Archive for June, 2008

Please Ask Me First

Monday, June 30th, 2008

How do you feel about the practice of authors signing you up for their newsletters—whether electronic or print—without your permission? I’m not asking this because I plan to sign up a bunch of people to my newsletter without asking. I have a handy-dandy little box in the upper right corner of this blog where anyone can subscribe if they wish. There’s also a clickable graphic on my Home page and info on my Contact page (I’m nothing if not persistent). The bases are pretty much covered. No, I’m asking because finding myself signed up for an author’s newsletter without me actually subscribing to the newsletter myself is one of my readerly pet peeves. And it’s a big one.

I’m not talking when you enter a contest with the understanding that the author will sign you up for her newsletter—you know, because the contest rules explain that that’s exactly what will happen. In that case, I’m fair game. I’m not talking “Join My Newsletter List and You Will Be Entered in a Draw to Win a Free Copy of My Book” contests, either. In these cases, I know what I’m getting into, and I’ve done the “Join My Newsletter” contest thing myself. What really annoys me, though, is when I’ve emailed an author about something totally unrelated to her newsletter, and then I find myself subscribed to that newsletter. Then, despite requests to get removed from the newsletter list, I continue receiving them.

Or, the biggest annoyance…

Several years ago while I was unpublished I finaled in a contest in which a well known multi-published author judged my entry. Being a polite little Canadian and following the contest coordinator’s suggestion, I wrote thank you notes to all my judges, including Judge Promo Hound. To my surprise, I suddenly found myself on Judge Promo Hound’s snail-mail list. Two to four times a year, I receive glossy newsletters from JPH that elicit a cursory glance, then go in recycling. These days the newsletters don’t even elicit the cursory glance. I should point out that I have only ever bought one of JPH’s novels, and the purchase had nothing to do with my receipt or lack thereof of her newsletters. In fact, I bought the novel before JPH added my name to her mailing list without my permission. It’s not that I’m not buying her novels because she added me to her snail mail list. Not to continue buying her novels was purely a “her books are not my cup of tea” decision. So for her to continue sending me newsletters I didn’t ask for is a big waste of time in the first place, is it not?

Yes, I suppose I could have written Judge Promo Hound and asked her to remove me from her newsletter list. But why should I have to waste the paper and the stamp? Then a friend suggested an utterly brilliant idea that one would think I could have come up with myself (sadly, I didn’t). A few weeks ago I received yet another glossy, multi-page newsletter from Judge Promo Hound, so I followed my friend’s advice and simply wrote “Not at this Address” or “Return to Sender” (I can no longer recall which) on the envelope and dropped it back into the mailbox. My friend is convinced that this action will result in my name being removed from JPH’s mailing list. We shall see…


Ask the Agent

Friday, June 27th, 2008

Writer Kwana Jackson has an excellent weekly column appearing on her blog: Ask the Agent featuring Kwana’s agent, Elaine Spencer of The Knight Agency. Each Friday Elaine posts another response or two to questions that have been left in the Comments trails of previous blog posts. The trick to keeping Elaine answering questions every week is to ask them. This is an excellent opportunity to pick Elaine’s brain, so don’t pass it up.

I’ve interviewed Elaine myself, if you want to check it out. The information in the interview is over a year old now, though, so the best place to get new information is—you guessed it—on Kwana’s blog! And tell her I sent you.

Bit of Good News

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

I’ve received an offer from an epublisher to re-issue my romantic comedy short story, DECEIVING DEREK. I’m very happy about this, as the story was only with its former publisher for a few months before that pub closed. Kind of ironic, really. There aren’t too many short story markets for re-issues, and when I was looking the first time I could have submitted to either Pub A (the one I did submit to) or Pub B (the pub who just offered). I chose to submit to Pub A because Pub B was very, very new, and you all know (or you should) how leery I am about trying untested epub waters—I’ve been burned (drowned?) too many times. So I submitted to Pub A and received a contract. I totally loved the cover art and had a good editing experience, so I was happy. Obviously, however, I made the wrong submission choice, because Pub A closed in November and Pub B is, by all accounts, going strong.

Yes, sometimes I am wise in the world of publishing, and sometimes I have really, really bad luck.

I still need to go over the contract and make sure everything is  in order, which is why I haven’t announced which epublisher has made the offer yet. You’ll earn two points if you guess correctly, though. 😉

Are You a Creature of the Night?

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

Brava and Red Sage author Cynthia Eden has a fun paranormal “Creature Feature” quiz on her website. Apparently, I’m a vampire. Yeah, I really suck.

In the mood for a bite? You’re a true night person—forget those early mornings! Mentally and physically, you’re strong as all hell. Your teeth may be a bit too sharp, you might have a liquid diet, but, hey, no one is perfect, Besides, you’re sexy, seductive, and not many humans can resist when they look deep into your eyes…

Yup, irresistible, that’s me. What are you? Click here to take the quiz. If you suck, too, tell me in the Comments section. We can suck together.

Tell Me Tuesday Summer Hiatus

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Popping in for a quick TMT. As usual, I’m finding the summer is getting away on me, what with the kids’ odd hours for their summer jobs, friends visiting from out of town, and RWA National coming up, etc. So there’ll be a few changes around the ol’ blog until early September. Tell Me Tuesday is going on hiatus, as I’ve decided to reduce my posting to about 3 times a week. I haven’t yet decided on a schedule or whether there’ll be a schedule. Ie. I might blog Monday, Wed, Friday, or I might blog Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or any combination thereof. So keep checking in, because I’m not disappearing completely. I do have posts planned for the rest of this week, featuring a fun quiz tomorrow, so drop back in.

My Tell You Tuesday: The WIP is motoring along, I’m finally so glad to say. I’m also coordinating the 2007 Golden Heart Alumni offerings for the Jo Leigh Fundraiser, and I have a packet of Maggies entries to judge. Lots of fun! I’m even getting outside to do some of my writing, because the rain has finally decreased to a few showers a week. It’s about time.

What do you have going on? Do you find it more difficult to blog and keep up with your writing schedule in the summer? How do you prioritize?

Hulk Me Baby One More Time

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Edward Norton as The Incredible Hulk

The fam-dam went to The Incredible Hulk late last week to celebrate Youngest Son writing his last ever final high school exam. I give The Incredible Hulk several thumbs up. I liked it better than Iron Man, even though the latter stars Robert Downey, Jr. and I do love me some RDJ. However, as a kid, my favorite comics were Batman, The Incredible Hulk, Sergeant Rock and Jonah Hex, in that order. I can’t recall ever reading an Iron Man comic, although I probably did. The Brother had quite an extensive comic collection, and I made full use of it (by the way, I could never figure out why Arnold Schwarzenegger didn’t make a Sergeant Rock movie and why Clint Eastwood didn’t star in a movie version of Jonah Hex—both when they were a, um, tad younger. Because both actors would have perfect in those roles. If you’re familiar with the comics of which I speak, aren’t I right? Of course I am. Thank you.

Robert Downey, Jr.'s Iron Man

Anyway, while I enjoyed Iron Man (mainly because of RDJ; his acting and the quirky wit he instills into most of his characters always get me), The Incredible Hulk has my vote. If you’re an Iron Man/RDJ fan, though, Robert Downey, Jr. has a cameo in The Incredible Hulk. The cameo sets up all sorts of wonderful possibilities for a sequel to both Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk. I can’t wait. As the only woman in a house full of men (until Allie McBeagle, even all our pets were male), I think I’ve seen nearly every super-hero movie out there, so I’ve developed quite an affinity for them.

(P.S. Yeah, I know, both those pictures are tiny. WordPress 2.5.1 has some glitches in the Upload Images thingie, and I can’t be bothered to figure it out).

A scene in The Incredible Hulk references Bella Coola, British Columbia. If you saw Sex and The City, The Movie and read about how people were flooding bookstores looking for the book Mr. Big reads from in the movie, but the book doesn’t exist, well, Bella Coola does exist. I ain’t got a clue if The Incredible Hulk was shot in B.C. or if the scenes that say they’re in Bella Coola really are in Bella Coola, however, if you’re interested in checking out some gorgeous scenery, check out this link.

By the way, have you ever read an Incredible Hulk reference in a romance novel? Don’t you think you should? If your answer is yes, have I got a story for you! Yes, indeedy, BORROWING ALEX features an Incredible Hulk reference. For those who already have the book, consider yourselves brainiacs for being so on top of popular culture! Then flip to page 45 for the reference. It was one of my favorite scenes to write.  

Those who haven’t yet bought a copy of BORROWING ALEX, if you beg real nice, I might excerpt the scene on the blog. Of course, I’d rather you buy a copy of the book so I can keep my family in Kraft Dinner, but if you need motivation (and don’t we all?), just ask in the comments section and I’ll provide the excerpt later in the week.