First, thanks to everyone who gave me encouragement over the weekend – I was able to make a big jump forward on the novel-in-progress, and I and the kitties feel much, much better. I’ll have to try that again someday.

Well, last night I thought, “Tomorrow’s Tuesday – what shall I blog about?” And no ideas came to me, so I just went to sleep, figuring something would occur to me this morning.


But then I decided, it’s been a while since I just gave a thorough update on all the stuff that I’ve been doing lately, to further my nascent writing career. While many of you know some of this, or most of this, not everyone is up-to-date on everything, I’m sure. And I’m also curious how all of you are doing, as we get closer to conference time.

So here’s the scoop.

At the moment (and this is not set in stone – more like inscribed on a stick of rapidly melting butter), my trilogy is set to release in May/June/July 2009. The dates have changed a couple of times already, so don’t anyone go making vacation plans around them.

The first book, Goddess of the Hunt (GOTH), has been through the revisions process – line and copy edits are still to come.

I turned in the second manuscript, Surrender of a Siren (SOAS), at the end of February. It’s been accepted, and I’ve been chatting with my editor about it. I’m expecting a revision letter sometime soon, and then I’ll have a few weeks to work on her changes.

I’m feverishly working away on book three, tentatively titled A Lady of Persuasion (ALOP). So far, I’ve got it about half-drafted…but half of that half needs a lot of revision. It’s due August 1st (yes, in the middle of conference…not sure how that’s going to go!).

While all this is going on, I’m working with my web designer on my new site. I’m really excited about how it’s shaping up and can’t wait for you all to see it. I also have to write some content for here one of these days… The goal is to launch it before Nationals.

I’ve acquired two suitable outfits for Nationals. I still need 3-4 more. Of finishing book three, revising book two, launching my website, and shopping for Nationals – shopping is the task I feel least equipped to handle and most certain I will frantically complete last-second.

Nationals is shaping up to be so much fun! I’ve gotten my preliminary info about the Ballantine party, made arrangements to meet with my editor and agent…this is going to be my year to have fun, network, cheer for my Golden Heart finalist friends, and gird myself for the craziness that will be 2009. And San Fran used to be my hometown, so I’m very excited to be there.

And – ack – my chapter is having a fundraiser next month, and I’ve donated my first author critique prize. That’s sort of cool. I’m glad it’s a raffle-ticket thing and not an auction, so it won’t be completely embarrassing how few people bid on my critique. *g*

So…what’s going on with all of you? Are you coming to Nationals? What’s the status on manuscripts, agent searches, contests, critiques, etc.? I know I know those things, from a lot of you, but here’s your chance to share with a wider crowd if you’ve got big news or ideas rattling to get out!

If you have any questions about my books or how the process is unfolding, ask away!

21 comments to “What’s going on”

  1. terrio
    · April 29th, 2008 at 8:02 am · Link

    Just squeeing over getting to meet you in San Fran and getting to pick up your books sooner (fingers crossed!).

    Haven’t done a lick of shopping for San Fran. Mostly because I’m determined to lose weight before then. I’m fooling myself but who cares.

  2. Tessa Dare
    · April 29th, 2008 at 1:01 pm · Link

    LOL, the chorus of crickets….

    Terri – don’t mention weight! If I gain even three pounds, I won’t fit into the clothes I bought. Must not let that happen… But I’m so excited to finally meet you in person too!

  3. terrio
    · April 29th, 2008 at 1:16 pm · Link

    I did notice the crickets. I do believe I need to do a blog about writers not liking to talk about themselves. LOL!

  4. Renee
    · April 29th, 2008 at 1:47 pm · Link

    WOW, you are a busy lady. I guess one question I have is that I’ve noticed recently that third books tend to be a disappointment, they don’t deliver like the author’s first and second. It got me to wondering if it was the pressure of edits, pr etc., that distracted them from their writing. Now that you are in drafting your third, are you finding it difficult to stay focused?

    Sadly I won’t be attending SF. I’m hoping I can get a gal from my writers group to stand in your line.:)

    What’s going on with me? I have around 30k left in first round revisions. I’m finding I’ve been rewriting more than revising, but it’s all good. And I’m only 11k into the second book.


  5. Darcy Burke
    · April 29th, 2008 at 3:52 pm · Link

    Oh, I’m so excited because I don’t have to buy anything! I did buy a new pair of black patent comfy shoes (from The Walking Company – so I figure they’ll be good to go for all the SF evening shenanigans). I’m super lucky (at least I think so) to have scored a gorgeous black dress for the GH/RITA ceremony from a good friend who can afford way nicer clothes than me. And the best news? It actually fits now! Can’t wait to wear it.

    Congrats on the sooner release date, Tessa! But I won’t ink it on the calendar just yet. 😉

    And I have no exciting news to share. Sigh.

  6. Maggie Robinson
    · April 29th, 2008 at 5:07 pm · Link

    Tessa, I keep remembering you’re a mom of little ones—you should be extremely proud and amazed that ANY of this stuff is coming together. I know you’ll have a great time in SF.

    I hate shopping now too. Can’t wait for summer when I can wear my old bathing suit and no bra. School is out June 16 and life begins.

    No SF for me, just writing. I have 2 fulls of 2 different things w/ editors (one for 7 months…aargh) and a partial of a third ms w/ an agent. Must ramp up querying. Am 3/8 of the way through current WIP. Entering some contests if I can pay attention to deadlines. Still dreaming. 🙂

  7. Maria Zannini
    · April 29th, 2008 at 6:35 pm · Link

    I wanted so much to meet you in person at national.

    There’s always next year. I still owe you a margarita. :o)

  8. Alyssa Goodnight
    · April 29th, 2008 at 8:11 pm · Link

    WOW! Sounds like you are busy, busy. But how exciting! You are going to have a blast in SF–wish I could say I was coming too!

  9. Lindsey
    · April 29th, 2008 at 8:51 pm · Link

    Yay on all the great news. There’s no such thing as TMI when it comes to a Tessa Dare career update.

    And love your breakout word count bar. You just keep on saving those kitties!

  10. Santa
    · April 29th, 2008 at 9:40 pm · Link

    So, do you vacilate between squeeish giddiness and mind numbing panic? I do from time to time.

    I am slowly working on getting Sweet Melissa ready for more querying and submission to one publisher. It was too raw when I pitched and queried last year. The changes I’ve made are just what was needed.

    I have also sketched out my second and third books. I do this as soon as the ideas pop into my head.

    I have ‘filler’ shopping to do for San Fran. You know, a shirt or two, shoes and maybe a pair of slacks to round out some outfits. I am ever grateful for the huge family I belong to. That means I have a ton of formal wear to choose from for cheering on my friends as they go for GHs and RITAs.

  11. La Belle Americaine
    · April 29th, 2008 at 10:39 pm · Link

    Congrats Tessa!

    I do have two questions:
    1) When do you get your covers?
    2) What’s your typical writing process(that is, how do you go from idea to actual first draft)?

  12. Ericka Scott
    · April 29th, 2008 at 11:16 pm · Link

    Look for me in San Fran…I’ll be the shy one over by the wall.

    Hmm…lots of novellas coming out in the next few months and I’m writing like a mad thing to finish up one that I sold on proposal.

    My goal for this summer is to write a full-length novel to start shopping around to agents and publishers. I’d also like to try to pitch it at Nationals…if I can get an appointment.

    I keep meaning to apply for RWA pro status and it keeps getting pushed to the back burner. I will get the paperwork submitted eventually.

    I’m just thrilled to be able to say “I knew you when” and look forward to your first book signing! I’m planning on being first in line!

  13. Alice Audrey
    · April 30th, 2008 at 7:20 am · Link

    TI’m still shopping Zackly Right around. No news here.

  14. Alice Audrey
    · April 30th, 2008 at 7:21 am · Link

    I’m still shopping Zackly Right around. No news here.

  15. Tessa Dare
    · April 30th, 2008 at 7:27 am · Link

    oh look, it’s Wednesday! And you actually drowned out the crickets!

    Renee, I’m trying really hard to make my third book the best of the three! But I’m definitely writing it on a shorter timeframe than either of the other two, so there is less margin for error, so to speak. That’s why I’ve talked with my editor about the partial already, to make sure we get on the same page and I’m not just writing a book that will need to be completely rewritten. Good luck with your revising!

    Darcy, I’m sure you’ll have exciting news of your own soon – and really, I think the GH final should still count, even a month later. That’s a lot of excitement! Sensible shoes… erk. Another item to add to the shopping list.

    Maggie, your summer sounds wonderful. Although I’m so sad we won’t see you in SF. You know we all have our fingers crossed for your submissions!

    Maria, No SF for you? 🙁
    There’s always DC in 2009. But drinks are on me. 🙂

    Alyssa, I wish you were coming, too! It’s going to be one big party up there.

    Lindsey, after my progress meter-busting weekend, I didn’t write anything yesterday. But that’s okay – Tuesdays are always bad days for me to write. I have child care today, so I’ll be getting something done.

    Santa – yes, the alternation of giddiness and panic is a VERY apt description of my mental state. And look, I have a full year yet to enjoy it! Congratulations on nearing the finish line (again) on your ms and plotting out two and three!

    LBA, excellent questions. I have no idea when I’ll see covers. I don’t think it will be especially soon. 🙂 As for my typical writing process – erg – I’m not sure I’ve developed anything “typical” yet. I’ve already got ideas for a second trilogy milling in my brain. I seem to start with characters: a person with a flaw or a wound or an interesting history, whom I would really want to see find love. Then I think of the person who would fit perfectly with him/her, but only after a great deal of negotiation. And then some vague notion of a story coalesces. I’m not exactly a plotter, but what develops is more a series of “moments” – those turning points or key scenes that are the emotional backbone of the story. I let this stuff run through my head (way too much) and then I eventually write it all out in very rough outline form – whatever I’ve got. Could be specific dialogue for certain scenes and then big gaps where I just write “something happens to bring them closer” or whatever. Then I usually need my CPs to help me figure out what gets me from point A to B to C, etc. My historical research also helps there – I get ideas for scenes from historical accounts. Before I start the book, I usually know what will happen in the first half of the book, and the last quarter, but there is often a big ?? in that next-to-last part of the book. So before I write, I usually have a good sense of who my characters are and what they would do. But as I write, I start to understand *why* my characters are doing what they’re doing. Those unfolding motivations sometimes change the plot, and they’re always something I have to go back in and make consistent and strong later. While I’m drafting, I try to write at least 7-8,000 words a week. My closest CPs usually read it in chunks as I go. And I’m trying really hard to leave myself a month or so at the end to let it set and get feedback, make changes accordingly. That’s going to be the tricky part with this third book. I don’t have so much time.

    Basically, it’s a mess. And in no way a process anyone would want to emulate. 🙂

    Ericka, I’m so glad you’ll be in SF! Of course, it’s practically just up the road for you, right? And I think “the shy one standing against the wall” will describe about half of us at conference.

  16. Tessa Dare
    · April 30th, 2008 at 7:28 am · Link

    Hey Alice! Our comments crossed. Good luck with Zackly Write (I love that title, btw!) and keep us posted.

  17. Jackie Barbosa
    · April 30th, 2008 at 9:03 am · Link

    I started to comment last night and then got sidetracked by…um, all the stuff that’s going on, lol.

    Very exciting to hear your publication dates have been moved up. I’m looking forward to putting all three of those books on my keeper shelf! I do hear from my agent that if the author delivers on time or ahead of schedule, it’s not unusual for those dates to get shifted forward. (And, um, it occurs to me we should both have a release in June. Maybe we should work out some joint book-signing appearances in the LA-OC-SD area. Wouldn’t that be cool?)

    Like you, I’m struggling a bit with writing my now-contracted book. Not that I’m not getting ANYTHING done, but at the moment, it seems like every word is a splinter and I’m extracting them with a pair of tweezers. If I get a few hundred per day, I consider myself lucky. My delivery date is later than yours (September 1), so National doesn’t interfere, but my company’s conference is the last week of August and I am always buried up to my eyebrows in that, so… Let’s just say I’m as unsure as you are how that’ll all work out. The goal is to try to deliver early, though!

    I’m also looking forward to SF in a big way, but I’ll admit that shopping for clothes hasn’t been a huge priority for me. I tend to pack light and my day job has provided me with an adequate supply of moderately dressy business attire. And unlike Darcy and CM, I don’t need a fancy dress ;).

  18. J.K. Coi
    · May 1st, 2008 at 9:53 am · Link

    Tessa, I’m so excited to hear news about your trilogy! Good luck finishing the third book. You’re going to have so much fun in SF!

  19. MsHellion
    · May 1st, 2008 at 11:06 am · Link

    TESSA! I’m sure a lot of people will be bidding like mad for your critique! I mean, come on, you have THREE books coming out back to back to back. That’s no small feat, by any stretch! Congrats!!! I hope you have a blast at RWA!

  20. Gina Black
    · May 3rd, 2008 at 7:34 am · Link

    You’ve been tagged! (OMG).

  21. La Belle Americaine
    · May 5th, 2008 at 10:27 pm · Link

    Thanks for sharing Tessa. I always find other writers’ processes fascinating.