Archive for December, 2007

Monday, December 31st, 2007
End of 2007 Blog Post Take Two &%#@

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Takes a sip of wine. Hey, you start your new year out the way that you want to and I’ll start mine out the way in which I hope to continue. *wg*

Yes, I’d put together a LONG, LONG, LOOOOONNNNGGG post and my friggin computer program ate it. AAAAHHHH!!! I’m trying to be Zen about the whole thing as long as Zen means cursing like a sailor and stomping around the house, trying to keep myself from tossing the computer off my desk. Ah, Zen. What would I do without you?

Today is a dear friends birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, T!!! May you have MANY, MANY, MANY more. Yes, I want you to be that old. 😉 I always thought having a birthday on New Year’s Eve would be the bomb. Then the more I thought about it, the more I realized maybe not. It’s too close to Christmas and everyone would be celebrating the New Year. In fact, pretty much from the middle of November through the second week of January gets gypped.

Now onto the good, bad and the read. 2007 seemed to be the year of the extremes. (Hearing the song, ‘That’s Life’ playing in my head.) There were health scares with friends and family, moves (more than the changing address kind), unexpected visits, re-evaluations, etc. You get the picture.

Let’s start with the good that came out of 2007.

1. Friends and family are still with us and in relatively good shape.
2. A new house. (Yep, thats a biggie.)
3. A new agent.
4. Japan trip (it was that good;)
5. Trip back home for Thanksgiving (made my year)
6. New cover art (it’s amazing what new cover art does to a writers outlook)
7. New editor (this falls in the good and bad, since I like them both a lot)

Now to the bad

1. We’re still at war (the suckage of this is obvious)
2. Stress (it was bad this year)
3. Firing an agent (never pleasant)
4. Home loan process (nuff said)
5. Moving during Christmas (will not do that again)
Actually, looking at all this stuff on paper, it doesn’t seem as bad as it felt at the time. I guess that’s hindsight for you.

Now to the good stuff. The following list is what I managed to read this year (now you know why I had the above Zen moment when my computer dumped it): Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn, Hunted by Amelia Elias, Riding Lessons by Amelia Elias, How to Talk to Girls by Neil Gaiman, Howl anthology by Raine Weaver et al (I’d read Raines story, but hadn’t finished the rest of the book until this year.), Kick Ass anthology by Angela Knight et al, Last Resort by Sally Painter, Sleight of Hand by Lauren Dane, Sanctuary by Delilah Devlin, Darkwing 2 by Savannah Russe, Rebound Guy by Jennifer Colgan, Tempting Eve by Cynthia Rayne (re-read), Cal MacDonald 2 by Steve Niles, Blood Secret by Vivi Anna, Dark Lies by Vivi Anna, Dead Man Rising by Lilith Saintcrow, Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs, Two Dollar Bill by Stuart Woods, The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, Devil’s Bargain by Rachel Caine, Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris, Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris, Nightside 2 by Simon Green, Cold Paradise by Stuart Woods, Dog Lovers (cant remember), Dangerous Games by Lora Leigh, Anita Blake 6 Graphic novel by Laurell K. Hamilton, Cal MacDonald 3 Graphic Novel by Steve Niles, Cal MacDonald 4 Graphic Novel by Steve Niles, Fables 1-3 Graphic Novels by Bill Willingham, Greywalker by Kat Richardson, Lunatic Cafe AB4 by Laurell K. Hamilton, Dark Decent by Christine Feehan (re-read), Blood Price by Tanya Huff, Preacher bk 1 Graphic Novel by Garth Ennis, The Truth about Love by Stephanie Laurens, Melting Ice by Stephanie Laurens (re-read), Rose in Bloom by Stephanie Laurens (three times), Club Dead by Charlaine Harris, Candidate for the Kiss by Angela Knight (re-read), 13 Bullets by David Wellington, Starkissed by Lanette Currington (sp), Werewolves of Malta 1 by Lorie O’Clare, Nightside 3 by Simon Green, Eyes Like a Wolf by Evangeline Anderson, Men of Majick by Rhyannon Byrd (re-read), Pack Challenge by Shelly Laurenston, 30 Days of Night by Steve Niles, The Warlord and the Fem by Angela Knight, Old Flames by Angela Knight, Nightside 4: Hex in the City by Simon Green, Carnal Appetite by Celeste Anwar (re-read), Enigma by Rachel Bo (re-read), Pleasure Quest by Christine Warren et al, Already Dead by Charlie Huston, Bloody Bones AB5 by Laurell K. Hamilton, Dark Hunter Manga by Christine Feehan, Ice Cold Grave by Charlaine Harris, Constantine: Hellblazer by Jamie Delano, Iceberg by Clive Cussler, X-rated Bloodsuckers by Mario Acevedo, Telling Lies for Fun and Profit by Lawrence Block, Jinx by Meg Cabot, Ferocious by Sherri L. King, Claimed by Shadow by Karen Chance, Fray Graphic Novel by Joss Whedon, Once Bitten, Twice Shy by Jennifer Rardin, One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost, Marked by P.C. Cast, Whisper by Nancy Warren, and Writing for Comics by Alan Moore.

I still feel like I’m missing a few. That’s probably because I started a lot of books and didn’t finish them–not because they weren’t good, they were, but because my mood changed. Looking at the list, I am proud of the fact that I read in so many genres. I’m also happy that I tried a lot of new to me authors.

The breakdown goes something like this:

Contemporary Romances: 4
Paranormal Romances: 23
Urban Fantasies: 18
Young Adult: 2
Graphic Novels/Manga: 10
Writers Help: 2
Historical Romances: 3 (not counting all the re-reads)
Horror: 2 (depending on how you define horror)
Mystery/Suspense/Action: 6

I know the numbers aren’t going to add up. Sigh. But it looks like for 2007, I read 73 books. Not a lot compared to some, but good for me. Twenty-two of which were new authors to me. That’s pretty good, I think. I’d like to raise that number in 2008 to at least 80. How many books did you manage to read this year? Was it more or less than last year? If less, why?

Saturday, December 29th, 2007
Light at the End of the Tunnel

I finished (sort of) my preliminary edits. I have added a LOT to my urban fantasy. Tomorrow I have to take a couple of hours to tweak what I missed. The good thing is that I know pretty much what I need to look for and where it needs to go. I’ll spend Monday (New Year’s Eve) typing everything in so that I can read the manuscript on New Year’s Day. If it reads okay, in the mail it goes to my agent. I need to be writing on the second Tor book by Jan. 2nd, so that I can produce fifty pages a week. I calculated by writing fifty pages per week, the book will be done by the middle of Feb. (or sooner, if I write more per week). That leaves me a couple of weeks to edit before sending it off to N.Y. Can you all say busy? I think you can.

I’ve been thinking about all the things that I need to do next year. The list is long and a tad overwhelming, but it must get done. I’ll give you a sneak peek at just a few of the items that need to be accomplished. I have to get two MySpace sites set up (one for my Dead World series and the other for Jordan). I need to redesign my website. I want there to be clear divides between the types of books that I write/have written. I need to get promo booklets printed up with the first chapter (or two) of RED, so that I can hand them out at conferences. I have to put money aside for ads in Romantic Times and in Romance Sells. I also need to mail ARC’s to Australia. Then there is putting together partials and reading through some old manuscripts that I have lying around to see if they can be worked into something salable. Oh, and somewhere in there I need to exercise five days a week, visit with my husband and have a life. *ggg*

Any suggestions?

Thursday, December 27th, 2007
In Need of Surfing Lessons

A friend of mine and I were talking about how we never seem to catch a wave in publishing. This wouldn’t be so odd (actually it’s pretty common), but we’ve written in two genres before they became super popular (erotic romance and paranormal) and still haven’t managed to get a toe-hold in either genre. LOL!

I wrote my first erotic romance back in 2002. It was followed by four more books in fairly quick succession. Due to circumstances that were out of my control, none of my erotic romances beyond what I sold to Brava ever made it to N.Y. By the time I could’ve gotten them to publishers the wave had turned into a ripple. In hindsight, this isn’t a bad thing because my writing has changed drastically. What has me worried now is that the wave of paranormals has started to die down (the cream has risen and the rest will fall away) and I have a book coming out at the end of next year. :/ I have to ask myself, have I somehow managed to miss this wave too?

See it doesn’t matter that I sold the book in October 2006. It still won’t be released until 08. By then will anyone be interested in reading paranormals? I’m sure a few people will, but I also know that a new wave will have started by then and there’s a very good possibility that the riptide will slam me onto the razor sharp coral, shredding me into tiny pieces. *g* Obviously, beyond writing the best book you can, there is nothing that a writer can do about the market. I have to write the books that call to me and right now they’re nothing but hard-edged paranormals and urban fantasies. I don’t want to leave romance completely, but I will if I can’t find a readership for the stuff that I want to write. Please realize that I don’t mean that I’m going to take my marbles and go play somewhere else. This comes down to me finding a niche that I’m extremely comfortable in. Yes, I can write other things. The Blaze scheduled for March is proof of that, but I’ve finally found where my strength lies. I’m not ready to give that up without a fight. So I may have to make some very big choices in 08. Stick with what is familiar or journey into the wild.

One thing I do know is that there will be changes happening with my blog next year. I’ll still do the ‘journey entries’ on occasion, but I plan to discuss a variety of topics beyond books (ie movies, current events, travel, cooking, etc.). It’s time for Jordan to put on her big girl panties and focus on building a career. You’re all welcome to come along for the ride. 🙂

Tuesday, December 25th, 2007
Christmas—and Mourning Henry…an ugly trend ***Spoiler Alert***

Well Christmas is here and I feel blessed. I received so many lovely gifts. This was truly a wonderful holiday. Yesterday, our friends stopped by and fixed us a gourmet meal. We all cooked, sipped wine (and eggnog) and made merry. This morning we woke up and opened a bounty of gifts. Dh signed me up for a twelve week cooking class that starts on Jan. 8th. NO, it wasn’t a hint. LOL! I’ve always wanted to take a cooking class, a real cooking class that walks you through the basics (ie how to make sauces, salads, breads, fish, desserts, etc. also how to saute, grill, stir fry, plan menus, spice distinctions, etc.). This one even teaches knife skills. I can’t wait to begin. Although dh did make me promise to at least try not to cut myself. *g*

Speaking of cuts…I found out that Blood Ties has probably been cancelled, which means no more Henry. I’m really bummed about the news. This is especially true now that I’ve seen the last two episodes online. That’s right, Lifetime TV only aired the last two episodes of Blood Ties online. As if that wasn’t bad enough, they gave it an ending WORSE than Pirates of the Caribbean 3. Yep, you read that right. Worse than the ten year thing. $%#& What were they thinking? And even more importantly, what’s with all the crap endings? Seriously. Who thought (cut away now if you don’t want to read the spoiler) that ending a series with three broken hearts was a good idea? Please tell me. For two seasons Blood Ties has danced around a love triangle. I know that Tanya Huff’s books are different than the series. I’ve read the first one and have the others in my TBR pile. I know the series is not a ‘happy’ romance, yet the show ‘COULD’ have been. BUT NOOOOOOOOOO!!! First they have it to where Henry’s not **cough**dating**cough anyone, then they break his heart. UGH!!! Oh, and not just Henry’s heart. They decided that watching Henry in tears wasn’t quite painful enough. NOOOOOO, we had to make sure the other two characters were heartbroken as well. The series ENDED that way. All three characters alone and in tears. Yeah, that’s a perfect way to end a love story. Why didn’t I think to try that? What other kind of ending could there be? Oh that’s right, a HAPPILY FOR NOW ending. But no, they couldn’t do that because it would’ve made too many viewers happy. You guys SUCK!!! I mean REALLY SUCK!!! You made Santa cry. I wouldn’t be surprised if you woke up with a lump of coal in your stocking. 😛

What do you all think about this trend in movies of leading viewers to believe that there will be a satisfactory ending to a romance, only to have the rug ripped out from under them?

Sunday, December 23rd, 2007
Merry Christmas…a little early

To all my readers and friends, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas (no matter what you celebrate;) and a Happy New Year! Here’s hoping 2008 brings peace, joy, hope and happiness.

Friday, December 21st, 2007
Full Circle–Sort of

I was thinking the other day how things in publishing have come full circle for me. Back in 97/98, I started taking online writing classes from Gotham Writer’s Workshop. At the time, I was dipping my toe back into writing at the encouragement of my soon-to-be husband. I took a general fiction writing class first. It was okay, but it’s never really fun being the only ‘romance’ writer in a class. *g* Later, Gotham offered a romance writing class taught by Leigh Michaels. I liked her class so much that I took the advanced class twice.

Leigh encouraged all the writers in the class (several of whom in my class have gone on to publish) to enter contests for feedback. I decided to enter the Daphne du Maurier because its focus was mystery/suspense. At the time, I had no idea how tough that contest was compared to other contests. I was naive and didn’t have a clue. I entered what I thought was a Blaze. (At least that’s what I’d been trying to write.*ggg*) Turns out I’d written a single title. Not much has changed in that respect.LOL!

I finaled in the contest, but didn’t place. This in retrospect was a VERY good thing. At the time, I hadn’t finished the book. Once I finaled, I raced to complete it. I still was under the impression I’d written a Blaze. *wg* My idea of what a Blaze should be and other people’s ideas are a tad different. So I think it’s ironic that the first stand-alone mass market release I have will be a (three year in the making) Harlequin Blaze. *ggg* I guess you never know how things are going to turn out. Like I said, full circle. 😉

And now some words of wisdom from JA Konrath. 🙂

Thursday, December 20th, 2007
Brother In Law’s B-day

Yes, I know I’m late. I met with a friend for coffee, ran by the store, then came home to edit. I know that my priorities are skewed. I should put work first, then everything else. Especially right now.

That said, today is my brother-in-law’s 40th birthday! Yep, he hit the big one. Not only is J a fabulous artist, he is a burgeoning landscape designer. He’s designed several yards in Edinburgh and already has a couple lined up for next year. HAPPY BIRTHDAY J!!! May 2008 bring more yards into your life. 🙂