Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hot New Blog!

Coming Soon! I'm so excited about a new blog I am participating in. Naughty Author Chicks will roll out on October 2 with authors of sex, hot romance. Check out posts by Savannah Stuart, Jina Bacarr, Calista Fox and me. Stay tuned for news on our impending journey.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Packing up and Moving

Catch me over at Romance Rules. I'll be spending most of my blog time over there from now on.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Time draws near for our vacation -- a family reunion of sorts. We're heading north to the hills and forests of the Shenandoah National Park area to commune with nature and far flung relatives. As much as I'm looking forward to spending time with loved ones, I'm also a tad nervous. As a family with lots of strong (read: controlling) women, we do occasionally clash. Our poor menfolk stand idly by praying no blood will spill. Last time we were together, one of my sisters and I had a bit of a disagreement (think: Clash of the Titans). Yet we always move past that sort of thing. And let's face it -- there's no replacing family. So, I'm packing up ten times the amount of stuff we'll need and have even purchased a good pair of hiking boots so I can work off all that comfort food I say I'm not going to indulge in.
I'm not bringing a laptop or even a notepad. Since I write nearly every day, including weekends, I figure this is a good opportunity to really get away from it all, come home with a fresh perspective. Then maybe I will come home with fresh perspective and a host of new ideas. Okay, maybe just a notepad.

Monday, July 20, 2009

So I was at the gym a few days ago, going through my usual routine, upper body that day. I often speed through a certain machine because although I work out nearly every day, I'm basically lazy. And it's so much easier to do all the reps if I do them fast. A man I see there all the time stops in front of me, shaking his head.

"What?" I ask.

"Slow it down," he advises.

"But it's too hard that way," I answer.

He gives me a solemn nod. "Bet your ass. But you're not getting what you could out of it. Won't do a damn thing for you unless it's challenging. And it'll only be challenging if you do it the right way, slowly."

Now, I know what he's saying is true. I've been at this for many years. But I forget that just going through the motions won't do me any good. My muscles have grown resistant. So I slow my pace. And the movements are tough. Really tough. And I can feel the burn. Now, I'm not wasting my time. Now I'm doing something.

Later that day I got to thinking how that truth in the gym also fits the craft of writing fiction. You can keep doing what's easy, never stretch those writing muscles. Or, you can grow and get better by putting in the time and the effort to learn, to better the craft. Falling into that comfortable rut is so tempting. But unless you push yourself, you're going nowhere.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I am over at Cynthia Eden's Blog today. Come over and say hi.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Cynthia Eden is Here!

I have a special guest today - Award winning paranormal romantic suspense author, Cynthia Eden. Cynthia has been racking up the awards and nominations all over the place lately!
Hi Cynthia and welcome to Slave To Romance. I’m a total fan girl so I’m really excited to have you here. I recently finished reading Midnight Sins, which is a finalist in the prestigious Daphne Awards, and I must say, I loved it. Cara, your heroine is a succubus, or sex demon and boy oh boy did she make for one hot heroine. And Todd, the hero was as Alpha as they come. Can you tell me about the other books in this series?

Hi, Dara! Thanks so much for interviewing me. J And I am very happy to hear that you enjoyed Midnight Sins.

There are 3 books in the Midnight trilogy. Hotter After Midnight is the first installment, and it focuses on Emily Drake, my “Monster Doctor” (she’s a psychologist who only treats paranormal patients) and Colin Gyth, a wolf-shifter detective. Midnight Sins is the second book, and I think of that one as Basic Instinct meets The X-Files. The last book (due to release on 6/30/09) is Midnight’s Master. The hero in Midnight’s Master is the powerful demon Niol, and he finds his match in a most unexpected heroine.

What are you working on now?

Right now, I am finished up a romantic suspense series for Grand Central. My editor is tentatively calling it my “Deadly” series. Next summer, the books will release in mass market form in June, July, and August (starting in June with Deadly Fear). These are very dark books, dark but sexy.

Did you always want to be a fiction writer? How old were you when you first started writing?

Always! Yes, even when I was a kid, I wanted to write. I wrote my first novel when I was 18. That book was SO not ready for publishers. After college and a few years of teaching, I settled back into writing and focused on my dream again. And I am very, very happy that I did.

I always write my longer stories with an outline, but I wing it with the shorter ones. What about you? Are you a pantser or a planner? Does the length of the story change how you approach it?

I’m a pantser and a planner. Sometimes, I’ll start a book with only the glimmer of a plot idea. I’ll write and just see where the story takes me. Other times, I’ll sit down and plot out the entire book before I type a single word. Just depends on the story. Although, with my novellas, I think I’ve been a panster on all of those. With the short length, it’s fun to see the twists that pop up!

Do you use a critique partner or group or are you a solo player?

I’m a solo gal, always have been. Some people work really well with crit partners or groups, but I only let my agent and editor comment on my work. Just a different strokes for different folks situation. Each writer just has to find the system that works best for her.

How do you juggle all your writerly responsibilities with your family responsibilities? Do you write on a set schedule or when you can?

I’m generally a very late night writer. I have a 3 year old, and he keeps my days pretty busy. As soon as he sleeps, I go to work. It’s quite normal for me to still be up after midnight because I set daily page goals (usually 10 pages a day) and if I’m on deadline, I won’t sleep until I meet the goals. Hmmm…that sounds more hardcore than it actually is! LOL.

You recently won the prestigious Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence in the paranormal category. Did you enter many contests before you were published? Do you think they are worthwhile?

I was thrilled to win the Gayle Wilson Award for the paranormal romance category—actually, I’m still excited about that. I did enter several contests before I was published, and I did think they were worthwhile. I was able to win a few of the contests and build my writing resume, and I was able to catch the attention of some of the judging editors. If you’re looking for feedback or want to build your writing resume, contests can be a good way to go.

Please dish about your road to publication.

Oh, it was a bumpy road! Okay, I wrote my first book (for the now defunct Silhouette Yours Truly line) when I was 18. Talk about a fast rejection! I dabbled with my writing during college, completing one YA story and a couple of romance partials. Then, real life got in the way. Yeah, I’m sure folks know what I mean. The day job. Marriage. Responsibilities. Then one day (as I was reading one of my beloved romance novels), I realized I’d almost let my dream slip away.

So I started carving out time to write. I entered contests—one of the big writing contests I entered was the Writer’s Digest Writing Competition. I was lucky enough to win first place in the feature article category and this win really rejuvenated me—it was validation that I *could* write. So I kept writing. I sold two paranormal romances to the small press, ImaJinn Books, and then I sold several novellas to Red Sage.

Armed with those writing credits, I decided it was time for me to attack New York. J So I wrote the novel that would eventually be titled Hotter After Midnight. I queried a few agents and found an agent match in Laura Bradford of the Bradford Literary Agency.

Since signing with Laura, I have contracted nine novels with Kensington Brava, three novellas with Kensington Brava, one novella with Avon Red, and three novels with Grand Central Publishing. Sometimes, I can’t believe it, but I finally attacked New York!

Are there any genres you’ve never written, but would like to try out someday?

I’d like to try everything. Well, okay, to narrow it down a bit, I’d like to try my hand at sci-fi/futuristic romances and horror. I’d also love to write a screenplay one day—a screenplay for one of the Sci-Fi Saturday night movies. I am such a horror movie fan!

Any advice for aspiring writers and/or newly published authors?

Yes, don’t give up your dream. Others may not support you, you may receive rejection letters that make you doubt yourself, but don’t give up. If you want to write, keep writing. Keep honing your craft and learning everything that you can about the industry and never, ever give up.

Thanks for interviewing me, Dara!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A New Contract

For two months I struggled with a novella. It changed and morphed and stretched and shrunk. But now it's done. And it's under contract - my second with Red Sage. I love this story. Set in Savannah, it's waaaayyyyy hotter than anything I've put out before. It is the story of a divorced couple who are both chefs competing for a job. My hero is deeply flawed and was so real to me that I thought about him nearly every day. I'm hoping it will be released later this year. So be watching for Can't Stand the Heat.

I find my writing is evolving lately to the hotter side of things. The two short stories I'm currently working on are scorching, but my CP tells me they're just what the publisher I am targeting is looking for. Since I'm temporarily taking a break from writing full-length novels, I plan to crank out a lot of these short, hot escapist stories. I find alternating the type and length of stories I write keeps it fresh for me. What do you think?