Friday, December 21, 2012

In case you were curious...

In case you wanted a peek at what I've been writing, my logline and first page for book #1 are up for critique here:

I don't use actual photos, or picture a specific person or actor when I'm writing a character, but lately, every time my husband was watching Fringe on TV, I was struck by how the two main characters on that show remind me of the hero and heroine in my book. So, this is kind of how I picture my Josh and Kate now. This could be a picture of them walking through NYC together.

I don't always picture my characters, but I do love to picture what my book cover might look like. I think Julie James has the most gorgeous covers, don't you?

Anyway, enjoy! :)

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Would you like some whiskey with your spy tools, Mr. Mayor?

Every once in a while, I'll be watching CSI or another show where the police retrieve the search history on a suspect (or victim's) computer. I laugh, wondering WHAT IN THE WORLD they would think if they ever ran the search history on my laptop! As a writer, I am constantly searching and researching the weirdest things. A few examples?
  1. "Night vision binoculars" (for my hero who is a PI, of course)
  2. "How to run for Mayor"
  3. "Shades of brown" (don't go there...I was looking for an adjective to describe a character's hair)
  4. "Is it legal to photograph someone inside their house?" (again...for my PI)
  5. "Top shelf whiskey"
  6. "Britney Spear's honeymoon location" (don't ask...just, if I'm able to get it published, read the epilogue of the book)
  7. And tonight's winner..."how to check your browser's search history"

Monday, October 15, 2012

Why selling a house is like selling a book

As it happens, I'm in the process of doing both right now: selling a house and trying to find representation for my first novel. I couldn't help noticing a few similarities in the process:

  1. Polish it until it shines: Yes, I've polished and cleaned this house until it sparkles. About a hundred times. Really. I have a 4 year old, a dog and two cats. It takes a lot to keep this house clean! Same goes for the manuscript. Just when I think it can't get any shinier, I get new feedback and give it one more polish.
  2. Hurry up and wait: We've polished, and now it's listed on the market. Now we just have to sit and wait and hope someone decides to buy it. As for the book, I send the query letter I've agonized over for weeks, and I can only hope I've done my job in piquing the agent's interest.
  3. No response means no: After each showing (and each query letter), I wait and hope for feedback. Did they like it? Do they want to buy it? And if I hear nothing, I can only assume it means no.
  4. Hope for the best! And here's where they differ...with the house, we're stuck until someone makes us an offer. With the book, I'm already concentrating on getting the next manuscript ready for submission. Onward and upward! :)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Zipping up...

In my special suit of "thick skin." Yes, that's right, it's finally almost time for me to send my first query letter! For those of you outside the writing world, the first step to publication is to query literary agents with a brief letter pitching my book to them (think back cover copy). If they're interested, they'll request more, and in a perfect world, offer representation. The agent then tries to sell my book to a publisher. And if I'm still in that perfect world, I sign a contract, and my book comes out on the shelves.

In reality, querying is usually filled with lots of rejection and heartache. I'm prepared for this. I've participated in enough contests and pitching opportunities over the past year to have a taste for rejection. This first book is my "baby," the one I've slaved over for years. It's special to me, probably no matter how many books I write over the course of my career, it will always hold a special place. So, I've got my "thick skin" on, and I'm ready to go.

If I strike out with my first book, the second one is already written and in revisions, so I will move on to querying it early next year. And book #3 is plotted and ready to write, so no matter what happens, I will keep busy, and keep working on the dream! :)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Release Day to Eleanor Tatum!

Happy release day to my friend and critique partner Eleanor Tatum! Her debut romantic suspense, Swamp Run, was released on September 3rd. It's been an exciting year for my writing partners - congratulations Eleanor!
When tall, tightly muscled, Joseph Sutton runs to the swamps of southeastern North Carolina, he retreats from the violent world of FBI agents to become a small, peaceful town’s police chief. He hopes to heal his head, heart and soul. Will a few years in his swampy kingdom renew him? Or will the chief find what he runs from follows as he protects his kingdom’s newest subject from invading northern predators?

Escaping from Boston, Corry Freeman, a pharmaceutical attorney, runs to the swamps to hide herself and her stolen evidence of illegal drug sales. It takes time and self protection to secretly organize her stolen evidence for a federal prosecution. Hating to admit she needs help, she tries to resist her attraction to the friendly town and its chief lawman. Should she lure her northern predators away from these good people or trust the town's ability to protect and serve?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Happy Release Day to Peta Crake!

Happy release day to my friend and writing partner Peta Crake! Today Peta's debut novel, Harbinger, was released by Penguin Australia. It will be available worldwide in the next 4-8 weeks. I can't wait to read the published version of this fantastic book!

"As an Olympic messenger, suburban Aussie girl Ophelia Lind is used to being at the beck and call of the gods. But when gorgeous demigod Aden moves into her neighbourhood and starts taking advantage of her services, Ophelia believes life could not get any worse. She's about to be proven very wrong.

Ophelia tries to enjoy a normal, everyday life while running messages for the Greek gods – but without warning an odious creature - evil incarnate - begins to stalk her. As a messenger dealing with the all-powerful and sometimes frightening gods, Ophelia is accustomed to adventures and scrapes. But this is different. Even Aden, who is madly and deeply in love with Ophelia, finds it difficult to protect her. Suddenly Ophelia is in a battle for survival and begins to question everything – her upbringing, her identity, and her true feelings for the alluring and entirely frustrating Aden.

Harbinger is a terrific romance laced with humour, danger and adventure. The deeply likeable, unstoppable Ophelia takes us on a quest that puts all the memories she holds dear – and her own heart – at risk."

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Oh did I mention?

This! I'm a finalist in the OCC/RWA Orange Rose Contest. That's 2 for 2 for me so far this year! Cue lots of jumping around and use of exclamation marks! :) Winners aren't announced until October 13th, so I guess I'll just try to forget about the fact that 3 agents and/or editors are reading the first fifty pages of my manuscript right now (!!) until then...


Monday, July 23, 2012

Why writing partners are worth their weight in gold

L to R: Eleanor, Nancy, Rachel, Annie

This weekend, I spent a fantastic plotting day with my critique group and came away with book #3 (almost) ready to go! This is our second plotting day, we do it every six months or so, with an hour devoted to each of us, and help each other flesh out our next books. Did I mention it was fantastic? We have so much fun together and make some great story magic as well.

I'm lucky enough to be part of two amazing writing groups. These lovely ladies I met through my local RWA chapter. My other group I met through the romance writing class I took two years ago. We all met at more or less the same stage in our writing career, and now several are published or on their way to publication. It's so exciting to watch!

We've exchanged critiques and advice, and I know for a fact my writing is 100% improved because of them. Writing partners are the best!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Book Signing

Recently, I had the chance to attend and help my friend and critique partner Nancy LaPonzina with a book signing for her debut novel, Nardi Point. It was so exciting to see her realize this success, and she did a fantastic job putting everything together. Congratulations, Nancy!

Nancy and me after the signing. I was so happy to be a part of this special event for her!

Friday, June 22, 2012

A little taste of success

Earlier this Spring, I found out I was a finalist in the New Hampshire RWA's Query Quandary Contest. So naturally, I did my happy dance and celebrated this small success (and enjoyed seeing my name posted on the list of finalists). Anyway, I ended up coming in 5th out of the 5 finalists in my category, which was a little disappointing. But, not to worry, I've taken the feedback I received and made improvements. I am ready and excited to beging querying later this summer!

Monday, March 26, 2012

I did it!

I did it - I did it, yay! I'll confess, I'm totally hearing the Dora theme song in my head right now. Anyone else? :) Well, maybe I didn't rescue a magic unicorn, but I did finish book #2, and a week ahead of schedule too! That felt GOOD.

I learned a few things while I was writing this one..firstly, I am capable of making a tight schedule for myself and sticking to it (no more 5 years to write a book). Also, while it will need a lot of work, it's in so much better shape than #1 was at this phase. I'm excited to get back to it this summer when it's time to start revisions. First, I've got to get book #1 out the door! :)

(and yes, I am very late with this post! But still wanted to share!)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

True Love

So, this is cheesy, but I was reading through book #1 last night before I printed out a copy for someone. I've read it probably 50 times (maybe more), but every time I take a little break from it and read it again with fresh eyes, I fall in love with my characters all over again. I laugh for them, and cry for them, feel their pain and their heartbreak. And I find myself reading on to make sure everything turns out all right for them in the end, even though I (obviously) know exactly how it ends. I love these characters, I love their story, and I love watching them fall in love.

Also? I'm 48,000 words into book #2. That's more than halfway through! And guess what - I love these characters too. There's something magical about creating these people, breathing life into them, giving them nearly insurmountable obstacles to overcome, then helping them triumph and of course...fall in love.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

"Rich and velvety with a hint of iPad"

Also known as "adventures in find and replace." This actually happened a few months ago, but for some reason I was thinking about it tonight. I was working on revisions for Book #1 one night and came across this puzzling paragraph:

"The waiter approached the table and filled their glasses from a bottle of wine Kate must have ordered while he was outside. It was a Merlot, rich and velvety with a hint of iPad. Kate’s taste in wine appeared to be as classy and refined as the rest of her."

I started writing #1 five years ago, so to accomodate changing technology, I went in and did a find and replace to change a character's Blackberry to an iPad. The end result had my protagonists sharing a Merlot "with a hint of iPad." I still can't read that scene without laughing :)

Also, I just hit 10,000 words in Book #2! I'm currently ahead of the goal I've set for myself...let's see if I can keep it up.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Baby steps...

So, I started book #2 today, and I'm going to bed tonight with a word count of 1,210. That feels good!

I dabbled around, writing and rewriting #1 for five years (yes, five years) so setting a goal of 1,000 words a day to finish #2 in three months seemed a bit daunting. I can do this! Only ~89,000 to go...