Shameless Self Promotion
Well, it's my blog, I can do a little SSP, right?
This gorgeous cover--yes, I posted it once already, but it was worth repeating--is for my first Silhouette Nocturne. It won't be on the shelves until November, so it will probably be posted again when the date's closer.
The reason it's up right now, is to serve as a reminder to everyone that the Nocturne Author's website
goes live tomorrow! It's really a gorgeous site and Michele Hauf
, one of our brilliant Nocturne writers is behind the whole thing. She designed it, put it up and somehow has kept from shrieking every time one of us suggests something!
On the Nocturne site, we're having a HUGE contest to celebrate the launch of the line. There are some amazing goodies tucked into a fabulous basket just waiting for one of YOU to win it. All you have to do is go to the site and register to win!
So what're you waiting for???
A Day Off
Ah, it's good to treat yourself every once in awhile. Finished up and sent in a book yesterday, so today, I took the day off.
Watched Harry Potter 1........LOVE those movies and just really love the musical score, too. And did a lot of reading and hey, took the time to paint my toes a bright red, so now I'm festive and ready for fall.
Anyway, while I was busy treating myself to a day off from work...about half way through the relaxation, I realized I was BORED. Yep. All this time, I've thought that I would love to be one of those 'laze on a chaise' types......reading, eating and in general just doing a whole lot of nothing. Turns out, it doesn't really work for me.
Is that because I'm still thinking about the last book? Or already planning the one I start tomorrow? Or, is it the two new ideas I had today that were plaguing me, not willing to let me just relax? Don't misunderstand, I'm really grateful for the ideas dropped on me by the Writing gods...but hey, this was a be kind to me day!!
What about you? When you set out a special time to just do nothing
, does it actually work for you?
Library Event in Cerritos, CA
Just wanted to let everyone know--if you're in the area of Cerritos, CA on September 17 and would love the chance to meet and talk to a few romance authors, the Cerritos Library is hosting an Afternoon Tea from 2-4 in the afternoon. Below is all the information! Please call and join us!
Sunday, Spetember 172:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Love is in the Air - An Afternoon Tea in the Skyline RoomThe Friends of the Cerritos Library will host an afternoon tea with five local Romance writers. The participating authors are Maureen Child, Barbara McCauley, Sandra Paul, Charlene Sands and Patricia Thayer. Local resident and author Louzana Kaku will moderate the panel discussion. Books will be available for purchase. Cost per person is $20. Register before Friday, September 8 as seating is limited. Please contact Janice at (562) 924-2474 or Chitose at (562) 926-3565 for more information.
Okay, so about ten years ago, I told three of my writing friends that I really wanted to move. Anywhere, I said. I want to live somewhere that has actual SEASONS. I'm a born and bred Southern California girl. My winter coat is a sweatshirt. Well, I want an actual Fall. I want real winters. Cold winds, big clouds. I'll even learn to live in SNOW. Anyway, the upshot was, I wanted to move.
So, ten years later, I'm in the same house and those three friends have moved all over everywhere! One of them, my good friend Susan Mallery
has moved several times!!
Susan has just recently moved again. This time, she says, it's forever. She's back in the Pacific Northwest, a place she loves. A place her husband was raised. And living through this latest move with her has been an eye opener! Susan is the most organized human being on the face of the planet. She makes God look like a slacker.
But this move has really thrown her. She actually had to make a list the other day just to calm herself. So I'm living vicariously through movers, packers, charities coming for pickups of old stuff and the hideousness of UNpacking. She's tired and her pets are running her ragged. Her office is a shambles, and she's back to square one in setting up a household again.
Check out our new team blog at Deadline Diaries
because I'm pretty sure Susan will have a lot to say about the misery of moving.
So yes, it sounds like a hassle. And if moving can make Susan nuts, it would probably kill me. But you know what? I STILL want to move!
OBSESSINGAh, obsession. A favorite topic of every writer I know. What do we obsess about? You name it. Family, friends, pets, editors, agents...and oh yeah, the BOOK. The book is whichever one we happen to be writing at the time. The one we just finished, is of course, out on its own. It's been patted on the head and sent off into productionland to rise or fall on its own merits. We're past obsessing about that one.It's the NEW one that gets all of our angst. Is it (pick one) romancey/suspensey/paranormally/funny/tragic/ mysterious enough? Do the characters come alive? Or is their dialogue sounding more like they're ordering the number one meal at McDonald's? Right now, my obsession is settled on the Nocturne I have to send in next week. Yes, yes, it's mostly done. I'm going over and over and oh, say, OVER it again and again. Checking dialogue, descriptions, action. I want it to be perfect--the same thing I want for all of my books. And no matter what, when it's published, I'll find something in it that I'll wish I could change.So, am I wasting time on obsession? Probably. Can I stop obsessing? Probably not. I've grown accustomed to the knots in my stomach and the rush of scenes and snippets of dialogue that strike the minute I close my eyes to go to sleep. I'm too used to talking to no one in the shower as I rehearse conversations my characters need to have. If I wasn't thinking about the book while doing dishes, I'd have to actually pay attention to what I was doing, and who wants to think about cleaning?No thanks. I'd rather have the obsession. Ulcers and all...Maureen
BLOGGING POLICE?A friend of mine, Jennifer Apodaca, writes a funny blog that I really enjoy. But when I said something this morning to her about it, she said she thought it was boring and that the Blogging Police should shut her down! Which made me think...is there a blogging police? Should there be? What about all the boring blogs out there? (And hey, I'm including mine). Shouldn't something be done? Or is it better to just have free range blogs where we all indulge ourselve by spouting off to anyone who stumbles by?I think free range. Because hey, if they shut down boring blogs, I'd be one of the first to go...Maureen
I'm sort of enjoying the whole blogging experience. Who knew? Actually, I'm enjoying it so much, I'm about to enter into a team blog with three really great writers and terrific friends. We're officially starting on the 25th of this month on a site called Deadline Diaries
. Hope you'll check it out once we're up and running.
But for now, I've got another place for you to check out. The Nocturne
board on eharlequin. The authors are all posting the first page of their books on that thread and I think they're amazing. I can't wait myself until these books are out and on the shelves!
The first Nocturne (dark, sexy, paranormal) hits the shelves in October. The first two authors are Lindsay McKenna and Kathleen Korbel. Of course MY book, Eternally, comes out in November and I'm really hoping you'll look for it.
MONDAYSI had a hair appointment this morning, for a cut I really needed...BAD...but the chick at the salon told me that the two main streets leading into the salon were all closed, so I'd have to find a different route. Okay, this is MONDAY. I don't do different. I sort of get in the car and go on autopilot. Not a good thing to admit, but there you go. Anyway, I left early for the appointment so I could find my way through the uncharted territory in front of me. The chick lied.The streets weren't closed. Oh, I found out later, one of them is, like three miles from the salon! So there I am, nearly an hour early, no Alphie with me so I can't work, and for the first time in EVER, I didn't take a book with me, either. What to do???I drove to the beach. Summer's nearly over and the beach is practically deserted, when compared to how it was only a couple of weeks ago. The sky was so clear it almost hurt to look at it. The ocean stretched out in front of me, heading out into the horizon. Surfers paddled waves so tiny it hardly seemed worth the effort. Sailboats skimmed over the surface of the water and the wind danced in, as if welcoming my spur of the moment visit.Didn't stay long. Still had to get back to the haircut. But those few minutes staring out at the beach I rarely find time to visit, really made Monday look a lot better!Maureen
Deadlines keep intruding on my life! Or is it that my life keeps intruding on my deadlines? Every morning, I dutifully open up the laptop, go online, check my email, chat with my friends for a half hour or so, then open up Word and start the blank screen stare.
See, I try for a chapter a day when I write, so every morning, I have a freshly blank screen waiting for me to jump right in and create magic. Or, if not magic, at least some really good stuff. And I'm seriously prepared. I mean it. This is my job. This is how I make my living, so I know I have to get those pages done, so I can meet my deadline and hey, get paid! :)
But then life happens. My daughter calls and says, "Do you want to go to Target with me?" And how am I supposed to say no to that? A) LOVE hanging out with Sarah. She's a good time. And B) we BOTH love Target. Our favorite store. So off I go, to play for a few hours, telling myself that I'm refilling that creative well by getting out of the house and actually talking to people.
And as long as life keeps happening, I'll keep answering the call. I can work nights.
Okay, so he's not really a baby...and he's five months old, so he's not really NEW either. But he's new to all of us.
My daughter and her husband got Bristow, (a yellow lab) a month ago and already he's the hit of the family.
Does this make him my Grand-dog???
BACK TO THE REAL (FICTIONAL) WORLD
A few weeks ago, I was in Atlanta, with two thousand other women at RWA's National Conference. We meet with agents, editors, writer friends we see only once a year because we all live so far apart. For that week, we're each incredibly busy, each of us carrying around our color coded schedules like they're the maps to the Holy Grail.
See, writers as a rule, don't have to go anywhere. That's what we LIKE about this job. We can sit on the couch all day, in jammies, (usually not the feathery lingerie types), and lose ourselves in other worlds where WE get to say what happens. But at conference, it's up at the crack of dawn, styling hair, makeup, shoes, outfits that MATCH....it's a whole new world.
One we're not entirely prepared for. We spend the week before conference getting ready for it. The packing ritual alone can last for days. Then there's the trying on of clothes to make sure they still fit--and buying new makeup, since the last time you used the stuff was at the previous year's conference and it's pretty much dried up in the bottle. Finally, you're there. And you spend a fabulous week, reconnecting with everyone you've ever known in the business. Days bleed into each other, you lose all sense of time and space, because you never leave the hotel--hey, it's HOT out there!!
And before you know it, it's over, you're throwing everything you can find into your suitcase and racing to find a cab to take you back to the airport. For the next week, you alternately nap, weigh yourself and plan new diets as soon as the conference photos start flying through the email systems.
Conference is great. Conference is a necessity.
But it's nice to be back on my couch, living in my fictional worlds.
TECHNICAL? NOT SO MUCH
This is why writers write and are never put in charge of say, a nuclear power plant or something!
My friends and I are starting a joint blog. We thought it would be fun to take turns posting and spread the whining out a little! So, I volunteered to set up the site for us here at Blogger. It seemed so easy. After all, I managed to set up THIS one, right?
Uh, no. Turns out a 'team' blog is just a little bit different. The first time, I went all through the process and though I deleted 'my profile' (since it seemed a little showy to display only ME while there would be FOUR of us), several times...it wouldn't go away. So, even after I had sent out the team invites to everyone--I had to delete the blog and start over. Email everybody, say, 'Just kidding!" and go back to the beginning.
So, I got that one up, without my profile, but also without my last name. Now how did THAT happen? Once again the email 'invites' went out and I'm probably going to have to tell them all that I was kidding...AGAIN.......
Why is it I can write a four hundred page book, remember everyone's eyecolor and height, but cannot figure out how to put the 'team' in a team blog?
Mysteries of the universe.
The cheerful, smiling face on the left belongs to my good friend Kathleen Beaver--she writes as Kate Carlisle
and she's written some great manuscripts.
That's right. She's not published yet. But she's going to be. Soon. And you know why? It's not just her talent, though she's got plenty of that. Don't believe me? Check out her website and read her bio. You'll see just how clever and funny she is. Then read some of the excerpts. Great stuff!
Nope, the reason she's going to be published soon is because she's persistent. She keeps writing, despite rejections. She keeps writing and won't let anyone or anything stop her. And that's the most important part of this whole writing thing. To be a writer, you have to be talented, stubborn, persistent, stubborn, thick skinned, stubborn, creative, stubborn...you get the picture.
There are lots of talented people out there, but if you give up and walk away, you'll never know if you could have won.
Like Kathleen did-- just last month when she won the Golden Heart for her manuscript SNOOPING IN STILETTOS
. (Golden Heart, think Oscar for unpublished romance novels) Talent is great. But persistence will help you win.......
This is the cover for my first Silhouette Nocturne. It comes out in November and I'm really excited about it. I think it's gorgeous, which is good. My name is big, which is terrific and the story IMHO is really good.
This new line from Silhouette is going to be big. We've got lots of amazing writers already lined up. There'll be two releases every month--at least at the start. I figure as soon as it makes the splash it's sure to, the number of releases per month will increase, too.
So be sure to look for ETERNALLY
The only thing I don't like about writing is that you're never 'finished'. It's like housework (which I don't do, but that's beside the point). You finally reach that last page, your story is tied up and you gleefully type The End.
Before you get the chance to relax and enjoy a little downtime, you're typing Chapter One and it's all starting over again.
I do love writing and I still think it's the best job in the world, no matter how crazy it makes me from time to time. But starting a book is the absolute worst. You don't know your characters, you're not hearing their voices clearly enough for them to be 'real' and yet, the deadline looms. So what do you do?
You jump in and start typing. You don't think about it. You try not to angst over every single word and you remind yourself that SCBF. (Shit Can Be Fixed) I can redo a page of bad writing, but I can't do anything to help a blank page. So I force myself to write, even when it feels as though I'm not doing anything more exciting than ' he said, she said, they went'. I can always come back and 'fluff'. Fluffing is a huge part of writing and I don't mean the kind of fluffing you think I mean.
Fluffing is going in and adding the color, the sense, the taste and feel of the scene. It's finding that extra, magical bit of writing that will draw your reader in and make them feel as if they're living the story with your characters. It's making them feel so close to the action that their hearts pound, their pulses race and tears well up in their eyes.
That at least, is the goal. If it takes you a couple of passes to get it right, so be it. The point of writing a book is to make it as good as it can possibly be. That means reaching inside your own heart and pulling out every emotion you've got. It means pushing the edges of your own limitations. Because if you, the writer doesn't care...why will the reader?
So, first time blogger. Interesting. We'll see how long I stay interested.
As you might have guessed from the title, I'm a writer. I write romance novels and have for fifteen years. It's a great job, but contrary to popular opinion, it's not the road to easy riches and instant fame.
Sure, that happens from time to time, but it's more of a lightning strike than anything else. Most writers spend every day working, creating worlds for others to enjoy while still maintaining their 'day job'. I'm lucky enough to make a living doing what I love best.
But even with the greatness of the job, there's still crapola. Mostly that's spelled REJECTION. That's right. Even published authors get rejections all the time. Just because you managed to sell one book, doesn't mean you'll be able to sell another. But that's the name of the game, really. And to misquote Tom Hanks in A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN, 'being hard is what makes it great. If it was easy, everybody would be doing it'.
So maybe that's what we all have to remember when the rejections come flying in.