Thursday, July 16, 2009

I love it when a plan comes together

The month of July has been a very busy one for me. Multi-tasking at its best. So far this month, I've written nearly 15000 words on the next book I plan to submit to Red Sage (that's due by July 31). What sucks is that I didn't get to keep all those words Things keep changing because my characters keep surprising me! Only a few more thousand words and it will be done. I hope to have it finished by The 25th, so if you're interested in being a beta reader for me, let know. I will really appreciate it!
While I've been writing that book, I've also been plotting the next two books that will feature characters from Her Dark Master. Tori's brothers - Ryder, the legitimate heir and Wolffe, the bastard. I had hoped to be able to send in Ryder's story at the end of July, but that is not going to happen. C'est la vie. Along with my critique partner Mae, I had a huge breakthrough in both books last night. The energy is humming like crazy and my writing muse is impatiently demanding I write til my fingers bleed. I'm doing all that I can to accommodate her (a good thing since my muse is a Wolfrider who carries a very big sword!)
Also this month is the big RWA National Conference in Washington, DC. I wasn't able to attend this year, but I'm getting updates and pictures from my friends who are there. The big awards ceremony, which is the Oscars of Romance Writing, will be on Saturday and I have several people I'm cheering for! In case you haven't read these authors, get thee to a bookstore fast and pick them up!
Here's who I'm rooting for:
Best Series Category in Romantic Suspense - Diana Duncan with Lethal Attraction (This book was so good I read it twice in one week and each time found something new. It's a total emotion book - laughter, crying, anticipation and some kick-ass action)
Historical Romance - Lisa Kleypas with Seduce me at Sunrise. You can't go wrong with a Kleypas book. So full of tenderness and memorable characters. It's definitely on my keeper shelf.
Regency Historical Romance - Julia Quinn with Mr. Cavendish, I Presume. It's a JQ, need I say more? A great, fun romp with witty dialogue, intense emotion and a whole new set of characters with which you can fall in love and revisit without ever tiring of them.
Romance Novella - Julia London with Snowy Night with a Highlander in the Snowy Night with a Stranger Novella. It's got a tragic Scot mixed with delicious and evocative writing. This is the story that led me to buy every one of Julia's backlist books.
Young Adult Romance - Tina Ferraro with How To Hook A Hottie. This fun story has a single minded heroine who doesn't quit. I loved the trials she went through to realize her goals. A very excellent read!

The big show is on Saturday so good luck to everyone!

P.S. Have you read a good book this year? I hope so! Tell me about some of your favorites.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Movies, Writing & Trailers

I'm a huge movie fan. Like really, really into movies. I can date it back to my childhood when my parents took me to see Star Wars right before we left for Germany. I was 6. It was magical.
Of course I'd seen movies before then but Jaws doesn't count. My mom didn't know it was a scary movie. Or I begged to see it. One or the other. I was still 6. And we're not even going to discuss how Carol Burnett warped me in relation to Jaws.
Now, as an adult, it's one of my favorite movies, go figure.
I think it was about this time that I began to absorb, if not understand and appreciate, the genius of storytelling. In books on writing, Star Wars is widely held to be one of the penultimate examples of how to do everything right. The perfect Hero's Journey. Reluctance, determination, romance, adventure, action, fulfillment, triumph. And Harrison Ford.
I digress.
Storytelling, in whatever medium, is a tricky art. It's a labor of love and hate (trust me, I have never met an author who hasn't hated their work in progress at some point. The other 1% percent are lying!). It's a long, drawn-out process. Or it's a whirling dervish of thoughts, plots and ideas swirling in your head, determined to get out.
The challenge is to get the words on the page. And most writers I know, are competitive. Even if it's only with those two little words - THE END. I've attended a ton of conferences, seminars and workshops and have heard over and over the idea of "creating a movie in your head" and writing it on the page.
While I love movies, I have discovered I'm not that sort of writer. It's kind of a bummer, too, because you'd think that would make my writing life so much easier. Alas...
I do admit to envying those who can simply close their eyes, start the movie reel and bang it out on the keyboard. Me, I can only sit down, close my eyes and feel the words, then bang them out on the keyboard. I have to get into the zone so the words can flow. I truly do feel each one. There's another saying in writing "If you don't cry, your reader won't cry." The same principle applies to every aspect of the book. If you don't like your characters, chances are no one else will either. Even with proper motivation.
I mean, who would have bought Hannibal Lecter as a scary cannibal if he'd just been hungry?
Which is a great segue into the meeting of the worlds for writing and movies. I don't know about you, but I have long been a fan of trailers/previews. They are my second favorite reason to go to the movies. (I was deeply saddened when movie voice-over guy Don LaFontaine died.) So, when I found out that authors were creating book trailers, I was stoked.
Talk about a way to get visual before you even read the book. And the range is so incredible. Some very simple like mine (free plug for Her Dark Master!) and some totally intricate such as Julia Quinn's for What Happens in London. I loved the trailer and I loved the book. They meshed so well together.
Is this the newest wave of promotion or is it a passing fad? I hope it sticks around. I love to watch them and I love to read them. Peanut butter and chocolate, man!
Anyone else have some favorite trailers or movie stories?