Posts Tagged ‘Good News’

Blog News

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

Today I figured out how to import my nine years of Blogger posts into my WordPress blog. Yay for me! And for you because now all nine plus years of my blog are in once place. Yipee!!

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Sales News

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

I guess I can now report that I have signed a contract with Berkley Books for two more historicals. Yay! I deliver the MSS in 2011 and they will be out in 2012. It’s a long wait, I know, but considering that this sale almost didn’t happen at all, I am quite pleased.

Also, Scandal and Indiscreet have sold in Turkey. There were two publishers who put in offers and the loser came back and sweetened their offer. I did end up accepting that offer. So! Very exciting for me! My agent says that’s never happened to her before.

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I give you . . . The Fork

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010
Fork against a blue sky with white clouds

The Fork

Yeah. Fork picture by yours truly.

Today I emailed My Dangerous Pleasure to my editor at Grand Central Publishing. Four (4) days early.

So, Carolyn, What’s next?

Thanks for asking.

  • Reading
  • Goofing off
  • Writing proposal for next two paranormals
  • Begin work on . . . project I can almost talk about
  • Post Historical Short on website
  • Post Paranormal Short on website

Maybe in that order. Or maybe not.

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Some Good News and More about RWA

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

My good news first, because it’s so exciting. Indiscreet won the Bookseller’s Best award for Best Short Historical. I am now an Award Winning author. Gosh. In the picture from left to right: authors Jaci Burton, Cynthia Eden, Ann Aguirre and me.

Afterward, I was trying to text my agent the news from the hotel Lobby with Amy Pierpont, (Executive Editor for Grand Central Publishing) came by with Sherriyn Kenyon who I DID NOT RECOGNIZE until Amy introduced her because her hair was completely straight instead of the usual curly. Of course I blurt out my news like a big doof, and they were both very gracious. The upside is I was too gobsmacked by the whole thing to make a fool of myself over Sherrilyn Kenyon, who books I ADORE madly. Grand Central publishes my paranormals, by the way, and some of Kenyon’s backlist.

The Literacy signing was the madhouse it always is. I only had Indiscreet to sign but still, I got to be there with my RITA finalist flag and my two RITA finalist pins and I confess, it was kind of a dream come true. At previous signings I would see the authors with the RITA finalist flags and all the authors with their pins and such and I always thought, wow. Maybe someday that will be me. And now it is. It was just wonderful.

Since I’m telling my day backward, before the Literacy signing, I was in my hotel room working on My Dangerous Pleasure and making some progress, thank goodness. Before that I was at the gym and before that I was asleep.

Number of Energy bars consumed: 3
Number of Energy bars given to hungry stressed author who is not me: 1

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The news, it is so close to being news!

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

The News Portion

I am working on the ending of the short paranormal story so for all of you who have been despairing of ever seeing that, take heart!

Carolyn Gives a Talk!

I gave a talk the other day to a writer’s group, which I entitled “Fitness For Fiction.” It was my first talk ever to writers. Years ago I addressed a large group of female attorneys about technology issues, which was when I discovered that I was not, in fact, terrified of public speaking. I expected to be. I was prepared to be. But when I was facing these women, I realized they were eager to hear what I had to say — and as it happens, I rarely am at a loss for an opinion.

Props!

I brought props to my talk to the writers — the cover flats I got from Sue Grimshaw of Borders Books, some writing books I’ve found useful. Not surprisingly, I was unable to find the books that were not helpful to me, which was a shame because they might well have been helpful to someone else. But I knew the names of those books. I also brought one of my notebooks, and the binder that contained my partially edited WIP. I also brought some ARCs and some magazine, all things that I got circulating through the room for people to take a look at while I was up there giving my opinions. Not the binder or the notebook. Some things are sacred to me and a WIP is one of them.

Methods of writing

The first half of the talk, I spoke about structured approaches to writing as opposed to methods more like my own. I was not, as you might imagine, able to go into great detail about structured approaches other than to relate what I have heard from writers who do lots of structured things. Extensive outlines, lots of notes, character bios, GMC charts, spreadsheets, cool uses of office supplies and the like. What I hope I got across was that as writers who were, for the most part, starting out, it behooves them all to discover the methods that work for them.

What, they asked, was a sign that a given method was not working? Good question. My answer was that not finishing a MS was a pretty good sign. If they found themselves floundering or continually working on the same 10 chapters, then perhaps one ought to consider trying something else because, obviously, their current methods weren’t succeeding. It was clear that some of them had heard “rules” and felt they had to be followed. Was it true, someone asked, that you should always bull through a first draft, never going back to polish or edit? I could see the question-asker was tense about the method — that she felt it something one had to do. As I hope you can guess, I disagreed. The answer to such things is almost always it depends.

If you’re writing and rewriting the same chapters without ever moving on, then yes, it would be worthwhile to try the blast through a draft method. But what if you’re more like me? Writing a first draft that quickly might end up being worse than useless. I, for example, need to discover my characters. What a waste of time, for me, if I write an ending before my characters are solidly formed. But they need to discover what works for them and what does not.

I do feel it’s helpful for even a pantser like me to keep some bare bones structure. A skeleton outline to help check for arc. A cast of characters so you can check for eye and hair color, and whether you have names that are too similar.

There are things you can do to help you see the MS fresh. If you have the luxury, set the MS aside for a month. A working writer on deadline isn’t likely to have the time. Reading on the screen and reading on paper are not the same. Print your MS and read through and edit. Then transfer your edits back to your file. Change the font so it looks really different.

Polishing and Editing

I also talked about polishing and editing. Check the arc of your story (a plotter or more structured writer, will probably already have done this in the planning stages) — the point, really, being that at some point in the process you should be checking the arcs. Do you have too many action scenes close together? Have you set up your high points by writing the quiet points? Have you checked for repetition of words and information? In general, say it once.

I relayed how I felt when I tried to fill out a GMC chart — so frustrating! I felt like such a failure because I had no idea what my characters internal or external motivations were. As it turns out, that’s something I discover in the writing.

Words, Lovely Words

Another subject of discussion, and one that is near and dear to me, is the use of words. A writer starting out is well served, I think, by taking a particularly descriptive scene and removing all modifiers from it. All the adjectives, adverbs and the like must go. Return only the ones required for sense. Now ask yourself if your image makes sense. If you were relying on modifiers to do the heavy lifting (which might well be the case in an early draft) it’s quite possible that the underlying structure is weak and does not, in fact, say what you intended. If not, fix it. And only then return modifiers if they’re needed to give your new and improved image the flavor you want. Do this a few times and it will become instinctive.

Use of strong verbs, not wishy-washy verbs. Helper verbs, the verb to be and gerunds are all indications that, here, the writing could be much stronger. But, then again, not every single verb should be strong. There’s a pacing and rhythm to the words, too. Give your strong verbs more impact by leading up to them with less strong ones or following them with softer ones. Favor the specific or the generic, subject to the same proviso about not overdoing it.

When you think you’re done, search through your MS for words ending in LY and ING and remove those modifying words unless they’re really truly required. Words like pretty and very are also good candidates for overuse. And every writer, and, probably, every MS, has a word or two that is overused. You undoubtedly suspect what that word is. Search and delete.

Read your MS out loud or have it read back to you. Retype it from the beginning.

Agents and Editors

I also talked about the role of agents and editors. I gave a couple of bad agent examples, and then some good agent examples. How, they wanted to know, can you tell if you have a bad agent? Well, ultimately, you don’t know if it’s a good fit until the agent is working for you, but before you sign, check the websites that keep track of these things. Do your due diligence. Contact clients. Ask to see the agency contract. Go to conferences and sit in the bar and listen to what the agented authors are saying. Don’t approach an author as if she has some obligation to answer your questions in detail. Be respectful. Keep your ears open. Go to the agent panels and listen to what they have to say.

Hubris

And, though it was not the last subject, I addressed the danger of thinking Writer A does this, so it must be okay for me, too. The point is to find out what kind of writer you are. By allowing yourself to use a given writing habit simply because some other writer does it, means you’re imitating and not finding your voice. It doesn’t matter that Writer B, for example, uses lots of modifiers. You are not Writer B. This sort of thing most often comes up as an excuse that is essentially this: I don’t need to write well because Writer C writes like crap and she gets published. If you believe that, you are in trouble, and if you don’t understand why that is so, then there’s little hope for your success. It’s good to take note of things other writers are doing. You can adapt, adopt, avoid and/or assimilate, but always be working toward finding yourself in your writing.

It was a fun talk and a great group of writers.

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In Which I am a Terrible Tease

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

As some of you may know, I have a story in the anthology, The Mammoth Book of Regency Romance which will be out soon. I have the digital rights to that story and will be making it available for download at some contractually acceptable point in time (this year). I have commissioned some artwork to go with the story and I must tell you all right now that, having seen only the rough, it is amazing. You will want to read my story the minute you see this lovely gorgeous work.

Watch this space . . .

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Some Good News

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

Today I found out that my October historical Indiscreet is a Bookseller’s Best finalist! That’s pretty good news and it means that all three of the books I had out in 2009 have been finalists for pretty big awards, the RITA, the RomCon, and this one. I’m not used to this at all.

In fact, I’d taken my son out to breakfast/lunch and we were playing Hangman on my phone. (my devious word: pickles) He was stumped and staring at the phone when he handed it to me and said, someone’s calling you. Well, my heart sank because Friday night I did a major upgrade of some databases to SQL 2008 and I thought it was the dev team calling to say something had gone wrong, and I was going to have to leave the restaurant before we even got our food. Which is to say, I was expecting a frantic tech telling me xyz wasn’t working or something so when it wasn’t that, I thought it must be a wrong number only she was asking for me by name. . . Anyway, it was a fun call to get on a Saturday afternoon.

So, now I get to party with all the other finalists! W00t!

NB: Sometime while I was on the phone my son figured out the word. Rats. I thought for sure he would stay stumped.

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Some Good News Again!

Friday, April 30th, 2010

My Forbidden Desire is a finalist in the RomCon Inc Reader’s Crown! For the Best Paranormal Romance category. W00t! eh?

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Good news!

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

I just found out that My Wicked Enemy is Fresh Fiction’s Fresh Pick for Friday October 24!

So if you’re reading this on Friday, October 24, click on over and go oohh and ahhhh! If you say to yourself that you must now rush out and buy My Wicked Enemy you should way go do that. Or check it out from the library or something.

I’m told the picks are made by a group of readers and have nothing to do with advertising or anything. So, hey, they picked my book! That’s pretty darn awesome.

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