Tag Archive

Tag Archives for " A-Z blog tour "

Come Join Me At Romance Books R Us

Come join me today at Romance Books R Us. I'm talking about the bad boys, and why we love them. Everyone who makes a comment today gets a free download of Angel. No strings!!

Kate Douglas-I’m a Fan!

Kate Douglas was interviewed today on another blog I am a part of: http://ravencraftrealm.blogspot.com. I got to spend some time with her recently in NYC and she was a kick. Both of us traveled all the way from California, and I wanted to meet her, knowing she was going, and knowing she is from my area here.

We ran into each other in the elevator by accident. How fun it was to have lunch together, view the Pompei exhibit and just talk writer talk.
And about our families.

This doesn't happen in every profession, or in every writer's group. I've heard of groups that become so exclusive, that newcomers can't get a start. With Romance writers, in general, they are a great group of people who are so willing to share their path to success.
Kate has some 23 books out now. With the digital age upon us, some of her books will be immortal, and those that aren't, probably will have life breathed into them in the near future. We talked about (she mentions this in her interview too) the comments from others like, “When are you going to get a real job?” not hurting as much as it did. But it did bother her when she was starting out.
The profession I left to become a full time writer was fun, exciting, and the money was good. However, it didn't feed me in ways writing does. I do use everything I learned to be successful in that profession, and apply it to my new writing career.
I don't have permission from Kate to upload her novel covers, but let's say, they're fun and very provocative. Her Wolf Tales is now in it's 12th book. No wonder she lives in that world as much as she lives in ours.
Congratulations, Kate, for such a glorious career, and for being such a decent human being.

It All Started In A Garden

My love of gardening has spanned over 40 years. I love the seasons, every single one of them. In Northern California we get to garden year round. I find it relaxing, soothing, and something I just must do every day.

There was a time we thought perhaps we would have to move, and honestly, leaving behind my garden was harder than leaving the house or the privacy we have here. No neighbors. I can water my garden in my nightie. Or worse! It is the only place I can be seen in a bathing suit. I like to get dirty, to dig and prune and support new life.
I don't even mind that our sprinkler system hasn't been repaired since the house fire that destroyed most of our dwelling and surrounding trees. And it was headed up the hill, and could have easily taken acres. We border a great Merlot vineyard owned by Jess Jackson. My hope was for some day to have a few vines of our own.
Gardening has taught me two things: patience, and serenity. Some things grow with lots of sunlight, and other things need shade and low temperatures. I learn what grows well where the more I work the garden. I try new things, new varieties. I dead-head and work with the old plants that send babies back as volunteers year after year. It's been several years since I've planted a calendula, or a hollyhock, or Shasta daisy. They just keep sending their offspring back to me to grow and delight everyone.
I have over 40 rose bushes. My favorite? Chrysler Imperial. I dare you to find a more sweet rose-smelling red rose. Mr. Lincoln comes a close second. Perfumed Delight, Peace and Chicago Peace are also favorites. And for yellow: Gold Medal. For a climbing rose? Joseph's Coat.
I enjoy my seasons in the garden just like I enjoy my seasons with writing. New stuff that has to be pruned. Old stuff that has to be dead-headed and revived, or cut completely. Training plants so they grow strong and give longevity, like writing that is strong, but could be made stronger. Fixing a story line so it holds up and supports a great bloom of a plot twist or character surprise.
And patience. Everyone wants to be an overnight success. To write every day and have people begging for more. To have your agent say “this is the best thing I have ever read!”
And in between those times (which exist in my dreams and daydreams, while I'm sitting in the garden enjoying the color) I just write. I write about my Guardian Angels and my SEALs and my vampires. And love blooms in the gardens of the heart.
Because, after all is said and done. That is really what I do best, and what I enjoy most of all.
What about you? Do you garden? What do you love about pruning your prose?


I found this saying on the back of a van at Hook & Ladder winery in Santa Rosa off Occidental Road.

Life is about things that happen while you are doing other things. John Lennon said it much better than I have, but it's true all the same. We raced out there to pick up a bottle of Palo Alto Firefighters Pepper Sauce. Their motto is “Service Through Courage.” We used this wonderful sauce to BBQ 10# of tri tip on Sunday night for a big family party. There was barely a scrap left.
Here's how you can order your very own: www.paloaltofirefighters.org. All proceeds go to charity. And while you are at it, if you come up to Sonoma County, you must try the Hook & Ladder Cabernet. A good, clean red that went so nicely with the meat, I'm going to start believing in predestination again.
So focused were we about getting this sauce that these words attached to the hatch of a mini SUV caught us completely by surprise. I got to thinking, on the way home, how my wanderings had brought me to this time and this place.
I've shared recently that I began my writing journey in part because our house had burned down and many things were lost to me forever: my great great grandmother's hair – a long braid that was exactly the texture and color of my own; the box she brought over with her from Scotland, lovingly made by her father. It stored all her worldly possessions. She was 14 and came to a family in Chicago to become a nanny. Her father made this box not knowing if he would ever see her again. And we suspect he never did.
Her guts and strong determination to make a life for herself gave me life. Her wanderlust, her desire to go out there and just fish in new waters gave me opportunities to live and now become a writer to tell those stories. And though her box is gone, her doll is gone, sewed with her mother's own hair, they will live forever in my memory.
She was a wanderer, but she was not lost. Just like me.
The president of a very large company I worked for had taken the time to befriend me, and when he found out about my fire, sent me a package. It was a handmade wooden box, like a jewelry box, from about the middle 1850's, that he and his wife purchased in an antique store in Austin. He said, “I cannot give you back your great grandmother's box, but perhaps you could adopt this orphan box.”
And I have. It houses thank you cards and little mercies I run across every day. If I am a little blue, all I have to do is look at that box, read some of the letters and mementos housed there, and feel the pulse of good energy flow through my body again. What is lost can be regained, although not in the same form. Perhaps a better one.
What about you? Are there some days you just feel like getting in the car and driving until you run out of gas? Or, taking a plane trip to some place new? Or watching people at a coffee house?
And isn't that one of the great things about writing? We get to live in a fantasyland of our own creation, and work like a dog until we get paid to do it.
I call that pure heaven.

Book of Mormon

My RWA chapter mate, Sherril Green, and I attended the Book of Mormon at the RWA Convention last week in NYC. We kept looking at ourselves as the production ran, “Did they really say that?” I kept looking around to see if the police were going to come in and shut the musical down.

But it was dead on funny as heck. We were surrounded by several celebs, Katie Couric, Mario Cuomo and a couple of comedians I recognized from late night. Pictures are strictly prohibited in the theatre (we snuck this one in and got chewed out for it), but there was a long line of those that got their picture taken with these famous (sometimes infamous) people.
The show was a delight for the eyes. We sat in row 3, center section. We didn't ask how he managed to get such great tickets, but he did.
The costumes were innovative, the acting and dancing over the top. Scenery was first rate. My favorite was the decaying donkey carcass one of the actors pulled across stage.
I'm told there are people of Mormon faith who laugh right alongside us. And I hope that is the case. My church has been made fun of too. Afterall, it's just entertainment.
This play ended on an interesting twist I did not predict. In fact, I liked this show BECAUSE I never knew what was going to happen next. It's been a long time since I've attended an event where I was thoroughly charmed, and kept in suspense the whole time.
Great job!

Mingling with Superstars

Just by chance, there was an open seat next to Sharon Sala for our luncheon. She's very soft spoken in a room of 2000 other women, munching down on our salads. Blessed with having the same first name, she promised to remember me.

When she gave her acceptance speech for the Lifetime Achievement Award (the nice big gold statue she's holding), I got to hear the strength of this woman and her tough determination to “turn my family's tradition of storytelling into a career.”
Both she and Sherrilyn Kenyon are of Cherokee descent. I'm only descended of vikings and rogue Scotts, some of whom lost their heads (as in Mary). What was most fascinating was her story of the wolf, and how this wolf “marked” her, according to old Cherokee legend.
As a child, she used to walk home from the bus stop, and her family dog, Buddy, was there to escort her both ways. One day she noticed a lone wolf that followed through the woods, parallel to her, and how Buddy growled and his hackles stood up even on the days when she didn't see the wolf. She knew he was there. And Buddy was doing his job to protect her. I think she said it happened one entire school year (she was 6 I believe).
Years later, she mentioned this wolf to a Native American elder, who told her this meant she was “marked” for greater things. That there was a purpose to her life. Something great would happen to her. And she's taken that to mean she was destined to tell the stories like the ones told to her by her great grandfather, her grandfather and father before her.
This rich storytelling tradition was the thread that has bound many generations of her kin together, connecting forever the living and the dead. The stories remain. They will always remain. They are truly immortal.
At lunch I asked her where she got her inspiration for her first books. She looked at me square in the eyes and said honestly, “Bad marriage.” She later found her high school sweetheart and was happily married until his passing, had babies and told her stories. Her granddaughter attended one of her book signings and, after watching people come up and speak to her over and over again, probably gushing (my editorial license here), her granddaughter turned to her and asked, “Grandma, are you famous or something?” To which Sharon responded, “I don't think so. They just like my stories.” Her granddaughter replied, “No, Grandma. I think you're famous. More than Brittney Spears.”
What about your stories? Are you marked for greatness? Are you giving the world the benefit of your wonderful stories–some carved from stone and some forged in fire?

Don’t Give Up

I had a full day yesterday. We had the keynote luncheon speech by Sherrilyn Kenyon and today I got to talk with her for a few minutes and get her to sign her book.

She has been on the NYT Best-Seller list 16 times. That's a writer who has a lot of dedicated readers.
But life hasn't always been easy for Sherrilyn. Her grace and courage, in the lean years, in the years when she was building her career and during the setbacks are what make her so great. Did you know she was homeless at one time, with a new baby born with lots of medical problems and hung out in a hospital waiting room with her baby because they wouldn't kick her out? She almost gave up writing, didn't even have the money for a stamp to send off a query letter, and carefully stole one of two stamps her husband was hoarding in his wallet. That query letter changed her life.
She talked about getting an editor rejection letter (I paraphrase): “Don't ever submit to this house again. We will never be interested in this author's work.” Instead of giving up, it fired her on.
Some things really hit home for me. We all think we have more than our fair share of grief and bad luck. But she doesn't even stop much to think about it. As she said better than I ever could, “You can measure a person's talent, but you can't measure the fire in their soul.” She wanted it. She wanted it bad. And her dream came true, in spite of some odds most people wouldn't ever recover from.
I like this quote too: “If you sit by the river long enough, you'll see the bodies of your enemies float by.” I take that to mean, if you keep working hard, the defeats in your life will be washed away by the fire in your belly, the desire to become a successful best-selling NYT author.
You see, I think Sherrilyn would agree with me. Adversity doesn't make a person. It reveals a person. You don't overcome your obstacles, you outlast them.
What about you? How do you outlast the obstacles that keep you from being the success you could be? How do you keep your locomotive going so you are unstoppable?

Tips from Diana Gabaldon

Today I got the opportunity to hear Diana Gabaldon, Tess Gerritsen and Steve Berry on a panel discussion during our Opening Session. Of the many words of wisdom they shared with all of us, most striking were the comments from Diana Gabaldon.

She was talking about her characters: onions, mushrooms and nuts. Before you think I've lost my marbles and begun a cooking blog, let me explain her meaning.
Onions are characters, like her Jamie and Claire, that keep revealing themselves, layer by layer as she goes further into the story. She learned more about them the more she wrote their characters. Like peeling an onion.
Mushrooms are characters that just show up. They are sort of a surprise at first. She said her Lord Jim character just showed up on her page. They seem to grow out of nowhere, but become an important part of the story.
Nuts are her characters that she is stuck with, or has to use because of history, the genre, or the story itself. She talked about historical characters, such as Charles Stuart, as well as characters the story created, like Jamie and Claire's daughter. Those characters she said she had to just “live inside” to understand them and fit them into the overall story.
I'd never thought about my characters this way. What about you? Can you classify your characters into Onions, Mushrooms and Nuts?

40 Years of Romance

I have been fortunate to share most of my adult life with my husband of 40 years this June. (Yes, I was indeed a child bride). I knew almost from the first time I saw him that I would marry him. Just had to wait (and I didn't have to wait long-he proposed to me on our second date) until the idea came to him. I wasn't going to stand in line, and there was a long one. He was the handsomest man I'd ever dated. I believe our first kiss set up a chemical reaction that made all my other memories fade. I didn't have the crowd chasing me like he did.

We left for our honeymoon in 1971. This picture was taken in our $200 VW, which took us all the way from Holland, through France, Italy, the then Yugoslavia, back along the Riviera to Spain, and then back up to Holland and home through England. We found out when we sold the car for $200 to another American tourist, that it was two cars welded together. The morning the picture was taken, we were robbed by gypsies, and my husband's passport was stolen. But were we unhappy? No, we were so much in love, being stranded in Spain without any money wasn't a problem. And we found a way.
In between having our babies, we found a life together that was not always easy, but then, nothing that lasts rarely is. I have to say it was a lot of work.
But the rewards, out of this world.
I'm one of the lucky ones, and I know it. I feel grateful every time I look at these photos and see my kids and now grandchildren.
So what did we do on our 40th? No more camping for me. And that's perhaps a story for another day, how we camped out for 18 months with 4 kids in a tent (one was a newborn), due to circumstances beyond our control. No, I don't do camping.

We went to Asilomar. Quiet evening with a room with a sliver of ocean view, fireplace, no phone or internet. Walks along the beach and the plank pathways. Aquarium. Ah. It was a nice way to start spending the next 40 years.

What a great abundant life. And so much to look forward to.
What about your relationships? Do they get better with age? Or has weathering the troubled spots turned you into a diamond?

Six Cows, No Horse and No Clue: YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT

Author Mary Lynn Archibald is one of the treasures of our Redwood Writers community here in Sonoma County. She has been a volunteer at special events and teaches writing classes, especially memoir classes, throughout the county.

Her story is really a romance, although she's shy when I suggest this. Couldn't you see a romance novel, starting with a couple answering an ad in a local newspaper, and finding their soul mates?
Welcome her and her incredible tale. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.
“You can’t always get what you want.” —Mick Jagger “Mick was right about one thing. But, as we discovered by doing way too many things the hard way, you can get what you need. Eventually. What we needed, Carl and I, were like so many other things in our relationship: two vastly different things; yet our twelve-year experiment in country living brought us closer in unexpected, almost magical ways that we were only able to appreciate long after our rural adventure had ended.” So begins Accidental Cowgirl: Six Cows, No Horse and No Clue, a love story, though not the usual kind. This one found my husband and I in the midst of a cattle-ranching business we knew nothing about, when all we’d really wanted was a peaceful, country retreat. “We had met, Carl and I, through a newspaper ad in the spring of 1984. He was trim, dark-haired and jauntily mustached. His ad in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat read as follows: COMPLEX SWM, 47, passes for 39, going on 18, handsome, ex comm’l banker, clergyman, dream analyst, now building own home. Listens to blues, gardens, backpacks, stops for garage sales, writes poetry, reads Countryside (magazine). Immersed in Jungian psych., strong spiritual side but no kook. Well educ. and traveled. Full of exper., innocence, wonderment, entrepreneurial, romantic, down to earth, whimsical, shy, outgoing, playfully comepetitive, great companion, friend, confidante. SF, please have similar qualities and hammer. To which I replied (I think): I am a tall, willowy green-eyed blonde who owns a hammer. Interested? Call this number…and so on. (I actually have hazel eyes, but I thought green sounded better. The rest was true, except for the fact that I’d never heard of Countryside magazine. He’s never let me forget it.)” We also found ourselves hopelessly in love with cows. Ours were Polled Herefords, which as any cowpoke will tell you, have the sweetest personalities of any bovine—hence their names: Big Mama and Baby, Peaches and Paco and Pansy, and so on. We had over thirty in no time—we couldn’t bear to part with them. Since they were beef cattle, this was not a very lucrative plan. I wrote this memoir because, once our backwoods escapade was over, I realized that if I didn’t describe it in all of its funny, sad, agonizing and poignant detail, nobody would believe it. We could hardly believe it ourselves. I kept a journal for our entire twelve-year sojourn, and took many photographs of our other love, the luscious land: ponds, streams, huge rocks, woods, bogs and meadows—even two big waterfalls. As I reread my notes, I realized that our story was something we needed to share with other country dreamers. It took me five years to get it done, and from the feedback I’ve received since the book was published, I know there are lots of others out there who long to get back to the land. Just be warned: the “simple life” isn’t quite as simple as it seems! ••• Mary Lynn Archibald a freelance editor and copywriter and author of two books: Briarhopper: A History, a memoir of one woman’s life from 1913-1945, and Accidental Cowgirl: Six Cows, No Horse and No Clue, a lighthearted memoir of a greenhorn’s life on a small cattle ranch. Her next book, (working title, Showoff: From Soquel to the Summer of Love), is a memoir that expands from her early life on a chicken ranch in Soquel, California, to San Francisco in the ‘50s and ‘60s, and her varied careers as switchboard operator, model, sales clerk, chorus girl and Miss San Francisco wannabe. It is due out in the summer of 2012.

Welcome Tara Lain

Welcome to Tara Lain, who is guesting at my blog today, and promoting her book: The Scientist and the Super Model. Tara and I met online at a Savvy Authors workshop and have been crit partners. She writes beautiful male on male romance. I mean, these guys, I could fall in love with. The excerpt from her book is PG-13, but gives you a flavor for her writing and the powerful emotions she unearths. Welcome, Tara!

The Mystery of Writing Male/Male My sincere thanks to Sharon for hosting me today in celebration of my new release, The Scientist and the Supermodel. As you may know, this book is primarily a M/M story. It’s the prequel to my M/M/F ménage called Genetic Attraction and tells how the two men who are the heroes of that book met and fell in love. Sharon, along with a lot of other people, ask me why I decided to write male/male romance rather than male/ female. I’ve given a lot of quick, glib answers (I love men. Two is better), but I’ve also given it some serious thought. First let me say, I love male/female romance too. I read it and I write it in the form of M/M/F ménage, but I haven’t written a traditional M/F story yet. May happen. But there is something about male/male … A woman who commented on my blog awhile back talked about gender roles. She said she didn’t like the traditional gender roles that seemed to dominate so much male/female romance, and so she liked to read male/male instead. Personally, I think many of my favorite writers create some kick-ass heroines, whether literally or figuratively, and they transcend gender roles pretty thoroughly. But there is no doubt that when the love affair is between two or more men, the gender roles are much more fluid. They can be dominant or submissive, take care of each other in whatever way they choose rather than what society outlines. I enjoy mixing up my characters’ personality traits making my seemingly alpha males into sexual submissives or my obviously effeminate men into decisive, stand-your-ground heroes. It’s all possible with more than one man to play with.
I also enjoy exploring the emotional identity of men. I’m not a man (I’m a happily married woman) and don’t know exactly what they feel, but I do know that no two men are exactly alike any more than two women are. I like to show a range of emotions – men who are comfortable with their feelings versus those who hide from them, men who are extremely verbal as well as the strong silent types. While it’s possible that two men together just doubles the testosterone as some suggest, isn’t it also possible that not having the traditional male protector role in a relationship can allow men to be more vulnerable and open? While the world is fortunate to have some brilliant gay men who write terrific LGBT fiction, I think the role of men together is enhanced by having a woman’s view of what’s possible. Since we don’t have to be limited by “what has always been true for us” in these relationships, we can visualize them broader, more diverse, more full of imagination and possibility than has yet been conceived. After all, romance is fantasy but fantasy has always shown us what could be true. So that’s a little of why I love writing M/M fiction — and I learn more every day. If you’ve never read a M/M book, I suggest giving it a try. It just might turn out to be a passion for you as it is for me. AND NOW I HAVE TO TELL YOU ABOUT THE CONTEST I’m Running for My New Releases!!! 8 BOOKS THIS MONTH! 4 Books Next Month. Here’s the first simple step: Comment on this blog and leave your email address. I will copy it and enter it in the drawing for the 2 books being given away during this week. One copy of The Scientist and the Supermodel and one copy of Genetic Attraction. You’ll be notified by email if you win. Comment and email, simple. Here’s MORE CHANCES TO WIN! (more complicated so read closely LOL) · Go to my Book blog http://beautifulboysbooks.blogspot.com. Leave a comment and follow the blog (if you already do follow, it counts). You will be entered in EVERY drawing until the end of the month. Two books will be given away every week and you’ll be entered in all those drawings. · Go to every blog on my blog tour and leave a comment on the day of the post (or at least in the same week) and you will be entered again during the week in which the post is made. · The entire blog tour is listed on my website http://www.taralain.com/blog_tour_schedule.html and updates will be posted regularly so check it out. There will also be Yahoo Group chats and TRS parties where I will be giving away other books so watch for those! Whew!! Remember, you can take each one of these steps and have a bunch of chances to WIN! (You just have to enter, the logistics are my nightmare! LOL) Got it? Comment and leave your email. And thanks so much for coming to say hi. : )
Jake has a mad hidden passion for his older boss, Emmaline Silvay, so why is he getting all hot and bothered when he sees this gorgeous man in a bar? Though Jake thinks of himself as straight, he's been having a lot of trouble getting excited about any of the girls he's dated. He doesn't have any such trouble with the supermodel, which throws his whole world into confusion. Roan Black knows better than to fall for some straight guy, especially a PhD scientist who couldn't possibly be interested in a high school dropout, could he? Well, maybe they can just have sex ….Excerpt PG-13 – The Scientist and the Supermodel M/M erotic romance by Tara Lain: The bar suited his mood. Dark, a little musty, it looked like the renovations throughout the old Los Angeles hotel hadn’t made it this far yet. Candles glowed on the few tables at the back and on the massive horseshoe-shaped bar that dominated the room. He climbed onto a barstool away from the door. From their badges, it looked like a few conference attendees had found the place, but he didn’t recognize anyone. Perfect. “What can I get you?” The buxom, California-blonde bartender smiled and looked like she might be offering more than a drink. No fucking thank you. “A dirty martini, two olives.” He barely knew what that was, but he’d heard a friend order one and liked the sound of it. Just the way he felt. Lack of performance. At twenty-five. Not exactly every young man’s complaint. In college, he’d been a serious cocksman, banging half the girls he met. He wasn’t exactly proud of that, but it was the truth. The last couple years, though, except for his dreams of Em, he just didn’t have the enthusiasm. Since his PhD. Since Tom. The bartender placed the drink carefully in front of him, displaying a rack to make a centerfold weep. He grabbed the martini and took a swallow — Jeeeezuz! The bartender grinned as his eyes teared. She inconspicuously placed a glass of water in front of him and walked away. He’d definitely failed the finals in macho tonight. Another mouthful, and he let it slip down his throat this time. Was this supposed to be good? Bitter, burning. He’d think of it as penance. Thinking. There was the rub. Tonight wasn’t the first — or even fifth — time he’d been half-cocked with a girl. Maybe it was the studying, writing his dissertation. He knew doctors said that stress could affect a guy’s…ability, interest. He’d gone for months without a girl while finishing the doctorate. No problem. But, of course, there’d been Tom. Tom had cared for him. He could admit it now, even though he’d tried to ignore it then. And Jake — shit. He’d been a shit. The next big swallow of the martini went down real smooth. “Want another one?” He startled at her voice. “Sure.” ’Cause he felt very, very dirty. A nice buzz set in. Not much of a drinker. He adjusted his wire rims. Man, he’d never feel the same way about them after tonight. Clark Kent, huh? He liked that. He looked across the bar through a comfortable little haze. There were a couple of conference nerds, possibly an LA hooker trying to persuade them to view her etchings, some other random business types, and — Who did that guy think he was, Brad Pitt? A baseball cap and sunglasses in this black hole. How could he see his drink? Jesus, was he drinking champagne? Alone? The bartender was Johnny-on-the-spot with the next martini, and Jake took another mouthful. Oh yeah, just like silk. He hoped there was a lot of nutrition in an olive, because this sure as fuck was dinner. He looked up again at the guy across the bar. At least he thought it was a guy. He could see longish hair sticking out from under the cap. And the mouth… From what he could see, those lips would make Angelina Jolie jealous. Maybe a girl? As he took another swallow, he saw the guy/girl’s hand reach out for its flute of bubbly and miss. Only a quick grab saved the glass from tumbling over. Jake could almost feel how pissed the person was. The cap was ripped off by an impatient hand, letting a mane of shining, black, chin-length hair fall free. The creature looked around like it was searching for predators, then pulled off the huge black sunglasses. Holy fucking Christ. Gorgeous. He knew this was LA, the land of the genetic celebrities, but this was ridiculous. Okay, Jake, you’re staring. He looked down into his martini and took another slug. But he had to look again. Peeking up over the edge of his glasses, he watched the guy — it was a guy, he was pretty sure now — take a deep breath, like he was really relieved not to be flailing around in the dark. Cheekbones. That was what you saw first on that face. Architectural masterpieces with perfect hollows beneath. Shit, the guy was looking! Jake looked away fast but was pretty sure the guy had seen him staring. Now that was embarrassing, but he couldn’t quite believe what he’d just seen. He took off his glasses, wiped them on a napkin to kill time, and then put them back on. He sneaked a peek back to find the guy looking down at his champagne, so Jake just stared. The guy was the most beautiful man — person…creature — he could ever remember seeing. Yeah, it was definitely a guy, even though the face was like some kind of idealized being, half female, half male. Large eyes rimmed with heavy lashes and the Angelina lips were offset by a clean, very male jaw and strong, arched brows. His hair looked black, although the candles on the bar picked up a little touch of red, and it was cut in a lazy European style that swept hair onto his forehead and shagged it around his face. As Jake watched, the man pushed his fingers into that hair, pulling it back off his luminous face for a moment, and then released it to fall again in idle perfection. The guy was young, probably younger than Jake. There was just one problem. If this was a guy, why did Jake suddenly have less room in his suit pants?
Reach Tara Lain at: E-mail: tara@taralain.com Website: http://www.taralain.com Author blog: http://taralain.blogspot.com Book blog: http://beautifulboysbooks.blogspot.com Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4541791.Tara_Lain Savvy Authors: http://www.savvyauthors.com/vb/member.php?2398-Tara-Lain Twitter: http://twitter.com/taralain Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/Tara-Lain/100001514105686


The Book Bible: The Character Tab

Today is Part II of a three part series on Book Bibles. You'll want to bookmark this series to refer to later on. Sometimes I get information that I know I'll use later. Enjoy! (Sharon H.)

THE SECOND POST Welcome back! Yesterday we talked about setting up your Book Bible in a notebook with dividers for certain sections. And we discussed what goes into the Notes, Plot, and any other tabs you put into your Book Bible. Today, we are talking about the Character tab.

Characters Here is where I keep all the character sketches, notes, etc for every major character in my book. The hero, heroine, the villain, and any side characters that are important. Like in my series, The Kinir Elite Chronicles, the Kinir Elite are a team of six warrior elves. While Derac is really the main character of the story, I have sketches made up for the entire team as they are very important to the plot. It is up to you and how you write on how many of these you actually make. I know many authors who only make sketches for the hero, heroine, and villain. I also keep any other notes about the character in this section. I like to “talk” to my characters as if they were real people (and yes, they talk back!) So I have snippets of conversations saved or interview questions and things like that here as well that have added personality traits for my characters. Now, for the side characters that appear but are not all that important like shop keepers, people they might run into once or twice only, and other characters like that, I use a notebook paper and write down their name, if they have one, and any little notes I put into the story as I write. For example, I’ll have “Maleena: Derac’s first wife; died in a fire; long blonde hair;” But that’s it. I don’t need a full sketch on her because she’s dead and only exists in Derac’s memory. She’s important enough that I need to remember that she has blonde hair, but doesn’t warrant a full sketch of her own. The Character Sketch Here is a black character sketch, with explanations for you to use. I originally started using sketch sheets like this one after reading “First Draft in Thirty Days” by Karen S. Wiesnder. I’ve edited the one I actually use to fit my needs – as should any writer. CHARACTER: (Full Name)

  • Character Role: (Hero/Villian/Etc)
  • Nickname:
  • Birth Date/Place:


  • Age:
  • Race:
  • Eye Color:
  • Hair Color/Style:
  • Build (height/weight):
  • Skin Tone:
  • Tattoos/Scars/Markings:
  • Skin Tone:
  • Style of Dress:
  • Weapons:
  • Magical Powers:
  • Characteristics/Mannerisms: (This where you can add those little twitches and quirks about your character – like they pop their knuckles when nervous for an example.)

PERSONALITY TRAITS: (List/Describe your characters personality. I do this in a bulleted list but you can write it out as a paragraph if you like. Mention things like – Quick temper, Battle hardened warrior, Devoted to family, etc.) BACKGROUND: (List/Describe your characters background, their upbringing. Again, I do this in a bulleted list but you can write it out as a paragraph if you like. Mention things like – where they were raise, what type of family do they have (parents/siblings), anything that’s important that happened to them in the past basically.) OCCUPATION/EDUCATION: (List/Describe your characters job and what type of education they have. Put as much detail as you like here about it. Did they go to college? What special skills do they have? What does their job actually entail?) INTERNAL CONFLICTS: (List/Describe the internal conflicts your character deals with during the book. Now I have this section a few times on a character’s sheet – once for each book. This is where you can talk about your character struggling with say, the loss of a spouse/child or some fear they have that may prevent them from reach their goal in the story.) EXTERNAL CONFLICTS: (List/Describe the external conflicts your character faces in the book. This is things like the villain, or even the weather. Stuff that is outside the character and his/her control. Again, I repeat this for each book in a series.) MISCELLANEOUS NOTES: (Use this section for anything else you want to add.) Type it up, print it out, and put it in your notebook. Repeat for each character! If you have pictures or drawings of your characters, don’t forget to add those here! I was able to hire an artist to draw sketches of my characters for me. You can see them at the website for the Kinir Elite, http://kinirelite.com. Now, as you write the book(s) you will no doubt have things to add to this sketch. I simply write them down by hand on the paper or on a sticky note. Yes, I have quite a few hand written notes all over the place. I update when the page gets too hard for me to read without getting lost and print out a new copy. I do like having the notebook, but I don’t want to print a new page for one line of new information. So, I wait until I run out of space or it’s too jumbled for me to find what I want before I update it. And we are done for the day. Come back again tomorrow and I’ll explain the rest of the Settings in the Book Bible. If you have any questions about something I didn’t explain well enough, please leave a comment here. I’ll be sure to visit all day to answer your questions. Anastasia V. Pergakis lives with her husband and two year old son in Columbus, Georgia. She is a high fantasy writer, enchanting adults to remember their imagination is not gone just because they grew up. Her series, The Kinir Elite Chronicles, follows the Kinir Elite, a team of warrior elves protecting Kinir and her people. Cleanse Fire, the first book, is being submitted at the moment.

Anastasia is also the owner of Anastasia Creatives, a web design company helping the “starving artists” and small business owner have a solid web presence through quality websites. You can learn more about this at http://anastasiacreatives.com.

And if all that wasn't enough, Anastasia recently started a new venture called Beyond Worlds. It is a place to highlight fantasy and sci-fi authors and their works. It is a division of HighlightedAuthor.com, originally started by Charlene A. Wilson (http://charleneawilson.com), author of Cornerstone Deep. You can visit Beyond Worlds athttp://habeyondworlds.com.


From Where I Sit

There's lots of future in my future. And I'm so grateful I get to write, that I live on a beautiful piece of property, and get to garden, tend my chickens, be close to family and the community of writers.

Today, I'm filled with gratitude for all I have. Nothing is certain. Things change. We live in challenging times filled with pitfalls and dark caverns. Some people are dangerous. What I have to remember is to forgive them. The quote I love is “Forgive them. Change me.”
On the Naked Hero blog yesterday http://thenakedhero.com/blogging-therapy-or-vice-versa, Misa was talking about being true to herself. I liked what she said. And it got me thinking. The only thing I can change is my thoughts. My thoughts change my attitude. Change my attitude, it will change my behavior. Change my behavior and it changes the results. But it starts with my thoughts.
So today, I see years and years of prosperity, and a future “so bright I need shades,” to quote Steely Dan. And opportunity. And time to do it all.
This is Day 36 without flour or sugar. Yes, I've missed not tasting some items. But I'd rather feel like I do today. Grateful. Grateful for everyone around me.
I want to thank my writer friend Julia Barrett, who I feel will be a friend for the rest of my life, and my sounding/grounding board, for Tina Folsom and Bella Andrade, for believing in me, for helping me stumble through all the ups and downs of self publishing. For Virna DePaul for first inviting me to a RWA Chapter meeting and making me feel welcomed, and offering to review one of my early WIPs (ugh!). For Lee Lopez and Jill James, for Karin Tabke (Black Diamonds all), Brenda Novak. Sophie Littlefield at all the crew at SF RWA who again made me feel like a sister. Veronica Wolff for critiquing, and being the first person to say, “This is hot. You can take that to the bank!” For Catherine Bramcamp who watched as I began my writing process, and, when I asked her, “Is it normal to write 92,000 words in 30 days?” she nicely answered, “If you can do that, you can do anything.” Darynda Jones who was gracious to share her great story with me. My Tuesday “Jack London” crit group, all the teachers and coaches I've had: Marlene, Ana, Margie Lawson, Deb Dixon, Donald Maas. I'm grateful for my new friends at WG2E (Misa, DD, Tonya) and Ravencraft Romance Realm, Hannah and Marina, Esther and Janet and all the crazy ladies at SV RWA, my old friends at Wicked Writers, and for my agent, Jill Marsal.
When I say I am a writer, it is only because these and many more others have helped me in the past. I write this because, without them, I might have given up on the dream of becoming a best-selling author. And because of them and their stories, I won't quit until I get there.
Angel is out now in all eformats. I'm proud of that book. And I'm revising Book 2 in the series, Josh's story, the dark angel who switches sides. It was hard not to fall in love with Josh while writing his character, so I knew his book would come next. All the major characters have their own stories. I'm intrigued with the angelic realm and the space between Heaven and Earth, where all the drama is. Heaven isn't 100% perfect by design, the Underworld isn't 100% evil by accident.
Tomorrow, and for the next three days, we're going to hear some great ideas on creating a Story Bible, from talented author Ana Pergakis. You won't want to miss it.

So, who do you thank? Has there been a special mentor or friend in the business who helped you? Is there someone you are grateful for? What do you do to keep gratitude a part of your daily life? One lucky commenter will get a free download of Angel and my thanks for showing up.

Behind The Grog

A big thanks to Sharon for hosing us all here this week, for being a fan of The Naked Hero and WG2E, and for offering up our insight to you all. What a fun, fun idea! Making a grog work means that everyone knows the expectations, everyone is on board with those expectations, and everyone has jobs they understand and can commit to. I’m definitely the Behind-the-Scenes girl of our blogs, running the dashboard, organizing our content, structuring the blog pages, etc. Was I always a techy girl? Nope! I learned out of necessity. We launched our blog way back when and I wanted it to look a certain way. I wanted to have links in the sidebar widgets. I wanted content organized just so. But none of the original founders had the money to spend on any more than the custom WordPress design we’d agreed on (customizing a WordPress design is very easy and one of the most affordable ways to get a blog/grog rolling). Now, I should interject here and say that my parents call me a pioneer woman. That is, I am rarely idle, and I do what needs to be done, particularly when there’ s no one else to do it. So, a little HTML didn’t scare me. I dove in, began reading about SEO and code and WordPress, and I experimented. I learned. And while I’m no pro and would never quit my day jobs, I do enjoy having the ability to manipulate the look of our websites, add the content that the other gals want added, and I’ve grown with the industry and the world by learning to be techy. I love participating on both The Naked Hero and WG2E (I also write for the grog, Killer Characters). They all give me something different–outlets for creativity, thoughts, and a means to hone my craft and dig deeper into the industry. Working with others means the pressure to produce a daily blog isn’t there. I write on my day and trust that the others will meet their commitments and write on their days. This is super important for me because I: • Am the Marketing Director for Entangled Publishing ( http://entangledpublishing ) • Am a mother of 5 • Am a wife • Like to read • Want a life • Am a writer ( http://misaramirez.com ) Blogging is fun. It’s important for different facets of my career. It’s an outlet. But it’s also work, so doing it with other people who I enjoy spending [virtual] time with makes it all the better. We’re our own little family– lots of love, some squabbles (like DD said, we don’t always agree on everything!), and the knowledge that we always have each other’s backs. About Misa/Melissa Melissa Bourbon, who sometimes answers to her Latina-by-marriage name Misa Ramirez, gave up teaching middle and high school kids in Northern California to write full-time amidst horses and Longhorns in North Texas. She fantasizes about spending summers writing in quaint, cozy locales, has a love/hate relationship with yoga and chocolate, is devoted to her family, and can’t believe she’s lucky enough to be living the life of her dreams. She is the marketing director at Entangled Publishing, is the author of the Lola Cruz Mystery series with St. Martin’s Minotaur, A Magical Dressmaking Mystery series with NAL (Pleating for Mercy: http://www.amazon.com/Pleating-Mercy-Magical-Dressmaking-Dressmakers/dp/0451234367 ), and is the co-author of The Tricked-out Toolbox and two romantic suspense novels to be released in 2012.


BLOGGING: How We Work/How We Get Along

WAVING from Kentucky! Yes!~ we do have internet service here! Most people know me as Tonya Kappes, mother of four, but readers know me as The high-class hillbilly that writes romantic comedy and cozy mysteries. My short stories, Masked Souls, and Another Quirky Christmas are published through a small press. Recently I Indie published my debut novel, Carpe Bead ‘em and excited to say it hit Amazon’s bestsellers list in the United States and the United Kingdom! Needless to say, I’m over the moon.

Enough about me…. When Sharon asked our grog to take a week and blog, we were delighted. I decided to tackle how we work, cooperate and just plain get along. Now I’m not gonna lie, sometimes we want to spit in each other’s eye, but we don’t. We chew harder on that piece of straw and bit our tongue because none of us have the same opinions. You see, we all have different writing career paths and no matter which path we are on, it’s not the wrong path. That’s what makes The Writer’s Guide To E Publishing work. We bring all different sort of opinions and ideas.

When D.D. and I came up with the idea, we wanted a place where writers had all the new electronic publishing tips in one place. D.D. is Indie published, Lee is polishing her manuscript, Misa is big six published and indie published, I am small published and Indie published, so we bring a lot of industry knowledge to the site. First we got a yahoo loop. We each took a day, and since D.D. had so much information already, she took on a lot of the other three days. But Lee is doing a lot more of that now. Anything that needs to be discussed, goes through the yahoo loop. We all agreed, that we would be honest in our journey. Honest about what we like about publishing and what we don’t like about publishing. Lee gives the facts, I try to make it fun, and Misa and D.D. just tell it like it is. And sometimes we don’t agree. But that’s okay! It’s what makes the grog work. WG2E was designed to give the writer every option they have to make the most of their careers. We wanted to pay it forward and give back to writers. WE believe in KARMA, good ju-ju, and this was our way of doing it. For example, my experience may be different than Lee’s, but at least the writer gets to look at all our experience and not go into something with a blind eye like we did. We aren’t saying it’s a bad blind eye, but we are honest and let you know what to expect on all fronts. So come on by WG2E, no matter what stage of the publishing game you are in. I promise you will learn something new!!
Tonya Kappes is the author of Carpe Bead ‘Em , that hit Amazon’s Hobby Fiction Best Seller’s list only six days after the debut. The Ladybug Jinx, a romantic comedy novel will be available in August 2011. Tonya is the author of two short stories which can be found in the Something Spooky This Way Comes and Believe Anthologies. Her, co-authored, non-fiction book The Tricked-Out Toolbox, helps writers explore the best promotional and marketing strategies for their career, will debut January 2012. Besides being the co-founder of the beyond quirky writer’s grog The Naked Hero (www.thenakedhero.com), she also is co-founder of The Writer’s Guide to E Publishing (www.thewritersguidetoepublishing.com). When she’s not writing about quirky characters and even quirkier situations, she’s busy being the princess, queen and jester of her domain which includes her BFF husband, her four teenage boys and two dogs. Why write a book with beading elements? Once upon a time, Tonya was the proud co-owner of a very successful beading company, Beadnicks LLC.


Grogging Your Way to Readers and Sanity

Hello, Sharon Hamilton-Land!!! I’m Bestselling Romantic Comedy and Cozy Mystery Author D. D. Scott, plus the #1 Amazon Bestselling Author of MUSE THERAPY: UNLEASHING YOUR INNER SYBIL, and without a doubt, me and my muses too are huge fans of all-things-grogging! What’s Grogging? Grogging = Group Blogging Doesn’t the name itself just sound sooo cool rolling off your tongue?! Anyhoo… Why Grogging? Well…because of two reasons: 1. We’re Writers…and thus our ultimate goal is to “find” readers 2. We’re Writers…and thus hanging onto our sanity can be a bit of a rough ride, right? To that end, first, let’s get the writer’s sanity issues out in the open…

Yesterday, on one of my grogs The WG2E http://thewritersguidetoepublishing.com to celebrate the release of my 5th Indie Epubbed book –THUG GUARD – I kicked-off my D. D. Scott “Put Your Big Girl Panties On & Deal With It” Blog Tour. Because yeah, to make it to your own Publishing Oz in our writing-for-publication, full of wicked witches publishing world, many days it simply boils down to putting on your big girl or boy panties and just dealing with all the crap piling up on your road to success. Today, I’m sharing one of my “sassy observations about life…”…the writer’s life that is…on this fantabulous blog: A Little Bit of Monika http://monikamichalak.blogspot.com So hop on over there now and catch my My Evil Editor Turd Anecdote straight outta my MUSE THERAPY book.
http://www.amazon.com/Muse-Therapy-Unleashing-Inner-ebook/dp/B004774LN4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1306947576&sr=8-1 It doesn’t get much sassier than this…and, keep in mind… This is… no joke… what actually happened to me at RWA (Romance Writers of America) Nationals in 2009. Once you’ve read my anecdote, you’ll know why it’s sooo damn important to find any means you can to maintain your sanity along our writing-for-publication journeys. One way I’ve found to do both that as well as continue to find new readers and fans for my books is to Grog with other authors who sooo “get” our sanity issues and challenges as writers and who also sooo hope to build their reader and fan bases too. I became a Goddess at The Naked Hero in October 2010, then fellow Goddess Tonya Kappes and I brainstormed and created our next grog The WG2E – The Writer’s Guide to Epublishing – in December 2010, with the tech-savvy-super-smarts of Author Misa Ramirez and the indie epub newbie angle that soon-to-be-pubbed L.A. Lopez could also share! Tonya had taken one of my Muse Therapy Online Classes, and she and her muse Lucky Lucy (formerly known as Lazy Lucy) immediately bonded with me and my muses The Carrie Squad (named after my beloved Carrie Bradshaw of Sex and The City fame). Tonya asked me to become a Naked Hero Goddess, and I was thrilled to join her, Misa, Lee/L.A., and Heather Webber on Mount Olympus as the Hump Day Goddess. I luuuvvv that with The Naked Hero, we’re really focused on Readers and Fans. We luuuvvv getting to know reader peeps and sharing all-things-books-movies-TV-pop culture-and-life in general. Now, with our WG2E grog, we’ve created a destination site for all-things-Epublishing. We’re writers helping writers by Paying It Forward with real numbers and real experiences. On this grog, our goal is to share everything in our writing-for-publication worlds to hopefully make it a wee bit more pleasant for other writers traveling the Epublishing Road to Oz. So yeah…we’re grogging for both readers and writers! And many of our grog fans participate on both sites…which of course we luuuuvvv!!! With Tonya, Misa, Lee/L.A., Heather and I, we bring a wide range of experiences and career levels to our grog readerships…and I think that’s what makes us sooo successful. We’re all coming at our writing-for-publication careers from different points and preferences. And ohhh yeahhh, we sooo do NOT agree on all elements of our journey…but again, it’s that kind of innate differences, experiences, viewpoints, and opinions that really rock our readers and give ‘em that extra zest and spice to make our grogs must-visit-daily sites! In today’s publishing world, perhaps even more so than that messed-up world of yesteryear, it’s even more important to be visible on every possible social networking venue – every day – and grogging gives you that kind of visibility EVERY DAY!!!

Thanks bunches for hosting me today, Sharon! Please…feel free to comment and ask me any questions you’d like. I’ll be checking-in through-out the day! In addition, you can always catch me at all my cyber homes: http://www.DDScott.com http://ddscottauthor.blogspot.com http://thewritersguidetoepublishing.com http://thenakedhero.com http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/profile.php?id=100001238957002 http://twitter.com/#!/ddscottromcom http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/949843.D_D_Scott I look forward to welcoming y’all to my Bootscootin’ and Cozy Cash Mystery Worlds!!!


BLOGGING: How To Get Started

Welcome Lee Lopez, fellow chapter mate of mine at RWA-Black Diamonds in the East Bay, California. Lee not only has been a great friend, but she was one of those people who had to look at one of my early (oh! this is sooooo painful) first drafts. You know that one that we all have? When the critique partner starts the crit with, “Um.” But she couldn't have been more helpful, and her kind and gentle approach to all things has inspired me in so many ways. A very public and well-deserved thank you, Lee.I've been impressed and watched the success of their blogs: Naked Hero and Writer's Guide to ePublishing. Links are below. This week, we're going to be touching base with all the writers who contribute. Welcome to you all.

First I’d like to thank Sharon for inviting, myself and my blogging partners from the Writers Guide to E-Publishing, to be a guest on her site. Sharon had asked me how do you create a successful blog, with four other individuals, with four different styles of writing, and four different backgrounds. There is only one answer, not very easily. This is where you start: 1. Know your partners. Make sure everyone is on the same page, and understands this is a commitment. No slackers! 2. All the parties involved, must come to an agreement on the format of the blog. Is it about writing, heroes, dogs, kids, etc. 3. Discuss responsibilities of maintaining the site. Who is the techie, who is PR. 4. Choose your days for blogging and stick with it. One of the biggest reasons blogs go under is one person isn’t holding up their end of the bargain. It can ruin friendships, when the group as a whole has to carry dead weight. 5. Talk to your partners. Keep open communication. If you can’t blog on an assigned day, let them know. Bring in a guest, or switch with someone. Remember it’s a commitment. 6. Be consistent. Readers return because of reliability. They become fans and expect a certain degree of quality. If you don’t post for a few weeks, you’ll lose readers. 7. Be careful what is written. Do research, and quote experts, don’t ever bad mouth anyone. 8. Remember what you write will remain in cyberspace F-O-R-E-V-E-R. 9. Know copyright law. Don’t enroll in law school, but research copyrights, especially on pictures copied to your site. No what you can copy directly and can’t. Getting a nasty gram from someone claiming you’ve copied them, is embarrassing. 10. You must answer every comment on the blog. It makes the commenter feel like they are saying is important, and it gives them a connection. They feel like they know you. 11. Have fun. Enjoy what you’re doing. Have contest, give away, make it fun. I know it sounds like a lot, but it is what makes a successful blog. Is it work? It can be, but once the rhythm of writing for the blog takes hold, its fun. My mind is always swirling around things to write about. And I find ideas in the oddest places. When blogging first started, I heard many writers say, they weren’t going to bother, it was only another fad. Well, that was five years ago, and here were are with, probably millions of blogs in the bloggessphere. There is even a bloggers convention, with awards. It is a personal choice to make this commitment. It is easier to go with partners, it keeps the blog up dated daily, and it brings fresh new ideas. Some prefer going it alone, and do a great job. Right now I’m apart of three blogs: The Naked Hero,www.thenakedhero.com The writers guide to e-publishing, www.thewritersguidetoepublishing.com Voices from the Heart, www.voicesftheart.blogspot.com (I blog once a month there.)



The witty crew from WG2E are going to be here next week to show us the ins and outs of successfully doing a blog and holding it together.

Come back all week and check out what we have in store for you. And thanks to the gals at Naked Hero and WG2E for the gift of their time, and experience. I think you'll be as impressed as I have been with what they've done, and how they do it.
We start the week out with author Lee Lopez, on Monday, HOW TO START A SUCCESSFUL BLOG.

Welcome New Guest Bloggers

The ladies at Writers' Guide to ePublishing are going to be here next week to give us some tips on their success. I'm so thrilled they have agreed to share their extensive knowledge with all of us. As most of you know, this blog is fairly new (only started it this year) and we are off to a great start. I'm hoping that with dynamic guest posters you will stick around all year long for the great information I hope to share.

Like Tina's Folsom's blog last Thursday, I hope to inspire great things for all of us, as well as point out some of the pitfalls and lessons I've learned about life and writing.
I have to figure out how to do a post on the side for future topics. Right now, just want you to stay tuned, especially next week, as we explore the ins and outs of epublishing.

Welcome Author Tina Folsom

I am pleased to welcome an incredible writer, and one of my best writing friends, Tina Folsom. You may have read recently in Forbes and the Washington Post how such talented writers as Bella Andrade and Carolyn Jewel have had huge financial success by releasing their backlists to the self-publishing craze. These are agented, writers with years of publishing background.What makes Tina's story so compelling is that she has done it without an agent. And she has done this without a backlist of titles released previously. She is definitely one to watch, and a writer who not only shows talent, but commitment to her craft and her readers. No wonder she has exploded on the scene. A Writer’s Life By Tina Folsom, San Francisco, California When I started out writing, I had a definite preconceived idea of what life as a writer was like: long stretches of sitting behind my computer, writing eagerly, would be interspersed with tea breaks and contemplating looks out through the window, then long lunches with my girlfriends, a little shopping in between. And by four p.m. my work for the day would be done, and I’d prepare a leisurely dinner for me and my husband or make a reservation at a nearby restaurant. But becoming a writer was nothing like I’d imagined, yet everything I wanted. My day starts early: I rise before 7 a.m. After a quick cup of coffee, I’m already at the computer, checking emails, sales statistics and sales rankings and make sure that all my books are still showing up at the various retailers. I’m a little paranoid that way, but after the things that have happened at various online retailers over the last few months (and I’m not naming names), I find it prudent to make sure my books are still for sale. Once some of the admin work is out of the way, and I’ve replied to reader emails and guest blog requests, I start writing. I try to get about 4 – 5 hours of pure writing time in every day. On most days this translates to about 2000 – 3000 words or 8 – 12 pages double-spaced. But if I thought that my day would then wind down, I was sadly mistaken. The rest of the afternoon and early evening is often spent with marketing tasks. Whenever I find a new retailer to upload my books to, a whole process of formatting and marketing starts. Only recently, I started uploading my books to the Apple iBookstore and had to discover that even though my ePub looked perfectly formatted on my computer, when I bought a test copy for my iPad, most of the formatting was gone: no indents, no justified text, no italics, no centered headings. It was a disaster. That’s when my real work started: I had to find out why my perfect ePub was suddenly not so perfect anymore. Needless to say, I spend hours correcting things and re-uploading. I’m a perfectionist that way. Now, every time I upload a new book somewhere, I purchase a copy for the appropriate device and make sure it looks all right. Would a publisher do that for you? Not sure. But frankly, that’s why I’m self-published, so I can control every aspect of my books. So, while other authors out there tell me that they don’t want to be both publisher and author, but would rather just concentrate on writing, I can’t let go of either. And even though it often is double the work, and many days I work 12 hours, I also reap all the rewards: I don’t have to share my royalties with an agent or a publisher. But what’s even more rewarding is the knowledge that I was able to do it all myself. With the help of my faithful readers, of course, because without them, my books would be languishing on the digital shelf.Thank you, Tina. I am sure you have inspired other writers to follow in your footsteps. What amazing opportunities we have now as writers in this dynamic, changing arena. As usual, the generous sharing of your success helps us all to reach for the stars. Brava!Stop by, and if you leave a comment on Sharon's blog post, you'll be entered to win an autographed paperback of Venice Vampyr – The Beginning (Novellas 1 – 3).www.tinawritesromance.comhttp://authortinafolsom.blogspot.comhttp://www.facebook.com/AuthorTinaFolsomhttp://www.twitter.com/Tina_Folsom
All Tina's books are available from BarnesandNoble.com, Amazon.com and other onlineretailers.