Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category
Friday, March 19th, 2010
This year, I am adding a new term to my publishing vocabulary: “crash”. As in, “to crash a book.”
Perhaps you already know what this means. I confess, I didn’t. My agent called me a little over a year ago to let me know yes, Ballantine would publish the Stud Club trilogy. I said, “Great!” (Read: OMG, squeeeeeee!). She said they wanted to publish them in May/June/July 2010. I said, “Um, how is that possible?” (Read: massive internal freak-out) And she said, “Well, they will just crash the last book.” And I said, “Oh, okay. I totally know what that means.” (Read: a total lie.)
I still don’t have a hard-and-fast definition for “crash”, but I’ve gathered it means to rush a book through production. Sometimes this is unplanned, because the author for one reason or another turns in a book after deadline. In this case, however, the “crash” was planned in advance, as it was the only way to get the trilogy releasing back-to-back in the summer months. And since having a trilogy release back-to-back in the summer months is pretty awesome, I was down with this “crashing” thing, whatever it meant.
See, before this crashed book, I’ve always worked in my own little bubble between contract and deadline, then turned in the finished manuscript 9+ months before the book’s publication date. Subsequent revisions, copy edits, page proofs have felt almost…leisurely, in retrospect.
But since we knew this third book would be a crashed book, turned in just four months before publication, the process has gone something like this:
- My editor okayed a detailed proposal back when I got the contract, last year. We had some discussions about points of plot and character, and I rethought a few things before I even started writing. Almost like pre-writing revisions. (“Previsions”? Can that be a new word?)
- Cover art was made. A blurb was written. The book was given an ISBN. All before I’d started writing this particular book. Urk. No backing out now!
- As I wrote the book, I turned in parts of it to my editor at different intervals, to make sure she was okay with how the work was progressing (and probably so she could feel assured the work was progressing, period.) After I turned in the first section, she had some questions and we talked through them. When I turned in 2/3 of the book to her at the end of January, her only complaint was that the chunk I gave her cut off right before a love scene (I hadn’t written it yet!). That’s where I started to feel like everything would be just fine. 8)
- I worked like a fiend to finish. A few awesome critique friends read the draft on short notice, and I made some revisions before turning in the completed book on March 1st. I did need two extra days to get the epilogue done, but I still consider it a deadline met.
- My editor read the book right away, was happy with how it turned out–by this point, there were no surprises, hopefully–and she sent it straight on to copy edits.
- I got the copy edited manuscript back yesterday, barely 2-1/2 weeks after turning in the book. (Normally, it’s something like 2-1/2 months.) I have a week to get it back to NY. Once I send it back, I assume the page proofs will be similarly rushed, and the whole shebang will be sent to print.
I know many authors work on this kind of a “crash” schedule routinely–sometimes on even tighter margins than mine–but holy cow. There’s so little room for error. I’m so pleased that my publisher trusted me to deliver a good book on deadline, but the whole time I was writing Three Nights, I would have these horrible thoughts like, “What if I fall and break both arms, and I just physically can’t finish the book on time? What will they do?”
Fortunately, no such calamity befell me. More fortunate still, I’m blessed with an editor, agent, critique partners, friends, and family who were all so supportive and inspiring and helpful along the way. My goal, of course, wasn’t just to meet the deadline, but to write a good book on deadline. To that end, there were many false starts and do-overs and late nights spent rethinking and revising. I’m so happy with how Julian and Lily’s romance turned out, but I’ll be working up to the last possible minute to make Three Nights with a Scoundrel the best book I can. This weekend, I’m sharpening my colored pencils and immersing myself in copy edits – and after that, I think I will crash.
While I’m defining words, there any publishing terms you’re curious to see defined? Or that you’ve learned the meaning of the hard way?
Monday, March 15th, 2010
Well, I returned from the wedding (um, a week ago, but who’s counting…)! My dareling made a precious flower girl, if I do say it myself. Actually, several other people said so, too! I’m glad she got to have the experience, and it was lovely to see all our family members.
As I look at my schedule for the next few months, I see it filling up with exciting travel and literary events and book signings. If you are anywhere near any of these events, I would love to meet you! Yes, you! (Okay, maybe not you, who stumbled onto this site while searching for topless pics of that Canadian ice dancer).
Saturday, April 10th - I will be appearing on a Romance panel and signing books at the Literary Orange event in Irvine, CA. This is an all-day event with panels, speakers, food, and book signings. The Romance panel will be moderated by Super Librarian Wendy and also features authors HelenKay Dimon and Linda Widsom. So, you could come to see me. Or you could come to see HelenKay and Linda and Wendy, or keynote speakers Dean Koontz and Karen Joy Fowler, and just pretend you also came to see me. Either way, it’s all good!
April 28-May 2nd - I’ll be in Columbus, Ohio for the RT Booklovers Convention. Woot! My first RT con. Time to see if all the rumors are true… I’m not on any panels or other official thingys, but I will be around all week and I’ll be signing at the Book Fair on Saturday, May 1st (11:00 AM – 2:00 PM, I believe). The Book Fair is open to the public for a $5 admission at the door. And I will most definitely be attending the Reviewers’ Choice Awards ceremony, because Goddess of the Hunt is nominated for the Best First Historical category. So exciting!
July 28-31st - I’ll be in Nashville, Tennessee for the RWA National Convention. I’ll be participating in two panels, one on Librarian Day (the 28th) along with none other than… Super Librarian Wendy! (See Wendy’s post about it here. The two of us will also be seeing one another when she comes to visit my local chapter in May. I tell you, by August, me and Wendy are either going to be BFF, or not speaking. Or it may prove a tempestuous on-again/off-again affair. Time will tell…) The other panel I’m on hasn’t been officially scheduled yet. More info on that to come. And of course, I will once again be signing at the Readers for Life Literacy Autographing on July 28th from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. The book signing is free and open to the public, if you’re anywhere in the area and want to drop by!
I’ll be flying out for Nashville on July 27th. That’s release day for Three Nights with a Scoundrel (my sixth novel in print) and two days before the one-year anniversary of my debut’s release (Goddess of the Hunt came out July 29, 2009). That is crrrrazy.
Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010
*carves sixth hashmark on the wall*
I am so happy to report, the manuscript of Three Nights with a Scoundrel is all turned in to my editor. There will be revisions and edits and page proofs to come, but I can say now that I have authored six books. Hooray! I am so thankful to the wonderful friends and critique partners who helped me through this last stretch, and through the whole trilogy. You know you are. I could not have done it without your support. Mwah.
Yesterday was a big release day–so many great books hit the shelves! But a special shout out to my pal Erica Ridley on her debut, Too Wicked to Kiss! I can’t wait to find it on the bookstore shelves and buy it for my very own. By the way, I’m giving away copies of Too Wicked to Kiss and Sara Lindsey’s Promise Me Always in my current contest.
This weekend, the dareling daughter and I are headed cross-country for a family wedding. She’s going to be the flower girl! Awwww. Her dress is so precious, and she is so excited. I’m so glad she’s getting the chance to do this before she grows too old. I never was a flower girl, myself.
So, any advice for mother or daughter from those who’ve done this before?
Saturday, February 13th, 2010
Many thanks to Janga for passing on the link to this site. Click on the picture to find other valentines from Poets.org.
Random thoughts this post inspired:
Must download the Poem Flow app to my iPhone.
I’m always drawn to poets who punctuate with exuberance and eccentricity. (My copy editor would be unsurprised to hear this, I’m sure.)
I think someday I’d like to write a poet heroine. I will have to make her a bad poet, though, or at best a middling one.
I wish you a day of romance!
Tuesday, February 9th, 2010
The lovely readers at All About Romance have voted me “Best Debut Author of 2009″ in their annual reader poll. This is a truly thrilling honor to receive! I was also so excited to see that my good friend and critique partner, Courtney Milan, was awarded Best Short Story for her novella “This Wicked Gift” in The Heart of Christmas. Congratulations to all the winners. I am just delighted to be mentioned in such great company.
AAR is coincidentally having a Valentine’s Day giveaway featuring debut authors – my three books are in there, all signed, and so is Courtney’s amazing Proof By Seduction. Also in the prize basket are books by Lavinia Kent, Carrie Lofty, and Kaki Warner, plus a slew of other great prizes, including a $50 gift certificate to RedEnvelope.com. All you have to do to enter is visit the AAR blog and leave a comment about recent debuts you’ve enjoyed!
Go forth and win!
Saturday, February 6th, 2010
And the winners of copies of Sara Lindsey‘s PROMISE ME TONIGHT, as determined by Random.org, are….
Congratulations! Please use the contact form to send me your snail mail address. And if you didn’t win, be sure to enter my current “New Authors” contest–I’m giving away copies there, too!
Thanks to everyone for a great discussion of the Best Friend’s Little Sister trope. There were so many mentioned that I love (The Duke and I! sigh – Pleasure for Pleasure! yum) and several that were new to me, as well.
Today, I’m excited to go have lunch with some SoCal romance bloggers – assuming they brave the torrential rains for the drive to the OC. And then it’s back to the cave to finish up THREE NIGHTS WITH A SCOUNDREL, which is not a Best Friend’s Little Sister romance, but a Dead Best Friend’s Grieving TWIN Sister romance. Oh, the guilt and heartache and forbidden pleasure! I’m loving this book.
Happy Superbowl, everyone. I know the Saints are a sentimental favorite, but I have to stay true-blue to my home team, the Colts. I expect it’s going to be a great game!
Hope your weekend is drier than mine, and just as fun-filled.
Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010
If you’ve read Goddess of the Hunt, you already know that I find this an irresistible romantic trope: the poor guy who falls under the spell of his best friend’s little sister, all grown up. For years, she’s been nothing but a sister to him, or a friend–perhaps even an annoyance. And suddenly, Little Sis has grown into that awkward coltish frame, set aside her hoyden ways (well, in Lucy’s case – never!), and become a woman. So tempting, and yet so forbidden.
On her side, she’s been yearning for him for years (or, in Lucy’s case – that other guy he hangs out with), just hoping one day he’ll stop cavorting with a string of brainless beauties, put down the brandy flask, and notice her. She’s knows in her heart they’re meant to be, and in almost every case (ahem, Lucy once again being the exception. She’s incorrigible, what can I say?) the heroine’s proved right, and all her years of awkward teenage hoping are vindicated.
I never tire of this setup, in historical or contemporary romance. Some recent favorites have been Victoria Dahl’s Talk Me Down and Beverley Kendall’s debut, Sinful Surrender.
Today, a brand new take on this ever-popular theme hits the shelves: Promise Me Tonight, author Sara Lindsey‘s utterly charming debut historical romance. Here’s the blurb:
Isabella is determined to marry James…
Isabella Weston has loved James Sheffield for as long as she can remember. Her come-out ball seems the perfect chance to make him see her in a new light.
James is determined never to marry…
James is stunned to find the impish girl he once knew has blossomed into a sensual goddess. And if he remembers his lessons, goddesses always spell trouble for mortal men.
A compromise is clearly necessary.
When Izzie kisses James, her artless ardor turns to a masterful seduction that drives him mad with desire. But, no stranger to heartbreak, James is determined never to love, and thus never to lose. Can Isabella convince him that a life without love might be the biggest loss of all?
I’ve been lucky enough to read this book in several incarnations from first draft to print, and I can tell you James and Izzie, and indeed the whole Weston family, are a complete delight. Sara Lindsey’s voice is humorous and sexy, her characters are completely endearing, and the tension between them is scorching. If you’re in need of a fun, funny, sexy, sweet read to brighten up your February, you couldn’t do better than Promise Me Tonight! Best of all, it is the first in a series – woohoo!
Are you a fan of the best friend’s little sister setup? What are your favorite examples? Leave a comment, and you could win a copy of Promise Me Tonight! Deadline is midnight Friday, PST.
ETA: Courtney Milan is also giving away copies here!
Tuesday, January 19th, 2010
In my own little bubble, anyway. Of course, the past week has seen horrific news on the global scale, and my thoughts and heart are with the people of Haiti as they continue to suffer the aftereffects of the catastrophic earthquake. But in times like these, it is some comfort to find small reasons to celebrate.
Last weekend, I was invited to speak at the San Diego chapter of Romance Writers of America. I jumped at the chance, seeing as I love RWA and I love San Diego! We rounded up the darelings and made a weekend out of it. I had a wonderful time meeting the chapter members and chatting with the industry professionals in attendance. My speech is sort of a smudge in my memory now, but I think it went okay. I told a lot of embarrassing stories. Anyway, I want to say a big thank you to the members of the RWASD chapter, for making me feel so welcome. I had a great day.
Second, I came home to find some truly thrilling news on the Internet. My debut, Goddess of the Hunt, was shortlisted on the American Library Association’s 2010 Reading List, which is put together by the RUSA division of ALA to recognize “outstanding genre literature.” This thrilled me for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, because I’m a librarian myself, so any recognition coming from librarians is extra-special to me. Second, because – zomg, did you see that shortlist? My name is there alongside those of Julia Quinn, Nora Roberts, Lauren Willig, and Anthony Strong. How unbelievable is that? Pinch me, and hard.
Lastly, I just received word today that Goddess of the Hunt has been licensed for Turkish translation by publisher Pegasus Yayinlari. Sooo very cool! For anyone interested in the rundown of coming translations:
Goddess of the Hunt will be forthcoming in Japanese, German, Slovak, Thai, and Turkish
Surrender of a Siren and A Lady of Persuasion have thus far been licensed for German, Slovak, and Thai editions.
I owe many, many thanks to the wonderful rights managers at Random House.
I hope good news has been happening to you! I look forward to the good news that my latest manuscript is finished – but that will not happen unless I go work. Like, now.
Saturday, January 2nd, 2010
As I write this, I’m in the lovely (well, rainy and cold…but to me, it is lovely!) Pacific Northwest with my dear friends and critique partners, Courtney Milan and Carey Baldwin. We’re celebrating the release of Courtney’s amazing book (see previous post) and eating great food and enjoying wonderful conversation. Today we’re actually going to write!
I decided to keep the New Year’s Resolutions low-key this year. My contractual obligations are enough to keep me busy without added unrealistic goals to the mix! I think my only resolution for 2010 will be: take my vitamins. I always forget.
Whether your corner of the world is rainy, sunny, snowy, or scorching hot – I hope you’re kicking off 2010 in grand style!
Friday, December 11th, 2009
The good news is, as of this morning, those three tasks I mentioned in my last post (page proofs, revisions, partial manuscript) are all completed! (So is Thanksgiving, for that matter!) The not-as-good news is, I still have a lot of writing to do on THREE NIGHTS, my house is a disaster, and I haven’t wrapped or shipped a single Christmas present yet. uh.
But…I also have great news to share! I was extremely honored to learn that Goddess of the Hunt has been nominated for the RT Reviewers’ Choice award for Best First Historical Romance. The awards ceremony will be held at the RT Booklovers convention next April, which I had luckily already planned to attend. Now I just have one more reason to look forward to it.
And then I learned just this morning that those lovely people at Random House have sold some foreign rights for my books. The entire trilogy will be translated into German, and rights to Goddess of the Hunt have been sold for a Japanese language edition! So exciting.
Whether you’re naughty or nice, I hope you all are having a great holiday season! Now I’m off to try to cross one more thing off my list…