Saturday, June 20, 2009

Video Up for Voting

Hi all!

The Book Trailer for Sarah's Story is up for voting at You Gotta Read Videos.

RWA and ePublishers

There's been a lot of debate online about the Romance Writers Association and ePublishers. I usually try to keep this blog upbeat, I don't think I'm going to manage it today.

at the Espan Blog RWA President Diane Pershing said:

Here’s another pair of glasses: The newer members, not yet PRO, but working on their craft and trying to learn all they can about the industry. And how about the unpublished-but-working-on-it PRO members who have chosen not to go the digital route and keep submitting to print publishers, as they feel that is their best chance of earning good money? Lastly, there are PAN members who have been print-published recently or for years, who like their “advance-paying/lower royalty rate” choice, who look at the business model of “no advance/high royalty rate,” and have trouble understanding why anyone would gamble that way with a book that took so much time and effort.

By her statement Ms. Pershing has implied that those of us who choose the digital publishing route or the no advance/high royalty rate are not serious about their writing career. Thank you Ms. Pershing for saying I don't take writing seriously. Apparently thirty years of working on my craft, reading everything I can get my hands on to improve my craft, and the time and money I've invested on writing classes - I'm not serious. Funny, I thought I was.

You, Ms. Pershing, have belittled not just me but hundreds of others that have chosen the ebook route. You have belittled Angela Knight, Lora Leigh, Christine Warren, Anya Bast and other authors who started in the ePublishing world. Ladies that I respect, admire and use as a standard for myself.

It is not the RWA's place to set monetary standards that every author must follow. There should be a single standard for all publishers. Most professional organization require a set number of years in the business and recommendations of other members that have already joined.

Ms. Pershing, I am extremely serious about my writing career. I have chosen the ePublishing no advance/high royalty route because that fits my financial needs at this time. I have a goal of eventually being contracted with one of the NY Big Boys - but as in all things, I need time to grow. Grow a fanbase that will buy the books. Please do not imply that I or my publisher aren't serious because we do not fit in your box. Maybe we prefer to think and create outside of yours.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Welcome Amber Leigh Williams!

The thing I love about doing these interviews is finding out interesting little tidbits about the authors. I didn't know Amber Leigh was from Fairhope - heck that's about a 30 minute drive from me - right across Mobile Bay! Well here's Amber Leigh make her feel welcome!

1. Tell us about your recent release.

A Summer’s Hope is the story of Briar, the innkeeper, who is losing her mother’s B&B thanks to a run of bad luck. She holds out hope that summer will bring answers. It comes in the least likely package when haunted, divorced Cole rides in on his motorcycle to book the bay suite. He falls in love with the view and the innkeeper. Though she’s never dared offer more than breakfast in bed to any guest, she can’t resist breaking all the rules with Cole. In his arms, she finds solace in her crumbling world and they embark on a passion as hot as the southern sun and as unstoppable as the bay tide. But can it be enough to rescue Cole from his past or give Briar the strength to forge on alone?

2. What gave you the idea for your recent release?

I grew up in Fairhope, Alabama where A Summer’s Hope takes place. It’s a beautiful small town on the picturesque Eastern Shore of the Mobile Bay. Although I moved twenty minutes away, I desperately needed to share this inspirational place with the world. So many of the places described in the text really do exist. Basically, it’s everything I love about Fairhope combined with the dreams of love I once conjured there. A Summer’s Hope was released, coincidentally, on my third wedding anniversary. This is the closest story I’ve written to my own love story so it made the launch all the more special!

3. How much time does it take you to finish a book?

A maximum of three months. I draw the line after that because there are just too many stories floating around in my head to spend anymore time than necessary on one manuscript. If a story really drives me to completion, it should only take two months to write it plus a few more weeks on the editing process.

4. What is your favorite part of being a writer?

Getting the fan letter. One reader admitted she never liked the western romance genre but my western novella Blackest Heart went a long way toward converting her. Knowing I could do something like that for someone fuels me to write even more.

5. What is your least favorite part of being a writer?

The promotion, of course. It takes valuable time away from writing but it has to be done. Just because you’ve published a story doesn’t mean you’re finished. My debut novel Fox & Hound was published in February 2008. I’m still pushing it out there, posting excerpts and plugging the story wherever I can. So long as the story is available, a smart writer never stops pushing his/her story further out into the world!

6. What are you working on now?

Right now I’m working on my second paranormal in a five-part series. It’s about a shape-shifter and a psychic. It’s a lot of fun!

7. All writers started out as readers – who’re your favorite authors?

Nora Roberts turned me onto the romance genre and I read her for years and years. Then I branched out and fell in love with J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I’ve read all of Larissa Ione’s Demonica titles. I also love Sandra Brown’s old romances. Breakfast in Bed is one of my favorites – a short, sweet, rainy day read. I read the J.D. Robb In Death series religiously. Betina Krahn is absolutely amazing just as Kathleen E. Woodiwiss is always a classic choice. As you can see, I’m not picky at all! I’ll read anybody as long as the story appeals to me and there’s some good lovin’ to be found in the pages ;)

8. What are your goals as a writer?

Just to never fall out of love with what I do. It’s a job, but I still put my heart into it everyday. I’d really love to write romance for the rest of my life and I hope by the end of it my heart’s as deeply entrenched in the genre as it is now!


“These are for you.”

“Thank you,” she whispered, taking them. Her heart tugged and her lips curved as she stared down into their wide, bright faces. “They’re my favorite.”

He smiled. “I was hoping. They made me think of you.”

Awed, she lowered her nose to sniff the blooms. “You got them from Adrian?”

He shrugged. “Only the best.”

She nodded in agreement. “I’ll just set them here.” She put them on a bench in the shade of the magnolia tree, and then faced him awkwardly.

“Are you ready?”

“When you are.”

He held up the helmet. “I have to take precautions. I don’t want anything to happen to your pretty face although it’s a shame to cover it up.”

Her insides turned to dough and her heart pattered giddily as he slipped the helmet over her head. She lifted her chin when he motioned for her to do so.

It took him several seconds to secure the strap. “Feel okay?” he asked when he was done, lifting the visor so she could hear him.

She nodded, feeling nerves jump into her stomach again. “Um, Cole? There’s something you need to know.”

He chuckled as he went back to his bike. “I know.”

She stiffened. “You do?”

He nodded, grinning at her as he strapped on his own helmet. He lifted the visor to speak. “You’ve never ridden a bike before.”

“Is it that obvious?” she asked, rubbing her damp palms on her thighs.

He shrugged, tying the strap under his chin. “Just a little. It’s okay.” He took her hand and pulled her close. She could smell fresh aftershave and the underlying spice of motor oil. It was downright seductive. “Just lean with me into the turns and hold onto me real tight.”
Her knees quaked. “I’m a little nervous.”

He put a hand on her shoulder. “You’ll do fine.” He threw a leg over the seat to straddle it. He gunned the engine and the machine roared to life, stunning her with its raw, wild power. As exhaust smoke tickled her nostrils, she didn’t know if she was really going to be able to go through with this.

He motioned for her to get on.

Now or never. She took a steadying breath, putdown her visor and stepped forward. Gripping his offered hand for balance, she crawled on behind him and put her feet on the passenger pegs. She hesitantly put her hands on his waist and clutched his shirt as he backed out from under the magnolia.

He looked both ways down Scenic 98 then turned to look at her. “You ready?” he shouted.

She nodded and gave him the thumbs-up.

She saw his quick grin before he hit the accelerator. The force of it sent her back. Her heart pounded with terror as she grabbed him around the waist tight to keep from flying off the open seat.

A Summer’s Hope – Available Now:


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Still Romantic After 21 years.

I was watching - well actually listening to the morning news programs this morning. One of the guest said romance goes out of a marriage after a few years. WRONG! It does if you let it. I'm glad my husband hasn't.

Oh he's not the roses, chocolate and candlelight type. But, he can be romantic. Take for example the other day. We were in line at Subway, I was wearing a tank top and he started kissing my shoulder. My shoulder had been hurting and he said he was "kissing it and making it better."

He knows me too. We were at a jewelry store to have a ring his mother left me sized, she had tiny fingers. The clerk noticed I had no rings on and told hubby he should buy me a diamond. He smiled, looked at me and told the clerk "No, I'll get her some computer stuff. She'll enjoy that more." I'm not a jewelry person, don't even wear a wedding ring. I'm married in my head, heart and soul - I don't require a ring to prove it. On the other hand computer stuff? Oooh Baby!

So, don't allow what the mass media says is romantic to color your view of it. Romance is the little things that tell you that you are important to your significant other.

Tomorrow Amber Leigh Williams will be visiting!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Classes don't end at College

So, you want to be a writer and you've built a reference library and bought the tools of the trade. Now you want to try writing a novel. Congratulations! But, before you start typing how well do you know your subject? Your characters? If you are showing (which is good) or telling (very bad)? How do you learn that stuff anyway?

You take classes. Yup, you take classes. There are a couple of ways to take writing classes. At Conferences or Online. I prefer the online classes. Why? Travel is hard for me and an online class brings the lessons right to my email. I can save them and print them out to refer back to over and over again. In person classes, I'm sure, give handouts... but I've never attended one.

What kind of classes are available? Good question! Here are a couple I've taken:

From Mild to Wild: Creating Sex Scenes that are more than the same old bump and grind
Deep Point of View
Writing the Action Heroine: What a kick ass character knows and the writer should
Writing Action Sequences
Writing from the Male POV and Creating Better Heroes

So where do you find these courses?
Carolina Romance Writers
Kiss of Death
Low Country RWA -

Those are the groups I've taken courses through. Learning doesn't stop when you pick up your diploma - make yourself a better writer take some classes. Some are really good, some are ok and some aren't. But reguardless of how good the course is - you'll learn something in every one of them.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

What is Love

As a romance writer one of the most difficult jobs is to give a reasonable explanation of love. How two individuals find it? What makes it works? Are happily-ever-afters possible in the world? And most importantly, how does the writer put it down between the pages of their book?

My definition of love is based on twenty-one years of marriage and can be summed up in one word. Acceptance.

How many times have you heard a bride-to-be say “I love him except for (insert irritation) but I’ll change that once we get married.” Whenever I hear that, I shake my head. I know I have habits that irritate my husband and he has ones that irritate me. But, I’ve learned to accept them. They make him who he is. I’m not saying it’s all roses and romance, but we’ve accepted that each is who they are. He knows I’d rather write than clean house. I know he’d rather watch movies than sports. He and I both need our time for ourselves and respect that. We accept that no one on the planet can push our respective buttons like the other. We’ve accepted that we are two individuals with our own unique needs and wants.

So how do I bring this into a romance novel? For me it’s easy. Every person has their own personal fantasy of the perfect person. Mine was a dark haired, six foot plus man. I married a blonde that is a few inches shorter than me. So when meeting my characters I decide what would be their ideal mate to them. Then I take the internal characteristics and mesh them with the person they meet but change the external. I make sure that the personalities are different enough that they will indeed have moments of wanting to strangle the other.

But isn’t that why we all read romance novels?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Kim Smith author and Internet Radio Hostess

Welcome Kim!

1. Tell us about your upcoming/recent release.

A Will to Love is my new upcoming romantic novelette. I am just getting my feet wet with romance, although I have been an avid reader all of my life. It is about love lost, love found, and love that is forever bound.

2. What gave you the idea for your upcoming/recent release?

Recently a local bed and breakfast went out of business. The man who owned it had lost his wife in the terrible Amtrak crash in Chicago several years ago. Just knowing that history, it struck me when I heard the news of the B and B going under that it was a sad story. I didn’t set out to write a sad love story, though, and in truth is any love story really sad?

3. How much time does it take you to finish a book?

Depends on the length of the work. I wrote, edited, and completed a short story of over three thousand words in a weekend. I can usually turn out a forty-fifty thousand or more work in six months, more if it isn’t going well. Sometimes research wears me out, and I have to take a break from it and do something else, but I am usually writing SOMETHING all the time.

4. What is your favorite part of being a writer?

I have to admit that having fans and an avid readership is a really big pull. I would write until I dropped just knowing that someone out there was hot for the next Kim Smith story. It’s addictive as all get out!

5. What is your least favorite part of being a writer?

I think it depends on the day you ask me. One day I will say I hate editing. But I don’t really. I just hate that I have to quit creating to edit. I might say I hate the research, but I don’t really. I just hate having to wade through so much stuff to find a nugget that is usable. So, the least favorite part would probably be not being able to crank out books fast enough!

6. What are you working on now?

This author is now about mid-way on the third book in the Shannon Wallace Mystery series, and busy busy busy with a radio show promoting the first one (Avenging Angel), and this romance, A Will to Love.

7. All writers started out as readers – who’re your favorite authors?

I love big reads, like Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind, J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books, Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, and all of Tolkien’s works. I have met so many wonderful authors through my radio show that I have a ton of NEW favs, like Jodi Thomas, Karen White, Katherine Center, and C.W. Gortner.

8. What are your goals as a writer?

I want to write enough to leave a legacy for my kids and their kids and their kids. Wouldn’t it be great after I pass away if I had enough books out there that one of my g-g-g-g-great grandkids could start at YA level and move all the way up?

Blurb for A Will To Love:

Benton Jessup wants his bed and breakfast to be successful. He will go to any lengths to ensure that it does.

When Kitty Beebe, a famous romance author, arrives at The Inn, his desire for success becomes a struggle of wills with love.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Hey folks!

Over the next few weeks you are all going to get some of the writer friends I've made. They'll be here on Wednesdays.

First up is Kim Smith. She has a new book coming from Red Rose Publishing on the 11th. "A Will To Love" so please stop by and make her feel welcome. Kim is also the host of an internet Radio Show, and she is a lovely hostess - made me feel right at home.

Next will be Amber Leigh Williams.

In other news I'm guest blogging over at Rochelle Weber's blog today - so stop by and say hi!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Tools of the trade

I've talked about the research library that is manditory for a writer. Today I want to talk about the tools of the trade.

In the past that was paper, pen and a typewriter. Now - it's a computer with a word processor. Some still use the paper and pen then transfer to the computer. But, years ago I figured out that my brain works faster than I could longhand the words. I'd miss sentences. Computers help - now I miss words.

I have two computers. A desktop that is right now in need of reformatting to fix some annoying slowness and errors. I also have a 17inch Laptop which goes on trips with me - in fact I named it Portable Sanity.

I thought I was set. But those damn computer manufacturers came out with something new! A NetBook. A tiny little 10inch laptop that has a tiny harddrive and is under 2 pounds. Now being a techno geek - I'm really interested in them. As a writer that is often in doctor's offices multiply that interest by a factor of ten.

Why? They are small, light and can easily hold a wordprocessing program - with a flash card (which I have) I can work on a book anywhere. They are under $400.00 which is a huge plus. The downside? Convincing the husband I need a third computer.