Friday, May 09, 2008

I just got tagged

I just got tagged by Marianne Mancusi

The rules:

a) Link to the person who tagged you.

b) Post the rules on your blog.

c) Write six random things about yourself.

d) Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.

e) Let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on his/her blog.

f) Let your tagger know when your entry is up.

Okay six random things about me.

1. I saw the Mothman when I was four years old. Seriously

2. My favorite movie of all time is White Christmas and I would love to dance like Vera Ellen in the song Mandy.

3. I LOVE to ride roller coasters.

4. When I was little I called station wagons cars with back porches.

5. The first time I saw the ocean we were at Virginia Beach and I was more scared of the crabs because it was night and I couldn't see them.

6. My favorite guilty pleasure is a chocolate shake from Hard Rock Cafe. Luckily there are no Hard Rock Cafe's near me.

I'm tagging Sonja Foust, Barb Ferrer, Stacey Klemstein and thats all because everyone else I know has either been tagged or won't play.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

HIstorical Fans

Check out the great new historicals available from my fellow Leisure Authors. Go here for info and excerpts. Happy reading!

Monday, May 05, 2008

I need a hero!

A lot of dicussion has gone on recently about some of the actions of the cover guys at the RT conference in Pittsburgh. And I have come to realize that just as there are all different kinds of writers there are all different kinds of cover guys. When talking about the conference with some of my non attending friends I realize that a lot of people have this "Image" of what they think the guys are like and most of it is not good. So let me attempt to divide these guys into three different groups

First up is the EC guys. They work for Ellora's Cave and walk around in tanks that say things like "Got Sex?" They are there to look hot and entertain the crowd. The only problem I have with these guys is the fact that some of them think every woman there wants to sleep with them. WRONG! The following is my perception of an interaction with an EC guy. I was sitting in the hotel lobby with one of my published friends when two guys wearing EC shirts walked by. The dialog is all internal.
ME: What is up with that hair? Does he seriously think that's attractive?
HIM: She wants me. All women want me.
ME: Seriously dude. get a haircut. And wash it. It looks like you've got a potted plant growing out of your head.
HIM: She really wants me. I'm surprised she's not ripping her clothes off.
ME: (at this point I jab my writer friend and give a coy check that out toss of my head.
HIM: They both want me. I'll give them a show. He then proceeds to do a clenchy thing with his muscles that makes his butt cheeks jump.
ME: Ewww gross, does he think that's sexy?"
HIM: hmmm, I can't believe she's not jumping my body.

Seriously a big misunderstanding. So when EC guys hit the stage I just find something better to do with my time. I've got no problem with it or them, I just find that my tastes run to something different. And it is all a matter of personal opinion. I am sure that there are some who would read this post and think I'm crazy and think that above mentioned pothead guy is really attractive and sweet. I'm just saying I don't. But as you will see I can and will admit that I am wrong about something.

The next group is the guys who are cover and calender models and come to RT to meet up with their photographers, see their friends and hopefully make some connections that will lead to more covers and book vids. I will admit that I was wrong about these guys. I had them lumped into the EC catergory. I found out this year that they are a wonderful group, funny, goodlooking of course and just general nice guys. One in particular I had misjudged. I thought he was a jerk when I met him in Kansas City a few years back. Turned out he had just had surgery and was heavily doped up on pain meds while trying to compete in the MR. Romance pageant. MY BAD!

The third group is the Mr. Romance contestants. These guys are great. Models trying to break in, babies most of them, walking around wide eyed and wondering just what the heck did they get into? They get no sleep, have no time to eat and spend the entire week meeting and talking to fans. They are perfect gentlemen. Some of them enjoy it so much that they come back year after year and fall into the above group. I have made some really great friends from this group and can't wait to see them next year and the year after and the year after.

In the coming weeks, on Mondays, I will be introducing everyong to guys from the second and third group. I will have short interviews and some hot pics and those of you who are at RT next year can go up and say, "Hey I hear you are a really great guy!" It will most likely make their day and you find out up close and personal how really great they are. You might even recognize some of them from the covers they've done.

So just as you don't judge a book by its cover, don't judge a cover guy by the actions of a few. I think you will be in for a pleasant surprise. Oh yeah, pictured above is Mr. Romance Chris Winters, The lovely Katherine Taylor, Luke Walsh, Fred Williams and Christopher Howell, all contestants in the Mr. Romance competition 2008.

Friday, May 02, 2008

The Feed and Care of Your Deadline Crazed Writer

I was trying to explain to a friend the other day about deadline hell. What happens to writers when we have to slide into that dreaded place that consumes every bit of our time, imagination and energy. I realized that until you really live it, that most people do not really understand what it is. So hopefully this will explain it a bit and give you some hints on what you can do to help your favorite writer get through it.

Deadline hell is what occurs when you don’t hit your carefully planned out page count for each day that you have until your book is due. Best laid plans and all that, but quite frankly, life happens and it does get in our way. For me lately it’s been my dad’s cancer, which is now in remission, thank you. So said book that was due March 1 is now due June 1 and has to be turned in or else it will not make it to production on time for its February release. This also means that since I missed the first deadline I will not have a Cindy Holby release this year (only Colby Hodge’s Twist) andI SUCK AS A WRITER AND MY CAREER IS OVER.

Since I now have two extra months to write I can do it. Woohoo! WRONG. During April Dad is in hospital twice with complications, I am preparing for RT, I go to RT for eight days and it takes me a week to recover, catch up from RT. Two of those days were spent sleeping as I got no sleep at RT. So now its May 1, book is due June 1 and I’m about 4,000 words away from halfway. Which means I have to write around 250 pages in a month. Which is around ten pages a day if I write everyday which I won’t be able to do because life gets in the way. Can I do it? I better because if I don’t I SUCK AS A WRITER AND MY CAREER IS OVER.

So what happens then. I sit in front of my computer. I tell myself I will not play Freecell ever again for as long as I live. I play Freecell. I look at manuscript. I decide entire book is the great dedication to sucktitude. I put on writing inspired songs to get into the story. Since I am writing an angsty story I get depressed. I listen to them over and over again. I get all weepy. My bwff (best writing friend forever) tells me to quit listening to angsty songs and I reply with giant wail. “But I caaaaannnn’t. It’s the soundtrack to Atonement and I Lurve James MacAvoy and he diieeesss.” Btw dialog like this goes back and forth all day with my bwff posse. If you want to know who they are check out the dedications in my books. Finally I decide I am in right frame of mind to write.

But first I check my email. Why? Because writers are isolated. Email is our connection to our friends. What are our friends doing? Are they in writing hell too? Ohh, here’s a link to something. Maybe I should check that out. Finally I realize that I’ve wasted half a day on internet. Turn off internet and write. Go back to manuscript. Maybe it doesn’t suck. Hmmm, writing historical and I need to know what certain building on certain street looked like in eighteenth century. Sign back onto internet. Get distracted again by email, IM or something Brittany/Paris/TomKat has done. Oh, another email, someone I know has hit list/won award/got new multi comma contract and while I am happy for them it didn’t happen to me because I SUCK AS A WRITER AND MY CAREER IS OVER.

Why do writers obsess over things like that? Because we write in a vapor. Some writers have critique partners. I don’t. If the story takes a direction I’m not sure of I’ll send it out to a few of my friends for some feedback but for the most part it’s just us and the story.

So now its time to really get serious. What happens next in the story? Write write write. Hmmm, write some more. Shove kitten off desk. Try to ignore sad doggy eyes. Grab apple, yogurt, banana, hand full of chips for lunch. Grab some caffeine. Grab some more. Stay up late writing. Eyes cross, wrists aches, back and shoulders ache, butt hurts because this continues day after day after day. Husband pokes head in and asks about dinner. You look at him like he’s an idiot and wave him off. Husband carries in dinner, does laundry, vacuums, rubs back and tries to stay out of your way. (I am fortunate that my kids are grown and pretty much self sufficient and I also have an awesome husband) Week goes by, then another, then another and you realize story has come together and perhaps you aren’t the giant burrito of sucktitude (bwff term) that you once thought you were. But you are also very lonely, and you kind of look like crap since you have basically lived in front of your computer for a month. Since I am now working on my thirteenth book I’ve kind of been through this before so I know what to expect. You think that one day I would figure it out and stay out of deadline hell but I don’t because I SUCK AS A WRITER AND MY CAREER IS OVER.

So what can you, as a fan/friend of a deadline crazed writer do? I have my own little support group. I just got a text hug from one. Another is giving me rah rahs every night and I have realized how much I really appreciate it. I look forward to it. It keeps me inspired because I know these people believe in me and maybe I don’t SUCK AS A WRITER. So if you have a writer friend who is in deadline hell then drop them an email (believe me they will be checking) or a comment on their myspace page and say Yay, we believe in you and can’t wait for the next book. They will appreciate it more than you know. And it’s also great to know that you don’t really suck that you are just doing the best that you can.

Oh yeah, we procrastinate too. Why else would I be spending my time writing this instead of working on my story?