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Showing posts from July, 2009

Another Irish Hunk Hero

posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy One month from tomorrow, my second release The Treasures of Venice is scheduled to hit the shelves. I'll be a multi-published author! WOW! I don't think the full impact has hit me yet, and probably won't until I go into a book store and see both my books there on the shelves. I'm still getting accustomed to the concept that people are reading my stories and loving my characters. I don't think this truly hit home with me until a couple of weeks ago. The afternoon of our Sourcebooks book signing to be exact! The other booksignings I've had thus far really didn't compare with this one. Suddenly there were all these people I didn't know lined up for me to autograph my book. WHAT A RUSH! (Here's a photo of me at the signing.) Many of them commented on how much they liked Irish heroes, and of course, I told them my next book had an Irish hero too. In fact, my critique partners and anyone else who has read The Tre

One Editor's 2009 RWA National Highlights

posted by Deb Werksman Nationals this year were in Washington, D.C. and it was, as always, a GREAT conference. It's amazing to spend time in an environment where the energy is so positive and supportive and everyone is out for success. Sourcebooks was there in full force with myself, our publisher Dominique Raccah and our publicist Danielle Jackson. Here are some of my highlights: RWA UPDATED READER SURVEY *Notable items from updated reader survey: --the midwest and south have the highest concentrations of romance readers --readers are feeling the impact of the economy --they haven't stopped reading, but are borrowing/sharing more books and using the library more, but if they REALLY want a book, they'll buy it (the hook, the hook, the hook :-)) --about the same number of readers buy their romances from the large chain bookstores as buy them in the mass market retailers. Lots of other good data that gives us all a lot to think about.If you didn't get a co

The Joy of Soap

There's nothing quite like realizing at 12:20 AM Tuesday night that your Wednesday post hasn't been written yet, and also that you won't have the chance to write it on the morrow. Not only that, but you have no topic, no ideas, no inspiration. Then, you take a shower and feel the creamy soap on your skin, the delicate fragrance, the hot water flowing over your tired muscles, soothing the soul and freeing the mind. And thus it came to me. My blog topic. Emotions. That's what we write about. Feelings, desires, attitudes, and beliefs. A friend of mine who is in the process of reading The Cat Star Chronicles series told me a few days ago that she was reading Outcast and was enjoying it even more than the previous three. She wasn't sure why, exactly, but thought it might be because the story had more emotions in it. "Ah hah!" I said. "That's because it's written in third person. You're getting the male point of view, seeing Lynx's emotions

Writing Under the Influence!

What influences you to read a book? The setting? The characters? The plot? The suspense? The humor? The sexiness? The thrill? So see, as readers, we even read under the influence. :) So what influences us to write? In Destiny of the Wolf , the heroine was in a vehicle accident. I was in that accident. I saw the air bag inflate. Felt the pain from it. Also in Destiny of the Wolf , the heroine must rappel off a mountain. I've done that. She turned upside down by accident. Who would do such a thing on purpose? :) Except when I did it, that time was off a five-story building. And it was embarrassing. So what influenced me to write scenes like this? Actually living them, except changing them a little to suit the story...different time of year, different location, werewolf vs. human. LOL :) What influenced me to write To Tempt the Wolf was that I used to visit the Oregon coast a lot when I lived in Tigard, suburb of Portland. And I loved it. But I also had read some historical stories w

Summertime, and the Living is . . .

By: Marie Force Summertime is a pain the rear. There. I said it. Now I feel better. I live in southeastern New England, which means about eight to ten weeks of really pristine weather per year. That's it. So the pressure to make the most of it is enormous. It starts right around Memorial Day with weekly cookouts, beach trips, boat outings, summer sailing camp for the kids, and generally just go, go, go. All of which makes someone who is usually a daily writer quite cranky because days go buy in the chaotic mix of summer during which absolutely nothing gets written. Now those of you who are landlocked or sweating it out in one California valley or the other are probably singing the same song: cry me a river. I hear you. Believe me, I do. But when you live in a place with world-class beaches that people flock to from all over the world, when you live two towns away from the glorious wonder that is Newport, Rhode Island, when your father spends a mint on a boat that's too big to m

Inspiration--You never know where it'll come from

So I was at National last week, and attending the Leadership Retreat on Wednesday (I'm my chapter's president) and I get a text message from Child A. (Mind you, this meeting I'm in has all sorts of info regarding new IRS rules governing non-profit organizations and we have to bring our chapters in line with National's stance to fulfill these rules, so I'm taking copious notes. Let me also say that the children were in the care of their grandmother because my husband had a last-minute meeting out of town that he had to attend, which had NOT been in the original plan when I decided to go to National.) The texts went something like this: Child A : "Mom, can I get a hamster?" Me : "Fine, but you have to pay for it." Child A : "Okay. Can Child B get a ferrett?" Me : "NO ferrett!" Child A: "Why not?" Me : "Because they're too expensive and we have dogs." Child B now takes the phone from Child A and starts t

And so it begins....

The day before I flew off to DC for the RWA National Conference, our wonderful and adorable publicist Danielle Jackson sent me the preliminary list of websites that have agreed to host me for blogs or interviews as part of the “Loving Mr. Darcy: Journeys Beyond Pemberley” launch. The official date of release is September 1, but as we all know, the blog blitz virtual tour begins several weeks prior! I thanked Danielle, but also told her that, all things considered, I refused to more than glance at the list until after the conference and family vacations were over! Well, the time has come and I can no longer find excuses to procrastinate. Well, I could – LOL – but I shall attempt to be a responsible, good little author and start writing my blogs ASAP so I shan’t be doing what I am doing at this very second, i.e. writing my essay some six hours before it is due to post! Ha!! I have thought a great deal on the themes for the bulk of my blogs when “Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy” was rele

Those Pesky Doubts

by Libby Malin You've heard the stories -- Bestselling Author X sells his first book after a friend shows a partial of the manuscript to her agent, who signs the fellow and puts the book up for auction leading to a "major deal." Or Bestselling Author Y mentions his idea for a novel to an editor over lunch and she buys it sight unseen, leading to rewards, both financial and literary, for all involved. Don't those stories just make your teeth grind? Most writers' publication paths are bumpier, with stalls and stops along the way, and occasional breakdowns. But the overnight success stories do tantalize, and I wouldn't be surprised if many writers (if not most) cherished the dream that their rewards would be similar to those lucky authors who make it big quickly. When I first began taking writing seriously and committing myself to the goal of being published -- when I decided to stop dabbling and start working at it -- I cherished those dreams

Keep on keepin' on

Before I sold my first book to Silhouette, I had amassed several full manuscripts as I toyed with themes and voice, some right for Silhouette, some not. One particular manuscript (we'll call it "Love Story" for the purposes of this blog) wasn't right for Silhouette but had finalled in many contests and was a favorite story of mine. I never gave up hope that one day "Love Story" would find a home somewhere. Fast forward several years and several other sales. This spring, Sourcebooks acquisitions editor Deb Werksman attended the NOLA STARs Written in the Stars conference in Shreveport, Louisiana. It was a thrill for me to have another chance to chat with Deb and introduce her to some Southern foods. (She liked the catfish, but the collard greens, not so much.) During our dinner, I pitched "Love Story" to her, and she asked me to send the full to her. So I went home after the weekend conference, pulled the book out of storage and sent

The First Page

By Robin Kaye Beginning a book is always difficult, especially when you don’t have that beginning scene to build the book around. I think it’s because I’m slowly changing from a seat-of-the-pants writer to a plotter in the hope that if I have the entire plot, I’ll be able to see if there are holes in it before I write the entire book. This is especially helpful since I am now writing on deadline. Back when I was a card-carrying pantser, a scene would pop into my head and like magic, I’d have a fabulous opening scene and from there the plot would flow. Now that I’m a quasi-plotter, I have the whole story line and at the very least, the hero and heroine in my mind. I know what’s going to happen in the beginning, the middle and the end. I have the conflict, the black moment and even the happy ending but where do I begin the book? Every character has a back-story whether it’s written in the text or not. His or her entire life story is in the author’s mind. That’s how an author crafts three

There Will Be Tears

posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy Another RWA National Conference is over and yer olde Aunty is home again, exhausted but happy because it was all SO MUCH FUN! Well, mostly... except for all those huge emotional highs and lows that happened constantly. Yup, it happens to me at every conference, and I know I'm not the only one. (Aunty raises an eyebrow at her CasaBabes/Sisters.) This year's conference in Washington DC was no exception. Everyone who has been on this blog for more than five minutes knows that yer olde Aunty has a reputation for being a "tough cookie." I write about murder, mahem and things that go boom. Aunty does not like mornings (as several of the CasaBabes will now testify after seeing with their own eyes) and makes no secret of it. Aunty carries a whip (only a tiny little riding crop) and knows how to use it! That is why, to my everlasting chagrin, at some point in every RWA conference, I find myself tearful, and this year it happened a

RWA 2009—Truly Serendipitous

I’m probably not being very original with how the next few blog posts will follow for the next week or so, but the RWA 2009 National Conference this year was one of many firsts for me! My first national conference workshop panel, my first time speaking at the Sourcebooks Spotlight, and our first Sourcebooks sponsored signing! I apologize for my lack of photos, but I’m not sure I have the brain power to maneuver them around in the blogger set up! My Workshop Panel I like to think I’m an OK public speaker—I’ve never been one that hated speaking in front of others, but I’ve never really been that person to volunteer either!! But I have to say, RWA was the perfect place to start out, mainly because everyone is so nice, but I was extremely lucky to not only be on a fabulous panel, but I had many of the lovely Sourcebooks Casababes there for support. Judi took pictures (and Mama J says thanks!), and many more sat in places I could easily see—and it was nice to see smiling faces

Reflections on my first RWA National Conference

As I write this post, it's 0652 on Saturday morning. I haven't seen the Sourcebooks Spotlight, nor have I been to the Rita Awards or the Sourcebooks booksigning, but I have certainly done plenty of other things. First off, I made it here, on a plane, all by myself. This in itself was a first for me. I've never done much traveling alone, and rarely on a plane. But I did it. I've only been to one conference that came anywhere near the magnitude of this one. But I did it. I really hate going to events where I know very few of the people in attendance. But I did it. A lot of people will tell you, "Oh, I could NEVER write a book!" But I did it. And so did many of the other conference attendees. I think that says a lot. Here are hundreds of women who didn't baulk at the challenge, and I am one of them. Listening to the speeches given by Janet Evanovich, Linda Howard, and Eloisa James were very inspiring. Their stories were not unlike my own--they've just bee

Reality TV: How Real Is It?

If anyone knows me well, they know I dote on Reality TV in a shameful way. I watch American Idol and Dancing with the Stars , Survivor and Amazing Race , of course, but I watch some of the less admirable (read: totally over-the-top guilty pleasure types) too. I've cringed through the hot tub scenes on the Bachelor/Bachelorette , squealed in disgust at the bug-milkshakes on I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here , and rolled my eyes until they stuck in my head with Paris Hilton, My New BFF (really, who signs up thinking they're really going to be Paris's new best friend?). Do I think they're real, though? No way, at least, not in the sense of being real, unscripted, unedited versions of life. Reality TV adheres religiously to the constructs of fictional narrative (there, I almost made it sound respectable, didn't I?). Fiction is built using six building blocks: Character, Dialogue, Setting, Plot, Point of View and Time Sequence (Beginning, Transitions, End) (ref:

Romances with Pets???

On another group blog I'm on, one of the authors brought up the question something to the affect of: do you ever write about pets in your romances? As a reader, do you enjoy reading about a hero or heroine who own pets? dreamstime© Serghei Starus But as a caveat~~I'm sure for my benefit since I'm the only werewolf author on the blog [or maybe that should be the only author who writes about werewolves on the blog] ~~ she said that werewolves didn't count. :) LOL Of course werewolves don't count. They're not anyone's pet! :) But as to the author's question about romances with pets, in Book 6 of my werewolf series, title as yet to be determined, the newly turned heroine has a cat. So how will a cat and a werewolf interact? And if the heroine brings home a hunky werewolf boyfriend, how will the cat and he get along? Such is the fun of writing about something that is a little bit out of this world. :) I love animals and have raised Afghan hounds, silky terr

CasaBabes Gone Wild

The room was your typical beige interior complete with table, chairs, eight women and eight handcuffs. Wait a minute? Handcuffs? “I can’t believe this happened,” Judi fumed, pacing the length of the room. “I have meetings! I need to get out of here right now!” “And I have a luncheon appointment,” Kendra muttered, slinking down in her chair as she looked at her watch.. “I’m sure they’ll realize this was all a mistake and let us go,” Michele said, the voice of reason among chaos. “What will Deb say?” Danielle wailed, trying to cover her face with her hands, but her handcuffs kept her suitably restrained. “Ladies, ladies, ladies.” Horace ambled into the room, carrying a gargoyle sized Dunhill briefcase. “Horace, what are you doing here?” Marie asked. “I called Linda for help. Did she send you?” The gargoyle inspected his claws. “Um, well, it seems Linda was out and I just happened to hear your message on her voice mail. And um, it somehow got erased after I heard it. Hey!" He ducked