Sunday, January 27, 2008

That Special Manuscript

Recently, I pulled my first complete manuscript out of mothballs. The last edit date on this MS was March/April of 2003. I wanted to submit it to my publisher, but I knew it needed a lot of editing before I could do that. I finished that edit this afternoon, three weeks and 97,000 words later.

It's amazing what time can do for a person's perspective. I was so in love with my words when I wrote that story. To the point where I would state the same thing several different times because I thought my text was just too clever. This time around, I'm deleting stuff left and right without giving them another thought.

I also didn't give my readers enough credit. I'd explain every move a character made, instead of trusting the reader to figure it out, a common newbie mistake (not that I don't still make them, but they're not as blatant).

Yet, this MS will always hold a special place in my heart. At one time, I'd poured myself into this story so deeply that I felt what the characters felt. As I was editing the last few chapters, I found myself tearing up. I'm not sure that the writing was that good, but I loved these characters with all their emotional hangups and vulnerabilities.

This was the story that gave me the confidence to pursue writing on a more professional level, rather than dabble in it for pure entertainment and/or as a hobby.

Now that I'm done, I know I need to get on with my WIP, which is 3/4 done, and by far the best thing I've written to date. Yet, I'm sad to say goodbye to these characters because they are so near and dear to me.

This particular story may never see the light of day, but it will always hold a special place in my heart.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

P&E Best Book Publisher

I am happy to announce that my publisher, Siren Publishing has been named Best Book Publisher by Preditors & Editors website.

What a great honor! I am feeling proud and priviledged to be part of this company.

It's been a great month for Siren authors also. Several authors have won numerous awards.

I am soooo looking forward to July and my very first ever book release.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

July Girls

Tonight I'm sitting in a hotel room in Ellensburg, WA, and it's after midnight. Hubby and I are on our way to Idaho to see his daughter. We checked out the local bar for one drink and Karaoke. Not one person could sing a note on tune. It was pretty painful, so we executed a quick depart.

I'm all excited because a friend and Olympia chaptermate of mine, Kate Davies, just sold to Siren. She will be a July Girl along with Wendi (Darlin) and me. Wendi just got her cover on the Siren site. I am anxiously awaiting mine. I did get my story blurb posted recently, which it REALLY cool. This is so fun to be going through all this for the first time, especially when it's a good experience with a great publisher. That makes it twice the fun.

So I'm wondering if we should be July Girls or Summer Girls or what?

I need to get The Gift Horse done. GH is the best one I've done to date. I'd like to market it to the equestrian community and romance community.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Romance Writers

Romance writers are some of the most generous people I've ever met. I wonder if writers in other genres are as helpful to newbies and wannabes as published romance writers.

Washington state seems to have more than its share of romance writers. My theory is that all this rain is conducive to writing. What else are you going to do for 8 months out of the year while waiting for the sun to poke through those clouds?

Some of the local published authors that I am grateful to are:

When I first joined my local RWA chapter, I met Lucy Monroe. She was the chapter president. Her first book was coming out in a few months. Lucy has always been special to me as has her rare talent for weaving a story that you can't put down. No matter how busy she is, she always has time for a word of encouragement or to answer a question. Her common sense advice is invaluable.

Suzanne Macpherson has become a good friend. She volunteers to read my stuff, always has a response for my stupid questions, and a word of congratulations or sympathy. If you want a good laugh be sure to check out her romantic comedies from Avon.

Cherry Adair always finds time for fellow writers. I've attended numerous workshops and parties that she's hosted for local authors at her beautiful home. Cherry is always entertaining, positive, and a hoot and a half. If she ever gives up writing, she needs to try her hand as a stand-up comedian.

Theresa Scott has endured my phone calls, helped me with plotting, and administered her always practical and logical advice.

Also in my local RWA chapter, Adrianna Dane and Kate Davies have endured my endless questions about epubs. There are so many more, that I know if I tried to list them all, I would definitely forget someone so I'll stop here.

To my fellow romance writers, I hope I can be as generous as you have been when my time comes to offer advice and answer questions.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Confessions of Football Fan

I am a football fan. I have been a football fan since high school.

Is it my fault that my chosen football teams haven't exactly been the bastions of victory? Hey, as a Washington native, I'm a diehard Washington State Cougar and Seattle Seahawk fan.

Let's talk about the Hawks. I was there in 1976, when they were infants. I met Jim Zorn (their quarterback) at the local department store that summer before their first season while the Seahawks were on a whirlwind publicity tour of Washington State.

I've been with them through the good times (Superbowl) and the bad times (too many to mention, but let's talk about 3-win seasons). I was in the Kingdome when they played in their first playoff game in years and played the last game played in the Kingdome. Yup, I've been there. I've screamed my lungs out until I couldn't speak or hear. I've been part of that crowd that became infamous throughout the NFL. I've hoped and prayed and cried and laughed. I've done it all, and I never gave up.

I'll be in front of the TV this Saturday when the Hawks meet Green Bay. I love you, Brett, but I gotta root for the hometown boys.


Saturday, January 5, 2008


...Actually--the email!!!

I accepted an offer from Siren/Bookstrand last Friday for publication of my contemporary romance, "Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed." It'll be published in ebook format in Summer of 2008 and print format in early 2009.

"Who's" is the second novel I've completed. It was also a 2004 Golden Gateway finalist--if anyone remembers that far back.

I hadn't submitted anything in three years and had just gotten back into writing. On a whim, I dusted off "Who's" and submitted it last October to a popular epublisher. I got a request for a full and sent it out.

In December, I still hadn't heard and decided to send to a few other places. Since it takes so long to hear anything, I thought I'd have a few in the queue. I sent a full (what they require) to Bookstrand on a Monday, the week before Christmas. They are a sister company of Siren Publishing. Siren is a erotic romance publisher. Bookstrand is opening their doors in June as a publisher of mainstream romance and fiction. ByWed. morning, I had an offer. I accepted the offer last Friday.

I am very excited to be a part of Siren/Bookstrand. They are the company that bought all the Triskelion contracts and returned them to the authors. Everyone I've contacted speaks very highly of them.

What a way to start the new year!!!!! YIPPEEEEEE!!!!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Goodbye to a Real American Hero

Today my husband and I attended the memorial service of his dear friend, Vern. I didn't know Vern well myself. After listening to comrades, friends, and family speak of him, I now know him a lot better.

You see, Vern spent 32 years of his life in the Army, specifically Special Forces. My husband, Dennis, also in SF, considered Vern a good friend and mentor.

Vern had four Purple Hearts, a Silver Star, Bronze Star, was nominated for the Medal of Honor, and numerous other awards I can't begin to recall.

When Vern was in Viet Nam, he was assigned to a small Special Forces team of 4 who were dispatched to monitor the Viet Cong. I don't remember the details of where or when or even why, but in a way that doesn't matter. Unknowingly, they were dropped into the middle of over 500 Viet Cong soldiers. The crew of the helicopter were killed and the helicopter destroyed. The four Green Berets dug in. SF soldiers carry enough firepower to sustain a fight almost indefinitely; but in this case, none of the four figured they'd make it out alive. After a long battle, Vern and his small group were still alive while the Viet Cong sustained 130 casualties. The VC retreated, certain that they were up against a larger force. Little did they know that only four men held off back that day.

Whether or not you agree with the politics behind war, please salute those soldiers who gave and continue to give so much and often for so little in return.

And for Vern, I say, go in peace to a better place. I salute you and may God bless you.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

I want to be a cat

We are not cat people. Honest. I mean I like cats (in fact, we're animal lovers), but a nice barn cat that doesn't spread cat hair all over your house. Now, my husband is one of those macho guys (a former Army Ranger and SF Weapons Sergeant) that doesn't like cats at all. At least, he "claims" he didn't.

A year ago last fall, an orange tabby moved into our barn. Hey, I was fine with that. They're ruthless mousers, and I'm all for a friendly little barn cat.

So we fed him... And we took him in to get shots and to be fixed.

Problem is that he had greater aspirations. He wanted to be a house cat.

Last winter, my husband injured his back at work and was flat on the couch for a few weeks. Day two on the couch--I came home from work. There was the cat on Dennis' chest, both of them sound asleep.

One year later....

So much for the barn cat.

If you have cats, you know the rest.

When I die, I want to come back as a cat.