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It’s been ages since I added an entry to this “How I Write a Book” series. I really have been writing a book in the meantime. I just started to get a little superstitious about blogging about it before the book was actually sold. But now that it is (yay again!), I’m gonna back up a few steps and pick up where I left off.

Which was with outlining. I write a long, rambling narrative outline that will not fit into squares.

The next step would be (drumroll, please)….to start writing the book.

By the time I sit down to write chapter one, I’ve been thinking about it for months. I have this elaborate vision of the setting and set-up, and whole chunks of dialogue planned. I sit down to my keyboard, knowing that this opening scene is just going to flow onto the page, and it will be perfect.

Two pages in, I know I’m screwed. It’s not coming out the way I’d thought it would. Characters are saying things on the page they never said before, in all our many pre-writing conversations. Or they may refuse to behave in ways we’ve worked out well in advance. When I express my irritation with them, and tell them that they are being uncooperative and ruining my Perfect Opening Scene, they give me a diffident shrug and say, “Not my problem.”

Thanks, guys. I thought we were friends.

And then there’s the backstory. It’s like a mammoth logic pretzel, figuring … Read More »

I’ve been sitting on the news for a little bit…but whoops, it hatched! I’ve already had a few friends email me to say my new book deal with Ballantine made Publisher’s Marketplace today. Here are the deets. (Okay, they’re super-vague deets, which may make them something other than deets, but here goes.)

Tessa Dare’s next three historical romances (tentatively titled the Stud Club trilogy), in which a duke, a warrior, and a scoundrel are united by chance, divided by suspicion, and brought to their knees by love, to Kate Collins at Ballantine, for publication in 2010, by Helen Breitwieser at Cornerstone Literary (world).

Suffice it to say, I’m floating on air and feeling very warmly toward my agent, my editor, my CPs, my friends, my family, everyone at Ballantine, strangers passing in the street… I’m in love with love right now, but most especially with Spencer, Amelia, Rhys, Meredith, Julian and Lily…all of whom you will meet in mid-2010!

Holy smokes, I have to get writing.

The first rule of Stud Club is: You do not talk about Stud Club.

Talk about it all you want!
ETA: The heroes are all studs of course, but before anyone starts freaking out about anachronistic slang in historicals, the stud in “Stud Club” refers to a horse.

(Side note: Do you know, I get many, many hits a day on this post, from people googling “Brad Pitt Fight Club”? If you want to increase your internet traffic, I highly recommend working those … Read More »

Okay, so I broke down and started a Twitter account. So far I’m not finding much to say. Heck, I can barely manage to blog once or twice a week! But I’d started to feel like I was in danger of being the last person aboard the HMS Twitanic, so… *shrug* Come follow me if you like! Who knows, I might come up with something fascinating to tweet about. More likely, I’ll enjoy reading your tweets, so if you’ve got an account, sing out!

But fair warning: Now that I’ve joined up, it’s officially not cool anymore. 😛

What trend have you been resisting? Will you hold out, or are you just delaying the inevitable surrender?

Oh, and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!Read More »

Just in – the cover art for my e-novella! World, I give you The Legend of the Werestag. And it has its very own bookshelf page, here!

werestag-cover1

Cover artist Natalie Winters did an amazing job. This certainly wasn’t an easy assignment, I’m sure. I mean, I doubt she’s had to make covers for too many funny/sexy historical romances with pseudoparanormal hooks lately. But when I filled out my cover art worksheet, I said, “When people see the cover, I want them to think – ‘OMG, that is too funny. But also hawt.'” And didn’t she just nail it?

As the release date approaches, I’ll be blogging more about this zany little story and how it came to be. Until then, enjoy your weekend, everyone!… Read More »

Psst…I’m giving away a DVD of this film, along with goodies and coverflats! To enter, see my contest page.

pride-and-prejudice

If anyone ever asks me why I became a romance writer? This movie is to blame.

Travel back in time with me, to November 11, 2005. (cue wavy effects and plinky music) I was a work-at-home mom with a toddler (dareling two was yet to be). My birthday had just come and gone a few days ago, with little fanfare. It was Friday morning, and as I drove to pick up my daily workload from the office, I listened to the weekly movie reviews on NPR. They reviewed the brand new adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, and in a rare occurrence, all of the critics loved it.

Now, I was already a P&P fangirl. Since high school, it had been one of my favorite books, and I’d been a huge fan of the 1995 BBC miniseries adaptation (which, for the record, is still my favorite adaptation. Colin Firth will forever be my Darcy.). Anyhow, I immediately called my husband at work and told him, this was what I wanted for my birthday – he needed to call his mother and have her come over to babysit, and then take me to see P&P that very night. So he did.

And oh, it was lovely. Funny, touching, romantic, filled with beautiful landscapes and a beautiful score and beautiful people. I pretty much floated around for days, which Mr. Dare obliquely enjoyed … Read More »

At my Samhain e-novella?

I haven’t got a page for it up on my bookshelf page quite yet — I’m waiting for the cover art. But the blurb and excerpt for my May 12th release went up on the Samhain website. If you read the title and laugh, that’s good! It’s a comedy. And the story is very loosely linked to Goddess of the Hunt.

Also – I finally have a contest going on this here website! So when you click that Contest link, it gives you something other than a vague promise of “coming soon.”

I had plans to blog more today, but I am terribly sick. I did just want to comment briefly on the latest online debate. There’s been a lot of discussion in the past week about the Kindle2 and it’s TTS (text-to-speech) feature – whether it constitutes a copyright violation, whether Author’s Guild was right to protest the feature, and whether Amazon was right to back down. (See here and here, for example.) I really can’t pretend to understand all the legal arguments involved, but I tend to agree that clutching our intellectual property tighter to our chests is not the best way to protect our income. And what I can’t understand is why an organization devoted to protecting authors’ interests would not view protecting readers’ interests as paramount to that mission. What are authors without readers? Sure, authors create the words on the page, but any cultural significance of a book is … Read More »

At long last, I have a contest up and running! Come enter Tessa’s Movie Club Contest for a chance to win some of my favorite DVDs and a set of signed coverflats!… Read More »

Is it just me, or is Facebook getting exponentially more daunting?

I got tagged a while ago to tell 8 interesting things about myself – that alone sounded difficult.  So I put it off…and then put it off some more.  Then someone else tagged me, and it had become 16 interesting things!  A week later…25!  Now I’ve been tagged by a few different friends for a survey–and the number of questions is up to 48!  Egads.  And I really was going to take a stab at it (before I got tagged for the 96-question round, you know), but then I looked at the questions and so many of them are variations on “What is your favorite_____?”

I don’t know what it is, but I can’t choose favorites.  Ice cream flavor, music, color, movie…heaven forfend, book!   If you ask me what my favorite ____ is, I just squirm.  Inside I’m thinking, Well, I love X…but then I love Y, for entirely different reasons…which do I love more?…I don’t know!…And then there’s Z!…What about Z??….Why must I choose?…I can’t handle this much cognitive dissonance within my fragile psyche! *tessa implodes*

So if you have been sweet enough to tag me lately, and I have not responded…this may be why.  Sorry!  It’s not you, it’s me.… Read More »

They’re calling me to the bookstore today. I’m so excited about these three releases, all debuts of some fashion:

My local RWA chaptermate and fellow Ballantine author, Jennifer Lyon, is debuting a hot new paranormal series with Blood Magic.  The book got a TOP PICK from Romantic Times, so I can’t wait to read it!  Plus, the cover is gorgeous.

Beaumonde chaptermate Miranda Neville (who happened to have all the right information about opera house lighting just when I needed it, bless her!)  debuts with a sexy, sophisticated Regency-set historical today, Never Resist TemptationETA:  Courtney Milan is giving away a copy on her blog.  Enter by February 27 for a chance to win!

And bestselling, RITA-winning Tracy Anne Warren is making her Avon debut with Tempted By His Kiss!  Hooray!  It’s the start of a brand new series, “The Byrons of Braebourne”.

I suppose it’s only natural that right now I’m drawn to debuts.  I mean, I’m like that 16-year-old Regency miss just on the cusp of her introduction to society, watching all the older girls to see just how they handle the quadrille or carry their reticules, or… Okay, that analogy has run its course.  You get the point.  I’m reading, and watching, and learning…and just hoping that when it’s my turn, I manage to carry it off with as much grace as they do.  I found myself wondering today, just what I would do the night before my first book releases.  … Read More »

Welcome to the relaunched TessaDare.com! Thanks to a design update by CrocoDesigns, the site’s more colorful than ever, and I’m ready to add content, contests, and excerpts. Check back often! … Read More »