Monday, May 2, 2011

Laurie's Journal

My life is still in whirlwind mode, but I’m making my checklists and working through all the to-do’s and to-do-nexts systematically.

Thanks to everyone who voted on a dress selection on last week’s journal. I think I’m getting close to a decision. I’ll keep you posted.

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

As I reported last week, I finished the new revisions for my market draft of The Outer Planets (applause! applause!) and it promptly went off to my IPs—Indispensable Peers and critiquers extraordinaire—for final vetting. The Amazing Barbara (also known as author phenom Barbara Elsborg of Ellora’s Cave and Loose-Id fame, et al) had the read-through done in days along with liberal feedback. Bottom line. She liked it!

Now you have to understand the context. Barbara reads hundreds—or possibly thousands—of books (sometimes three or more a day!) so an “I liked it” is akin to “you made the grade!” And best of all, the part she liked the best was the last part of the story—the part no one had seen before. It was the section I was most worried about, and to hear her say it was exciting and fast-paced made my century. Thanks so much, Barbara.

I have four more vets out there vetting, and I’ll wait for the group consensus before doing any major tweaking, but my confidence level in The Outer Planets just made a Moon launch.

I was so excited that I sat down and opened my old manuscript, and next project, Draxis. And nearly had heart failure. With about three chapters left to write in the middle of the story, it tops out at over 154,000 words! After I came to (heh, heh), I started skimming the text and recognized that getting it down to size is not going to be a major issue. Let’s just say that I used to be far more verbose—okay, ridiculously verbose—and trimming the fat to get this WIP down to competition weight will be easy peasy (or so I say now). At least, I don’t anticipate near the alligator wrestle I had with The Outer Planets.

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

Ah, the buzz was tremendous. The Royal Wedding, of course! I was up at 3:00 AM to watch it live. (Don't gasp.  I'm normally up at 3:45 am anywho.) But yes, I was one of those…and proud of it!

Hey, I’m a romance writer. I eat this stuff for breakfast. In this case, almost literally. I just love the ceremony and pageantry—and Kate’s dress—oh my! Kate was the picture of confidence and Prince William looked devastating in that red uniform jacket.

And I was so impressed with his often scruffy-looking and disheveled little brother, Prince Harry, who I thought looked absolutely dashing in his dark uniform and gold braids. Now there’s a young man who’s really coming into his own. I wonder if he’ll be next at the altar.  Some reporters were already trying to play matchmaker between him and Kate’s sister, Pippa. And wow, wouldn’t they make a great-looking couple?  >>>>>>

(Not that I'm joining the matchmaker fray or anything, but...just look at them!)

The only disappointment on Friday was the postponement of the final launch of Endeavor, but in a way, I think it was a good thing. Not only because I think it’s important that everything go perfect with this mission, but also because I’d much rather see Endeavor have a spotlight of its own. It certainly has a story just as romantic and inspiring surrounding the commander, Mark Kelly, husband of injured congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. It truly deserves its own spotlight.

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.

A discovery! I just added a new SFR YA (described as a Sci-Fi thriller) to my Kindle bookshelf.  It's titled THE BIOCIDE CONSPIRACY, self-published by author Ann Massey (no relation to Heather that I know of).

The blurb completely hooked me:

Geronimo Jones blames himself for the death of his best mate in a high speed car chase. None too thrilled with his new life as a jackeroo on an isolated sheep station on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert, he has to stick it out for six months by order of the Juvenile Justice Department. Things start to get worse when his boss flies off in the middle of the night to check on a station hand and Mo witnesses the International Space Station crash back to Earth.

Two days later, he hasn't returned and Mo heads off to a neighboring property for help. Fleeing from a bush fire sparked by the crash, he discovers the wreckage from the space station and a flask - inside is a secret so damaging to world governments, it must be suppressed - at all costs.

Mo joins forces with Beth, a stuck up girl living on a neighboring station, and the only member of her family to evade capture by mysterious black-clad gunmen. Antagonists from their very first meeting, the warring teens are swept into the realm of of an arms dealer who will stop at nothing to get his hands on a biocide, lethal enough to kill one million people, from a single, solitary gram. On a hair-raising and breath-holding flight Mo and Beth go from enemies to frenemies to friends and almost, just about ... something else.

My hat’s off to Ann Massey for some brilliant marketing:

“Too secret for Wikileaks -The Biocide Conspiracy, the darkest secret of our time.”

“Breaking news – what they hoped you’d never find out … the darkest secret of our time … too well hidden for Wikileaks.”

I have to weight in with one opinion here, though.  I do think a professional makeover of the cover would do wonders for the curb appeal of this book. The disjointed look of the cover art was the only downside in an otherwise spectacular first impression. 


Events, conferences, cons as well as Facebook, Twitter and blog events.

The Brenda Novak Online Auction for Diabetes Research has kicked off, and it’s a must see event! Some amazing prizes including critiques by editors, agents and authors, special meets or meals with big names, all sorts of books, jewelry, vacations, electronic equipment and special offers. There truly is something for everyone—even non-readers and writers. It’s fun and it’s fabulous—and it’s all for a very good cause.

I was fortunate to win a breakfast with authors Colleen Thompson and Sharon Sala last year at RWA in Orlando and the unique opportunity to “talk shop” with a couple of pros that came along with it. The year prior, I won three signed copies of author Rowena Cherry’s SFR novels.

Don’t miss your chance to browse here:  Brenda Novak Online Auction for Diabetes Research

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

@Donna @Sharon Enjoyed your journals last week. RWA is getting closer everyday and I’m really looking forward to seeing you both again for another rollicing party, er *ahem* educational experience! (First round of drinks in the revolving bar are on me!)


  1. Looks like Outer Planets is off to a fabulous start in the vetting, Laurie. Here's hoping the mojo stays good!

  2. Thanks, Gwynlyn. I'm hoping so, too! *crosses fingers*

  3. Congrats on Outer Planets moving along so well. I love the cover of both this one and P2PC.

  4. Hi Anna! Thanks so much for your continued support and encouragement.

    If (when! when!) the day ever comes, I definitely owe you an ARC. :)

  5. Hi Laurie,
    Thank you so much for promoting 'The Biocide Conspiracy' in your journal - I was thrilled.

    I do hope the content lived up to your expectations.

    Best wishes,
    Ann Massey


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Hosted by 5 Science Fiction Romance authors with 8 RWA Golden Heart finals and a RITA final between them. We aim to entertain with spirited commentary on the past, present, and future of SFR, hot topics, and our take on Science Fiction and SFR books, television, movies and culture.