Thursday, May 26, 2005

Okay...I know you've heard this before...but HOOKED is finished! Yes, again. At just a few words over 15K, it was decided that it should be longer so readers feel like they're getting their money's worth. LOL

So I've spent the past week polishing into a nice, little jewel that sparkles in all sorts of light. It's now a bit over 17K...and we'll see if that makes the cut.

So now it's back to CABIN FEVER...although I'm going to need to back up quite a few pages and get a running start again. One of the problems with working on two novels at once is keeping the characters straight. I don't want Tania to sound like Isabel...they're totally different women. Or Jim to sound like prefers the jungle of the boardroom, the other the jungle of the wilderness.

Am I teasing you? You bet!

Play safe,

Sunday, May 22, 2005

A special hello to Joy and Linda and Paula and Debby! It was wonderful seeing you at the Border's booksigning in Farmington, CT yesterday. What a great time!

Mary Wine flew in all the way from California for her two signings...and boy are her arms tired. It was great to see her again. She's a wonderful go-getter when it comes to selling EC -- we have no better saleswoman than Mary! If she saw someone browsing in the romance section, she was over there like a flash, chatting with the woman and asking her if she might like to try something a little spicier. Nine times out of ten, the customer was at our table within a minute, ready to learn all about our books and Ellora's Cave! I love working with Mary!

Sarah McCarty is no slouch, either, let me tell you! When she saw we'd been put in the back of the store, she marched right up to management and demanded that we be given better placement, preferably right near the romance section. When Brenda came in from the EC bus to back her up, the manager didn't know what hit him! LOL Needless to say, we were in the center of the store where customers had to pass by. We let very few go by without a hello and many stopped just to see what the fuss was all about. Nice job, Sarah!

We had a great time and met many people from all over the world (including a delightful woman from Ireland who told us her incredibly romantic story about how she met her significant has all the makings of a wonderful book!). I still can't believe Joy came all the way up from NYC to see us.

And now it's back to the laptop for further edits of HOOKED (this is going to be one special story by the time we get done with it. Many, many thanks to Pam Campbell, my editor, for all the time she's spent helping me polish this jewel!). Till later...

Play safe,

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

A great brouhaha is brewing over two recent blog posts (other blogger's work...not my posts). In the first, a fellow writer bemoaned the poor writing she found among erotic romance books. In the second, a gentleman announced that the publishing of ebooks, on the whole, was a failure.

We all know there are good writers who get published...and there are terrible writers that get published. But the glory of living in a democracy, is that, should you put any group of people together from any and all walks of life, give them a pile of books, and you will get an extremely lively discussion about which writers belong in which category. I'm not a fan of Charles Dickens (not that he ever wrote erotic romance, but no one can deny A Tale of Two Cities has romance as its backbone!), but my husband thinks Dickens is one of the best writers ever to exist. So is he a good writer or a terrible one? Depends on who you ask. The blog writer who bemoaned the poor writing is allowed her opinions. I don't have to agree with them.

As to the failure of ebooks as a viable publishing alternative? Hmmm...methinks he hasn't heard of Ellora's Cave! Or, for that matter, several of the ebook publishers that cater to the romance genres. The examples in his article came mostly from the non-fiction side of the aisle, although he did reference other literary forms. He also seemed to think that most ebooks eventually were printed out by the purchaser for easier reading.

He could be right on the last comment. I don't know how many readers actually print the books they buy online. I know I don't. I don't have a neat little reader-ma-bob either. I read them right at my computer screen. For some, I know that's a problem, but my eyes are in that in-between stage right now. LOL I use bifocals for distance and closeup work...but the computer screen is exactly the right distance away that I don't need assistance! That's why, if you ever see me, you'll find my glasses perched on top of my head in easy reach if I need to see something across the room or read a piece of paper. But if I want to talk to you, I have to take them off. Otherwise I'm doing the head-nod thing trying to determine which part of my glasses work best to see you!

So to answer each tempest in a teapot with a dash of my own spice: there are good and bad writers of every genre. Read the authors you like; ignore the ones you don't. And don't bury the ebook publishers just yet...they're still alive and kicking in my experience!

Play safe!

Saturday, May 14, 2005

To paraphrase an old movie: what would happen if they gave a booksigning and nobody showed up?

Many thanks to Julie...our one and only attendee at the first stop of the EC bus tour! I'm afraid Borders didn't quite do the advance advertising we'd hoped...although the timing was also against us. Seems two major colleges in the area had their graduation ceremonies this everyone who would normally be in the bookstore was occupied. Even the mall next store which is normally one of the busiest malls in the Albany area, was empty when I went shopping afterward.

Oh, well. Jennifer Dunne and I had a great time talking with Julie and getting to know each other better as well. The EC bus is resplendent, of course...and many people stopped by to talk to the staff there. LOL I think Jennifer and I might have had more traffic if we had been out by the bus!

Still and all, it was great fun and I'm looking forward to doing it again in 2 weeks time in Farmington, CT. Several fans have already told me they'll be there...and I look forward to meeting them in person! Very cool.

My editor sent CABIN FEVER to me yesterday for the first go-round of edits. Darn point of view is shifting again. Not sure what got into me this winter that all of a sudden I keep head-hopping. One paragraph of what she's thinking...the next in his head. Enough to drive a reader to thinking she's watching a tennis match! Gotta fix that.

Off to work!
Play safe,

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

HOOKED is no longer a Quickie. With only 115 words to go before reaching EC's guidelines for a novella, I'm having another go at it and pushing it to the longer length. Wasn't a hard decision to reach...when I went to fill out the cover request and got to the question about the hero's appearance, I couldn't remember if Jim had blonde hair or brown. And what color were his eyes? I didn't have the foggiest.

Now, if the author can't remember the basic physical characteristics of her hero, how on earth does she expect her readers to remember? "More visual detail" is the mantra my editor hammers at me...and with good reason. So tonight, I shall be rereading it with an eye towards throwing in key phrases to give the readers a great visual image of hero and heroine.

Sooner or later, I'll stop tinkering with this story!

Play safe,

Monday, May 09, 2005

Have been working on the edits for HOOKED all week. I sent off one version to my editor...she sent it back saying the sex needed to be hotter. At the moment, it would get an "S" rating, not the more coveted "E" (for Erotic) one. So I figured, no problem...just have them play a little more, right?

I love it when my characters understand there's another whole level to a scene that I didn't even realize was there. Jim, the male protagonist, finally shouted it in my ear: "This scene is about sensation, idiot! Where are all the wonderful sensations I can put Tania through? Would you just write them in please???"

And like the obedient writer I am...I'm giving the Dom what he asks for...

Of course, now we're skirting the novella length instead of EC's guidelines for a Quickie....

Back to work for me...need to give that Dom something to do with his hands....


Wednesday, May 04, 2005

I spent both Monday and Tuesday getting caught up. DIAMOND HEAT is almost ready for print...Ruby, Ruth and I had to go over the galleys and spot any changes that needed to be made. Not too bad, I only found 2 mistakes I'd made and one that was a spacing error. Our changes are now in, so that should be released in paperback sometime over the summer. July, maybe?

I also started a business plan. When I sold my first manuscript, SECRET SUBMISSION, to Ellora's Cave, I had no idea that a writer's life was more than just writing the books. LOL Boy, do I know better now! Promotional items, webpages, newsletters, conventions...the list goes on. I begin to understand why JK Rowling is having trouble getting a book written!

So now I'm beginning to actually think of my writing career like a business...and that actually has brought about some exciting ideas. Nothing I'm ready to announce...but lots I'm considering for the website. Need to get a DBA (Doing Business As...) form and go from there. So much to keep in my head!

Today I'm hoping to find some time to work on the short story I have underway for the next Caveman series. It needs to be in by September. And my editor has told me I should have edits on HOOKED and CABIN FEVER back soon, so those will take up my time quickly.

Back to work! Play safe,

Monday, May 02, 2005

I do apologize for not posting yesterday, but when you read about my day, you'll understand why.

It all started early. Anxious to get home, Angelica and I headed down to the lobby to go souvenier shopping. We made our purchases, then noticed the very long line for the shuttle bus. After some discussion, we headed back up to finish our packing and head out. If we had to wait in line for the bus, with no guarentee that we'd make it on that particular run, we figured we'd best get in line now.

The checkout went smoothly and the clerk handed us a form to fill out for comments...boy, did we have comments for them! Believe me, the hotel WILL be getting an earful because we'll be sending our remarks by we have lots of time to get the phrasing exactly right .

The first bump came at the airport. Curbside check-in. The attendant cannot find our flight...then discovers it's been cancelled and all the passengers shifted to a flight that leaves 15 minutes earlier. Grateful that we'd given ourselves plenty of time, we were not distressed at the news. Until he told us we were not showing up as passengers FOR that flight. In fact, we were not showing up at all. On any flight. Going anywhere.

Some tense moments followed as he tried first one thing, then another. Resigned to having to hassle with the ticket counter, we had picked up our bags and turned to go when he called us back. For whatever reason, our names, which hadn't been on the screen earlier, suddenly popped up on the flight when he refreshed the screen. Relief!

I gotta tell you, I love flying. I had so much fun! Especially banking...making those turns makes me feel like I'm on a ride in an amusement park. Way too cool. Just way too cool.

Chicago -- O'Hare airport. No problems landing. We go to leave the plane and the pilot is standing in the cockpit door saying farewell to the passengers. I swear, he's twelve. I'm not kidding. Skinny little thing who can't be out of puberty. There's a good reason they don't let you see the pilot until you're safely on the ground!

We grab a bite to eat (neither of us had eaten yet and it's now after 11:00) and head for the gate. Just get comfortable when the gatekeeper announces our flight is "over weight" and needs to be lightened by three passengers. Wish taking pounds off my thighs was so easy! They'd give a $250 flight voucher to any passenger who volunteered to take a later flight. LOL Angelica and I headed right for the counter. I'm no fool.

The later flight took off at 9:44 (it was now close to 3:00 pm). The airline would give us the flight voucher as well as a $20.00 food voucher and bump us to first class if we agreed to give up our seats on the scheduled flight. Didn't even need to discuss it. We agreed.

So now we have several hours to kill in the airport. A restaurant not too far away from the gate looked promising, but since we had time, we wandered a bit to check out the other places. Except those darn bags get pretty heavy after a while, so we went back to our original choice, the Chicago Tap & Grill at Gate G. I was wearing my "Got sex?" T-shirt and the waitress laughed out loud when she saw it. I turned around so she could read the back and she said, "Ellora's Cave? I LOVE those books!" I grinned and gave her my business card (everything else was packed...gotta start thinking ahead....) and signed it for her. She was so excited!Let me tell you, I've never had better service at a restaurant before! She hadn't read any of my books, but she sure knew EC! And if you're reading this...Hi, Diana! (yes, our waitress and I have the same first name!)

The restaurant was gracious and no one tried to kick us out, even as I sat there nursing a Coke after dinner and typing away furiously on my laptop (had a great idea for a short to submit for the Ellora's Cavemen series...wrote 6 pages waiting for the plane. See? You guys win by our taking the later flight, too!). But after a while it started to fill up and when tables became scarce, we decided to make a graceful departure.

Our flight was on time and things went well, until we went to get on the plane. We were first row...great seats! Only the idiot businessman in the seat across the aisle had put his briefcase into the overhead instead of under his seat because he wanted the extra leg room. But that meant OUR carryons had to go in the back cupboard. You know...the one all the way at the BACK of the plane...the one you can't get to until everyone else is already off? GRRRR. Not happy campers about that. But the flight crew was gracious and the city gorgeous beneath us in the dark. It looked as if someone had scattered brilliant amber diamonds on a black velvet cloth to see the lights of the city below. I watched until we climbed above the clouds and we couldn't see anymore.

We landed at home just before midnight. By the time we got our bags (which, amazingly, had been transferred to the proper flight!) and drove home, it was almost 2:00 am. As I said, I apologize for not writing yesterday, but now you see why.

Very soon I shall put the quiz up on my newsletter site for the wonderful readers I have. Some of you I met in St.'re ALL terrific. I won't spoil it and tell the wonderful surprises I have for you as prizes for this contest...but let me say, I was thinking of you at RT!

Take care and play safe,