Monday, October 31, 2005

When Fear Wins

Okay, I finished my revisions, collapsed, revived. Time to move on. What should I work on next?

Option 1: Write up proposal for brilliant romantic suspense idea I have.
Option 2: Write MUST LOVE DRAGONS, the next book due under the Warner contact.

Now, I really should write MLD. I want to get it finished before the Christmas holidays, so I need to get cracking. But after I read the synopsis and the first three chapters, and congratulated myself on a really excellent concept, I started to panic. Am I really capable of writing another book in this series? What if I can't deliver? What if I let my editor down? How do I know where to start? I wrote this sucker up two months ago, and I can't remember anything about it, other than what made it into the proposal I sent to my editor.

So, I reached for the romantic suspense proposal. So much easier. All I have to do is come up with three chapters and a synopsis, and have some fun doing a bunch of brainstorming. Easy, fun, no pressure. I can do that...

But then I stopped. I was avoiding writing MUST LOVE DRAGONS because I was afraid of failing. Afraid of failing before I even started, afraid of failing once I'd finished. I had no idea what to write to start chapter four. No idea how to take this concept into a great 400 page story with vibrant characters, cool plot twists and new paranormal elements.

Once I realized that my choice was being dictated by fear, I knew it was time to write the damn book. I knew I couldn't just plunge into chapter four, so tonight I sat down with a notebook and pen and started brainstorming about the new villain in this story. That led to some insights about the hero, which led to more plot ideas, and I was off and running, the ideas flowing. No pressure to write. Just the freedom to let my imagination run. I realized that once I got the juices flowing, I would be so immersed in the story that the writing would be a breeze.

I think I'll do one more day of brainstorming (not on the computer to give my hands another day to heal), and then I'll be ready to write on Wednesday, and I'll be so much further along for the fact I spent a couple days brainstorming a book that supposedly was all ready to write. The book will be better and the writing easier because of the brainstorming, and the fear will be gone.

Three birds, one stone. Life is good.

Moral of the story: if you're struggling with a story, try a different approach. It might get you out of your slump.

PS I won a tennis tournament this weekend! Yay!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Occupational Hazards

First of all, HOORAY! I finished my line edits and emailed them off to my editor. I would have liked the chance to go over them one more time, but she wanted them, so off they want. Huge relief! I really hope she's happy with them. I was a little independent with my revisions--when I realized what she wanted, I went off and did more changes of that ilk on my own. Did I overdo? Only time will tell.

But, in the process of pending 15 hours/day at the keyboard tying and mousing furiously, I sort of injured my hands. Sigh. I had major hand/finger/wrist/thumb problems in the past, but I'm pretty good ergonomically now, so I thought I was good. Apparently, enough typing will do you in no matter how much precaution you take. BUT I did go to office depot today and buy a wrist rest for my mouse and a new wrist rest for my keyboard, and I'm totally pumped! I think they will make a big difference! Memory foam, very thick... nice. So now I've got my wrist braces, my wrist rests and my ibuprofen, and a sense of moderation for the next week or so, so I should be good!

I still want to post about branding, but it will have to wait until my hands feel need to overexert. I just bought Kitty & the Midnight Hour while I was shopping, so I think I will go read that now...

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Pink Skies, Beautiful Lakes and Black Dogs

My sister-in-law just emailed me this picture of me and my dh and our dog from our summer vacation in Maine. I thought it was soo cool I had to post it. Is this the most amazing sunset or what? Wowza. This is the same lake Stephen King has lots of property. Needless to say, I spent a LOT of time in the water hoping I'd get some of his success through osmosis. No movie deals have come thru yet (or TV deals, and I don't have over 500 million books in print), so I'm thinking it didn't work... darn it.

Seriously, though, I watched a biography on A&E last night on Stephen King. SO inspiring! Not only is he brilliant, but he had to overcome an unbelievable amount to get his success. Did you know his first book sold for $400k about 30 years ago? At that time, his annual salary as a teacher was $4600, and Stephen and his wife didn't even have a phone because they couldn't pay the bill. Um, wow! It's a ton of money now, but back then? In his situation? Blew his mind. And get this! He'd thought that book was so terrible that he threw it out (and it was written on a typewriter, so when it's thrown out, it's thrown out.) His wife fished it out of the trash, read it, told him he had to finish it and submit it. So he did, sent if off, and that was Carrie, his first book sale. Just goes to show how much of a difference it makes if you have someone to support you. AND it shows you that you never know how close you are to breaking through, and if you give up, you might be walking away right when your Carrie is right around the corner. So don't give up on your dream, even if you can't pay your phone bills!!!
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Friday, October 28, 2005

Q&A with Jenna Petersen

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1) Can you give us a blurb about your current book?

My current release is SCANDALOUS, available now from Avon.

Katherine Fleming has lived her life without even a hint of indiscretion. So she is devastated to discover the nobleman she's engaged to has a secret he's kept from her: a wife! Suddenly Katherine's enmeshed in a scandal that has the ton buzzing -- and forced to accept a most unconventional proposal from the notorious seducer Dominic Mallory, her faithless fiancé's brother… and precisely the sort of rake she has sworn to avoid!

Charming and dangerously sensual, Dominic has desired the stunning beauty from the first moment he spied her. Now, with Katherine's reputation in tatters, it's the ideal opportunity to bed her -- though it will take wedding vows to do so. But can a rogue be reformed by the unleashed passion of a normally reserved lady? And can a marriage made for all the wrong reasons flame into the love match of the season?

Click here to read an excerpt

2) Tell us about the first time you saw your book on a shelf in a store. Was it the best moment ever?

Well, the day my book was officially released I called my local bookstores (we have two) and asked if they had shelved it so I could sign stock. Barnes and Noble had, so my husband picked me up at lunch and we went over together. It was really, really cool to see it there on the shelf and the manager was really nice while I signed. But I don't know if it was the best moment ever. I think I got a bigger thrill when I actually sold the book. Or when the first reader emailed me to tell me she had read and loved the story. Seeing the book on the shelf was more surreal and crazy and made me feel a little numb and tingly...

3) How did get started writing regencies? Do you have an extensive background in it?

I just wrote what I loved to read. That's the beauty and curse of being new. You aren't trying to chase the market or anything. I loved Julia Quinn and Suzanne Enoch and a passel of other romance writers. They all wrote Regency-era romances, so I started doing some research and wrote one of my own. Over the years I've collected more and more information about the times. But I wouldn't say I have an extensive background.

4) Who is your movie star boyfriend?

I used to say Brad Pitt, but now I wouldn't want him. Who knows what ugly, icky diseases he's picked up from Angelina! I'm fond of Viggo Mortensen. Also Russell Crowe, but I'm not sure I'd want to talk to him. He might hit me with a phone, after all. Sean Bean is nice, too... Oh, it's too hard to pick just one!!

5) What is your favorite thing about being an author?

I'm going to be one of those annoying authors and say everything. I actually get a kick out of every part of being an author. I love that I get to work in my pajamas and I can call watching Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth 'research'. I love getting a spark of an idea. I love molding that spark into a real book. And I love finding ways to interest readers into buying the book. There are days when I whine and moan and groan. And there are days when I write utter crap and completely believe that I'll never work again, but for the most part, I really love my job.

6) Tell us about the most romantic date you’ve ever been on.

You know, my husband is really the only man I ever dated. And we never 'dated' in a traditional sense. We were friends and then... we were more than friends and then we were married. But every day with him is romantic.

7) When you write a book, how much do you know about the plot, the characters and all the little twists and turns before you start writing?

I'm a big time plotter, so I know a lot about the characters and the plot before I start. However, there is almost always a scene or a moment or a character who surprises me when I'm writing. I try to be flexible enough to hear my characters if they tell me something I plotted has ceased to make sense.

8) How about a sneak peek at your next book?

In August 2006, I'll be releasing the first of a new series called Lady Spies. These are three Charlie's Angels/James Bond-inspired Regency-era romances about a group of three female spies and the men they fall in love with. The first is called FROM LONDON WITH LOVE:
Meredith Sinclair is everything a lady of society should be. She sparkles at every party, men fall at her feet and every woman longs to be like her. But beneath that popular exterior lurks a serious spy. And her newest assignment is very personal. She is sent to investigate Tristan Archer's involvement in the robbery of a painting that may have hidden secret information about the British Army's movements in France. Meredith knows she shouldn't grow to close to a potential traitor, but many years ago Tristan save her life. And it's harder and harder to believe he could be so wrong when his kisses are so right. Will the evidence break her heart... or will her heart set them both free?

The second will be out in February 2007, the third in August 2007. I'm very excited about this series and can't wait to hear what readers think of these stories, the women who star in them and the men who steal their hearts.

Jenna Petersen
Scandalous (Avon) -- Available Now!
From London With Love, 8/06 Avon

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Happy Birthday To Me!

My very cool friend Debby Zimmerman brought this cake to a tennis match this week. Isn't she nice! For my birthday, Sports Illustrated called and asked me to be the cover model for this year's Swimsuit Issue, but unfortunately, I just don't have time in my schedule. But it was nice to be asked.
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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

An Agent's View: Wicked Witch of the West vs Glenda the Good Witch

Agent Michelle Grajkowski of Three Seas Literary talks about being nice in this tough industry.

Yesterday I received a fun email from a friend – the task was to describe her in one word and to send it back so she could see what others thought about her. One word! That’s a toughie…

Because she taxed me with such a difficult, mind-numbing task (how do you describe an amazing person with just one word??), I’m going to pass the buck to you. Only, for kicks and giggles I want you to describe yourself the way that you think others perceive you to be.

I’ll go first –

How do others see me? SWEET.

Sweet? Personally, I love that. But, professionally, is that how I want others to view me? Aren’t agents supposed to be sharks? Intolerable? Relentless and ruthless? Does being sweet actually mean that I’m a lesser negotiator? That I don’t fight for my clients? That I’m a doormat to be walked on? That I’m less of an agent because I’m not snippy all the time? I DON’T THINK SO! In fact, I hope people think that I’m nice. Yes, you heard me - nice.

Why is it that in today’s business world that the general feeling is that a woman needs to be borderline aggressive and witchy in order to be taken seriously? Why is it that being “nice” is viewed as being weak?

Whatever happened to the Golden Rule? “Do unto others as you would others do unto you.” Ever since I learned that rule in elementary school, I’ve done my best to live up to that wonderful advice. I’m a firm believer that “you can catch more flies with sugar.”

Last week a very popular blogger asked if Agents and Editors can be friends. In my opinion – most definitely. I work with editors daily that I would consider professional “friends.” They ask about my family and share details about their own. They are people I love to hang out with at conferences and lunches in New York. If I’m having a bad day, I know I can count on them to cheer me up even just by talking about business.

Let’s take it one step further. What is the key component to any “friendship?” Trust. I trust the editors that I’m working with to do the best that they can for my authors. And, I will call them on it if I think there is more that can be done. Bottom line – I work for my authors and I will fight tooth and nail for them. On the flipside, I want the editors to know they can trust me. When they see a package from me come through, I want them to know it will only be top-quality material and when a deal is done, it is crucial for them to know that I will be upfront with them on all matters.

Would you respect a “friend” who lied to you? Or cheated? Or misrepresented themselves? Or course not. Would you hang out with someone who is bossy, arrogant or rude? In this business, being a successful agent oftentimes is dependent on character. Would an editor WANT to do business with you? Or, would they shudder every time your phone number pops up on the caller ID?

Although I’m not in this business to make friends, I’m not in it to make enemies, either. When editors hear my name, I hope words like smart, savvy, fun, good-eye-for-talent, tough-negotiator, reliable and organized come to their minds. But, you know, if sweet or nice comes first –well, I’ll take it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Does Anyone Know CPR?

These revisions are kicking my butt, not because they're hard, but because of the sheer quantity of changes I need to make in a much too short period of time. But I think the book is going to be so much better, and I'm so glad my editor told me to do them. In the end, it'll be worth it. But where is that end???? It's soooo far away!

So there will be no great insights today, other than that I will be adjusting the schedule on my blog. Always got to keep adjusting to stay current! Wednesdays Agent Q&A will continue, as will Friday's Author Q&A, but Mon, Tues & Thurs will become open forum days. No more inspiration Thursday, unless I get lots of complaints. See, it's this branding thing... which I'll tell you about when I finish these revisions!!!

PS My thumb hurts.

Monday, October 24, 2005

The ultramarathon (aka I'm drowning)

Line edits are here. I have to get these babies back yesterday (well, not quite) and it is SO much work! My editor gave me some great direction, but it requires me to edit every single sentence of my four hundred page book and rewrite most of them in a way that's much more time consuming than how I wrote them first time around. It's way better, but it's SO slow and she needs these back right away! OMG. I am SO feeling the pressure right now. I want to deliver both in timeliness and quality of revisions, and right now they seem to be mutually exclusive. Three hundred pages to revise in about four days.

Over and out.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Interview with Diane Gaston/Perkins

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1) Can you give us blurbs about your current books?

I have two books to talk about. The Marriage Bargain by Diane Perkins (Warner Forever, Oct 2005) is about handsome soldier Spencer Keenan and timid country girl Emma Chambers, who agree to a wedding in name only, in order to rescue Emma from his uncle’s unwanted suit and provide her the home she desperately desires. After Spence leaves for war, however, Emma’s idyllic life is soon transformed into worry and toil, caring for his crumbling estate. Emma’s youthful romantic fantasy that Spence will return to make their marriage real is quickly dispelled. Now Spence has returned, but in a coffin, struck down in a duel. Needing to look upon his face one last time, Emma narrowly saves him from being buried alive. In return she seeks a new marriage bargain – Spence must give her a child. While Spence battles haunting memories and unknown treachery, the one thing he doesn't bargain for is falling deeply in love with his now valiant and captivating wife.

In The Mysterious Miss M by Diane Gaston (Harlequin Historicals, Nov 2005) the Mysterious Miss M is a living male fantasy - alluring, sensual, masked. But when Lord Devlin Steele finds himself responsible for her - and her child - he comes to know the real Maddy: the loving, passionate woman who drives away the nightmares of the Waterloo battlefield. But this aristocratic soldier can’t support his new family. He’ll only inherit his fortune on marriage to a suitable lady - and Maddy is far from suitable. With the dangers of London’s underworld closing in, how can he protect the woman he has come to love?

2) In The Mysterious Miss M, the heroine begins the book as a prostitute. She’s completely sympathetic and I totally adored her, but it seems to break some of the traditional “rules” about what will sell in romance. Did you encounter any resistance from your agent, editors, readers or reviewers on this topic?

Did I! I wrote Miss M in 2001 and, although it made the finals of RWA’s Golden Heart contest, it was rejected by agents and editors, over and over, mostly saying that readers would never accept my heroine. Miss M would not have sold had I not entered the manuscript in the 2003 Golden Heart. It made the finals again, but I had no where else to sell it. I’d tried everywhere.
Or so I thought. Out of the blue one day I received a phone call from the Mills & Boon editor who judged Miss M in the Golden Heart. And she bought it. Her comment was, “She (meaning Madeleine) can’t possibly be the heroine......She is the heroine!” (by the way Miss M won her Golden Heart)

I have had reviewers remark on the dark nature of the story. Kathe Robin in Romantic Times BOOKclub magazine said, “This is a Regency with the gutsiness of a Dickens novel. It's not always pretty, but it's real and passionate.” Other reviewers have called it “gritty.”
Most of the reader comments have focused on Devlin....but that’s because he is such a hunky hero!!

3) You also write under the name of Diane Perkins. What is the difference between the Diane Perkins and Diane Gaston books? Why did you choose to write under two names?

I write Regency Historicals for both, writing as Diane Gaston for Mills & Boon/Harlequin and as Diane Perkins for Warner Forever. Mills & Boon/Harlequin likes me to write about the Regency Underworld, the darker side of the Regency, and, of course, The Mysterious Miss M is a good example of this. In my second Diane Gaston book, The Wagering Widow (Harlequin Historical Feb 06) I explore gambling. In my third, A Reputable Rake (HH May 06), the courtesan life.

The difference between the Gaston books and the Perkins books is subtle. The Diane Perkins’ books are longer and just as emotional, but they don’t address those darker parts of life. They occur in the more traditional world of Regency England--country houses, London. Both The Improper Wife (Nov 04), my first Warner book, and the current one, The Marriage Bargain (Oct 05) are marriage of convenience stories (but, then, so are Miss M and Wagering Widow!).

I’m not sure writing under two names was the right decision, especially because the books are so similar. It means I need two websites, duplicate promotion, and constantly to remind readers that I am both authors. My agent at the time recommended I take two names and I followed the advice.

4) The Regency period is a very interesting time period, and I love to read romances set in that time, but I can’t imagine the amount of research which must go into your books. Do you have a background in this time period, or did you just learn it all by doing research? How much research do you have to do on each book?

I don’t have any background in studying the Regency period. I think I managed to get out of college without ever taking a history course! I was an English major, though, and I took all the English Literature that I could, but even so I preferred Regency Historical Romance. If you can believe it,I never knew about the traditional Regency genre or Georgette Heyer until I started writing and a friend recommended them. But I was hooked! I inhaled books like The Rake and the Reformer, Flowers from the Storm, A Precious Jewel (Mary Balogh’s Regency about a prostitute), The Last Frost Fair. I also loved Heyer, whom I listened to on audiobooks, Venetia, Bath Tangle, The Unknown Ajax...

So my first knowledge of the Regency came from Regency novels, but I was afraid to write one because I thought the research would be too difficult. I took the plunge, though, and discovered I love the research. I have amassed an embarrassing number of books on the Regency or written in that era (including my treasure--the entire set of 1815 La Belle Assemblee, a ladies magazine--the real thing!). Another invaluable book I own is an 1815 Dictionary. If a word is in it, I can be certain it was used in the time period! With each book I write, I add more books to my collection, because there is always something new I’m needing to know about. Another great help is the Beau Monde, RWA’s chapter for Regency writers. These ladies are generous in sharing their knowledge. I’m in kindergarten compared to them!

So by now I have a good foundation on the Regency, and for new books, I just have to find out what I don’t yet know. I dip into my book collection or order new books as needed and mostly research as I go. I also use the internet a lot. is very useful, and I google everything! One of the things I try to research carefully is the location of my characters in London. I have two websites bookmarked- one is an online 1827 map of London and the other is a modern street map of London. So I can see where my characters, live, walk, and seek entertainment.

5) When you read for fun, do you evaluate the books you are reading? What do you look for?

I try not to evaluate the books I read. I try to read for pleasure only. The problem is, I get stopped by my critical brain. I see word usage problems, note modern words in Regency novels. I see grammatical errors, and plot problems. But I really try not to see those things and to just enjoy what I’m reading.

One sad thing about writing is I don’t read as many Regency romances as I used to. I try to read all my friends books but I even fail at that. Most of my reading these days is non-fiction history of the Regency period. I often say I’m the world’s worst read Romance novelist.

6) Before you sold, were there ever times when you wondered whether you would ever make it? If so, what did you do to pull yourself through the tough periods?

When Miss M was getting rejection after rejection, it got discouraging for me. I wrote two more books before Miss M sold (One of those became The Improper Wife, my first Warner book). I boosted my confidence by listening to motivational audiotapes to and from my work (I now write full time). I decided that I had to think positive about this business. I decided that everything that happened was one step closer to publication. So every rejection I received, I told myself was one step closer. Every contest I didn’t final in brought me one step closer. When my friend Kathy Caskie (A Lady’s Guide to Rakes Sept 2005) sold her Regency Historical to Warner, rather than feel the green fingers of envy, I told myself her good news was my good news, too, and I allowed myself to be truly happy for her. In some way her selling was going to be good for me. It was, too. When I sold to Warner, Kathy helped me in so many ways, especially showing me how to promote my books. She still does!!.

The support of friends has been invaluable in when that sale seemed like it would never happen. At one low point, my friend Mary Blayney (soon to be in an anthology with Nora Roberts!) gave me a needlework pillow upon which was stitched Never Never Never Give Up. I made that my mantra. Another place for terrific support is from the Wet Noodle Posse, the 2003 Golden Heart finalists who have banded together to support each other. But you know that, don’t you, Steph?
By the way, a couple of weeks after Kathy Caskie sold, I had my call from Mills & Boon.

Buy The Marriage Bargain

Buy The Mysterious Miss M

Visit Diane Perkins or Diane Gaston on the web

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Inspiration Thursday

I chose this photo because he has such a nice smile. Really. That's why. I swear.
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Ask an Agent Wednesday

I am sorry to report that there will be no Ask an Agent Wednesday this week. Hopefully we'll be back on track next week.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

IQ Test

Hmm... from below average to genius. Not sure what that means...

Your IQ Is 120

Your Logical Intelligence is Below Average

Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius

Your Mathematical Intelligence is Exceptional

Your General Knowledge is Above Average
A Quick and Dirty IQ Test

Mommy, It Stings.

Note to self: when washing hair, remember to close eyes *before* the soap drips down into them.


You'd think I'd have learned that by now, wouldn't you?

The best part of being a writer...

Ever since I penned my first horrific, unpublishable manuscript, I've wanted to do romantic suspense. After writing twelve that didn't sell, I switch to comedy and finally had success selling a book. While I adore writing comedy and I had the most amazing time writing my paranormal romcom for Warner, I've always continued to be fascinated with dark books. I love them! I sold a romantic suspense to Intrigue (out in January 06), which got the ol' juices flowing again.

Well. I was in the shower this morning, rolling around ideas in my mind, and suddenly I was lambasted with a brilliant idea for a romantic suspense series. I mean, brilliant. Dark, tortured heroes, truly evil villian, heart-wrenching conflict. So I ran over to my computer and started brainstorming and I'm totally floored with the story that's emerging. This is it! This is the idea I've been waiting for! I can't wait to flesh this puppy out and see what happens. I have no idea why it chose this moment to finally emerge, but it did, and I'm trying desperately to catch it before it disappears.

I'm so excited!!!

Now, if only I can do the idea justice... that's the tough part.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Ah, the memories...

When I was cleaning my office this past week, I found a rejection from agent Meg Ruley at the Jane Rotrosen Agency dated 2/19/02. Form rejection. Dated about four months before I signed on with the brilliant and wonderful agent I have now.

People say you know you're getting close when you start getting personalized rejections instead of form ones. Well, that's a lie. Of the 130 plus rejections in my file drawer, they are almost all form rejections, even right up to the time I signed with my current agent. Form rejections simply signify that your stuff wasn't right for the agency. File it, then move on.

Okay, in honor of being rejected, I decided to go thru my file. Whoee. There's a lot of rejections in there. Here's a quote from my favorite, which *was* personalized. I'd gotten a previous form rejection from this agent, and I'd submitted my new project to her. As you can see from below, personalized isn't always better:

"Dear Stephanie,

Thank you for submitting a query for SECRETS IN ASH. I do remember your other projects, MYSTIC WATERS and GREEN JEOPARDY. They were rejected because I felt that although you show promise, you have not matured enough as a writer and have yet to master some important aspects of the craft. If you are serious about your career as a writer, you should continue to attend writer's conferences and workshops, become a member of a critique group, and perhaps work with a freelance fiction editor."

Translation: your work sucks and I don't want you to darken my doorstep again, so I'm giving you a personalized rejection so you really understand how bad you are and stop harrassing me.

See? Rejection letters are easy to translate if you'd just open your mind.

Cover Alert!

Okay... here's the large print edition cover for my January Intrigue. I'm digging the woods. I'm digging the lake. I'm digging the boat. Excellent atmospheric setting that matches the book. But what is up with the guy? Is it just me, or is he completely creepy and does he look like a really bad computer animation attempt at art? If he's supposed to be the hero, no one's going to pick up this book!! Yuck. Can we just get him off the cover and leave the rest of it?

Maybe he's not on the regular print edition. Please. Please?
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Monday, October 17, 2005

Revisions Galore!

Well, my revisions arrived today and I'm off to work, so I don't have time to write up an insightful and brilliant Tips for Writers blog entry. At least I have an excuse for not being brilliant, right? LOL.

Anyhoodles, I did take advantage of the fact they didn't arrive until today, and we painted two bathrooms and our laundry room this weekend. Love the downstairs color. The upstairs one? Um, not so much. It's better today, though, so maybe we'll keep it. Maybe not. Not really sure I want a neon tangerine orange bathroom. What happened to passionfruit, a peachy, melon-colored blend??? I hate misrepresentation. Sigh.

Off to work. TTFN!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Back to Work

I took a much needed vacation from work this week, which was great! I cleaned my office, read a few books, hung out with the dogs, etc. Lovely, simply lovely. I'm refreshed and raring to go!

And now it's back to work! My editor called me on Thursday to ask if I had time to input line edits this week on my revisions for DATE ME, BABY, ONE MORE TIME--of course! So she emailed me Friday to give me a heads up on what was coming, and said they'd arrive Saturday morning. happened to the Fedex driver? No revisions arrived.

Guess I'm going to be busting my butt starting tomorrow morning! I think I need to turn these puppies around in a day or two.

This is my first experience with having my editor ask me to do a second round of revisions/input line edits. With my other houses, they've input line edits themselves and I don't see the book again until all the changes have been made. I'm so excited about this method, because it gives me yet another chance to go over my book and tighten it up even more, and to make sure the fixes are done in a way that's consistent with my writing style, my voice and my writing. Sometimes copy editors don't see what's in my brain (how is that possible? Shouldn't they be psychic?), so they might make changes that, though technically correct, don't blend as nicely as I feel they should. It's not a good thing to completely mark up galleys because it's so late in the game, so I'm thrilled to get my hands on the ms at this point. Yay!

It was funny, though, (not so funny at the time), because I was in the gym on Thursday, and I decided to check my messages because I was waiting for a call from my agent. Instead it was a call from my editor. She said she'd edited the first 30 pages of my revisions and wanted to send the ms back to me for another round. My first thought was that my revisions were *so horrific* that after only thirty pages, she was giving up. Needless to say, I was so disappointed in myself for letting her down, and so bummed out. So I tried to finish my workout, but I was so distracted I couldn't take it anymore, so I ran downstairs and called her.

As it turned out, she loved my revisions and this is simply her modus operandi to send line edits back to the author for fixes. Oh. PHEW! Major relief! Sounds like there will be alot of changes, though, and I have to turn them around within a day or two, but I'll do whatever it takes to make this book as good as it can be. I'm just so grateful she's doing such a thorough job editing!

You hear so much these days that editors are so busy that they don't have time to edit anymore, so I am so thrilled to discover my new editor is bucking the trend and really spending time on my work. Love her!

Friday, October 14, 2005

More Inspiration

I found a *very* inspiring website that will fuel Inspiration Thursdays for many, many moons.
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Inspiration Thursday: Twins

Okay, so I'm a day late with Inspiration Thursday. It's worth the wait, isn't it? I think I'm going to put twins on my Christmas list.
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Q&A with Britta Coleman

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1) Can you give us a blurb about your current book?

POTTER SPRINGS, my debut mainstream novel, is about the loves and losses of a young minister and his wife as they rebuild their lives in small town Texas. Through laughter and tears, Mark and Amanda Reynolds fall in love, fall apart, and try to find one another again.

Full of quirky characters and twists of nature, POTTER SPRINGS celebrates faith, hope and love, and the healing power of friendship.

(click here to read an excerpt)

2) Potter Springs won the Barnes & Nobles Lone Star Scribe Award. Congratulations! Can you tell us a little bit about the award and what impact it has had on your career or promo opportunities?

The award is based on quality of writing, sales, author reputation, reviews and book presentation. It was voted on by area Barnes & Noble stores...and I won! It was incredibly exciting, since I didn't even know my book had been submitted. I actually received the news while at a writer's conference in Reno, so I was able to share the news with my agent, Marcy Posner, in person.

Since receiving the award, I've been author of the month in several Barnes & Noble stores, with celebratory book signings. Very fun.

3) Potter Springs is your first novel. What was it like getting the call that you sold your book? How about when you saw it in the store for the first time?

Getting the call was incredible. It was actually my birthday (how cool is that?), and we had more than one house putting bids in on the book. We finalized a deal with Time Warner for their new imprint, Center Street, and my agent called me with that news as I was shopping with my mother at Old Navy. So, writers, it pays to go shopping. My mom and I jumped up and down and hugged each other, wept a little, then raided the sales racks. A truly great day.

The first time I saw POTTER SPRINGS in a book store was in Austin, Texas. I was at another conference and it was before the official pub date, so I didn't have my hopes up. We stopped off at BookPeople, a wonderful independent bookstore, and there it was, on the C shelf in the fiction section. I laughed, I cried, I made a spectacle of myself. The sales guy, Dan, even let me take a picture with him. Thank goodness Austin's slogan is "keep Austin weird." I suppose that helps them deal with public displays of author insanity.

4) What is your favorite thing about being an author?

The flexible hours! I love writing in my pajamas, drinking coffee as late as I want, and getting to count movie marathons as "research." As far as the nuts and bolts of writing, my favorite is when the words flow and it all comes together and starts singing on the page. Oh, there's nothing like it!

I also love talking to readers who've read the book and experienced it through their perspective. Finding out what connects, how they interpret certain characters. It's wonderful to see your ideas, crafted as best as you can on the page, impact another person. That's probably the most humbling thing as know what power our stories can have and to constantly try to strive to do your best.

5) In Potter Springs, the main couple is a minister and his wife. Can you talk about the role that faith and religion plays in your novels?

I come from a background of faith, as I writer I enjoy exploring those themes with my characters. I'm enamored of the idea of grace in unexpected moments, and I love stories that focus on journeys of redemption. Broken people making mistakes and trying again.

In POTTER SPRINGS the main characters have to struggle through some deep issues, and I liked the juxtaposition of a person in a leadership role, with certain expectations, and how that would play out as far as authenticity. That's what interests me. Not so much religion, but the ins and outs of dealing with life in a way that's loving and real. My hope for POTTER SPRINGS is that the themes would be authentic and approachable, that anyone from any type of background would pick up the story and enjoy it.

6) Potter Springs is based in Texas, which is where you live. How much of the settings in your story are real life places, versus fictional places you made up? How do you balance these two aspects, and how do you choose what to fictionalize and when to draw on real-life settings?

Potter Springs, the town, is totally fictional. Although there is a Potter County in west Texas. I wanted to do a play on Potter with Springs...because the town has no spring, but it is the place where Mark and Amanda start over and find new life.

I've lived all over Texas, and some of the settings in the book are based in reality. The town square resembles Denton where my husband and I lived when we first got married. The landscape around Potter Springs is true to West Texas and is based on the nine years we lived in Amarillo. Potter Springs is small town, and there are so many sprinkled through the Panhandle I didn't want to choose just one. Plus, this way I don't have to worry about somebody's Aunt Maeble who just *knows* that waitress is based on her 'cause she used to work at Babe's Fried Chicken and she wears her hair exactly that way!

When the art department sent me the cover for POTTER SPRINGS, I nearly fell over. It was like they peeked inside my head, my heart, and saw what I was seeing.

I visited with a bookseller the other day who read the book and she said it "reeks" of Texas. It was the first time someone had said that in that colorful a way, and I find it a wonderful compliment. When those images translate, as a writer, that's magic.

Buy Potter Springs

Read an excerpt

Thursday, October 13, 2005

An Agent's View: Conferences

Michelle Grajkowksi of Three Seas Literary Agency talks about Conferences & the Pitching Session

Morning, everyone!! I'm so sorry to be a day late and a dollar short, but you know that old saying that sometimes life gets in the way? Well, I can attest that it's true. Yesterday morning, I was dutifully penning my blog entry when the phone rang. It was my daughter's school and they said that I needed to get over there right away - my daughter had fallen and cut her chin. So, I rushed over like a maniac (speed limits only count when you don't need to get somewhere fast, right?) and picked up my poor peanut. Four stitches and lots of tears later, we made it through the rest of the day. So, I'm so sorry to be tardy, but my little girl really needed me yesterday.

So, without any further ado, my blog...

A conferencing we will go, A conferencing we will go, hi-ho-the-dairy-oh, A conferencing we will go!

Sorry, please forgive my out-of-tune Broadway production. I'm just getting pumped and ready for my upcoming weekend. On Friday, I'm heading to warm and sunny Tulsa (the winter doldrums are already hitting here in Wisconsin) for the Cimarron Dreamin' conference and I can't wait. You see, conferencing is one of my favorite parts of my job. The excitement, the energy and the enthusiasm of the participants is truly rejuvenating!

Through the years, conferences have really become a place for me to hook-up with new writers. In fact, I've had a couple of authors that I now represent tell me that they had in the past "stalked" me at various venues. ("Stalked" in a good way, of course!!)

One author in particular made a huge impact on me when I met her at a conference - she was warm and friendly and had a dynamo personality. I knew right then and there that I would love to work with her and wished on a lucky star that when I got back to the office and read her materials that I would love them as much as I did her. My luck was with me - she was as amazing of a writer as she was a person. We signed together shortly after the conference, and making that first sale call a few months later was about as good as it gets!

Now, you may hear some not-so-good advice from your well-meaning friends. Stalking in a public restroom, for example, may not be the best way to attract an agent. But, if you are polite, professional and comfortable, an agent will take notice.

One of the highlights for many authors is the editor/agent pitch session. Because it can be a very stressful time, I'd love to share some of my insights.

My favorite pitch session is when an author comes in prepared and generally happy to be there. I love to chat and to learn more about the author. What does she write (a snapshot like, "I write romantic comedies)? What are her career goals? How long does it take to produce a project? What is her background?

From that point, after I feel like I get to know the author, I like to hear a two-three sentence pitch about the current project that she is seeking representation for. Why so short? Because honestly, the writing needs to sell itself. An author can describe the best book in the history of books, but if I'm not excited about the writing, then I can't under good conscious represent that project. So, nine times out of ten I will usually request a partial because I need to see a sample of the work.

After the author pitches the project, then I like to hear about the submission history. If it's been submitted to all the houses already, there may not be a lot more that I can do with that project.

Finally, I like to close with career goals. What future projects does the author have? Where does she want to be, and how does she plan to get there?

In all, you should almost treat your pitch session as a job interview. Put your best foot forward - be concise and professional. But, most of all, use this as an opportunity to see if you and the agent you are pitching to would be a good match for YOU. Turn the tables and ask questions that you may have about the agent. It's an excellent time to get a feel for the type of working relationship that you could have.

Good luck, and until next week, happy pitching!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

US Citizenship Test

Okay, I was visiting Michelle Rowen's blog and she had this link to the US citizenship test, so I had to try it.

I passed! I rock! Yay for me! (PS Office cleaning is going well.)

You Passed the US Citizenship Test

Congratulations - you got 7 out of 10 correct!
Could You Pass the US Citizenship Test?

A Day in the Life: Breaking the Rules

My name is Stephanie Rowe and I'm a write-a-holic.

Translation: I have to write every single day or I become a raging crazy woman who drives my family mad.

Some authors say that in order to become a real writer or to get published, you must force yourself to write every single day, even if it's five minutes. Never, ever, ever, take a day off.

Well, that's great advice for people who have discipline issues, but that's not me. I push myself so hard until I crash and find myself prostrate on the asphalt too exhausted to get out of the way of an oncoming log truck. It's not just that I'm a workaholic, it's also because I am simply a better person to be around if I'm writing every day.

But I need to learn to pace myself. I need to learn to take Sunday afternoons off guilt-free (guilt-free is the tough part). Or a Tuesday evening. Or anything! Well, once again, I didn't. I've been pushing so hard for the last month, then I finished my revisions at 11:30 Friday morning, then packed my car and rushed off to a conference, and now I'm fried. Done. Finis. Kaput.

I need (gasp!) a day off, and (even bigger gasp!) I'm taking it! So there! I feel so delightfully delinquent, daring to not write and not feel guilty about it. I'm not even going to do email or anything! I'm simply going to shut down my computer and call it a day! I'm so bad and I love it! Hmm... what to do... I think I'm going to purge my office so I don't have to wade to my desk anymore. I'm feeling the need to de-clutter my life and what better place to start than the place where I spend most of my time?

Know yourself. If you're the type to procrastinate, take the "write ever single day" advice and live by it. If you're like me, force yourself to take breaks and enjoy life every so often!

So, I'm breaking the rules. I'm taking a day off, and I'm not feeling one bit guilty!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Tips for Writers: Conferences

Here's my tip for conferences: Go.

End of post.

Just kidding. Well, sort of. I just got back from an RWA conference in Seattle and it was awesome. I almost didn't go because I was hip deep in revisions, I wasn't feeling the need to be inspired, and I was feeling a little stingy with the pocketbook. But the night before the conference, I finally just decided to go. Made the reservation, hopped in the car, and off I went.

And now that I'm back, I just keep shaking my head at what an idiot I would have been to stay home. It was a fantastic experience. Not only did I learn something important in EVERY SINGLE workshop I went to (open minds are awesome!), but I met some fabulous new people that I know I will keep in touch with, and I re-bonded with some folks I already knew. I picked up some key nuggets about the industry, I completely humiliated myself in one of the most embarrassing conference moments ever and lived to tell about it, I got inspired, I picked up some excellent tips for my own writing, I had a great time being surrounded by people who do what I do and think it's great, I got to watch some friends do some kick butt karayoke... the list goes on and on. I cannot even believe I considered not going. It's three hours away! There is no excuse for missing out!

Conferences are so amazing. You learn about craft, about the business, about the industry. You meet other writers and inspire them and gain inspiration in return. You learn from others, you give someone else an ah ha! moment that they will never forget. You are plunged right smack into the middle of the world that you labor over in the loneliness of your own room. There is simply no substitute for getting out there and learning, networking, pitching your book and embracing this path that you're on.

If you go to conferences, you will sell sooner and be more successful than if you never do. I feel so strongly about that, that I won't even qualify that by saying it's only my opinion.

Are you shy? Get over it. Go. All writers are introverts. Dig deep, find the courage, and go. You'll be astounded at how easy it is to get to know romance writers. They are wonderful, funny, caring and so willing to help out anyone with a question.

Are you short on money? So what? Pick a local conference, find cheap airfare, share a hotel room, present at the conference (speakers are often given breaks on their conference fee, and even if you're a newbie, you might be an expert on something in your other life that people would want to hear about), give up coffee and put all your coffee money in a shoebox until you've saved up enough to go, then GO.

Are you short on time? Find time. Your career will not be handed to you. You must force time into your schedule for writing and conferences and workshops, then guard that time ferociously.

Do you feel like you are at a place in your career where a conference is of no benefit to you? Get over yourself and go.

If you want to become a published author and have a career, go to at least one conference a year. Do it!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Author Q&A with Gena Showalter

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1) Can you give us a blurb about your current book?

Oh, yes! He’ll make you burn…He is a Dragon, a rare breed of warriors able to transform into the legendary creature at will. Though the mighty warlord breathes fear into the minds of his enemies and fire into the blood of his women, no one has ever stirred his heart -- until he encounters Grace Carlyle of modern day Earth. He burns to possess this proud, alluring beauty . . . but he has sworn to kill her.

In this book, you will journey to the mythical world of Atlantis, where the gods’ hid their greatest mistakes – the vampires, demons, dragons, and other creatures of legend – and experience white-hot passion, exciting adventure, and a love that defies the boundaries of time and magic.

(Editor's Note: click here to read an excerpt of Heart of the Dragon)

2) Heart of the Dragon has so many really cool twists, like the mist and the crystals inside the bedroom, and all the details about the Guardian and dragons. When you are writing a paranormal, how much of these details of your fantasy world do you know ahead of time? How much evolve as you go?

Nearly all of them evolve as I go. When I sat down to write Heart of the Dragon, I knew only that the hero was a dragon changeling, that he guarded a doorway into Atlantis, and that Atlantis was where the gods hid all the creatures of myth because they were afraid these creatures would usurp their throne. Everything else came into play as I wrote the book.

3) Heart of the Dragon is H-O-T. Are all your books this sexy? What’s your favorite love scene you’ve ever written?

I think all of my books are sexy, but in this one I was so in love with the hero I *wanted* to be the heroine and I think that helped me add an extra layer of awareness and sensuality. My favorite love scene is the first consummated love scene in Heart of the Dragon. Darius (the hero) has been so emotional barren over the last three hundred years – it’s the only way he was able to do his duty and kill the people who strayed into Atlantis – that he has not been able to change into dragon form. Then, when he’s with Grace, he’s so overcome by what he’s feeling that his wings pop out. For me, that was one of the sexiest moments ever.

4) Since you sold your first book at the end of 2003, you’ve sold more than ten books (wow!) and most of them are stand-alone books. You must have an incredible imagination! How do you keep coming up with all these different fantasy worlds?

Each world is separate and completely distinguishable in my mind. It’s like visiting different states or countries here – I’ll never confuse Alaska with Hawaii.

5) You are the poster-child for success: ten sales in less than two years. A stream of amazing, sexy books. From the outside, you make it look so easy. Did you ever have any moments where you wondered whether you would ever make it?

Either before your first sale or after? Now and then – all the time. The worries have simply changed. Before, I worried that I would never sell. Now I worry that no one will like the book, it will bomb, my editor will hate it, it won’t be as good as the last one…I could go on. I try to push past the fears and just write the best book I can – a book *I* love. That’s all a gal can do.

6) Can you give us a sneak peek at your next book?

Jewel of Atlantis was a blast to write! Here’s the back cover blurb for it – and I know lots of readers really wanted me to write another dragon story but this was a book that *had* to be told. I do plan to write more about the dragons -- in fact they show up in this book -- but I’m not sure when.

All Atlantis seeks the Jewel of Dunamis, which legend claims can overcome any enemy. Grayson James, human agent of the ultra-secret Otherworld Bureau of Investigation, has orders to keep it from the wrong hands – or destroy it. What he doesn’t know is that Jewel is a woman, not a stone! But once he meets this precious gem, destroying her is the last thing on his mind…

Jewel, part goddess, part prophet, is a pawn in Atlantis’ constant power struggles. She needs Gray’s help to win freedom and uncover the secrets of her mysterious origins. Gray needs her wisdom to navigate monster-ridden Atlantis. But need blossoms into passionate love as they fight demons, dragons, vampires – and a prophecy that says the bond between them could destroy them both.

gena showalter
Heart of the Dragon -- He'll make you burn

Thursday, October 06, 2005

We Love Goran!

I'm SO sorry this post go up so late, but I have been flat out with revisions to DATE ME, BABY, ONE MORE TIME. But I am happy to say that I finished them! Yay! I have a conference this weekend, and I wasn't going to go if they weren't done. But they are, so now I can go play guilt-free! If anyone is going to the Emerald City Conference this weekend, look me up! (Assuming I can get a hotel room. I haven't called for one yet.) And without further ado, here are some pics of Goran Visnjic. Enjoy!

First, we have young Goran the model. Very nice. He can pose for me anytime.
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I love a man with swords. He can defend me anytime. PS The hero in DATE ME, BABY wields a sword. Yep, he's a stud.
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Our intropsective rebel. I'll rebel with you, my love muffin!

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Next up, our clean cut Goran with the five o'clock shadow. I love stubble. There's just something so manly about it.
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Don't mess with this Goran! He'll kick your ass. He gives you shivers, doesn't he?
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Okay, I had to throw in another model shot because he's just too cute in this picture. Okay, gang, which is your favorite?
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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Agent Michelle Grajkowski on Foreign Rights

Join us as Michelle Grajkowski of Three Seas Literary Agency talks about Foreign Rights.

Hablas espanol?

Or, more importantly,

Vendes espanol?

Whoa! I had to dig way back to my freshman year of college for today's Spanish lesson - let's hope I remembered correctly!

Do I speak Spanish - a si, a si.

Do I sell Spanish (rights) - sometimes.

Just as with every client, every contract is unique. Some publishers have a strong track record in selling foreign rights. Others, no so much. And, some projects have wonderful foreign market appeal - others just would do better stateside. So, when negotiating the rights on a contract, I really evaluate the pros and cons of asking to reserve the rights on behalf of my author.

For example, houses like Harlequin have a wonderful network of overseas partners. It makes more sense for the author to keep the rights with that house.

Another example is in the children's picture book market. Before an editor makes an offer for a children's book project, they normally evaluate it to make sure that they will be able to sell the rights worldwide. An interesting aside - most houses do not buy books that rhyme because they do not translate well in foreign languages.

I have a strong network of foreign contacts in both the young adult and the adult romance market. In most cases I work with a co-agent or a scout to sell the rights.

A foreign rights co-agent works much the same way that a literary agent does. The difference is that instead of selling projects here in the US, they have contacts across the globe and sell previously published materials to them. They normally have specific countries that they work with and do a lot of traveling to foreign books fairs like Bologna and Frankfurt. Also, there are many agents that I work with that live overseas and are selling US projects to their home countries.

Before I work with a co-agent, I get the approval from my authors because as it states in my contract, the commission rate increases to 20%. I am not getting the additional 5%, rather the co-agent and I split the commission 10/10.

In a previous post, I mentioned movie scouts. A foreign rights scout works in that same capacity. They work with a specific publisher in a specific country and make recommendations for them to buy certain projects. For example, the scout may show their client (the publisher) a list of 10 recommended YA projects that they think they should purchase. The publisher, in turn will evaluate the list and will more than likely purchase titles based on the past performance of titles that they bought on recommendation from that particular scout in the past. Again, when an agent works with a scout, the scout would be considered a co-agent and they would again split the commission 10/10.

Finally, I also work directly with numerous foreign rights

A great way to get noticed by the foreign scouts/publishers is to post your sales on Scouts (both film and foreign rights) and agents scour the posts frequently for hot new projects. With anything, getting your name out there is key.

So, buenas suerte! Adios, until next week!

The First Sighting!!

Okay, I'm totally freaking out here! My Warner paranormal, DATE ME, BABY, ONE MORE TIME is listed on Amazon!!! It's real!! It's real! I'm so excited. There's no cover and no description, but it's still a completely cool moment. Moments like this are so amazing.

Stephanie in Cyberspace

Today is my day to post over at the Warner authors' blog. Check it out!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Updated Q&A

Exciting news: Katie Macalister agreed to do a Q&A on my blog in November when her next dragon book comes out! More info on the exact date to come later...

This Friday is paranormal author, Gena Showalter, so stop back then for your paranormal fix.

Also, author Q&A's through the second week in September have been archived on my website, so if you missed one you like, you can find it there. Included are: Robin T. Popp, Kerrelyn Sparks, Mary Kennedy, Stephanie Feagan and Wendy Warren. The next round of archiving will occur next week.

A Day in the Life: Procrastination

Okay, I'm working on revisions. They are going fine, I'm not too bored, everything is lovely.

Then my brain starts to drift and I recall the revision phone call with my editor when she commented on how fast she could hear me typing, and my reply that that was why I wrote fast, because I can type fast. So then I wondered, do I really type quickly?

So I googled the web and found a website that would test me! (You can find anything on the Internet).

Turns out, I type 78 words per minute with 95% accuracy, though I have admit, my accuracy should be higher b/c I misread punctation mark and it wouldn't let me fix it. My typing was accurate, but my eyesight wasn't. I took the 2 minute test. Anyone else up for letting us know your typing talent?

Monday, October 03, 2005

The Art of Acknowledgements

Agent 007 did a blog entry on acknowledgements stating how important it is to give your editor at least one entire sentence in every book, if not more. There needs to be adequate loving shown. She said that if the editor is combined with all the other members of the publishing house or compared to how nice the garbage man is when he picks up your trash (actually, I think I'm paraphrasing here), it doesn't bode well for the author/editor relationship.

So, of course I panicked. Did I have adequate accolades to my editors? What if I didn't? Did my editors complain about me in staff meetings, calling me that ungrateful swine with the bad hair?So I grabbed a few of my books. Here are some of my editor acknowledgements:

Unbecoming Behavior: "To my wonderful editor, Kate Seaver, for supporting me and giving me great advice as to where to take the story."

Assessment: "Wonderful" is a somewhat uncreative adjective, but I was specific in my thanks, so I think I'm okay.

Shop 'Til Yule Drop: "And thanks to my fantastic editor, Kate Seaver, who will one day win the NYC marathon."

Assessment: Okay, I have a nice adjective in there, but I'm not sure the NYC marathon reference would suffice to satisfy 007. Damn. I was trying to show off about how tight I was with my editor. Did I let her down? Sob. That's probably why she left my publisher, so she wouldn't have to deal with me anymore.

Opinion #2: My dh is now reading this and he said that my dedication shows my relationship with my editor is more than pure business and he said that's a good thing and she'd appreciate it. So he thinks I'm in good shape.

Stress & the City: "To my wonderful agent, Michelle Grajkowski, and my fabulous editor, Wanda Ottewell. How do I thank you enough for believing in me?"

Assessment: According to 007, I might have made a major error here putting both my agent and my editor in the same sentence. But doesn't that second sentence make up for it? It was straight from the heart.

If the Shoe Fits: "And thanks to my editor, Kate Seaver, for helping me brainstorm this book and believing in my ability to pull it off."

Assessment: This may sound like an ordinary acknowledgement to the uninformed (especially since I didn't add a complimentary adjective before Kate's name--oops), but this book was absolutely TORTUROUS to write. After two hundred pages, it wasn't working and I had to call my editor and tell her that. We brainstormed a new direction, and I started over. Without her support and her faith that I could pull off an entirely different story than the one she'd bought, the book never would have seen the light of day. She honestly saved me with her faith and her brilliance. So maybe I should have written something longer, more mushy, more superlative. Darn it. I blew it, didn't I? This was one of the last books she edited before she left Dorchester. It's totally my fault she's gone, isn't it? Sob.

Opinion #2: DH says that my dedication should have been the sentence about her saving me with her faith and her brilliance. He agrees I blew that one. Damn.

Overall, I give myself a B-. Room for improvement, especially the part about driving my editor to a new publishing house.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Bonus Sunday: Matt Damon

Okay, so who wants to be the woman in the photo? Anyone with raised hands, please come to the front of the room and accept your Certificate of Good Taste. Seriously, my statcounter has informed me that my most well attended blog days are Inspiration Thursday, when I have photos of hot guys. What does that say about us? That, my friends, is the question of the day. And yes, I posted the picture of Matt's biceps solely to get you over here so you could read my question and ponder it.
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The Tough Part of Revisions

Okay, I'm heavily underway with my editor's revisions for DATE ME, BABY, and I have observation to make: the toughest part of revisions is looking at a scene and realizing you have to completely scrap it. But I like the scene! It makes me laugh! Is it really the right thing to do to so simply hit that delete key and send it into oblivion? Yes. Yes, I must do it. But it's sooo hard! Sob.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

New Blog!

Hey! Did anyone notice that my blog now looks wicked cool and it matches my website??!?! I'm totally pumped! Michelle Rowen, goddess and vampire author extraordinaire, did it for me. To support her, we all have to go out and buy her vampire book, Bitten & Smitten, when it comes out in January.

Okay, after posting the above, I decided I needed to go to her website to read her excerpt and... OH WOW! I am totally hooked!!! I cannot believe I have to wait until January to read the rest of the story! Seriously, go read it. It sounds awesome!

Off to gaze happily at my new blog for a while longer... sigh... Michelle is sooo smaht.

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday Month to Me!
Happy Birthday Month to Me!
Happy Birthday Month Dear Stephanie...
Happy Birthday Month to Me!!!!