So you all know by now that I’m writing a relatively light, humorous book.

Wait – I have written a relatively light, humorous book. (Must give myself credit there.)

The trickiest parts of the whole novel for me (and the sections I’m revising heavily) involve sex. First, I’ve never written sex before – so that in and of itself is new. Second, I’ve found it difficult to balance the light humor in most of the book with sensuality. I mean, I’m not out to write erotic romance, but a sex scene should be sexy, or else it’s just a waste of pages, right?

So, how to write a humorous sex scene while keeping some bigger emotions in play? I don’t know. I’m still figuring it out. I’ve unfortunately learned how to write a sex scene that is unintentionally hilarious. But that wasn’t exactly what I was going for. I’ve also learned how to write sex scenes that take themselves far too seriously and just take too darn long. Thank heaven for brutally honest CPs, is all I can say.

My questions to you: Do you try to, um, insert humor into your love scenes? Can you think of published authors/books that do this well? Or does it bug you to giggle in the middle of a sexy sequence?… Read More »

And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.

Genesis 1, RSV

Ok, so “Goddess of Romance” I’m not. Because somewhere last week (after many more than six days), I sat back and realized I’d finished drafting my novel. And, behold it was …

Welllll…. Not horrible.

But certainly not as good as it could be.

So we’re into revisions. Ideally, this is where I would set the whole mess aside for about a month and goof around with researching and outlining my next book (tentatively titled Goddess of Beauty, or perhaps Siren of the Sea. Dunno. GOB and SOTS are both fun acronyms.) and then come back to my manuscript with fresh eyes and a ruthless red pen. But I can’t take a month off.

It’s at about 105K now, which means I’m playing a zero-sum game. If I add somewhere, I have to subtract an equal amount somewhere else. There’s plenty of fat to be trimmed, but I also need to write two extra scenes and finish the epilogue.

My motto these days: Ack.… Read More »

Sorry I haven’t posted in a week. I’m just writing as much as I can. I’m at the 102K mark, but the little wordcount widget site seems to have crashed. Just a few scenes to go, and then I’m into revisions. Yay!

And RitaSV – OMG, it was so exciting to see your comment! Please, please – send me an email from my website. I wanted to PM you from HG, but you know what’s going on there. 🙁… Read More »

Okay, so last night I was supposed to sit down at the computer and write my book’s “black moment” – or, as I am calling it in this relatively light romance, the “gray chapter.”

Instead, what I did was mess around surfing the internet for a few hours. Then I went to bed.

It’s like I just don’t want to go there. I don’t want to put my characters through despair, and I don’t want to feel it with them. (And I’m being completely overdramatic, because as I said, their black moment is really more of a dark gray.) Intellectually, I know that letting them suffer makes for a more emotionally-satisfying ending. Still, I have this – I don’t know, I suppose the word for it is fear – about actually writing it.

Why is this so hard? Those of you who have gotten to this point before and written through it, what advice can you give?… Read More »

Well, I have officially changed my target word count to 105K words – because there is no way my book is getting wrapped up in the next 4,000. I’ll eventually have to cut some stuff to make it fit 105K, I’m sure.

And even when I reach that 105K mark – oh, I am so far from finished. I have to go back and revise several early chapters to layer in backstory that I only figured out halfway through the book. Those are the major revisions. Then there’s the subtle tweaking of the whole thing – tightening loose sentences, weeding out lame adverbs, layering in description.

The end of February is my goal. I started November 1st. Writing a novel from scratch in 4 months isn’t bad, right? I feel pretty good about that.

Thanks you guys, for tracking my progress and holding my hand through it all.… Read More »

So I was just over on Romance By the Blog, and the guest-blogger today is a professional love-letter writer. And I got to thinking about how I owe Mr. Dare an amazing love letter.

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and so is our 5th anniversary – and he has been so good to me this year, supporting my writing and just supporting me.

So, give me some suggestions. Tell me about the best love letters you’ve received or written. Any ideas for thoughtful little touches or gifts to accompany it?

Or, are any of you writing books that include love letters? I wish I could work one into my book, but the h/h are almost always together. Are there some great examples of love letters in romance novels I should read for “research”? Of course, loyal Janeite that I am, I think instantly of those wonderful letters from P&P and Persuasion.

“You pierce my soul.” Siiiiiiigh.Read More »

(Blame Kelly.)

Contemporary, Historical, or Paranormal?
Historical, almost exclusively.

Hardback or Trade Paperback or Mass Market Paperback?
A bit of everything

Heyer or Austen?
Ha ha. Like anyone reading this blog needs to ask. Let me just say, my son’s middle name isn’t “Heyer.”

Amazon or Brick and Mortar?

Barnes & Noble or Borders?
Borders, usually. I once worked at a B&N and haven’t quite recovered.

Woodiwiss or Lindsay?
OK, here’s where you all get to find out what a huge fraud I am. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book by either one.

First romance novel you ever remember reading?
I don’t remember, honestly. I remember reading some of the Julie Garwood Scottish romances in high school, so probably one of those.

Alphabetize by author, Alphabetize by title or random?
I’m a librarian – and I keep work at work. At home, it’s complete chaos.

Keep, Throw Away or Sell?
Keep until destroyed by child or pet.

Read with dustjacket or remove it?
Remove it. (Or take it to work and get it covered in shiny library plastic!)

Sookie Stackhouse or Anita Blake?
Once again, I’m a poser. Neither.

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?
When I get bored, I start skimming. I often read romances completely out of order. If I make it more than 50 pages in without flipping to the last chapter, it’s the mark of a really captivating read. (Even if I skip to the end, I do usually go back. … Read More »

Gee. I really wish I could tell you why in 25 words or less. I have to work on that.

You see, the problem is, I’m not even sure of all the reasons yet.
But do I know there are many reasons!

Jeremy, the hero of GotH, is a bit of an enigma. When I started the book, his character was not very fully formed. His body … always been nicely formed. But his character has taken quite a bit of work. It’s basically taking me just as long to figure him out as it takes Lucy. She may even be a step ahead of me at times.

Part of my problem is that I have trouble shoving him into one of those hero categories.

  • He’s titled, wealthy, in control, hard to crack – but he’s not a total alpha jerk.
  • His childhood was marked by tragedy – but he’s not really tortured. (Unless Lucy pestering him counts as torture, in which case he’s very tortured.)
  • He’s had his share of women – but he’s not a jaded rake.
  • He’s (gasp!) a decent guy at heart – so he has some beta leanings.

The fact that he refuses to be neatly labeled doesn’t bother me so much – it means he’s complex. Lucy deserves more than a label, anyway. But it does worry me in terms of marketing and pitching my book. I suppose I should sell him as an alpha, because alpha heroes sell, right? And he definitely has … Read More »

So….. I now have a date for my trip to NYC for my big “Day with Avon”!!

It’s Friday, April 13th.

Friday the 13th.

But that’s okay, because – the day I won Round 4 of FanLit with “Forget Me Not” was Friday, October 13th. So superstition be damned.

I fixed a few links to the right and added a few – if I’m still missing you or another FanLit Friend, let me know.

I realize that it’s been a while since I gave you another reason to read my book. Hmmm. I’ll see what I can come up with for tomorrow or Friday.… Read More »

Did anyone else watch the new BBC adaptation of Jane Eyre, shown on PBS Masterpiece Theatre the last few Sundays? It stars Toby Stephens as Rochester and Ruth Wilson as Jane Eyre.

Now, I adore Jane Eyre. Jane Eyre, Pride & Predjudice, and Little Women – I’ve read each of those books more times than I can count. And I’m not quite sure what to make of this new adaptation. I enjoyed it immensely – both they’re both so darned attractive, it just hardly feels like Jane and Rochester! Toby Stephens … gah, he’s gorgeous. And Ruth Wilson hardly seems like “poor, plain, obscure, little” Jane. The chemistry between them is smokin’ – as evidenced by this scene after she’s saved him from being burnt alive in his own bed. And the ending – oh, the ending was lovely. And as opposed to what is typically said of the book’s conclusion – that by being blinded and crippled, Rochester is symbolically castrated – the Wilson/Stephens pairing remains sensual and full of life. You don’t imagine this Jane looking after this Rochester like a nursemaid tends an invalid.

I was always fond of the 1997 A&E adaptation with Ciaran Hinds and Samantha Morton. They physically matched my vision of the characters – Rochester is big, dark, brooding, intimidating. Jane is petite, plain, very young.
So maybe Ciaran Hinds is still my Rochester. But Toby Stephens can come set my bed on fire any day.
Did any of you watch
Read More »