Wednesday, April 28, 2010

public sex

Great places for your characters to indulge in a bit of public sex - the beach, the park, in the backyard, in the office, under a waterfall, in a car, on the deck of a yatch, in the elevator! Go on, spice up their sex lives. They'll thank you for it and so will your readers!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bittenbybooks reviews The Mermaid's Mission

A lovely review of The Mermaid's Mission.

When Antalya proves to Gregory beyond a doubt that her tale is true, she tells him of the damage that his construction and his future plans will do to the environment. Her task as a Gift Prize was to get him to stop everything and let the island resort back to its natural state. Taking a fish eye view of the damage and potential destruction of the reef, the fish and other sea life, Gregory makes a decision that will hopefully keep both sides happy. Antalya must now give her father the answer that Gregory has made and leaves him to go back to her people. Whether this will be enough is now up to the city of Mereid and the King, but will another voice convince the populous that compromise and education of the dangers of urban sprawl can give them all hope to survive?

This short novella was a very smart and spicy tale with an twist. The combination of the paranormal creatures of the water with the cause and effects of urban expansion on the environment was skillfully written and entertaining

Monday, April 19, 2010

advice on seduction from a master

"If by chance you attend a feast and some charming woman shares your couch, whisper a prayer to the god whose mysteries are celebrated at night, that the wine may not too deeply affect your brain. This is the time when you may easily discourse with your mistress in symbolic terms, the meaning of which will be obvious to her. A drop of wine upon your finger will enable you to draw strange devices on the table, wherein she can discern some proof of your affection. Let your looks bear out the message of these hieroglyphs; the language of the eyes can be uncommonly persuasive.

When she has sipped from out her cup, then quickly seize her goblet and drink becomingly from the same spot that her lips have abandoned but a moment before. If she touches any food upon the common platter, lose no time in picking it for your own plate; and as you reach for it, your hand may softly brush hers. Be polite to her husband." Ovid, The Art of Love

Monday, April 12, 2010

More on Trying to Get a Man…oops, I mean Trying to Get a Publisher

Ok, so we're sticking with the theme of how trying to get a pubisher is kind of like trying to hook yourself a man and we went over some of the tactics. (Ok, I'm not trying to rewrite Sun Tzu's Art of War but stay with me here.)

You've worked on yourself, you're feeling and looking better than you ever did before. You've got some hot duds for your hot body. Now it's time to research the places where all the eligible (for you) guys hang out. Remember - if you want a mature man spending time at the local college clubs isn't going to hook you any fish you'll want to take home. Want a guy who likes jazz, make a list of the jazz clubs in your area. Interested in the alternative scene, do your research! Find those basement hideaways, warehouse digs, etc..

It's the same when looking for a publisher. Once you've polished your manuscript till it gleams, cut out all the extraneous stuff, made the love scenes zizzle, don’t undermine yourself by putting all your eggs in one publishing basket. Check out a wide variety, make yourself a list of twenty or thirty publishers and submit your queries or partials to them, in batches of five or six. You’re just looking, remember? You’re not out to get all serious and monogamous at this stage. Even if one requests a partial, don't stop sending your queries out. It's like with that hot guy at the club who took your number and, wonder of wonders, actually called on the second day. That's great but you just met, for God’s sake! Wait until signatures have been put on the dotted line before all your writerly hopes and ambitions you do endow.

Okay, so now you’ve been out on a few dates with Mr. Hottie. You’ve had a couple exchanges with a publisher and they’re reviewing the full. It’s a heady time so celebrate but don’t start turning down other dates just yet. Keep your options open until you get a solid offer. Oh, and now’s not the time to turn all needy and start emailing and calling the publisher (or Mr. Hottie, for that matter) to find out what the status is on your manuscript (or the relationship). If they’ve had it for three months without word, you can send a polite reminder. After six months, well, hopefully you’ve been continuing to date other guys, er, to send out queries so the neglect won’t sting as bad.

But what if they loved it and now the offer’s on the table? Now it’s time for you to do your due diligence and go over that contract with the finest tooth comb you possess. Read it over until you can quote it in your sleep. Check out websites for writers (like this one - and read any advice you can on publisher contracts. Network with other writers and ask them about any clauses you may be unsure of. You might even want to hire a lawyer who’s familiar with publishing contracts to look it over for you. Getting out of a contract can be even more difficult than a trip to divorce court.

Being single can sometimes suck but choosing the wrong man or the wrong publisher can be even worse. And then again, when you choose the right man and the right publisher, well, life can hardly get better, can it?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Avoiding Rejections or How Trying to Get a Man is Like Trying to Get a Publisher

Rejections are a fact of life for most writers but there are ways of reducing your chances of getting them. Think of a publisher like how you might think of a potential lover.

Let’s say you’ve had enough of the single life and you’re determined to change things around. One of the first things you might decide is that your usual tee-shirt and sweats wardrobe isn’t doing anything for you and yes, you could definitely stand to lose a pound or two, firm up those pecs and abdominals. You break out the credit card, buy an exercise DVD or two and some weights. After six months or a year, you’ve done it, you’ve reached your goal weight and it’s time to break out the credit card again for some hot duds. You are fit, you are fine, and you are ready to get yourself some!

But wait, you’re asking, is this some kind of Denise Austin pep talk? How does this relate to writing? Well, think about it, silly. You don’t just dash off a manuscript without revising and revising, do you? Do you? No, you don’t. If you want to attract a man, you’ve got to look like you want to – you’ve got to take care of yourself and, to use my grandmother’s phrase, put your best foot forward.

If you want to attract a publisher, it’s the same thing. You want a publisher to know that you care about writing, that you’ve crossed the t’s and know how to use proper grammar. That mean’s revising and revising and accepting useful critiques. A word of caution here – making yourself attractive to a man doesn’t or shouldn’t mean changing who you are. If you hate sky diving, don’t pretend you love it just to please him. In the same way, listen to your critique partners but keep in mind what is true to your story and to your voice and don’t change those things because you’ll be changing a story only you could tell into one your critique group would tell.

Okay, so you’re dressed in the latest designer fashion and you’re ready to paint the town red and collect some phone numbers while you’re at it. Now you’ve got to identify which nightclubs will give you the most bang for your money. Again, this is where being true to yourself comes in again. Target the kinds of clubs that play the music you like and the ones that attract the age group you’re looking for. In other words, you might like jazz but if the club you go to caters for college students and you’re in your mid-forties, you’re probably wasting your time.

Similarly, don’t send your dark paranormal romance off to a publishing house that explicitly states they don’t do paranormals or they don’t do romance. Check out each publishing house’s guidelines before submitting. If a house doesn’t do inspirationals, don’t send yours there. If they tell you they are closed for submissions, try other houses. If they only accept from agents and you don’t have one, skip them.

More to come. Keep tuned! Oh, and while you're at it, check me out on My Space -

Saturday, April 3, 2010

sexual tension

I'm working on a new novella at the moment and struggling with character development, pace, and all those good things. It's set in the ancient world, in and around the Mediterranean and researching life at that time was great. (I love the Eyewitness books for their great pictures and good overview of different time periods.)

But beyond the pace and the plot, what I am really trying to work on is improving how my characters come across and how the tension between them builds. Sexual tension in romances is crucial to how succesful the story is - it can't be too rushed, that is the number one thing to remember.

So in my novella hero and heroine meet in a crisis situation but they take notice of each other - nothing big, no long passages on how either of them look. It is a crisis situation after all but one or two sentences where they take note of something special about each other sets the tone or the foundation. From that initial meeting the chemistry between them builds and once they're out of the crisis and in a more relaxed setting they can begin to get to know each other better and savor the mounting feelings between them.

And them savoring those feelings is key - I've read a few stories where either the heroine is attracted to the hero but you don't really know why because the writer hasn't taken any time to explore the attraction beyond noting his bulging biceps or his piercing eyes or something. No, there has to be more than that. A lot more, at least for me. I like to have the heroine taking note of the hero's sense of humour, the way his veins cord his arms, how he fills out his trousers, how her touch affects him, etc., etc..