Archive for April, 2008

Sunday, April 20th, 2008
Kinda Glad…

Boy, the blogs have been pouring in about RT and I must say that I’m kinda glad that I missed it. Seriously. Gennita Low’s pictures and descriptions alone have frightened me. And I know she’s not alone. The reports are trickling in and many are far from pretty. It’s a shame. Hopefully next year will be better.

I’m meeting up with friends for brunch the first couple days of this week. On Tuesday night we’re going to see Taiko drummers. How cool is that? I can’t wait. Doing anything cool this week?

Friday, April 18th, 2008
Still Zoning

Sorry I’ve been quiet, but the retreat knocked me on my bum. Had some interesting conversations while I was there. The talks put things into perspective for me on a few items. I also had some body work done and an hour long massage. It’s been a long time since I’ve gotten a massage. They still feel wonderful. The funny thing is that I was wiped out last night and I’m not doing much better today. Relaxing obviously takes a lot out of me. LOL!

Tomorrow I’m off to a friend’s bridal shower. Haven’t been to one of those since my own bridal shower. Should be fun. Plan to get together with friends next week and do lunch. I’ve started Grimspace and I’m really liking it. Makes me want to write something in first person present tense. No, I’m not going to let myself. I have other things that I have to write. Of course when they’re done… 😈

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

Dh and I got up at the butt crack of dawn (Okay, it was six thirty. Same difference.) to go hiking in the mountains nearby. The weather was nice and we quite enjoyed it, but I can tell I’m going to be sore tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow, we’re heading off for a day-long retreat. Should be nice. We’ve never done anything like this before. Well, I haven’t. Dh has a long time ago. It’s held at a monastery. No, they aren’t looking for converts. It’s a chance to relax. You can even sign up for a massage. And yes, I plan to have one.

I spent today typing in the changes to the two romance projects I’d like to get out, then sent the chapters off to my agent. Now it’s onto the final book in my Dead World series, Crimson. As an aside, any time you can’t make it to a conference and are bummed out about it, it ALWAYS helps to work on something. That way you accomplish something instead of sitting around moping. *g* If you couldn’t make it to RT, what are you working on?

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008
Day Two of the New

It’s going to take a while for me to get used to the new site and how it works. Luckily the blog is like Romancing the Blog, so it’s not completely unfamiliar to me. I hope you all have had a chance to look around, open cupboards, kick the tires, etc. Let me know if something isn’t working or if you have any suggestions. I’m all ears as they say.

A lot of you will be heading off to the Romantic Times Convention tomorrow. Some of you probably left today. If you’re going have a wonderful time. I’m going to try to get there next year, since it’s in Orlando. Can you say Disney World? I think you can. *g*

Today, I’m doing exciting things like laundry. Hold enthusiasm. I’m also reading through the chapters I edited/wrote the other day to make sure they sound okay. I’d hoped to be well into Crimson by now, but it looks like that won’t start until tomorrow. 🙄 Doesn’t matter. Still plan to have a rough draft done by mid-June.

Read a pretty interesting book the other night, Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine. Yes, I know she’s already on book four. So I’m behind…a little. *g* Anyway, the story REALLY sucked me in after the first few chapters. As in I couldn’t stop thinking about it for a couple of days. I’m super grateful that I had book two lying around. I read the first couple of pages, but made myself put it down for fear I’d spend the day reading. (I can’t afford to lose a whole day to reading no matter how tempting it sounds.) If you have a chance to grab the book, do so. There are a few eye-rolling moments, but it has more to do with character behavior than anything. (ie eighteen year old boy kissing sixteen year old girl at night in her room, but stopping short of doing anything because of her age) Eighteen year olds must have changed since I was sixteen. 😆 I also picked up a few books when I was at the bookstore the other day. 😳 I grabbed Embrace the Night by Karen Chance (I’ve read all the others in the series.) and Grimspace by Ann Aguirre (Vivi and Shiloh said it was good.). Can’t wait to dig in and see what happens. What about you? Have you bought any books lately that you can’t wait to read?

Monday, April 14th, 2008
We’re Up And Running

If you’re seeing this entry, then you’ve arrived at the NEW Jordan Summers website. I think it rocks! Look around and tell me what do you guys think.

Friday, April 11th, 2008
Advice For New Writers

I was asked by AK to do an advice entry for new/up and coming writers. To be honest, I don’t know where to begin. There are so many things that I could tell new writers, but I’m not sure they’d believe me. *ggg* When I finish my advice, I’d like to open the comments up to all the published writers out there. Please share your own experiences and suggestions.

Let me start by saying that there is no ‘magic’ entry into the world of publishing. You don’t need to know the special handshake or verbiage. It always starts with the story. I know that’s not an exciting answer, but it’s the truth. Story is everything. It’s easy to lose track of that when your friends are getting multiple book deals and you’re seeing new sales announced daily on blogs. It’s hard, but try to stay focused.

So now onto my advice: Don’t be in a rush to get published. Explore ALL the writing genres (ie write something even if it’s a short story) before submitting your work to a publisher. You don’t want to submit a contemporary and then find out that you actually prefer/excel at writing historicals. You have to be willing to write badly, before you can produce good work. (This one comes courtesy of Lynn Viehl.) Take classes–and I don’t mean college courses. There are plenty of great online writing courses. Gotham Writer’s Workshop comes to mind. Read craft books. There are a lot of great ones out there (ie On Writing by Stephen King, Immediate Fiction by Jerry Cleaver, Scene and Structure by Jack Bickham, Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass, Setting by Jack Bickham, etc.). Take baby steps, even if you want to fly (ie don’t rush). Yes, I know I’ve already said that, but it bears repeating. Don’t be afraid to research agents AND publishers before you submit work to them. Authors don’t mind talking off the record about both. If you’re fortunate enough to be published, but aren’t happy with your representation or the publisher, don’t be afraid to leave. You WILL get another shot at the make-believe ring. Along those same lines, don’t be afraid to turn down a book deal if the offer is bad. Read that last sentence again because it’s important. You don’t have to take a bad deal out of fear that you’ll never get another offer. You did it once, you can do it again. Sarah McCarty and Sylvia Day are shining examples when it comes to turning down deals if they don’t meet their needs. Every writer can learn a valuable lesson from them.

My advice for people trying to break into publishing is read, read and read some more. When you’ve done that, then start writing. Expect to write a LOT before you’re published. Do some people get published straight out of the chute? Yes, they do. But here’s the thing, getting published ISN’T the hard part. Yeah, I know that right about now you’re sitting there with your rejection slips going ‘the bitch is out of her mind’, but it’s the truth. Getting published isn’t hard. STAYING published is. So if you’re looking at getting published as the ‘be all and end all’, YOU’RE WRONG. You have to think more long-term than that.

There are a lot of ways to get published. Enter contests, submit your work, go the e-publishing route, etc. These have all worked for various writers, although I do think it’s harder to make the leap from e-publishing to N.Y. now that the big publishers have entered the e-book game. I started out entering contests, then went on to write ebooks. Both paid off for me. I won/placed in various contests (ie the Daphne du Maurier, the Finally a Bride, the Lori Foster/Kensington Brava, and the Harlequin Blaze contest). Two of those contests got me book deals (Brava and Blaze). So never underestimate the power of contests. That said, it doesn’t pay to enter the same project multiple times in various contests. I met a girl through the Daphne du Maurier who had been entering the ‘same’ book for five years and couldn’t understand why she hadn’t finaled or won. It seemed pretty obvious to me, but not so much to her. When I suggested that she write something new, she said that her book was good and that it just hadn’t landed in front of the right judges yet. Okey dokey. There’s also the other type of writer, the one who enters multiple contests, wins/places, but never finishes the books. Don’t be one of those writers. Contests are addictive. I should know. But like any addict, you have to know when to say when. In my case, my critique partner did an intervention—and threatened to hit me if I entered any more contests. *ggg*

As for e-publishing, I was fortunate to get in at the ground floor. It’s harder to get e-published by a credible publisher these days. And the truth is, the only things that really sell well in e-publishing are erotica and erotic romance. So if you don’t write in those genres, then you probably won’t make much money. That said, if you’re just trying to build your writing resume, then by all means submit to the e-publishers.

Here’s another hard fact that everyone should know. Right now, erotic romance has started to wane. Like any phase in publishing, it had its hayday. Something else is about to take over the lead spot. No, I don’t know what it will be. We’ll have to see what’s the next breakout novel. Does that mean that if you write erotic romance you won’t be able to sell your work? No, but it does mean that it’ll be MUCH harder to sell a story to N.Y. The same goes with paranormal. N.Y. is still buying paranormal stories, but it’s harder to sell them. You have to write something that stands out.

One way a new author can get noticed is to ride a trend to the top. Of course, that means waiting to see what the next trend will be. Shouldn’t take long. We’re due for the next trend any day now.

My final bit of advice is to write what you love. You won’t know what that is until you’ve sampled everything. But it’s a lot easier to build a career writing stories that move/speak to you than it is writing to a trend that you hate.

And finally, a sad, but true from Smart Bitches.

Now I’m going to open my blog to questions and advice.

Thursday, April 10th, 2008
Let the Waiting Begin

I managed to get my second proposal out the door to my agent today and finish the first chapter of my new idea. Now comes the hard part–the wait. I wish someone would’ve told me about that when I first started writing. I mean there were mentions of the long waits in publishing, but I truly didn’t understand what they meant until I got here. And boy howdy, do they redefine the definition of LONG. *ggg*

Of course, it wouldn’t have changed my direction. I was determined to write. Hell, I’d been doing it since high school. No reason to stop now. But I’ve never been a particularly patient person. E-publishing first didn’t help because when I started the time between writing, editing and publishing the book was only a few months. Talk about instant gratification. It’s been an adjustment moving to N.Y. publishing. It’s certainly upped the intensity. I’m glad that I made the jump, but boy the waiting sucks. For those of you published out of N.Y., how do you handle the wait?