Archive for May, 2005
Sunday, May 22nd, 2005
Sylvia tagged me yesterday. I’m embarrassed to say I had to look up what it meant. *blush* Yes, I can be a little on the slow side.
Total Number of Books I Own:
Gulp! I ‘think’ it’s just short of 1000 books.
Last Book I Bought Non-fiction:
Goal, Motivation, and Conflict by Deb Dixon.
Just bought ‘Dead to the World’ by Charlaine Harris, ‘Blue Twilight’ by Maggie Shayne, ‘Mr. Impossible’ by Loretta Chase, ‘Storm Front’ by Jim Butcher, ‘The Stand’ by Stephen King, ‘If Angels Burn’ by Lynn Viehl, ‘To Tame a Wolf’ by Susan Krinard, and ‘Red-Hot Cajun’ by Sandra Hill. Yes, that was all in one day. :-O
Last Book(s) I Read Non-fiction:
Word Painting by Rebecca McClanahan
Still reading ‘What Rough Beast’ by H. R. Knight
5 Books That Mean A Lot To Me(because they taught me what I liked about romance)
A Rose in Winter by Kathleen Woodiwiss
Heart of Thunder by Johanna Lindsey
Hawk and the Dove by Virginia Henley
Desired by Virginia Henley
The Dark Series by Christine Feehan, who showed me what paranormal romance could be.
Saturday, May 21st, 2005
I am currently looking for my next book deal. I have finished my Brava obligations and am now technically unemployed. A typical position for a writer to be in. I’ve written eleven books since 2001–and that doesn’t count the six partials sitting in my file cabinet, some of which are over 200 pages long. I know that’s not very many compared to some, but much more compared to others. Of those books, eight are published and two are waiting for release dates. All these stories vary in length from 12K to 86K. Why am I bringing this up? Because lately (I say lately, but it’s been since last year.) I’ve heard from various parties that my work doesn’t count. Keep in mind, these people were not being mean in any way, shape or form. They were giving me their honest opinions.
It started with my editor at Kensington, who is direct, dedicated, and extremely hard working. When I mentioned my EC books, she said they really didn’t count for much in NY. Fair enough. You can’t fault someone for speaking their mind. That sentiment carried over to my agent, who’s kickass at his job. He said that none of the NY publishing houses would count my work at EC as having finished product under my belt. (This conversation stemmed from whether I could sell on a partial and synopsis rather than a finished book.) I’d accepted their opinions, because they know a hell of a lot more about the publishing business than I EVER will.
That brings me to today. I contacted a writer’s organization about their membership requirements. Apparently, my EC book (they don’t count my ebooks, only paperbacks) is the only one that counts, not my Bravas.
This is why I got so upset the other day over the RWA’s upcoming changes. I’m sick of having no place to fit in. And I’m mad at myself for caring about it in the first place.
So I ask again, when do I count? How many books does it take before I’m actually considered an author? 15? 20? 100? Do they have to be specific types of books? Obviously, since that’s what everyone is telling me. Last night Linda Lael Miller told me you have to have a sense of humor to survive this business. Boy, she wasn’t kidding.
Friday, May 20th, 2005
I was talking to Sylvia yesterday (as you can see from my previous blog entry). We were lamenting about how hard it is to write single title books. I know not everyone has a problem with reaching 400 pages. If you’re in this category, go away I don’t want to talk to you right now. ;-P No! Wait! Actually, I do want to speak with you.
Anyway, she asked me if I ever tried adding a subplot involving other characters in the book. I’ve considered this, but so far have not applied this OBVIOUS tactic to my writing. DOH!!!
So last night as I drifted off to sleep I considered secondary stories for two of my books. The one was actually pretty easy to come up with since I’d already considered adding it to AQ4. Of course, if I go for it that means my book won’t be finished by the end of this month. Grr… The other story wasn’t as easy. I have an inkling of what the secondary story should be, but not sure exactly how to add it to the book. Also, if I do, it won’t be wrapped up at the end of the novel. It’s only the beginning of that particular problem. I guess I’ll have to give it some more thought.
For now, I’m back to writing the end of AQ4. I decided to skip to the end and write it to shake things up. I do have a few questions for those of you who whip out 400 pages without blinking an eye. Do you use secondary stories to lengthen your work? How much description do you throw into your books? And finally, if a secondary story is added to a book, that is the first in a series, would you be angry if it wasn’t wrapped up in the end?
Thursday, May 19th, 2005
Yep, Sylvia Day has gone and done it. She’s taken the first step in establishing a ‘Special Interest’ chapter in the Romance Writer’s of America for authors who write spicy. She needs to garner enough attention from this group to be able to present it to the RWA for acceptance. If you’re interested in joining, you can receive more info here. It’s brand new so there’s not much there yet. At least it’s a start. 😀
Wednesday, May 18th, 2005
When I first started to take my writing seriously, my main goal was to achieve RWA recognition. I wanted the organization to recognize me as a writer. Why was this so important? In retrospect, I don’t know. I suppose it was a way for me to measure my skills. At least that’s what I used to believe. Not so sure anymore.
In my last blog, I discussed the RWA (Romance Writer’s of America) and PAN (Published Author’s Network). This latest blog entry is not a bash on those organizations, but I do question the RWA’s latest actions. More information about publisher recognition just came out. These new ‘rules’ will go into effect in June. Brace yourselves boys and girls, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
RWA plans to change the recognition rules for small publishers. (READ: e-publishers) As of June, those who use POD (print on demand) to produce their books rather than standard printers will have to sell 5000 copies of one book in a year to qualify for recognition. POD is cheaper for small publishers to use and is one of the few ways they can compete with the big dogs. I know that number doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is for most small publishing houses.
Publishers who already qualified for RWA recognition/approval are being asked to present evidence to keep their ‘approval’. (ie ImaJinn, Ellora’s Cave, probably Red Sage to name a few.) Can you see a pattern? If you can’t see it, I’m sure you can smell it. 🙂 Hmm…I wonder if they sent a letter to Harlequin? (snicker)
Right about now, you may be asking yourself ‘What’s the big deal’? Well, here’s the problem. There aren’t many small publishers out there who can sell 5000 copies of a single title book in one year. Because of this tiny technicality, most publishers will be removed from the ‘Approval/Recognized’ list. Fingers crossed Ellora’s Cave isn’t one of them, although I’m sure that the PTB would like nothing more than to do so.
With the new guidelines, small publishers probably won’t EVER see RWA approval again. This isn’t good because most small publishers take chances on wonderfully imaginative stories the NY publishers would never touch. To make the situation even stranger, publishers who use standard printers will only have to sell 1500 copies of a single book in a year to be recognized. Hmm… Does this strike anyone else as odd? Unfair? Strange?
I’m all for the RWA looking out for the authors so they don’t sign horrible contracts or work for free, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about singling out a group (IMO a very LARGE group) of authors who’ve chosen to take a different path to reach publication. I guess I just can’t see how this is helping me. Seriously, I’d love to hear your opinions. Maybe, I’m completely off base.
Tuesday, May 17th, 2005
I know the battle has been building for a while, but the division is greater this time around. For those not sure what I’m talking about, I’ll give you a little background. Several years ago (approximately four) there was a HUGE fight within the RWA about author recognition. The division started out as a way to separate e-published authors from paper published authors. (That’s not what the organization said, but that’s essentially what they did by deeming one group of writers ‘real’ and dismissing the others as wannabies.) Authors who’d been recognized by PAN (published author’s network) suddenly found themselves cast out. We’re not talking ‘Survivor’ here folks. Feelings were hurt. Several authors left the RWA organization never to return. Paperback Writer actually has a wonderful sheep analogy called ‘Why PAN was the God of Sheep’ for this situation. Yes, I said sheep. (wg)
Why am I bringing up old news? Because the fight between the spicy writers and the non-spicy writers reminds me of this ‘old’ situation. The lines are being drawn in the sand. RWA is rumbling about changes ahead, which has my Spidey sense tingling. The FF&P (Futuristic, Fantasy, and Paranormal) list has been debating the merits of sex scenes in books all day. I truly worry that a whole new batch of writers are about to be disenfranchised again. As if that isn’t bad enough, we have people attacking from the inside. And this is only the beginning. Sigh. Grumble, Grumble, Grumble. Can’t we all just get along?
On an upbeat note, several heavy-hitting paranormal authors & an agent launched a new blog dedicated to the paranormal genre. It’s called Out of the Blogosphere. Check it out.
Monday, May 16th, 2005
Well I guess things are shaking up over at Harlequin again. Randall Toye of H/S just announced this morning that as of August 2006, the lines known as Silhouette Romance and Harlequin Romance will cease publication. I wonder if this will be the last couple of lines to fold or if more will follow. Hmm…
My day will be spent editing and writing. I’m reading through AQ4 right now. I just returned from brunch with a friend, who recently came back from Africa. She had a wonderful time and took tons of pictures. (I can’t wait to see them.) She brought me a beautifully painted stone that depicted the world. Now I literally do have the ‘world’ at my fingertips. *grin*