Thursday, June 30, 2005

Dark Moon

I have to share with you one of my new favorite authors who has recently made it onto my short "automatic buy" list. Lori Handeland's new book, Dark Moon, just came out on Tuesday, and I'd already read it by bedtime on Tuesday night. It's a romantic suspense werewolf book with awesome characters, tons of action and a romance to die for. Even if you're not into the paranormal, you should really try this book. It's that good! She has an amazing imagination and such unbelievable talent. My only suggestion: don't read this under a full moon when you're camping in the middle of the woods. You might have a little bit of trouble falling asleep...

Run, don't walk, to your nearest bookstore and buy it. Then clear your schedule and enjoy!

Book of the Week: Dark Moon by Lori Handeland.  Posted by Picasa

Saturday, June 25, 2005


Yesterday, I was playing tennis and I missed a shot. After I missed it, I said "Sigh." I didn't actually sigh. I said the word, "Sigh." Totally subconscious, no doubt due to the fact I've been writing like a dog lately. In my writing, I have to type out the word "Sigh." So that's what I said.
And then my partner turns to me and says, "Did you just say 'sigh?'" That's when I realized I'd done it. I tried to explain that I'd been writing all morning, but she just looked at me like I was a little insane.

Um, yeah. Maybe I am. Has anyone else ever done this? Blurred the lines between reality and fantasy?

Or is it just me?

Scary thought.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

A fun way to spend the afternoon

This was my afternoon:

Grab car keys. Yell at dogs to stop barking and jumping because yes, they do get to come on this ride.

Load everyone up.

Back up. Try to remember not to turn too sharply so I don't drive over the new lawn we just planted. Dogs are blocking my view. "Oscar. Kip. Down. Down. Down!"


Heart sinks.

Dogs lie down. See gold SUV belonging to neighbor. My rear bumper is wedged in the back door of the SUV.

"Sh*t! Sh*t! Sh*t! Sh*t!"

Jump out of car, run up to neighbor's house and ring door bell.


Swear some more. Wonder why I'm such an idiot.

Knock on door.

Swear some more. Try to count the number of times I have backed into/over something (including my roommate in college, but that's another story). Lose count. Start over.

Very pregnant woman opens the door, looking really in the mood to deal with me. "Yes?"

"Hi. I live across the street and I just drove into your car. Nice to meet you."

Yeah. That was fun. You should try it.


Thursday, June 16, 2005

Just when you think it's safe to enter the bedroom...

...the baby gate (or rather, doggie gate, as it is in my house), reaches out and smashes itself between your little toe and the next toe and quite possibly breaks your little toe. Argh! I'm sitting here at my desk with my toe throbbing.

See, this is how it all began... I've been going sockless lately, thanks to the appearance of summer sunshine, and I've been thinking how naked toenails just aren't that attractive (at least mine aren't). So I finally decided I'd take care of business while I was sitting at the computer. So I whip off my shoes, realize my nail polish is in the bedroom, run down the hall, fling the doggie gate aside, slam my toes in a spread eagle around the corner of the gate, collapse in pain and bemoan the fact that fashion and beauty just does not seem to agree with me.

And THEN to further reinforce the fact I have NO business trying to be fashionable, I applied nailpolish to my left toes while I was on the phone brainstorming titles with my friend Guinevere. I accidentally yanked the phone off the desk and my headset popped out, so I had to crawl under my desk to get the phone. When I got back to my chair, I discovered that I now had copious amounts of carpet fuzz and dog hair ground into my freshly applied nail polish. I think there is a enough to knit a scarf, or possibly even a sweater, and it is stuck loyally to my toes.

So now I have a throbbing toe and pedicure from hell. Stephanie, the fashion goddess. Sigh.

A nice suprise

You know, this biz has so many downs (eternal waiting, rejections, bad reviews, books that refuse to be written, editors leaving, crises of self-confidence... hmm... the list goes on and on, doesn't it?) that sometimes it's totally startling to be smacked in the face with an unexpected bit of GOOD news!

Yesterday, I was at Borders signing stock. While they were searching my book down, I looked myself up in the computer (yes, I am a typically neurotic author) and I discovered that my trade paperback, Unbecoming Behavior, is scheduled for mass market release in December 05! Wow! I had no idea! How fun is that?

Sunday, June 12, 2005


I just finished the first draft my Warner paranormal! YAHOO! I'm really happy with it, and I have a detailed list of what I want to fix, and the page count came in right on target. I had a blast writing it, and I am totally pumped because I think it came out pretty good!! Yay! It is the most amazing feeling to finish a book! No matter how many books I write, whenever I finish one, I find myself amazed that I was actually able to write it. Yippee!!!

Stephanie, who is now going to take the rest of the night OFF!!!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Mr. and Mrs. Smith

Brad Pitt's chest.
Great dialogue.
Kick-butt action.
Thoroughly entertaining.
Did I mention Brad Pitt's chest (and torso, of course. I love a man with abs)?

Go see it.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


I'm about 250 pages into my paranormal for Warner and it's going great! I had a very productive day yesterday and then I continued to work on it all night. And when I say all night, I mean all night. Yep, I dreamed about this book for the entire night. Brainstormed, worked out plot issues, debated which way to take the story. Unfortunately, I don't think I came up with any strokes of genius that changed what I was already doing (or maybe that's a good thing? Maybe it means I'm on the right track?), but I certainly picked apart everything I'd done. It was really quite entertaining, and a clear indication that I am much more invested in this story than anything else I've ever done. I LOVE this story. It's forcing me to reach for new depth and new levels in my writing, and I love that challenge. Writing is the most difficult job I've ever had, and that's why it's so rewarding. Would we have that sense of exhilaration when we finish a book or even a tough scene if it wasn't so darned difficult to get there? Never. I get tougher, smarter, and better with each book I write, and I hope I continue to do that for the rest of my life.

Oh, and EXCITEMENT!!! My editor emailed my agent and said they had tentatively scheduled my book for July 06! WOW! That's barely over a year away!!!! I'm soooo excited!

Better get back to work so I can get this baby turned in on time!

Thursday, June 02, 2005


No, not the "when hell freezes over" cliche. I'm talking about cliche on a bigger level.

I recently pulled an old ms out from under the bed, and I decided to take a looksee to see if it could be revived. I did a quick read of the first three chapters, and I thought "hey, not bad." But then I realized that I hadn't looked at this story for 4 years, and I am a much better writer than I was four years ago, so there had to be some serious flaws in the story. I just wasn't seeing them. So I did the "cliche test." (I just made up that name right now. Pretty catchy, eh?)

I looked at my cop hero and said to myself "How is this character cliche?"

Well, I was pretty surprised to discover I had an answer! He really was cliche! "He is cliche because he is a cop who is in trouble with his jerky boss for always breaking the rules for the greater good." Wow. That's such a cliche. Movies, television, books, you name it.

So then I asked myself "How do I make him not cliche?" So then I brainstormed a list of about 20 or 30 ideas about who this cop was, that were different than the ordinary treatment of cops. I came up with some really interesting ideas that were unique, and then it was a matter of seeing which ideas lent themselves to the most interesting story.

Trying doing that with your WIP. Ask yourself how each character is cliche. How is your plot cliche? How is your black moment cliche? How is your character's reaction to a situation cliche? Example: h/h are facing a stressful situation. Hero realizes heroine is stressing, so he places his hand over hers for reassurance. CLICHE! Think of something else he can do.

And then to add fun to the process, substitute the word "predictable" for "cliche": how is your plot predictable? How is this scene predictable?

This is what I'm doing for my WIP (my Warner Forever project! Yahoo!) Before I start writing each scene, I ask myself what the reader would expect to happen next. What would be the predictable thing to happen next? And then I make sure I don't write that scene. I write something different.

Keep the cliche and the predictable out of your story and you'll have a ms that is fresh and energetic and pulls the reader along. Editors love that! If anyone tries this and wants to share their findings, I'd love to know!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Awesome News!

I am soooooo excited!!! I sold a quirky paranormal series to Warner Forever in a two book deal after an auction!!! WOW!!!!!! This is the most AMAZING thing ever!!!!! Here is the blurb from publisher's lunch:

Stephanie Rowe's BEHEADING YOUR LOVER, a quirky paranormal romance series about a savvy Guardian of the Fountain of Youth, her best friend (a dragon), and a hot, low-carb pretzel king who must, with the help of the Guardian, break a curse set by Satan Jr. generations ago, to Melanie Murray at Warner Forever, at auction, by Michelle Grajkowski at 3 Seas Literary Agency (world).

I was overinventoried in submissions a few months ago, so my agent told me to write a paranormal that was different than any others on the market (sure, no problem? Hah!). So I went to work and came up with a story that I thought was hilarious, unique and definitely the best project I've written. But would it sell? Another question entirely.

My agent sent it out to a number of houses and my hopes were high.


Months passed, with not a single house reading it. I decided that the concept was simply not engaging enough for the editors to even pick it up. Sob. I didn't know what else to write. I had so many proposals out and was backlogged. What to do?

Then my agent sent a follow up email to everyone, and that apparently got the ball rolling! A week after her email, we were in a bidding war! WOW! Warner won out and I'm soooo excited about being with Warner! They have such an amazing program, and Melanie Murray (my new editor) is so awesome. I loved the ideas Melanie had for the book and the series, and I know we're going to mesh really well.

I've been writing the book for about a week now, and it's definitely the most fun I've ever had writing a story. I'm so thrilled it sold, because I'm having a total blast writing it. I'm almost exactly halfway through and it's going great. Dreams really do come true!!!!