Archive for August, 2005

Monday, August 22nd, 2005
So Much To Think About

My head is spinning from pondering all your comments in the last two blog entries. I have so much to think about that I’m going to take the next few days to do just that. I’ll be back later this week.

Before I go, I want to send out birthday wishes to my dear friend, J. May you have many more years of good health, happiness, and success. May the wish fairy grant you your deepest desire. And may the publisher of your dreams offer you a multi-book deal.:-D Happy Birthday!

Friday, August 19th, 2005
The Voice of Reason

I spoke to the voice of reason (ie dh) yesterday about the Blaze contest. Well, he spoke, I listened. After all was said and done, I realized one of the main reasons I’d want to enter the contest was frustration. Not a particularly good reason to do much of anything, if you think about it. Groan.

We discussed my latest projects, along with future projects and realized not many of them would fit in that line or possibly any other Harlequin line. It was depressing to think about, but the truth nonetheless. He also said I needed to be willing to let some previous projects go, if I wanted to strive for my goals. This in turn led me to examine my goals. I’m not talking yearly here. I am talking long-term career goals. What did I discover? That I have no idea what my long-term career goals are anymore. I used to know what they were. I’m just not sure when they disappeared. And an even scarier thought, how long have they been gone?

I know we discussed yearly goals yesterday, but now I’m curious, did you look at your long-term goals too? I know I didn’t or I would’ve noticed they were gone. Good luck to everyone entering the Harlequin contest! Sometimes I really hate listening to the voice of reason.

Thursday, August 18th, 2005

I’ve just been reviewing my goals for 2005. Boy, was I feeling ambitious in Jan. (wg) :-O What WAS I thinking? I adjusted them to reflect what I hope to be a ‘possible’ schedule for the rest of the year. It still requires finishing two single titles (They’re both started.), but I’ve moved all the other novellas and novels to 2006.

What are your goals for the rest of the year? Are they manageable or pie in the sky? Have you thought about your goals for 2006? If so, are you brave enough to state them? Double dog dare you!

Wednesday, August 17th, 2005
Contests-My Love/Hate Relationship

For those of you who haven’t heard, Harlequin Blaze is holding a contest. The cut off date is August 31st. Now normally I wouldn’t consider entering this contest because I’ve tried writing Blazes in the past with less than stellar results. The only reason I’m considering it now is because they’ve widened what they’re looking for. We’re talking vampires here people. Strange story lines. Things I ‘might’ actually be able to write. Snort.

I know I’m probably glutton for punishment. My track record with contests is pretty hit and miss. I should’ve considered ALL the possible repercussions when I entered previous contests, even the ones I finaled in. Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda… It’s all water under the bridge now. So what makes this time different? (Other than the fact contests are fun and addictive.:) I’d be entering work I’ve already started as opposed to stuff aimed specifically at the contest. Yes, in the past I was very bad. I’d actually take the time to come up with a piece for whatever contest I targeted. (Not everytime, but certainly the last contest I entered.) I’m not proud of it, but it’s the truth.

This time I’ve decided to take a different approach. Less attachment to outcome. If I end up entering (still not sure), it’ll be with something I’m excited about. (Shocking, I know.) All that’s left to do is decide. Eany, meany, miney, mo…

Tuesday, August 16th, 2005

I know I’m WAY behind on this one, but I started reading my first Bombshell book last night. (Yes, they’ve been in my TBR pile THAT long.) Despite the fact the majority seem to be written in first person (not my reading preference), I’m enjoying the stories. They appeal to the big, dumb action movie lover in me. (Notice I didn’t say the Alias and Buffy the Vampire Slayer lover in me.) I’m probably the last person on the planet that hasn’t watched either show. Not because I don’t think they’ll be good, but because I never got around to it.

Anyway, why am I bringing this subject up? I’ve decided to revisit Harlequin/Silhouette. In the past, I didn’t think I could write for them. To be honest, I’m still not sure. I was never a H/S snob. I just knew how hard it was to get the pacing of the books down. It’s been a few years since I’ve really checked them out. I’ve grabbed a book here and there, but nothing on a regular basis (ie since they started implementing changes to the lines). There are a few more options for writers like me. (Blaze Extreme, Spice, Bombshell, etc.) I think it’s time.

Have you avoided a specific publisher or line? If so, why?

Monday, August 15th, 2005

When I first started writing I was HEAVILY influenced by the authors I’d read (Virginia Henley, Kathleen Woodiwiss, Johanna Lindsey). I wanted to write those kinds of books because I loved their sweeping worlds and larger than life heroes.

The first time I put pencil to paper I was fifteen/sixteen years old. I wrote a pirate adventure for a creative writing class in high school. This was a romance ‘novel’…all fifty pages of it. 😉 Bless my teacher’s heart for having the decency to encourage (A-) a student who turned the project in a week late.

Why am I remembering that now? Because I realized something when I was editing my older EC books for paperback production. Somewhere along the line I seem to have lost most of my descriptive abilities. I think this diminishing effect directly corresponds with the introduction of writing rules into my life.

Now I admit my earlier work is quite ‘flowery’ in some places. (Like I said, I thought I was going to write historicals and you can tell. 😉 Unfortunately, the pendulum has swung too far back the other direction. I now have a VERY difficult time adding description beyond the cursory. I believe that’s one of the biggest hurdles I have in writing single titles. I keep getting cleaner and cleaner with my writing, which translates into being shorter and shorter.

I’m currently trying to figure out how to turn this habit around, so that my books are longer than…oh let’s say…a page. ;-P I’ve read loads of description books. Some I’ve found very helpful. Yet, when I sit down to write, I don’t tend to incorporate the ideas. I don’t think it helps that as a reader I skip most descriptive passages. I want to be perfectly clear here. I’m not talking about adding pages and pages of description to pad the book. I’m talking about a balanced level of description to deepen the story.

So I’m curious, if you’re one of those writers who tend to be long on the description, do you like writing it because you enjoy reading it? Do you think about it at all when you’re writing a story? If you’re one of those writers that have a difficult time adding description, how do you balance out the lack of description with the need for word count?

I also have a question for readers. Do you enjoy reading descriptive passages or do you skim them?

Friday, August 12th, 2005
Am I REALLY a writer of sexy books?

I have something to admit. (Looks both ways.) Sometimes I HATE writing love scenes. :-O Uh oh, I’ve said it aloud. Looks around to see if dark clouds are forming over my head.

Jaid Black made an interesting comment on my last blog entry about sometimes being sick of writing love scenes too. I don’t know why this surprised me, but it did. I guess because she makes it ‘look’ so effortless. 😀

I’ve had this conversation with a critique partner on several occasions. I think it’s easy to burn out if you write the same type of thing over and over again. I don’t mean the same love scenes repeatedly, because we all try to shake them up based on the characters and the storyline. I’m talking about writing ‘sexy books’ one right after the other. Repetition builds skill, but it also creates boredom.

Jaid also mentioned not wanting to disappoint fans. I totally understand this and it’s a very big concern to me. The thing I wonder, since I’ve skipped around in genres, is what my fans actually expect from my writing. I’ve been giving this a lot of thought since my Bravas were released earlier this year. I honestly have no idea what ‘category’ the readers of my books put me in. Do they consider me a writer of sexy books? Adventure books? Funny books? I’ve had multiple reviews combining all the above. Do they consider me a contemporary writer or a paranormal author?

Why am I getting off subject? Because I can. *ggg* No really, the reason I bring up the above questions is because according to ‘publishing experts’ it’s important for authors to create a brand. This is done in many different ways, but one of them is knowing where the readers categorize you. I honestly have no clue. Therefore, I’m brandless. Sniffle.

For the authors out there, do you know how you’re categorized? For the readers out there, is it important to mentally place authors into certain categories? Also, if an author writes outside of the category you placed them in would you automatically stop buying their work? I’d really like to know.