Tuesday, November 09, 2010
However, I've had a few late night/early morning epiphanies that have left me with the decision to take a year off from attempting to write and create art for profit. For the next year, I hope to focus on solely the love of the craft(s), as well as reaching deep to discover the things most important to me. You'd think those things would be self-evident, but they really haven't been for almost two decades now. I'm calling this: "The Year of Living Honestly: Finding Purpose and Courage in Truth."
Lofty, huh? :)
Yet, it's true. I've been prone to depression most of my life and felt it coming back lately. Upon further examination, I discovered that my life has been completely lacking in what I'd call honest purpose since I gave up my religion, husband, and most family and friends 16 years ago. During one of those 3am soul-searching sessions recently, I asked myself how it was that I used to be so sure of myself, so brave in doing many things that did not come naturally to me, and realized that it was because I BELIEVED in what I was doing. I had the courage of conviction. Can't say that I've been convinced of much of anything in a long, long time.
Hence, a desire to find out what, if anything, means so much to me that I'd be willing to face anything to protect it. And to figure that out with as little stress as possible. I can't quit the day job just yet (much as I would love to!) - still have bills and daughter's tuition to pay. Though, who knows... I may yet do so. Her education is important to me, but how it gets achieved and paid for is always up for review. As are those bills... :)
Nevertheless, I can stop stressing about trying to write, paint, etc. and all the promotional work involved in that to make money from it (which I haven't been doing lately anyway because I haven't had the energy to keep up with it all). So... that's it. I'm going to do my best to just create for the sheer joy of it, for the learning that will come from that, and not stress myself out.
I'll be honest with myself and others about how much I can, or cannot, do. I'm resolving to not friendly with people I don't like just because they'd be useful to know in my job. I won't smile at liars, I won't glare at friends, I won't enable the weak to maintain their weaknesses (or my own), and hopefully, I'll find some peace.
Wish me luck. :)
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
As I read "Killing Trail", what kept coming to mind was, "Charles really knows how to build suspense and keep-you-glued-watching-the-action." And he did keep me hurrying through to get to the end.
Lots of fun, both of them.
It begins one day in sophomore English class, just as Ellie Barnett's teacher is assigning Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice". From nowhere comes a quiet 'tsk' of displeasure. The target: Sam Blaine, the cute bad boy who's teasing Ellie mercilessly, just as he has since kindergarten. Entirely unbidden, as Jane might say, the author's ghost has taken up residence in Ellie's mind, and seems determined to stay there.
Still, everyone has something to learn about love - perhaps even Jane herself. And lately, the voice in Ellie's head is being drowned out by another, urging her to look beyond everything she thought she knew and seek out her very own, very unexpected, happy ending.
About KILLING TRAIL:
Friday, September 24, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
That is the correct address above - I had posted the wrong one before. Sorry! If you click on the calendar in that link, you can see full size versions of the items that we're giving away. I think mine is on day 19 (don't remember at the moment) - it's a a pumpkin queen "make-do." (A "make-do" is where you make do with you have around the house [in this case, a refurbished soap dispenser] in order to create a craft item.)
There are lots of great prizes - go ahead, throw your name in the hat! :)
Sunday, September 05, 2010
Ok, I thought. I'll bite. I downloaded the PDF and read the first chapter of the YA book, "Across the Universe" by Beth Revis. Wow.
This won't be coming out until 1/11/11, darn it. I'm looking forward to it.
I've attached it for your convenience.
Now, whether that's REALLY the best first chapter you'll ever read is debatable. But it was pretty darn good, in my humble opinion.
Friday, September 03, 2010
I was in the kitchen getting some water when Macy the Cat walked in. I looked down and saw her ears bleeding profusely. Alarmed, I picked her up to see what happened and noticed it was paint and not blood. I ran into the dining room where I saw that they'd knocked over several things on the table, including a big bottle of red paint, which had spilled all over the chair and floor.
I had to hurry and clean up the paint before it dried, so I couldn't get a picture of it. Then I noticed red paw prints all over the hallway, so I grabbed Macy and washed her paws in the kitchen sink. I tried to get her ears clean, but it wouldn't all come off.
When I returned to the hall to see where else she had walked, I saw red prints on the white living room carpet.
Frisky was nearby watching the whole thing, but refused to comment other than, "I didn't do it."
Frisky maintains that she had nothing to do with the crime and that all evidence which would suggest otherwise is clearly circumstantial.
Families of the victims are asking jurors for the maximum penalty of imprisonment during crafting days, since evidence has show Macy to be a hardened criminal incapable of rehabilitation. Macy's attorney maintains that a thorough investigation will prove she was framed, and that Frisky actually committed the crimes in question.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
At her age, I was much the same. Sometimes, I still am willing to take that blind leap of faith with no net. BUT, I'm her mother, so that's different. :) I'm also currently, as she would put it, "tweaking out" badly. My nerves are shot.
Meanwhile, to take my mind off this, I read an old Kathleen E. Woodiwiss novel the other day, and realized about three pages into it, that it would never have been accepted for publication today. Editors and agents would have passed immediately without reading beyond the first couple of pages due to all the head-hopping, impossible point of view sentences, and info dumps. The book was published in 1982, and in the 70's and 80's, Ms. Woodiwiss's books were always best sellers.
I did find the story hard to follow sometimes because of the same-sentence point of view shifts, and can see why that became a major no-no. But other times the head hopping actually added a bit for me when it kept the pace moving, rather than having to start another lengthy bit with another character's POV. I just found it ironic that a best seller from twenty years ago would not get very far if the first few chapters were submitted to an agent or editor today.
I wonder how things will change over the next two decades? Any thoughts?
Saturday, August 07, 2010
Over the course of that time, I've seen lots of commenters, very few commenters, made new friends, been out of commission for while, and come back again. Thank you to those of you who have stuck with me - getting to know you through this medium has been so rewarding. It's like visiting favorite family members and friends that you don't see often - always happy to see you.
Sunday, August 01, 2010
Also waiting for the new releases from Ferrel Rick Moore and Stewart Sternberg. Will post more about that when it happens.
Any publishing news you'd like to share? (Edie Ramer, if you're out there - when is "Cattitude" coming out? Not to be pushy or anything...) :)
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Steve Malley has published his novel "Crossroad Blues" there as well, and I have "Unmasked" for free during the July promotion as well. Oh, and after you've checked out Steve's book page, you should really take a look at his tattoo art. Now I wish I were in New Zealand so I could get one. :)
Forgive me for not getting this up earlier. I've been busy, busy, busy with working the day job, gearing up to do my yearly Halloween art sale, creating cover art with Cobblestone Press, and just trying to decide what I want to be when I grow up.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Magical Mondays started as a way to share some of the unusual and sometimes sublime moments of intuition and unexplained phenomena people experience on occasion. Sometimes the events are striking, sometimes subtle. The past two weeks have been the latter for me.
A week ago, I took a few minutes a day to ask my subconscious to tell me what I really wanted. After a few days, it suddenly showed me a clear picture.
However, over the past two weeks, I've also been experiencing a great deal of stress at work and have had several "aha" moments where I've realized that I've let other people walk all over me my entire life. Then, during the past couple of days of peak stress and aggravation, I started asking myself: Have I done something to contribute to these people thinking they can be such jerks to me? Am I enabling their condescension? Is there some part of me that really believes I deserve it?
But then I kept thinking that, no, I truly didn't believe that they were better than I am, so what was the deal? Were they simply buttheads and I was innocent of any fault? But if that was the case, why did they bother me so much?
So, once more I put out a call to my subconscious/higher self/universe/guardian angel/collective unconscious/god/higher power/whomever (as Wayne Dyer says, you can call it "Louise" if you like), and asked, what am I missing here?
After asking again before I went to bed last night, I had the following dream...
I had gone into a cellar to get some rope then saw that it wasn't a cellar, but it was my grave. Even though I was still alive, I knew the future me was dead and buried in there just behind a door to my right. There was mold all around and it was pretty creepy. I was both fascinated and scared by my own grave, but realized I shouldn't be in there just yet. As I walked out of it and shut the door firmly behind me, a song started playing very loudly, and these were the words:
It doesn't matter how young or old you are.
It doesn't matter what you do.
It doesn't matter what they think,
If you matter to you.
Do you matter?
Do you matter to you?
I woke up suddenly from the dream with the song still playing in my head, and knew it really doesn't matter what those supercilious sh*ts think. I DO matter to me, and they're about to find out just how much. I'm not ready to lie down and die just yet. :)
How about you? Anything feel particularly empowering lately?
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Got this little gadget from Jennifer Armintrout's blog. I thought the result was interesting since the excerpt I used was from my latest WIP - one that is darker than any other I've done so far, even though the paragraphs I used weren't really dark.
Try it - I'd like to see your results. :)
I threw my hat in the ring... sat down to do my ten minutes... and realized I had no idea what my heart's desire really was! That turned into two days of just spending those ten daily minutes asking my subconscious to dig up what I really wanted, what would make me glow with happiness. But make it something selfish, please. Sure, we'd all like world peace, an end to hunger, etc. But what about ME? What would tingle my pringle in the meantime while we're all hoping for whirled peas?
Then, quite strongly, I had an image of myself in the kitchen, painting. It was a flashback to a day when I realized I was really happy, and that I had never been so happy in my life. That was almost three years ago now, and I haven't felt that good since. I miss it. And the key to that happiness was that I was solely working for myself, on my own schedule, doing the things I love to do. I was writing, painting, and sculpting daily. My daughter and I were spending enjoyable moments together - there was no stress of going to a day job I hated. I had enough money to get by then. That was it. That's what I want.
That's not too much to ask, is it? Now, you try it. Feel free to share it here if you want, or just hold it close to your heart and smile mysteriously. :)
Meanwhile, today is my daughter's 18th birthday, Lana Gramlich has a new book of her photographs out, and her husband, Charles, just published a collection of Westerns. Congratulations to all. :)
Monday, June 21, 2010
"Now...if you trust in yourself..."
"...and believe in your dreams..."
"... and follow your star..."
"...you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy."
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
So, meanwhile, let me offer you another Monday tradition that I think you'll enjoy reading: Amber Scott's Motivational Mondays. They are just that: motivational, and often magical as well. :) You can find a listing of them here: http://en.wordpress.com/tag/motivational-mondays/ or at her blog, http://amberscottproject.wordpress.com/.
I loved her series on "book babies" and "book parenting."
For more inspiration, Zoe Winters is also blogging over at Magical Musings about her journey in self-publishing as well. This was interesting for me, because I know a lot of people who are now trying that route, and I've started to dabble in it as well. (Just FYI - I'm not talking about the "you pay big bucks for someone to print a bunch of books that you have to buy yourself" type of self-publishing here, but a whole different venue where your upfront costs can be nearly zero and your profit is your own.)
Is there anything you've found particularly interesting or helpful lately that you'd like to share? Topic doesn't matter - just something you've enjoyed. :)
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Saturday, May 08, 2010
It took me a few minutes to figure out what should have been blazingly obvious from the start: there was NO conflict. None, whatsoever. Attractive girl and attractive guy meet and are attracted to each other. They hook up. The end.
Gaack!!!!!!!! How did I miss that while writing and editing almost 7000 words? Now, do I go back and torture them? Throw in a time bomb and a runaway freight train? Give one of them amnesia or sudden desire for a sex change operation?
Now *I* have conflict. It's a Christmas story, so I have plenty of time to revise it. Yet part of me just wants to leave it as is and forget about it. I'm tired of looking at it. I could also just put it up on Smashwords as a free download. Yet... that's probably not the best idea if I'm trying to build readership. The other option is to forget it completely and pretend it never existed.
I'm also in the middle of trying to pack up my place to be ready to move by the end of next month, which means I really have to be ready by the end of this month, since I have to give my landlady notice and she'll want to bring people through. I really don't have time to worry about a story with no conflict. I have enough conflict of my own, right? Because I've also been in the process of interviewing for a job in Maine, and they're pretty interested in me right now. And moving across country (again!) is a huge undertaking.
Regardless of where I end up, I still have to move out of my current place so I can afford to pay college tuition for my daughter. And maybe one thing that would help with that tuition might be selling more books... hmm.... I think I see two tortured heroes coming up.
How are you doing? Any editing woes or victories to report?
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
I'm supposed to be on vacation this week, but today has felt just like another stressful work day. It started with a dozen little things this morning, and then the car broke down this afternoon, and I have no idea why. I haven't even been up to calling AAA to come take it away to the mechanic. Seriously. Just can't deal with it today, because I also knew I had to hurry and finish my taxes. In fact, I was on my way to buy tax software when the car quit. Fortunately, was able to file online after two hours worth of stops and starts.
Anyhoodles.... what I'd really love right now is to read a completely awesome book. You know, that kind that you'll always remember, and leaves you with just an indescribable feeling after you've read it; and if it's a series, you anxiously count the days until the next one. I haven't had one of those in a while. I've had a few book "crushes" lately, but I miss that falling head-over-heels in love feeling.
I'd really like for Calgon and a good book to take me away. Any suggestions out there?
(And for those of you who know her, doesn't this cute picture remind you of Marcia Colette? lol)
Friday, March 19, 2010
Dr. Emily Drake's psychotherapy patients tend to be a little unusual. Instead of midlife crises and mother fixations, Emily treats vampires with blood phobias and sex-demons looking for meaningful relationships. But healing these powerful beings requires an important rule: Never trust a shifter. Especially not one like Detective Colin Gyth, whose gold-flecked eyes and predatory air make Emily realize how much she longs to lose control...Colin can't believe the doctor he has to work with on the Night Butcher murder case is the one person who could expose his true identity as a wolf shifter. Smart and sexy, Emily brings out the alpha male in Colin, unleashing a wild desire that takes them both over the edge...But in the shadows, the Night Butcher waits, eager to spill Emily's blood and taste her terror. And he'll use any means to destroy her, including the one person she has grown to trust...
So far, so good. A lot of cute riffs on her clients - a vampire who's afraid of blood, a succubus who wants to be seen as more than a sex object. I'm looking forward to finishing it tonight.
What's on your reading table right now?
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
For those of you who aren't familiar with "boob wishes", it's when you write down three things you'd like to have happen in a month, and keep it in your bra... or pants pocket, or wherever. :)
About a month ago, I was just daydreaming of a few things I'd like to have happen and wrote just two of them down. One: I'd like to be able to work part-time, and two: I'd like for my novella to be a best seller at Cobblestone Press, even though I didn't really expect either of those things to happen. I just put that in my purse and forgot about it.
Well, about a week ago, I was having a rough day at work and wishing the timing was right for me to ask my boss about taking off one day a week. It's a really busy time for us right now, and I figured the timing was bad to ask. But about an hour later, she asked me to come to her office and said she had good news for me. See, one of the things I HATE about my job, is that somehow I got stuck doing the class registrations and other admin work after the woman who used to do it had to quit. It was never part of my job description, and daily made me want to jab sharpened pencils into my ears.
My boss said she'd spoken to her boss about the possibility of hiring someone to take over that aspect of things, since it really wasn't something I should be doing and would take a lot off my plate. It was the perfect opening to bring up the part-time goal. She was very open to it, though she did say it probably wouldn't happen until after June. Hey, as long as there's a light at the end of the tunnel, I can wait a couple more months. :)
And as for the second wish, as you can see from this post, I was just as surprised as anybody. :)
Now I wish I'd written down a third thing, lol. Maybe next month... :)
Any good news in your life lately that you'd like to share?
Saturday, March 13, 2010
"She wanted to run. Instead, she forced herself to open the closet and reach in for the Maglite, her skin crawling as the sleeves of raincoats and old sweaters brushed against her hands like the shed husks of monstrous insects."
Charles has also written a number of other horror and fantasy fiction novels and short stories, as well as non-fiction work on writing. You can also listen to one of his short horror works, Thief of Eyes, in Sidney Williams podcasts, Fear on Demand. The line from that which hooked me was right from the start:
"She had lips that Satan dreamed of in his long fall to hell."
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I just went to Cobblestone Press's new site, Cobblestone After Dark, and look what I found on the front page! I had no idea! Big, big hugs and thanks to everyone who purchased. :)
Now I can call myself a "Best Selling Author", LOL.
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Over at Avery DeBow's blog, she's doing a "bad-lib, mad-lib" where every Friday she asks posters for nouns, verbs, names, etc. and then uses them in her work in progress. It's been very entertaining, and Avery's talent shines in the creative ways she's put the words to use.
(For instance, one suggestion for an occupation was "Dr. Ruth's Personal Dominatrix" and she managed to weave that into her story.)
Go on - play along! :)
Friday, March 05, 2010
Today's guest is fellow Cobblestone Press author, Jude Leiberman. She's graciously agreed to answer some questions about her new book, Drew's Awakening, available today at Cobblestone.
I understand you have a new release out called Drew's Awakening. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
I had mentioned my brother and his wife in my last post, but didn't mention how creative they both are. They decided to paint my brother's prosthesis over the weekend, and this is what they came up with. You can see the full details here.
They are pretty funny. One year for Halloween, he attached a toy beaver to his wooden leg and went as a lumberjack under attack.
Any interesting relative stories you'd like to share? ;)
Monday, March 01, 2010
Meanwhile... for those of you who write the "naughty" books, I'm just wondering if any of you experience embarrassment when your friends and family (or coworkers) find out what you're up to in your spare time. My dad found my blog (gasp!) and made mention of my writing in an email to brother, whose wife then asked me what her FIL was talking about, and I didn't answer. Later, my brother asked again, but I told him he couldn't handle the truth. ;)
His wife is a very sweet, lovely woman who would most likely be horrified if she saw my stuff. And really, there is a certain "ick" factor in family knowing about this. My daughter, who does know, has said she could just never read anything I wrote because it would be way too much information. I wholeheartedly agree.
It makes me wonder.... I sometimes won't buy candy because I'm embarrassed for anyone to see the "chubby chick" with chocolate. After that happened a few times, I came to the conclusion that if I'm embarrassed to be buying it, then I really don't need to be doing it in the first place.
I'm wondering if that applies here, as well. Which is NOT to say that I think writing erotic romance is bad, I just sometimes wonder if it's for me if I'm that uncomfortable with people knowing about it. If I can't look my brother in the eye and say, "Hells yeah, I wrote that and I'm damned proud of it!", then I have to take a good look at what the issue is.
I'm proud of my friends who write erotic romance and promote their books, so why am I uncomfortable with people knowing about mine? Am I more prudish than I realized? Or is just a family/coworker thing? TMI for certain people only?
It makes me feel like I'm living a double life because on the one hand, I DO want to tell everyone about it, and say it with pride. On the other hand, maybe some people just really don't need to know...
Friday, February 26, 2010
---------------------------KS: Hi Amber, it’s great to have you here today. I mentioned you in my blog a few days back, and I’m excited that you agreed to allow me to grill…er, interview… you today about your writing.
Probably the most common complaint from writers is that they never have enough time to write. I know you have two small children at home, yet since I met you four years ago, you’ve had a baby, had six books published (Irish Moon aka The Last Templar, The Best Revenge, Jessie’s Girl, Wanted, Soul Search, and PlayFling) and now you’re also working on screenplays. This doesn’t even count the stories you’ve written which haven’t been published yet. Can you give us an example of your “typical” writing schedule?
AS: I tell you, when you throw articles and blogging in there, too, I get dizzy thinking about it. Thankfully, I’ve figured out how to take each task one at a time, or like Anne Lamott’s book explains, Bird by Bird. With two young children and a husband vying for my attention, I’ve learned how to write in small spurts and with a little one on my lap. A few years ago, I let go of the notion that I should be able to carve out a couple hours a day reserved for writing. Instead, I gave up TV and am constantly back and forth to my computer, to the kids, back to my story, over to dishes and so on. It’s an imperfect system I find I have to tweak and adjust to every day but I’ll get there.
KS: Well, you must be doing something right! I listened to your interview on Romantically Speaking w/ Danielle Monsch (http://www.talkshoe.com/talkshoe/web/talkCast.jsp?masterId=73538&cmd=tc) and you mentioned your love of writing in different genres (I’m totally on board with you on that!) and I’m wondering what has been your favorite of the stories you’ve written so far, and why?
AS: Thank you so much for listening. Danielle is a lot of fun and made the interview really easy. It was like talking to a great friend. I wish I could pick one genre I prefer! It seems like it’d make the career building part of all this easier. Alas, I go where the itch takes me. I’m polishing an urban fantasy, called Realm, right now, continuing the doomed cupid series Play Fling, and started plus two screenplays, D-Word and Threshold. I’d say the two things I tend to stick to are paranormal elements and comedy but not necessarily together.
KS: Any one particular scene/hero/heroine out of all the genres that has really stayed with you?
AS: Jessica Hayes in Jessie’s Girl has really stayed with me. I think gay and lesbian fiction is regrettably still seen as taboo but I hope it will become mainstream. Love is love, right? Jessie has such a difficult decision in this story. She falls for the girl her brother, who is also her best friend, thinks is ‘the one’. And Sabrina falls as well. Only Sabrina hasn’t quite come to terms with what ideal life versus real life means. Their story was heart-wrenchingly wonderful to write.
KS: It was a great story and the conflict was very moving. Speaking of conflict, most writers are familiar with the “inciting incident”, “the dark moment”, and the “return with the prize” in stories. I’m wondering if you may have experienced some of those in real life on your path to publication, what they were, and if you’d like to share them?
AS: My inciting incident to novel writing came with my first NaNoWriMo. It took me from dreaming of being a writer to actually writing and I got hooked. My dark moment came when I read Stephanie Meyers Twilight saga and had an epiphany: If I didn’t love my own characters as thoroughly as she clearly loved hers, was it worth pursuing this career? I took a break and realized, yes it’s worth it. The pain, the fear, the lack of sleep. And I stopped writing with that lingering desperation to find some secret formula and simply write for the fun of it now. My writing improved. My return with the prize has to be my first contest win, an Honorable Mention in the Save the Cat! Last logline of 2009! contest. The late Blake Snyder, author of the series and whose site hosted the contest, is my biggest writing hero. I really wish I could have met him.
KS: Congratulations - that's quite a journey, Amber! Where can readers find your work now, and what can we expect next from you?
AS: Right now Play Fling is at Smashwords.com and Scribd.com for a limited promotional release while I submit it to agents and editors. I’ll be placing a couple of freebie novels up on each site as well this summer. My screenplays may join the novels once they’re polished and registered with the Writer’s Guild. I see self-publishing as a great way to earn readers and share the process with them. I’m shopping my urban fantasy, Realm, also but contemporary erotica has been whispering in my ear again. I hope to have another novella completed and submitted to Liquid Silver Books soon. I adore this publisher and hope to continually add to my booklist there. You can also find me at 1stTurningPoint.com, a place for authors to learn and share all about promotion.
KS: Wow, you sure do keep busy, and I look forward to seeing more from you. Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know?
AS: Simply how much I appreciate their taking the time to share my inner worlds. Having a reader feels like sharing a favorite song or movie with someone. I cherish it. As a thank you today, I’d like to offer a free ebook download of Play Fling at Smashwords.com. This is the story of a doomed cupid determined to match a repressed divorcee with her ex. There’s just two problems: a too young, too hot college boy distracting her matchmaking target and the fact that she stinks at playing cupid. Simply enter code: SE77K. It expires March 17th. Thank you so much for having me, Kate. We’ve come a long way and here’s to much, much further! KS: Here, here! Thank you, Amber. :)
So, what questions do you have for Amber? Side note: Amber is generously giving away copies of Play Fling for the time being, but my publisher would kill me if I gave away so many books. :) However, not to be selfish, everyone who comments here and/or on Amber's blog today and wants to be entered to win a copy of Managing Maggie in one of the following formats: .PDF, .mobi/Kindle, or .LIT simply has to state their preferred format in their post.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
KS: Devin, you and I first met a few years ago when you were working on a book about a guy named Riley, whom I seem to recall you saying was the guy you’d most like to take home to mom. Now here we are, and Riley is making his debut into the wider world in “Dangerous Magic”. Tell us a little of how that came about, and what is about Riley that connected with you?
KS: Yummy. :) Tell us what your favorite scene in this book is, and why?
DM: There were a few, but the one that sticks in my mind was the first meeting. Neither Laura nor Riley expected it to ever be anymore than a bodily collision on the street corner. But, as we know, a lot does develop from that one scene, and I, for one, am glad that it does. They are a fun couple. A cute couple and I hated to see them end as characters.
KS: I also recall reading a start of the sequel to Dangerous Magic about Riley’s brother. Is that something which is still in the works? (I’m very much hoping so, because I loved the bit I read!)
DM: Yes, it is. "Dangerous Waters" is being considered by Wild Rose Press. I’ve got to fiddle with a few changes and resubmit back to Wild Rose Press, but my editor is amazingly confident I can work through the changes. She gave me very specific feedback to what needs changing, and although it isn’t a lot, I still need to set it aside, mull it over, and I know I’ll come up with something.
KS: I have no doubt that you will! What else might we expect from you?
DM: I’m about to complete my third book, "A Heart’s Second Chance". I have not submitted it yet as I am working out the last few scenes. This book has some suspense, but I’d say it is more like a LuAnn Rice type book where there are other characters the story revolves around, other points of view than just the hero and heroine.
KS: Congratulations on finishing up another manuscript! What would you say has been the most exciting thing about going from unpublished to published author, and what has been the most challenging?
DM: The most exciting has been that email that said my foot was in the publishing world door. The most challenging are the changes made, some you really hate to get rid of. Still, what I found was that my editor was usually correct. She saw things that I couldn’t see being to close to the characters and story that made things work and flow.
KS: I know what you mean. Now, since I'm no Barbara Walters when it comes to interviews, can you tell us where can readers find out more about you?
DM: I’m no techno geek, so my website isn’t completed as of yet, however, I do have a blog site at http://www.devinmckee.wordpress.com . I seem to be able to manage that and try to update it weekly. Eventually, I’ll have information on what I’m up to, my books, some blurbs about upcoming books, and maybe a question and answer block with other authors. They can also check out other author guest spots I’ve done, and my bio on The Wild Rose Press.
KS: Great! Is there anything else you’d like to say to your readers?
DM: If anyone dreams of being a writer, never give up. That’s my motto. There were times I wanted to, but am glad I didn’t. Find great critique partners and do a lot of networking at writer’s conferences or online. It really does help to get your name out there. Thanks for having me today, Kate.
KS: Thank you, Devin.
I remember reading Dangerous Magic years before it was published, and one thing I remember most about Devin's writing is how she breaths such life and personality into her characters. I'm looking forward to seeing more from her. She never gave up on her dream of being published, of holding one of her books in her hands - and recently had the pleasure of seeing it come true at her first book signing at her local library. Congratulations, Devin!
What questions do you have for her?
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
On Friday, Amber Scott will join me to discuss writing in different genres and how a busy mom finds time to write. At the same time, she will be interviewing me on her blog. Please stop by both blogs and say hello for a chance to win free ebooks. :)
Monday, February 22, 2010
If only you'd remember before ever you sit down to write that you've been a reader long before you were ever a writer. You simply fix that fact in your mind, then sit very still and ask yourself, as a reader, what piece of writing in all the world Buddy Glass would most want to read if he had his heart's choice. The next step is terrible, but so simple I can hardly believe it as I write it. You just sit down shamelessly and write the thing yourself. I won't even underline that. It's too important to be underlined. Oh, dare to do it, Buddy! Trust your heart. You're a deserving craftsman. It would never betray you.
Many writers have been told to "write from the heart." But we're also told to write for the market. We've been told to "write what you know." Arthur Levine says to not write what you know, but write what you are, your own unique emotional experience. The difference is subtle, but his blog post about it a few years ago connected with me as surely as did Salinger's words above. (And as soon as I find the link again, I'll post it.)
Amber Scott will be my guest blogger this Friday, and in her interview she mentioned an epiphany she had that was along the lines of the quote above. I won't go into detail about it right now, but leave that for her to tell you on Friday. (By the way, she and I will be visiting each others blogs that day, and you will have extra chances to win free books if you visit both sites.)
Magical Mondays has always been about those transcendent moments in life when you just have to sit back and stare in wonder at the ways in which the Universe works. Finding that passage from JD Salinger was just such a moment for me. It is, as he says, so simple it's almost terrible; hard to believe. I've often leaned toward writing the books I want to read - have even heard the advice to just that before - but what I want to read probably isn't all that popular. But really, how do I know that if I haven't tried?
Oh, dare to do it, Buddy! Trust your heart. You're a deserving craftsman. It would never betray you.
Do you dare?
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Kudzu and Kindle
The last two books I've read:
Original Sin by Allison Brennan....
Just.... Wow. Fast paced, enjoyable, creepy at times. Good stuff.
Never After by Laurell K. Hamilton and others... Fractured fairy tales at their finest. :) http://www.amazon.com/Never-After-Laurell-K-Hamilton/dp/0515147281
Friday, February 05, 2010
While I can’t tell you how happy that makes me, I’d also like to tell you about some friends of mine who were instrumental in my journey to publication.
About four years ago, three shy, unpublished writers met online and agreed to meet in person. Clutching their precious manuscript babies to their chests, they gathered around a table at their local Barnes and Nobles in
In a nice turn of fate, Devin and I have books that are being released on the same day: today! Amber just released PlayFling on her own at Smashwords.com while she's waiting to hear back from editors and agents, and you can find more of her work (also under the name Amber Dayne) at Liquid Silver Books and New Concepts Publishing. She has previously had work published by Cobblestone Press – there is no stopping this woman! This weekend she’ll join six of her local romance authors for a panel discussion at the
You can find Devin McKee's book, Dangerous Magic at the Wild Rose Press. On Wednesday, February 10, the Montpelier Friends of the Library will be hosting her first book signing. If you’re in
In the upcoming week or so, I'll be interviewing Devin and Amber so they can tell you more about their journey in their own words. I'll also be appearing on Amber's blog in the near future as well. I'll post the details as soon as I have them. Really, these are great gals - talented and a lot of fun. I think you'll like them, so please check them out. :)
Monday, February 01, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
After reading some of the posts in the various archives, I decided to do a quick search of the bestsellers from various e-book sellers. (You can find a list of commercial distributors here: http://users.california.com/~parvin/ebooks.html#commercial)
It seems that M/M, and menage erotica (M/F/M) are big sellers, but so are sexy historicals. (Who said historicals were dead? I saw several of them on the bestseller lists.) Paranormals are still selling well. (Especially paranormal menage; it seems anything with two guys getting it on--with or without a female participant--is almost guaranteed a good run.) Books with some form of bondage or light BDSM also seem to sell well.
Does that mean your sweet, straight, one-woman man, cowboy romance is not going to go anywhere? Not necessarily. I noticed that Bookstrand seems to sell a lot of westerns (though again, the hotter the better.) Of course, this was based on my thumbnail sketch and not any in -depth research. Yet even with that quick glance, I could see the trends.
Feeling a little discouraged since I don't write gay erotica, I remembered this interesting blog by Leslie Richardson that I read the other day. (I particularly like points # 3 and # 19 as encouragement for e-book pubs) She has a no-nonsense, take no prisoners approach to writing for a living that I really liked. (There is also a worth reading, follow up to her earlier blog here.)
Anyhoodles... all this has made me realize that A.) I need to get busy and get back to those WIPs languishing over there on my side bar (poor little things... so neglected) and B.) I need to give more thought to promoting the book I do have coming out. In self-defense, I haven't done it yet because I'm still waiting for the release date, but I haven't even said what the story is about. Sheesh.
So... in case you were wondering.... MANAGING MAGGIE is about taming the cougar. :)
Jason and Maggie are business partners, but he wants to carry their partnership into the bedroom and beyond. At thirteen years his senior, Maggie believes she's old enough to know better than to get involved with a younger man -- no matter how sexy he is.
But Jason is determined to prove he's man enough to handle a woman like Maggie. He'll overcome her objections -- even if he has to tie her down to make her listen.
So... I'm resolving to do more writing and promoting in the next 6 months and try to have at least 3 more novellas and one novel out for publication this year. What are your goals?
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Thanks to all of you who have blogged, emailed, twittered, my spaced, facebooked, etc. to wish me a happy birthday. However, I want to tell you that due to lack of preparation on my part, I've decided to put my birthday on hold indefinitely. I just simply wasn't ready this year. I mean, I haven't finished that novel, haven't lost 60 pounds, haven't won a major lottery - I'm just not there yet.
You understand, don't you? No hard feelings or anything?