Archive for August, 2008

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008
Looking Forward to the End

I’m currently editing the final book in my Dead World trilogy. It’s due Sept. 1st. I have to admit that I’m really looking forward to finishing. I am ready to move onto new stories. And yes, I realize that each story is different, but I’ve been playing in the same world for three years on and off. I’m ready to explore new horizons. I already know what I’m going to work on next. I’m sure the closer I come to finishing these edits, the more antsy I’ll be to start something new. That tends to be the way these things go.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know that I may be hit or miss with the blogging over the next three weeks. (Yeah, I know, what’s new? *ggg*) I have a lot of reading and additions to make. Wish me luck, I’m going in. 🙂

Sunday, August 10th, 2008
Made My Day

I rarely post reviews, but this one from Reviewer Kerensa Wilson at Romance Junkies made my day:

Jordan Summer’s RED is the best novel you’ll read this year! What can I say other than that from the moment I opened her novel I was completely absorbed in it. Her retelling of Little Red Riding Hood is nothing less than brilliant. Her characters and the world she’s designed will keep every reader anxiously glued to the page. No matter what you look for in a great book, you’ll find it in RED. I can’t possibly say enough great things about RED. What I can tell you is that if you read one novel this year make it RED!

I know not everyone is going to love my book, but it’s nice to hit it out of the park on occasion. I don’t know this particular reviewer. There is more to the review, but they don’t have a link up yet. Just take my word for it, it doesn’t get any better than this. Thank you! 🙂

Friday, August 8th, 2008
What They Don’t Tell You…

A friend and I were having a conversation about the conference. We were discussing the workshops and the messages they send to unpublished authors. Well, one of the messages they send to unpublished authors. Unfortunately, it’s a very dangerous message. The (subliminal) message is IF you follow all these steps you will eventually get published. If only that were true.

The truth is there will be some people who study hard, write a lot, produce good work, make connections and will still NEVER get published.

They don’t want to tell you that because they aren’t in the business of shooting down dreams. They’re in the business of helping you better your craft. This goes for any professional writer’s group. They want you to succeed. It’s just that there’s more to it than following the steps (or in the footsteps of others). There’s a luck factor that can’t be ignored. You can increase your ‘luck’ by writing and submitting a lot of work, but you can’t control it completely.

I know that’s hard to hear, but I consider that info as important as any ‘class/lecture’ you could ever attend. File it away accordingly.

Thursday, August 7th, 2008
Reasons To Attend A Conference

I mentioned (I think) that there are many reasons to attend a writer’s conference. I’m not just talking about the Romance Writer’s of America conference. For me, the main reason you should attend a writer’s conference (if you’re a writer) is the ‘face time’ with your editor/s and agent. I cannot drive this point home enough. If you’re a writer, you NEED face time with these people. So if you’re not going to make a special trip to New York to meet them, then a conference is the next best thing.

You’re probably asking yourself, ‘Why is face time so important?’ Well, for a lot of reasons. You get a chance to clear up any misunderstandings/questions/confusions. I had that happen at this conference. I’d been under the impression that things were one way with one of my publishers, when in fact, they were just the opposite. I would never have learned that had I not sat down with my editor. I also wouldn’t have learned that I have more writing options than I initially imagined. Again, that came from a conversation with one of my editors. Face time is also good for keeping your name/face in front of your editors. When a special project presents itself, they might think of you since they’ve seen you and talked to you. Sometimes emails get answered a little faster, when you’ve spent time dining/drinking/meeting with your editor/s and agent.

It also helps to meet the readers. Yes, there are a LOT of readers at writer’s conferences these days. I met a lot of lovely men and women at the San Francisco conference. Did I make a good impression? Hopefully. I have to admit at times it was a little overwhelming. Everyone seemed to be in good spirits. I know I was happy that they took the time to wait in line for RED. I tried to talk to each person, even if it was just a few words. I didn’t do this to kiss up to readers. I did it because ‘I’ need that connection with them. It makes everything seem a little less impersonal.

The longer you’re in this loco business, the more conferences become one long meeting. And that’s a good thing. It’s nice to attend the talks and see friends. Goodness knows I don’t get to see the latter often enough. But in the end, you really should be getting face time with your editors/agent and making business connections with librarians/booksellers. (And yes, I realize the last sentence breaks MANY grammar rules. *ggg*)

If you’re attending a writer’s conference and you’re unpublished, which the majority are at the RWA conferences, then you should be trying to get as many appointments as you can with editors/agents. This is your shot to pitch your work and make a good impression. Just because they don’t buy your book, doesn’t mean that they won’t remember ‘you’. That next story you send in might receive a warmer welcome.

So here are a couple of questions: If you attend writer’s conferences, why do you go? If you’ve never attended a writer’s conference (and you write), why not?

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008
Conference Recovery

Sorry I haven’t written. I’ve been exhausted since returning from the conference on Sunday. I went in early to visit a dear friend. We had a blast, even made it to the beach. When you live in a land-locked state, getting to see/feel the ocean is important.

I’ve been trying to arrange my thoughts about the conference. In a lot of ways it was the most laid back conference I’ve ever attended. Maybe that’s because it was on the west coast or perhaps it was the state of mind of the attendees. I’m really not sure. All I know is that the lack of drama was a delight.

I didn’t manage to attend many of the talks and the only spotlight I went to was held by Tor. For those of you interested, Tor is looking for old-fashioned space opera romances (ie think futuristic romances with aliens), urban fantasies and romantic suspense. The urban fantasies do not have to be romances. Romantic suspense is being acquired by Jozelle Dyer. She would like to see a synopsis (2 to 5 pages long max) and a full manuscript IF you are unpublished. Yes, my friends, Tor accepts unagented submissions. If you are published, then you can send her the first three chapters and a synopsis. Jozelle isn’t interested in seeing anymore cops/FBI/CIA/Ranger/etc. suspense books. She wants ordinary people put into jeopardy, who have to get themselves out of trouble. Heather Osborn doesn’t mind looking at time-travels, too, but the paranormal element must continue throughout the book not just during the time-travel episode.

This was the first conference I’ve attended that I didn’t have time to go to the various talks. My time was spent attending publishing events and meeting with my editors. I did manage to meet a few authors, Karen Foley (lovely lady), Leslie Kelly (cracks me up), Meljean Brook (surprised me by knowing about my book) and Michelle Rowen (who I believe could get me in a lot of trouble *g*). I also met Jim McCarthy, an agent for Dystel and Goderich. Don’t let the picture on the website fool you. He’s lost a ton of weight and looks fab. He was my date for the Harlequin party. I don’t think I’ve laughed that hard in a long time. Funny, funny man. An author would be lucky to be represented by him.

The signing I did for Tor on Saturday went well. I had one box of books left over, but went through four. There seemed to be a lot of excitement. Hopefully it’ll carry through to when the book is released. I plan to mail out some more ARC’s to booksellers and will hold contests in the future, since I’ve gotten such a lovely response.

The conference is a bit of a blur. It seemed like I went from appointment to appointment between trying to meet up with friends. I did do something I haven’t done in a long time. I went to as many publisher signings as I could. My BOX of books arrives tomorrow. Gulp. I grabbed a lot of books I’d been after for a while and some that just looked interesting. A couple of friends were kind enough to go get UF’s for me while I participated in the Tor signing. And I am truly grateful. I cannot wait to spread them all out on the bed and drool. Yes, I enjoy getting books far more than clothes shopping. 😳

I probably won’t attend RWA next year. Instead, I’m going to the Romantic Times conference in Orlando. It’ll be after RED comes out and before SCARLET is released. A good time, I think. I’m also going to try to attend BEA again. I really enjoyed that conference and it’s in N.Y. next year. I should be able to meet up with my agent and editors while enjoying the expo.

I’m opening the blog up to questions. If you have any, fire away.