Archive for March, 2006

Saturday, March 18th, 2006
Movies and Music

Yesterday we went to see V for Vendetta. We’ve really been looking forward to this movie. Although different than we expected, we weren’t disappointed. It brought up a LOT to think about.

Natalie and Hugo did a great job in their roles. The premise of the movie for those unfamiliar with the preview is that war, terror, and disease have frightened people so much that they’ve given all their power to the government and in the process lost their basic freedoms. The film is based in a post-apocalyptic London. The US is in a civil war and has returned to London’s fold. The powers-that-be have banned certain art, music, books, etc. They monitor everyone’s communication by the use of spying devices. If you’re different (ie homosexual, a protester, an artist), they arrest you and take you to the equivalent of a concentration camp. It’s quite frightening given how much it parallels some of the things happening in the world today. So be prepared to be jolted out of your comfort zone.

The next thing I’d like to mention is an artist that I have to admit when I first saw him I thought his performance was a gag. Why? Because he’s a Hasidic Jew REGGAE star. Yes, you read that right. A Hasidic Jew REGGAE star. Blink. Oh, did I forget to mention the dreadlocks? I was watching one of the Hi-Def video channels the other day when this artist popped up. I turned to my dh and said, “That guy looks Hasidic.”

Now I realize that Hasidic Jews can and do listen to music. They also dance and behave basically like everyone else. It wasn’t his religion as much as the musical choice that shocked me. It’s not everyday you see a devout practioner of Judaism rap and sing reggae songs. I’m personally not a big fan of reggae, but I have to say that Matisyahu’s (yes, that’s his Hebrew name) music was catchy. I’ve been thinking about the tune ever since I heard it. If you haven’t heard of him, you definitely have to check him out and give him a listen.

Friday, March 17th, 2006
I’m Here Today

For the latest entry click here. 🙂

Thursday, March 16th, 2006
FF&P Conversation

For those of you not on the Futuristic, Fantasy, and Paranormal RWA chat loop, there is a fascinating conversation taking place. Or should I say debate. According to a business report called the Chesley Report, the youth of America aren’t interested in reading, watching television, or going to the movies. They don’t believe in HEA, since most are children of divorce. Women aren’t interested in marriage, since they make more money than their male counterpoints. They don’t believe in staying at a job for more than two years. And they want to be rewarded quickly (ie they show up ontime for a week and they want a bonus).

Supposedly, this report (along with others) is what the publishing houses are looking at to determine market projections. Why am I bringing this up? Because the debate on the list is whether it’s financially smart to invest your work at Harlequin, if you can sell it somewhere else. The opinions are split and both sides have produced good arguments to support their reasoning. Half the people believe you should bypass Harlequin and wait for a ST house, even if you’ve never sold. While the other half talk about getting a break, and then moving on once you’ve built a name.

This in turn got me thinking about the MANY ways you can break into publishing. (It’s hard no matter what route you choose.) I’ve been asked on numerous occasions why I chose to go the ebook route. Prior to submitting to Ellora’s Cave, I’d never queried N.Y. I did enter a few contests and did well right out of the gate. For a newbie, it was a terrifying experience. Afterwards, I started researching ebook publishers. EC came up time and again. I followed their progress for a year before ever submitting a manuscript. I wasn’t sure I could write hot enough for them. (wg)

I figured that writing for them was a way to experiment without the Petri dishes. *g* I could try different genres to see what I enjoyed without the pressure of N.Y. looming over me. I had no idea EC would take off the way they did. They’ve helped launch a lot of careers (Chey McCray, Christine Warren, Lora Leigh, Shiloh Walker, Julia Templeton, Kate Douglas, etc.), including my own.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that there is no ONE way to approach this business. If Harlequin phones and says, hey, we want to buy your books, then take the opportunity–unless it goes against your long-term goals. Your writing goals are something only you can decide on, so do your homework, know what you want, and then pursue it anyway you choose.

Wednesday, March 15th, 2006

I feel like I’ve been running around with my head cut off today. For some reason, the day has a frantic feel to it. I’m just now getting back to edits. Tomorrow, I’ve scheduled a massage. It’s been a very long time since I’ve gotten a massage. I love them SO much. I can’t wait.

Went to a Pilates workout on Monday and I’m still sore. It’s sad when you go to the gym three days a week and still get sore during a stretch workout. 🙁 Can we say out of shape? I think we can. There’s nothing exciting happening on this end. I’d better get to work. Hope everyone is having a good week. Oh, if you want to learn more about the publishing business follow this link.

Tuesday, March 14th, 2006
Overlooked Authors

Isn’t it odd how some authors seem to be overlooked, while others draw attention automatically? Due to this strange phenomena, I decided to point out a fabulous author who I think has be given the short stick. If this entry is popular, I will make it a regular part of my blog. 🙂

I originally had two authors lined up for this entry, but one has recently changed the way she writes and has upset her reader base. I think she’s getting ready to transition out of romance. Pity, since she wrote such delicious heroes. Oh well…

My first choice is an author by the name of Michele Albert. I’m not a big fan of many contemporary novels, but I LOVE this lady’s writing. She’s smart, sexy, and tells a good story. When I first encountered Michele, she was writing under the name Michele Jerott. Her books included such titles as ‘Absolute Trouble’ (sexy cajun cop), ‘All Night Long’, ‘A Great Catch’, and ‘Her Bodyguard’.

She changed back to her real name, Michele Albert, and came out with ‘One Way Out’, ‘Getting Her Man’, and ‘Off Limits’. She has a new book, ‘Hide in Plain Sight’ coming out in April 06. Why do I like her books? Well other than for the reasons I mentioned above, she does a great job at blending romance with action-adventure. The sexual tension between her characters sizzles off the page. You will be thoroughly invested in the characters and want them to find their HEA by the end of the first chapter. When you’re reading her work, you are reminded of what storytelling is supposed to be. She leaves you satisfied, while yearning for more. If you haven’t done so, check her out. You won’t be disappointed.

Do you know of an author that you think has been overlooked? If so, who? And why?

Sunday, March 12th, 2006
Playing Favorites

We’ve been talking about tastes in heroes and heroines in the past few days. I thought it would be interesting to list some of your favorites. With that in mind, name your top five heroes and heroines. I’ll start. 🙂

My favorite heroes are: Gian in Mine to Take by Dara Joy, Jack in Captain Jack by Stephanie Laurens, Devil Cynster in Devil’s Bride by Stephanie Laurens, Callan Lyons in Tempting the Beast by Lora Leigh, and Dayan in Dark Melody by Christine Feehan. (Bonus heroes Rafael De Santos in Fur For All by Christine Warren and Rejar in Rejar by Dara Joy)

Now for the heroines. This is SO much harder, but here it goes. My top five favorite heroines: Elena Michaels in Bitten by Kelley Armstrong, Amber in The Hunter by Gennita Low, Lily Yu in Tempting Danger by Eileen Wilks, Jac in Atlantean’s Quest 2: Exodus by J.S. (wg), and Destiny in Dark Destiny by Christine Feehan. (Bonus heroines Anita Blake in Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton, Corinne in Fighting Faer by Christine Warren, and Beryl St. Cloud in Blood and Kisses by Angela Knight.) Now it’s your turn. Who are your favorites?

Saturday, March 11th, 2006
Kick-butt Heroines

Vivi Anna mentioned below in the comments for my ‘Holding Out For a Hero’ post that she needed to relate to the heroine in a book in order to enjoy it. I tend to go for the hero. Yet, dh brought up a good point. He said my writing doesn’t reflect my opinion. Interesting…

I thought about this for a few minutes and realized I do make an exception. I will read for the heroine if she’s kick-a$$. Otherwise, I can’t relate to most heroines in romance novels. And no, I don’t go around kicking butt, but those are the women I admire and want to be like. So if the heroine is an average gal (and there’s nothing wrong with that), I have difficulty getting into her head. I simply ‘replace’ her during my excursion into the novel.

I find it extremely difficult to write regular heroines, even though I’ve done so on many occasions. My natural tendency is to create a larger-than-life heroine (think Lara Croft of Tomb Raider fame) or a bit of a quirky/snarky heroine. I know this about myself and try to ‘tone’ down some of my characters. Sometimes it works, while others it’s a bust.

To me, heroes are much easier. I write alphas in all their various incarnations. I’m not interested in beta men for the most part. I always imagine how the heroine would walk all over him. *ggg* We couldn’t have that, now could we? 😉

What is your favorite type of heroine?

Please go wish one of my critique partners and friends, Sylvia Day a Happy Birthday! May there be many, many more to celebrate. (((Hugs)))