Thanks to my co-blogger Debbie Herbert for inviting me to participate in the blog tour "Inside of Your Creative Process." Check out the post below to read about Debbie's process. She writes an amazing series of novels for Harlequin Nocturne called "Dark Seas." If you love mermaids, and who doesn't, Debbie's books are a must read. Siren's Secret is available at: http://goo.gl/cdgxFT. And her second book, Siren's Treasure, will be out in October. The third book, Siren's Call is scheduled to release in 2015. You can read an excerpt of Siren's Secret at: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1790013-siren-s-secret?ac=1
You can catch up to Debbie anytime at:
Or on twitter: @debherbertwrit
When I attend our monthly meetings at Georgia Romance Writers, or attend conferences, I love hearing about things that work for other writers. It takes a great deal of time and hard work to write an entire novel. Sharing our experiences with someone who understands is invaluable.
So here are the questions and my answers.
Q. What am I working on?
I'm currently working on a Paranormal Romance series, Sons of Sivadia. It's about the war between a race who came to Earth. To survive here, they need blood. Half of the race drinks from humans, the other does not. Each is lead by the twin sons of the Sivadian King. It's essentially the conflict between good and evil that we all face in life, only with blood. The evil twin sets out to destroy the hero so he can rule their race and farm humans for blood. And he uses the only woman his brother has ever loved in order to accomplish his goal. I have finished the first book but still doing some revisions. I'm around three-fourths way through the first draft of book two. I have plot ideas for book three, and two short stories in the Sons of Sivadia series.
Q. How does my work differ from others of its genre.
While my books are paranormal, they have elements of Sci-Fi and Fantasy. There may be a few books out there with vampires who originated from another planet. I've just never read one. Sivadians have their own set of abilities. And they're definitely not red-eyed, turning into bats, garden variety blood-suckers. Because they're a different species they can't cross-breed with another race. Although that doesn't stop them from enjoying an occasional fling with humans.
Q. Why do I write what I do?
My fathers love of science fiction influenced me at a young age. He loved to go to the movies, and I was the only person in my family who would tag along. During my teens, my love for strange new beings and worlds grew into anything paranormal. I began reading everything I could get my hands on. These are the stories that excite me. The possible story lines are limitless, and I can't imagine wanting to write any other genre.
Q. How does your writing process work?
The first book was completely by the seat of my pants. And that's one of the reasons I'm still editing/revising. Before I started writing this book I had a couple of characters in mind, a little worldbuilding, and sort of knew the beginning and end. Figuring the rest out as I went took an incredibly long time. I actually believed what others said: "Your characters will lead you where they need to go." Ha! While I did learn more about my characters, it wasn't enough to make the plot/story logical and function well in a novel.
By the second book, I knew there had to be a better way. I bought two invaluable books: Story Engineering by Larry Brooks and Outlining Your Novel by K.M. Weiland. Both books are great, and made writing my second book much, much easier. They gave me the courage to enter and win the National Novel Writers Month last November. In twenty-six days I wrote over 50k words. Needless to say, I will never fly by the seat of my pants again. Outlines Rock!
Q. Who will we meet next week?
Next week we'll meet Sherrie Lea Morgan, another of our co-bloggers. Sherrie is a prolific writer, who writes Romantic Suspense and Historical Romance.
Until next time,
I’m excited to be part of this "Inside of Your Creative Process" blog tour. Thank you Gioconda Lyss for introducing me to it. Gioconda writes erotic romances and is the author of Heaven on Earth. Find out more about her creative process at: http://www.giocondalyss.com/2014/02/inside-my-creative-process.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+GiocondaLyss+%28Gioconda+Lyss%29 It's always nice to sneak a peek inside a writer's mind and "see" how their mind works. Here are more ways to connect with Gioconda:
So here are the questions:
Q. What am I working on?
I’m working on book three of my Dark Seas series, published by Harlequin. The books are about a secret mermaid clan living deep in an Alabama bayou. The first one, Siren’s Secret, is available at: http://goo.gl/cdgxFT. Book two, Siren’s Treasure, will be published in October. My current book, Siren’s Call, is scheduled for publication in 2015. In it, Lily – siren extraordinaire – has met a man immune to her enchanting voice. It’s mermaid mythology meets Native American lore.
Q. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
The majority of paranormal books feature love between paranormal men and human women. Mine are the opposite – with the exception of my current work-in-progress. My books also have a strong suspense element and, I hope, a strong cast of secondary characters.
Q. Why do I write what I do?
I’ve never outgrown my love of fairytales and mythology. One of my fondest memories in Girl Scouts was reading about the housekeeping elves in the official Brownie’s Handbook. It’s the possibility of magic that tingles my creative drive and curiosity, the speculation that there is more to reality than we can perceive through our senses.
Q. How does your writing process work?
I’m somewhere between a plotter and a pantser. The first two books I wrote were total pantsing jobs – I didn’t know enough about story structure to plot them out. With the third book, I had success storyboarding, although I quickly learned I didn’t always stick to the outline. Basically, when I storyboard I buy a huge posterboard, mark it into 20 squares for twenty chapters, and fill in scene ideas for each chapter. It helps me remember the plot threads and what has happened, and what needs to happen further in the book. I color code the scenes too so I know if it’s written from the point of view of the hero, heroine, or villain. I’m too technologically-challenged – and impatient – to make spreadsheets and use writing software programs.
Q. Who will we meet next week?
Next week we will meet either Sherrie Lea Morgan or Mia McKimmey, my fellow bloggers.
Looking for Neil
a. A guiding spirit.
b. A source of inspiration.
One of the first things I thought of when I saw a class offering to help writer’s connect with their “Muse” faster…or easier was this: “What muse?” Or worse: “What if I don’t have a muse. Does that mean I’m not a good writer?!” Panic set in. I needed to find my muse. As a beginning writer, I would have taken any muse. Your muse…the neighbor’s muse…even my cat’s muse! Someone had to have a muse I could borrow. Because, really? I didn’t have a muse…or so I thought.
As I wrote, I would get caught up in the story. To me, writing was like putting down on paper the movie I could see in my head. It was awesome. One day, during a scene I had plotted out in detail (I mean, every detail…who stood where, which hand was lifted…well, you get my meaning), something really wild happened. The hero did something totally unplanned. I was typing away and… BAM! He did something totally unexpected. I was so surprised, that I actually lifted my hands from the keyboard, sat back and spoke out loud to nobody. “Wow, what did you do that for?” This was quickly followed by: “Wow…that really works. I love it!”
Towards the end of the story, a secondary character started trying to take over scenes. He really did try to make the story about him. It got to be very frustrating. So, one day, I stopped typing and spoke out loud (Really? Don’t all writers do this at one point or another?). I said “Hey! Stop that! This story isn’t about you.”
That’s when it happened. This secondary character stepped out of my story and crossed his arms and looked right at me (in my head, of course…I’m not THAT…well…never mind.). He heaved a deep breath and said “Fine. I’ll step back, for now. But, the next story will be mine. I need my own story.”
Then it began…he just had to give me his opinion on nearly everything I wrote. When I decided to genre hop to historical, he miraculously changed his clothes to reflect the period I wrote in and continued with his opinions. His ideas…they were good. Sometimes, he’d snicker at me. Other times, he’d give me his wicked sexy grin and nod, confirming I was on the right track.
I’d found my muse. His name is Neil and he’s a very alpha male, which makes his presence extra nice to have around. He helped me figure out problem areas in my stories. He’d even talk to my other characters and give me insight on their motives.
Then…a few months ago he got mad at me. I think it’s because I had some major day job events that I allowed to keep me from writing. He left in a huff. He’s waiting for me to grovel and beg him to return. I’ve resisted for two months now.
Tonight, I grovel. I miss my muse. Maybe some new writer was so desperate, she/he borrowed him…remember…someone’s muse would’ve worked for me when I started. So, to anyone who is reading this…if you’ve borrowed Neil. May I have him back now?
Finding Time to Write.
One of the biggest problems writers face is finding time to fit writing into their already busy schedules. I’ve never been a particularly disciplined person. But when I started writing I had to face some hard truths about myself, and my lack of discipline. I knew if I didn’t get a grip on time management, I’d never finish a novel.
Writing is not like the mindless work of household chores. When you sit down to write you have to be fully present in your story world. If you’re not, you’re wasting time that could be spent on something productive (like cleaning the toilet) and that’s my least favorite thing to do.
So what’s a writer to do? I tried some of the usual advice.
One day while at Office Depot, I picked up a little handbook called, Time Management for Dummies. Okay, go ahead and laugh. I know you want to. I figured it couldn’t hurt and I needed help. What I found was a lot of good advice on productivity for daily life, things like getting chores done or empting your inbox. But none of it applied to creative work. I knew then, I would have to figure this out on my own. Find what works for me—a writer with a husband, children and grandkids who pop in at all times of the day.
I needed to discover what time of day I’m most productive.
I have a huge advantage over writers who work a full-time job, or have small kids. I’m in awe of you. I know how much harder it would be to juggle those and still find time to write. My hat's off to those who do.
What this whole ramble’s about though, is whatever your schedule, find the time and place that is optimal for your creativity. And when you do, claim it as yours, and find time to do what we love. Write.
What are some things that help you write around a busy schedule? Please share. Anything that works is worth a try.
Until next time,
"Write what you know."
“Write What You Know”
This was one of the first pieces of advice I received when I began writing. My first thought was: “Who on earth wants to read about insurance?” You see, I’m an insurance adjuster by day. Then I began to think of my other jobs that I’ve worked and got really depressed. Really? I don’t want to write about being a medic, nursing assistant, nor even being a secretary. That’s boring to me. Then, I thought about what I love to read. I love mysteries and thrillers with a tinge of romance. But, I’m not a cop, detective and certainly not a serial killer. How can I write what I love to read when I’m none of those things?
Then the light bulb went on in my head. Write what you know. Not intellectually. Emotionally. I know what it’s like to look into another’s eyes and have my mind blank out due to the attraction. I know what it’s like to stumble over my words when I’m hit with sudden amnesia and have no idea who I am. I know what it’s like to have my heart speed up and feel a million butterflies dancing around my stomach due to the excitement of meeting that special someone.
Emotions that everyone has felt, one time or another in their lives, is what connects our readers to our stories. Is it important to get the police jargon correct in my story? Yes. Is it correct, for me, to understand the thought process of psychopaths? Yes. However, for that information I ask around, take classes, read books. In essence, we research for the factual information to bring reality to our stories.
But, and this is the most important, it is the emotions that draw in the reader. I know what draws me to mysteries are the puzzles. How is that connected? Why does he do that? What really gets me in the thrillers is the fear. The moment I gasp and catch that breath in my throat and I barely hold back the gasp. The moment I jump in shock. The sigh I breathe when I realize it’s not real or when I realize who did it. Those are the moments that I remember most.
Write what you know.
Do you know the feeling of being so happy that your head feels like it’s in the clouds and tears pour from your eyes?
What about feeling so alone that life is like being in a dark cave with too many tunnels and no flashlight to figure out where to go?
What about being so proud that your chest literally expands and your back straightens?
Do you know the feeling of being so sad, it feels as if someone has dropped a two ton book on your chest and you can barely breathe? The ache in your heart is so strong, you truly feel like it’s breaking?
What about being so surprised you jump up and down and your mind just can’t wrap around what is happening?
Do you know what it’s like to be so frustrated and angry that although you’re not a violent person, your deepest wish is to have a punching bag nearby so you can hit it over and over?
If you know any of the above, then write what you know. Take these emotions and put them in your story. Heighten them. Decrease them. Tap them. It will make your character’s stronger. It will keep your reader’s turning the pages until they can barely keep their eyes open at three a.m., because they just absolutely must find out if this character will survive and how will they survive.
The emotions will connect you to your readers. And one day, when you’re published. It’ll be these emotions that your fans will come up to you and say: “I escaped into your story at a time in my life when I really needed to escape.” That’s one heck of a compliment.
The best part of all of this is that no human has existed that hasn’t experienced at least one of the above emotions in their life. So, no excuses! Sit down, put your hands on your keyboard. Then, write what you know.
3 Hard Things about being a Writer
You’ve always wanted to write a novel. You’ve had the plot and characters swimming around in your head for years. One day you tell yourself, “I can do this. All those authors I’ve read make it look effortless. If they can do it, so can I.”
Ah, I remember those words so well. Little did I know I was embarking on one of the hardest journeys of my life! And, while there are moments of exhaustion and disappointment, there are equal amounts of excitement and fulfillment that completely outweigh the bad. But, make no mistake, to finish a novel; you REALLY have to want it.
Here are a few reasons why.
1) Writing is hard work.
Writing anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 words is grueling. If you’re not actually sitting at the keyboard, you’re thinking about your plot, or characters, or prose. You place everyone you meet under a looking glass, studying their body language, their speech, their laugh, their smile, and a hundred other expressions humans make. You hope they’ll say something witty you can use, or get angry so you can dissect their emotions. All the while you’re trying to be inconspicuous. No one wants to be stared at and studied like a lab rat. So you hang on their every word and smile while your mind races with opportunities for your next character or scene. Sometimes, a scene can come from the most unexpected places. So you thank God for those little miracles of inspiration when they fall into your lap. And then you hurry home to write.
2) Editing is harder.
At times when you’re writing the first draft of your novel, you become almost giddy. No one could possibly say that this isn’t the best thing ever written. Then you start editing and wonder what on EARTH was I thinking. A sinking feeling sets in when you realize the hours you spent on that wonderful scene may have been a total waste of time. You want to delete it, but you convince yourself parts might be salvageable. So you edit it to death. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. Eventually you come to a point where you chalk it up and move on. You think you put it out of your head, but it’s simmering somewhere in the back of your mind. And the good news is, sometimes before you finish the book a light bulb goes off, and you realize exactly why that bad scene didn’t work. The better news, you know what needs to be done to fix it. There’s a lesson to learn from this little rant: Never delete anything. Because those light bulb moments are a whole new form of giddy.
3) When to say it’s finished is the hardest.
To finally decide that you’ve done everything you could to write a good story is probably the hardest thing a writer can do. But after you’ve edited your book for the twentieth time (and I have) you might need to decide it’s time. But writing is subjective, depending upon the individual who’s reading it. Not everyone will love or even like your work. And there has to come a time when you feel secure enough in what you’ve written to send it out to agents or publishers.
That doesn’t mean you will not be plagued by all the doubtful story questions. Are your first sentence, first paragraph, and first chapter strong enough to catch their attention? Or will they read the first line and toss it aside? Is your protagonist likeable? Is the villain evil enough? Is the internal and external conflict believable? There are a thousand questions a writer can worry about. But from the moment you send it out the door there’s only one question that should be on your mind. Will they accept my manuscript or reject it? In the meantime start writing your next book, because if you get a YES, they’re going to want more.
And while rejection hurts, don’t give up. Take classes, read craft books and keep on writing. Anything worth doing is worth doing well. Just remember, there is such a thing as a rainbow after the storm.
Until next time,
Happy New Year!
By Debbie Herbert
Yes, we’re actually one week into 2014, but with the holidays and company, this Monday is my first full day ‘back at work.’ And by work, I mean a return to my writing routine.
I won’t lie; it’s tough to get back in the habit. As my hands hover over the keyboard, my mind is wandering far from the task of my work; I wonder how my youngest is doing on his job search today, I chastise myself for not getting the holiday decorations in the attic yet, and gee . . . there is dirty laundry . . .
Suddenly those shiny New Year’s goals for writing projects, a healthier me, an organized office, a meditation practice, etc. appear overwhelming.
Deep breaths. It doesn’t have to be accomplished in a day or a week or even a month, I remind myself, trying not to feel like my own version of The Biggest Loser. Every day, I will do the best that I can, in an organized manner (when life doesn’t interfere) and chip away at the daily chores that, in time, will morph into Big Achievements.
And so, I’m tossing out now, for anyone to see, exactly what my goals are and how I hope to reach them.
1. Finish book three of my Dark Sea series, under contract with Harlequin. If I write 1,000 words a day, Monday – Friday, I will have 20K words a month. If I don’t complete my 5,000 words per week, weekends will be spent catching up. So by May 1, the first draft shall be complete. Another month will be spent in revising/polishing and the book will be ready to turn in by June 1. For the next half of the year, depending on contract status, I will either begin a new novel and complete it by year’s end, or I will revise my unpublished works and/or write a couple of novellas.
2. Exercise everyday and aim to eat more veggies and fruit. Keeping this goal simple!
3. For a more organized office and home, I will keep the house more clutter-free by not buying stuff that is not needed and daily awareness of what I am holding onto that can be donated. The less stuff, the less to keep up with!
4. As far as meditation practice, this is something I resolve to do every year and never accomplish. It should be easy – sit for a few minutes and deep breathe. What could be easier? I have a special place set up for this; I’ve read books on various techniques, so it is a merely a matter of sticking with it. I usually feel like I am wasting my time when I sit doing ‘nothing,’ but this year I vow to give it a shot for at least three months. If at that time, I don’t succeed or see any benefits, I can release this goal.
You know, I feel better already for having written this down. I’m in it for the long haul, every single day.
I’d love to hear your goals and your game plan for making 2014 your best ever.
The Zoastra Affair by Victoria Pinder is a Science Fiction Romance. Coming on December 30th from Soul Mate Publishing. Here's a blurb, excerpt, and a little about the author to wet your appetite until then. Enjoy!
Blurb: A hundred years from now, Earth has trading partners with alien beings, mostly humanoid. However, going into space brought forth an unknown enemy who attacks Earth at will.
The Zoastra is part of the Earthseekers, an organization originally designed to go into space. Its new mission is to find Earth’s enemies.
Ariel is stuck on a Victorian planet and steals Grace’s body and life to get off the planet. Grace must get her body back before Ariel bonds with Grace’s husband, Peter. Then there is Cross, the man on a mission to find those who killed his family. Ariel is attracted to Cross, but she’s stolen someone’s life.
Twenty Second Century
Sheraton Home World
I’m going to have to steal someone else’s body to get out of here.
“Ariel, are you listening?”
Ariel Transcender stared dumbfounded at the mother superior of her prison, a/k/a Aulnale School for Orphans. “Yes, mistress.”
She had no idea what happened, though she pasted a fake simpering smile of appreciation on her face. Ms. Rochelle walked away.
A few minutes later, Ariel looked out the window again, tuning out Rochelle’s mind numbing lecture on what was proper behavior when near a man. The boarding home on this planet gave the stupidest lectures of the galaxy. Her lips curled into a sneer. Women were not excited to be bound to men.
Could I do this to someone else? Do I have any other choice?
Lenchena, the teenage girl who’d stolen her adult body and taken off on Ariel’s ship, needed to be found. And Ariel refused to listen to the daily drivel about always listening to a man.
No longer on her planet, Grinocx, she did her best to understand this planet’s culture. Order made sense, but the Sheratons never made sense. Her gaze wandered to the well-manicured lawn designed for ostentatious parties. Not paying attention, Ariel’s mind still picked up a few phrases in the lecture, please a man, be agreeable, and do whatever is asked with a smile, floated in the air.
Lenchena’s voice became animated as she told them, “Ferula can be used on your future husband to ensure he finds completion even if you are too tired to perform your duties. However, with your husband, do this sparingly or else he’ll find you a lazy wife.”
Ariel blinked after that statement. Another grueling lecture on pointless marriage and sex. Blah, blah, blah. Her people, Grinders, didn’t believe in love and mating only to reproduce. Being stuck on Sheraton where the women dressed in long dresses, caring for homes with neatly cut green grass, and doing nothing more exciting than watching the pink dawns, while the men held careers in outer space, had never been her plan.
Was she really sitting in a lecture on how to please the male species? She rolled her eyes. Seriously? No, she refused to listen to this nonsense. The words ‘ladies never say no’ reverberated behind her back and made her face pucker.
Ariel schooled her features, pretending to listen to the school master, Ms. Rochelle. The woman had no heart. No one had listened to Ariel when she had cried for days and days that some young teenager had switched bodies with her, trapping her in this alien hell. Rochelle had dragged her back to school, and kept her under lock and key.
Hope became fleeting after that, while the years ticked past. For the past four years, she’d been training at the all-girls school for orphans on how to be a proper maid and housewife.
The twenty-five years of her life training to be an engineer, then serving on the starship Tygra, then the sistership Thrycer, had been stolen.
Now that this body was almost of marriageable age, Ms. Rochelle, cursed school teacher, paraded Ariel out of the orphanage to find her a match. Every week or special event needing service, Ariel had on the job training with heavy supervision, pointing out Ariel’s light pink hair and ability to be a serviceable wife to a working man. Pink hair girls are sweethearts. Yeah right. That lowlife bottom-feeding insect, Lenchena, had stolen her body and her life.
Ariel had stopped complaining years ago because it got her nowhere. She was on her own and needed to find a way out of this body and back to her ship. With the almost age of marriage upon her, it was now or never. Then Ariel was going to find that little twit who stole her body and make her pay for stranding her on this backward planet.
“In a few weeks Ariel will be leaving us. Heading toward marriage with Massimo?” Ms. Rochelle’s voice pulled her back into the lecture.
“Err . . .” Massimo, with his hovercraft, became convenient transportation to leave the school with permission, but marriage? The boy dreamed of owning a restaurant with a pretty wife. She’d find a way off the planet, when she wasn’t being observed or offered for marriage to every low level non-space going man on this planet. Time ticked fast now.
“Ariel is lucky to have found a man so interested in her beauty, he can overlook her status.”
Ariel’s mouth tightened and she lowered her head to hide her scowl. No. Massimo was a child, too. Getting her body back from the child thief, Lenchena, mattered far more. This body was now strong. Away from the ever-watchful teacher, she’d have her chance for escape at one of the upcoming diplomatic events where she’d be a maid or serve others dinner. Plus, Sheratons mated for life, something Ariel refused to believe in. But in order not to draw attention to herself, she played along. “Um, yes. I am.”
A group of male soldiers marched past the closed door of the school room. The females in the class twisted around to catch a glimpse of them. Ariel didn’t join her classmates in staring and drooling at the opposite sex.
Why did these aliens keep males and females separate until marriage? The customs of this world never ceased to amaze her. The teacher taught the virgin teenagers to expect women to fall into orgasm whenever a man’s hand grazed her body. Seriously? Had they never had sex before? In her memory, sex hadn’t been that all-encompassing.
For the past four years she’d been stuck in this body, living through alien teenage hormones. The sexually denied tightness irritated her body, and her mind longed to be back working on a single engine design. On the Thrycer, she’d run a top design engine room, winning numerous awards for ingenuity on a space ship. Then she’d joined the boarding party to Sheraton, being told the planet was a relaxing and safe tranquil spa. Lies.
If Ariel let them, these alien hormones would dull her reaction time in the girl’s leftover body that held her consciousness. She’d managed to keep slim and fit with exercise as she bided her time until she found a way to her freedom, and got her body and life back. When she finished this, she’d fix everything. She’d force the girl who stole from her to return with the borrowed body to make the final switch and right everything.
About the Author:
Victoria Pinder grew up in Irish Catholic Boston before moving to the Miami sun. She’s worked in engineering, after passing many tests proving how easy Math came to her. Then hating her life at the age of twenty four, she decided to go to law school. Four years later, after passing the bar and practicing very little, she realized that she hates the practice of law. She refused to one day turn 50 and realize she had nothing but her career and hours at a desk. After realizing she needed change, she became a high school teacher. Teaching is rewarding, but writing is a passion.
During all this time, she always wrote stories to entertain herself or calm down. Her parents are practical minded people demanding a job, and Victoria spent too many years living other people’s dreams, but when she sat down to see what skill she had that matched what she enjoyed doing, writing became so obvious. The middle school year book when someone wrote in it that one day she’d be a writer made sense when she turned thirty.
When she woke up to what she wanted, the dream of writing became so obvious. She dreams of writing professionally, where her barista can make her coffee and a walk on the beach, can motivate her tales. Contemporary romances are just fun to write. She’s always thinking whose getting hurt and whose story is next on the list to fall in love. Victoria’s love of writing has kept her centered and focused through her many phases, and she’s motivated to write many stories.
Member of Florida Romance Writers, Contemporary Romance, Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapter of RWA, and in Savvy Authors.
Visit Victoria online at:
Authors Website: http://www.victoriapinder.com
A Writer's Dream: Finding that first reader
The big day finally happened!
by Debbie Herbert
I attended the fabulous Southern Magic Reader's Luncheon in Birmingham, Alabama the day after my debut novel, Siren's Secret, was released by Harlequin Nocturne. Over 140 readers and writers attended the event.
Since this was my first book signing, I had no idea what to expect. Me and fellow writer Lexi George, along with our friends Tammy Lynn and Fran Holland, went the night before. At dinner we met the Famous Barbara Vey of Beyond Her Book blog and the founders of Fresh Fiction, a delightful mother/daughter team that came in from Dallas. As if that wasn't heady enough, I sat across the table from Tavia Gilbert, the narrator for all of Jeanine Frost's books. I also became reacquainted with Laura Haydon, writer extraordinaire and founder of Author/Author book publishing.
Still not the best part.
The day of the signing started on an ominous note when I had trouble with my truck, but we all arrived on time. I sat at the table with the luncheon MC MV Freeman, a great writer, and some readers. I even spent about ten minutes talking with keynote writer/speaker Jeanine Frost - who is as sweet as she is talented. When my name was called I got on stage and told a bit about my book and was met with a nice round of applause. Fun!
Still not the best part.
As an author, we were all required to put together a basket as a door prize. Mine was a mermaid/ocean theme and I actually drew the name of someone I knew -- fellow Georgia Romance Writer Hilde McQueen. Congrats, Hildie!
After lunch, I put up the fab, large posterboard of my book cover that Harlequin so kindly sent over. It was a big hit and I sold over a dozen books. Not bad for a newbie!
Still not the best part.
I checked my i-phone and discovered Siren's Secret was the #1 selling Harlequin Nocturne and had made the top 100 in Amazon's paranormal romance shape-shifters category.
Thrilling, but still not the best part.
After all was over and a handful of us authors were left, waiting to meet with Laura and get our book credits, my friend Tammy led me by the elbow to a table where a woman sat, her nose buried in my book. "She's already on page 36 of your book last time we checked," Tammy whispered. "She's been reading it non-stop."
The reader (see above) was Nephartari Yancey -- I do so hope I spelled her name correctly! -- , sister of writer Naima Simone who will be next year's RWA Southern Magic President.
The Best Part.
I actually got a little choked up. Yes, it was fun to hob-knob with the industry hotshots and network with fellow authors and sign books. But there is nothing -- nothing! -- like seeing someone engrossed in a book you wrote. Someone that is not a friend or family member -- those close to us HAVE to like our book -- or at least pretend they do!
The memory of that moment is helping me deal with new worries I didn't have while unpublished -- things likes sales numbers and reviews or lack thereof. Wishing every writer that same thrill of connecting with a reader -- over and over.
Have you experienced meeting or hearing from a reader? What's been the most exciting moment of your writing career- published or not-yet published?
Until next time,
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Proof that the Vampire Craze can last.
I’m writing a series of vampire novels, and keep hearing the rumor that the market is flooded. And no publisher will buy another novel about vampires. That may very well be true, but vampire fiction has flourished for centuries. If you look back at some of my earlier posts, you’ll see vampire fiction documented as far back as the sixteenth century. I decided to show you just how infatuated our society has been with these mythical creatures since the invention of film. I’ve not named them all, but if you’ll notice, there have been popular motion pictures about vampires during every decade except one.
So sit back and let me take you on a journey through time. Okay, maybe not a real journey, but you get the picture.
A New Century of Vampires Begin
Looking back over this list, it seems a lot of films were inspired by Bram Stokers Dracula. But over the years vampires have turned from Stokers hideous creatures of the night into the smoking hot vampires we dream of taking us away and fulfilling our every desire. Oh, if we could be so lucky.
Who are your favorite alpha males with fangs? Leave a comment, because I never get tired of talking about vampires.
Until next time,