Wednesday, May 30, 2012
I've managed to stay pretty hermity in the writing world, never meeting anyone face to face and doing all my business online for years now.
It all changes Friday.
Yup, I am headed to Cincinnati to stay in a lovely hotel and meet people like Sherrilyn Kenyon, Lori Foster, Jill Shavis, Wendi Zwaduk...
The list is insanely long as to who all will be there.
I plan on going completely fangirl for two days straight. Maybe I will remember to give out a couple business cards but this trip should be a blast. Glancing over the event list has me dancing in happiness. To prepare...I had my rainbow colors put back in.
Feeling more spunky already.
I'm bringing along cover art magnets of all my upcoming/current releases so if you want a magnet, catch up with me at the event. I'm happy to give you one, while they last.
Okay, pics and such to follow. Probably not till I come home but...
Off to visit Lori Foster!
This inspired a list.
How to Take Care of your Author
5. Don't interrupt the process.
If I could, I would put this in neon, bleeping, flashing and otherwise screaming the words. The process is sometimes not the neatest thing in the world. Ray Bradbury sat in his swivel chair and twirled back and forth...gaze wandering over the flotsam he collected until--kapow!--inspiration hit and he would start with the clickety clacking. Some authors clear their heads by playing Words With Friends. Some wonder aimlessly through facebook pictures until...POW!...it hits. Shirley Jackson was walking her baby (something one did back in her day) when the stroller wheel caught a rock, throwing it up and pegging the baby in the head. She finished her walk, just watching that trickle of blood on her kids head...went home and wrote the Lottery in one sitting.
The process is strange and it has been described more as finding a story than creating one. It only takes the connection of seemingly not connected things in a writers brain (for me, it was once bacon soap, werewolves and sex) to make that little shift in reality to where stories are born.
So, if you see your author staring into space, staring at YouTube videos, poking their pasta with a fork...this doesn't mean start talking. They probably aren't there, even though the lights are on. No one is home. They are ass deep in a swamp, machete in hand, looking for a relic. So shut up.
4. Respect the work.
The key word in that sentence is work. This one kind of ties into number 5, but stay with me. If the laptop is open and your author's fingers are flying across the keyboard, don't walk up and start asking them what they want for dinner.
Chances are good, they don't care about dinner. They are still looking for that damn relic and you just made them lose the thread of thought that it took them all morning to catch and now that it is gone...they hate you a little. Unlike reading a book or watching a movie, writing a book doesn't have a handy pause button or ability to just wait for you to pick back up again. Thread gone, author staring at the page with no fucking clue what they were going to type next. They now have to reread the past five chapters, try to find the characters and the thread again and...yeah, I mentioned they hate you a little?
You are better off bringing whatever you think they might eat and leaving it silently next to the desk and creeping away. My kiddos are kind creatures and when I am in THE ZONE, they will quietly supply coffee and if I go a day without eating...they stick food near me.
I once wrote a 90k book in about a week. There really wasn't anything else I did but write that book that week. I didn't really shower...or brush my teeth...or sleep...
I ate when I remembered to and if there was food nearby. The kids kept me in coffee. They like my writing because it means that although there might be a week like that when I am Out Of It and in THE ZONE, I am home with them the rest of the time and more than happy to spend hours shooting things on their video games or looking through magazines or traveling around to where ever they want to go.
The price is that when a story grabs Mommy by the ass, she is GONE till it lets her go. Most of the time this doesn't happen and I write like everyone else (3-7k a day in the morning) and it is just a day job. But the good stories just come out like vomit...
So as an author, respect the process and let it happen. As a person who loves an author, understand that sometimes they are there...other times, they aren't.
3. Offer inspiration.
My best friend ROCKS at this. She takes me on adventures that I wouldn't dream of having. She finds new foods, new places, new people to feed her author pal and I soak them in...later regurgitating them into stories. College is excellent fodder for the writerly brain. Soaking in life is excellent inspiration, too. Don't be afraid to try new things, to go new places...you never know what your rock of inspiration might be.
2. Don't be surprised when your author knows all about tobacco enemas but can't remember someone you introduced them to last week.
I am TERRIBLE about this. I know some really trivial information and can spew it, at length, at the slightest trigger. I don't remember people FOR SHIT. I have to really get to know them before their name stays with me. Even then, I can lose it. It isn't that I don't like people...I just can't tell them apart. I do the same thing with my characters. I can tell you the whole story line in a book I WROTE but I have no clue what I named the people in it. And I LOVE my characters. It's just the names aren't the important bits for me.
I can tell you all about books I have read, too. I can't remember who is IN them...but I remember who wrote them. I don't know why.
I've noticed a lot of authors do similar stuff. We remember lots and lots of info...
But forget bread three times in a row at the grocery store.
Why? I dunno. But for proper care and feeding of your author, expect this and be ready to whisper names in their ears.
1. Know that your author will love you in a way that no one else ever will.
Most authors end up, in some way or another, putting little nods to the people who took care of them into their work. Either by flat out dedicating the book to them or by writing out a funny story that they remember about them into a longer tale. Having your very own author means that you will be given immortality through the work. An author also is willing to look at you, really look at you, and see all the bits, even the gritty dirty ones and love you for them. They add to your character, after all, and that is what we love...characters.
So for the times when the author stares at you blankly and the times they snarl when you come too close to the laptop...
Remember, it isn't that they aren't devoted to you. They hold whole worlds in their hands and you have the ability to shape those worlds with your love of them.
Take care of your author...and they will take care of you. Forever.
Friday, May 25, 2012
To win the Kindle Fire, you will have to scroll to the bottom of the blog for the entry information.
But for my Friday Fireworks blog, I want to salute the Marine Corps.
A few of you, who know me in real life, may know that I come from a military family. I was raised surrounded by Marine men and taught the values of that way of life from a very young age. My uncle, JuJu (Virgil Parnell), served in the Corps and traveled overseas for many years, some of the proudest of his life. He kept many of his old buddies from those days until the day he died and when my mother married a Marine when I was a teenager, I found that the Corps was a brotherhood that didn't care about age or any other restrictions...if you were a Marine, you were automatically family to them.
My older brother served for awhile. My father couldn't have been prouder of his choice. When I, right out of highschool, decided I wanted to serve our country as well and signed on to the Air Force...well, I didn't earn the proud slaps on the back. Semper Fi...doesn't extend to the flyboys. I mean, it was good I chose to join and all...but it just wasn't the same.
My author pal, Heather Long, found a quote that brought tears to my eyes, especially since we recently lost Uncle JuJu. I have heard my entire life that they are "Always a Marine," but never really understood the saying. On her website (which you can find here) Heather traced back the history of this truism. "Now the official motto of the Marine Corps League, the origin of the statement is credited to a gung-ho Marine Corps master sergeant, Paul Woyshner. During a barroom argument he shouted, “Once a Marine, always a Marine!” MSgt. Woyshner was right. Once the title “U.S. Marine” has been earned, it is retained. There are no ex-Marines or former-Marines. There are active duty Marines, retired Marines, reserve Marines, and Marine veterans. Nonetheless, once one has earned the title, he remains a Marine for life. - USMC Heritage"
I've been reading Heather's Always A Marine Series since she created it and found it to be nothing but respectful to the branch of the military that I hold so dear to my heart.
Can Luke and Rebecca bridge the pain of a decade long abandonment in one cold Texas night?
In this story, Heather takes a man and a woman, separated years before when he left to serve, and reunites them. Will one night be enough to span a lifetime of hurt? She does a wonderful job, in this one, of telling a long lost love story in a way that is fresh and new.
Retreat Hell! She Just Got Here
Tell It To The Marine
Take one Marine and introduce him to the movie star of his dreams and it sounds like a script right out of Hollywood, but for James Westwood and Lauren Kincaid, reality just might be the ticket they’ve both been searching for…
Proud To Serve Her
Sparks fly, wine pours and what follows is a total seduction of the senses as Damon prepares a birthday that Helena will never forget.
The last thing either expected was a soul deep connection that brings them both wonder, but is the spark of lust enough to bring these two loners in from the cold?
So, yeah, if you are looking for a great military romance to curl up with for the holiday, pick one of this series up. More are coming out and...They really touch upon what it is all about. Real people, really feeling something.
Friday Fireworks Blog Hop QuestionWhatseries is Mel known for and even has a Facebook Group for?
(Hint: Check out her ‘books’ at melissaschroeder.net )
10 Authors. 10 Questions. 10 Easy Answers.
You will go from blog to blog gathering questions about each author. There will be a hint and a link that will lead you to the answer.
In order to be entered to win the big prize, a Kindle Fire, you will need to send your answers to Brandy at firstname.lastname@example.org SUBJECT: Friday Fireworks
You must include all 10 questions with answers.
Winner of the big prize will be drawn and announced on Heather Long's blog. Any prizes offered individually on the author's page will be taken care of by that author.
- Heather Long http://dailydose-fantasyromance.blogspot.com/
- Virginia Nelson http://virginianelson.blogspot.com/ (You are here!)
- Melissa Schroeder http://melissaschroeder.blogspot.com/?zx=21ee10920fd2d73b -new question posted (edited 5/25 @ 7:25 AM MST))
- Saranna DeWylde http://sarannadewylde.blogspot.com/?zx=8e82d0d44dcc642 -Post not live, okay to skip (edited 5/25 @7:25 MST
- Delilah Devlin http://www.delilahdevlin.com/blog/
- Lissa Matthews http://lissamatthews.com/blog/
- Jenn LeBlanc http://illustratedromance.com/blog/
- Wendi Zwaduk http://wendizwaduk.blogspot.com/?zx=5e01431d08682aa5
- Kris Cook http://musingsofkriscook.blogspot.com/
- Missy Jane http://msmissyjane.blogspot.com/?zx=d12d8f0681fd0cc2
Monday, May 21, 2012
Today, we are doing top five things to get excited about!!
5. True Blood starts on June 10th!
Okay, a lot of True Blood has me throwing popcorn at the screen and howling, "WHY?!?!" but I get to look at Erik. So, yeah, this can be #5.
4. School is almost over for the kiddies!!
Okay, in a week or two, I will regret my enthusiasm for that one...right about when they get bored with each other and World War Three breaks out at my house but as of now?
Yeah, as of right now I really am looking forward to the end of charter school for a few short months and the fun that can ensue. Bring on the pool, baby!! We always launch our summers off with a camping trip on Memorial Day weekend...but there will be a special blog here and Friday Fireworks...
3. I'm going to do a salute to the Marines on the blog on Friday.
How can I salute the Corp? What do I know about it? Well, you will have to come back on Friday for all the details and I will be featuring Heather Long's Always A Marine series, too, so much to see here Friday...
2. So while you are here this weekend, why not enter to win a Kindle Fire?*tosses much confetti*
|This could be you...minus the uncomfortable suit.|
1. Odd Stuff re-releases with Red Rose Publishing!!
Uh, is this a great week or WHAT?
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Thursday, May 17, 2012
The boys woke me up at the buttcrack of dawn this morning. Their aunt got them Halo and ever since she did...they have been Halo'ing every waking moment that I didn't give them other stuff to do.
I shall one day have my revenge.
But on that note, I wanted to talk about things that make me smile.
10. Baby feet.
|Things that make you go awww...|
9. My kids belly laugh.
Kids have this way of laughing so hard that it seems to spiral up from inside them and take up their whole body. I love that.
|NY Style...mah fave|
7. New book covers.
Even the ones I don't love for whatever reason...they still have my name printed boldly on the cover. I can't help a shiver of pleasure and a big grin for book covers.
Free stuff from other authors, be it books, bookmarks, magnets or whatever, makes me smile. I don't think anyone becomes an author or works in this industry if they don't LOVE books...so it really makes me act like a kid on Christmas to get author goodies delivered right to my door.
Double the amplitude of the grin if you just add bacon to the chocolate.
4. Making my kids dreams come true.
Yeah, seems simple but anytime my kids want something for awhile or have a dream and I can help them achieve it or give it to them, it makes me smile like a loon.
|Soft kitty, warm kitty...|
I think that if you manage not to smile when someone hugs you, maybe, just maybe, you really don't have a soul.
2. Other people who love books/writing.
What is cooler than having someone to talk to about all this cool stuff???
Oh, yeah, that is cooler. Especially if it is an espresso with steamed milk, topped with a little whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate. Not that I drink that everyday but...
That first sip rocks.
What makes you smile?
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
|Beak Full of Bug|
My office is noisy. There are two active nests on my front porch (one on each end) and the babies are LOUD. I can tell each and every time someone's parent comes back with a beak full of bug because a cacophony of chirps alerts me to the fact that the children are HUNGRY and they see FOOD.
If I was their parents, I would fly south and say that I didn't realize it wasn't time to migrate. Just sayin.
Since I am being hit by a barrage of tweets, chirps, and other such happy noises, I figured it was a good day for me to do another one of my spoooftastic song lyric days.
I know. You love those. And I love you.
Without further ado, the Writer's Version of We Are Young....
I call it We Are Writing. Enjoy!
I need to get my story straight
My friends are all on facebook now, wordcounts making me feel fake.
My character she’s waiting for me to get her a new car,
My hero is hasn’t talked to me this week so I’m not happy so far, and
I know I’m going to finish this novel
I know the pub wants it last week
But facebook and skyping
The holes in my plot, you see
I’m trying hard to edit
So by the time the coffee cools in my mug
I’m killing the characters
We are writing
So let’s be bestsellers
Or at least get reviewed
We are writing
So let’s just do NaNoWriMo
Tweet and sprint a bit…Write a blog.
Now I know that I’m stuck
I don’t give a duck
I guess that I, I just thought
Maybe I could save this stupid plot
But I probably won’t
So I’ll start another
‘Cause I found someone to kill with rubber
We are writing
So let’s be terribly clever
And together…we can have some fun.
We are writing
So let’s create new worlds
Even if perhaps we realize they’ve been done…
Writing a novel tonight (Nananananana)
Just plotting away tonight (Nananananana)
Drinking too much tonight (Nananananana)
Edit some more tonight (Nananananana)
Might have a drinking problem
I didn’t shower today
So will someone come and crit this book tonight
I wrote 3k more words
Than I did yesterday
So will someone come and crit this book
We are writing
So let’s kill off the bad guy
And not headhop again
We are writing
Crit partner said I used passive voice
I can edit that part out
So if by the time you query
You’ve written the synopsis
You’ve finished the book tonight…
Monday, May 14, 2012
Confession: I do that in all my stories.
It may be risky to title a romance novel Minute Man. But I'm doing it. Yes, I think even the minute man can be redeemable.
Have no clue what I am talking about?
Okay, how about an unedited sneak peek, then?
(Yeah, I know. I give and give...)
Braxton was the one man who made her thighs clench together with just a glance.
He was also the only man to ever ditch her at the altar. It would be good to remember the pain and humiliation rather than how it felt to be pushed into a bed by him, his face a mask of unleashed passion and his eyes wild with need for her.
Then again, if she remembered the sex, maybe it would be good to remember that Braxton, with all of his sexy allure, was a minute man.
The thought curled her lips into a grin. It wasn’t something she shared with anyone, not even Carnie, her best friend. Better to have the world think that he delivered on the promise of his to die for sensuality rather than admit that every time they rolled in the hay, she never even saw the light at the end of his bullet train. Braxton and her orgasm weren’t even ships passing in the night.
Remembering his one flaw—and his ditching—gave her the strength she needed to peel her fingers from the wheel. “You’re right, of course. I can do this. No big deal. We are both more mature now. Probably he won’t even say a word to me.” The last came out a bit hopeful, even to her own ears.
“Yeah, at his birthday bonfire, he isn’t going to say a word to the woman he dated for years and ditched at the altar like a loaf of stale bread. Really, Abs, you need to get pissed off rather than feeling pissed on. You are totally the injured party, here.”
“He had his reasons. I’m sure he did.” Abigail wasn’t sure why she was defending his dumb ass.
“What reason could be good enough for that grand act of douchebaggery?” Carnie raised one well plucked brow at her.
“I don’t know but he really isn’t a jerk…not most of the time.” But he was a minute man. Cling to that, dammit!
Not hate him for it but remember it when he made her panties go moist with that look he had…
“Let’s just go, find Mike and the crew, and have a good time. All of our friends are here and it will be good to catch up with the old gang.”
Nodding, stomach still a bit of a knot, Abigail opened her door and stepped out into the muggy Ohio night. Stars hung like lanterns above the recently mowed field and the sound of laughter carried on the breeze. The bonfire, a huge conflagration, was surrounded by what looked like hundreds of folding chairs, coolers and other party miscellany that beckoned Abigail onwards. Who knows? Maybe I will meet someone new tonight and end up being really happy I wasted that extra five minutes to make sure everything was shaved and neat?
Following Carnie, who strode with her usual impulsive bravery into the melee, Abigail stuffed her hands in her jeans and resisted casting her head down to avoid any stares that might be coming her way, instead holding her head high, but not meeting anyone’s eyes. In small town Ohio, everyone knew that she hadn’t seen Braxton since that fateful day when he left her standing, flowers in hand, waiting for a runaway groom. Everyone knew that instead of marrying her, Braxton ran off to parts unknown, never to be seen or heard until now, he returned home to take over his father’s tool store after his father had a stroke.
Everyone would be watching to see how she handled it.
I won’t give them a show to chew over for the next year. I won’t react. I am just going to act like it really was ancient history, like I haven’t spent years wondering how a man can go from saying he loves me to leaving me to stand alone against a whole swarm of gossips with nothing better to do than tear me to shreds for being a moron.
She concentrated so hard on what she was not going to do, she nearly ran into him, coming to an abrupt halt against his firm chest.
He smells the same.
Even over the smell of wood burning, the ripeness of summer and the bitter tang of someone’s spilt beer, she could smell him. He smelled like soap and familiar cologne and under it all a smell she had come to recognize as simply Braxton.
Her stomach clenched. Part of her wanted to slap him and demand answers. Part of her wanted to run away.
Part of her wanted to pull his face down and kiss him because she had missed him so much.
Instead she hid behind an armor of polite civility and gave a short, sharp nod. “Braxton.”
“Abby,” the word came out on a sigh. His eyes got a sad look to them. It was pity. He pitied her.
Damn him for pitying her. “Happy birthday.”
And even though she promised herself she wasn’t going to give everyone a show, promised herself she wouldn’t feed the rumor mills...The sound of her slap rang out across the field.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Okay, I figured my cyber-social-calender is getting full enough that I am having a hard time keeping track of it so I should share it with you all so you know where to look for me.
For starters, I will be guest blogging over at Long and Short Reviews here on May 10th at noon. (That is Thursday, for those of you who don't want to look it up.)
Aside from that, I have the Friday Fireworks event coming up on May 25th. Friday Fireworks is a blog hop and there will not only be book giveaways as you hop through the blogs but a grand prize that will put your hearts on FIRE. And that is all I am saying about that one for now...but you can look at the pretty widget somewhere over there------------------->
Then, to ring in the official start of summer, I'm taking part in an event with Night Owl Reviews called the Summer Fun Web Hunt starting on June first. There are LOADS of prizes for that one and you can click over there somewhere-------------------------> to get more details about that one.
Coffee Time Romance/The Romance Studio are celebrating their anniversary in a couple days so starting on May 12th, you can all ask questions of the editors of Champagne Books (yes, that means me, too) and lots of other fun stuff over at the forums. Click the little Coffee Time celebration picture to find out more about that one.
So...other than book releases, that is all I can remember right now. I may edit this and add more but for now...yep, busy month and lots of fun stuff coming. Lots of chances to win prizes like giftcards and...more. ;)
Hope to see you guys there. For now, g'night and happy writing!
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
So, yesterday I kind of wrote a book. Yeah. I mentioned on here that I have been busy? Well, I have been too busy to write which kind of made me have loads of inspiration and need to write...but gave me no time to do so. Yesterday, finally, I let myself write a little.
And a book came out.
Rumour Has It has been an idea in the back of my head for awhile, festering and growing, so that when I sat down to write it, in one long gush it came out.
Yes, the idea behind it was inspired by the Adele song of the same name. My kids kind of hated me yesterday because the song was on repeat all day.
The excerpt below is unedited but I think it is enough to let you guys see why I love Lizzie so much. Jeremy isn't too shabby either.
But first, the blurb!
Elvis left the building a long time ago…
Liz knows that there are some things you just can’t live down. Marrying an Elvis impersonator was one of her biggest mistakes yet when he comes rolling back into town, needing a place to couch surf, she can’t say no to the father of her child.
And someone else took his place…
Jeremy has been engaged in the world’s longest long game. For thirteen years he has loved Liz and her daughter but never made a move, waiting for the right moment. When her ex-husband shows up out of the blue, he realizes it is time to put up or shut up.
But now that Elvis is back, the rumors are flying.
Jeremy makes his move, leaving Liz in a tailspin. Elvis comes back, the man she has always secretly loved is making moves…but why now? The sparks fly and the gossips mouths are running…but will Liz find the love she has been waiting for or will the small town gossips destroy her like they did so long ago?
Liz made some dumb mistakes in her life...marrying an Elvis impersonator in Vegas, for instance. That shit they tell you about stuff staying in Vegas? Lies. Just sayin.
The Elvis was a guy that she knew since high school who decided he was going to be a professional poker player, moved to Vegas and became an Elvis after he was there but still…
You don’t live down being the small town girl who married Elvis. Not where Liz lived.
Small town Ohio is good for one thing. Gossip.
Slamming her car into park, Liz glared at the man outside her window. “This better be good.”
“You know I am good, baby. We had a few years solid of good and—”
Glaring at her ex-husband, the Elvis impersonator, Liz let her lips turn up in a smile that said nothing about being happy and a whole lot about being threatening. “For starters, I spent about four thousand dollars to stop having good times about a decade ago, Vernon. And call me baby again and I am gonna shove my foot up your ass sideways.”