Archive for August, 2009

Kylie Brant Guest Blogs Tomorrow!

Monday, August 31st, 2009

I’m returning from my Universe Dump Hiatus to announce that dark romantic thriller author Kylie Brant will visit the blog tomorrow. Kylie’s giving away a copy of her brand new release, WAKING NIGHTMARE. Here’s the back cover blurb:

With a serial rapist loose on the streets of Savannah, hot-shot detective Ryne Robel needs all the help he can get for his task force. And he needs it now, before another woman falls victim. But Abbie Phillips isn’t what he bargained for. Sent from an exclusive group of the best criminologists in the country, she’s smart, fierce…and distracting. She may be a brilliant forensic profiler, but Ryne needs answers, not pyschobabble and head games.

However, Abbie convinces him that head games are exactly what this elusive suspect is all about. The seemingly random acts of torture are actually calculated to match each victim’s darkest fears. And the stakes are rising. While they study the devious psychopath, he’s watching them—the next objects of his horrifying obsession.

Shiver me timbers!

About Kylie:brant_pic

Kylie Brant is the author of twenty-five books for Silhouette Romantic Suspense and three dark romantic thrillers for Berkley. She’s a two- time Rita finalist and a five-time Romantic Times nominee. Kylie was a 2008 Romantic Times Career Achievement Award winner, and twice won the overall Daphne du Maurier award for mystery and suspense in 2004 and 2009. One of her books is included on Romantic Times magazine’s All-Time Favorites list.

For more information about Kylie and her books, please visit her website.

Of Note

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

I’m feeling tons better, and life is slowly getting back under control. So, ta-da, one blog post before the weekend. Watch, now no one will comment because I said I wouldn’t be here again until next week.

Not getting any writing done, but on Monday I had a 90-minute long Skype brainstorming session with a former critique partner, and now I have a ton of excellent revision notes for SEX, PIs & PACKING TAPE. Really looking forward to solidifying my approach to the revisions and digging into that book again. Will pass the notes by a writing friend who critiqued the full first, though. I have another manuscript I can work on in the meantime.

Guess what? I’ve already received, signed and mailed back the hard copy of the contract for the HEAD OVER HEELS manga rights. When I approved the contract via email (last week) and my contact in the Tuttle-Mori contracts department said I would receive the hard copy contract soon, she wasn’t fooling. I don’t think I’ve ever received a contract that quickly.

Also, I find it interesting that this contract was the easiest to understand and read of any I’ve ever purused for either myself or Penny. In other words, the easiest to read and understand contract from any North American publisher with whom I’ve dealt. The legalities are all in place, but not in a “foreign language,” to speak. They’re written in plain English. What a switch! 

Bad Things

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

I’m taking a break from blogging this week. The universe decided to dump all over my family over the last few days, and I don’t have the wherewithal to draft posts. First, a member of My Liege’s immediate family was rushed to hospital for the second time in a week in very serious condition. She spent the weekend in the ICU, and although she’s back at home now the details of her condition remain a mystery. We hope to find out more by the end of the month.

The day after that happened, we learned a lightning strike had created a fire on our woodlot. My Liege had to deal with that (the fire’s contained now, as far as we know). No idea of the damage to the timber.

The same day, we finally got our new stove, only to discover an 18-inch long gouge in the side. Back to the store it went, and we’re waiting for another.

We thought that was Bad Thing #3, and we couldn’t possibly receive any more grungy news.

Pitiful humans. A gouge in a stove doesn’t even count as a Bad Thing, it appears.

Yesterday, just as Eldest Son was leaving on a four-day camping trip without cell access, we learned that the room in the private home he was to move into in two weeks for his last year at university was damaged in a fire that occurred while the owner was on vacation. The repairs won’t be finished until October, which leaves him a month without a place to live. We have fantastic friends in his university town, and they offered to let him stay with them while repairs were underway. But I’ve been in that position before—staying in one home for September before moving into the “permanent” spot in October, and it’s not the best situation in the world. It’s hard to dig into your studies when you don’t feel settled.

So…yesterday, I quickly gathered information for the remaining available housing. He and I went through them, and our friend in the university town checked out the only two of the seven or so that responded. The good news is Eldest Son has a new place to live, not quite as private as his former situation, but cheaper, so he’ll be happy when he comes home and learns that’s settled.

Then last night I awoke in the early hours of the morning with the worst sinus headache I’ve had in years. I’m still battling it.

Today is Youngest Son’s 19th birthday! That’s the best news I’ve heard all week. I’m doing nothing more strenuous than baking him a cake, reading, relaxing, walking the dog, fighting this cold, and maybe going over some notes for a manuscript revision that, at this point, I don’t even remember brainstorming with a writing friend yesterday afternoon over Skype. Good thing I was typing while she talked!

Tuesday, September 1st, romantic suspense author Kylie Brant is guest-blogging. Her promo post will go up on Monday. Unless I feel markedly better between now and Friday, that’s the next time you’ll hear from me. The universe had taken this round. I know when I’m beat. 🙂

I’m Going Manga!

Friday, August 21st, 2009

Last week I hinted that I would have some good news to share soon. And here it is!

I am very happy to announce that I’ve sold the Japanese translation rights to my Amber Quill Press romantic comedy, HEAD OVER HEELS, to Ohzora Publishing in Japan. Ohzora has published a lot of Harlequin novels as manga (Japanese comic) paperbacks, and that’s what they’ll be doing with my book. I also sold the serialization rights and ebook rights. HEAD OVER HEELS will publish in Japanese manga over cell phones as well as in traditional ebook manga format.

Now here’s the interesting part. I didn’t go looking for this opportunity, it came to me. Somehow, Ohzora became interested in my book. I still have no clue how or why. I’ve been dealing with a literary agent in Japan, and I asked her to ask them, but then she went on holidays, so for now I still don’t know. I was going on my merry way enjoying the summer and working on various manuscripts when I received an email forwarded from an Amber Quill staff member—from the scouting division of an NYC literary agency. I’d never heard of the NYC scouting people, nor the Japanese literary agency they were working with, nor had I heard of Ohzora. At first I thought, this can’t be legit. But I did some major networking, including contacting a couple of State-side agents I’ve submitted to in the past. I learned that all parties involved were indeed legit.

What makes the whole thing sweeter is that while Amber Quill operates on a royalty-only model, Ohzora offers advances as well as royalties. So I’m finally getting an advance for HEAD OVER HEELS—years after its initial publication in English. That makes me giggle. It’s a decent advance, too, one that would more than satisfy RWA-PAN if they counted foreign translation advances (I have no clue if they do, and it doesn’t matter, because I’m already a member of PAN thanks to the novellas I’ve published under my pen name). So, while some members of the romance writing community aren’t quite ready to accept ebooks or accept publishing with a royalty-only house like Amber Quill, in this case it’s worked out wonderfully. I have a book I love on the cyber-shelves, and now I’ve sold the Japanese translation rights. I have a wide grin on my face that’s not likely to disappear soon.

More good news! I just learned that HEAD OVER HEELS is now available in Kindle format. Yippee!

Angela James (and Others) on the Move

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

Caught the news yesterday that Angela James, previously of Samhain Publishing, is now with Quartet Press as editorial director. This is great news for Quartet (way to go, Kassia). Angela seems to rock wherever she rolls. It should be an interesting year for Quartet.

I have no idea who’s head honcho at Samhain now. Anyone know?

Last week or so, Firebrand Literary closed its doors. Several days before that, Michael Stearns, Danielle Chiotti and others formerly with Firebrand, left to form the new Upstart Crow Literary Agency. No clue what Firebrand founder Nadia Cornier’s plans are.

I’m getting dizzy.

You’re Never too Old…

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

To achieve your dreams.

Yesterday I blogged at Nobody Writes It Better about my now-deceased grandfather, who lived to 106 and jumped out of an airplane to celebrate his 100th birthday. He’s my inspiration. Who’s yours? Share your thoughts at Nobody Writes It Better. I’m continuing to drop by today to check the comment trail.

Welcome Guest Blogger Dara Girard

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

FIVE AUTHOR TRAITS I ENVYgirard_pic

Thanks Cindy for hosting me today!

I don’t spend much of my time envying the success of other authors because it’s a waste of imagination. But I do occasionally envy certain traits. Traits I wish I had.

Time Maven. I don’t know how some authors have a MySpace page, Facebook, twitter, blog, update their websites, write over three books a year, chat on numerous author loops and attend five conferences a year. Just looking at all they do makes me tired. While I admire their ability to do all things, for me doing five major things a week is enough.

girard_round_clockOrganizational Diva. Authors who come up with detailed outlines, binders filled with character profiles, background, history and color coded index cards fascinate me. I have folders with a label for the story. That’s it. It’s mostly filled with post it notes, scraps of paper and brief observations. Some actually have clean desks. The only time my desk is clear is when I’m not working and I’m always working.

Popularity Vixen. Some authors are very gregarious. They have cliques and seem to know everyone in the industry. I can’t even keep up with the people I know outside the industry. I am not part of a critique group, nor do I find a need for one, and more often than not I find knowing too many people exhausting.

Tech Whiz. I know of fellow authors who have created avatars, radio shows, games etc…. as part of their marketing efforts. I think they’re all cool, but I have no idea how to do them. Not that I’d have the time if I did. But wow what creativity. For me instead of trying to learn or do it all, I find someone who already knows how. For example I use someone to create my book trailers and recently a commercial (see it here www.daragirard.com). I did try a podcast once and that was it.

Chocolate Queen. Chocolate is a big thing in the romance industry. When I went to the Harlequin party at RWA in DC they had a huge chocolate fountain. It was fantastic! It’s common knowledge that people treat themselves with chocolate when disappointed from a rejection or a bad review. They also reward themselves with chocolate when something good happens or just to celebrate. I joke about liking chocolate so that I can fit in, but personally give me a bag of Twizzlers and I’m a happy girl.

I hesitated writing this blog because I realize that  I’m revealing myself to be an unorganized Luddite with hermit tendencies who prefers candy to chocolate, but I somehow feel I’m not alone.  So while I may never be a Time Maven, Organizational Diva, Popularity Vixen, Tech Whiz or Chocolate Queen the great thing about this wild and wonderful industry is that we can all make it in our own unique ways.

Are there any traits others have that you wish you did too?

***

To enter to win a copy of Dara’s ROUND THE CLOCK, please leave a comment answering her question. You can read the back cover blurb for ROUND THE CLOCK in yesterday’s post. While you’re there, you can scan her bio, too.

For more info about Dara and her books, please visit her website.

Dara Girard Guest Blogs Tomorrow

Monday, August 17th, 2009

Tomorrow I welcome Kimani Romance author Dara Girard to the blog. Dara’s topic is Five Author Traits I Envy, and she’s giving away a copy of her June 2009 Kimani release, ROUND THE CLOCK, the fourth book in her Black Stockings Society series.

Back Cover Blurb for ROUND THE CLOCK:

Rebel made good meets good girl gone wild…

Anna Marie has spent too long trying to please everybody else. Now, thanks to an unexpected inheritance, she’s got a new lease on life. Her first step? Accepting the invitation to the Black Stockings Society. Still, the scandalous fishnets she receives in her first package must be a mistake. Anna Marie would never dare wear something so outrageously sexy to a meeting with her lawyer…would she?

In high school, Desmond Rockwell was a rebel barely aware of Anna Marie’s existence, or the fact that she had a major crush on him. But he can’t ignore the bold, seductive woman who has come to him seeking legal advice, unleashing a sizzling attraction that proves that some things are definitely worth the wait…

About Dara:girard_pic

Dara Girard is an award-winning author of twelve romance novels, her most recent being ROUND THE CLOCK (Kimani Romance, 2009), the fourth and final book in her miniseries “The Black Stockings Society” about four women, one club and a secret that will make their fantasies come true. Her writing has been praised for its deft plot twists, witty dialogue and humor. She is also the author of a nonfiction book, THE WRITER BEHIND THE WORDS: STEPS TO SUCCESS IN THE WRITING LIFE (Ilori Press 2007). Dara lives in Maryland. You can find out more on her website.

Guest Blogging Alert (Mine)

Friday, August 14th, 2009

I’m hosting Dara Girard on the blog next Tuesday, August 18th, so consider this pre-warning (or pre-invitation, depending how you look at it), that Me, Myself, and Eye is also blogging at Nobody Writes It Better that day (Tuesday, August 18th, for those with the memory retention of a gnat). August 18th is a special day for me. It’s my grandfather’s birthday. Or it would be if he weren’t six feet under. Now, now, I’m not being rude. If he were still alive, he would be turning 110 on August 18th. But, alas, he expired at 106. The nerve!

My grandfather believed that he could do anything—and he pretty much did. He’s a prime example of how You’re Never Too Old to achieve your dreams. Which happens to be the topic of my blog next Tuesday…August 18th…at Nobody Writes It Better. I hope you’ll join me.

Thursday Tidbits

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Yesterday I enjoyed a “turn-around day” where I basically caught up on stuff so that today I can begin to dig into my revisions on SEX, PIs & PACKING TAPE. Thought I’d get to them way before now, but summer intruded. Also, the news I didn’t announce yesterday intruded, and I wasn’t gonna complain.

I don’t know if anyone remembers, and I’m too lazy to check back through my posts and provide a link, but awhile back we were talking about how agents could help alleviate author stress, specifically the stress created when an electronic query or submission floats off into the stratosphere and we never hear from the agent again. I mentioned email auto-responders. To me, it seems like such a simple solution. Set up the query/submission email to automatically let the writer know her/his submission or query has been received, give an estimated time frame for your response and ask that the writer not bug you during that time frame. Well, the other night, I submitted a story electronically for Penny, and, wow, how nice to receive an auto-responder in a matter of minutes. Makes me feel bad that I put a return-receipt indicator on the email. Now, this was a publisher that deals in ebooks, so manbe that’s why they’re so on the ball. But the auto-responder works so well it still makes me wonder why more agents who take email queries and submissions don’t make use of one.

Another tidbit…I went to see Julie & Julia the other night. Anyone seen it? What did you think? I loved it. Heartily recommended.