Archive for April, 2006

Saturday, April 29th, 2006
Something to remember and Rita controversy

Jo Leigh put up a post on Romancing the Blog yesterday that I think EVERY writer should read, whether you’re published or not. She makes such a good point. One that’s easily forgotten in this hectic business. Also be sure to read Jennifer Jackson’s response to Jo’s blog entry. We would all do well to remember this.

Alison Kent has posted an interesting blog about Rita judging. She’s linked to Jamie Sobrato’s and Jane Porter’s recent experiences with the Rita contest. The whole thing has left me shaking my head. The times they are a changing folks. Time to get with the program.

Friday, April 28th, 2006
Upcoming Books

I just found out that Cherry Adair is coming out with a new series based on the Edge brothers. Apparently, the publisher plans to release them in much the same way Allison Brennan’s books were released, one every month for three months. It’ll start with Edge of Danger in June. That book will be followed by Edge of Fear and Edge of Darkness. To be released in July and August respectively. What’s different about this series? Cherry combines her trademark special ops guys with paranormal elements. Should be interesting.

I’m also really looking forward to Shiloh Walker’s Hunting the Hunter and Megan’s Mark by Lora Leigh. I’ve followed Shiloh’s Hunter series and Lora’s Breed series at Ellora’s Cave. If you haven’t managed to pick any of their books up, you’re missing out. They’re both in the Hot Spell anthology. Go forth now and purchase. It’s good fun.

Those are the books I’m excited about. Now here are the books I’m curious about: Blood Ties Bk. One: The Turning by Jennifer Armintrout and Touch of Dark by Karen Chance. I don’t know anything about either one of these authors, but their books sound intriguing.

What books are you curious about?

Thursday, April 27th, 2006
Thinking about conversations at the conference

I met a lot of wonderful people at the Desert Dreams Conference. Some were just starting out and some had been in the biz for a while. It’s always interesting to listen to both sides. Why? Because when you’re in the trenches, it’s so easy to forget common knowledge.

Why am I bringing this up and what am I talking about? I’m so glad you asked. 😉

I’ve received emails over the past year, asking my advice about various writing things. I’m truly flattered that anyone would think I have a clue about this business, but it always makes me wonder why they haven’t done their research. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind helping people if I can. That’s not what I’m talking about here. What I’m referring to are those people that come up to you, who have no idea where their book fits and wants you to direct them to the correct editor/publishing house/agent.

Whatever happened to reading a bunch of books in the various genres? Or buying how-to books? Or joining writer organizations that send you this information monthly? It seems to me that a lot of people don’t want to put in the work needed to learn these things. Like I said, I don’t mind helping, but sometimes I find it very frustrating.

Wednesday, April 26th, 2006

This comes courtesy of Jo Leigh…who used to be my friend, until she tagged me. LOL!

Six Weird Things About Me.

I could be here ALL day.

1. I can watch every forensic show on television, but if you hurt an animal onscreen, I lose it.

2. I quit singing in bands because I didn’t like the attention and I found the act of singing far too personal.

3. I pick all the meat out of soups and stews, yet I have no problem covering stuff in gravy.

4. I come off like I was born and raised in the city, but I grew up on a farm. I even milked cows.

5. I was convinced I’d marry Gene Kelly when I grew up.

6. I can walk into a room in my house and tell you whether something has been moved without knowing exactly what.

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006
More Market Info

The message below came directly from Raelene Gorlinsky, Publisher at Ellora’s Cave.

We’ve got so many exciting things going on, people may have lost track. So here’s a summary of the special series and themes and new lines for this year and next. Please note that all these are open to not-yet-EC authors, so feel free to spread the word to your author friends and to writing groups you belong to.

Fun in the Sun Quickie series Releasing in June 2006, so if you are participating in this, you should have the story turned in already, right?

Autumn Animalia Quickie series Releasing September 2006. Theme is shapeshifters or a strong animal character in the story. Stories must be to your editor for review/acceptance by end of June at the latest, all editing done and final ms turned in by early August.

Wild Winter Quickie series. Releases December 2006. Theme is winter holidays. Stories to your editor by end of September, editing complete by early November.

New erotica line at EC (name tbd): We hope to launch in late 2006, and are accepting submissions now. This will be a line of erotica, not erotic romance. Basically the same sexuality level as E-rated EC stories, the same taboos. But it doesn’t have to be a “romance” doesn’t need commitment or an HEA although it certainly can have romantic elements. The focus is on the sexual relationship instead of the romantic one. Stories can be 10K to 100K.

New Traditional Regency line at Cerridwen (name tbd): Standard sweet Traditional Regencies. Story length 50-75K. Historical accuracy is very important. Only new stories, not reprints. Taking submissions now. Particularly interested in authors previously published in this genre. Planning to launch in late 2006.

NOTE: We already accept Regency-set Historicals at Cerridwen, and erotic Regencies at EC.

2007 Tarot theme stories: Stories can be any EC length or genre.
Must specify a Tarot card that is the “theme” of the story. For existing EC authors, submit to your editor a detailed full-story synopsis and 8-10K words. Outside submissions must be full manuscript.

2007 Ellora’s Cavemen anthology series: Submissions close Sept. 30; selections will be made by Dec. 31. Any genre, 10-12K, preferably E rated, send to (Enable Javascript to see the email address).

Monday, April 24th, 2006
Desert Dreams Conference

I’m going to start by listing the agent and editors who were in attendance at this conference. We had Brenda Chin, the Associate Senior Editor for Harlequin Blaze, Lucienne Diver, agent for Spectrum Literary Agency, Raelene Gorlinsky, Managing Editor at Ellora’s Cave, Leah Hultenschmidt, an editor for Dorchester, Natasha Kern, agent/owner of the Natasha Kern Literary Agency, Miriam Kriss, an agent for Irene Goodman Literary Agency, Melanie Murray, associate editor at Warner Books, Pattie Steele-Perkins, agent/owner of Steele Perkins Literary Agency, and Paige Wheeler, founding partner/agent of Folio Literary Management, LLC.

I didn’t get to see as many talks as I would’ve liked because I was speaking and I also had an editor appt., but I did manage to glean some information that I think will be helpful.

I’m going to start with Brenda Chin’s talk about what Harlequin Blaze has in store over the next year and a half. First let me say that Brenda is extremely patient with confused authors. No, I won’t elaborate. *g* Blush. Now to the good stuff. Harlequin plans to add Temptations’ Wrong Bed to the Blaze lineup. They are also going to continue 24hrs and add Secret Santa, Valentine’s Curse, Under-construction (think Lucky Vanos (sp) in the diet Coke commercial), Forbidden Fantasies, Adrenaline Rush (action/adventures), Desperate Housewives, and a ‘Just’ series.

As if action/adventures weren’t cool enough, starting this year Blaze is going to release Gothics (written in 1st and 3rd person), a series called Perfect Timing (time-travels), Vampires, and a ‘Ground Hog Day’ (where the day repeats) sort of book. If these books do well, they will continue to buy more.

I’ll be honest, I was jazzed after listening to this talk. Brenda said she wants people to stop thinking about Blaze as a category line. She wants stories that read like single titles. The fact they’re open to first and third person POV in the same book is fantastic. Did I mention paranormals? Oh yeah.

My editor appointment was with Monique Patterson from St. Martin’s. She was such a lovely woman. I cannot say enough nice things about her. (And no, it’s not just because she told me I could send her anything I want.;) If you ever have a chance to meet her, do. I’d love to work with her.

Natasha Kern was quite a powerhouse. She seemed very involved with her clients’ books, so if agent editorial advice isn’t your thing, you may want to look at other agencies. I spoke with Lucienne Diver for a moment. One thing I wasn’t aware of was that Spectrum Literary is interested in erotic work. A good thing to know if you’re thinking about submitting to that agency.

Folio Agency is hungry for new clients. Paige Wheeler seemed very nice when I ran into her. I didn’t get to speak to her one on one, but that was my impression and I’m pretty good at reading people in person. As always read ALL contracts carefully.

Raelene Gorlinsky of Ellora’s Cave announced that the company will be launching a Regency line in the fall. They aren’t interested in previously published books, only new submissions. These will NOT be erotic romances. We’re talking sweet Regencies. So if you know anyone who writes these books, give them a heads up.

Miriam Kriss is on the lookout for new clients. She’s especially interested in urban fantasy books. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to meet her.

Leah Hultenschmidt, from Dorchester, is on the lookout for romances, along with anything different that didn’t seem to fit into regular NY publishing houses. She stressed how willing Dorchester was to take chances on a long shot.

Pattie Steele-Perkins and Natasha Kern aren’t interested in anything erotic. Melanie Murray from Warner likes women’s fiction, particularly chick-lit and romance.

I guess that’s about it. Other than Harlequin’s big announcements, no one really said anything new. I personally wanted to attend this conference to check out temperaments and personalities of the various individuals. I believe I got a pretty good read on everyone. I wish I could’ve talked with a few more of the guests, but there is only so much you can squeeze into a weekend.

I forgot to mention one last thing. If you’re going to National in July, Harlequin is throwing a party on Friday at 3:00pm to celebrate I believe Blaze’s anniversary. To mark this occasion, they are opening the line up to suggestions. (Directions you’d like to see Blaze move in.) If your suggestion is picked, you get to send a full manuscript into Harlequin sight unseen. They will be picking ten suggestions from the group. That’s ten chances to win. Pretty cool, since it allows you to skip the whole query section of the process. 🙂

Friday, April 21st, 2006
Off the conference

I’m off to the conference. Well actually I’m packing and going over my list to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything. As you’ve noticed, dh had to add a code to leave a message now. You can thank the *&$%# spammers for that. Bastards! Grr…

Have a terrific weekend. I’ll post a detailed entry on Monday to let you know all about it. 🙂