them to life in the future.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Project Nora Day 2

10 - 12. I made some adjustments to Ch 3 (which is giving me fits) in Casanova and then moved on to the Groom story. I wrote 1500 words on it and have started Ch 2. Supposedly (BTW I love that word), if Silhouette buys Casanova, I should be able to sell on proposal (i.e. synopsis and first 3 chapters). We'll see how that works though. :)

Lesson learned: In revising Casanova, the scene that is giving me the most fits is one I decided to skip and come back to write. This is one of those things that works for some writers and not for others and I'm still testing what works for me. Well, that doesn't work for me. I'm a chronological writer. I get snippets out of order and jot down notes sometimes, but skipping a scene to write later has left me with a big ole pile of poo. Honestly it's not that bad, but it certainly feels that way. In the future I will plow my way through the scene even if it takes a writing pace of 5 words per hour.

My revision process? Honestly I use Betas. Someone to read through the whole MS and let me know if there are issues, because I feel like I'm blind when I look for them. Then I go through the MS straight through (if chapters have been critiqued by my crit partners I do those first before the full read through). I go through it a few different times, keeping everything I've learned in the forefront of my mind. If my crit partners (who don't always get to the end) have pointed out something I was doing in the first chapters, I keep those things in mind as I work my way through to the end.

Ugh. The end. The bane of my existence. I tend to rewrite the ending more than any other part of the book. I think, for me, it's the hardest to get correct. You need the black moment to be dark enough without making your readers hate the characters and at the same time, you have to make it fixable. Meaning at the end, the characters get together and you get that rush to your heart that makes the whole journey worthwhile. I love that rush at the end of a really good book.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Project Nora Day 1

First I seriously need to find a new catchier title than Project Nora...but for now. Day 1, success. 2 hours devoted to editing Casanova Exposed. Actually it turned into 3 hours and I'm hoping to finish up these revisions today. 60 pages of editing pass is not bad for 2 hours. Tomorrow I'll probably be ready to crack open Alex's story and start writing fresh. Of course, before I can write in it, I will have to read to catch up and since reading isn't writing or editing, it will have to be done before hand.

I'll keep you posted on how it goes. It does help to have friends plugging away somewhere at the end of the internet with you. We all got a fair amount accomplished and hopefully it's the beginning of many days to come.

Friday, July 02, 2010

And So It Begins...

So if you follow the romance community at all, you know about Nora Roberts. I'm going to admit something scandalous. Either I haven't read her or I don't remember reading her. Either way, that's not the point of this post. Her work ethics are however.

Nora was first published in 1981 by Silhouette. (My publisher too). That year she released one book, so far we are equal. The following year she published 5 books. Uh....now I'm behind. The woman is a machine when it comes to writing. It's not ideas that hold me back. Trust me I have plenty and the plot bunnies are always having uprisings. It's the BICHOK (Butt in chair hands on kayboard). Frankly, this was difficult for me due to my hip issues (which have hopefully been resolved and we can plow forward like a normal person).

Nora works 8 hours a day every day. Now, she was somewhat more constrained when she was first starting out. She had small children at home and I'm in the same boat, though I'm 4 years behind where she started from so my children are older. To this end, I'm beginning a new journey and fortunately I have friends who are coming along for the ride. Every day we are going to start working at 10 am and work until 12. The only things allowed during this time are editing and writing. No judging contest entries, no critiquing each other's work, no plotting. These two hours are for writing and only writing. Even if that means we spend the two hours staring at the cursor, blinking maddingly at us.

Eventually I'll be broadening my hours when the children are back in school, but this gives me a jumping off point. It's not quite up to Nora standards, but it's a start, which is what I need. Quite a few years, Nora had 10 books published during the year. That would be amazing, but I'm not going to get ahead of myself quite yet. We'll see how this month goes and then the next and then the next.

Tomorrow starts Project Nora!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Writing, not so much

Unfortunately, with the promo of L.A. Cinderella (which hasn't been that much) and the drugs given for my hip surgery, I haven't written much or revised much. I'm feeling the pressure to produce, but the pressure is totally internal as everyone has given me a pass with the hip thing. Turns out I did have damage that was repairable in my hip, which is magnificent news. And with the hip issue hopefully resolved in the next 4-5 months (yes, months) I will once again be able to sit for long periods of time at the computer. Yay!

This week, I'm making the effort to revise poor Casanova and then moving on to Alex's story, since I'm in the frame of mind. If I can plow through Alex, then I can shift back to Fallen (which will be retitled as the umpteenth million book comes out with the same title. When I looked to see if it had been used when I started the concept for this story, it hadn't. *sigh and fume*). No worries though.

I'd like to get the finalized version of Casanova to my editor before the end of the month. I'd like a first draft of Alex and Fallen before Nationals. Both of which should be totally doable. That's 50K for Alex and the remaining 30-40K on Fallen. I don't anticipate that Casanova will take me too many days.

With my recent forced vacations (thought I'd write when we went to England & didn't and pre-surgery jitters and post-surgery meds), I feel comfortable jumping in full steam into these projects come Monday. I think while I lay here in my lovely CPM machine for the next 1-1/2 hour I shall create a plan of attack, which is unlikely that I will follow it, but it helps my brain think it's in better control than it actually is.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Looking for a Free Copy of L.A. Cinderella?

Check out the following interviews where I'm giving away a signed copy of L.A. Cinderella.



Good luck! Oh, and I'm doing much better since my surgery, just sore and working through the physical therapy part. :)

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Boldly Fighting Dragons

It's quiet in the house. I'm up late and everyone else is asleep. In seven hours, I'll be in prep for exploratory surgery on my hip. I've had trouble with it for the past ten years and since no one can seem to fix it, this seems the logical next step. I'm a little anxious. I just finished revisions on a story and need to complete another which is 3/4 of the way done and start on a third. I worry that the pain meds are going to knock me out for days and cause me to be non-productive (I don't care if it's a word or not, that's not the point.)
I'm not worried about the outcome. I'm not worried that they won't find anything. I'm not worried they'll find something. I can't worry about that stuff. It's out of my hands now. Either they will or they won't and either way I'll be in pain for days. Do I hope they'll find something they can fix? Hell, yeah. Am I going to go all-in on this surgery being the cure for pain that has plagued me for ten years? Meh. I'll be happy if it does and not shocked if it doesn't.
So instead of worrying about the results, I'm worried about my writing. Did I mention my debut book just hit the shelves? That RWA National conference is at the end of July? That I want to continue to write and finish these books that are driving me nuts? So I'm awake and wondering if I should spend the night writing. It will probably be more coherent than what I'll be able to put together over the next couple of days. But I have to wake up in 5-1/2 hours. Granted I'll be asleep most of the morning. :)
Outpatient surgery, crutches for a while after, physical therapy starts Tuesday. Maybe this time I'll ride the dragon. See you all on the other side.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Blogging about Contests over at the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood

Here I am today. Blogging everywhere but here, it seems. :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Guest Blogging

Catch me here today :) Sorry if it's a rubbish. I was jetlagged and absorbing the local culture while in England when I wrote it.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Drum Roll Please

The winner is Sasha Devlin. Please contact me with your address.

Thank you everyone who entered and I will try to put together another giveaway later this week.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Can't Wait for L.A. Cinderella? Me Neither.


I know 2 blog posts in a week, it's a record. At least for this year, so I posted the other day about receiving this nice big box of books...

What are these books for? Well, they are for promotion and for me :) So, here's the deal. I'm going to send out one of my babies early. Yup, thought you had to wait until the end of May? I'll send it out next Monday. (That should give my mom plenty of time to read her copy so she can say she read it first)

What do you have to do? Simply comment on this post (don't have an account with the blogs, just comment anonymously and sign with a name) and I'll announce the randomly selected winner on Monday and that person will need to e-mail me or use my contact form on my website to send me their address so I can mail it out.

What's expected once you get it? It would be fabulous after you read it to review it on either a blog, twitter, Facebook, Amazon, Borders... I can go on, but I won't. This is the promotion part.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Revisions, Releases and Rewrites: Not exactly in that order

For two weeks in April, I made a mad dash to finish the rewrite of Fallen. On Friday I was up to 61K words, so progress happened and then I got my box of books. Oh, the shiny new books of L.A. Cinderella are so pretty that I just had to tell everyone I knew that I'd received them, including my agent and my editor. Which led to my agent poking my editor about Casanova and my editor poking back at me with revisions. So I now have a rising to the climax partially completed paranormal romance which is being shoved to the side while I tackle the revisions on my Hollywood sweetheart Casanova.

Oh and L.A. Cinderella will hit bookshelves at the end of May and I've commited to writing at least 5 or 6 blog posts and did I mention we are heading to England for 2 weeks in 2 weeks. Hold on because my head is spinning. But that's okay, this industry moves slow, but as soon as you get used to the pace, they start in on you fast :). With Casanova back on my plate, I'm the one in control of how fast I can get a clean copy back to my editor so she can submit it to the senior editor for consideration. So I might be MIA for a little bit, but I'll be popping up on some other blogs and will make sure to do the linky linky thing here.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Dear Casanova

I miss you. I know you were just another character in a book, but to me,  you were fun as hell to write. Don't tell the other characters, but the combination of player and alpha male was hawt. I almost wish you didn't find your happily ever after, so that I could write you some more. But all good things... *sigh*

I'm really looking forward to revising you more when I get the chance. I keep trying to figure out another character who could be like you, but you'll always have a special place in my heart. Just so you know, you are not allowed to take over Alex's book. I know you are going to be in it and you tend to be a scene stealer, so let your friend have his chance.

We'll spend some time together after my editor lets me know whether or not she wants to publish you. We'll always have copy edits.


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bad Blogger

I know I've been a bad blogger lately, but I'm trying to be better (at least in my head). Things that have been keeping me busy besides Plants vs. Zombies? Working on setting up Promo stuff for L.A. Cinderella. 2 more months to release. Crap, the time goes by fast. Ordered bookmarks and am trying to do ribbon bookmarks too. I'll try to post a pic when I receive my bookmarks in the mail. Writing or procrastinating writing on Fallen. I'm almost to the midpoint and the rest should all be downhill, right? Right? Please tell me I'm right? *cries softly*

Still waiting to hear Casanova Exposed's fate. It's been 4 weeks and a day. :) Not that I'm counting or anything. And letting the followup story stew in the back of my brain. I tried once to write my completely different genre and tone books at the same time. Once. It doesn't work for me. I'm a one story at a time type gal. At least for now, maybe once I get a few extra things off my plate, it will work great.

The one thing I think that's holding me back from writing the scene I'm on in Fallen is that it's a fight scene and unlike the previous ones, this one needs both POVs. As a newbie, you have it drilled into your head that you don't head hop unless you do a scene break. Well, see I've already broken this rule for love scenes. I tried to break during a love scene, but when I took out the breaks it flowed a whole heck of a lot better and didn't get any mention from my editor in L.A. Cinderella. I know not to bounce back and forth like a ping pong ball, but I'm afraid the only way to do this fight scene is to POV shift multiple times.

The problem: I have two people fighting for their lives. While they will both be focused on their own battles, they will be dimly aware of what is going on around them. One will get severely injured during the scene. So maybe I should think of it like a screen play (not omniscient). The camera will zoom back and then come in to tight focus on one of them then zoom back or pan to the other. To get this thing out I think I'm going to have to write it as it comes and then go back and fix it.

So what do you think? As a writer or as a reader, do shifts in POVs jar you too much to the point where you want to throw the book against the wall? Or do you enjoy getting a sense of what's going on from both sides of the story even during the same scene?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Dear Characters

Is it absolutely necessary to plant ideas in my head while driving listening to music on the way to dinner with the family? I know I haven't written about you for quite some time. You've been pushed aside for my Silhouette Special Editions, and now you have to wait for the rewrite of Fallen and potentially the follow up to Casanova Exposed. I'm sorry you have your beginning all figured out. I wrote it down for when I get to you. I'm also sorry that might be a while and you won't shut up. I promise to spend a day writing a synopsis/outline for the revised version of the story you've been feeding me. So please be quiet while I work on these other stories and get back in line.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cover-ific OMG Squee!

Career-driven accountant Natalie Collins

wasn’t the type to wish for a Hollywood

hero to rescue her. She preferred life away

from celebrity glitz. Too bad the man who

drove her wild was an A-list actor.

With her understated beauty and brains,

Natalie was the one person Chase Booker

could trust. He could see the strong, sexy

woman beneath her shy exterior, and

she stirred a blinding passion in him that

made it easy to forget that they were from

different worlds. But when she was in his

arms, their worlds were dangerously close

to colliding....

Forgive my exuberance: Copyright © 2010 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited

Cover Art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited. All rights reserved. ® and ™ are trademarks of Harlequin Enterprises Limited and/or its affiliated companies, used under license.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Head Spinning Yet?

All right, I completed my judging obligations right on time. I went through a round of revisions on Casanova Exposed with my agent. She pointed out some really great things, well not so great things, but we fixed them. Hopefully we will be submitting sometime this week. Fingers crossed.

I'm mucking through this whole release process. Trying to figure out the review process. As in sending out the book for review when you don't have a book to send? I'm still not sure on that one, but I'll muddle through. I sent the first e-mail today, so we'll see.

So now I'm in a bit of a lull. I have to do some accounting work before I can get busy with my manuscripts again. Yes, I'm going to attempt it again. Write two different things at once. I haven't decided if it's better to do them both the same day or give each one a day. *shrugs* It's a work in process, kind of like when I was figuring out my plotting method that works for me. Notecards and storyboards aren't for me, but a quick synopsis seems to do the trick. Plus it's easier to write the synopsis first and then make adjustments after. Otherwise I start throwing everything in it including the kitchen sink. :) And nobody needs to know about the kitchen sink in the synopsis. Even though it may be pivotal to the plot, the kitchen sink should probably be glossed over. Hmmm... I think I pushed that metaphor a bit much.

Moving on... I broke my left shift key trying to clean the cat fur off from underneath. Occupational hazard. It still works, but it wobbles a bit and the windows key... well, it never got used anyway. Hope your writing is going well or reading or whatever you are into.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Time Flies When You Have Too Much To Do

The other day I got the final copy of L.A. Cinderella for a last check before the printing. This really has been a whirlwind book. Most books take a year or longer from offer date to make it to the stands. I was made the offer Labor Day weekend. Within a week I had an agent and a deal for my book. A couple of weeks later, I had revision notes. After my initial panic attack, I conquered the revision notes and sent them back. By mid October I had a release date and access to my Art Fact Sheet. Meanwhile I had to get busy with Casanova Exposed, the story I had plotted if L.A. Cinderella got picked up. I got my contract mid November. :) That copy got lost in the mail, so I remailed it beginning of January. End of November, I received my copy edits and got busy looking for errors in the MS that I'd missed the first thousand times through. I still found some.

I finished the first draft of Casanova Exposed the second week in December. In January, not a lot happened with L.A. Cinderella. January I revamped my website with the help of my friend, who did an awesome job. Just this week, I received the final version of it (ETA L.A. Cinderella not my website) to read through yet again and a request for my bio and picture for the Harlequin website. I signed up for RWA Nationals including the Literacy signing. I sent Casanova Exposed to my agent, Becca Stumpf, and now it's back to waiting. When Becca's done, it will go to my editor and I'll wait some more. And while I wait...I write. I talked with my editor and am going to proceed with the followup to Casanova which is currently untitled. So while I wait I write, but I'm also working on Fallen. Well...once I get the edits back to my editor and get my mojo back.

I'm still figuring out how all this works. I'm sure I'll get the hang of it soon.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Contest Heirarchy of Novel Warfare

Ah, contests. They either lift you up or grind you into the ground. It takes pretty thick skin to enter writing contests. The judges have no vested interest in your work like a crit partner or friend might. But that's not what I'm writing about today.

Why enter contests? Almost every RWA chapter runs a contest for unpublished authors every year. For them it's a way to draw attention to their chapter and make money for the programs they provide for their members. For the person entering? It depends on where you are in your writing career. Because it's usually not for the first prize. Which can be your entry fee back or a cool trinket (I've gotten a crystal heart pendant and am getting a cake serving set)

When you are just starting out sending out to a contest is a test of sorts. How well received will my first pages be when I send them to an agent or editor? The feedback from 1st round judges vary. Some make you think you could be the next Sherrilyn Kenyon and others make you think you'd be better off as a fry cook. But these are people who don't know you and that's important. They don't have to be harsh, but they can be real about what they think. If they are allowed to be feedback. Something to be aware of when looking for a contest. This can be a testing ground for an idea you aren't sure about.

When you start to get better at writing (which you should always be getting better), you enter contests because of the final judge or judges. Maybe it's your dream agent or editor. This is the real prize. Some editors will tell you what they like or dislike about your entry, but generally they'll just rank you among the other two entries. However, the real prize is the request for a full. This lets you bypass the query stage and the editor slush pile. You get to write "Requested Materials" on your envelope.

Obviously, the MS needs to stand up to the expectations of the piece you submitted to the contest. When L.A. Cinderella won the Marlene, I got a cool heart pendant and a full request. This eventually led to Silhouette Special Edition buying my book. With Fallen, I placed 2nd in the Golden Gateway which gave me a free membership to FTHRW, but I also got a request from the final editor who is on my list when this MS gets done again.

Finally a Bride contest is an interesting contest. You can enter this contest if you've finaled in a contest during the year but didn't get 1st place. So the entries are all top notch to begin with. Making it to the finals was amazing. Winning and getting a request is crazy. So I'm happy as a peach.

One final note on contests, the Golden Hearts is the contest put on by RWA National. You get a number score and that's it on your MS, but if you happen to final, you get noticed by agents and editors. It's the equivalent of winning a golden ticket to Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. You may not get the keys to the factory at the end, but the ride will be really cool.

Friday, January 22, 2010


So I've given myself a little leeway while waiting for my Beta readers to get back to me on Exposed. I started the followup to Exposed and then got stalled on the heroine's career. So I turned to FALLEN. Yes, I enjoy beating a dead horse. Actually I'm enjoying it a lot more the third time around. I cut it back to around 3000 words. I've always loved the opening, but the book didn't keep the promise of the opening. This time it will. I sure hope at least. Why cheating then? Well, as soon as I ship off Exposed to my agent, it's back to Charm. I need to finish my proposal for a three books series and I need to develop the series overview for FALLEN, which will be changing names after the pleathora of FALLENs that have been flooding the market. *sigh* That would be my fault for having to rewrite it over and over again.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Done Again!

The ending wasn't the best on Exposed, so I rewrote the ending. I ended up with a lot of words and will be sending to another set of crit partners to look for all the stuff I missed, including missed opportunities. Never underestimate a good critique relationship. If you find someone who finds what you miss, grab on and hold.

I also have a new design on my website and blog. Check out the links above for the home page. I'm excited about L.A. Cinderella's upcoming release. At some point I'll get back to my paranormal, but the characters are talking for my category romances.