Wednesday, September 22, 2010

my life as a rioter is looking kind of pleasant

I submitted to Big Name NYC Publisher again for the first time in a long time and I forgot how cool it feels to just . . . do that. I suspect my synopsis wasn't romance-y enough so it'll be a no, but still. Fun.

And I liked the editor I subbed to--I met her last weekend. Liking someone isn't the big deal important part of course, we all know that. But it's icing on the cake. (big deal important = making gigundo bucks)

So. NYC. A fair number of writers I know and respect have figured out that they can make the money they need via epublishing. Yeah, we all heard that for years from defensive ebook writers, but turns out nowadays it's true, sometimes. You can support yourself with those ebook sales. (you, not me, yet)

I'm hearing them say, eh, why bother with NY? And they're right. But still. I'd love to be NY pubbed again. I liked those translated copies of my books.

What else? I wrote a note to a publisher mentioning some of my Concerns and Issues. Within 24 hours, I got an answer from the publisher, a head-cheese editor AND results. Now I feel I must write a book that will sell a gazillion copies to pay them back for being so responsive and pleasant. Wooo-boy, I see the crazy-sauce threats (and rumors about) other ebookish publishers. I immediately light another candle on my "Grateful They're Sane and Professional" altar.

And have I mentioned lately how much I love Sandra the editor at Loose-id who works on our Bonnie Dee / Summer Devon books (and soon my single Summer Devon title) ? She gets out her magnifying glass, looking for those nits, they flee (flea?) with terror. I just love that stuff. Love. It. And the FLE editor there is also pretty darned picky, although she wasn't as much this time for our November book. I worry when there aren't comments all over the pages.

Now if we can get another Ann Cain cover (or something like it) Life will be sweet. I do hope that plot-and-character bushwa works for the story, but I can't tell any more because my brain shut off on that one a while ago.

Right. So now that I've got that positive stuff out of the way, can I start whining again? I have nothing in mind to complain about at the moment, but I want to make sure the coast is clear. Got to be sure I have the frequent happy flier miles built up before I suck them away with despair and drudge.

Monday, September 20, 2010

reviewing when I'd rather be reading

I keep thinking of how to describe the way some books are annoying me lately. But there is no way in hell I'm putting this stuff down on the interweb. Not only is it not my job, but it's not what I want to be in the world. I want to love the books. I want to clutch them tight to my bosom and whisper about all the pleasure they've given me.

Only now that we've come this far, I wonder if any of you were as annoyed by the heroine in True Blue as I was? I'm not aiming for the creative snark, here, but God, she was a PITA. Her side-kick that she somehow snagged was more golden retriever than man. He followed along with her schemes, getting shot at etc, whining about the fact that he was a lawyer and could lose his license but never actually doing anything like calling her on the bullshit. Like, what the hell? Who bought the idea that her snooping around, not using any kind of standard procedure, on a case that had nothing to do with her down-fall was going to get her reinstated? Anyone?

Not that she'd listen because she had nothing in her soul but the need to be a cop again. She couldn't imagine a future without donuts and sitting in chuckles or whatever those groups of cop cars are called (I'm going to look it up, actually, because it was a fun word). She'd risk her life, her freedom, his life, her sister's career and everything else -- just to get to wear the badge again.

And her sister. WTF? Chief of police in DC? No, I don't think so. There's no sense of that city, btw. Not that I can complain about scene setting -- I stink at it. But hey, I know from DC and that was one generic city in that book. Not DC

Good news is that if I want to whine more about Mace and Beth, I"ll have another chance, any second. I can see that there is a series coming along any second featuring these two kick-ass sisters***. Talk about obvious MORE TO COME endings. And did I mention how annoying those are?

Well. But. Speaking of hypocrisy, which we weren't but should have been, I just realize I was guilty of hell of it. No, I was guilty of sexism. If this woman was a man (which, essentially, she was. There's no sense at all of her female self.) would all these TSTL moves annoy me? Not so much. The dark knight hero who takes risks because He Must seems to be something I accept.

And the woman had a kick-ass motorcycle. I must remember this.

* * *

But back to me and not True Blue and Mace ("the weapon" people kept saying. I wanted to say "it's a goddamn spice used in apple pie." And the origin of her name? No, sorry. That explanation of motherly venom was just silly.).

I said, Back to me. The underlying trouble. I seem to be annoyed by so many books lately. Instead of reviewing them and moaning, I'm going to change me, not the books. I'm going to go through a twelve step program instead. Because I LOVE BOOKS> I want to love them and not get all hung up on this crap. Here. I'm going to release the anger. My steps of returning to the fold. Bringing back the love of books.

I tell myself:

1. You don't have to finish every book

2. You don't have to love every moment/character in the book.

3. It's not like you're such a great writer yourself

4. In fact, it's not about your books, Kate. Read the book in your hand and leave your stories behind.

5. Suspend reality. Don't get hung up on that "is it possible?" stuff. Same goes for TSTL. Obviously, if the character survived, she isn't too stupid to live in that world after all. MMMMIRite? Live in that world. (For instance in True Blue, I could think of the city as LeCe, and pretend it's nothing to do with DC)

6. Shallow can be fun.

7. On the other hand.....You can pick up a book with some substance and survive the experience. Maybe it's time to go for literature again.

8. Or not. Your choice. See one.

9. Go with the flow. I mean, who died and made you Judge of All Books? Huh? Just let the experience happen without the peanut gallery responses and you'll be a happier camper. Just ask Quayle and the Samoans.

10. Ask yourself: Why do 11 million readers love this book? This person is a best seller so he must be doing something right. Look for what they are getting out of it. What are you missing? You know, maybe it's YOUR FAULT and not the book's problem after all. Stop worrying about the lack of character development and concentrate on the clever plot. Or whatever.

11. Or fucking stop reading the book.

12. Don't do it. Don't pay all that money for the new Evanovich. You loved the Crusie you bought on impulse. Be glad. That should be enough for now. Don't go looking for trouble. In fact. Until you've gotten over this case of hypercritical, it might be time to revisit some old favorites.

12A. Or turn to old enemies. Everyone else in the world seems to be reading Atlas Shrugged. (wtf is with that? Do we all have to turn Galt?) Wade through a chunk of that again. All other writing will gain new sweetness.

UPDATE: This is a pretty lame list. I wish you'd come up with better.

***They are equipped with a label that says that. Kick Ass. You know they look for that when they lean in to get a better look in the mirror every morning. "Kick ass." Might be backwards because, you know, that mirror thing. But it's written right across their foreheads and Mace for sure has to check for it daily. Beth, not as much. She has her four stars on each shoulder to remind her. Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

sbd a day late a big load of books

There have been kids around which means I read a lot. Easy to read, difficult to write with interruptions.

What I've read:

Compromising Positions by Jenna Baley-Burke This was a freebie from Amazon. Maybe I have low expectations from the freebies (I've gotten a lot of them lately and they've been almost all uniformly predictable and uniformly bad) but this was a great surprise. The hero and heroine were Romancelandia fluff--he's gorgeous and rich, she's attractive and in great shape to boot -- but they had more depth than I'm used to. When they did their banter, I was charmed and convinced they belonged together. A plain old contemporary romance with no paranormal elements or Big Mystery or death. Sweet but that's not the word I mean because it's quite sexy. I think this was my favorite read this week (despite the occasional feeling of "haven't we done this already?") .

And like I said, I read a bunch of books. Wait, there were some Catherine Murdocks I liked a lot too.
Sandra Brown's Mirror Image. If it weren't for the basic truly stupid choice on the heroine's part (to hide her identity) made for dumb reasons, it would have been a fun escapist sort of a book. Also the end stretched believability in a big way. Actually the whole thing stretched credulity, but my creds are bendy and flexible. That last bit the who did it and Interesting, but And when the hero politician stood up and made standard political stump speeches, and we were supposed to admire him for taking firm stands, I rolled my eyes. Man, that stuff is hard to do and I don't think Brown succeeded.

The three books by Catherine Murdock Dairy Queen, Off Season and ermm whatever that last book is called. Loved them. Love Murdock's voice, love the character and her outlook on life. The whole Brian thing got kinda old, but that's teen angst for you.

I actually read few other books but I have to go have a life at the moment. I'll check in later about them.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

bah, humbug,,,,,

Yet another great review for The Gentleman and The Rogue!

And yet another letter I wrote this week pointing out that Bonnie Dee didn't write that book on her own. (ARe left off Summer Devon with Seducing Stephen)

Hey, Bonnie could have written those books alone -- but she didn't.

And I didn't get annoyed the first couple of times Summer got left off a review or listing, but when I was reading that JERR review (which is great, but I'm not sure about their policy about reproducing it, so I won't) I finally got Shirty and Annoyed. I mean, jeez. Does Mandy Roth and/or Michelle Pillow deal with whichever one of them doesn't make it onto the lists? Is that why I don't see them writing together any more? I hope not.

And yeah, I know. It really isn't truly a big deal. It didn't bother me the first couple of times.For some reason it's happened enough times that I'm officially annoyed. Repetition apparently makes a big difference. Like one of those scenes in a movie in which the first time a character is asked an innocuous question, he's fine, but by the fifth or sixth time someone asks the same question, he's screaming an answer.

But just now, as I was politely wording a note about it to a non-reviewer review (as in just a reader), I realized that I was being forced to be proactive in a polite manner. Not self-righteous because, god, if you're going to give the book a fabulous review, I'm going to be as polite as possible. ** I'm going to be grateful, dammit.

And I realized this is why this mistake is good: I don't like being a pushy author to the point where I can't do decent interviews -- I occasionally end up looking coy and stupid about my work. This is forcing me to be a pushy author. Just pointing out that I CO-WROTE THE BOOK isn't really bragging. So the exercise of keeping up with the reviewers who leave me off is good for the authorial bragging muscles. Okay. I'm done being cheesed off. Good.

UPDATE: and less than an hour after I sent my note, JERR sent out a separate note to all of its readers apologizing about the mistake. I guess there's no point in feeling like a diva-esque goober. Can't have it both ways, Summer.

**And if the review says "this book by Bonnie Dee sucks!" will I eagerly point out that I'm a co-author? Don't know. Haven't gotten that yet.

Monday, September 06, 2010

sbd labor day

Oooo I love that Jennifer Crusie book I just read. Yeah, it had ghosts, and I'm not big on ghosts, but so what. The characters were as good as they come. I wrote a review over at Amazon, but it's not up yet.

I read my first Clive Cussler and was taken aback by the clunky writing and cliches. We learned the hair and eye color of every character and the horse power of every vehicle, and considering it was set in 1906, there were a heck of a lot of vehicles discussed. Purple prose, too. I seriously don't get how that works for people, but it does. For a hell of a lot of them -- so he must be doing something right. Right? Yes?

Why don't people buy more books by the authors I love so that they can quit their day jobs and write stories for me?

I went looking for the newest RA MacAvoy or KG MacAbee and they still haven't written anything new. And Nancy Butler, too. Where is she? It's depressing me. At least I know I'll find out when/if Diane Farr writes another book.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Internet mysteries

Please to be explaining this, mr. google translate.

We put in the line "su conejo te ama" and the translation came back "Your pussy loves you."
No, said Mike, conejo means rabbit. So I took away all the words leaving only "conejo" and sure enough, when it was all alone, it was "rabbit"

THEN I added it all back, word by word and ended up with "Your bunny loves you."


My guess is that google can do the obscene thing and rabbit is what women call their . . . pussies. But what's with the bunny? How'd did that creep in?