Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Fave Internet Resources

Decades ago, pre-internet, there was a time when writing was a very solitary career. Writers sat in their offices, producing page after page of typed material, which they put it in a box, mailed to a publisher, and waited. There were few opportunities for networking, sharing information about the market, publishers, agents, etc. There are also fewer authors trying to break into the market.

I couldn't even imagine working like that.

Now, thanks to the internet connecting people from all parts of the world, the publishing world is wide open, and publishers, agents, authors, everyone seems to be on the net. Blogging. Holding interviews. Hosting writing contests.

There are so many interesting and informative blogs/sites/resources out there, and I know for a fact I couldn't possibly know about all of them. Thus, the purpose of this post. I'd love to gather a list of all the writing/publishing sites/blogs/online groups. Those maintained by authors, agents and/or publishers are all fair game. What are your favorites?

A few of mine:

Romance Divas
Charlotte Dillon's Romance Writers Community
Dear Author (more a reader's blog, but sometimes they have interesting interviews like this one)

Vampilicious Erotic Romance
Sydney's Romance with Sassitude

Monday, July 30, 2007

Do What You Have To Do

I've been writing with the intent of publication for approximately three years. While I've always (ALWAYS) wrote, I've only recently allowed myself to believe I could make a go of this.

So as what I consider a baby author I sometime have difficulty taking the next step or balancing what I need to do with what I WANT to do. But just like in my everyday life there are things I have to do that I may not wanna do. Run errands, grocery shop (ick), clean the kitchen, bathe the cat... All those things need to get done.

Just like in my writing life I need to WRITE, promo, edit, plot, plan, and a million other things and just like wrestling my fat cat boy into the bathtub, I may wake up on any given morning and not want to write. Or promo. Or edit. Hell, or do anything at all except stare at the life force/energy draining boob tube that sits less than 3 feet away from my bed.

So on those days that you don't want to do what you HAVE to do, what do you do? If you're anything like me, you put on your big girl panties and do what you have to do. You write even though every word you type seems to suck with a super strength that would bring a man to his knees. You smile and type witticisms when all you wanna do is curl up in a ball and eat a gallon of ice cream. You read your upcoming release for the 8th time and you...Do what you have to do.

I'm not Nora. I may never reach that Nora-like status, but in order to get to where I need to be I am going to have to do certain things. Things I may not want to do but in the long run I have to ask myself what I want more. To watch a talk show about Men sleeping with their Wives’ brothers who are really Transsexual women midgets or do I wanna see my name on the USA Today's best sellers list.

Yeah...We all know the answer…

So when you don’t think you can put one foot in front of the other what do you do to get over that self-made mountain?


Saturday, July 28, 2007

Editing Mode

Editing Mode:

I am editing Touch of Darkness (the Finale in the Kate Reilly/Thrall series) prior to sending it to Cathy. Editing my own stuff is best performed when I am in a really bad mood. Editing Cathy’s stuff is better when I’m not quite as angry much more logical. When I’m feeling mean and brutal I can be too hard on anybody else, but it’s the only time I don’t like my own writing at all and can make really harsh changes that may be needed. Now there are times that I hate my writing and wonder if I’m any good and get all depressed, but that is SOOOOOO not editing time either. Because THEN I would just give up and delete the WHOLE FLIPPING STORY. No, on depressed days we back very carefully away from the keyboard.

Today I’m not in as brutal a mood as I could be, but I’m okay, and I’m on deadline, so I can’t wait anyway.

Gotta go.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

More Faeries & News

This is the first one: This is the second one:

And the other day I received great news from Cobblestone Press: the third one will be available through them too. In other words, it's been contracted to CP. I couldn't be more excited about this, honestly. Actually, I'm thrilled! This'll be the first complete trilogy that I have available.

The third installment is called FAERIE BLOOD and will round out the story arc between Shay and Glen, as well as the situation with the goblins. Things get pretty bleak in this tale, but don't worry, there's a ray of sunshine in the horizon.

I stumbled on this wonderful world of the faeries one day while I was walking to pick my daughter up from school. It was a beautiful sunny day and as I walked through one of the parks, I spotted a section at the bottom of the hill crowded with trees. Huge trees that I thought were oak trees. Still not sure if they are or not, but when I looked at them, the vivid image of Shay with her mossy sword, and dust filled my mind. The next morning, I sat down and wrote most of the story. It was so much fun to let these characters out of my head and not just tell their tale, but entice me into their world. Because, that's exactly what they did!

As soon as I finished that first story, I knew there would be more. And when I sat down to write the second one, I realised there was an entire series here. Many characters that also had stories to tell... and so I wrote the third one. The thing I really enjoyed about this story is that although it ends a certain arc, it certainly leaves space for more.

I already have the next trilogy bubbling inside my head. Actually, the first book is pretty much boiling over, trying to pour out of me. This time, I'm going to try something different and expand into the POV of other characters that were introduced in this trilogy. Though I also know this won't be the last of Shay and Glen. :)

For me, this has been happening a lot lately. The tales that I weave on my lappy become so much deeper than just a one-book story. If only there was more time in the day...

Anyway, that's enough about the Fae for now.

Oh, and if you're wondering what the other news is: in total, I got three new contracts this week!

Now some questions:

As a writer, do you find yourself engrossed in new worlds that you thought would only last the duration of one book?

And as a reader, do you enjoy reading trilogies and series tales?

Y'know, because I'm just curious. ;)



Saturday, July 21, 2007

The End of an Era (sort of)

Okay, last week’s post got lost in transit.

This week’s post will, hopefully, reach you all finding you happy, healthy, and ready to read all kinds of schtoof.

Cathy is back from the conference. She learned so much, so fast, that we’ve spend the past week having detailed meetings to go over it. WHEW! Good stuff, but heavy on the volume.
I am about to go into the big finale of the Thrall series. I have written everything leading up to the last build up of the battle scene. It’s funny I feel. . . odd about it. I’m happy, I’m nervous (Can I really pull this off? I want it to be really, really good. Yes, I know Cathy’s edits will make it better, but I want to make it spectacular before it even gets edited.) I’m also kind of sad. When this book is done these characters will have had their story finished. Yes, there will be others, maybe even others I like as much as I do these. But I’m really, seriously fond of this group. Probably because, in many ways, they’re a lot like me.

No, not the werewolf/vampire thing (I do NOT vant to suck your blud sank you veddy much). But having a hard time expressing your emotions, worrying about your family, having control issues, being Catholic. All of these things I can relate to.

No, Kate is not me. Not even close. But of all my characters thus far, she’s probably the person I relate to best. I’ll miss her. I’ll miss Tom, and Mike, and (heaven help us) Carlton. I’ll miss Kate’s brothers (though they drive me almost as crazy as they do her), and a bunch of the minor characters.

I know, it sounds weird. It sounds like I’m almost talking about real people. Sometimes, I swear, it feels that way. There are people who the characters are putty, to be shaped, reshaped, and ordered around. That’s not how it works for me. My characters are people, with minds, wills, and behaviors (frequently frustrating behaviors) of their own that sometimes drag my well-planned plots into new, unexpected, (and sometimes unwelcome) directions. For me, writing the story is like running into an old friend and having them tell you everything that’s been going on in their lives. It feels as if the story will keep going on, even if I’m not watching it any more.

So, I’m feeling a little elated, a little worried, and a little bit sad. Because, while the Sazi is an ongoing series, where old characters can pop up at the oddest time, the Thrall series is a limited one. It always has been. Three, maybe four books were planned from the beginning. (It’s 3 now). I like limited series. It gives the whole story arc a beginning, a middle, and an end. But I’ll be sad to see them go.


Friday, July 20, 2007

The Woman Behind the Bieste

Some years ago, when I first started writing, I wrote fantasy and horror. It wasn't until I'd been writing several years and read Iris Johansen's Wind Dancer Series that I decided I really did want to write romance.

Recently, however, I wrote an erotic science fiction that was published at Ellora's Cave called Latharian Review. The style was much different than what I normally write and tapped into that old, darker voice. I chose a different pen name so that my regular readers would know not to expect the same type of story they've come to look for by Sable Grey.

So Amon Bieste was born. Deanna Lee and I sat down and looked up male names until we put together the Bieste name. Basically the name means "the beast within".

The differences between Sable Grey Books and the Bieste Books

  • Bieste writes in first person point of view. Sable in Third
  • Sex scenes in Sable books are "normal" sex. Bieste writes sex scenes that pushes the envelope and where anything goes
  • Sable Grey writes paranormal, historical, and contemporary romance and Bieste writes primarily science fiction and futuristic
  • The voice in the Sable books is feminine, even in the hero's pov. The voice in Bieste Books is masculine.
  • In Sable's books the hero and heroine ride off into the sunset. In the Bieste books, the hero(s) and heroine(s) ride off just out of view.

Right now, I only have one Bieste book (Latharian Review) with several others on the way. Most of my writing is and will be done as Sable Grey.

And yes, I do think of Bieste as a different person because I have to get in that darker place where that voice lives and stay there. The rest of the time I'm just me. LOL

So when people ask, I tell them: I don't have a multiple personality disorder, I'm just a writer.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Thursday Thirteen - I'M ROYALLY GRUMPY!

Thirteen Things I'd Rather Be Doing
by Author, TJ Michaels

You know, I think I'm in the grumpiest mood I've been in for a long time. Bottom line is I haven't had any time off from the day job since February while other folks in the office are taking weeks at a time. Why? I'm actually not sure. So, I'm tired, physically and mentally tired. Sitting at my desk with vertigo, feeling like I've got the blow chunks is most unpleasant.

However, it did get me to thinking of other things I'd rather be doing. Of course writing is at the top of the list, but that's a given. So here are a few other things I'd like to be doing right now:

1. Looking out over the Grand Canyon (minus the heat, of course ;D)
2. Napping curled up with a teddy bear
3. Winning the lottery!
4. Playing golf (and doing it rather badly)
5. Packing for a trip to Seattle
6. Interviewing for another job
7. Better yet, accepting an offer for another job!
8. Kissing a hunky guy that's actually MINE
9. Enjoying my daughter's cinnamon rolls with my feet kicked up
10. Enjoying my daughter's iced green tea with ginger drink (feet still kicked up)
11. Playing WarCraft III with my son
12. Working on a new book with my writing partner, Grey Sinclaire
13. Relaxing while reading a book by any of the Ladies

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Muddled & Quizzes

This is how I feel this week. Not so much confused, but a little muddled up. There's a lot of clutter inside my head, and most of it is because there are ideas, stories and characters trying to claw their way out. All at the same time!

Okay, the imagery makes it sounds like I'm a little nuts. And being a writer, somethimes I wonder about that. ;) Lol.

Anyway, my daughter's gone back to school after her two weeks off. Went back on Tuesday, halfway through the month, which left me a little... muddled. The fact that I finished my BIAW novella on the last day of her holidays, didn't help. I really enjoyed writing that tale, but now that the first draft is done, I'm going to leave it aside for a few weeks.

So... the question now is: what am I going to work on now? I keep shifting gears, only knowing for sure that for this week, I don't intend to get stuck into anything too intense. So I started a short story, which is now at almost 5k words. I'm hoping to finish it today, but what happens when the new week ticks over? Do I keep writing shorter tales until the new month comes? And then engage in a novel-sized tale? Or do I get stuck into some revision?

Gosh, I don't know yet. See, I told you I was muddled.

When I get like this, I usually write it out in a journal. I think it's time to pull it out and get all these thoughts out on paper. But while I feel like this, I enjoy doing quizzes. Yep, that's right. Not sure why, but it helps me get some sort of focus for the day. And so, I'm going to close off today with this quiz:

You Belong in Summer

Energetic, creative, and very curious about the world...
You're not going to let anything hold you back, especially a cold day.
Whether you're chilling out at the beach or partying all night, you live for the warm weather.



Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Drive-by Post

Hello all! Just popping in say "hi."

Today I won't be posting a full blown blog because it's a special day--my daughter's wedding. I'm happy for her. But also sad. Tonight, instead of being wisked off to some romantic getaway, she'll be heading home with us and her new husband will be rushed off to a hotel without her. He's in the Army, will be shipped out tomorrow for six months of training in another state.

But I will throw this bit of good news your way: I just signed the contract for Carnal Hunger! Yay!

Vampilicious Erotic Romance
Sydney's Romance with Sassitude

Friday, July 13, 2007

Defining Sable

I’ve been an electronically published author since 2005 and am one of the owners of one of the leading e-book publishers in the industry and I’ve finally reached my breaking point with having others dictate and define who I am and what I do based on who they are and what they do.

Electronic publishing is a new world of convenience and technology for readers. Most print publishers have begun offering their books in electronic format because they too recognize the demand for electronic downloadable books, and many e-publishers are expanding their catalogs into print, demonstrating that print and electronically published authors and publishers can live together in the same world.

But it seems that strength by unity is just not the goal of some in this industry, sadly those that could make a large scale difference. The romance industry is huge and we could all be working together for the greater good of everyone rather than sitting around thinking up rules to eliminate others from our little cliques.

At first they defined us by what category romance we wrote. You know, we can’t have a book where the reader knows the hero has genitalia sitting next the inspirational romance – because people must be stupid and don’t know how to pick up a book and turn it over to find out what kind of book they are gonna buy. Then when companies like Virgin Books and Ellora’s Cave and various famous authors pushing the envelope of sensuality proved that readers don’t mind the hero having a pee pee, they had to find another way to divide us all up.

Thus Electronic Publication vs. Print Publication becomes a threatening issue. Never mind that a large portion of memberships to the major writing groups are electronically published and pay their yearly membership fees loyally just like everyone else, and have done so for years. Never mind that the e-publishers abide by the rules the same as the print publishers do even though those rules make it ten times harder for them to be recognized. Never mind any of that, let’s change the rules so we can continue to take that yearly membership fee but dictate who can come play with us.

It’s bullshit. Complete and utter bullshit. The only reason people are ever divided is so that someone else has control. Well control no more. I know how hard I work and I know how hard the authors published at Cobblestone Press work. I define who I am, not some board of women I’ve never met before who don’t know a thing about me or my life or my work.

And how do I define Sable Grey? I AM a published author who puts as much into my characters and books as any other author. I’m proud of each and every one of my publications and am equally proud of every author who has the nerve to follow their dreams and actually submit to a publisher, print or electronic. I am proud of each book my company publishes, stand behind that title and those authors. They ARE published authors as well and if any asshat says differently, I would punch said asshat in the face on behalf of our authors because they work hard for their readers.

Don’t tell me what I am. I know. I AM the romance author. I AM the romance publisher. I AM the romance reader.

I define myself and challenge each and every person to do the same.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Writing Challenges & Motivation

So, this week I'm taking part in the latest Cobblestone Main Street BIAW challenge. The aim is to write a 20k story in a week. Oh, and there's a theme too. It's Ships In the Night. Sounds intriguing, doesn't it? You should pop in and check out the poem. :)

I really enjoy taking part in these. Deanna does a great job coming up with new BIAW/BIAM themes and times.

Personally, I think it's great. To write a story, at the same time as other writers, is a really fun thing to do. We check in every day and leave the total word count, and cheer each other on. I think it's a great motivational tool. Though motivation is one of my stronger points anyway. ;)

Then why do I take part in these challenges? Because I think they're fun, and it gives me the opportunity to write a story that might otherwise be waiting in the back of my mind because other ones have clawed their way to the front. Besides, I really like the group dynamic that is formed while we're all writing away on our individual stories.

At the moment, I don't have a title. Or a blurb. But I am into the full swing of the story. I know what's going to happen when I sit down to write today, and the ending popped into my head yesterday. Now, it's just a matter of writing what's in between.

My current word count is: 9,830/20,000. Today I'm hoping to cross the 10k mark.

Do you enjoy these challenges? Have you taken part in them or anything similar before, or do you manage to get writing done without them?

Which reminds me... I better get back to it now.



Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Oh Yum? OW/YM

Recently Ellora’s Cave posted the following submission call:


Ellora's Cave will be having a special theme series for release in May 2008 -
Older Woman/Younger Man stories. We will accept both quickies (10-15K
words) and novellas (18-30K words) for this series; all must be E

Submissions deadline is
Dec. 15, 2007.

External submissions deadline is November 15; full story plus
synopsis should be emailed to Submissions@ellorascave.com; put "OW/YM
submission: booktitle" in the email Subject line.

Raelene Gorlinsky, Publisher
Ellora's Cave Publishing Inc.


Older Woman/Younger Man. OW/YM

As the mother of a young man who will turn twenty this fall, I have to admit this scenario does absolutely nothing for me. A woman my age sleeping with a guy in his twenties? Even in my *cough, sputter* forties, my brain is still in the-guy-must-be-older mode. However, I know EC would not put out a series of books if there was no market for them. Which makes me wonder--how widespread is the demand? Is there a substantial market for younger man/older woman stories? And what age differences are we talking? Five years? Ten? More?

I’ll be the first to admit, I would have never guessed m/m would be so popular among heterosexual women. Therefore, blind as I am to potential new trends, I’m going to keep an open mind about this.

Anyone want to share their opinion? I think there's a lot of potential to hit some ICK buttons on people. What's safe? What's taboo?



Vampilicious Erotic Romance

Sydney’s Romance with Sassitude

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Conferences and workloads...

Ah, sweet mystery of life. One day/week, my technology is working fine. The next I can't get the *&(%$# computer to do what I want to to save my life. Le sigh. Le great, big, heaving, highly irritated SIGH.

ANYWAY, I'm posting this simultaneously here and (by sending it to Cathy with a pretty-please) on the Midnight Divas' blog.


I'm working on Kate3 a/k/a Touch of Darkness. I'm not as far as I'd have like to have been. I'm running out of time (bumping up against the deadline. Still looks OK, but it will be closer than I'd like. I'm a "get it in early" kind of gal not a last minute, stress me to hell and back type.) I'm not going to RWA in big part because I need to get this baby DONE.

See, that's one of the things aspiring writers don't think about.

Their first book, their baby, the one that hooks the agent (crossing fingers), publisher ("Please, dear God, please"), and (hopefully) the readers can take them YEARS to write. They polish, critique, re-polish, fuss and suffer over practically every word until it's perfect. They desperately hope it will "break" them into the business.

But what if it does?

YEAH! YIPPEEE!!! W00T!!!! Joy ensues.

UNTIL they find out they have to write a sequel, or another one. In a year, OR LESS. And that the baby they "finished" isn't. Not really:

(1) There will be edits. ("Dear Author. The secondary character John sucks. Flat as a pancake. Either beef him up or get rid of him. Love Editor. PS you need another subplot and to up the romance.");

(2) There will be copy-edits;

(3) and galleys.

All of which will be due in short order after you receive them, which will inevitably be when you are trying desperately to write like a lunatic on book 2 and are hitting the point of desperation because you don't write nearly as fast as you thought you did.
AND there is marketing and publicity, the conferences they will need to speak at, deliver goodies to, and meet (hopefully) their newly rabid fans (or soon to be rabid fans), booksellers, distributors, and reviewers at. Oh, and there's sending out those review copies, and doing signings and on, and on.

I'm not complaining. I LOVE THIS BUSINESS. I extra-special-especially love this business because I have a co-author who takes care of a lot of those things, and graciously splits the rest of the duties with me. Because I swear to you on a stack of bibles, koran's, torahs, talmuds, and any other holy books you want to drag out from the library that I would likely completely collapse under the workload without her. (Come to think on it, I owe that woman chocolates, a bottle of rum, or both.)

But it is very easy to get a little bogged down in the workload.

Which leads to yet another reality check.

It takes a while for you to make "real money" in the publishing business. Yeah, I know, Rowling has more money than the Queen. But for those of us toiling in the trenches, it takes a while. Because there are expenses (which, fortunately, can mostly be written off of taxes), and taxes (self-employment taxes are vicious). So the day job is a necessity for a long time and panic is the norm as the deadlines loom.


Life, the universe, and everything.

Yup, you heard me. Because as soon as there is a deadline life will (almost inevitably) intervene. Whether it is a brown recluse bite (Cathy), a house fire (Cathy again), a black widow bite (me), or a death in the family (a mutual friend who is also an author), life isn't going to conveniently come to a halt because something is due.

Am I saying a person shouldn't pursue the dream? HELL NO! Besides, it wouldn't do a bit of good. For an awful lot of us, writing is a compulsion. We couldn't stop if we wanted to and we don't want to. But unless a person wants to be a "one hit wonder" I would strongly suggest that they think about putting down the first mss long enough to write the SECOND one, and maybe even a THIRD before they send it out. It'll save them a load of stress and headaches. Because publishers have no sense of humor about missed deadlines. To them it's a business, and they expect the writers to act like professionals.

Okay, off of my soapbox and back to the mss.



And now, it's Cathy's turn. Again, what Cie said. I'm HUGELY grateful to Cie for sharing the workload. I honestly don't know how authors who pump out three, five or ten books a year do it. I suppose some of them have staff to handle the piddling things like website maintenance, marketing and appearance control (signings, conferences and the like) but it's getting stressful, to say the least.

But, like Cie--I LOVE IT!

Which leads me to: CONFERENCES! Yep, unlike Cie who's on book deadline, I get to go to RWA National in Dallas next week! Yay! Woo! I haven't been to a National con since . . . well, since LAST time the conference was in Dallas. Heh...

For those of you going, I'll be at the Literacy Signing on Wednesday night, and will be on a panel called: "Because I Said So Is Not Enough--Logic in Romance" on Saturday morning at (gasp, choke!) 8:30 a.m. Actually, I'm a pretty early riser at conferences. There's so much to do and so many people to meet that really, the only time a person has to themself to keep sane is the mornings. Once the day starts, the day STARTS. And it doesn't finish until after midnight in most cases. Yeah, it can be fun, but WOW is it tiring. Every group and forum and message board I belong to wants to get together. And I want to meet these invisible faces from cyberspace, so I always say yes (unless they just flat conflict--like Romance Divas is at the same time as my RWAOnline chapter party. Bummer! I'd love to do both, but one's in the hotel and one's outside. Sigh...)

I decided to save a little money this time. Usually I stay at the hotel, because it's just more convenient. But this year, OUCH! $185 per night at the Hyatt! That's just flat ridiculous! So, I went onto Priceline and found a lovely Quality Inn about two miles down the road for $49 a night. Aaahhh, much better. I'll pay the cab fare. It certainly won't ring up $135 a day, especially since I'll be at the conference most of the time anyway.

So, if you're in the Dallas area next week, do look me up. We all have to wear name badges, and I'll try to remember to write down all the forums and boards I'm on right on my badge so if you know me as Cathy C or some such from somewhere, say hi!

Talk to you next week!


Thursday, July 5, 2007

Boob Inducing Cookies?

Hey ya'll,

I saw this article in Tokyo Times and thought it was a hoot. Tell me what you think about it?? I don't think they had anything like this when I was, uh, developing. If they did, I must have missed school that day! Damn!

- The traditional Japanese diet of fish, vegetables, tofu and the like has consistently kept Japanese ladies at the top of the world’s longevity league table, but whilst a gradual change to more western style meals may well reduce these lengthy life spans, it would appear to be having the opposite effect on the nation’s burgeoning breast sizes.

The average 20-year-old is also nearly three inches taller than she was in 1950, according to government statistics, and the average foot has grown by nearly a quarter of an inch.

The physical changes are largely the result of an increasingly Westernized diet, say nutritionists. Meals that used to consist of mostly fish, vegetables and tofu now lean heavily toward an American-style menu of red meat, dairy and indulgences such as Krispy Kreme doughnuts and Cold Stone Creamery ice cream.

A newly coined look called bon-kyu-bon (big-small-big) attests to the size of this phenomena, with Japanese manufacturers now producing bras with less padding for those ladies who aren’t exactly lacking; however for women not quite so well-endowed, help would appear to be at hand with these curve-inducing cookies.

A similar product for men, tentatively titled Bulging Briefs Biscuits, is rumoured to be ready for release early next year, although some commentators are claiming it may come sooner than expected.

(Courtesy of www.tokyotimes.org)

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Doctor Who & Transformers

So, I'm a huge movie fan. I love watching horror, action, comedy, scifi, epic, animation... just about a bit of any genre suits me. As long as I enjoy what's going on in the movie, I'm happy. I don't know what's happened to me lately, though. For a while there, I seemed to have lost that spark.

Maybe it's the fact that I've become addicted to huge-idea TV shows like Heroes, Supernatural and House, to name a few. Or maybe it's just that the movies being made nowadays just don't cut it anymore. I'm not sure. But I know that at the end, when the credits are rolling, I usually find myself thinking: Okay, that was a waste of time.

I'll give you an example. The other night, the hubby and I sat down to watch Ghost Rider. Okay, I love watching comic book movies. Love superheroes and all that jazz. And this one had the devil, fallen angels and a rider with a skeleton head on fire. So I was excited to watch it! The special effects were brilliant, flawless and visually great. But the characters and the story, not so much. The female lead could've been edited out and it wouldn't have made a difference to the overall tale. It was a shame but in the end, it didn't work for me.

I reckon it might've had something to do with the fact that we'd watched the season 3 finale of Doctor Who earlier on in the day. That was outstanding! I'm so attached to these likeable characters, the story is rich with layers, the tension kept me on the edge, and the surprises kept coming until the very last second. Everything that happened throughout the entire season, meant something. And that, was amazing! I absolutely loved it.

Then on Tuesday night, we went to watch TRANSFORMERS. Well, this movie could've gone either way. Honestly, it could've... but it didn't. I came out of it thinking: I've gotta watch that again! Not because I missed anything, but because it was brilliant! I loved it! Everything about this movie was terrific, and I still can't stop thinking about it... days later.

I love it when a blockbuster lives up to the hype and beyond... Has anybody else seen it yet? Man, those Autobots were fantastic. There was a bit of everything in this movie.

What about you? Are you finding yourself more attached to TV shows lately, or do movies still keep you captivated? And if your answer is yes, share some of the newer movies that you've enjoyed so much you couldn't stop thinking about them.

TRANSFORMERS has definitely restored my faith in movies.



Tuesday, July 3, 2007

My Friday post on Tuesday

I tried all day Friday to get into Blogger...and wasn't. I was able to log in today though, so I'm posting my Friday post today.

As some of you know, aside from writing and being a publisher, I’m also a cover artist. Since I’ve no new releases of my own this week, I thought I would show off two covers I did for Cobblestone Press.

Bawdy Talk
Ann Cory
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: June 29, 2007

On a dare to put a face to the sexy voice of DJ Zeus, God of Radio, Destry Forrester goes to the radio station, and leaves a lasting impression. Unfortunately their private get together doesn’t stay so private when it’s broadcasted on air for everyone to hear.

Dominant Territory
Cora Zane
Genre: Shifter
Release Date: June 29, 2007

Drake never considered taking a human for a mate…at least until Libby shows up at the Moonlight Run. One look at the ice blonde angel and his dominant instincts come to life. He wants her desperately… And now that she's in his territory, nothing will stop him from claiming her.

Model for this cover is Cobblestone Press model, Andrei Claude

I worked hard on both covers and happy with they both turned out. My goal when creating a cover is to match the book’s feel and story, present something classy that the author doesn’t have to be ashamed to show his or her grandmother, and to design the author something that he or she can be proud of.

This brings me to the question: Does Cover Art Sell Books?

While there are a few that proclaim to buy a book based on a cover –for the most part, the answer to this question is no. If this were not true, I know a few publishers that would never sell ANY books.

The cover of a book is marketing. That is all. It’s the packaging…the first thing someone sees when going to purchase books. While it will draw attention and make the reader take interest, it is the story that in the end SELLS the book. I’ve seen books with complete garbage for covers and they sell like hotcakes because the author writes a story that is exactly what the readers want. I’ve seen books with the most beautiful covers I’ve ever seen and that book doesn’t sell anything.

Also, if an author works her butt off, the AUTHOR name can sell a book. Once an author builds up a reputation, it doesn’t matter how ugly of a cover they have, that book will sell because of who the author is.

But to get to that point, the author must market herself. She must discover first what readers want to read, deliver, make appearances where readers will be (online this is chats, yahoo groups, and reader forums) and make the readers like them and let them know she has books available about what they want to read.

So, the author sells the book, the cover just makes it look pretty. :D

Monday, July 2, 2007

Countdown to Nationals

Another year has passed and it's once again time for RWA's Annual conference. So some of the Divas of the Dark will be around and some of us won't. I head out next Wednesday so I'll be counted amoung the not here ranks.