Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
I cannot beleive I made it to an 8 am class. I must truly be serious about this writing thing. Who knew?
Ann Roth & Alexis Morgan presented Making Your Characters Real, showing us their character charts. Then it was on to Block Busting : Putting the Joy Back in Writing with Laurie Schnebly Campbell. This was a great class. She explained why writers block happens (self-preservation) and why white knuckling it through isn't the best option.
Mary Buckham's Seven Deadly Sins of Synopsis Writing was up next.
The most common stumbling blocks
1. Too many names to track
2. Too many details
3. Making it passive instead of active.
4. Not finishing the synopsis.
5. Not using transitions to change POV, time, or place.
6. Not unfolding the synopsis as the story unfolds.
7. Raising questions in a synopsis.
Yes, there are 8...but the 8 deadly sins just sounds silly. Susan Lyons' Wild Mind workshop played into the writers block one, teaching us to let our mind do its work and get out of the way.
After the workshops were over it was time for lunch...and a moving keynote from Jane Porter which left the room in tears. She not only writes with emotion, she delivers it in person.
For a complete change of tone, there was the raffle for the baskets, proceeds benefiting DAWN. I was at a table with Cherry Adair, who closes the conference each year with her special brand of motivation. She was so excited to get to her presentation, she put her hands on her props and put 'magic' in them.
I beleive in magic...8 of the 10 people at our table won a basket! Gwen won another (called the Brazen Hussy basket, fitting for a 2 basket winner)...and I was up front, hoping with each basket that I was the winner. I didn't want to be the only one at the table without a basket...
My whinig must have been truly pathetic. One of the annoucers of the raffle (who had way too much fun listing what was in Gwen's basket) gave me hers! I kid you not!
Then it was time for Cherry! Each year, she asks politely (Ha!) for all the writers to commit to finishing a book before the next years conference. Those of us that rise to the challenge come up to the front and get certificates...and this year she even made up pins!
And the cherry on top (Ha!)...she gave 3 scholarships to next years conference, AND a scholarship to Nationals! WOWZA!
That is generous and amazing, but the best part was standing up with those who finished their book. Both of the women on either side of me said they wouldn't have finished their book without Cherry's enthusiasm and the fear of not being able to stand up when she asked who finished. How fab is that?
My Cherry book, HER CINDERELLA COMPLEX...comes out in January/October from Samhain.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
For some reason, I didn't sleep well last night. Took me forever to fall asleep, then I was up at 2, and finally gave up at 5. Sad, all this space to myself and I can't even sleep!
Since I was awake, I had no problem making the early morning workshops. Susan Mallery talked about Writing Faster, and since people came to hear what I had to say about that, I knew it would be packed! She scared us all with a schedule, but had practical advice for how to increase our output. Namely :
- write every day. Writing in bursts leads to not writing in bursts.
- increase your daily page count slowly. When you are comfortable with that, increase it again.
- schedule in emergency weeks. Life happens.
- Write forward. If you like to edit, do that after your pages are in for the day
- Have a midpoint. This gives you somethingto write to, and once it is over, it is all downhill from there.
- The middle is what makes your characters relatable and likeable. It is where you explain what you introduced.
- If things are dragging, make something happen. (I use penguins, she suggested burning down the town!)
- Never have more than a half page of introspection.
I just ran up stairs to rip off my shoes...they were cutting of circulation in my swolen feet! No more of those until summer! So...now I am in comfier clothes (since I don't think tennies go with my dress) and off to learn some more :)
I made it all the way to Bellevue without falling asleep! Quite the accomplishment, I assure you. I even found a killer parking spot and my room without a problem - except for the broken ice maker on my floor. But I digress...
Then it was time to find the conference gurus and sign up. Right in the lobby fellow Dreams & Desires and Samhain author Susan Lyons was waiting...with chocolate! She directed me to the registration downstairs where I picked up my goodie bag (more chocolate, bat erasers, a Kate Walker book and a mini notepad were the highlights). I found Shelli Stevens for a quick hug, then retreated to my room to relax.
At dinner I quickly latched on to PHS reviewer and the only person I've ever mat who may love category romance more than me, Marilyn Shoemaker. We gushed about the gift baskets and giggled as Jenna Petersen insisted on taking a picture of the three Jenna's at our table. She promised to put a 'Jenna is not fat, just pregnant' disclaimer on it, but we'll see...
Christina Dodd gave a funny talk about how there is no 'right way' to write a book, giving hilarious examples of how Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jayne Ann Krentz, Julia Quinn, etc do it...I'll have to be sure to give her an appropriate hand gesture for her insights. In case you were wondering...Christina can write a book backwards and Lisa Kelypas bought herself a HUGE diamond ring for inspiration.
Then it was time for the editor and agent panel. They were asked all the obligatory questions - what is hot right now, what have they seen too much of, what do they hate most in submissions. It turns out hte answer to the last one is tape. Seriously...stop taping your submissions. And be sure to get the postage right. And nobody send Leah Hultenschmidt demon stories for a while...she has them all over her desk!
Friday, October 26, 2007
Want a chance to get your book before a print editor???
Want a guaranteed that the editor actually reads it?
You don't ever get that request for a FULL manuscript??
Well here is your chance!! Win a chance to have your completed or nearly completed manuscript read and receive a one page critique from Hilary Sares, Kensington editor (Debut, Brava, Approdisia lines)
YES!!!! FIFTEEN people will win this amazing opportunity. How do you win this amazing chance??
RAFFLE -- $100 per entry. Enter as many times as you want.
Rules: You may enter as many times as you want at $100 a "ticket".The more times you enter, the better your chances are. Winners will be randomly selected from a drawing of names on December 21st, 2007
~~~~~~~~ RUNNERS up will get....
2nd place Runners up.... (#16 and #17 winners) Chris Keeslar, Senior Editor, Dorchester Publishing (Leisure Books and Love Spell) will read and critique 100 pages ~~you get to put a proposal of 100 pages before Dorchester's editor, and receive 1 page critique. Again, he will consider buying if you impress him! (Historical Romances, Magna, Contemporary, Paranormal)
Leah HultenschmidtEditor for Dorchester Publishing(Leisure Books and Love Spell) ~~ will read and critique a 100 pages! Again, she will consider buying if you impress her!(Historical Romances, Contemporary, Paranormal)
3rd place Runner up (#18, #19, #20 and #21 winners) Leanne Burroughs Publisher/Editor of Highland Press, will read and critique 4 full manuscripts -the publisher/owner of Highland Presswill read and giveeach a 1 page critique.Again, she will consider buying. (Historical Romance, Paranormal, Contemporary,Mainstreams YA, Childrens) Trade size PRINT Books
Details....The raffle runs through midnight EST December 15, 2007 The random drawing will be held on: December 21, 2007 so 21 people will have a very Merry Christmas!!! Winners will be notified by phone and email on that day. All monies raised go to help author Dawn Thompson's hospital and medical bills. Dawn recently had a bad fall. She is a new writer so has to wait for nearly a year or more to start receiving her royalties. She doesn't have family to help her and has a lot of needs not being covered by her insurance. Money will go to help her pay for medicine not covered, and other needs arising from her recovery. All drawings will be final. No Refunds
Any questions about the contest email ::
Kensington, Dorchester, & Highland Press author
writer@deborahmacgi llivray.co. uk
email address (working email addy for you will be billed $100 through Paypal):
Penname, if any:
Your full address:
Your Phone number:
The Title of your manuscript:
The genre of your manuscript:
Is your manuscript completed? Yes NO If no - expected completion date
Once your email application is received you will be sent a "ticket" bill through Paypal at $100.00 for each entry.You pay enter has many times as you want to increase your odds. You will be helping a fellow writer get back on her feet after trauma, and you finally get that GUARATEED chance to be read by some top print editors.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Athletic Magnate's Headquarters
Find YOUR Dream Home!
Monday, October 22, 2007
I don't know how those uber-scheduled kiddos do it. Mine only get one extra thing at a time (because Mommy can't handle more) and they get burned out with that! Hmmm....perhaps I'll have to explore this and try my hand at writing womens fiction.
Nah...I like the escape! I have two stories vying to be written as my NaNo, which is nice. Cupcake (which might not have a love scene) and Cake (again, with the prudish characters). If I wasn't writing something for Phaze right now, I'd swear preggo brain is rejecting all things sexy!
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
I think it’s incredibly hard to write category. -- Charlene
Writing a single title is like producing Swan Lake–the big stage, all the
lights, the choreography, the cast, the costumes, the music. Category is
producing Swan Lake in a phone booth. It takes a lot of skill to pull it off. --
Nora Roberts (attributed to a freind of hers)
Category romances are some of my favorite reading material when I’m extra
busy and need something to read for short periods of time -- Angela
I’ve always considered them the hardest genre for an author to write. There’s
just so much that has to go on in such a short amount of time. I’m always in awe
of writers that do it well. -- Sarah McCarty
I find great categoricals perfect when it comes to giving an emotional
punch–good story, goes straight into the relationship, then Pow! great conflict,
and very satisfying ending. -- Gennita Low
Monday, October 15, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
TO PARTICIPATE: Until we get the form active, please paste the questions below and send your answers to klively (at) phaze (dot) com. We will try to get your book to you ASAP. Thanks for participating.
What is your e-mail address? (So we can send your free eBook)
Name of Phaze Author who referred you to this survey :: Jenna Allen
How many eBooks do you buy a month?
Where do you most often buy eBooks?
When purchasing directly from a publisher, what do you consider to be the most important factor?
Would you be more inclined to buy from a publisher that offered regular sales and discounts?
Would you be more inclined to buy from an eBook publisher that offered print books?
If you could change one thing about the website of your favorite publisher, what would it be?
How do you most often hear about a new eBook publisher?
From which publishers do you most often buy eBooks? CHOOSE FIVE
What are your favorite subgenres of erotic romance? CHOOSE FIVE
Which subgenres are you least likely to buy? CHOOSE FIVE
Which subgenres would you most like to see published? CHOOSE THREE
If you knew an eBook was going to print, would you wait to buy the print version?
Do you buy anthologies?
If you buy anthologies, which do you prefer?
What length preference do you buy most often?
What heat level of erotic romance do you prefer?
Thank you for answering our survey! Please write the name of the Phaze eBook you would like to receive for free. (Visit Phaze.com for our current catalog).
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Friday, October 05, 2007
I know, I've been putting off MySpcae so it serves me right in a sense. But today someone told me of this great place to get free MySpace themes. I found it, quite cute some of them...but can't for the life of me see where to enter the HTML code. AND...the MySpace helper thingee to take off the boring bits...no help. It just tells you to enter some HTML...but not where to enter it.
So...I tried. And I'm not trying any more for a while!