May 26th, 2006
New cover squee!

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May 24th, 2006
Accountability, craft, art, and service industries

I’m mostly reacting to this post over on Smart Bitches Love Trashy Novels, plus a couple other recent posts. I will tangent from the basic topic because I like to tangent.

I react negatively to the notion that writers work in a service industry even though (in some ways) I think it’s true. The discussion on SBLTN veered off in the direction “who do I blame when I get a book I think is drek? Should I demand my money back? Ect….)

Well, here’s the thing, one person’s drek is another person’s polished diamond. Reading is a subjective experience. When a woman picks up a book she reads it through her personal filter–all of her past experiences, everything her momma and life taught her, all the things she’s ever experienced and learned. Everything is perspective. Sometimes an author’s voice will not mesh with a reader’s filter. That’s just the way it is.

I truly dislike some books and authors out there who are wildly popular with a lot of readers. Do I think the work in question is “drek”? Yeah, maybe, but I’m not going to demand my money back for the book, or write the author or editor a nasty email. I make a judgment about whether to try that author again or not. If the trend is still drek after a second try, I just stop reading her and move on. I’m not going to play the part of the unhappy consumer. That’s not really the way it should work.

Why?

Because by talking about authors and their books in a service industry context we grow dangerously close to asking writers to PANDER and that’s just gross. Not to mention that we risk homogenizing novels so that they appeal to everyone (which mean they would appeal to no one). I have an image of a factory cookie-cutting novels out one after another.

As a reader you take a risk when you buy a book. Because of your personal filter you may not end up liking the story. *shrug*

I think of my writing as part art and part craft. I am a pragmatist and I do enjoy being compensated for the work I do. However I would probably still write even if I were not being compensated. Ever since I was a small child I’ve written. I do it because I love language. I love how the words fit together, how they sound, look and feel. I love creating worlds and people. I love telling stories. If you stopped paying me to do that, I would still do it because it’s a part of me.

But, since I do want to make this a paying career, I do think about marketability when I sit down and plot a book, but I do it within the confines of my comfort area. As long as I can write a book, (and, most importantly, enjoy writing it), within a subgenre that I know will sell well, I’ll do that. I do think about including elements I think the reader will like, but I won’t force myself to write something I don’t want to write just for money. I won’t pander.

You will never see me, for example, write the very popular futuristic “capture and seduce” plot. You’ll never see me write a borderline abusive alpha male character, even though they seem to be beloved by many readers. You will never see me write a stalker hero, or anything even close to rape (even in fantasy). You will see me write books like Water Crystal once in a while, even though I know they don’t sell well, simply because those stories are in me and I love to write them.

So, yes, in a way I think I do work in a service industry…to a point. We aren’t making widgets though, we’re creating characters and worlds for people to lose themselves in and that is a very subjective ART. I craft my books within the scope of my personal likes and abilities and I will not pander.

I’m just damn lucky I love to write erotic romance because it provides a way for me to make a living doing something I enjoy. 🙂

May 18th, 2006
Kat Kak

With 8 cats in my house, I clean up a hella lot of Kat Kak. In our house we call them “pookies”.

Husband: “Uh, what’s that over there by the door?”

Me: *peering across the room* “A brand spanking new pookie.”

We pull all the carpets up in any house we move into a replace them with hard wood. It’s just easier.

Anyway, I direct your attention to this blog entry. I advise you to put aside anything you might be drinking before you read it.

May 16th, 2006
Babbling about Writing Process

WBTSOYP = writing by the seat of your pants. It means sitting down and just writing, no plotting involved. I’m not advocating WBTSOYP over plotting or vice-versa in this post. Everyone has their own process and every writer has to use the process that works best for him or her.

I started out a “pantser,” but it didn’t work that well for me. I’d get a scene in my head and work out from there. The problem was that I would get stuck sometimes, bogged down in places where I’d written myself into a corner. Or my characters started out half-baked and I would have to go back and revise significantly. The pantser books I started out with — Raven’s Quest was one — turned out fine…after lots of revising and rewriting.

Eventually I worked myself into a pattern of plotting because of this, but leaving space to move a little. That’s how I do it now. I write the synopsis before I start the book, flesh out the middle (the hardest part of the book to keep momentum for me) and *definitely* figure out the end.

Pantsers say that they can’t write the book after they’ve written the synopsis because they feel like they’re done, the story has already been told and there’s no excitement left in it, no discovery. But I don’t feel that way. Writing the novel after I write the synopsis means I get to watch the story unfold. It’s kind of like the synopsis is the trailer and the novel is the movie. I might pretty much know the story after I’ve seen the trailer, but I still want to see the movie.

Usually my story ideas start with a character. There’s some type of personality I want to write, or I want to write about a person in a certain situation. I figure out how I want him or her to grow and change throughout the story and the plot develops from there. For example, with Water Crystal it started with Angelo. I wanted to write about a man who worked for the bad guy and was loyal to his employer until he became disillusioned. Bianca has her own journey and also grows and develops from page one to the end, but it was mostly Angelo’s story.

Anyway, I’m just thinking and babbling about this (with really no specific point in mind) because I fleshed out the synopsis for my next EC book yesterday and then plunged right in and wrote 4k. Today I’m here at the day job, but I’m dying to be at home writing. I’m really wanting to tell this story. Good thing I’m only here three days a week. By Thursday I’ll be full-speed. (Only half speed until then.)

May 12th, 2006
Friday Kitty Lurve

Oh my God with the cuteness…

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Samson and Wiggle having kitty snuggles.

May 11th, 2006
Forecast Calls for Writing

Yuck! Wet, rainy, cold wind. Bleh. Good day to stay in and write, which is exactly what I’m doing.

Went out this morning and ran errands, including buying my mom a GC to her favorite nursery. She’s a plant nut like me. 🙂 Last weekend we went out to lunch and to the nursery. That was a Bad Idea. Spent a ton. We’re negative influences on each other.

Now I’m home and ready to start in on Edge of Sweetness. Sex writing! Yay! BDSM sex writing at that.

Later I’ll do my hour on the treadmill. I stopped walking for a month or so. Just got busy, stressed about other things and fell out of the habit. Now that I’m walking again I can really feel my body snapping back into shape. Even walking up the stairs at work doesn’t wind me anymore. Amazing what a little exercise can do.

I rented Tristan & Isolde to watch while I walk today. Figure the husband doesn’t want to see that one. I did end up seeing Rent and I really liked it. I thought it would make me cry, (generally, I’m a wuss), but it didn’t.

Survivor tonight. Woo!

Hope everyone has a great day!

May 10th, 2006
I’d rather be writing!

I would so rather be at home writing today. Tomorrow, thankfully, is all about the writing. Really Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday of every week are always about the writing for me. I get little done on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings just because when I get home from the Pod Farm I’m pretty sick of staring at a computer screen.

Tomorrow I continue work on a BDSM Quickie for EC entitled Edge of Sweetness. It’s about halfway done and I figure I can probably finish it this week. I’m also looking forward to continuing a proposal for a book for EC’s Tarot Series. It’s historical fantasy and dovetails Lauren’s Dane novel, Sword and Crown. My book incorporates the theme of the 2 of swords.

At some point I hope to get back to my BDSM novel Catriona’s Surrender. I’m really looking forward to finishing this one. I set it aside reluctantly to work on Seduced in Twilight and Tempted by Two a few few months ago.

So many books I want to write, so little time.

May 3rd, 2006
Now Available!

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Seduced in Twilight is now available at Ellora’s Cave!

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Seduced in Twilight By Anya Bast

Olivia thinks she’s finally gone off the deep end. Ghosts wake her up in the night and she sees monsters during the day. Just when she can’t take it anymore, she meets two gorgeous men who claim to be immortals.

Then her life gets really strange.

Will is a powerful Tylwyth Teg fae. Mason is a half-breed drac shifter with a bad attitude. Together they form a Gaelan partnership, warriors in the centuries-old battle against the goblins. Both alpha males claim Olivia and, though conflicted, Olivia craves them both in equal measure. United in their conquest, Will and Mason throw open the doors to Olivia’s repressed sexuality and show her the rich possibility of having two skilled and dominant lovers whose sole focus is her.

But mere mind-blowing sex isn’t enough. Will and Mason must convince her that she’s gifted, not cursed. They must also seduce her into their lives and to their love…as a partner to both of them.

~*~

Water Crystal is this week’s spotlighted book!

Water Crystal By Anya Bast

Earth in 2075 is a place of chaos and struggle because the planet’s water has been poisoned. Together, in a world thirsting for drinkable water, Angelo and Bianca make fire.

When Bianca Robinson steals a special crystal, Angelo, a Guardian of the Order, tracks down and arrests the thief. However, Angelo suspects that Bianca isn’t a criminal, but merely a woman ready to do anything to right a wrong.

Bianca has grown jaded in her fight for survival, but every brush of Angelo’s hand on her body breaks down her barriers. He alone seems to have enough heat to melt the coldness within her. He makes her want a man’s touch for the first time in many years and awakens every carnal and dark erotic yearning within her.

Angelo knows that Bianca is forbidden to him, but she tempts him like no other woman. She inspires him to act out every one of his sensual desires. Angelo will break every rule in order to have her…and to keep her.