Thursday, September 22, 2011

My People!

When I started writing, I did it alone with communication every now and then with other writers, especially while in England (different time zone and all that). For a while I had friends in an endurance writing group who would meet in a Yahoo conference box and we would sprint (write with no distractions) for 45 minutes with 15 minute breaks. I finished quite a few of my earlier stories using this method, but like all good things, I was able to work during the day and most of them had day jobs :( So as that dwindled off, I moved into lurking in chat rooms on Romance Divas and Writechat.net where they do 20 minute challenges (same as sprints but with a cooler name).

You'd be amazed at some of the numbers I could produce in 20 minutes. Okay maybe not you, but I was ;) But there was a lot of chatter going on in the chat rooms and sometimes no one was around and it's kind of weird to whip yourself. Enter Twitter.

Oh, thank you, you brilliant writers you, who use twitter as a device to orchestrate #1k1hr challenges. The goal 1000 words in an hour. People who write during the day are there! And there's almost always one going on. With a book to write that's fully plotted and just needs to be drafted, this is manna from Heaven. Of course it doesn't stop the phone calls or the TV calling (what? it does. It mocks me with it's darkness.), but it does give me that kick in the pants to write, which is what I need.

I know 2 posts in a month. I'm spoiling ya :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Hard Sell

Selling the first book should have been the hard part of this business. Usually it takes a few tries and you get closer each time and finally after much toiling you sell. L.A. Cinderella was my third completed manuscript and I entered it in a contest because they were low in entries. When it won, I got a request for the full and eventually a contract for that book. I started working feriously on Casanova Exposed, but it wasn't right for the line. My editor and I have gone back and forth on a few more books and we're getting close, but somehow I'm just not finding that next book.

So for me the hardest sell has become my second book. I'm continuing to submit to Harlequin because I love category romance and want to find that story that will resonate with readers. So I continue to try. I'm also looking at writing single title contemporary romance and one of my favorites, paranormal romance. I have plenty of ideas and am continuing to submit, because that's what this industry boils down to: perseverence. You'll hear it over and over again from all levels of writers.

Will I self-publish in ebook? Hubby has green lighted me if I want to go that direction, but I'm not ready for that. There's more to a book than just the writing and right now, I want to focus on the writing. I haven't completely shelved Casanova Exposed, just put him on the waiting line for later.

Right now I'm at a cross roads in my career. I have something on submission with my editor, which hopefully they love. I also have two more synopses ready to go should we need something else for them to look at. But the looking at takes time. So while I wait, I need to figure out what direction next. And hopefully I figure out the right next move.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Bad Author Bad

I feel like I've neglected my poor blog for so long. :( I even got repremanded at Nationals by the lovely Abigail Strom, a fellow Special Edition author, for not posting since March! (Totally deserved the reprimand) L.A. Cinderella is enjoying a world tour after being published in Australia, Italy, Argentina and the UK. I never know when the next box of books will come in. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for France.

I went to Romantic Times Conference out in L.A. and got a great tour by my critique partner, Jeannie Lin. I just returned from New York where the Romance Writers of America had their national conference. It gave me time to talk with my editor and agent and reconnect with my writing friends and meet new friends. I had a fantastic time and it really was the kick in the pants I needed to keep on keeping on.

I've been working on proposals for Special Edition and when I get just the right one, I'll let you all know. I've also had my single titles stewing in the back of my brain for when I'm out on submission again. Trying to decide between reviving my angels, classing up Las Vegas with a contemporary or bringing back the dead with my zombie book. So dark paranormal, light contemporary or dark humor paranormal (kind of a mix of both). Meanwhile, I have a lot of ideas for Special Editions and hopefully one of them will be the right book to work on next.

I haven't given up yet :) And I still need to write a ton this month because I'm behind where I was last year and this month last year I wrote almost 20K words. Of course, I was recovering from surgery last year and probably a little loopey on pain meds, but words is words. ;)

Thursday, March 17, 2011


I'm not only a writer but I love to read a good romance novel. I struggled through reading some romances and they were okay, but I had this amazing book waiting for me that I had waited for for over a year. That had been left on a cliff hanger for over a year!

Seriously, I devoured this book. I couldn't stop thinking about it when I wasn't reading it and I couldn't put it down when I was. There were issues with the storytelling. First person present tense and then last it went into past tense. She included a secondary first person point of view that I don't think really needed to be there. But overall the story telling was gripping, which makes me want to dissect it and figure out what makes it tick. Unfortunately that isn't my strength. I know other writers who could probably tell me exactly what technique she used that had me so captivated. A lot of time it boils down to voice, but in this case it was voice and questions. The outcome was never clear in my mind. I never knew who to trust and who not to (because the main character didn't and it was told solely from her POV). There are cameos of characters I loved from her past romance books.

Besides the story beginning (five books ago) with the death of her sister, only bad people died. Good people sometimes did bad things, but they all survived in the end. I know I cared about the characters and wanted to see them come through it. At times I didn't like some of them, but I always cared about the POV character, even when she was being stupid. If there's a secret formula it's evading me.

Moral of the story write a damned good book. How to do that? *shrug*

Back to the grind stone for me... Try to write a damned good book!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Busy, busy


This is what I've been working on lately. That and writing....

Not much more to add. At least, not right now. ;)

Hopefully I'll have news soon, whether good, bad or indifferent.

Monday, January 31, 2011

So What Changes When You are Published...

So before I entered the world of the published, I could write whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. Granted that concept didn't always work, but it was fun. I could dabble in this and try out that. Now that I've sold, I'm trying to sell the same style over again. I went out on a limb with my option book and it unfortunately fell to the ground quivering in a heap. But the voice is still there. So I proposed a different type of book, a little more down to earth and a lot less Hollywood. I sent off the synopsis and waited and waited and wrote the book while I waited and waited some more.

Then I made all these grand schemes of how I was going to write more in 2011. I was going to conquer a first draft every month starting in January. Okay, well maybe not January, I want to try to revise my Hollywood story for single title, so I'll work on that and revise my poor Fallen, who has been neglected. And then I'll have the distance to revise the SSE I had completed. Yay! A plan.

In January I heard back on my synopsis and we talked about how to make it a stronger story. So Hollywood is off the plate and Fallen slips further off the dessert plate. I embrace this new concept for the completed story with the gusto of Eeyore. But when I finally get the right spin on it, I am once again Pooh (okay seriously how many metaphors can I throw in this, it's become a bit of a challenge at this point, bear with me). Ready to take off into the 1000 acre woods and find adventure.

So instead of tackling something new or making something old pretty, I'm working on (man, I wish I could use borrowed or blue here) revamping the NaNo book and giving it new life. So I'm postponing writing something new and revising the single titles to get the book that has the attention pretty as a posey again.

(I swear I won't try to stuff metaphors down your throat anymore. But heck it was fun trying) :)

What I'm trying to say is priorities change after you've become published and you have to be flexible enough to cope with different schedules and perhaps changing something you loved to make it a better story. And even if something wasn't good for Publisher A, maybe Publisher B will enjoy it. Oh, wait I've got it. When life gives you lemons, throw them at the person who gave them to you, because seriously without sugar lemonade isn't that good.

Did I mention the kids are home on snow day? :)

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Happy New Year!!!!

Yes, I vanished for the month of December. I finished Finding Home Again, mostly on my netbook, because my laptop display died. :-( But then it came back :-)  And then it died again :-(  And then it couldn't decide what to do :-|  So as of the end of last year I have a new laptop.

I spent the remainder of December reading the following:
What I Did for Love by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Just the Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James
Breathing Room by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Glitter Baby by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Heartthrob by Suzanne Brockmann

All of the books were recommended from my friends as books with Hollywood heroes/heroines. Since I want to take one of my stories and expand it.

I do have goals for this year. I'd love to write at least 4 books for Silhouette/Harlequin and one additional single title. I'd actually love to write more, but that's a beginning.

I have three books currently that need revised, so that takes priority. Then I'll start writing again. Hubby wrote me a great program that is like the NaNo statistics keeper (I still have to load it on this machine). My much faster machine. :-) I'm feeling better and my hip feels better, so here's hoping for a painfree year.