Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Time to brag!

I checked my e-mail when I got home from Mom’s house and WOO-HOO! I’d been sent a piece of fanfiction!

Yes! About to Sin has inspired fanfiction!

*happy dance*

*big o’le happy dance*

I know some authors out there find fanfiction to be some kind of serious affront and yes, it is, technically, a copyright violation. If other authors want to be pissed, then so be it.

I am going to be thrilled and honored that someone found my story so inspiring and moving that they felt the need to write fanfiction. I’m also going to be blown away by it.

I probably shouldn’t do this, but I’m trying to encourage her to post it on AFF (adult fanfiction). If she does, I’ll share the link.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

13 Things on My Desk

This is a cool little meme. It gives a glimpse of the writer behind the words.

I stole this from Nicholas.

1)4 coffee mugs
2)One neglected cup of water
3)Bottle of Tums
8)Cell phone
9)A black wooden box that contains a necklace (I move it to my tower when I’m working so hubby knows to not bother me.)
10)A stack of recovery disks that I still haven’t put away from my last crash.
11)Two coasters
12)My computer (keyboard, monitor, trackball and tower)
13)Wrist pad beneath my keyboard

And that’s it. That’s all that’s on my desk. I have a few things sitting on top of my tower, but that’s it.

*looks at coffee mugs*

Three of these really need to go to the kitchen.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Five Senses.

Sight, smell, taste, touch, sound—we experience them every moment of every day with some notable exceptions (D/deaf, blind, etc.) And our characters experience them too.

But, do your readers?

We type in two dimensions (height and width), but we need to write in four (height, width, depth and time). Within those four dimensions, we have all five senses.

All writers have comfort zones when it comes to writing the senses. My major comfort zone is sight. If I’m not careful, I’ll give my readers a whole lot of visuals and very little everything else. Taste and smell are my most difficult areas.

When I think about describing a taste or a smell, how do you do that? How do you really show your readers the sweet smell of honeysuckle on the breeze? Or the warm robust aroma of a cup of coffee? Or perhaps it’s a rancid scent of death or the salty taste of a lover’s skin.

What’s helped me is when I take a sip of my coffee, I take a note of how it tastes. A long hard mental note.


The aroma of the chocolate flavored coffee hit her nose before the liquid touched her lips. Although the coffee had turned tepid, the scent still hinted at warmth. Whatever the manufacturer used to for chocolate flavoring, reminded her of a distant Hershey bar. The smell, overlaid with sweet, carried an undercurrent of bitterness.

The tan nectar of life flowed over her lips and flooded her tongue. The acidic bite of the mid-grade coffee tingled upon her tongue and the lingering sweetness made her wonder if she added too much sugar to this cup.

Hmm…better, but still needs a bit of work. I got a little purple there for a moment.

Regardless of the type of scene, all four senses are engaged with our characters and, consequently, all four senses need to be engaged with the reader. Anything short of that, and you’re cheating your reader. They key to writing with all four senses is observing with all four of them.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

So, you want to be a writer?

I’ve had several people come to me and ask me how one goes about becoming a writer. The simple answer is that you write a book and get it accepted by a publisher.

Actually, that’s not the simple answer. That’s the only answer.

If you’re really focused on being an author, let me give you a few words of warning.

During the first step, you’ll be in one of two places in your life. You’ll either be working a job that pays the bills until the royalty checks come in or you’ll be fortunate enough to (be fired, on unemployment, living off a family trust, living off family, or whatever) be writing full time.

Most likely you’ll be working some kind of job. This means you will have to squeeze in writing whenever you can. When you get home for your 9-5 and you’re tired, you’ll have to reach within yourself and find the right mindset to write. And this will need to happen in between feeding the kids/cat/dog, doing laundry, spending time with the kids, making dinner, getting the gum out of your youngest’s hair, getting the dog out of the trash, taking the trash out, dealing with the phone calls for your oldest child, going to the grocery store, doctor appointments, therapist appointments, chatting with friends, dinner with your mother-in-law and all of the other wonderful things we call life.

If you’re lucky and you don’t have a regular 9-5, you’ll have a bit more time to get distracted by all the wonderful moving images on TV, internet, and life outside your window.

Months if not years will go by and your novel will finally take some kind of form. Then, you’ll tell yourself that it’s crap and you’ll walk away from it.

Then, you’ll think that maybe, just maybe, it’s not totally crap or that you might be able to fix it.

More time will pass and you’ll finally get to “The End.”

After which, you’ll be forced to nit-pick your beloved novel that contains your heart and soul. You’ll polish it, edit it, cut it, tweak it, fix it and finally, finally, you’ll reach a point where you might consider submitting it to a publisher.

That’s when you realize you have to…

1)Figure out the genre of your book that’s so deep and innovative that it breaks all genre boundaries. Your novel is oh-so-original that it can’t possibly be shoe-horned into a genre label. The publishing industry will be forced to recognize your genius by creating whole new genre’s just for you.

2)Get a reality check and realize none of that is true.

3)No, really it isn’t.


5)Yes, even your novel.

6)You’ll take a hit to your pride and realize that genre labels really do fit your story.

7)Find and create a list of publishers that handle your genre.

8)Realize that you have to create a submission package that includes: a cover letter, synopsis, part/all of the manuscript. You’ll argue with the screen about how you should be able to tell the publishers to read your manuscript and let it speak for itself. You’ll get frustrated and angry about having to take your X number of words novel—that thing you put your heart and soul into—and beat the crap out of it until you break every writing convention and TELL the story in a synopsis.

9)Finally, you have your submission package ready and you start to shake. Your breath goes short and sweat rolls down your back. You look at your composed e-mail and try to work up the nerve to click send. Hours go by. You pace for a while. You give yourself a pep talk. And, finally, you squeeze your eyes closed and you send your baby off to those evil manuscript eating people called publishers.

10)You wait.

11)You wait some more.

12)You wait even longer.

13)You get rejected. Sometimes in very rude ways and sometimes for idiotic reasons. You cry, scream and tell everyone you know how stupid Publisher X is.

14)You go to your next publisher on the list.

15)You tweak the MS (manuscript) to fit their house style. You change margins, indentions, where the page numbers are, and what marks to use for a scene break.

16)You submit and this time it’s a little bit easier.

17)You get rejected.

18)You submit again and yawn while you do it.

19)You get rejected and this goes on and on. Until…

20)You get accepted.

As a side note: I should mention that submission hell (as we so lovingly call it) isn’t necessarily bad. Full Circle, Selling Foxx, Tainted Past and By Invitation Only were accepted by the first publisher that received them. With About to Sin, the publisher tracked me down and asked me to turn it into a series. So, yes, it can happen the first time out of the chute.

Then, editing starts.

You’ll spend the next few months hearing about (mostly) what’s wrong with your pride and joy. Pick your battles here. This is very important. Yes, you can push back against an editor, but if you fight them too much you’ll risk getting a reputation as a PITA (pain in the ass) author. If you really do disagree with your editor tell them so and tell them why. But, pick your battles.

It’s a well-known fact that I don’t like dialog tags and I especially don’t like the word “said.” My editors will put that in my stuff. I don’t fight them on that. It’s a little thing and a personal pet peeve. I will fight them on using the masculine forms of blond and brunet (versus blonde and brunette). I will fight for occasional bits of verbiage. But, I won’t fight over a stupid dialog tag. There are other things where I’ll push back, but for the most part, I try to defer to their experience.

Once the editing is done, you realize that your pride and joy that you tried so hard to polish was quite rough and now you have a golden novel that’s waiting for readers.

This is where the real hard work kicks in. Yes, writing the novel is the easiest part. This is where you start networking and marketing. It’s not enough to write the novel, you must sell it. You get on every board you can find, join every yahoo group you can snag, learn about promo items, loop chats, live chats, and book signings.

You register your copy right with the copy right office. You DO register it, don’t you? You’d better.

Finally, readers and reviewers grab your manuscript.

You wait for feedback that never comes. (This is another place where I’m lucky. I have a very dedicated and awesome readerbase and many of them drop me lines telling me what they thought of my story.) A few reviewers hate you and a few love you.

You continue your marketing and networking efforts.

Then, the first royalty check comes in.

You cry.

A lot.

You just realized the kid working at McDonald’s makes more money than you. You just spent X number of months/years working for way less than minimum wage.

Yes. Expect to be broke.

I know, I know, King isn’t broke and Rice isn’t broke. Well, you’re not King and you’re not Rice. And you don’t want to be. You want to be yourself with your own style, but you do want their royalty checks.

After you realize that you’re not quitting your day job for a while, you experience a stroke of insanity and start the process all over again.

And that’s how you become a writer.

Monday, April 02, 2007

About to Sin--Published!

Erotic Dreams will be publishing “About to Sin” and they’ve started the series this month. The series is so long that they’ll be presenting it in 2,500 word segments either once a week or every other week (I’ll let you know when the timeline has been finalized.)

This story and some others are available to read FOR FREE! (Please, don’t ask me how they can let readers read for free, but still pay their writers. I can’t figure that one out.) You will need to register with the website, but that’s free too.

To read the fiction:
Go here Erotic Dreams , register, log in, click “fiction” and enjoy!


A chance meeting between an out-and-proud ER doctor and a closeted Catholic Priest leads to life changing decisions, confusion and love.


It'd been a good night at "Swill 'N' Chill" so far. The DJ seemed to on his game with the music. James, the bartender, wasn't fucking up the drinks, and a come-hither bottom-boy spent the past two hours checking me out. By this point, I'd had a few good laughs, a lot of good drinks, and some pretty good dance partners, including Mr. Too Cute For His Own Good.

As the third remix of "It's Raining Men" blasted the speakers, I made my way to the bathroom. It's a good song, but I'd heard my fill of it. Enough was enough. The bass beat vibrated the walls in the unisex-but-mostly-used-by-men bathroom. What was it with gay bars and their unisex bathrooms? Or maybe it was the patrons who didn't bother heeding the sign on the door.

After tending to my business, I washed my hands and checked myself in the mirror. I'm no spring chicken and most of the twinks here tend to bore me intellectually. That's fine. I don't come here for the conversation. When they're moaning below me, I don't care that they started high school while I studied A&P in med school.
I narrowed my eyes and studied a spot on my black mesh shirt. Did some twit spill their beer on me? I pinched my shirt and looked down. What the hell was that? It didn't smell like beer. A little circle of darkened black. This shit better come out or someone was getting their ass beat.

Still pissed about the enigmatic stain, I stepped back and bumped into someone. "Pardon," I muttered just before looking up.

Oh holy hell.

"Father Daniel?"