Archive for the 'Whatever' Category

Wednesday, March 8th, 2006

Shiloh Walker and I will be signing books at 1001 Paperbacks (7405 Fegenbush Lane Louisville, Kentucky) on Saturday, March 11th from 10am to 12pm.

If you’re in the area, stop by and say hi!

Other signings coming up:

Shiloh and I, plus many other great authors, will be signing on Saturday, March 25th from 2-4 pm at the Barnes and Noble in Elizabethtown, Kentucky (1980 South Dixie Highway, Elizabethtown, Kentucky). The famous EC tour bus will be in attendance.

I’ll be signing at the Barnes & Noble in Nashville, TN (515 Opry Mills Drive 37214) on Sunday, March 26th from 2-4PM with a group of as-yet-to-be-determined EC authors. The tour bus will be present for this signing too.

Monday, March 6th, 2006
Searching for the Miraculous in Everyday Life

Recently I started my very first non-paranormal romance. It’s a BDSM romance, actually, but there is not a STITCH of a paranormal element anywhere in it. So, let’s see, all told I’ve written…*counting*…fifteen novels and a handful of novellas. This is the first one that is set completely in reality.

Since there is no fantastical element, I’ve found myself casting about for the mirculous in everyday life. I do this in my real life, so I must be able to do to in my non-paranormal fiction, right? I’ve found I can. 🙂 Pretty cool.

So, tell me about something beautiful or amazing from your everyday life. It could be something from your past, something from this morning, whatever. Just give me beauty from the ordinary.

Post your item of ordinary fantasticalness (yes, I made that word up) and I’ll enter you in a contest to win a bottle of Bastet from The Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, an autograghed paperback and a box of delicious chocolates.

Here’s an example from my life to start you off. This happened a while back.

Every morning on the way to my day job I pass this bus stop with a bench. Every morning there’s two people there waiting for the bus–a man and a woman. At first one is standing and the other is sitting. The next day they’re both sitting. A couple days later they’re sitting a little closer. A few days after that they’re sitting together very close and talking intimately.

They’re never there anymore. I imagine they’ve moved into together and bought a car. 🙂

Give me beauty, people. It can be anything at all. 🙂 Anything you find magical, amazing, fantastical or miraculous about living in mundane reality every day.

This contest ends on Thursday, March 9th.

Monday, March 6th, 2006
Editing Revelation

I’ve been polishing the first 60 pages of a new WIP to a glossy, high shine, (well, that’s my intention, anyway,) and found a new way to catch all my stupid little errors.

All writers have these trademarks screw-ups when they write. For me it’s sometimes writing “slid” when I mean “slide” and vice-versa, or writing “breath” when I mean “breathe” and vice-versa. I also skip words frequently. It’s almost as if my mind is going faster than my typing fingers and I leave out words in my haste to get everything written.

One of my other writerly “quirks” is an inability to really SEE my work when I’ve been spending so much time with it. Normally I need to let the pages sit and cool off for a while (like a couple weeks) so I can go back and reread it with fresh eyes. This is a common technique with writers. However, I don’t have that kind of time in this situation.

So I learned that if I change the way the WIP looks, I catch typos, missing words, wrong words and just general badness-that-needs-changing. If I switch the font from Courier New to Times New Roman, I catch stuff. If I take my whole WIP, copy it and drop into my email acct and read it that way, I catch stuff.

Cool, huh?

Yeah, I’m a geek, I know. It does work, though. At least, it works for me.

Saturday, March 4th, 2006
Saturday morning feline love

….or feline alieness, depending on your point of view.

This is Samson wondering what the hell I’m doing with the digital camera.

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Friday, March 3rd, 2006
I have a myspace profile.

Not sure exactly why I have one. I set it up last week in a fit of boredom.

Still not sure what MySpace is for, exactly. *shrug* I guess I’ll figure it out eventually.

In other news, the only thing worse than writing a detailed ten-page synopsis is writing a one-page synopsis. O, what sweet new misery is this? Actually, it’s an old misery, I just haven’t had to do it in a while.

I have thoroughly bloodied my forehead on my desk.

In yet other news, I’m editing Seduced in Twilight. Hopefully that means a release date is not far behind. (Hopefully.)

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Wednesday, March 1st, 2006

Apparently today is National Hey You Got Some Shmutz on your Head Day. Sadly, I am shmutzless. I feel rather less than festive.

Today is the last day of my arduous work week. Hallelujah. Three ten hour workdays here in the Cube Farm leave me with creative impotence. I just can’t get it up. But I’ll sleep in a little tomorrow morning, regain my verve, and be ready to start back in on my BDSM quickie for Ellora’s Cave. There’s nothing like a story with lots of hot bondage to burn the remnants of the Dilbertesque portion of my week away.


Tuesday, February 28th, 2006
Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy. Synopsis Writing

Synopsis writing is one of the most distasteful parts of being a writer. I have heard of very few writers who enjoy it. I am definitely not one of those (insane) few. Typically, I write my synopses by repeatedly banging my head against my desk until something breaks free in my brain. So far, it’s been an effective technique for me.

Although there are a few other guidelines I follow when 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).

Necessary ingredients:

Show the first meeting between the h/h.
Show their first kiss
Include the loves scenes — especially important in erotic romance

Things you shouldn’t do:

Write a synopsis that reads likes a textbook. The synopsis should be written in an engaging manner. The editor has ten zillion partials on their office floor. You’ve got one chance here. Make the synopsis readable and interesting.

Never leave out the ending or try to hook the editor at the end. They will NOT think it’s cute. They will NOT be rushing to request the full to “find out what happens next”. The synopsis is not a blurb. It should be a clear outline of the entire book, hitting all the plot points, from beginning to end.

Don’t overcomplicate things. Keep it simple. Keep it short.

Happy synopsis writing! (Now there’s an oxymoron.)

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

It takes a lot of ego, or maybe a wish for self-destruction, to write, paint, produce movies, sculpt or do anything artistic and expect people to actually pay money to own, read or watch it.

I mean, think about it. Essentially a writer sifts through their subconscious, mining away, until they think they have a hunk of precious something-or-other they can polish until it’s shiny enough to be desirable to someone else.

Craft definitely comes into play with writing. You know, the whole process a writer goes through to make that hunk conform to certain genre expectations, certain editorial guidelines. I know your ass just puckered at the word “conform,” but we all do it to some extent. Still, that original hunk was pulled up from the muck of our subconscious. The craft part is just the polish.

So, here we are, thinking that this junk we mined from our brains is *valuable* in some way. That people will acually spend *money* for it. Maybe even most impossibly, that they will actually spend *time* engaging with the hunk in some meaningful way.

That takes hubris on the part of the author. Or, perhaps, a will for self-destruction.

Why do I say self-destruction? Because the hunk comes from us. Then we send it out into the big, bad world to be praised…or shat upon. (Woo! I got to write “shat upon” today!) That’s just a part of being a writer, of course. You can’t have thin skin to be a writer. Well, you CAN, but isn’t much fun.

Ever since I can remember I wrote because I love the way words look, feel and sound. Especially the way certain words look, feel and sound when strung together in a certain way. My love for reading and writing sprang originally not from a love of character or story, but for the love of the language.

After I sold my first book and got feedback on it I suffered writer’s block for about 3 months. I couldn’t believe people had actually PAID money to read something I’D written. I was shocked. I was also terrified I’d never be able to do it again. Maybe my next book would completely suck. All of sudden, I felt pressured.

Which, of course, I realize now was the height of hubris. I write my books and send them out. The reader judges them. Some books hit people one way, another book hit people a different way. There’s no telling how the book will be received. There’s too many elements in play to make an adequate prediction for that.

So, I got over myself and now I just write. These days I write for the love of story, character and language (oh, and sex. Can’t forget the sex.) and I only hope that people out there will enjoy the end product.

But I still think I must have a lot of gall to think people will actually want to buy and read the polished hunks of muck from my subconscious.