Monday, April 30, 2012

so much to do today

Yes, yes, it's all promo. But really, this is a new book release day so I can't be blamed, dudes. Plus this is a release day with bells and whistles. What do I mean?
First up:
1. Here's an audiobook! Yes, an AUDIOBOOK. Read by someone named Angele Masters who is a freaking professional. She's good, too.

Serious Play/out Today/it's not Gay
I listened to the sample and it happened to land in a chapter that I mostly wrote** (Bonnie and I alternate chunks of the book, usually chapters, and then add words and whatnot to each other's chunk).

It's the first time in a long time I've heard one of my books read by someone who wasn't me (ick, unbearable) or the robotic voice of the computer (works for editing). I'd supposed I'd be embarrassed to hear my words read, but really it brought me back to old writing classes, the kind where the teacher reads the papers for the class. You look around, trying to see how everyone's taking in your stuff.

In other words, I'm getting school flash backs on top of the embarrassment.

Did I mention that Angele Masters is good? 

Back to Release Day Promo. Item two
2. Dieselbooks is featuring us at 11 a.m. today. And you can get this very book for ONE DOLLAH! That is assuming you manage to be the first of the first ten buyers. So Go! Buy!

Item three:
3. We are going to be the featured m/m writers over at goodreads in May. That's cool. We lost the vote but apparently the runner up gets to be on the list too. Not really promo for our new release, but I like it and this is my blog. Deal.

Item four:
4. There really isn't an item four, I'm just amusing myself with this listing method that reminds me of yet another class I took where the teacher would read the syllabus and say it like that "Item three. Number three." If I come up with an item four, number four, I'll let you know.

**Once I could bear listening to the whole thing, I realized that it's got a chunk by Bonnie too. Nice division of book excerpt.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

my synopsis handout from today


Check your target agent/publisher’s site and follow their directions. They’re looking for reasons to reject you. Do they prefer a mini-outline or a quick summary (e.g. back-cover copy with spoilers)?

-  information about the plot, the core conflict and the characters’ GMC.  (see other sheet for definition)
-  word count and genre (usually in first sentence)
The title, your name, and contact info on every page.

-  Too much emphasis on first 3 chapters. (An editor says, “I can tell when it’s based on a partial. That’s fine for authors I know and trust, but not for new authors.)
-  Hit main points and avoid unnecessary detail. Ask yourself is this fact or scene necessary to understand the characters or plot of my book?
Ask your victim beta-reader:
-  25 words or so, what is this story about?
-  Can you describe the characters’ GMC?  
-   Can you tell me about the core conflict?
Their answers will help you write cover copy and the tag-line

(Samhain, Harlequin, Harper-Collins, Simon and Schuster, Kensington—and an agent)
Agent: Hates questions posed in synopses. State the facts simply and straightforward. Save the “will he overcome his hatred of vampires?” for the back cover copy.

Editor: If you ask questions, just be sure to answer them. It’s not my favorite format but I’ll tolerate it.

Editor: In romance, the emphasis should be on the romance. I want to see how the hero and heroine grow and change because of love and how the external and internal conflicts are resolved.

Editor: Don't hide the ending or leave me hanging--I don't want to be surprised… Don’t worry about your style, just tell story. I don’t read them for style, just to find out if there’s enough tension for an entire book.

Editor: I don’t like excerpts in synopses instead of telling plot details. Seems like author can't be bothered. I also hate synopses that switch from past to present tense.

Editor: get rid of subplots and secondary characters’ names.

Editor: If you’re writing a romance, don’t forget the development of the romance. It’s the core of the book. If you’re writing an erotic novel, don’t forget to include what sort of sex they have and when. Sometimes I see synopses of erotic novels and no sex is even mentioned, just plot points—when the sex is supposed to be integral to the plot. 

Remember the synopsis is your friend! You can nail plot holes and weak conflict by crafting one. If you’re having too much trouble with a synopsis, maybe there are deeper troubles with the book. Let your synopsis help you become a better plotter.
For more help, check out:
Bob Mayer (go watch him here: )

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Had it up to here, I mean it. Go do your job, people***

Honest to pete, you people don't follow directions any more. Go on over and read the tarred old same old, same old (an excerpt and an interview with me. You can win a book. You will win a book since no one else has tried. Linda doesn't count.) Comment enthusiastically, why don't you? Go on and then we'll call it a day. I promise not to do any more promo until the book comes out in . . . . a while. A couple of weeks.

Oh wait. Nagging isn't done yet.

Are you signed up to go hear me next weekend? I was asked (yes, you read that right. They asked me) to do a presentation at the Mark Twain house's Writer's Weekend. I drafted Toni Andrews to help because she's noisier than I am and does good talk. I do tangents, muttering, and wandering. She does loud and on topic. She and Mike have the habit, when interrupted, of ignoring the interruption and just plowing along. Good for a talk.

Speaking of tangents, let's get back to that interview you're supposed to look at. I added some of you to the mix. That list you made is the business. The five words are amazing and I have had fun walking around thinking of stories to match as many as possible. I've started writing again but not with any of those five words.

In other news, this morning I wandered off into the bowels of the internet past and remembered the huge kerfuffle about the cute costumed writers at RWA from a few years ago. That was when I had NORA goddamn ROBERTS comment on my blog. I'd link to it, but it has plenty of hits already. I still don't get how anyone could get offended by my fear. I was scared when I thought dressing up and presenting us with our writing was our future.

I was scared for me of course, and my fear has only grown.  If I wanted to present me along with the writing, I would have been a broadcast broad and I definitely would have stopped aging.

UPDATE: Bugger. That 19th century Punch cartoon  doesn't seem to be translating well. Here's a link so you can read the text.
Also I should point out that I lifted it from Cat's Meat Shop -- a great site!

***UPDATED Yikes, no. I'm not really disgusted--I'm just being a goober. You don't owe me squat, okay? Good. Maybe I've had a rough day because for some reason, and I really don't understand how this happened. And DO NOT tell anyone. Anyway for some strange sub-conscious reason, last night I dreamed I was having sex with Bill O'Reilly. Aaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrghhhh.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Alone Mary thoughts in the shower

First of all, go over and comment at Sugarbeat's blog because I wrote a short article there and am giving away a book. It's easy to get the book, seriously.

Done? Good.

Now explain to me why I haven't seen this treatment of It's A Wonderful Life--thesis of  Mary Hatch** was  probably better off without George Bailey.

Mary can actually see

I'm guessing alcohol--no valium back then
I mean really. Let's stop and look at the two Marys

The main difference, the thing that always has struck me, is that the Alone Mary didn't walk around in a haze of near-sightedness and drugs (actually the drugs are a recent elaboration. But I've wondered about the glasses for years).

Alone Mary had some time for herself and managed to get to the ophthalmologist.  You can't convince me that even back then bad vision was thought to come on with sexual frustration and lack of kiddies. No. What happened was that Alone Mary had some goddamn time to take care of herself--not to mention she had time to read books. She had a career and didn't have to live with, and be dependent upon, a guy who was obviously losing his mind.

But Kate, you say, she's so much prettier with the husband and kids. Huh. Alone Mary didn't have to worry about conforming to a standard set by males. Alone Mary could dump the makeup and the clothes that are too damned thin for a wintery New England. She looks comfortable, doesn't she? And almost mannish. And she lives with women. Okay...let's go with this. Maybe she's paid attention to her true desires. Could it be that Mary is a lesbian? Living as far out of the closet as a woman could back then?

So that's what I was thinking about in the shower. Yeah, well, it made sense at the time. I forgot to take off my reading glasses (I keep them propped on my head) and got a surprise when I started to wash my hair. Glasses led to that old "Married Mary Needs Glasses (and to lay off the booze)" line of thought.

**Yes I took the time to google her maiden name--if you don't use it for dumb little facts, the internet gets lonely. True fact.

Friday, April 06, 2012

searching for company

Whenever I have an emotion that makes me uncomfortable, I immediately try to think of someone I know (or know of) who's experienced the same thing. Is that person okay? Or close enough? Good. Then I will be too.

I think that started when I was a kid and realized I was going to die. For some reason, the fact that James Thurber had died made me feel better. I think I figured if there was an afterlife, then maybe I'd get to meet him. (This was before I'd figured out he was a major misogynist) And if there wasn't, well, he'd gone through it then I could handle it too.

And when I was going to have a baby, I was terrified. Yup, nearly everyone has a moment when she realizes that this very HUGE THING is going to have to exit her body and it is going to hurt. A lot. Someone pointed out that all I had to do was figure out that many cowards have more than one baby. So obviously, if it was that terrible, people would only have one, right?

That worked.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Stuff. Also! A not-so-new title!

I went into a major Sookie Stackhouse reread over the last couple of days. Now I have her voice in my head. You-all.

I'm not sure why I wanted to reread. I like the books but don't love them. They're just what I want though. I'm about to run out of them and am feeling slightly panicky. Need more Sookie!

Flo hates the cover. She has a point.
I'm reading because I can't seem to write. I open a document, glance through it, and then forget I'm supposed to be adding more at the end, or in the middle or wherever. Spring fever, I suppose.

But never mind me. This is about you, now, and your chance to read a novella, because hey, listen! I have a newish book out. Actually it's just a historical novella and it's been out for a while, but I put it up on Amazon. I figured out that I'm allowed to, I think (it's been used as a fundraiser at ARe). 

 So here it is! Yep, as Flo said, it's a tad difficult to figure out what's going on with the cover. But I sorta like that aspect.

A novella.

He was supposed to guard her and ended up loving her.

Kitty Samuels has to do more than hide from her father's workers. She has to accept the ugly truth about the mill he's run. Only with the help of a stranger will she be able to escape her past and face the future.

He thought he'd been hired to protect a mindless chit but when Ned Wallace was forced into action, he had to admit to himself that Miss Samuels is more than a pretty face. Now he must keep her safe from an angry mob…and from himself.

Excerpt (slightly spicy)