February 15th, 2007
Print Proof!

 

I got the print proof for Witch Fire today. It is very, very, verra purty. 🙂

 

February 15th, 2007
A Crafty Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Elements of Synopsis Writing

1. Be a sexy hooker. Find a line that’s intriguing, or humorous, something that immediately grabs the reader’s attention and makes them want to read on.

2. One paragraph describing the internal conflict for the heroine or hero — usually the protagonist comes first. In romance the story is about two main characters, but you still have a protagonist. In my books, that’s generally the heroine. It’s mostly her journey.

3. One paragraph describing the internal conflict for the other main character. Ideally, the internal conflicts of both the h/h should dovetail and grate against each other. (For example, in Blood of an Angel the heroine has a special grievance against vampires and, as luck would have it, the hero is a vampire.) In these two paragraphs explain why this is the worst possible match for both characters.

4. A paragraph describing the external conflict. This is whatever external circumstances are bringing and keeping the h/h together long enough for them to fall in love. The external conflict, ideally, should magnify the internal conflicts.

5. The inciting incident. This is whatever happens that pulls the protagonist and/or main character from his/her ordinary circumstances into the external conflict.

6. Alliance. The characters decide to overlook their differences and work together to resolve a situation, the external conflict.

7. “Holy crap, I’m attracted to you.” First intimacy occurs. The heroine and hero discover they’re attracted to each other on whatever level — sexual, emotional, both.

8. “What the hell was I thinking?” When the brief interlude ends and the h/h remember all their fears and internal conflicts

9. The external conflict draws the h/h back together. They must work together to resolve the situation, no matter how they might feel about each other. Of course, they’re still attracted to each other. They’re falling in love despite the odds.

10. The black moment. Just when you think everything might turn all right, disaster strikes. This could be a result of the external conflict coming to a head, the internal conflict coming to a head, or both.

11. Resolution. When all conflicts are resolved and the h/h find their Happily Ever After (this is must in the romance genre).

12. Make sure you: Show the first meeting between the h/h, show their first kiss, include the loves scenes (esp impt for erotic romance).

13. Make sure you don’t: Write a synopsis that reads likes a textbook, leave out the ending or try to hook the editor at the end, or overcomplicate things.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. Shiloh Walker

2. Rhian

3. Vixenwriter – Lauren Dane

4. Annie

5. Joely

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

View More Thursday Thirteen Participants

February 14th, 2007
Love

Some people scorn Valentine’s Day as a commercial holiday, some embrace it as a celebration of romantic love. Some people hate Valentine’s Day because they haven’t yet found anyone yet to share it with. Whatever you think of Valentine’s Day, here is it. Again.

My opinion of the holiday falls somewhere in the middle. I note it, buy a gift for my honey, accept his gift to me and move on. If my honey doesn’t buy me a gift…HE’S IN REALLY BIG TROUBLE!!!!! Ahem. Just kidding. Seriously, I don’t really care about V-Day. *koff* Really.

But Valentine’s Day has me thinking about love in all its various forms — ALL forms of love, not just romantic love. There is motherly love, sisterly and brotherly love. There is the love we feel for our friends, our pets. There is the love we hopefully feel for ourselves.

However, this Valentine’s Day I find myself thinking a lot about the kind of love I have with my husband. Something I would term “mature love”.

Ugh. I feel old now.

Anyway, after over a dozen years of being together I would say that the blush is definitely off the rose. Oh, we have our moments of return to that giddy place when we were first together, when passion ran high and my heart beat faster just because of his presence. But, let’s face it, that kind of love doesn’t last…and thank goddess! Otherwise we’d all have heart attacks five years into our relationships.

No, my husband and I have that enduring, settled, I-can-finish-your-sentence kind of love. The kind of love that has weathered storms that made our relationship stronger. The kind of love that is comfortable and based in deep friendship. My husband is my best friend and I know he’s got my back as we progress through life. Just as I have his back. (No! That’s NOT what I meant, you perves! I mean we’re protective and supportive of each other.)

Even though he and I are different personality-wise and we’ve found a way to make that work. We complement each other and give the other what we, individually, don’t possess in our personalities.

So, I guess I’m giving up a little yay for the more “seasoned” type of love this year…even though it makes me feel old. (I got married young, peoples!)

This Valentine’s Day, I hope you DO celebrate. Who cares if it’s commercialized! What holiday isn’t? Today is just one more excuse to honor love, in any form, and that’s never a bad thing.

If you don’t have a sweetheart, celebrate anyway. Celebrate yourself. Treat yourself to something nice, a bubble bath and a glass of wine. Give yourself the evening to do whatever it is you want to do and free yourself from chores and responsibilities.

If you have a friend you’ve been meaning to call, call him or her! If you have a pet, buy her some cat nip or a dog toy.

Celebrate the luuuurve, people!

And, so, to show my readers that I love and appreciate them, I’m having a contest. Send me an email at anyabast (at) gmail.com sometime before Friday, February 16th and put LOVE in the subject line and I will hold a drawing for a free download from my backlist.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

February 13th, 2007
Heartbreak Hotel

Today I’m going to talk about heartbreak. Tomorrow, in honor of V-Day, I’ll talk about luuuuurrrrve. Because, you know, into every life a little heartbreak must fall. It goes hand-in-hand with luuuurrrrve.

Yes, heartbreak is something everyone experiences. It’s a “character building experience,” as my father would say. So, yeah, I have a lot of character. Enough with the character-building already! That’s what I screamed in my early twenties. (Luckily the heartbreak ended shortly afterward because I met my current husband).

I can still remember my very first heartbreak poignantly. I was, oh…fourteen, I believe. He was my first Boyfriend of Consequence. It was the innocent, new kind of love. The fourteen-year-old “going with each other” love. Do kids still say they’re “going with” someone or was that an eighties thing?

And, boy, I can still remember the day he broke up with me. We’d been “going together” for quite some time. I thought he walked on water (that opinion changed soon) and we would be together forever, (I’m glad I was wrong about that because I looked him up later on in life. Ahem). It was the middle of winter, snowdrifts up to my eyeballs. That afternoon I’d walked to a friend’s house and talked endlessly of him because I thought he was so cute and soooo awesome and incomparable.

Then I called him. And right there, on the phone, in my friend’s house, out of the clear blue heavily gray snow-clouded skies…he DUMPED my ass! He gave me a speech about a monkey wrench being thrown into a car engine or some such. The bottom line was that…HE’D MET SOMEONE ELSE! Dumped for another girl!

Oh, I thought my heart was going to disintegrate. I can still remember the sorrowful trudge through the snow to get home, my tears freezing to my cheeks. Ah, the drama of youth.

I was miserable for a long time, moped around and thought I was dying. I never went through the “I’ll get him back” phase that most girls and women experience in the initial stage of heartbreak. I went straight to the “that rotten scoundrel!” phase. But I was still heartbroken and despondent.

Months later, after my heart had healed, a met a new boy…and I broke his heart. Heh.

So it goes, round and round. Break, mend, break, mend. And then…sound of angelic choir… hopefully you meet The One. And that love is all the more sweeter for the bedrock of heartbreak it’s laid upon. But more on that tomorrow.

Can you remember your first heartbreak?

February 12th, 2007
Character Motivation

I watched the Texas Chainsaw Massacre with my husband recently–the prequel, not the original. Yes, I know. Don’t say it. I only watched it because we were on an airplane and my laptop battery was dead. 

Before I get into the main part of my blog, let me first say that I deconstruct everything I watch or read. I do it automatically. I mark the inciting incident, the black moment and the resolution. I break down the characters according to their conflict and goals, ect. It drives my husband nuts when I point out that “Oh, there’s the black moment. The movie’s almost over.”  Basically, I have a permanent case of “writer’s brain”. It’s a sad affliction for which there is no cure.

Anyway, at one point the heroine is hovering on the threshold of the front door of the house, violence and certain death behind her and sweet freedom yawning in front of her. Inwardly, I urged her to run! run! run! but she hears her friend upstairs crying pitifully for help. So, instead grasping freedom and life, she turns back into the darkness behind her and reenters the house, pretty much facing utter doom. 

Sounds like a stupid thing to do, right? And yet she has motivation. Because her friend is marked for death, (and consumption by her killers), the heroine has the proper impetus to put herself in harm’s way in order to rescue her. In fact, due to the strength of her motivation, her action displays as bravery, not stupidity. 

If you have a character putting themselves in harm’s way, they BETTER have the proper motivation. It has to be a life or death situation for themselves or someone they care about. If a character puts himself/herself in a dangerous situation without proper motivation, they are deemed TSTL—Too Stupid To Live.

When I read characters who are TSTL, I can’t suspend my disbelief after that point and my enjoyment of the book is greatly diminished. Usually in this case, the book hits the wall. Well, okay, not if it’s an ebook in my portable computer, but you get the idea. *g*

February 8th, 2007
Vacation Photos!

We’ve been on a ski trip for the last week (which is why I haven’t been blogging, see?). Well, actually my husband and our friends were on a ski trip. I just sat around in our lovely rented townhouse, sipped hot chocolate by the fire and acted like a nordic queen (and I wrote a lot ). It was great. I love the cold and snow. I did my heart and soul good to be around it for a while.

So, I’m still a little jet-lagged, but here are some random shots from where we stayed.

 

 

 

February 6th, 2007
Nonbloggfull

I am on vacayshun.   I’ll be back soon. 🙂

February 1st, 2007
A Photographic Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Random Pictures (Okay…I just noticed I skipped number eleven…but, oh well.)

Please excuse the excessive amount of pet pictures.

1. Oh, lookit! There's one now...if you can find him. Oh, lookit! There’s one now…if you can find him.

2. Me, with red highlights in my hair (that lasted about two weeks before the blond ate them) and my glasses on.

3. Dog! She looks sad in this picture, but …

4. …. she’s actually a really happy dog.

5. Oh, look, it’s a twofer! A cat and a dog.

6. My work area. It’s much tider in this picture than normal and I’m really not sure why I have my laptop in there. I don’t normally need two computers at once.

7. Me, having a bad hair day, with a mime in Brussels.

8. Wiggle. My official contest mascot and walk-on character in Ordinary Charm. (He had a cameo in that book)

9. Me, having yet another bad hair day, at the base of the Effel Tower with my husband.

10. At a booksigning in Tennesee. I’m the one with my head bent over, signing a book. The other author is the talented historical romance author Heather Grothaus. Heather, I apologize for posting this pic while you were mid-word. My only other pic from this signing has Shiloh Walker in it and I know she’ll skin me if I post it. I value my skin.

12. A booksigning in Ohio. I’m on the left. The other authors are (left to right), JC Wilder, Charlotte Boyett Compo and Paige Cuccaro.

13. We will end with the Maverick Authors — from left to right is Lauren Dane, Anya Bast (that would be me) & Megan Hart.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. Jenny Ryan

2. Rhian

3. Jaci Burton

4. Shiloh Walker

5. tvaddictgurl

6. Lauren Dane

7. Daisy Dexter Dobbs (She doesn’t have a TT. I just think her blog is cool)

8. Karen

9. Anni

10. jennontheisland

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

View More Thursday Thirteen Participants