Tuesday, November 29, 2011

THE LORD OF ILLUSION contest--win a gorgeous citrine necklace!
















First contest for THE LORD OF ILLUSION

To celebrate the upcoming release of THE LORD OF ILLUSION, I am offering a gorgeous 1.32 carat citrine pendant (retail value $180). The golden stone represents the magical scepter and the power of glamour and illusion at Dreamhame Palace, where my heroine is enslaved. See above for a photo and description of this magical prize.

This contest is all about spreading the word for THE ELVEN LORDS series. Just post the blurb and/or cover below anywhere on the internet (Chatrooms, Forums, Blogs, Myspace, Twitter, etc.) No inappropriate sites, please, and the exact blurb cannot already be mentioned on that site. However, you may Tweet about it once a day, as long as you don't drive your friends crazy. :}

Email the url link to your post to: kathryne@kathrynekennedy.com with THE LORD OF ILLUSION CONTEST in the subject line.


BLURB:
THE LORD OF ILLUSION is coming soon!
www.KathryneKennedy.com












A winner will be randomly chosen from the entries using RANDOM.ORG. Your information will be kept confidential. Contest ends January 31, 2012. One entry per 24 hours. Winner will be notified via email provided with subscription. If winner does not respond within seven business days, a new winner will be chosen. We are not responsible for any misdirection of email. Rules are subject to change for any reason without prior notification. Void where prohibited by law. You must be 18 years or older to enter. No prize substitution permitted. Odds of winning are determined by number of entrants. This contest is subject to all federal, state and local laws and regulations. Open to U.S. residents only. You accept all terms and conditions by entering into the contest.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Looking for an Agent to represent your YA novel?



Are you looking for an agent?

If you want to avoid the slush pile, the best

way to meet an agent is by attending a conference

and we have one of the best.


April 27-29, 2012

Jill Corcoran with the Herman Agency, Inc.

will be attending the

Desert Dreams Writer's Conference

in Scottsdale, AZ.


With an English degree from Stanford University and an MBA in Finance and Marketing from The University of Chicago, Jill has marketed everything from sneakers to cereal at Leo Burnett Advertising, LA Gear, Mattel, and at her own consulting company, LAUNCH! New Product Marketing. Jill is also a children’s book author and poet.

She is now acquiring YA, Middle Grade, and Chapter Books


In order to get a an appointment to pitch your

completed manuscript to Jill, you will need

to register and pay for the conference.

Slots are limited and will be filled on a first

registered and paid basis, so don't delay.


For more information go to




Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Black Friday.

Kim Watters here.....because I'm crazy enough to hit the stores to shop today, I didn't schedule any author interviews. So I'm going to leave you with a few blurbs of the short stories I have up over at Kindle and Barnes and Noble. Enjoy.

Discovering Jenna

Reclusive children’s author Jenna Winslow hides behind her books to keep life from disappointing her. She’d rather spend her time in museums with the dinosaurs she writes about, until she meets a man who makes her want to live again.

Matt McCutcheon is confined to a wheelchair but doesn’t let life confine him. He’s determined to unearth the mysteries of a woman whose physical scars camouflage wounds that go far deeper. But are his efforts to unlock the warmth and beauty inside Jenna enough to draw her back into the land of the living?

http://www.amazon.com/Discovering-Jenna-ebook/dp/B005PII8XS


Dog Days of Summer

An introvert at heart, newly divorced Emily Bryant will do anything to bring a smile back to her son’s lips--even adopt a complete stranger’s dog from a want-ad. But once she meets the owner, Daniel Gibbs, and the big-eared, furry mutt, Sir Isaac Newton, the smile she so desperately wants for Jeremy might just grace her lips as well.
http://www.amazon.com/Dog-Days-of-Summer-ebook/dp/B005PIMJEW


Scales of Love

All Rachel Haskin wants is one good man who will accept her and her menagerie of unusual and cold-blooded pets. When her cousin sets her up on a blind date, will Seth Armstrong fulfill her ideal for the perfect husband material, or will he just be another one date catastrophe in the making?

http://www.amazon.com/Scales-of-Love-ebook/dp/B0062PEEVI


When Johnny Comes Home

Audrey Robert’s masquerade is about to end in disaster. For years, she’s written love letters to Johnny and signed them with her sister’s name. Now, the man she adores is coming home to marry his pen pal and Audrey is left to face the consequences of her deception.

Injured during D-Day, Johnny Davenport is shipped home. His only plan: to find the woman whose love letters kept him sane and hopeful throughout the destruction of war. Nothing will stop him from drawing out the beautiful, shy girl he left behind and making her his wife.

But once the true writer is revealed which sister will he claim?

http://www.amazon.com/When-Johnny-Comes-Home-ebook/dp/B0062PBDX0/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1322164870&sr=1-2

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Gratitude, by Caris Roane

It’s Thanksgiving! And you’re all probably savoring a wonderful Turkey dinner with friends and family.

So, I thought I’d just say a few words about all that I’m grateful for this lovely autumn season as we head into the holidays.

My list is long: being alive (some things are very simple), having family in the same town, a wonderful editor at St. Martin’s, an agent that seems to speak the same language I do, reasonable health, (though I do confess to a certain fatigue in early November that has now passed – I made a commitment to get more sleep), the weather in the desert this time of year is idyllic (it’s 80 today), we’re still a land of plenty, the center has held in our country one more year, and I haven’t had a scorpion in my house for two months, hooray!

I’m also grateful that my son and daughter-in-law had the courage to bring a baby into the world. It’s never a small thing to make that decision. I remember how hard it was for me to decide to take that monumental leap all those years ago, in the face of all the unknowns, the fears, the what-ifs. I never regretted all the incredibly hard work that followed when raising children, even though I did go crazy a couple of times, lol, like most mothers do on occasion.

So, now baby Liv is in all our lives and I am blessed and blessed again to have her as part of my life.

I’m also really grateful for what it’s been like for me over the past two years to actually write my winged vampire warrior series. I’ve been writing a long time, but these two years have been like a dream for me - the muse has been my best friend (we’ve hardly fought at all), I’ve adored getting to know each hero and heroine of my books, and the process of putting words and stories together has become an absolutely magical experience.

But this year, with the launch of the first three books of my Guardians of Ascension series, and even a last-minute novella, has brought other tremendous blessings. I’ve gotten to know so many wonderful fan-friends through this series, those readers who get what I write and must-have-more. Every email, or website post, or Facebook message I’ve received from my fans has been like having Thanksgiving every day, a feast beyond imagining.

So, yes, at the very least what I bring to this blog today, our fourth Thursday of November, is a deep sense of gratitude for all that I have in my family, in my fans, and in my daily work.

May this day be joyous for you and yours.

An ocean of blessings,

Caris

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sisters in Crime (SinC) 25th Anniversary Celebration

Come join the Desert Sleuths chapter of Sisters in Crime and The Poisoned Pen Bo0kstore as they celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Sisters in Crime.

Saturday, December 3, 2011 – 4:00-6:30 PM

We will begin with a panel of SinC authors, followed by food, drink and merrymaking. Panel will include award-winning authors Kris Neri, Deborah J Ledford, and Clark Lohr. Please raise a glass with us at the Poisoned Pen Bookstore in honor of SinC's 25 years of achievement in championing the efforts of women crime writers. Look where woman writers are now!

RSVP: DesertSleuths@gmail.com

Monday, November 21, 2011

And the winner is......

Congratulations Sharon M. You're the winner of Hannah's book. Please contact Kim at kwatters21 (at) hotmial (dot) com (no spaces) to claim your prize. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Meet Agent Cherry Weiner

Are you looking for an agent to represent

your manuscript?

Cherry Weiner, literary agent, only takes on
new clients she meets in person first. She became
my agent recently after speaking to her at a Desert Rose meeting.


Cherry has been agenting since 1977. She started out by handling science fiction, fantasy, and horror and she now handles all genres. Some nonfiction has even crept into the mix but no poetry, childrens or YA. She represents a good number of well-known authors including Lauren Nichols, Tammy Hoganson, Deborah LeBlanc, and Desert Rose's own Gini Koch.

You can meet Cherry at the Desert Dreams Conference.
If you have a manuscript to pitch, she will be taking
appointments, but they are filled on a first registered
and paid basis so don't delay.

For more information on the conference go to
http://www.desertroserwa.org

Friday, November 18, 2011

Interview with Hannah Jayne

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Hannah Jayne. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.



I understand you have a new release out called UNDER ATTACK. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?


Under Attack is the follow up to UNDER WRAPS, which is the first novel in the Underworld Detection Agency Chronicles. Sophie Lawson, her vampire roommate Nina LeShay, and the hot fallen-angel detective Alex Grace are at it again – this time, trying to track the mythical Vessel of Souls. They’re not the only ones on the hunt, however, and there are plenty of firey, maggoty run-ins with some very big baddies hell-bent on stopping Sophie’s search. There’s also cantaloupe and, most importantly, a plethora of chocolate-marshmallow pinwheels…


UNDER ATTACK is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?


I wish I had some great, author-ly story about how it came about, but seriously? I was sitting in the Target parking lot, talking to my editor on the phone and we were kicking around names. He said “Under Attack?” and I said, “done!” Totally beat out my working title, which was Underwear.


What made you decide to write in this genre?


I have always loved the supernatural/occult/paranormal, but honestly, it never occurred to me to write it. I started out (poorly) writing romance. That fizzled quickly, mainly because I locked up every time I needed to use the word “penis” in a sentence. (My mother might read that!) My agent suggested I try paranormal and two sentences in, I was hooked! It’s a great genre to write.


Where did you get your idea for this particular book?


It really kind of zipped right out of the first book, UNDER WRAPS, which is quite funny because although it is a series, each book can stand alone. I guess once Sophie had this adventure, I felt like readers – and myself! – needed to know more about Sophie and her mystical connections.


What are your favorite paranormal research books or sites, and why?


Accurate legendry for all my demons/beings is really important to me, so everyone in my books is based on actual accounts or legends/cultural myths. The Field Guide to Demons is a favorite research book for that and Forensics and Fiction is my favorite for pretty much everything else.


Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?


I know it’s hokey, but that’s like asking a mother who her favorite child is! Because the book is 1st person, Sophie is obviously fun to write, but every character has their great quirks – Vlad with his empowerment movement, Nina with vamp-fashion sense… They are all fun!


Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research and/or world affect your character development?


I do have a UDA bible that lists every character, where they came into the story, their looks, traits, background, etc. I don’t do interviews per se, but – I know this sounds weird – I don’t consider a character well developed until I know what they eat for breakfast. What people eat for breakfast says a lot about someone! The characters and the world are totally interconnected, especially since the UDA was created specifically to serve the Underworld, so yes, there is a definite influence there.


How do you go about building your world if you use one? Do you use maps, charts or drawings?


My world is San Francisco – above and below! I consider it one of the most supernatural places in the world even without my meddling, and I say that as an SF native and with nothing but complete reverence! It’s a world unto itself.


Do you have any authors that inspired you?


Constantly. I was born and bred on Southern authors like Kaye Gibbons and Jill McCorkle. Jen Lancaster and Celia Rivenbark are favorites and make me feel that much less crazy. Juliet Blackwell and Penny Warner are mystery/mythical geniuses!


What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?


I really love signings because I love meeting fans face to face, but blog tours are the best for promotion, and I love being able to offer random prizes to blog readers. You guys are the best!


What do we have to look forward next? Sophie steps in it again this spring! Look for UNDER SUSPICION in May 2012!


Thanks, Hannah!


To celebrate her book release, Hannah Jayne is offering a free book of UNDER ATTACK to one lucky commenter on today's blog. (please check the blog Monday night to see if you won. Chances of winning determined by the number of entries.)

She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...

Check out author’s website at www.hannahjschwartz.com

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Must for Authors-Tracking Visitors on your Website or Blog

Do you have tracking on your web site? If not, you might want to consider doing so. Many traffic services are free. www.statcounter.com, www.google.com/analytics, www.freestats.com are just a few to mention. A web tracker shows you how people found your site, how they explore it, what country or state they are from and exactly how many people came to your site.

Tracking who goes on your site and how many

people visit over the course of the day, week, month can tell you whether or not the strategies you are using for advertising or promotion are working. It doesn’t necessarily say if these people are buying unless you can track that through Amazon, an online store on your site or other device. I always think any traffic is better than none.

For example, I did a Facebook invite last month because I was holding a contest. The day I sent an invite out, my traffic drastically increased. I could visually see that on the graph Google supplies. I always know that a newsletter has some affect. Each time I have a spike in traffic when I send one out. I also have tracking on my newsletter which informs me how many people actually opened my newsletter, forwarded it on to someone else and clicked on any of the links.

On Facebook, if you have a page, you have tracking included called Insights. It tells you how many people are talking about your page, how many people you are reaching through friends of fans, the number of people who have created a story about your page, and how many unique people have seen any content regarding your page. You can export that data onto your computer for further research.

Promotion has drastically changed for authors over the years. I think it’s critical that each dollar you spend is effective. Using a tracking device on your site sure helps on narrowing down what works and what doesn’t.

Carol Webb
Bella Media Management
www.bellamediamanagement.com

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Just for the fun of it.

The Washington Post has published the winning submissions to its yearly neologism contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternative meanings for common words.

The winners are:

1. Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.

2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.

3. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

4. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.

5. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.

6. Negligent (adj.), a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.

7. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.

8. Gargoyle (n), olive-flavoured mouthwash.

9. Flatulence (n.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.

10. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.

11. Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.

12. Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.

13. Pokemon (n), Rastafarian proctologist.

14. Oyster (n.), person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.

15. Frisbeetarianism (n.), (back by popular demand): The belief that, when you die, your soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

16. Circumvent (n.), opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.

The Washington Post's Style Invitational also asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter,
and supply a new definition.

Here are this year's winners:

1. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking
down in the near future.

2. Foreploy (v): Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

3. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.

4. Giraffiti (n): Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

5. Sarchasm (n): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

6. Inoculatte (v): To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

7. Hipatitis (n): Terminal coolness.

8. Osteopornosis (n): A degenerate disease. ( that one got extra credit)

9. Karmageddon (n): Its like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

10. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

11. Glibido (v): All talk and no action.

12. Dopeler effect (n): The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

13. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've
accidentally walked through a spider web.

14. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

15. Caterpallor (n.): The colour you turn after finding half a grub in the fruit you're eating.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Smartest Readers I Know

Publishing is one strange business.  Because it's founded in brick and mortar, pen and paper, many of the rules and bylaws are, well, set in stone or written in blood.  But like the world, publishing has changed drastically over the last 10 years.  You all know about eReaders and the dwindling popularity of the printed book.  Many of you will agree that it's time; many of you will passionately disagree.  I'm not going to dive into that here.  What I want to talk about is an author's name and how publishers, over the years, have owned it in one way or another.

What you might not know is that often authors don't get to choose the name on the cover of their books.  I don't mean choose as in "Mary" instead of "Jane," but choose as in "I want my real name on the cover."  There are many valid reasons why a publisher might want an author to take on a pseudonym, but the one that has always dumbfounded me is:  "so readers aren't confused."

They say this when an author who is known for one genre moves to another.  For example, when I moved from writing as Erin Grady to Erin Quinn, the reason was publisher driven.  They didn't want my readers getting confused.  I objected.  MY readers are intelligent enough to recognize the books are different, I protested.  But of course, they won.

I think it's crazy to imagine that a reader--a person who reads!--would have any trouble at all looking at the cover of book one, comparing it to the cover of book two, and seeing a difference.  And--and that's a very big and--even if they missed catching that one has a historical gown and a hot Duke on the cover and the other has a werewolf, wouldn't said reader simply flip the book over and read the back cover?  What degree in rocket science is required for such higher thinking?

I think that changing an author's name is far more confusing than an author changing genres or dabbling in many genres.

What do you think?  Looking at the two covers in this post, can you figure out that the stories will be entirely different?  I thought so.  :)

BTW, Kissing Kris Kringle, a quick eRead, releases November 16.  Haunting Embrace is available now!

Thanks for listening to my little rant!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Two Winners for Caris Roane Blogs!

Hi, Everyone!
I'm a bit behind and I confess I also got a little confused...oh, surprise, surprise!
But I'm catching up now. I had Giveaways for my blogs on 9/22 and 10/20. The winners respectively are: "Catslady" and Regina, so I'll be contacting you both!

Thanks for your patience!

Blessings,
Caris

Get Your Work Before an Editor or Agent




Don't miss this exciting opportunity!


Attendees of the Desert Dreams Writers' Conference,


published or not, can enter the


Realizing the Dream Contest.


Only 50 entries are accepted


and every entry is judged by an editor or agent


attending the conference!


The five highest scoring entries will receive a


face-to-face meeting with the agent or editor of


his/her choice during the agent/editor


meeting time at the conference.




For more information go to




and register for the conference today! The early


registration price is only available through the end of 2011.




Friday, November 11, 2011

Interview with Kristen Painter

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Kristen Painter. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

I understand you have a new release out called Blood Rights. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

Blood Rights is a gothic urban fantasy filled with vampires, shapeshifters, fae and a new breed of creatures of my own making, the comarré.

Blood Rights is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

The comarré’s blood rights are a big catalyst for what happens, so it seemed to fit.

What made you decide to write in this genre?

I didn’t actually decide to write in this genre, I just wrote Blood Rights and that’s where it fit. Blood Rights was really only written to entertain myself.

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?

I’ve had the idea for Chrysabelle since college, this mysterious woman in white with the gold tattoo. The rest of the story just developed from there.

What are your favorite paranormal research books or sites, and why?


I can’t say as I have any. I rely heavily on my imagination. Although I do find some inspiration in movies and graphic novels.

Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?

That’s like asking me which of my four cats I love the most. I really enjoy writing all my characters. Some are tougher than others, but there’s something about all of them that gets the words flowing.

Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing?

I write and my characters come from the story. I don’t do any kind of character exercises. I’ve tried that in the past and none of it ever got used so I figured what was the point? I don’t work that way. For me, the writing is the discovery.

How do you go about building your world if you use one? Do you use maps, charts or drawings?

I do a whole workshop on worldbuilding, so trying to explain it in a few sentences isn’t going to happen. Basically, I create the world I see in my head, following a few constructs to keep things balanced and believable. I do have a bible of sorts that I use to keep track of characters, places, relationships, things like that, but otherwise, the generalities are kept in my head.

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

Any author who writes a great book inspires me because great writing pushes me to rise to the level.

What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?

I’d have to say besides social media, getting out to cons to meet people who are truly interested in books.

What do we have to look forward next?

The next two books in the series release pretty quickly with FLESH AND BLOOD November 1st and BAD BLOOD December 1st. Two more books follow in 2012 to close out the series.

Thanks, Kristen

She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...

Bio:
When the characters in Kristen Painter’s head started to take over, she decided to exorcise them onto paper and share them with the world. Blood Rights, the first book in her gothic fantasy vampire series, House of Comarré, launched this October from Orbit Books. The former college English teacher can often be found on twitter at Kristen_Painter talking about her feline assistants, the last pair of shoes she bought or bemoaning the lack of chocolate delivery in her neighborhood.

Check out author’s website at www.kristenpainter.com and www.houseofcomarre.com

Buy:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Rights-Comarr%C3%A9-Kristen-Painter/dp/0316084778/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1317148081&sr=8-1
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blood-rights-kristen-painter/1100083751?ean=9780316084772&itm=1&usri=blood%2brights

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fall Colors




Fall. The crisp autumn air. The ringing of school bells. The thorns on the cacti turning colors.

Huh?

Right.

I live in Phoenix. There's a picture that I have in my head that doesn't jive with the one outside my window, nor with my notions of what fall really means. I've experienced fall once. New England fall where the trees blaze in the color of fire but there's no smoke, only the vibrant oranges, reds and yellow. That was in 1998. I carry that fall in my heart along with every photograph and image I've ever seen of the way Autumn is supposed to be.

I've grafted it on my memories of growing up in the Valley of the Sun. And even as I walk across the park with brown grass crunching underfoot, squashed olives dotting the sidewalk like freckles, and branches decked in greenery, I imagine fall. The thought filled my head like glitter-twinkling, sparkling and fleeting.

So this last week, I kidnapped my husband and drove up where fall resides in Arizona--in the canyons of Sedona. Alas, the place was packed with others who had the same quest. Eventually, we did stop to shiver and take in the views. Then we went out to lunch and warmed up.

The fall I've created in my head requires far fewer layers. And my husband screams when I put my cold hands on his belly. So it's quieter too.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Meet Editor Emily Rodmell of Love Inspired Books



Good morning. My name is Emily Rodmell. I’m the associate editor at all three of the Love Inspired lines. Thanks to Kim for inviting me here today to share with you about an opportunity for historical romance writers. One of the lines that I work on is Love Inspired Historical. It’s an inspirational historical romance line that publishes books of 70-75K words in every time period and setting up to World War II. We added historical romance to the Love Inspired offerings in 2008, and it’s been so successful that this year we expanded from two books a month to four.

That’s great news for readers, but it’s also great news for writers. Because we’re actively looking for new and exciting voices to add to the line.

In the past few years, we’ve given countless debut writers their shot and welcomed numerous other established writers looking for a new or additional outlet for their work. If you love writing about times past, I encourage you to give Love Inspired Historical a try. If you’re new to inspirational, the first thing I would recommend is reading the books that we currently publish in order to get a feel for the tone of the line. Here are some recommendations of debut authors that we recently published:

Marrying Miss Marshal by Lacy Williams

The Reluctant Outlaw by Karen Kirst

The Aristocrat’s Lady by Mary Moore

Unlawfully Wedded Bride by Noelle Marchand

The Doctor’s Mission by Debbie Kaufman

If you have a book you’d like to submit to Love Inspired Historical, check out our guidelines here: http://www.harlequin.com/articlepage.html?articleId=1186&chapter=0 . Then send a query and synopsis (unpublished authors) or a proposal (published authors) to me at 233 Broadway, Ste. 1001 New York, NY 10279. I’d also be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Kim Watters here. The other day I was helping my son with an assignment. Yes, I know, but hey, he was on a deadline and I type much faster than he does. But being that kind of mom, I wouldn't do the assignment for him, just prompt him to do his own thinking. Anyway, the conversation went something like this:



"So, what's it called when you work for someone for free?"



"Slavery."



Okay. So not the answer I was looking for but he had a point. After I finished laughing and trying to clear the ater that I'd been drinking from my nose, I rephrased the question.



"Okay then. What's it called when you work for someone to learn something?"



"An apprentice."



You can tell he's into mystical things. "Okay, better. How about intern?"



This conversation got me to thinking about two things.



1) How important it is to ask the right questions.

2) How important each word we use is.



Because let's face it. The wrong questions can lead us and our characters down the wrong path, and we won't realize it until it's too late. How many times have you come up against a wall, that had you known which questions to ask or delved deeper into the character, you may have been able to avoid? Or had you rephrased it, may have gotten acompletely different answer?



Using the right word to convey a mood or feeling is intregral to the story. How may times have you been pulled out of a story because the author didn't use the right word or convey the right meaning? Or how many times you've used your favorite word or words until it's overdone?



I'm guilty of all of the above, which is why I never turn out a final manuscript the first time or even the second time around. One of these days, I hope to take my own advice.



So ask and choose wisely or you may be the one snorting water when you hear the answer.

Monday, November 7, 2011

And the winner is.....

Congratulations Estella. You're the winner of Theresa's book. Please contact Kim at kwatters21 (at) hotmail (dot) com. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Looking for an Editor?

Are you looking for an Editor?

Don't miss this opportunity to meet

Deni Dietz, Senior Editor
Five Star Website: Five Star and www.denisedietz.com
Much Cheaper Than Therapy's own Kathryne Kennedy started at Five Star.
Deni Dietz has been in the publishing business for over 20 years, and has been reading romantic fiction for longer than that. When she was in grade school she tried to hide her mom's hardcover Gone With the Wind inside her Dick and Jane reader. She got caught, learned her lesson, and hid her mom's paperbacks instead. Deni still feels the same sense of joy and discovery when she reads a non-clichéd, well-written, character-driven novel. She says she wants to BE THERE, in the scene. For example, she doesn't want to know that General Santa Anna was captured in 1836. She prefers to know that he was naked except for his underpants. Published in crime fiction, women's fiction and historical romance, Deni's novels include the bestselling Ellie Bernstein/Lt. Peter Miller "diet club" mystery series. Deni's The Landlord’s Black-Eyed Daughter, written as Mary Ellen Dennis, was selected as one of Booklist's Top Ten books of the year. As an author, she has "been there, done that," so she tries to respond to queries within two weeks, submissions within 8 to 10 weeks. Deni's long list of authors include Kate Flora, Maggie Sefton, John Lamb, Gabriella Anderson, Jonnie Jacobs, and Nancy Cohen. Deni says when she offers a first-book author a contract she does a Snoopy dance.
Acquiring: Romantic Suspense and all Mystery sub-genres, including but not limited to Cozy, Hard-boiled, P.I., Traditional, Historical, and Paranormal.

Deni will be taking appointments at the Desert Dreams Writer's Conference
April 27-29, 2012 in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Don't miss this opportunity to pitch your completed manuscript to a senior editor. If she is interested, you'll be able to send her the first three chapters, or maybe even the full manuscript, and write "Requested Material" on your envelope.
How do you get one of these limited slots to pitch to her?
The slots will be filled on a first to register for the conference and paid basis.
You can also ask her questions at our editor/agent panel.

To register, or for more information, go to
http://www.desertroserwa.org

Friday, November 4, 2011

Interview with Theresa Meyers

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Theresa Meyers. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

Thanks for the invite! I always enjoy it here.

I understand you have a new release out called The Hunter. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book and what exactly is steampunk?

I often get asked, what is steampunk. The term steampunk was coined by author K.W. Jeter in 1987 in a letter he wrote responding to Locus magazine in trying to describe the type of fiction he, James Blaylock and Tim Powers were writing at the time. The quick version is that steampunk is Victorian age science fiction. Think H.G. Well’s Timemachine or Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, or movies such as Wild Wild West, and you’ll get the idea.

The Hunter is a steampunk with a paranormal and romance twist. It’s the story of the youngest of three supernatural Hunters, all named after their father’s favorite guns, Winchester Remington and Colt in the Wild West. Colt’s the outlaw in the family, the one fully invested in the Hunter life. He’s working to save the world from destruction by finding his father’s missing piece of the Book of Legend, but he needs a supernatural to help him open up the place where he believes it is hidden. Colt’s a real ladies’ man, so when the supernatural he summons to help him turns out to be a succubus, he’s kind of in trouble from the get go. Overall the book is kind of what would happen if you mashed together the television series Supernatural with Wild Wild West and added a dash of Indiana Jones or Romancing the Stone.

The Hunter is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

Mostly it was because that’s what these guys are. It’s what sets them apart from an average ordinary man. They are Hunters. Only Colt’s the only one out of his brothers who has really embraced the title. His oldest brother Winchester doesn’t want anything to do with the life anymore and his middle brother, Remington, is a Hunter when and how it suits him.

What made you decide to write in this genre?

I’ve always been a bit of a Victoriana nut. I loved the clothes, the mannerisms, etc. One of my favorite movies when I was younger beyond Mary Poppins was a film called The Two Lives of Jenny Logan. It was about this woman who bought a Victorian house in San Francisco with this old dress in the attic. She tries the dress on and it transports her back to the 1800s where she meets this artist and gets embroiled in solving a murder mystery. She goes back and forth between here and her life in Victorian times by using the dress and eventually decides to stay back in time. I was the kid that instead of asking for a calendar of puppies and kittens, wanted one of Victorian house plans. When I had to sew dresses for my high school formals, they ended up with mutton chop sleeves, bustles and long-skirts. Really I didn’t decide so much to write in the genre as I kind of fell into it because of what I already loved.

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?

When I was living in Arizona, in 1998 I came up with an idea for these three brothers who lived in the Wild West. All of them were named after their father’s favorite guns: Winchester, Remington and Colt. I knew that the oldest was a lawman, the middle brother an attorney and the youngest a gunslinger/outlaw. What I didn’t know is how they fit together, their history of how they became what they were. Fast forward ten years. In watching the television show Supernatural, I began to think, hey what would it have been like to have these hunters in the West or Victorian times? How would they have functioned, who would they have been, would they have had a secret society that trained them? I merged that idea with my brothers and found out what I had was a Steampunk story-line. My brothers are hunters in the Weird Wild West. They have an inventor friend who creates and maintains the unusual weapons they use to find and hunt down demons, shapeshifters, ghosts, vampires and the like. My youngest brother rides a mechanical clockwork horse. Applying the Steampunk aesthetic to my book made it so much better! It was like finding the missing jigsaw piece that made the whole thing work.

What are your favorite fantasy research books, and why?

My favorite standby is The MacMillian Illustrated Encyclopedia of Myths & Legends by Arthur Cotterell. It’s got so much from so many different cultures that it’s a brainstorming gold mine.

Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?

Probably my favorite character is Marley. I know it should be my heroes and heroines, but there’s just something about him that’s just very amusing to me. He’s like an 1880’s version of James Bond’s Q. Quirky, eccentric, and very dedicated. He’s got a story that keeps coming out in little bits with each book, and I can’t wait to find out the whole truth about just who he really is and how this British inventor came to be a hermit out in the American West.

Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research and world affect your character development?

Yes. How’s that for an answer? LOL. Really the first thing I do is run numbers on a character’s name. It gives me a sense of what truly motivates him or her, how they see themselves and how others react to them. Then I start digging (sometimes by means of interviews) to find out more about what their background is, and what their strengths and weaknesses are. The hardest part of writing of writing this trilogy is that I tried something different. All the books have a scene or two that intersect with one another and happen at the same time. Keeping all the brothers and secondary characters straight on a timeline is a huge challenge. I have to know not just what’s happening in one book, but in all three books so that it will all make sense when they are read together. I hope readers have fun reading those scenes from the other brother’s points of view.

How do you go about building your world? Do you use maps, charts or drawings?

I look at historical maps of rail lines, maps from the 1880s of Europe and other places in the world to get things correct. I’ve also been to many of the places I write about, so that helps too. Most of what I do however is from my computer if I need to find a particular herb or find out exactly when a telegraph line came into being or electric street lights came into use.

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

Plenty! I adore James Rollins. No one knows how to craft better action adventure blended with science than he does. Yasmine Galemorn and Cherry Adair were inspirational in how they’ve crafted their stories about siblings. And of course J.K. Rowling for her world building.

What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?

Sounds silly, but the big banner I had made with vistaprint.com has gotten the most comments. I’ve used it at each conferences I’ve gone to and my book signings and it always gets noticed.

What do we have to look forward next?

Actually, I’ve been really busy! I’ve got a dark urban fae e-novella out this month titled Shadowlander, out with Entangled. In March 2012 the next vampire book in my Sons of Midnight series will be coming out from Harlequin Nocturne, and then in April will be Winchester’s book, The Slayer. Starting in January I’ll be writing on the third book in the Legend Chronicles trilogy, which is Remington’s story.

Thanks, Theresa!

To celebrate her book release, Theresa Meyers is offering a free book of The Hunter to one lucky commenter on today's blog. (please check the blog Monday night to see if you won. Chances of winning determined by the number of entries.)

She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...

The progeny of a slightly mad (NASA) scientist and a tea-drinking bibliophile who turned the family dining room into a library, Theresa Meyers learned early the value of a questioning mind, books and a good china teapot. A former journalist and public relations officer, she found far more enjoyment using her writing skills to pen paranormal novels in the turret office of her Victorian home. She’s spent nearly a quarter of a century with the boy who took her to the Prom, drinks tea with milk and sugar, is an adamant fan of the television show Supernatural, and has an indecent love of hats. You can find her dabbling online on twitter at www.twitter.com/Theresa_Meyers

or at http://www.theresameyers.com/


Want to read an excerpt of The Hunter online?

http://www.amazon.com/Hunter-Legend-Chronicles-Theresa-Meyers/dp/1420121243/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1320286255&sr=8-1

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tia Dani‘s Writing Marathon



This has been another interesting week for Tia Dani. We started a new short story for a particular publisher and hoped to have it finished in a week. However, as usual, we got ourselves distracted and will be lucky if we get the first chapter finished during our set time frame.



We planned to start writing on Friday, but we had the annual Halloween party thrown by our friend and fellow romance writer, Kayla Janz, on Saturday night. So Friday required us to roam the mall deciding what costume we should wear.



First day of writing lost.



Saturday morning sent us running back to the mall for more costume ideas. Then the rest of the day required our attention for getting our costumes just right. We must admit we ended up pleased with our choice of outfits and we think we looked pretty darn good.



Didn’t get any writing done, but the party was fun.











Moving on to Sunday. We’re tired from all the partying we did last night. However, we managed to get the outline started for our workshop November 19th at the Scottsdale Library.



Sunday ended as not a total loss.



Monday we finished up notes for the team writing workshop and pulled the pages we’d started for the new story. Tried to get our heads into writing mode and fortunately we had lots of Halloween candy to help. Around 6:00 P.M. we were interrupted by the Trick or Treat kids. Shut computer down and headed off to give out candy. Ended up at a neighbor’s block party.



Writing zone lost.



Tuesday was much more productive. Discovered we needed better character charts on our hero and heroine. We selected their names, which is one of the hardest things for us to do. We want to have the names flow off our tongue easily. Since this is a historical romance, we finally settled on Abigail Turner and Jonah MacKenzie.



Now we’re on a roll.



First chapter done. It’s quite rough, but we’re happy with the way it’s progressing. Remembered we had a board meeting to attend with our local writing chapter, Valley of the Sun RWA. It was a productive meeting and afterward went with some of the girls for drinks. Got home late and were too tired to write. But, not too tired to play around on Facebook.



Tia discovered she has a stalker.



Wednesday started slow. Somehow we lost all track of time and got a late start on our manuscript. We had just got into the story when we realized it was lunch time. No worries, we’d get right back to our book after we eat. It was a good plan until Tia’s daughter called needing her to come home and baby-sit.



Only writing we managed to finish was this blog.



Better luck next marathon.



Don’t forget Tia Dani is giving a workshop on “Team Writing”, Saturday, November 19th. We’ll be answering any questions you might have about writing with a partner. Come meet us. It’s free.





SIXTH ANNUAL FALL WRITERS WORKSHOPS
Saturday, November 19, 2011
- 10 am to 4:30 pm
Scottsdale
Civic Center Library - Downstairs
3839 N. Drinkwater Blvd - Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

SIXTH ANNUAL FALL WRITERS WORKSHOPS

SIXTH ANNUAL FALL WRITERS WORKSHOPS
Saturday, November 19, 2011 - 10 am to 4:30 pm
Scottsdale Civic Center Library - Downstairs
3839 N. Drinkwater Blvd - Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Free Admission - No registration necessary - First come First Serve seating - Lunch on your own - Complimentary morning coffee & rolls

Keynote speaker: 1:30 to 2:20 pm
CARIS ROANE - RT Career Achievement Award recipient and Best selling author of the GUARDIANS OF ASCENSION series.
Workshop: PARANORMAL: THE POWER OF EXAGGERATION

10 am:
The ABCs of PBs, MGs, & YAs - Writing for kids and Young Adults - by Shelley Coriell

I'VE WRITTEN THE BOOK, NOW WHAT DO I DO? - by Pamela Tracy

WRITING AS A TEAM - Tia Eaton and Dani Petrone

11 am:
THE INS AND OUTS OF SELF-PUBLISHING - by Kris Tualla

PLOTTING SECRETS FOR AN UNFORGETTABLE STORY - by Vijaya Schartz

GHOSTS - BRINGING THE DEAD TO LIFE ON THE PAGE - by Linda Andrews

2:30 pm
TEN GRABBERS THAT GUARANTEE A PAGE TURNER - by Connie Flynn

SOCIAL MEDIA 101 - Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Goodreads, Blog Talk Radio, and more - by Amber Scott

THE PROPER HUNTING, CAPTURING, CARE & FEEDING OF A LITERARY AGENT - by Gini Koch

3:30 pm
AS AN AUTHOR ANYTHING - Open panel with today's featured presenters.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My Heart is in The Writing

These days branding is a hot topic and it’s becoming increasingly obvious to me that my brand pretty much revolves around my teaching. And that’s a good thing, isn’t it?

Sure it is. I love my students, love watching them thrive, take what they learn and move forward. Many of the published authors in my local Romance Writers of American chapter are my former students and it’s a pleasure to see their careers growing. Except . . .

When I sit at the keyboard and compose my own books, this is when I feel the most alive. Yes, the joy of seeing a student grasp a complex concept or learning they’ve won in a contest are wonderful gifts from the work I’ve chosen to do. Building and running Bootcamp for Novelists has been more than gratifying.

Yet my heart is in the writing.

For the last few years I’ve been doing almost anything except marketing my work. It’s not that I haven’t been writing. I’ve completed 2 and 9/10th books (yes, that’s about 90%). But each submission brings suggestion for revisions and each revision takes time away from the current book in progress. And while all this time is swirling down the drain, I still have to eat. So what I’ve really been doing the past few years is chasing my money.

The trouble with publishing is that unless you’re pulling in the big bucks (and maybe not even then) you don’t know when your next contract will be offered, when the contract will arrive, or even when you’ll get the signing check. The insecurity is a killer which is why most published authors have the day job.

When you take a hard look at this reality, mixed with the constant merging of the publishing houses, all of a sudden independent publishing looks very attractive. And I do have a backlist of well received novels, so my latest not-writing project has been getting them back in print.

Harlequin reissued two of my romances as ebooks. I personally published my debut paranormal SHADOW ON THE MOON and its sequel, SHADOW OF THE WOLF as ebooks that can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and other online book retailers.

Since I’m again promoting my Connie Flynn Author name, I had to dust off a website that I’d neglected so long that it had spider webs. As if that’s not enough, now Connie needs a blog . . . and a Facebook author page . . . and a twitter name — @connieflynn, in case you’re interested.

Because I figured that wasn’t nearly enough, I e-published my first short mystery story, OLD BONES. So now I need a website for my mystery pseudonym, K.C. Flynn . . . and a Facebook author page . . . and a blog. K.C. already has a twitter address @kcflynn2. (that's her picture, off to the right, trying to look mysterious) Already my names are getting out there and sales are trickling in and I wonder how I’ll ever keep it straight.

What matters now is that I’m carving writing time out of my overloaded schedule and setting my priorities because however the details turn out I’m now declaring myself as Connie Flynn Author and K.C. Flynn Author. These ladies are alive and writing and have a promising future ahead of them whether through traditional or independent publishing or a combination of both.

All because I finally found my heart again.
In the writing.

So long until next month,
Connie/K.C.

P.S. Email me at kc.flynn@cox.net if you'd like to read K.C's short mystery Old Bones and I'll send you a coupon good for a free copy.