Thursday, December 29, 2011

In Preparation for the New Year...

So every year I make a list of things I want to accomplish in the next year. Usually stupid mundane things, get my carpet’s cleaned, take golf lessons, learn French… that kind of thing. I’m horrible at resolutions so I’ve basically just given those up.

I always want to eat better, drink less, exercise and write more. Since they are a given – I don’t even bother to write them down anymore.

Last year I had one very big goal which I finally accomplished at the end of the year. The Toronto DWT girls will remember my adventurous trip to San Francisco.

For 2012 though I’ve been floundering. This is what I have so far…

1. I want a repeat of my adventures in San Francisco – any city is fine.
2. I want to write 3 books.
3. I want to start a face care regime. Because at 41 let’s face it, every woman needs a face care regime.

That’s it. Seems pretty pathetic. I don’t know if it’s because as I get older I find that I’ve done a lot of things I’ve already wanted to do, or if I’m just particularly unmotivated this year.

I don’t know which is more depressing.

Anyway I figured I would throw it out to all of you – any resolutions or plans for the new year? Any hobbies you find yourself wanting to take up? This way I can steal from all of you.

And don’t forget the chance to win an Amazon $20 gift certificate is still out there. Leave a comment on any blog post from now until January 5th. I plan to just pick a random day, and from there a random comment.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Got Game

In 2003 Annika Sorenstam played in a men's PGA tour event and made history as the first female golfer to play in a men's tournament in over half a century.

I had never watched golf before that, but I watched that tournament and heard some of the commentators speak about her in patronizing terms, some supportive, but no one really thought she could win, and I'm not sure she ever thought she could win and I can't imagine the pressure on her.

But at the time, I remember thinking, it would be cool to read a book about this, but with the ending changed. I even half-heartedly told my fellow drunk writers about the golf book I thought would be great to write, but truly, I would never have done it justice.

But my friend Stephanie has. A golf book where the female golfer not only plays, but believes she can win. And it's awesome. The proper ending to the story that began in 2003. Because hopefully in my lifetime, I'll see a woman playing a major tournament and win.

Stephanie, I'm not sure if I ever asked you, but did you see that tournament, is that what sparked the idea to write this book?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Free Stuff!!!

So is everyone sick of reading about me? I know I am. Turns out I’m not the best at pimping myself. I felt embarrassed if I tweeted more than once a day about my book so I didn’t. And reading all the nice things my fellow bloggers have written about this book and my characters has kept me in a perpetual state of blush….

Or that could be all the red wine I’ve been drinking.

So this is not about Got Game? Or my new website… Or a shameless effort to get people to come to our website by offering free stuff. (Okay it’s a little about that.)

What it’s really about is finding out what works for readers. We all know advertising is a crapshoot. I can tell you my Goodreads Ad to date is a total failure. 66,000 views, only 18 clicks. So maybe the cover is wrong, or the title isn’t interesting, or my “blurb” sucks. Right now those are intangibles I can’t change – but I can learn from.

But in terms of using social networking I am curious if there may be a trend out there. I can tell you I had an experience where I was following an author who tweeted about her book because the price was reduced along with the link to buy it. From one tweet to the “click here to buy” to my Kindle in seconds. I loved that! Anything that makes buying simpler is a good thing. Anyone else buying books directly from Twitter?

And who doesn’t like free stuff? But would rather have a better chance at a small thing? Like a free book or a gift certificate? Or do you want to take your chances in a big contest like the one the Knight Agency ran where you could win an iPad?

Speak people! To this end I’m offering a $20 gift certificate on I can’t figure out how to give a free eBook away – but a gift card I can do. And since I’m tired of this being all about me – I’ll be pulling randomly from any comments left from today – all the way through the new year to January 5th.

So for folks busy around the holidays who don’t have time to check the blog and leave a comment you’ll have plenty of time to catch up in the new year.

Stop by, read some other blogs completely unrelated to my book, leave a comment and win a chance at a $20 gift card from Amazon. Or B&N if you are a Nooker and would prefer that.

I have learned there is a way to email a gift card… fabulous. Absolutely fabulous.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Golf and the Long Tail

Gee, that's a strange post title. LOL. But Stephanie's adventure into self-publishing has me thinking about niche markets and the so-called long tail.

I remember several years ago, when Amazon was really picking up as a retailer and e-books were becoming more of a reality, a statistician did a talk at some big publishing event (BEA??) about "the long tail". I wasn't there, just read about it.

I didn't read the material thoroughly but with the help of some flashbacks to stats class, I think I got the basics of what he meant. Think of a bell curve type diagram, with a bulge in the middle and then tapering out to the side. He argued that traditionally publishers could really only publish books they hoped would hit the bulge part of that curve, because they needed to find a lot of readers to make their investment in publishing it back, and also because shelf space in bookstores was so limited (even more limited now) that consumers would have no way of finding books if the number of titles increased exponentially. Even if readers/consumers would be interested in a particular book/product, they'd have no way of finding it.

Then along came retailers like Amazon with unlimited shelf space and search engines got better so that regardless of retailers, we could all find things we were interested in on the internet, with mind-boggling specificity. And then as e-readers became better and cheaper... Well, it all became viable. That is, it became viable to publish books that might be about the long tail, not the bulge. In fact, I believe he was arguing that for the long haul, it's just as good or better to be in the tail than in the bulge. Or that the bulge would smooth out and go away over time? (Need to find the article again. :)

And tons of books that are first deemed "long tail" will end up having tons of commercial appeal. I think Stephanie's Got Game is one of those! But what's really exciting is that she can have success in the long tail.

I think anyone who enjoys a strong heroine, great banter, fabulous characterization, romance, suspense... will love Got Game. And there's absolutely no need to know anything about golf to enjoy this book, but golfers?--especially female golfers--are going to LOVE this book.

I can't wait to see it soar!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Why I Love Steph's Heroines

I'm about 70 pages in to Got Game? and am totally loving it. As always, I can't be content with just enjoying a book. I have to try to figure out why I like it and how the author did what s/he did.

It's probably not the milieu of the story. I don't golf. I live with a golfer which means that I deal with him being gone for hours and hours over the weekend, with him getting up stupid early to get to the golf course, with listening to him obsess about various statistics. I'm happy he has a passion, but seriously, I'm not in love with golf.

It's not the setting. Right now, the heroine is in Nebraska. I grew up in Nebraska. I haven't been back for a very long time. There's a reason.

I'm pretty sure it comes down to Steph's heroines. I'm completely loving Reilly. She's awesome. She's so smart and talented and driven. I want to be like her. But she's vulnerable, too. She's not perfect. Part of what makes her not perfect is the drive and ambition that make her so cool. To make your heroine's vulnerability also be her strength takes a writerly awesomeness that I have to bow down to.

This isn't the first time Steph has done this either. She did it with her book that came out last year. Camille in The Doctor's Deadly Affair? Same dealio. The very thing that makes her a kick ass awesome surgeon is what turns around and bites her squarely in the ass when it comes to her personal life.

Steph did it in the very first book I read by her, too. Talia in The Contestant might actually die because of her fabulous competitive drive, but that's what makes her so completely fabulous.

I'm pretty sure I posted a couple of weeks ago about needing to like someone in a book or a movie or a TV show to want to stick with it. Steph knows how to do that in spades.

I really wanted to come up with a golf metaphor for that last sentence, but hitting a hole in one didn't sound right. Who's got a good golf metaphor for knocking it out of the park?

Stephanie Doyle's GOT GAME!

Well, this is it, release day for GOT GAME! Steph's self-publishing adventure.

I'm hugely envious to tell you the truth. I think this self-publishing model is really only going to be making money for a few select groups of people. 1. Published authors and thier backlist or the manuscript that never got published - Steph's in this group. 2. People who pimp the hell out of thier book - not sure how much Pimping Steph will do, but I imagine it's some. 3. People with niche manuscripts - again, Steph has this one too.

Got Game is a golf romance/women's fiction. It's rich with golf detail, that is relevant and interesting. It's also got Steph's trademark humor and strong female characters.

I'm excited to hear how this works out and I'm sure she'll keep us posted. And, for any of you considering buying it - do it! It's her birthday! She's 25.

PS - winner of Cecilia's book will be announced later today!!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cecilia Grant Interview and Book Giveaway

One of my favorite moments from Nationals in recent years was having lunch with Cecilia and our editor Shauna Summers. There was some general chit chat some Friday Night Lights gushing and fine food, but at one moment Shauna started to tell me about Cecilia's book A LADY AWAKENED and she absolutely raved! Raved! And watching Cecilia's face as her editor waxed poetic about her book to another author was utterly priceless. I wish all of us could have a moment like that.

Cecilia's moments with this book have just gotten better. Everyone is talking about A LADY AWAKENED. Dear Author, Smart Bitches, Book List - this book is going to be a big deal. And so is Cecilia. And honestly, it couldn't happen to a nicer, smarter woman.
I was thrilled to get a chance to ask her a few questions and the great news - answer Cecilia's questions at the end and you can win a book!

How did the idea for A Lady Awakened come about? Character first? Conflict first? Do you think about things like high concept or hooks? I ask because the premise for A Lady Awakened is deliciously hooky…a great twist on a familiar hook - it's genius!

Sex first! No, seriously, I avoided writing sex for a long time (I was trying to write trad Regencies long after they went out of fashion), and when I made up my mind to do it, I looked for a premise that would require me to do lots of it, so I couldn’t weasel out.

And I didn’t realize, at first, that I had a high concept or hook. Only after I’d entered some pages in a contest, and got feedback that the premise wasn’t original enough, did I realize that this actually was the hook; that what I needed was to embrace the well-worn nature of the premise, acknowledge reader expectations for that premise, and be deliberate about which expectations I’d meet and which I’d try to turn on their heads.

It's obviously working for you. A Lady Awakened is coming out in Jan to some fantastic buzz. Dear Author, Smart Bitches, Eloisa James! First of all - congrats and I am so thrilled for you! Second - how is this messing with your head? Is it? Or do you find you are able to roll with it?

Thank you. It’s funny; the book has not been universally loved by any means (later in my blog tour I’ll be doing a stop at a site whose reviewer DNF’d it), so I’m keenly aware of how lucky I am that it should have found such enthusiastic support in such high places.

And you know what? It does not mess with my head. Not one bit. There is just no downside to getting good reviews.

I suppose I do worry that for a lot of readers the book won’t live up to the hype, and that, for the readers who loved it, my second and third books will prove to be letdowns, but that’s really just a variation on the basic worry of people not liking your book, and that’s a worry I was going to have no matter what. Any way you slice it, “This book sucks; how the heck did it get a star in Booklist?” beats “Booklist was right; this book totally sucks.”

That is absolutely the most mature and sound answer I've ever heard. You must be saving your neurotic writer tickets for something else. You have lamented that you are not a fast writer - what is your process like? If you could change one thing about your process what would it be? You are working on the third book - is this a series? What's next?

If I could change one thing, it would be to excise the perfectionism from my psyche and cast it into the raging fires of Mount Doom.

Have you heard the building-construction writing analogy? You have to put up the building’s skeleton, or whatever it is, before you start fussing over curtains and paint colors? For a perfectionist it’s not like that. Writing is more like building a brick wall: you need to meticulously place each brick, and you need to get it right, if you want the part you’re working on to support the parts to come. Otherwise you eventually have to take it all down and start over.

Enough about my process. Yes, this is a series, centered on family: Martha, of A Lady Awakened, Will, of A Gentleman Undone, and Nick, of A Book Yet Untitled, are all siblings. All tend to excess when it comes to notions of duty, honor, propriety, etc., and all fall for people who turn their worlds inside out.

I don’t know yet what’s next. I’ve tried to stay away from dukes, which maybe means I should tackle one.

You write complicated women, is that something you do on purpose? Or are you just fascinated by the kind of story complicated women create?

Yes and yes. You always hear about these readers who want an essentially transparent heroine, so that they can ignore her and imagine themselves interacting with the vivid-by-comparison hero, but personally I don’t know anyone who reads romance that way. What I want, and what I think most readers want, is a story of two equally flawed, intricate people discovering that they belong together.

And as a writer, I like the challenge of finding my way into characters whose flaws don’t just potentially put readers off, but put me off too. For example, awhile ago I was reading about Byron-mania, specifically about women who’d disguise themselves as chambermaids to get into Byron’s hotel room. My first thought was, “What kind of idiot woman would do that?” And my next thought was, “I need to write a heroine who does that.” Maybe some day.

That's a great way of looking at character construction - what fascinates you as the writer should fascinate readers as well. You are a Friday Night Lights fan - what are you watching now - anything as good as FNL?

Nothing has come along to take the place of Friday Night Lights. I miss it still. Now I have to spend my Friday nights with creepy Keith Morrison on Dateline, and I think it is warping my brain.

I suppose the show I’m enjoying the most these days is the sitcom Parks and Recreation. If you want to see a beautifully executed romance arc, rent Season 3 and watch geeky, over-earnest small-time bureaucrats Ben and Leslie fall for each other. (Bonus: Leslie’s awesome relationship with BFF Ann.)

Okay - cage match: Meredith Duran vs Courtney Milan and then Joanna Bourne vs Sherry Thomas

Oh, you had to go there.

Courtney Milan happens to be better than pretty much anyone at portraying this one specific thing - men yearning for platonic connection with other people - that I have a huge weakness for. (Think of Ash Turner feeling left out of his brothers’ easy camaraderie, or Gareth Carhart remembering his schooldays, when he could never think of the right thing to add to the other boys’ conversations - oh, the angst!)

However, there’s something about Meredith Duran’s books, aside from the beautiful writing, that just absolutely meshes with my sensibilities. I relate to her characters in a slightly different way from the characters of any other romance writer; I always feel like I could sit down and have long conversations with them. So I give her a slight edge.

The second match-up is even worse. In the past five years there have been exactly two romances that I finished, and then immediately started over again: The Spymaster’s Lady, and Not Quite a Husband. I’d say it’s a toss-up... but I’ve just had a Bourne fix with her excellent The Black Hawk, whereas it’s been a year and a half since the last Thomas book, so... no, actually, that doesn’t help me decide. Call it a draw.

Yeah, it's a draw for me too. All right Drunk Writers answer one of the following questions and you could win a book:

name either a) your favorite flawed heroine, b) your favorite duke hero, or c) the tv show you believe could fill the Friday-Night-Lights-shaped hole in my heart, if I gave it a chance.

And thanks so much Cecilia for stopping by!

Friday, December 09, 2011

My christmas list

So Christmas is a few weeks away and while I'm sweating the presents I still need to buy, the tree I still have to decorate and the Christmas cards I'll feel guilty for not having sent out, I'm putting my own Christmas list together. A sort of, if I had the time, here is where I would spend it.

1) Legend, by Marie Lu. This is a fantasy YA that is getting great buzz and while I know nothing about it, the buzz alone makes me want to read it.

2) Daughter of smoke and bone - an urban fantasy YA, again because of the buzz.

3) Girl with the dragon tattoo - because I'm fascinated to see what Fincher does with the material, and having seen the original Swedish movie and enjoyed it, curious to see if they bring something new. Plus, I've almost always enjoyed Fincher's movies and this one has Daniel Craig.

4) The Descendants - because I hear nothing but great things about this movie.

5) Sherlock Holmes - because the first was so much fun and Robert Downey and Jude Law and are my new favourite onscreen couple.

6 Downton Abbey - Because I love British historical TV dramas and this one has gotten great reviews.

7) Luther - I saw the first two episodes of this and loved it, plus Idris Elba in the title role is incredible. I need to get my hands on this.

There you go. I have my fantasy list where Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Sherry Thomas both manage to get books out in time for Christmas, or Karen Marie Moning writes another urban fantasy in the next month, but that's pretty unlikely.

Right now, I'm happy to go with the above. Throw in a glass of wine and I'm in heaven. Anyone else have a Christmas list?

Thursday, December 08, 2011

The Unknown...

So next week I’m about to launch (I think) my indie ebook. I’m waiting until everything is online and then I’m going to start my campaign blitz. I found a great golf blog for women that I want to run an advertisement on (thank you Maureen) and I plan to do a Goodreads ad (thank you Molly).

There are all sorts of suggestions and things I need to do to update my Amazon page. I’m actually going to log on to facebook and do stuff there. And finally I will tweet. (My whopping 48 followers I’m sure will race to buy my book.)

Then I just sit back. It’s very odd to have no expectation of what will come. There was an article in the RWR that painted a fairly grim, but probably accurate, picture of what to expect. But then there are those anomalies that make you think why can’t that be me?

When I put out my category work, I know what to expect. I know there are going to be a set number of readers, a basic number of sales. Yes, they certainly do range for authors – but I get the general idea. When the royalty statement comes I know how much to anticipate (or not anticipate in my case.)

But this feels like stepping my toe out into the great unknown. I could sell no books. I could sell many.

I could attract the attention of a Hollywood Producer (in my dream it’s Sandra Bullock) who decides she must turn my story about the first woman to compete with the men in a major golf event into a movie and I’m offered millions. See how creative my fantasies can be?

I absolutely plan to report back on the numbers for anyone reading this blog who is thinking about self-publishing. But I can say regardless what happens with the numbers, this whole experience has been eye opening. It’s made me think more about the business of writing than I ever have before. And it’s made me think about advertising and promotion and social networking more than I ever have before. If nothing else – it’s made me a better business woman.

Anybody out there have any self-publishing stories they want to share?

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Jimmy, Boardwalks and Backstory

I'm so late today with my promised post and I suspect it will be short.  But this week's Boardwalk Empire got me thinking about the calculated timing of the backstory reveal once again.

Whether you're writing a novel, or a TV series that might go over several seasons, timing is everything when it comes to revealing backstory. And if you've thought up cool, dark backstories for your characters, the temptation is to make sure the reader/viewer knows and sees all that great stuff. But holding it back is so, so much better. They did this well on Battlestar Galactica. And really well in the movie Shame, to the point where they never really did reveal the backstory, and now Boardwalk Empire.

I loved how they revealed the stuff about Nucky's childhood in the first season, and how Margaret got to America in this season (although frankly, that was a bit of a letdown) but the reveal of Jimmy's backstory was perfect for me.

Yes, with hindsight, we've known some of that all along, and we knew a few details... We knew he'd been at Princeton, but never finished (but didn't know why). We knew he'd been in the war, so I assumed his enlisting had been what cut his University career short. But no... We knew he'd gone to war when  his girlfriend was pregnant. We knew his mother is super young and super pretty and there was some  super creepy sexual energy between them, but wow. What great timing to explain some of the missing pieces in Jimmy's background.

And to add layers to his already very complicated relationship with his mother. Not to mention his wife.

When things like that get revealed in second or third seasons I often wonder when the writers knew... Is this something they thought of after the fact or knew all along and held back. And in this case, I think it's deliciously obvious that they knew all along. And that the director told the actors from the start. Every look between Jimmy and his mother.... The awkwardness between Jimmy and his girlfriend/wife once he comes back from war.. That, I assumed, was just due to the time they'd been apart, (and then the fact they reveal she's a lesbian). But no. So much more delicious. They barely freaking knew each other.

And his mother got him kicked out of Princeton. Or he did because he was freaking jealous of a professor hitting on his Mom. Wow.

All of it delicious. One of my favourite episodes yet.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Why Must I Like Them? Really Really Like Them?

So this weekend, in a fit of laundry-folding, filing of papers and other organizational chores, I watched a lot of television. On Friday night, I watched Cedar Rapids. Ed Helms plays a total shnook of an insurance salesman who gets sent to the big regional conference. My expectations were pretty low, but still it was funnier and way sweeter than I expected. There's a moment where Ed Helms explains why he became an insurance salesman and it all has to do with helping people and being there for people when their lives are falling apart. So through all the goofiness and even John C. Reilly walking around in his boxer shorts, I hung in there because I wanted Ed Helms to win.

I also watched Web Therapy. My expectations were a little higher for this one. I love shows with psychologists. To keep it simple, I hated it. Lisa Kudrow's character had, from what I saw, absolutely no redeeming qualities. She was a narcissistic, selfish, self-absorbed, greedy twit. I didn't even make it all the way through the first episode because there was absolutely no one to root for. Not even her clients.

I can't decide if this need to have someone to root for is a failing or not. There seem to be plenty of shows and movies where everyone else is perfectly happy that the heroes aren't heroic. Chicago, anyone? I hated it. I wanted them all to be executed. On the other hand, though, I get so sick of the perfect heroines who are always smart and kind and blindingly pretty. I need a good middle ground.

So what drives you nuts more? Having no one to root for or having the person you're rooting for be too effing perfect?

Monday, December 05, 2011

A conversation about category romance and effective promotion

I've done some blogs about category romance and royalties and while I am still very much a middle of the pack Superromance writer, sales as a whole have gone down. It's still a great place to write I adore Wanda Ottewell and deeply respect her eye for story. It's been a great place to write. It's pretty much anything goes over that at Superromance and while I think there are authors who sell better than I do because they might have branded themselves better in terms of the stories they write - or they stick to one kind of subgenre that appeals to the category reader, I have enjoyed writing pretty much whatever I want - probably to my detriment.

So, for those of you focusing on Superromance and for Stephanie whose first Superromance comes out in April - here are some tips for making the most of your career at Superromance (from someone who probably didn't, so take all of this with a grain of salt).

Cowboys and kids sell. And they sell pretty well from what I can gather. So if you can get that cowboy hat and a baby on a cover, chances are you'll see some sales. I've never managed to get this kind of cover - although maybe in July since I have a cowboy and some kids. I'll report back. Without that selling feature, unless your cover is different and really pretty radically different - I think covers are just covers. People aren't impulse buying like they were - they go by name recognition and recommendation - more on that in a second.

Yes, you do have to do social networking. But only do what you like. Readers want giveaways. Who doesn't? Do a little blog tour - there are a lot of websites out there who would LOVE to have guest bloggers. Do the blog. Giveaway some books. Be on Facebook - do some giveaways. Are you going to see sales - can't say. No idea. But giving away books in my opinion is the best promotion there is. Especially if you're proud of the book. I did a Good Reads giveaway, which is free - I do recommend that, they pull from a huge pool and get a lot of rabid readers who might not know your name, or romance.

Paying for advertising - be it on Facebook, Good Reads or Romantic Times - I honestly don't know if it makes a difference. I've stopped doing it for my category books because I just never felt like there was a huge result from it. If I would recommend one I'd say Good Reads - it's concentrated on readers and it's not outrageously expensive. Once again, no idea if it resulted in sales.

I have not done a bookmark or a trading card. I print up business cards for conference - which inevitably I forget to hand out. If I get my act together I think I'll do a trading card for my single titles, but for category...I probably won't do it.

Consistently, the best promotion you can do is write great books that your editor loves. Because your editor is your best sales force.

Now, the real surprise from my royalty statement is the number of ebook sales for my Feb book - HIS WIFE FOR ONE NIGHT. There were over 1,000 sales. The rest of my ebook sales hover between 200-400. Now, perhaps a contributor to this was my Good Reads ad and giveaway. I'd never done that before this book. So again, Good Reads - check it out. Another contributor might be that at Christmas there were a whole lot of new e-readers in stockings.

But the real factor I believe comes down to Internet buzz and the hand-selling of one very important librarian. I got a great review on Dear Author and it was before the book came out, most of my reviews have been long after the fact. So a good review at the right time. And Wendy the SuperLibrarian raved about this book practically door to door. Can not thank her enough.

We all know there are blogs in this business that have some clout. It takes some guts to send your book to Dear Author, Smart Bitches and All About Romance for review - because they might trash it and trash it hard. But if you can get over that - great. Do it. And maybe you don't approve of what they do on their sites - fair enough. But Internet buzz has become - in my opinion - the game changer and no one does Internet buzz like those sites.

That's my takeaway this time around. Thoughts?

Friday, December 02, 2011

Stretching credibility

I will go a long way with a show or book that is exciting and keeps me guessing, or makes me laugh, probably past where a lot of other people will fall off. I'll accept if there is more good than bad.

I'm just past the point into bad with a show right now. Did anyone out there watch the first season of Camelot? I did, mostly for Joseph Fiennes and the clever, clever episode where it twisted the legend regarding how Arthur came upon Excalibur. The show is clever in some ways. They know that Fiennes is chewing scenery in a truly memorable performance. They know Eva Green is also chewing scenery, but like Fiennes she brings such energy to the screen that it elevates the show. Both actors are more interesting than the actual script and any scenes with them together are really fun to watch.

Then there is the plot of the actual King, Arthur and his love for Guinevere, a pretty blonde who's hair styles look like they came directly from the 1980's, not the distant past. Arthur is supposed to be a youth, growing into his responsibilities and that I buy. What I don't believe is the instant sizzling attraction between Arthur and Guinevere. In the show she is betrothed to Arthur's right hand man, a man easily ten years older than Arthur, one who is far better looking and more interesting and quite frankly, the moment he removed his shirt, the show lost me.

There is no way I believe Guinevere would ever be more attracted to Arthur than her fiancee, and this is the central concept of the romance on the show.

So even with Fiennes and Eva Green and some cool twists to well known legends, I'm done. There isn't enough good about the show to overcome the way they mishandled the subplot.

Anyone else watching? Are you more patient than I am?

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Getting my ducks in a row...

As writers we often have to worry about our creative process. We need to think about structure characterization, conflict and plot, blah, blah, blah…
But sometimes we also need to focus on the business. That’s where my head is out now. I’m almost ready to announce my new website that has all the bells and whistles it needs. Links to things… links are good.

I’ve dotted every I and crossed every T on my indie publication which will be released in December. (Where I will post a big splashy picture and ask everyone who is anyone to please buy this book because I really like it.) I’ve made decisions about branding, cover art and book titles. Yeah me!

Now I have to sit down and think about 2012. I have a book to finish and a new proposal to write, that’s for certain. But do I want to write 2 or 3 category books? Do I want to schedule time to try and fit in my new historical? Do I want to focus more on the indie work and see if I can gain any traction in that market?

Hard decisions. And not creative at all. It brings home to me again that as “authors” we need to be both things – creative writers and logical business people. I’ve met author’s whose work I thought was okay – but did an amazing job of marketing themselves. I’ve met author’s whose work is amazing, but so few people have ever heard of them. Either group can get lucky – but I think long term success requires a blending of both skills.

If you are reading this blog – you know that we never say the easy things about writing and publishing. Was it you, Molly, who said realistically hitting it big in publishing is not all that different from winning the lottery? And that’s the truth. But know that writing the great the book, crafting the best query, landing an agent, publisher, whatever… all those things are great things. Once you've done that, then it’s… okay what’s next – Are you tweeting?

(I am tweeting and some day I’m going to figure out how to tweet my blog – 2012 to do list!)
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