Category Archives: Editors

#Reviews, #Comments, and saying “Not Nice” things.

I posted about this topic a few weeks ago, but it hit home for me yet again yesterday when I was reviewing another book I’d been given through Netgalley.

As I do, I read the other reviews posted that are either listed on the Netgalley page or on GoodReads 

to get an idea of what other people think of the book. The reason I do this is to see if I’m totally off the mark with my opinion of the work – which I can be,  no lie – or if I somehow missed something along the way that would make me not like the book I’m reviewing.

So. The book I read was really pretty weird. The story was told in three voices, all with their own consecutive chapters. Luckily, the names of the person “talking” appeared on the heading of each chapter, so at least I knew whose Point of View ( POV) I was in. The story itself was a depressing tale of family secrets, murder, and abuse. It was billed as a “suspense/mystery.” Well, I didn’t think there was any suspense, and I figured out the “mystery”  50 pages into the book.

Now, when a story just doesn’t resonate with me, I simply give it a 3 rating ( never less) and don’t write a review. This way at least I rated it in the middle of the curve ( 1-5 stars) and I don’t have to write any negative comments.

Not so much the other people who reviewed it – and I say “reviewed it” in the lightest sense. 10 ratings/reviews were posted ( not including mine). 6 people rated it DNF for did not finish, and then went on to explain why they didn’t. Every one of those explanations was….brutal. Really. Nasty, harsh, and on the cusp of bullying-speak. The other 4 rated it between 1 and 2 with equally critical words.

All I could think was this book was published by a big-name publishing house by a moderately well-known author who probably had an agent ( who read the book before sending it out to publishers) and editors who also devoted time to it, thinking it was worthwhile to publish.

Why? What did they think was so publishing worthy about the story that this random sampling of readers did not?

Out of 10 reviews, plus my own rating, no one had anything good to say.  What did this do to the books’ sales? What did this do to the author’s ego? Or sense of writing-self? I agonize over those answers because I’m a writer, too. I hate when anyone says anything derogatory or uber-critical about my words. I know I should let it flow – like water off a duck’s back – but I can’t! My ego is so fragile, (and God I hate how that sounds!)  but it’s true. I don’t like to hear bad things about my creative babies.

I wonder how the people who write such nasty, negative reviews would feel if someone they didn’t know wrote something really horrible about them, or something they did for a living? I really do.

And that question is what keeps me from writing a scathing review.

So…if you see my name attached to a review with a 3 rating, just know the book didn’t resonate with me as its reader. But it may with you….just saying

When I’m not losing sleep over reviews you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Editors, Netgalley Reviewer, Pet Peeves, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

Of #Cellphones and wrecked writing #plans….

Yesterday was a disaster waiting to happen and it didn’t disappoint!

After a killer workout at Planet Fitness, I was all set to come home and start plotting out the next three books in my Will Cook For Love Series – even though book #1 ( Cooking With Kandy) won’t be released until April 4.

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But I digress….

I left the gym, sipping water from a Poland Springs bottle and checking my phone for email messages when I slipped on a patch of black ice and…wait for it….dropped my phone. You thought I was gonna say something like I broke a leg or an arm, weren’t’cha??!! hee hee. Anyway. I retrieved the phone from under my car – yes, it bounced all the friggin’ way under – and pressed the screen button so I could check and make sure it was okay.

It wasn’t.

The screen lit up and then started flickering like a light bulb does when it’s starting to blow. I watched as it had a full-fledged Samsung seizure and then just… winked out.

So. Okay. I figured the lightbulb inside it had blown. No worries. I hightailed it over to USCellular,cellu a mere three minutes’ drive and told the lovely tech lady there what happened, describing the light blowing.

“Um, No,” she said. She took the phone from my hand and ran her finger along the screen. “There’s no light bulb inside this, so what I think is that you have a broken connection underneath the LED.” I have no idea what that means – didn’t then and still don’t.

Okay, so go ahead and fix it, I said, expansively.

“Do you have insurance?” she asked.

“What, like life? Car?”
She shook her head. “Phone.”
And there, my friends, is where the second part of this disaster occurred. The answer to the question was a resounding no, I did not.

After a few moments of typing on her USCellular computer, she said, “Well. The phone is for all intents and purposes, broken and non functional, so  it will cost about **** ( insert astronomical figure of your choice here)  to try and fix the problem, but I don’t see that happening, so you might as well just get a new phone.”

“Okay.” I figured, why not? Even though the phone was only a year and month old, I could always stand a new one.

Here’s the corker…are you ready for it?
“You owe **** ( a little less than astronomical amount -but not much!) on the old phone, so you need to pay that off in full first before I can give you a new one.”

Truly? Could this day get any worse?
Well, yes. It could.

I need my phone. I do. I always say I don’t know how we survived before cell phones ( I know we did!) but I am just so dependent on that damn thing, that I have to have one. So…. I paid the balance on the old (13 months!) broken one and then was lucky enough to get the same model back as a new one.

But….

The lovely tech lady suggested I now get insurance on the phone AND get a case whereby if I dropped it again, I wouldn’t break it. Okay, that didn’t sound too bad. The insurance is only 8 bucks a month – I can live with that. They case? Yeah, not so lucky with the price there. Another large chunk of change passed hands and I now had a case, insurance, and new phone.

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You might think this is the end of the story, but it’s not.

Because I’m so tech illiterate – and there really should be an actual word for that – I said, “so can you transfer the stuff from my old phone to the new one?”
The Lovely Tech lady stared at me, speechless, but I just know she was thinking, “What part of the phone is for all intents and purposes broken and nonfunctional did you not understand?”

She blinked and said, “Well, we can tryyyyyyyyyyy ( yes she did elongate the word), but..” She shrugged and that told me everything I needed to know. “Do you back your data up? ”

Um, no because I didn’t even know you could!!

All my photos, all my text messages, my settings, my apps, my entire workoad, was on the old, now broken and non-functional phone.

“So,” I said, fighting the tears I felt stinging my eyes, “can you try? Please?”

She nodded, but I knew, deep down, she thought it was a waste of time.

She got some weird looking connector and attached the new phone to the old one and then pressed a few buttons.

And….nothing happened.

The threatening tears swelled a little bigger and I said a quick, silent Novena.

Then, the old phone, well chugged, is the best word, beeped once, and then the new phone lit up. “I think I can get something,” the Lovely Tech Lady said. “What can you absolutely not live without that’s on this old phone?”
I didn’t even think. “My photo gallery. If you can get that back, I’ll march right over to Church and give thanks! Everything else, the apps, and the programs,  I can try and re-do when I have time, but the pictures are important. I don’t have copies of them anywhere – hard or digital.”
She nodded and pressed a bunch of buttons. Just when it looked like the connection would hold, it broke.  Not once, but twice.

Her sigh was heavy and long. “Just try one more time, please,” I begged. Hey, I’m not proud. I wanted those pictures.

She did, and after about 15 minutes, my photos uploaded just in time for the old phone to chug and fritz out again.

But I had my precious photos, so I was happy. Well, happy may not be the right word for all this aggravation, but hey, I had my pictures.

Several hundred dollars and almost an hour and a half later, I left USCellular and went directly to church where I said a quick prayer of thanks, and a long one that my new phone stay in working and functional order for another 24 months – the time it would take to pay it off!

Byt the time I got home I was hungry, tired, pissed off, and behind on my writing schedule.

Yeah, A disaster is exactly what the damn day was!

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Editors, Life challenges, Pet Peeves, Strong Women

I get by with a little #help from my #friends..

and by friends, I mean books!

Every year I like to share the list of reference tools and books that keep me sane as a writer. Since I spend sosososososososos much time alone, writing and thinking about writing, I sometimes need tools to help me figure out plots, people, motivations, and dialogue subtexts. Here’s a list of my absolute favorites and the books that keep me sane when I’m trying to swim through the quagmire that is my imagination. Maybe if you haven’t finished making your Christmas and Holiday wish list yet, you’ll consider asking for one of these valuable tools. Believe me, it is money well spent and worth the cost.

1-4  The Emotional Thesaurus ( and amplifier) , The Postive Trait Thesaurus and the Negative Trait Thesaurus

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5.Goal, Motivation and Conflict by Debra Dixon. This is like a bible to most writers!thes8

6.The Romance Writer’s Phrase Book. Little snippets, words, and descriptions to tweak your dialogue and writing

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7. Master Lists. Every conceivable list you need for character, description, setting. Also fabulous as a reference when you play Trivial pursuit!

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8. The title says it all. Rated Triple H for hothothot!

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9.Nothing better for getting into the mind of your character and their inner conflicts and struggles

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And if you’re looking for a great little romantic fiction read for yourself or as a Holiday gift, well, here’s my newest ( shameful plug) A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS 

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When I’m not doing research I can usually be found in one ( or more!) of these places:

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Devices, Devices, Devices!

Today I’m channeling Jan Brady!

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The reason? Because I need to whine a little and Jan’s iconic “Marcia, Marcia, Marica!” just resonates so well for that.

The other evening, as I was plugging in my iPod, cell Phone,  laptop and Kindle to charge, my husband was brushing his teeth with his electric toothbrush. When he was finished, he looked at me–struggling to get everything plugged in for the night in one little over loaded  outlet– and then down at his brush and said, “How many extraneous electrical devices do you think we own?”

“Define extraneous?” I said.

“Something we use that we could use something non-electric for. Like our toothbrushes.”

I thought about it for a moment, counting everything I used on a daily basis that needed to be charged or plugged in to work, and then said, “None. Everything we use we need.”

“Really? Do you actually need all that”–he pointed to the overloaded outlet–“all day, every day?”

“Yes.” No hesitation on my part at all.

And I’m being truthful.

“What about all the other things, like the microwave, your hair stuff, your lighted makeup mirror, the fans you keep blowing all day and night? Those aren’t superfluous?”

“No.” I should have known he wouldn’t leave it at that. Dog, meet bone. The definition of my husband.

“Why not?” he asked.

Ticking all the items off on my fingers, I gave my best argument ( debate club alum, remember?).

“When you work late and come home hungry but don’t want a full dinner, the microwave is the perfect thing for either reheating something, or making something small and quick for you. You’re hungry and you want to eat NOW not in 30 minutes after the oven has preheated. I need my blowdryer and all my straightening hair devices and tools because you know I look like I have a bird’s nest on my head if I don’t straighten my hair. There’s no other safe way to do it if I want to avoid the myriad of chemicals needed to attain non-pubic hair-looking status. Since I am in the throes of menopause and we don’t have robots or droids to fan me all day long to keep the heat at bay, I need those fans on or else I am in a perpetual state of sweat. Not attractive. And as for the lighted makeup mirror, I have two words to say on that subject: cataract surgery.”

A little disclaimer here so you get where I’m coming from: When I had cataract surgery it killed my near vision – I have perfect distance, but can’t see anything 5 feet or closer to me. I need, absolutely NEED that lighted, magnified makeup mirror or else I’d never feel confident in what I looked like to go out of the house and not scare children, the elderly, or small pets.

“And your computer, phone, kindle, iPod and Ipad? Those are necessary to your health and well being every single day?”

“Yes on all counts. I need the Ipod when I go to the gym ( 5-6 days a week) or else I’d be bored out of my gourd, and if I’m bored and not distracted enough, I won’t finish my workout, so that would be a waste of time. I need the iPad to watch my tv shows  when we travel. I need the Kindle to, you know, save trees. I read so many books every week. Just think of all those poor trees I’d be killing. It’s actually an act of Christian Kindness and Mercy to use the Kindle. Do I really have to explain the necessity of the phone? And as for my computer, well, my editor is not going to accept a handwritten manuscript.”

I took a breath. “And as for the toothbrushes, the dentist said our teeth are healthier since we started using them. Do you want gum disease? Excess plaque? Halitosis?”

He stood there, staring at me, while I prepared some other reasons why I needed every electrical device known to man to survive on a daily basis. I truly hoped he wouldn’t get me started on the necessity of dishwashers and vacuums. There’s a reason we life in modern times. If I’d been born in the dark ages ( aka the time before electricity when it was, truly, dark!) I wouldn’t have survived. In even older times? I would have been one of the ones eaten for the others to stay alive. And I would have been happy to make the ultimate sacrifice just to get away from the dark and cold and tedious.

There’s a reason I don’t camp, peeps ( aside from the going to the bathroom in the woods – never gonna happen!) All that wilderness living? Yeah, not for me. I’m like the character in Private Benjamin who said she joined the army for the condos and travel vouchers, not the marching and tents.

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After a few seconds of staring, my husband shook his head and got into bed without another word on the subject.

Score!

When I’m not using every electrical device know to man you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

 

 

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The San Valentino family…

My very first Christmas Romance Book, A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS  has just hit the proverbial shelves and I am over the moon! I love love love the San Valentino family and am so happy I could tell Gia’s story in time to share for the holidays. Her sister Chloe’s story was told in the Valentines Day Candy Hearts book, 3 WISHES, and ever since then I’ve been dying to give Gia her own happily ever after story.
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Like the San Valentino’s, I was raised in a large Italian/American family.  I need to put a disclaimer in here: I am 100% Irish. My parents divorced and my step-father was of Italian heritage, so it was his large family I grew up in. Many of the traditions and family experiences I write about in A Kiss… I actually experienced  through interacting with my step-family. The difference between my book’s stories and my real life is varied, but let’s just say the San Valentino clan are a lot more loving than the family I grew up with. A lot more.

The San Valentino’s revere family. To them, it is first, last and always. From the way the entire family gathers every Sunday after Mass to eat, to the way they each weave and inveigle their way into each other’s lives and “businesses”, this is a family that would do anything for one another. And when I say anything, believe me. I mean it. From getting you that sold-out, unattainable , everyone’s gotta have it this year Christmas toy, to helping you remove a business associate who’s become a pain in the neck. And when I say remove I mean it in the truest sense of the word – you never saw or heard from them again!

The San Valentino’s are true loyalists with matriarch Nonna Constanza leading the family and keeping the old country traditions alive. They never leave the house without first kissing the picture of the current smiling Pontiff on the wall next to the front door. They cook everything from scratch. You will never see a processed food box, or a commercial jar of sauce or gravy in their cupboards. Mama and Nonna even bake the bread the family enjoys every day at every meal. Natural produce, farm grown vegetables and meats from a traditional butcher are the only food allowed to be served in their home. The one concession they give is to dessert, which they purchase from 95 year old Pappa Pontevecchio, who’s owned Pontevecchio’s Bakery for over 65 years. Even Nonna admits his pizzelle are so much more flavorful than her own.

Gia, as the baby in the family – a term she will forever be known as even though she is 24 – wants a life of her own with a man who loves her and bambini she can spoil. Her family wants this for her too, but they go about introducing her to the kind of men a 21st century woman runs in the other direction from: no-neck wise guy wannabes with old world thoughts on wives – namely the pregnant and barefoot kind! Gia loves her family, but wants a man who will see her as an equal in every way. When she meets Tim Santini, a man who seems to fit her fantasy in every way, a misunderstanding has her thinking he’s something other than the man of her dreams. Their story is the basis for A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS.

I hope you enjoy reading about the San Valentino family as much as I did writing about them.

When  I’m not writing, you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me// Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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Winner! Whiner?

Strange blog post title, right? Well, maybe not.

So, November is a memory, but not the November challenge of NaNoWrimo. You’ve – hopefully – gotten your winner banner, letting one and all know you managed to eek out that 50,000 word minimum for the month, and maybe even a little more ( like me!) and now you’re internally debating the next step.

Dive right into editing? Start to query agents, editors, and publishing houses?  Print out the book and give it to one and all of your supportive peeps to read and review and critique?

Well, I hate to give advice because I hate to receive it, but….

Let’s sit back for a second and think this through.

You’ve just spent 30 arduous days giving literary birth to your new baby. A quick pregnancy in potential plotting ( if you’re a plotter) and then 30 continuous days of delivering it into the world. 720 hours, 43,200 minutes, 2,592,000 seconds ( does this remind you of a Broadway show tune?) That’s a lot of time spent in doing one thing, any way you slice and categorize it. The goal of the challenge is to write your story. To get it onto paper or the laptop. Like most writers competing  in the challenge you did not edit along the way. I’m sure your manuscript – like mine – is rife with spelling, grammar, and tense mistakes, not to mention maybe a plot hole or two. Or three. Now is not the time to submit it or allow ANYONE to read and review it.

Now is the time to….sit back for a little bit. Let the manuscript safely stew in your file section. Don’t read it…don’t edit it…don’t start letting the publishing world know it’s available, because it’s not.

I know the excitement of getting the story down – and quickly – is high. Believe me, I know it. But you need to rest your creative brain for a tad and forget some of the words you wrote. Then, when sufficient time has passed – and that can be two days, two weeks, or even a month ( like AFTER the holidays!), you can open it from the file and start to read it with fresh eyes. Eyes that will see all those mistakes, plot holes, and character problems. Those setting mixups and description errors. You’ll be able to SEE you gave your heroine green eyes in chapter one and then realize the hero described them as brown in chapter four. You’ll be able to SEE the motivation you gave your killer to kill was the same internal struggle you gave your hero to. You’ll SEE the escape plan you concocted in chapter 6 is pretty much impossible if you’re penning a contemporary tale and not one filled with dragons and wizards.

Right now you are high on the fabulousness of what you’ve written. Let it stew a while and you’ll realize it’s still fabulous, but needs work. Namely, editing.

Editing with fresh eyes is the best way to find the problems and think of ways to correct them.

Now, as far as querying – don’t. Not now, and certainly not after the first read through. My last three NaNo written books have been published AFTER they went through extensive edits and rewrites BEFORE I even submitted them. The books I submitted to my publisher were the ones where I removed all the mistakes, fixed the grammar and tense, and idealized the plot and story line. My settings were all consistent, my characters fully formed and possessing the correct hair and eye color throughout the book! And even after they were bought they still needed more editing!!!

Do yourself a favor: have a glass ( or two or…) of wine, sit back and put your feet up on the ottoman. Watch a good romance chick flick or even an action adventure movie. Or both. Relax. Rest. Revive. Then you can review, revise, and rework those wonderful NaNoWriMo pages.

Trust me. You’ll be happy you did.

AND ( here comes a shameless plug and I’m not ashamed in the least) if you want to escape into something funny and read a holiday tale, try A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS, available right now. It’ll take your mind off writing and put it back on reading someone else’s work for a bit.

When I’m not being shameless you can find me here:

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When rejection turns to acceptance…

At RWA16 I was delighted to sit in on a seminar by the wonderful Christie Craig. She spoke of her years of hard work in trying to get published  and her disappointment with each rejection letter she received. Like her, I can relate. Over the years I’ve probably had enough rejections from editors and literary agents to fill a suitcase. Well, Christie Craig did. Fill a suitcase. And she brought it along with her to the seminar to illustrate just how many pieces of paper with her work rejected she’d received over the years.

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I have to tell you it was eye opening.

I’ve always joked I’ve been rejected more times than there are books in the library. But I threw those rejection letters away and never thought about them again. This is my little psychological quirky way of dealing with unpleasant issues: out of sight, out of mind. Hey, it works for me.

Christie did not toss away her rejections. She saved them, accumulated them, stored them away so that one day she could take them out and say “Look. Look at what I had to suffer through to be a published author. Look at the fires I walked through to come out on the other side of my dream.”

Heady stuff.

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She–and I–are not the only  ones who’ve lived through mountains of rejections and so-called failures.

  • R.H. Macy, yes that MACY, started 7 failed businesses before finally hitting it big with his NYC-based store
  • Thomas Edison had 1000 unsuccessful light bulb inventions and attempts before one finally worked.
  • After Fred Astaire’s screen test, the studio director stated that Astaire, “can’t dance, can’t sing, is balding and can dance a little.”
  • Theodor Giesel, who the world lovingly knows as Dr Suess, had 27 publishers reject his first book.
  • Stephen King received 30 rejections of Carrie, one of the most iconic horror books and movies of all time.
  • Jack London’s first story received 600 rejection slips before being accepted.
  • Elvis Presley was told by the manager of the Grand Ol’ Opry, “you ain’t going nowhere, son. Go back to driving a truck.” He then fired him after only 1 performance.
  • Ever heard of Harland David Sanders? His secret recipe was rejected 1,009 times before a restaurant accepted it, coated their chicken with it and Kentucky Fried Chicken was born.

I could go on…and on. But won’t because you get the idea.

Hard work, perseverance,  a backbone of steel, and total belief in yourself and what you have to offer is what differentiates a successful person from one who isn’t.

Think about it.

What are you going to do the next time you get rejected?

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When I’m not being rejected(!), you can find me here:

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Filed under #RWA16, Author, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Editors, Family Saga, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, love, Lyrical Author, Netgalley Reviewer, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women, The Laine Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Writing Pet Peeves

Okay, this may be a rant – sorry if it sounds like one.

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I’m reading the brand new release of one of my all-time favorite authors and I found a mistake a fact-checker should have caught. This is the second time in a week I’ve found this particular mistake – the other was in an older book by a different fav author.

What the heck has happened to  fact checkers in the publishing industry? These are not self published books where I would expect to find errors – these are from two of the BIG 5!! Here’s the mistake – remember: it’s the same one I found in two different books: both writers used the word PRONE to denote a person lying on their back, face upward. WRONGWRONGWRONG!!! SUPINE means lying face upward, prone means lying face downward. Why does this bother me so much, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you.

When I was in nursing school in the late 1800’s (!) we used to write our nursing notes by hand. It’s all done electronically now. I wrote a note once on a comatose patient that read  “Pt. appears comfortable and is lying prone in bed.” I got reported to the Director of Nursing by the patient’s doc and a written warning note was placed in my academic file. Why? Because the patient had a tracheostomy tube and was on a ventilator and there was no way on God’s green earth he could have or should have been laying prone ( which means on his stomach) because he wouldn’t have been able to breathe. And the reason I got written up was because if the patient’s family had ever sued, the legal chart would have gone into evidence and court and I would have looked incompetent ( as would the hospital) for placing the patient in position that obviously could have killed him. The note should have read : “Pt. appears comfortable and is lying supine in bed.”
Here’s the easiest way to remember the difference ( if you don’t have a dictionary handy) “When you are SUPINE you are looking up at the PINE trees, ergo, you are on your back. When  you are PRONE you have you face pointed downward, or as I remember it: Face PLANTED downward.

Got it??

I’ve got more writing pet peeves, but this is enough negativity for one day. Do you have any? Let’s discuss, because I know there are thousands!!!!

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Dialogue, Editors, Life challenges, Literary characters, research, Romance, Romance Books

Writing Relationships…

During your writing career, just as in life, you will forge and develop many different writing relationships with people who will – hopefully- help you advance. Literary agents, Editors, Publishers, Book Promoters, Publicists, Marketing Analysts, and certainly not the least, Readers. All of these people are important to you, but in my opinion, one of the most important connections you will make is with your Editor.

My editor was instrumental in getting my first book published. She supported me, guided me, and encouraged me through the –at times – very daunting process of having a debut novel go to press. She was the voice of reason when I questioned “why” and the sounding board when I asked, “how come.” Together, she helped me give publishing birth to five works ( 4 books and 1 novella). During that time she wasn’t only my editor, but she became my friend. One I will treasure for the rest of my life.

It is a fact of the publishing world that editors come and go from publishing houses. Career advancement, the desire to take a different literary path, or even to have children and take care of  a family means a publisher – and a writer -will lose their favored editor.

This has recently happened to me. The void that is left behind in my heart is cavernous. This person was my very first professional editor. She was the person who saw something in my writing, who went to bat for me and basically helped make my dream of becoming a published author come true. With patience, professionalism, and kindness she guided me through that first thrilling but harrowing publishing experience, and she has been there championing me and directing my steps every inch of the way. She was the one I could turn to when a scene was not playing out the way I wanted it to. She was the one who showed me the light when the creative bulbs dimmed and I was stuck in POV nightmares. It was to her eyes I looked when something just didn’t sound as good on the page as it did in my head. In my professional writing career, I liken her to my fairy godmother. She, quite completely, made my wishes come true. I will miss my editor as I would miss a child who has left for college or a friend who moves far away.

The editor I am assigned to now is just as professional and kind. My relationship with my publisher is a wonderful, solid partnership and I look forward to many more professional collaborations between myself and my new editor.

But there is something about your first…..

My debut novel, SKATER’S WALTZ ,wouldn’t have come about if not for my editor. If you’re interested in seeing what a professional editing job she did, here’s the 411.

SKATER’S WALTZ

Figure skater Tiffany Lennox is busy with rehearsals for an upcoming ice show when the only man she’s ever loved comes home after a two-year overseas stint. She needs him to see her for the woman she’s become and not the child he knew to ensure he stays home. This time, for good. With her.

perf5.000x8.000.inddFor all his wanderlust and hunger for professional success, Cole Greer returns to New York wanting nothing more than to rest, relax, and recover. He is delighted in being Tiffany’s hero and has a special place in his heart reserved for her. But faced with the oh-so-desirable woman she’s become, he starts questioning his determination to keep their relationship platonic. When forced by the television network to go back on assignment, Cole—for the first time in his life—is torn between his career and his heart.

Available here:

Amazon //  Wild Rose Press //  B&N

If you need to find me, you can:  Tweet Me// Read Me// Visit Me// Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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Filed under Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Editors, Family Saga, love, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Skater's Waltz, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, Uncategorized, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Lessons I’ve learned about being a published author.

I found out my first book, SKATER’S WALTZ, had been contracted for publication while I was attending the 2014 RWA conference in San Antonio, TX. Shocked, thrilled, and terrified, I thought the hard part – finding someone willing to publish my novel – was over.

Yeah, not so much.

Lesson one: it’s not over when you type THE END. It’s just the beginning…

the end

After I signed on the dotted line, the real work began. I’d been published for years in literary fiction anthologies and in non-fiction magazines and periodicals. The literary magazines accepted the work as is, the non-fiction articles were sometimes reworked and refined by editors to allow for spacing considerations. My point is that it was someone else’s job to get the piece publishing presentable.

Not anymore. Welcome to the world of book fiction.

Lesson two : the hard work starts after you contract for publication…

the end2

My first book went through 3 rounds of edits between my editor and myself before it was sent to galleys for actual publication. And even after it went out to the copy editor, there were still some changes that needed to be made. I was ready to rip my hair out at one point. All I kept thinking as more and more edit suggestions came my way was, “Why the heck did they want this if it needs so much work??”

Lesson three: Editors are the most underrated and undervalued people on the publishing food chain…

the end3

All editors are good at their job – they have to be. But the ones who are truly great make a good book even better. They find the little twists and turns of a phrase, or a word change, or a sentence deletion that is key to making the reader want to read more.

My editor is one of the great ones.

Lesson four: you should have taken marketing classes in college…

I will admit this freely – I was unbelievably naïve when I signed that first contract. I thought the publisher was going to do all the marketing necessary to promote my book, get it on a best-seller list, and generally skyrocket me to fame.

Yeah, AGAIN, not so much!

The minute your book is contracted and the editing begins, you need to start promoting it. Often and everywhere. FaceBook, Twitter, Pinterest, your website, blog tours, newspaper press releases, your Aunt Maimie’s bridge club. Anywhere, everywhere, and as often as you can, so that when you finally have a release date, the buzz about the book will have started, grown to fever pitch and resulted in so many pre-orders your head spins.

Lesson five: before the first book hits the shelves you’d better be working on, or done with, book #2…the end5

As a writer you can never – NEVER – rest on your laurels. It is a true axiom of publishing: you are only as good as your next book. So while you are doing all that dreaded marketing, take time each day and write…write…write. I had book two on my editor’s desk before book one was released. Same for book 3. Keep ‘em coming.

Lesson six: you need to take time to breathe and enjoy…

 Yes, I was overwhelmed, naïve, frustrated and generally anxious with the release of my first book. But I was also thrilled at having my dream – finally – come true. It was a long road for me to book publication. I was 54 years old when the first one came out, a time when most people are starting to look toward the end of their working life. Not me. Mine was just beginning and I wanted to savor every moment of how it felt to hold my first book in my hands; see my name in print on the cover of a book I’d penned; sign my first autograph on a copy someone had actually paid cash-money for! Don’t let anything ever take away or overwhelm you from that sense of wonderful, soul-soaring achievement you’ve accomplished.

the end 4

My fourth book, THE VOICES OF ANGELS was released on March 11. I didn’t feel as overwhelmed this time because I knew the basics. Promotion and marketing were all lined up and ready to go, I pre-ordered by print copies so I had them ready, and a book signing was waiting for me.

But the anticipation, the soul-empowering elation of having a book actually published was as spine tingling and heart-stopping as with that first one. And I think it will continue to be that way each and every time.

THE VOICES OF ANGELS

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Love is the last thing Carly Lennox is looking for when she sets out on her new book tour. The independent, widowed author is content with a life spent writing and in raising her daughter. When newscaster Mike Woodard suggests they work on a television magazine profile based on her book, Carly’s thrilled, but guarded. His obvious desire to turn their relationship into something other than just a working one is more than she bargained for.

Mike Woodard is ambitious, and not only in his chosen profession. He wants Carly, maybe more than he’s ever wanted anything or anyone else. As he tells her, he’s a patient man. But the more they’re together, Mike realizes it isn’t simply desire beating within him. Carly Lennox is the missing piece in his life. Getting her to accept it-and him-may just be the toughest assignment he’s ever taken on.

Buy Links: Amazon /// TWRP /// Kobo /// Nook

If you need to find me, you can:  Tweet Me// Read Me// Visit Me// Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

 

 

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Filed under 3 Wishes, Author, Contemporary Romance, Editors, Family Saga, First Impressions, Life challenges, love, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Skater's Waltz, Strong Women, The Voices of Angels, The Wild Rose Press, There's No Place Like Home, Uncategorized, WIld Rose Press AUthor