Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Saturday, August 1, 2009
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
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
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?
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
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?
Sunday, June 21, 2009
My father is the smartest man I know. When I was growing up I would roll my eyes every time I saw him reading the encyclopedia for fun, or when he'd spout off some historical fact hardly anyone knew. But he isn't just intelligent, he's also kind and honorable. Everyone who knows him knows this about him. My son has inherited so many of his traits. How lucky is that?
My husband is what a friend's guy referred to as a "man's man." Yeah, I've got to say, I've based more than one of my fictional heroes on him. Now, he's not perfect. We often joke that he's a "work in progress." He still does things like leave peanut butter fingerprints on the cabinet, but when it comes to the big stuff, he's pretty terrific.
So today is a really special day for me. Although it's fathers who should be celebrating, I get to reap the benefits of their awesomeness!
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Over the last few years we've morphed into the soundbyte generation. That byte was just pared down to 140 characters. I wonder where those soundbytes will take them. I hope, to the freedom everyone deserves.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Aside from Alicia, I had one editor at another publisher who really made me work! And my books were better for her suggestions. She didn't sugar-coat anything. In fact, when one of my characters had a reaction the editor didn't buy, her comment was bullsh#*&! Conversely, when she loved something, she told me so, and that was like the gods were smiling on me!
I've also had the misfortune to work with a very novice editor who had hardly any changes at all on a 300 page manuscript, and those were mostly line edits only. Needless to say, I'm not terribly proud of that book. In fact, I'd kind of like to forget it! But even my experience with that editor taught me something - it taught me when to cut bait!
I can honestly say that each and every book and story I've written and revised has been a learning experience and hopefully, I'm getting better with each book. What about you? Do you always follow editorial suggestions? Do you buck all suggestions, take it all to heart or something in between?
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
I starting checking my books, my works in progress for the pet names my characters called one another. Imagine my surprise when I found I'd only used three! Apparently, my favorite terms of endearment are, "Honey," "Baby" and "Darlin'." My alpha heroes throw in an occasional "Woman," but only when they're bemoaning some annoying facet of the heroine's personality.
Next I started checking my collection of romance books, which is quite extensive. I randomly looked in twelve books and guess what -- those books used my favorite three terms as well, although one added "Sweetheart" to the mix. Now I don't feel so bad!
Each of these words elicits a slightly different reaction from me. Baby is more sexual than the others, while Honey speaks of emotional commitment. Darlin' sounds like a western hero's line and Woman, well, that one always gives me a little zing of excitement! (TMI, I know!)
I remember in my high school French class, our native of France teacher told the class of one particularly amusing French term -- Mon petite chou chou. (Excuse me if I spelled any of that wrong, it's been many years since HS French!) Literally translated, this means, My little cabbage. Strange, huh?
What about you? Do you have any unusual terms of endearment either for your significant other or that you use in writing?
Friday, May 22, 2009
Dara Edmondson, Laurie J. Edwards, Mona Ingram, Kimberlee R. Mendoza, Sydney Shay, and June Sproat
Get ready for some Summer Lovin’.
WIN A FREE COPY! from Laurie Edwards:
Anyone who comments at her blog http://lje1.wordpress.com/ or friends her on MySpace, Facebook, or Twitter from now until May 31 will have their name entered to win a copy of Summer Lovin’. Winner will be announced at noon on June 1, so stop back to see if you've won.
Laurie J. Edwards
Monday, May 18, 2009
So, I started asking readers when they approached me - "Do you want to laugh or cry?" You see, Compromising Positions is pretty funny. My third book, Falling Star is somewhere in the middle. You want sexy? That would be my Red Sage novella, Captured. But this got me thinking about what I like to get out of a read.
My favorite books are those that make me laugh, but also touch me deeply. I've been reading books I collected at RT for the past couple weeks. So far, I've finished Lora Leigh's Maverick, which was very sexy, although it didn't make me cry or laugh. Then I read a craft book, Angela Knight's Passionate Ink, which was very worthwhile. I'm now a couple chapters into Cynthia Eden's Midnight Sins, a paranormal, which so far is very suspenseful and well written. Next I will delve into some of the Red Sage Secrets Anthologies, hundreds of which publisher Alexandria Kendall so graciously gave out at RT.
So what about you? Do you stay in a particular reading rut or do you venture out there into different genres? What good books have you read lately?
Friday, May 15, 2009
Congratulations to my fab crit partner, Katie Reus on the release of Dangerous Deceptions from Ellora's Cave. I've read this one and it's loaded with suspense as well as some scorching sex scenes. Check it out!
Two years ago, Sage Miller’s life changed irrevocably with one violent act. Longing for anonymity, she relocated to the coast of North Carolina. Just when her life is settling down, a sexy man from her past shows up and wants to pick up where their explosive relationship left off. And this time, he’s the one calling the shots.
Trent Takoda spent a week with the most intense woman he’d ever met—before she disappeared in the dead of night. Now that he’s found her again, he’s not letting go. When a vicious stalker with ties to her past tracks her down, all bets are off. She belongs to him and it’s about damn time she realized it.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Yesterday was a great day. I participated in a book signing and sold lots of books. I even got a really sweet note from one of the other signers, my former mentee. After, we went out to a fabulous Greek restaurant with DH and one of my closest friends. Then late night red velvet cake with DH and the kids.
Here's a shout out to my mother, who didn't give birth to me, but has always loved me as her own. I love you, Mom.
Friday, May 1, 2009
When Audrey Brookstone meets a handsome foreigner at a Broadway show, she's instantly taken with his good looks and charming demeanor. After an evening of passion in his limousine, he whisks away to be his courtesan in Cazbekistan, where he is a crown prince. Prince Milo agrees not to force himself on her, but rather to make her fall in love with him in only eight weeks, or he must set her free with a king's ransom. Can Audrey resist his charms or will she give in to his lavish seduction?
Monday, April 27, 2009
I enjoyed the book signing, especially because I was seated between Barry Eisler, who drew a big crowd, and Cynthia Eden, who also was a draw and is such a sweet person. I bought one of her books and can't wait to read it. Speaking of books, I came home with about a dozen of them - most of which were free. I'm halfway through Angela Knight's Passionate Ink, a craft book for penning erotic romance. If you've ever read anything by Angela, you'll be blown away by her sex scenes, as well as her amazing prose.
The pictures above are courtesy of Nancy J. Cohen. Top one is from the Book Fair and the bottom was taken at lunch on Wednesday. From left: Roxanne St. Claire, me, Nancy J. Cohen, Allison Chase and Karen Kendall.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Today I attended a couple publisher spotlights, an agent panel and an editor panel - very interesting stuff. Here's a few snippets from the editor's event:
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Next had lunch with Roxanne (Rocki), Karen Kendall, Allison Chase and Nancy J. Cohen. Good conversation. It was nice to visit with these ladies, whom I haven't chatted with in a while. After, bounced pitch off Rocki.
Next I went to another panel discussion featuring several erotica authors, including the amazing Angela Knight. Angela gave out some free books and I scored one - yeah! She autographed her book on writing erotic romance, Passionate Ink for me. Can't wait to break into it! After one more workshop, I met up with several authors, including Karen Kendall, Nancy J. Cohen and Allison Chase for an overpriced drink at the pool bar, which was so far from the main hotel I felt like leaving a trail of bread crumbs as we walked;-) After returning to the lobby, I ran into friends Leeann Burroughs, Traci Hall, Aleka Nakis and Eileen Ann Brennan.
The publisher of Red Sage Publishing then took a group of her authors out for a sumptuous dinner. Sat with Angela Knight, Liane Gentry Skye and Alexandria Kendall (publisher) as well as Brenda Williamson, Cynthia Eden and others. Awesome dinner, even better conversation - stayed several hours. Alexandria picked up entire tab. What a fun, generous lady - love her. I love being associated with Red Sage. She also could be the long lost twin of one of my oldest friends, Beverly Kelber - weird.
Got home about 10:00 pm and thought I was exhausted, although DH says I was totally wired. Guess he was right since it's 2:30 in the morning and I can't sleep! Another long day tomorrow - hope I get some sleep.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Kids are our future and if we don't educate them properly, they will be dropouts. What do dropouts do? Many of them commit crimes and end up in our jails and prisons. Some others become burdens on the systems, adding to the social services rolls. What it comes down to is pay now, or pay later. Do we want our kids to reap the benefits of a good education and become productive members of society or do we want them to choke the life out of the future?
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
The rules to follow are:
1) Accept the award, then post it on your blog together with the name of the person that has granted the award and his or her blog link.
2) Pass the award to another 15(or however many you deem worthy) blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgment. Remember to contact each of them to let them know they have been chosen for this award.The winners of our Premio Dardas ceremony, in no particular order, are:
Katie Reus for her blog about her journey as a writer.
Terry Odell for her blog, Terry's Place, where she showcases lessons on craft as
well as police procedure.
Bluechocolate Diaries where writer Chudney DeFreitas-Thomas discusses her
personal and writing life while chastising herself for not doing it more often;-)
Jax's Artistic Journey, author Jax Cassidy's informative blog about the many hats she wears.
Jenna's Romantic Notions for author Jenna Bayley-Burke announcements of contests, events and anything else to do with writing romance.
Writers Gone Wild where 3 romance authors hold contests and give great info to other authors and aspiring writers.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
However, I did get in my word count goal today, which is more than I can say for the last couple of weeks. My folks just left after their yearly snowbird stay of 6 weeks. I didn't write as much as I should have during their visit, but I got in loads of daughter points;-)
In other news, Girl Scout cookie season is over - thank goodness! Between the parental visit (AKA food fest) and GS cookie hell, I gained like 5 pounds!! I'm off to the gym tomorrow morning for a double time workout, rather than my usual one.
So what's new in your world? Are you twittering yet?
Thursday, February 19, 2009
What about you? What are you doing to make it through the lean times?
Friday, January 30, 2009
Enter my CP. When we met last week to do some plotting work, I told her about DH's story and how it was gnawing at me.
"Write it," she advised. Plus, she was really excited about the idea and said she loved the premise. Since CP writes RS and this new book would be RS, I decided to take her advice. Now I'm about 10,000 words into it and so far, so good.
So, I shelved the YA book, for now. I just sent CP the first chapter and can't wait to find out what she thinks of it!
What about you? Do you sometimes derail a project when another idea won't leave you alone?
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I've only seen a few Indian movies, but Slumdog Millionaire is one I won't soon forget. This impressive film features everything from adventure to a love story to deeply disturbing violence. The story of two brothers from the slums of Mumbai is both tragic and uplifting. With masterful cinematography, a great story and talented young actors, this movie won't disappoint.
Another worthwhile offering is The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. It's an unusual story that takes all sorts of unexpected twists and turns. As a writer, I was really impressed with the intricacies of the plot and the use of omniscient point of view in parts of it.