Archive for January, 2009

How Do You Read?

Friday, January 30th, 2009

A topic of discussion on one of my writers’ listservs got me thinking about the different ways people read, so I thought I’d do a survey. When you read a book for pleasure, do you read it lying down? I do. I read lying down on my bed. Reading sitting up bothers me. I only read sitting up when forced, like on an airplane, or when I’m in public and I know full well that laying on the doctor office floor to read might get me carted off to the Looney Bin.

(Okay, now I’m suffering paranoia about the whole lay/lie thing—should I be writing laying or lying?—gah!) (That’s my excuse for writing it different ways in the above paragraph).

Well, reading sitting up doesn’t bother me, per se. I’m perfectly capable of doing it. But to me it’s not relaxing. And I want to feel relaxed when I read.

I also watch TV lying down. In fact, I’m quite the couch hog, because I take up the whole thing!

What about you? Do you lie down to read? How about when watching TV?

TBR Pile Gems, Featuring Alesia Holliday

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

You know how it is. You win a free book at a conference drawing, think, “Cool, I have to read this.” Then it goes into your To Be Read pile for months…or sometimes years. You really want to read the author, but you’re not too sure the story line appeals to you. You feel guilty because she signed the book for you and you know her on-line. She’s great. Surely, her books will be great. But for some reason the book you won keeps stagnating in your TBR pile. You notice the author has a new release, so you buy that one. Now you have two of her books in your TBR pile. You read the purchased one first. You love it. You adore it. You wish there was a sequel.

Months pass. You finally decide to read the book you won. You’re on the fence, because you’re still not certain the story line appeals. You start reading it. You realize you’re an idiot. You love it. You adore it. You wish she was still writing under the same name and the same style of books—fun chick lit and quirky mysteries—because you enjoy them so much. But she’s moved on to greener pastures and now publishes action-adventure romances as Alyssa Day.

I’m talking about Alesia Holliday, a talented author I wish I’d discovered sooner. Or, um, released from my TBR pile sooner.

Which books am I pimping? Blondes Have More Felons and American Idle. holliday_idleThe latter I won during an RWA conference workshop drawing presented by Alicia, other authors, and an agent (or two, I can’t recall). That’s the book that unfortunately sat in my TBR pile for years. Sorry, Alesia. I didn’t think the reality TV singing show setting would appeal to me. Boy, was I wrong.

If you like, or even if you abhor, American Idol, you’ll appreciate this fun look into the behind-the-scenes life of production assistant Jules Vernon. Alesia employs a lot of laugh-out-loud humor—the kind of writing I love. Humor is very tricky to write. What works for me might not work for you, and vice versa. But Alesia’s humor works for me. I’m just sorry she didn’t get a chance to write more Alesia Holliday books.

holliday_felonsBlondes Have More Felons is her foray into funny mysteries, featuring former corporate attorney, December Vaughn. I wish I could include the back cover copy from the books, but Alesia no longer maintains a website for her Holliday books and I’m too lazy busy with my own writing to type out the descriptions from my copies. But check out all the great reviews for both books on Amazon. If they sound like your thing, give them a chance. And don’t let them waste their funny lives away in your TBR pile, too.

Discovered any gems in your TBR pile lately? Let me know. If it’s in my pile, it’ll inspire me to dig it out. Or buy a copy to add to the ever-growing pile.

Sara Megibow Dons Her Agenting Hat

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Assistant to agent Kristin Nelson, Sara Megibow of The Nelson Literary Agency is now looking for her own clients. From the agency’s January newsletter:

In terms of genre, the Nelson Agency still reps romance (everything but inspirational and category), science fiction and fantasy, young adult, middle grade, chick lit, commercial and literary fiction and some memoir. Personally, I love super sexy and intelligent romances. In the sf/fantasy world, I am looking for the story and characters to be as compelling as the world. In terms of YA and MG, I am excited to see more projects set in the real world (as opposed to vampires or werewolves, although, of course, those are still okay). Finally, I am itching for some fabulous historical fiction (like MISTRESS OF THE ART OF DEATH) or multicultural fiction both for younger readers and the adult market.

There you have it. Submissions Guidelines can be found on their website.

Tell Me Tuesday

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

How’s your week going? I’ve been very busy working on my WIP and also doing tons of promo stuff for Penny. In fact, I did so much computer-oriented promo for Penny on the weekend that I think it affected my eyesight. Honestly, for awhile there, I couldn’t focus beyond two feet.

The RITA reading is motoring along. I just began the seventh book in my judging packet. Two more to go after that (which means I received 9 books to judge in total—wow, that’s a lot!). I’m saving the longest book for the last. If I’d read it first and time had started getting away on me, I would have begun to panic. This way, reading the shortest books first at random, I can feel free to take my time with the fat book. Note I am not short-shifting the short books to accomplish this! They just take a shorter time to read, obviously.

If you haven’t checked out my Upcoming Guest Bloggers listings in the sidebar in awhile, I received a request the other day to host my first co-authors. Karen Tintori and Jill Gregory, co-authors of the thriller, THE ILLUMINATION, are visiting next Wednesday, February 4th (I didn’t include links for their names, because it appears they are both updating their websites). They’ll both be here to respond to comments, and they’re giving away a copy of the book, so please make sure to drop by. Information about THE ILLUMINATION will go up February 3rd, so there’ll be no Tell Me Tuesday next week. Which means, if you have something to tell me, do it today. Quick, before the offer expires.

Sourcebooks Pitch Opportunity!

Monday, January 26th, 2009

Here’s a great opportunity for unagented writers. On Thursday, January 29th—three days from now—Sourcebooks editor Deb Werksman is accepting 50-word pitches on the Casablanca Authors Blog. Ms. Werksman, along with the Sourcebooks publicist and Casablanca blog authors, will decide on the winner (I hope I got that right), who then gets to submit her/his full manuscript for Ms. Werksman’s consideration with a guaranteed reply within 3-4 weeks.

Believe me, a guaranteed reply in such a short time span is something you want.

You have from one minute after noon January 29th until noon January 30th to post your pitch to the Comments trail of Ms. Werksman’s blog on Casablanca Authors, appearing January 29th. Please note, do NOT post your pitches to THIS blog. You can leave me a note thanking me for telling you about this opportunity (I’d love that), but I can not accept pitches for the contest. If you submit your pitch here, I’ll just have to delete it. And, no, I won’t forward it to Ms. Werksman, either.

Go to the Casablanca Authors blog on January 29th to post your pitches. In fact, there’s a great blog post over there right now that tells you all about the contest rules. Click here to read it.

Please note that Ms. Werksman only wants blurbs for completed manuscripts:

Please enter pitches ONLY for finished, polished manuscripts that are at least 90,000 words in length. No works in progress please.

That’s a direct quote from the Casa Authors blog. So don’t submit a pitch if you’ve finished a manuscript but it’s not the absolute best it can be. Polish that sucker and wait for another opportunity. It does you no good to send in a blurb for non-polished work, because the winner’s name will be announced on the Casa Authors blog February 14th and the winner will then only have until the 16th to submit her/his full manuscript. If your work isn’t polished, it’s not likely you’ll receive an offer of publication, which just wastes everyone’s time.

Details of the Break Up the Winter Doldrums contest are on the Casablanca Authors blog. If you want to enter, please check them out, in case I didn’t get something straight here.

Over and out.

How Smart is Your Blog?

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

Not sure what this says about me:

blog readability test

Okay, to be honest, The Blog Readability Test isn’t so much about intelligence as it is about, well, readability. So, I am plenty smart, I assure you. It’s just my blog that’s not. Despite my advanced years, apparently it’s yet to graduate! :::sob::: Must be Elle’s influence.

How smart is your blog?