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Monday, March 7, 2011

Laurie's Journal

Welcome to our continuing Mission Success Writers’ Journal series. Each week, we’ll all post on our progress toward becoming successful authors, and share news and what we've learned. You're invited to come along!

Laurie's Journal

I apologize in advance if my journal entry this week sounds a wee bit bouncy and manic. Yup, this has been a very bouncy, manic kind of week.

Action!
Actions I've taken as a writer. Where am I? What am I doing?

I love surprises! I had a wonderful OMG moment this week when Shea Berkley, a member of my local RWA group, LERA (Land of Enchantment Romance Authors) posted on our loop that I was a finalist in The Write Stuff contest. *clicks heels together* Oh, what a feeling! It’s been a while since I’ve been active in contests and had all but forgotten I’d entered this one. More surprises like this one please!

On the Novel One front: After an extended hiatus from submitting my work, I’m ready to begin some aggressive sortees again. In fact, I have a definite mission strategy laid out. (Queen takes rook, knight takes queen…)

On the Novel Two front: The high word count continues to stifle my muse, but I’m going to grit my teeth, ramp up the Pit Bull tenacity, and get ‘er done. Then I’ll figure out what and where to cut. The editing seems to be the easier part for me, so I’m redoubling my efforts on the completion phase.

Meanwhile, a new character popped out of the Creativity Dimension fully-formed for my P2PC sequel that promises to throw in a few more fun twists!

And the characters from my back-burnered SFR epic, Draxis, have been whispering in my ear and tugging on my shirttails again. Hard! Yup, gotta get back to their story next. *waves a flaming torch at insistent characters to keep them at bay in the meantime*

Why, yes. My muse has been zipping around at hyperspeed this week. Does it show?

Discoveries
New authors, cool web sites, great resources, great workshops, great online sites!

I thought this was an interesting article on how to research a place that doesn't exist anymore.

I’m working on an interview for a very exciting discovery on my part--indie author Victorine Lieske. Who is she? Just someone who hit the New York Times bestsellers list last week with her self-published romantic suspense novel! Not What She Seems Wait, you say, how does an indie author rack up those kinds of sales? That’s what I’m going to be asking her.

The Squeeze
Writers are sponges when it comes to soaking up writing tips and tricks. Here's where we squeeze out our sponges for the week.

If my news about Victorine Lieske (above) excited you, here’s what I learned from her blog  about her methods of getting there. (By the way, don’t despair if your sales start out slow. She confided she sold seven copies the first month. This truly is a brave new world in publishing, isn’t it?)

Pssst!
The latest buzz. Submission calls. New publishers. Industry changes. Inspirational sayings or quotes for writers. And our take on them.

Do I have news? Um….er….uh…YES! But I can’t talk about it. Yet! *chomps at bit* *chews at nails* Should be soon! Really! Sorry to keep you in suspense. The wheels turn slowly, you know? (This industry could definitely use a hyperdrive retrofit.)

Great Quote: Don't think outside the box. Destroy the box.
-- Susannah Breslin in a Forbes Magazine Article: How to Sell Your Fiction Online

Bookshelf
Books we're reading and mini-reviews. Writers must read voraciously. Sometimes we find gems in the literary universe or sometimes certain elements of a book really speak to us (and our muses). Do we know about book giveaways? A big debut? We'll dish on those.

This was my second happy, happy, joy, joy moment this week! (Okay, maybe this year!) STRANGERS is out in PRINT! It seems the publisher released the paperback version on February 9th without so much as a whisper (even to the author!). What were they thinkin’? (At the risk of sounding like an over-enthused fangrrl) I can’t say enough about how great this novel is, but I can tell you this isn’t SFR and I’m not generally a contemporary romance/erotica fan, but this is, without a doubt, one of the very best books I’ve ever read. The fated collision of two disastrous lives! The heartbreaking black moment! The deep, dark backstories!  The emotional struggles of a couple who are caught in the harsh glare of the paparazzi spotlight! All told with incredible realism and unexpected humor, and a cover that captures the essence of it all. This is a spellbinding, can’t-stop-reading-even-though-it’s-2AM kind of story and it’s FINALLY out in print. But don’t just listen to this cheerleader rant like a smitten critique partner—read the rave reviews on Amazon or the 24 five star reviews on Ellora's Cave! You’ll see phrases like “best book of 2009” and “best book I’ve read in a long while” (from a big reviewer) and “how did the big publishers miss this one?” Honestly, if this is the ONLY contemporary romance/erotica you read this year, don’t miss it! There’s a reason this book made it to #4 on the Preditors and Editors Readers Choice Poll for BEST EROTICA NOVELS OF 2009 even though the novel was released in DECEMBER! OK, I’m done shouting now. Really! *hyperventilates* (But you really should read it!)

Also of note: THE SPIRAL PATH by Lisa Paitz Spindler, a fellow Skiffy Rommer, is now available for pre-order from Carina Press. Yes, it’s SFR. Really looking forward to this one.  Here's the link:
http://ebooks.carinapress.com/A035F340-92D8-461F-A0C3-3A15B3DF402A/10/134/en/ContentDetails.htm?ID=2C4C9F95-FAF6-41B4-B290-42BC097BA6DB


Ping Pong
We'll comment back to our co-bloggers on things they've posted on their journals.

@Sharon: I enjoyed revisiting the Offended by Rank Objectification of Writers article. I think this should be required reading for every writer’s new love interest or potential spouse. Yes, we can certainly laugh at ourselves.

@Donna: Loved your summary of where you are as a writer and with your series. Also in The Squeeze you raised the subject of weighting characters via Julia Barrett’s blog article. While I agree on most points, P2PC is probably the exception to most rules since it’s told primarily from the male MCs POV and Sair really tips the weight scales in his direction. Because of revelations about the female MC in the story, I made a decision as a writer that this is how the story would be most effective. I’ve had a lot of judges, fellow writers and critique partners tell me, “You really shouldn’t do that.” Oh, don’t I know it! However, that's why the quote in the Pssst! section above really spoke to me. “Don’t think outside the box. Destroy the box.” Sometimes you just have to break The Rules.  :)

5 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. let's try again - for some reason Blogger wouldn't let me post.
    Congrats on the contest, Laurie!!! Somehow when you forget you entered, it's even more exciting.

    Thanks for your praise of Strangers. I'm really looking forward to seeing it in print. My pride and joy!!!

    Good to hear your muse is kicking you into gear!!! You just need 48 hour days now.

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  3. Good morning, Barbara. I think maybe Blogger hasn't had its coffee yet, today. :)

    Oh yes, 48 hours a day would come in very handy! Forget the vowels. Can I buy a day?

    Thanks for stopping by.

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  4. First congrats on the contest final! OP needs a publisher-- I think just from what I've read, yes it is that good!

    Enjoyed reading your journal today.

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  5. Oh, thank you, Kaye. High praise coming from a talented author like you. I've definitely set a course for that destination. :)

    Glad you enjoyed my journal. (I hope these are as fun to read as they are to write.)

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