Tuesday, November 2, 2010
So imagine my surprise last night while shopping for the new Tori Carrington release I find a lonely copy of Welcome to Harmony! I'd not picked up Jodi's first book, missing it when it came out. I was very happy to find a copy last night. Now to fit reading time in amongst the Nano stuff. hehe
Monday, November 1, 2010
This week I'd like to introduce you to a lovely lady, Jodi Thomas. I had the pleasure of meeting Jodi at a conference. She's a very talented and sharing person, as are most authors. I feel honored to have her here and I hope you'll take time to leave a comment.
Jodi Thomas is the NY Times and USA Today best-selling author of 31 novels and 8 short story collections. As of July 2006, she was the 11th woman to be inducted in to RWA Hall of Fame. She is also currently serving as the Writer in Residence at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas.
Her newest release,(and 30th novel), SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WAY, Thomas proves once again that she is one of mainstream romance genre’s most compelling writers with her highly anticipated sequel to WELCOME TO HARMONY, which captured America’s heart.
Jodi's new book, Somewhere Along the Way, is the second in the Harmony series. It's the perfect book for curling up on a chilly fall evening with a cup of hot tea. But before you get to comfy, let's get some writing tips from Jodi.
#1. During a workshop I attended in 2007, you said 'losing grip on reality is the best talent writers have'. Would you elaborate, please.
I've always felt like a loss grip on reality is an advantage to being a writer. Some writers complain about being able to step into the world of fiction. Give me three minutes of boredom and I'm off and running with a story in my head. I tell my kids that when I'm old and go to the home just set me by the window. I don't need a TV. I'm my own home entertainment center. Sometimes people come up to me and want to tell me their story so I can use it in a book. I smile and listen but in truth I've got more stories already waiting in my mind than I'll have time to write. When they finish, I always tell them to write their own stories.
#2. I've been reading - Writing the West (By Dusty Richards with help from his friends). You talk about the difference between 'knowing' why a character does something, and how we 'think' they'd react based on our 'research'. Writers are notorious for over-researching. How do we find a balance and dig into what we really know?
I love researching. In fact, if I could, I'd research 90% of the time and write 10%. If I did that I'd probably get a book finished about every ten years. I want to tell stories so I write. I do research before. I like to go to the location and read up all I can on the time period. Sometimes my research in with people who lived near that time. Once I interviewed a 100 year old man who was a pilot in WWI. Once I talked to an old woman who was born and lived all her life on the same ranch. She'd gone from walking behind a plow to flying her own plane. I love the places and the facts about history, but it's the people who draw me the most.
#3. In the book you give 7 steps for writers starting the historical journey. Why 7? And looking back, are there any you would have added?
I think I would add that if you want to write you need to love, not only reading, but also writing. Some nights I hate writing, but the next morning when I'm reading over my work I think, 'I love to have written'.
#4. A 2-part question. Tip #7 says 'write a series'. Do you find this more important for Historical than any other sub-genre of romance? I've also heard it's hard for new writers to sell a series. Do you believe this to be true? And any advice for all writers in approaching this option.
I found it harder to write a series in present day than in history. Don't know why. But after writing several over the years I'd advise anyone starting to make a bible of all facts so you don't have to keep going back and looking up eye color or age.
#5. NanoWrimo's (www.nanowrimo.org) catch phrase is 'No Plot- No Problem'. Tell us a little about why this concept was so successful for Two Texas Hearts.
I think in TWO TEXAS HEARTS I had characters that the readers loved. There was no great plot driving the story, just two people trying to figure out how to love one another. I think if you have the greatest plot in the world and the reader doesn't care about the characters the book will stay on the nightstand.
Thank you for letting me drop in and visit with you all. I wish you many happy hours of reading and for those of you who want to write a book, my advise to you is to go for it. Set down tonight and start page one. Remember if you write just one page a day in a year you will have written a book. When you finish, send it out and start another. I usually start the next book the day I send the last one off otherwise I think I get a vacation and a month later I'm still on vacation. Writers don't just write for a living. Writers are writers. All day, every day, even on those days they don't pick up a pen.
Friday, October 29, 2010
For 30 days, people of like minds (or out of their minds) will attempt to write 50,000 words over the course of the month. That comes out to 1,667 words per day and does NOT allow for Thanksgiving off. Writers write every day - right? Well... we're suppose to. Life (and lately in my case, illness) gets in the way. But November is suppose to be a No Excuse month.
Okay.. we'll see. I've charted my course, sent goody packets out to 5 of the many friends who join me on my thread - TheCauldronCafe - (you'll find us on the Forums page under Writers Groups and Clubs.) I've added my word count widget to the right side of the page so you can cheer me on. If you think I need a good swift kick - feel free to post a comment for that too.
I will have my granddaughter for 1 full week of Nano but by then I should be at least half way through the 50k and will be able to write a couple hours every night after she goes to bed. I can write six to eight pages in two hours, right? Sure!
Here's to what I hope will be my first SUCCESSFUL NanoWriMo!
Monday, October 25, 2010
Caridad Piñeiro® is a multi-published and award-winning author whose love of the written word developed when her fifth grade teacher assigned a project – to write a book that would be placed in a class lending library. She has been hooked on writing ever since.
From the start, Caridad’s novels have received acclaim and have helped redefine the landscape of modern romance novels. In 1999, Caridad was published by Kensington as part of Encanto, the first line of bilingual Latino romance novels. In December 2006, Caridad helped Silhouette launch its successful Nocturne paranormal line. In recognition of her work, Caridad has received various awards and honors.
Caridad was born in Havana, Cuba, and settled in the New York Metropolitan area. When not writing, Caridad teaches workshops on various topics related to writing and heads a writing group. Caridad is also an attorney, wife and mother.
STRONGER THAN SIN is being released TODAY!
STRONGER THAN SIN has been getting rave reviews. You can check out all the reviews by visiting http://www.caridad.com/books/paranormal/stronger-than-sin/
Come visit www.caridad.com to find out about an awesome contest that starts running on November 1 featuring a SONY Pocket E-reader as the Grand Prize along with other goodies. Also check out the Second Chance Bonus Prize of a $25 gift card and how you can earn points to win that prize. Take moment to visit a blog on the ARE YOU STRONG ENOUGH Blog Tour for a chance to win one of the giveaways at each blog.
Thank You, Caridad, for joining us today!
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Thank you, Angela, for having me with you today. When I dropped by the blog, I realized that you had been writing about getting a rejection and it gave me the inspiration for this blog!
Rejection is never easy to handle. Writers put so much of themselves in a work that it feels very personal when someone says they don't want to acquire your work.
Here's the thing: Rejection is part of being both an aspiring and published author. You won't sell every book that you create (unless your Nora Roberts), but you won't sell a book that you don't send out.
So how do you deal with getting a rejection?
First: Ask yourself if it's a good rejection. A good rejection is one where the editor/agent offers you constructive ideas on how to improve the work.
Second: Ask yourself if you agree with the suggestions. If you're not sure about the changes suggested, take a moment and try them out. Rewrite the first scene or two and see if the changes make it a stronger story.
Third: Don't take it personally. Rejection is part of the life of an author and with each rejection your writing will get stronger. It may not seem that way at first, but trust me, it does get easier to deal with rejection.
Last, but not least: My mother always told me that nothing worthwhile was ever easy. So keep at it. It may be hard work, but the reward is worth all the hard work.
Monday, September 13, 2010
I didnt' want her in a medical situation for the time being. The editor felt it would up the conflict. So instead of Winter just accepting a job as a personal assistant to Dr. Tom's grandfather, she will also be there in a medical capacity. At 74 years old, Edward T. Canfield, Sr. is in good health for his age but some heart problems are creeping in and Dr. Tom would feel better knowing there is a 'qualified' person in the house when he's away should his grandfather develop complictions.
In my rewrite, I get to keep my stand and still give the editor what she wants as well. I love compromise.
After letting the editor's comments swirl around in my head, I made the decision to email her. I thanked her for the fast track opportunity and for her suggestions. I also asked that based on her comments, I have the opportunity to resubmit.
So now the wait begins... again.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Well the wait is over. I received an email kindly rejecting the story. Their comments about my writing were favorable. In fact, they liked the way I write. Their only problem was how I brought Tom and Winter together.
Is that something I can fix? I don't know. One thing I have learned over the years is not to jump right into everything an editor says. Rejection or Acceptance... either way means you let the letter or phone call sit for a bit. Give the editor's comments time to gel. Sometimes we don't always SEE or HEAR what they are really saying. So for the time being, I've forwarded the letter over to my critique partner. Kitty will see things differently than I do. From there I'll decide my next course of action.
In the mean time, will I give up on Winter and Tom? Not hardly. I know it's a good story. I also know from past experience that if an editor sees something, it's worth taking a second look at... after it's had time to breathe.
And right now that sounds like good advice. I'm just going to take a step back and...
Saturday, August 21, 2010
I met Sheila about eight years ago. She told me if I could write a romance, I could write a medical romance. So on the drive from Denver, story ideas formed in my mind. For some silly reason I knew my Heroine's name had to be Winter. Well... you can't have a Winter without incorporating the other three seasons, so The Seasonal Sisters Series was born. However, I failed to recognize one little detail. Both the Hero AND Heroine had to be in the medical profession. I wrote Winter as a park ranger. When I realized this little snag, I wasn't sure I wanted to or could change her profession. So instead of finishing her story, I closed the binder and moved on to a new story. Amazing things can happen when a request comes down the pike.
I heard from a dear friend that M & B was looking for new authors. Not only were they looking but they were responding within in the same time frame they requested the submissions. Opportunities like that are almost unheard of in this business. I couldn't let it pass without at least trying. So Winter's Peace came out of storage. In eleven days I rewrote most all of the story, polished the first three chapters and revamped the two-page synopsis. They were long 10-12 hour days spent at the keyboard. I'm happy with the way the story is shaping up. I think the conflict is stronger so that's always a good thing.
It's been a week since I submitted the first three chapters. Now I wait. I'm suppose to hear something by month's end. I'm glad there isn't much of the month left. LOL
Monday, August 2, 2010
After you've had a chance to chat with Constance, please visit... http://brendagaylesreviews.webs.com/ for a great review of Wolf Runner.
Thanks for being here, Constance. :-)
Hello to everyone,
It is really hot here in Houston today. Luckily I am stuck at the computer writing the third book in an Indian series. Several people wanted me to write Firethorn's story. Firethorn is Wolf Runner's best friend, and came alive in Wolf Runner's book.
At this time, I am selling my house here in Houston and moving back to San Antonio. For those of you who do not know, my husband, Jim, passed a month and a half ago--we had been married for 54 years. If any of you have ever tried to write while a realtor is showing the house, you will know what I have to look forward to. Thank goodness for my career. It has helped me through a difficult and heartbreaking time.
Wolf Runner is one of my favorite characters. I love a tortured hero, and he was confused because he had to walk with one foot in the white world and the other in the Indian world.
My favorite part of writing is the research. Sometimes I become so submerged in research I find myself pulling stacks of books out of my bookshelf and curling up for a whole afternoon. I am interested in so many subjects, which is probably the reason I have written everything from mysteries, suspense, westerns, England, Scotland and Egypt, etc. Of course, my second favorite part of putting a book together is visiting the site I am writing about.
Last summer I poked around in Santa Fe, NM a part of Wolf Runner takes place there. I would love to set down with each of you, for nothing inspires me as much as talking to kindred spirits--those who love to read as much as I do.
By the way, how many of you have the Sony or Kindle readers? Although my books are sold to that market, I still like to have a book in my hand, dog-ear the pages, lay it face down. No doubt I will acquire one before long. I am always late catching up with electronics.
Thank you Angela for inviting me to your blog.
Thank you for your patience :-)
Thursday, July 29, 2010
See ya here!
It has been awhile since I've been here. I just felt the need to focus all of my attention on my granddaughter the last few days she would be living with me. She is now with her mom in Nashville. It's not that far away and I'll be seeing her in a few weeks, but man is the house QUIET!
It's been a good thing though. I've been back to writing solidly for over a week. I'm enjoying being back in touch with characters. For now I've been focusing on writing the recipe for an awesome burger recipe I developed for the Sutter Home Wine Build A Better Burger competition. Cross your fingers the preliminary judges think a Baja Burrito Burger with Sweet Red Wine and Chipotle Butter is worth being one of the 10 entries chosen. I'll know by August 21st (4 days before my anniversary) if I'm spending my 49th birthday (September 26th) in California... at the expense of Sutter Home Wine. Now wouldn't that be a nice way to spend a weekend!
I've also been working on contest entries for the www.ozarkcreativewriters.org conference. There are 21 different categories. I may choose to enter any number of the categories. The entries are due to be postmarked by August 25th. You still have time to jump in and participate with this great, intimate, multi-genre conference. I've been attending for 15 years. It's my mini business/vacation every October. I'd love to see more of you join us.
One of the entries has been polishing the first two chapters of my first Western Historical for the Oxbow Award sponsored by multi-award winning western author, Dusty Richards. Dusty just released his 100th book! Check out his site at... http://www.dustyrichards.com/ Author friend, Mike Blakely... www.mikeblakely.com encouraged me to write a western romance several years ago. Well, Mike, I'm finally giving it a shot. Thank you for the push.
Amongst all of this, I find out I have a shot of getting the first installment of my medical romance series in front of Harl. Mills and Boon Medical Romance Editor, Sheila Hodgson.... NEXT WEEK!
Nothing like jumping into the rapids after a long dry spell, is there?
Monday, June 7, 2010
Thank you, Angela, for having me on your blog. I’ve talked on other blogs about entering contests and the call, but I haven’t discussed what happens after the call.
I got the call right before Labor Day weekend last year. I spent the weekend in a daze and by Wednesday had an agent, Becca Stumpf, and by Thursday an editor, Patience Smith.
By the end of September I had an e-mail listing the revisions Patience thought the story needed. The first revision letter is scary. I talked to my mentor, Megan Kelly, about it. I talked to my agent about it. I reread the whole thing and finally called and talked to my editor about it.
What she called minor changes looked huge to me. Of course, now that I have the revision notes from my second book, I know they weren’t as extensive. But at the time, I worried. After the grief cycle took its course, I got busy with writing up my revisions. I sent them in mid-October and at the same time got a request to fill out the Art Department form online.
I got to choose three different scenes that I thought would make good covers (none of which were chosen). I went through menus of what the hero looked like, what the heroine looked like, where the story took place, what style of story it was. It was a neat process, but took some time.
I also had to rename the story, which I was desperate to do. I slapped on the title of Catch a Star just so it would have a title. I sent over a long list of choices. Two of the twelve stood out Lights, Camera, Love and L.A. Cinderella. I sent eleven more, but ultimately they went with L.A. Cinderella.
I remember Patience calling me to tell me they decided to release L.A. Cinderella in June 2010 as part of a bridal-themed month. In March I got my gorgeous cover. I received my author copies at the beginning of May, and the copies hit the bookshelves the last week of May.
It’s been a whirlwind of a year. If you’d like to read an excerpt of L.A. Cinderella, you can visit my website www.amanda-berry.com and it’s on the books page. Thanks again for having me.
Career-driven accountant Natalie Collins wasn't the type to wish for a Hollywood hero to rescue her. She preferred life away from celebrity glitz. Too bad the man who drove her wild was an A-list actor.
With her understated beauty and brains, Natalie was the one person Chase Booker could trust. He could see the strong, sexy woman beneath her shy exterior, and she stirred a blinding passion in him that made it easy to forget that they were from different worlds. But when she was in his arms, their worlds were dangerously close to colliding.
About Amanda Berry
After an exciting life as a CPA, Amanda Berry returned to writing when her husband swept the family off to England to live for a year. Now she’s hooked, and since returning to the states spends her writing days concocting spicy contemporary romances while her cats try in vain to pry her hands off the keyboard. Her Marlene Award–winning contemporary romance, L.A. Cinderella, debuts from Silhouette Special Edition in June 2010. One thing she requires of all her books is a happily ever after. Amanda lives in the Midwest with her husband and two children. For more information, please visit her Web site.
Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving comments today.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Aside from owning the hottest club in New Haven, Midnight Blues, he is also a good Samaritan. Sean has been working with several other business in conjunction with Quiet Haven, a shelter for abused women. His brainchild is to help get these women back on their feet. His vast wealth of community resources helps them find jobs and begin to build their lives and self-worth. The last part is where Amy comes in. Prototypes of her practical garment pieces are donated to the shelter so the women have the right clothes when they go on job interviews. Amy is so enamoured with his idea, she has gotten designers all across the country to reach out to shelters in their own cities. It's a worthy business connection she doesn't want to jeopardize with a night between the sheets.
Sean sees women come through the doors of his club all the time. Some are happily attached to a partner, others are content to sit at the bar and drown their sorrows in drink or look for something better than what they have at home. He feels sorry for the latter group, knowing somewhere down the road they might be one of the newest members of Quiet Haven... or maybe a late client of New Haven's finest homicide detective.
Is he the soul mate Amy searches for?
Is he the good Samaritan he appears to be?
Or does someone more sinister lurk behind those devilish dark eyes and sensual smile?
Sunday, March 28, 2010
While at Walmart last week I picked up the most recent release by Constance O'Banyon (http://historicalromancewriters.com/authorinfo.cfm?authorid=172) and fell in love all over again. WIND WARRIOR is this week's Awesome Read.
Thirteen -year-old Marianna Bryant is taken captive by Blackfoot warrior, Dull knife, outside her home of Fort Benton. Even at this tender age she knows she will do what it takes to remain strong and return to the Aunt and Uncle she loves. What she doesn't count on is becoming the replacement daughter of the Chief and his wife, nor was she prepared for the growing feelings toward her captor's brother.
Wind Warrior sees beauty and peace in the white girl. She gradually adapts to the ways of his tribe and becomes a loving daughter to Chief Broken Lance and his wife, Tall Woman. She may be born of the white man but her heart is Blackfoot. It takes all his strength to bide his time for Rain Song, as is her given Blackfoot name, to come of age. He knows his brother waits too. Will she have to choose between the two? Wind Warrior knows in his heart who she will choose when the time comes.
Wind Warrior is nothing like his older brother, Dull Knife, whom he had always looked up to. It was during a council meeting when Dull Knife was passed over for the honor of having the life-long name bestowed on Wind Warrior that a hatred grew from Dull Knife towards his younger brother. He would have everything Wind Warrior had... including the white woman he protected at every turn.
I read this book in 4 hours! I wait anxiously for the sequel.. Wolf Runner's story.. in August. You won't NEED to read Wind Warrior to enjoy Wolf Runner... but I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you do. Why would you want to miss out on this months' AWESOME READ?
Keep an eye here for Constance O'Banyon to guest blog with the release of Wolf Runner.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Michelle’s title as Personal Trainer to the Stars meant she made them all look good. Some of her biggest name clients owe their success to her strict regime and dietary suggestions.
But it was more than Michelle’s physical appearance that caught Amy’s attention at a comp fitting after a style show one afternoon. Her skin was flawless, not so much as a tattoo or piercing marred its beauty. But there was something else. Something Amy wasn’t sure how to handle.
A long night of talking turned to snuggling. Snuggling became more intimate… much more. It was a new experience for Amy. She looks forward to her time in Malibu with Michelle. It’s nice to be catered to while meeting the needs of someone else. Something she doesn’t share with Brian. Unlike the macho detective, Michelle works hard but when she plays it’s slow and tantalizing. She always puts Amy first.
As much as she cares for Michelle, Amy knows this isn’t where she’ll stay. It’s not an affair exactly, just another step on the path of discovering who she is and what she wants. Or maybe, who.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Don't let his good looks draw you too close. He only has eyes for Amy Claire and if you're looking for a long night between the sheets, he doesn't have the stamina. Brian takes care of number one. His list of girlfriends is short... those who've left him because they couldn't tolerate his angry outbursts or he dumped them because he couldn't handle their lack of organizational skills. Everything has a place and he strongly suggests you keep that in mind. Don't be leaving your clothes in a trail from the living room to the bedroom unless you like it rough.
Brian's main goal in life is to catch the bad guys. His eye for detail brings him closer every day. Killers, for the most part, are predictable. The details are mandatory if you don't want to get caught, but so easy to slip up on if you get in a hurry. In a way, Brian thinks like a killer. It's what makes him a good detective with a proven track record.
He loves Amy Claire. While his partner, Kevin, makes his way through the female employees in the department, Brian takes his pleasure only with her. The fact that he has to have order and Amy's creative vein leans the other direction is the only real tension between them... well unless you count the fact he just can't wait for her to climax when they make love. When he's inside of her it's like she's sucking the life out of him and he can't wait to breathe.
When Amy becomes a near-victim of the serial killer haunting NewHaven, Brian learns things aren't all they seem with his love life. How would you feel if you found out your woman was sleeping with someone else? To make it worse... it's another woman!
Monday, February 8, 2010
At 5'6" and a 125 pounds, her dark brown hair in thick waves brush just past her shoulders. Her soft-spoken voice has a throaty tone when aroused either by passion or anger.
She doesn't like being rushed. Rushing loses the pleasure. Amy follows this sentiment in everything she does - from creating a gown for the Hollywood red carpet to making love. Creatively disorganized, she loves good sex and relaxing baths. The feel of fabric in her hands is sensual. She dislikes wearing clothes but likes the feel of the fabric.
Amy's strength is her creative ability and a head for business. It has taken less than three years for her to put AmyClaire Designs on the fashion map. Her weakness is passion. Not just sex, but the whole package - the feeling you get from a truly pleasurable sexual encounter.
If it's one thing Amy Claire is sure of in her life it's that she is still looking for 'the one'.
At 32, she has only been involved in three serious relationships. The first one ended. Period. The other two... well, they are both serving their purpose at the moment.
To look at Homicide Detective, Brian Carter she should be the envy of every woman alive. While he looks the part of the handsome and attentive boyfriend, Amy knows a darker side to him. And when it comes to sex, he fills the space without providing much pleasure. Not once in their two years together, has she felt satisfied after their lovemaking.
Her fulfillment comes with every visit to Malibu and the beach house she shares with Michelle Preston, trainer to the stars. Though she's never thought of herself as a lesbian, with Michelle, Amy feels pure pleasure in every stroke. It isn't just sex with Michelle, but Amy knows the powerful blonde is not the love of her life either.
One person holds the key but Amy learned the hard way you don't mix business with pleasure. And although Sean Martin shows all the possibilities of being all the pleasure she could want and then some, he's also a business associate in their community service project with Quiet Spirit- a shelter for abused and battered women. His compassion for these women intensifies her feelings for him. She can't help but think he's 'the one'. Only time will tell... time Amy feels is ticking away.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Amy Claire's career as a top fashion designer takes her all over the country. Her time is divided between the condo she shares with Brian in NewHaven and the Malibu beach house with Michelle. Involved in two passionate relationships at the same time, she still feels as if something is missing - something she believes only Sean Martin can provide.
A serial killer has a thing for beautiful women... vulnerable women. When Amy comes close to becoming victim number five, Brian learns things about her that hurt more than any duty wound he could receive. Only his training as a detective enables him to put the task of finding the killer ahead of the personal torment raging inside him.
Monday, January 25, 2010
As writers we are often asked where we get our ideas. I can only speak from personal experience. Ideas come to me from everywhere. Every day is like walking in a downpour. I've gotten ideas from obituaries, news headlines and some buried deep within the pages of the paper. News programs, song lyrics and people watching add to the deluge. And then there are times when the mind just wanders where it will, looking for answers to 'What if?'.
The 'What if?' is how Death By Design came about. A quiet drive to work one day sent my mind wondering about a couple of women I knew. I can't claim knowledge of their sexual preferences but those two words popped into my head and wouldn't let go. What if they were lovers? What if one of them was involved with a guy as well as the woman? And what if he found out about her other partner when she becomes the victim of serial killer. Lots of things buzzed through my mind, taking twists and turns I hadn't ever thought I'd be traveling.
Death By Design has been a journey for me, and not always a pleasant one. I've researched fields I thought never to delve into as a 'contemporary' romance author. At times, the depth of the characters made me almost ill. So many emotions tug at the heroine as she struggles to find what she is searching for... her soulmate.
Over the next few weeks I'll introduce you to the characters as I work to complete their story.
From my heart to yours