Thursday, May 31, 2012

Self Deprecation at its Finest

I just started, really started, my contemporary paranormal romance with suspense sauce. They get down and dirty within the first fifteen pages. Too quickly, you may ask? No, because they’re possessed by ghosts. It’s all good. Don’t worry, they’ll actually have honest and meaningful sex around the appropriate time – say page 125ish. And yes, it will be emotionally significant to their character arcs.

Karma, aka Kay, is an ethnic mutt newly moved to New Orleans to teach religious studies at Tulane. She is newly out of the life of professional student and is playing house. Unfortunately her house is haunted. You’d think as a scholar of religious studies that she’d be open to that stuff, but no – she thinks of mystical explanations as a crutch for humanity. Lucky for the readers, the ghosts are horny. Lucky for Kay (I have cast Halle Berry, but with blue eyes), her neighbor and chainsaw artist, is hot (Joe Manganiello). Yes, I have been watching True Blood and Saw Dogs.

In other news, Courtly Abandon edits w/beta readers are going well. No one has been turned off by my hero’s virginity, although one commented that the scene were he was trying not to, umm, spend, in his pants, hinted at sexual dysfunction. Changing that. Otherwise, my incredibly well bathed Elizabethans finding love amidst adversity has been well received.

Sometimes I enjoy laughing at myself. Sometimes I don’t. Right now I’m in the process of trying to finesse my queries. In doing so, I’m trying to step back and look at the big picture. What are my stories really about? This morning, this process has resulted in my laughing at myself. A lot. I’m frustrated with some of the cliché necessities of genre fiction, even though I’m confident that I addressed them professionally and made them an organic part of my stories. I like to think that I own the fact that I write romance. I am unashamed, proud even – but then I find myself highlighting all the steamy scenes to make sure there are enough and that they’re well balanced and I get a little sad. But then I read a romance and it lightens my day. I have to remember that, whenever I think of myself as tawdry, that I’m writing what I love, what many readers will love. Romance offers that silver lining and any negative thoughts I have about it stem from external sources. Take that, world!

Here I am writing my fourth book about stunningly beautiful people with baggage. Lucky for them I’m here to help them get past their issues and realize that love is worth it and that they are worthy of happiness. So, watch out Karma and Philippe, I’m about to rock your world way more than the ghosts of the wealthy plantation owner and his Creole mistress ever could. Just ask Jane and Percy, or Mary and Charles, or Frances and Henry.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Figurative Loin Girding Has Commenced

Agent and editor appointment scheduling opens tomorrow for this summer’s RWA conference. Yes, I’m pinning all my hopes and dreams on the last week of July. I can’t pretend I’m not. As such, I’m making sure my ducks are all rowed up nicely and that my agent appointments counts. I feel like I'm preparing for battle. Soon I'll have my husband jump out from corners and surprise me with questions about my books. Training has begun.

The research is slow going. Some of the agencies have been easier for me to determine – I mean, if I’ve read many of their client’s books then I have a great basis of understanding who they represent and what they’re drawn to. On the flip side, if I’ve read many of their client’s books, then they’re probably in too high a league for me.

The slow part is with the agencies where none of the names are familiar. Yes, the box is checked that they represent historical romance – but they only have one client who writes historical and that is Regency and inspirational. But the box is checked, so does that mean they’re broadening their scope? I have no clue, but there are only so many appointments available, so I get the distinct joy of selecting, font, and strikethrough on my list.  Feels like an accomplishment, but it’s possible I’m just shooting myself in the foot.

Speaking of my foot, I returned to work on May 14th. It’s been awkward, but I’m glad to be out and about again. Yes, I’m still wearing THE BOOT when out, but got the okay to wear a sneaker when at home. My tendon has completely reattached, but the two bones still show shadows of the fracture and should be babied. I don’t think I’ll be in snazzy shoes for the conference. It’s possible I will have a cane.

Tired and out of time, I wish all agency websites would include cover images with their client lists (Thank you, Bradford Agency). Yes, this is me being lazy, but I just spent twenty minutes clicking through a list of authors I’d never heard of, that did not have their genre listed, only to find out they were all inspirational. Just to make sure I wasn’t an idiot, I double checked all the “About Us” blurbs and found nothing specifying that they only did Christian. It’s not that my books are anti-Christian, but there’s a whole lot of sex so…. Yeah.

Okay, back to the grind. Let’s see what Cori Deyoe at 3 Seas (I’m sure I’ve queried them in the past - does this mean I shouldn't meet them face to face?) represents.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Note to Self: I am an Alto

This blog post is more of a ramble. Just remember, you chose to read it.

I should be getting my clearance to return to work later this afternoon. If all goes well, I’ll be back with my class of adolescents on Monday. It’s crazy, but I’m looking forward to it. I also should be getting a handicap placard (which I will not abuse).

Things have been funky for me since the incredibly stupid injury. I have slept a lot more than is probably healthy. I have developed a tendre for Vampire Diaries. I have finished Courtly Abandon and begun round one of edits prior to beta readers. I have lost all muscle tone in my left leg, but my right calf still has some definition. I find it easier to cry lately (Damon killed Rose, I was a blubbering mess). I am enamored with making cupcakes. I’ve gotten better about answering my phone and responding to texts in a timely manner. I did not get to do faire this year, but I have some designs for next year’s dress.

Today, I went out for coffee (green tea latte w/almond milk, actually) with a friend. I drove myself. I even stopped to get gas after. Look at me being all independent and not housebound! In the car I listened to the original Broadway cast soundtrack of Phantom of the Opera. A big part of me still loves it like I did in high school. A little part of me recognizes how dated it is. Then there is that tingly sensation I get with the soaring of the strings inMusic of the Night, and I stop being nit-picky. Let your soul take you were you long to beeeeeeeee! It gives me chills (even though I'm critical of ending such a powerful note on such an insipid word).

As soon as I came home I dusted off the piano and found my sheet music. My sight reading is no longer what it was, but the muscle memory was there from all those years ago. I have confirmed that I’m still not a soprano (although now I have the guts to just go for it, I don’t care if the neighbors hear) and that I really love playing. Maybe I’ll tune my harp next and give it a go. Who knows?

But for now, I’m blogging to warm up, then jumping back into Courtly Abandon edits. Playing was a great creative stimulus and I’m amped. I just have to remember that Percy, my mc, has been cast as Hugh Dancy. I will NOT rewrite him to look like Ian Somerhalder. Hazel eyes, not icy blue. Must remember.

Thanks for reading. I hope you have a wonderful day.

Just for fun, here’s my current desktop wallpaper, for inspiration’s sake.

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