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I hope you all had lovely holidays!  We certainly did at the Dare residence.  This was the first year that both darelings were really old enough to get excited about Christmas and Santa (who did not disappoint!), and we all had a wonderful time with Grandma and Grandpa Dare, despite passing around a nasty cold.

Now 2009 is starting off with a bang!  Huge congratulations to Erica Ridley, who has just announced her first sale–a two-book deal with Kensington.  Hooray, Erica!  Congratulations are also in order for former Fanlitter Lori Brighton, who also recently inked a two-book deal, also with Kensington!

My own exciting news: As of today, all three of my books are available for pre-order on Amazon!  Here are links to Goddess of the Hunt, Surrender of a Siren, and A Lady of Persuasion.  (I just have to stop once again and marvel at the fact that I actually got to keep my books’ original titles!  How often does that happen?) Over the holidays, I completed my copy edits on SIREN, and now it’s back to working on Stud Club while I wait for book three edits.

Everyone’s talking and blogging about New Year’s resolutions this week, it seems.  Well, 2009 is going to be a busy year for me.  I have three novels and one e-book novella releasing.  I plan to complete at least 2-3 more new books.  I’m serving on the board of my local RWA chapter, and I’ll be sending my … Read More »

At last! I can finally say my books come out this year! And now all three are available for pre-order:  GODDESS OF THE HUNT, SURRENDER OF A SIREN, and A LADY OF PERSUASION.… Read More »

The blog will be on holiday for a few weeks, as the Dare family gathers ’round to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s.  Grandma and Grandpa Dare will be arriving for a visit, to the delight of all.  The darelings are all aflutter with excitement for Santa’s arrival.  And I got the lovely Christmas gift of copy edits for SURRENDER OF A SIREN, which I must complete before the year’s out.  It’s appropriate, because SURRENDER is the only of the three books which actually includes a Christmas!

Oh, and I’ve seen the mockup for that cover…it’s beautiful!  And I still can’t show it to you. 🙂

One of my New Year’s Resolutions will be to be a more consistent blogger.  But until then, I wish you all a very Happy Hannukah, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and more!… Read More »

Okay, so getting back to this whole “How I write a book” series.

Lessee, I’ve blogged about the thinking and the “moments” and the research and the imaginary casting call for my characters.  Once I’ve let all that ferment for a while, I usually sit down and outline.

Well, sort of.  This would not be a formal-looking outline, with neat indents and A’s and IV’s and etc.  This would not even be a scene-by-scene outline.  It’s more like, I sit down with my laptop and just spew out all the notes and scenes and dialog that have been coalescing in my brain, in somewhat sequential fashion.  Some bits will be very fleshed out, with whole chunks of inner motivations and dialogue.  In other parts, I’ll have something like “they encounter difficulties”–meaning, the difficulty will be mine when I reach that section and must figure out what the heck should happen.

I begin at the beginning, and I work to the end. The end result is messy and uneven, but this is the stage where it starts to all come together as a story.  And to swipe the motto of one of my soon-to-be publishers, “It’s all about the story.”

I have writer friends who swear by storyboards, post-its, index cards, spreadsheets, and the like.  I’ve tried them all.  I’ve learned this: I am allergic to squares.  Trying to fit a story into a series of boxes…erg, it makes me break out in hives.  To me, a story is linear.  It … Read More »

They suck.

I haven’t given up blogging, swear.  Just alternately cursing the sun and, when meds are working, trying to catch up on other stuff.

The wedding was great, in case you’re wondering!  I love watching people in love, and weddings are one of the best places to find them.  Not only the happy couple, but all the couples in attendance. Weddings seem to remind everyone of why and how they fell in love in the first place, and much sweetness ensues.  I just adore being in the midst of it.

I may be weird, or maybe it’s a career thing since I’m a romance novelist…but PDA (public display of affection) rarely bothers me.  The other night I was in the grocery store, and there was this cute young couple chasing one another around the produce section, canoodling amongst the cantaloupes, and it just made me so happy to see them.  They radiated bliss.

My favorite place to see couples in love?  Disneyland.  Seriously, it really is the happiest (and kissiest) place on earth.

How about you?  Does PDA ick you out?  Or are you a happy-couple voyeur, like me?Read More »

Hope you all had a lovely holiday!  My eldest dareling came down with a stomach bug, and Mr. Dare worked overtime.  This added up to very little work time for me, and of course my copy edits are still calling…I did manage to send off a sneak peek of Stud Club to my agent at 3:30 this morning.  *crossing fingers*  Haven’t done a lick of Christmas shopping.  *sigh*

So, I haven’t had much time to think of a blog topic.  However, a very dear friend (whose initials might include a C and an M) is getting married very soon.  I really think we ought to prepare her for the wedding night in true historical romance fashion, by giving her “the talk.”

So I challenge you all to pass on your favorite romancelandia advice to the bride, a la “Lay back and think of England.”  Extra points to you if it involves an agricultural metaphor. 🙂  Or, since the hero of her forthcoming novel is an ornithologist, a few bird-and-bee analogies would not go astray.… Read More »

I’m so excited! In August 2009, I’ve been invited to be the Book Club guest over at the Eloisa James/Julia Quinn Bulletin Board. What an honor! And in May, I’ll have an e-book novella releasing from Samhain Publishing. Watch this site in the coming months for more info and new excerpts…… Read More »

Wishing you all a lovely holiday with your families and friends, safe travel, and good fortune at the malls!

The Dare family will be laying low this weekend–Mr. Dare is working the holiday (someone has to, and we luvs that holiday overtime pay), and I just received my copy edits on Goddess, which will keep me busy.  I am thankful that they look pretty minimal!

As a family, we have much to be thankful for this year and every year.  But as a writer, I am especially thankful for all of you, my wonderful friends who come visit this blog and give me your support and encouragement.  I can’t imagine muddling through this process alone in the dark–for one thing, it wouldn’t be half so fun.  For another, I’d be banging my head against a lot more walls.  🙂  Thank you, thank you, all of you!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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It’s been a while since I wrote a newsy little post about my exciting life as a soon-to-be-published author.  I know a lot of you who read this blog do so because you’re either traveling the same journey or will be soon, and want to know what lies ahead. So here’s the status update:

Cover art for Goddess of the Hunt exists, but I cannot yet show you. 😛  It’s pending approval by…all those mysterious, powerful people who approve such things.  Covers for the second and third books are in the works, and I hope to get a peek at them soon!  My relatives can breathe a sigh of relief, because (unless something drastically changes) the “look” for the trilogy is very tasteful and pretty, with nary a nipple in sight.

I am expecting my line and copy edits on GOTH any day now…I’ve been assured I’ll have a whole week to go over them. 🙂  My second book, Surrender of a Siren, has been sent off for copy editing too, after I added a few pages to the epilogue at my editor’s request. No word yet on the third book, A Lady of Persuasion.

I was mentioned in Romantic Times!  Okay, so it was half a sentence (maybe a third-sentence?) in a 2009 preview article (page 10 of the current issue, if you’re curious), but hey – Romantic Times!

Oh, and this is super exciting for me – that little novella I wrote over the summer?  … Read More »

So, moving right along with the writing process…

I’ve got characters, a vague plot built around these “moments”, and I’ve started my research.  As part of the research, I collect pictures.  I find it helpful to imagine my settings and characters’ physical traits from the foundation of a painting or photograph of an actual place or person.  Or horse.

For example, for the book I’m working on right now (working title The Desire of a Duke, since it includes the essential Tessa Dare titling element: the word “of”, LOL), I’m loosely basing the hero’s estate on an actual estate in Cambridgeshire: Wimpole Hall.  Pretty impressive, no?

And there’s a very important racehorse in the book, who I am making the fictional “great-grandchild” of the famous stallion Eclipse.

Lastly, I also pick celebrity models for my hero and heroine.  I know different authors have mixed feelings about this – I don’t know why I find it so helpful, but I do.  It’s important that it not be just a photo of a model, but someone I can watch in action, on TV or in movies.  Somehow this helps me develop a visual image of how my character moves, reacts, stands, sits, relaxes, and so forth.  Seldom does the character in my mind match up exactly with his/her inspiration, but it’s just a helpful starting place.

If you’re one of those readers who prefers her own imagination, I’ll put the pictures of my Spencer and Amelia inspirations below the … Read More »