Friday, April 30, 2010

Romancing the West & Edits

Very excited about the Romancing the West Seminar tomorrow! Will be so much fun to catch up with everyone and meet a lovely friend of mine, Fiona Lowe - fab HM&B Medical author.

There are some great workshops on offer, including Conflict and finding the Zen of your Backstory (one of Fiona's - can't wait!), Branding - Why You Need it Before You Sell from Nikki Logan. I'm definitely going to this one because I'm a bit lost about the branding thing.

And in the afternoon Juliet Marillier is talking about History, guesswork and wild imagination: Creating believable historical settings in your fiction. And I definitely want to attend that one!

There are also other fantastic workshops from Australian author Fiona Palmer. Not to mention morning and afternoon tea and lunch (not that I think of my stomach *all* the time...)

In other writing news, I heard back late on Wednesday night that my editor approved my changes and the book has been passed onto the next stage. Yay! I was so excited I could hardly sleep!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Deadline Day

And the edits have gone! Seriously, in the end I just had to hit Send and be done with it, otherwise I would have opened up the document again - and read the entire book again and you know what that means... more tweaking. It's like a compulsion!! All I can say is thank goodness New York is 12 hours behind WA since that gave me the extra half day to fine-tune!!!

Having a deadline also meant I couldn't hang around staring at the Send button for hours as per usual. I must be getting better as it only took me ten minutes to pluck up the necessary courage!

And as for Facebook... why didn't I know that on the Like/Fan page you have to click on different links to actually see if anybody has sent you a message? I stumbled over that entirely by accident while visiting the lovely Janet Woods page!

Monday, April 26, 2010

FB & the Writing Process

Well, I'm still not sure what I'm doing over at FB with two separate pages... how can that be easier than just having one?! Beats me! I'll apologise here in advance for the double lots of postings that I'll be doing!!

I heard back from my agent today on the couple of questions I had re my edits. As always she had awesome feedback which cleared the fog and now I can actually see what I was supposed to be doing in the first place. A case of being too close to the book to see the wood for the trees (argh! cliche alert!! but it fits!)

Finally, Sara Hantz passed this link on. It's a blog post by romantic suspense author Allison Brennan on her writing process, and it's fascinating. I identified with a lot of things she said, espeically about quite often having the solution to a problem already written into the ms without actually realising it! Kind of like magic really!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

New Facebook Page

I've set up a new Facebook page - it used to be the Fan page but now it's the Like page :-) So if you would like to join me on Facebook please follow this link and if you're already a friend on Facebook then please also click on the link to find the new page. It's got something to do with how many friends you can have, so I thought I'd make the change sooner (a LOT sooner!!!) rather than later!!!

Hope to see you over there!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Edits Finished, back to the WIP

I fell off the radar this week while doing the line edits, sorry about that! But I finished them yesterday and my agent had a quick peek. I'll read the book through one more time on Monday (just in case I missed something!!!) before sending it off to my editor.

I also wrote the acknowledgments and that was huge fun!

So today, after a week away from it, I opened up my wip. I'd last left it in the middle of editing stuff my CPs had pointed out, and then I realised the last page of my second chapter was all wrong (basically I'd completely misunderstood my hero's motivation there towards the heroine - no wonder I wrote myself into a hole last week. Once I realised the problem and turned it on its head we were good to go again!) I managed five pages this afternoon which I'm happy with, as it's got me back into the world and not only that, it's got me very excited about the story again!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Delicious Debuts #5

Wow! I've read a lot of debut authors over the last few months! Today I'd like to showcase another two books I recently finished and loved. First up is Helene Young's Border Watch a contemporary suspense novel set in North Queensland.

Helene is a Captain in a major regional airline company, so really knows her stuff when it comes to flying! Border Watch gripped me from the start, and is an adrenaline fueled race against the clock.

High above the crystal-blue waters of North Queensland, Captain Morgan Pentland patrols the vast Australian coastline. When Customs Agent Rafe Daniels joins her crew, she is immediately suspicious. Why is he boarding her plane when she isn’t there? And why is he asking so many questions?

What Morgan doesn’t know is that Rafe has her under surveillance. Critical information about their Border Watch operations is being leaked and she is the main suspect.

Morgan’s ex, elite police officer Carl Wiseman, is back on the scene after she finally found the courage to throw him out. Is he trying to regain Morgan’s affections of are his intentions more sinister?

When Morgan and Rafe are shot down in a tragic midair attack, they realise they have to start working together – and quickly. One of Australia’s most loved icons is the next target and they have only nine days to stop it.

Will they uncover details of the plot in time, or will the tension that is growing between them jeopardise everything?

And Nikki Logan's first book from Harlequin Mills & Boon is a gorgeous reunion/friends-to-lovers Romance that I couldn't put down! Her next book is out in June and I can't wait!

Lights, Camera…Kiss the Boss is set in the TV industry. Ava Lange, my heroine, is a landscape designer and loves to turn derelict urban spaces into green spaces. She’s been working as a designer behind-the-scenes for a Sydney lifestyle program, Urban Nature, when the network decides she’d make the perfect on-screen host. Ava is mortified, thinking this will ruin her professional credibility, but nowhere near as mortified as when she finds out that she’ll be working closely with her childhood crush, Daniel Arnot.

Dan’s worked like a dog to make Producer and he’s this close to the biggest promotion of his career. Bending the arm of a childhood friend to help make his latest show a success is minor compared to some of the concessions he’s made in order to get revenge on the father who made his childhood a misery. But when the network starts playing games with Ava’s reputation, Dan finds himself torn between the goal that has driven him his whole life and the gentle woman who just wants to be left alone to design beautiful gardens.

Working so closely together makes it impossible to keep their childhood memories at bay and Ava struggles to keep a lid on her feelings. Despite everything, when it all goes pear-shaped, Dan's the last one she expects to be behind it.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Copy Edits

I opened my email today to a nice surprise - my copy edits for Forbidden had arrived! So guess what I'm doing this weekend :-)

Thankfully, so far they've been quite straightforward and I'm enjoying reading Maximus and Carys's story again. It's also been fun meeting up with Morwyn again in her supporting role - I'd got used to her as my heroine in Captive!

This is my final opportunity to change anything in the ms, and ensure I'm happy with the way the book looks. The next step will be proof reading the galleys, and then... it will practically be September!!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Sydney Conference & Black Ankle Boots

I'm slowly sorting myself out for the upcoming Aussie conference in August. Today I booked the flights - very exciting! Is anyone else landing at Sydney round about 2pm on Thursday 12th? We could share taxi fares!!!

And almost as exciting is the other day I bought myself a pair of adorable black ankle boots in readiness for the conference. I can hardly walk in them, but they do look lovely and that's what counts! I've also been told we're going to a PJ party on the Friday night so of course this means I need new PJs!!! Do you think they could be tax deductible (we will be talking writing all night... of course...)

My CPs returned the first two chapters of my new book, and much to my relief they think it's definitely working. They also highlighted the same short scene, commenting on different aspects but basically pinpointing an identical concern. It's kind of freaky how often they do that! Unfortunately none of us have quite come up with a suitable title (we did think of one but since the word "Forbidden" was in the middle of it I don't think that's going to fly somehow!!!)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Congrats, Kaye!

My lovely friend, Kaye Manro, has her cover for her upcoming debut, Forbidden Love (gotta love that title!) from Red Rose Publishing. Congratulations, Kaye! Kaye will be popping over on 21st May to celebrate her release and answer my hard-hitting interview questions!!!

And here's the blurb to whet your appetite!

Illicit Sultry Passion... Galaxies apart so different yet so much alike…

While Dr. Maya Belle is researching wildlife habitats in the far desert region of her world, a sudden burst of sand engulfs her. She goes to investigate and cannot believe what stumbles out of a massive dune. She soon finds out she is in the company of a sexy alien from another galaxy…

T’Kon from the planet Asconage is on a peaceful survey mission studying a distant world known as Terrain. When his spacecraft malfunctions, he crashes into its desert. A female named Maya gives him aid, and a steamy lust grows between them. A sultry interspecies passion neither can resist.

To avoid detection by the warring factions governing her world, he must repair his damaged craft and leave. Can she convince him to take her with him, or will he set forth without her and forsake their forbidden love?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Romancing the West & VistaPrint

Yay. First chapter done! Whether it's any good or not I'll leave to my CPs!! But the main thing is it's down and the pesky couple of paragraphs of description (that took me almost an entire week to nail - I know, unbelievable isn't it!!) have been wrenched from my imagination onto the page. I much prefer to get onto the nitty-gritty of the interaction between my hero and heroine but I have to set the world first. And I can't leave a blank and go back to it - I'm strictly linear!

In other news, I'm getting very excited about the upcoming Romancing the West one day conference in Perth on 1st May. I've ordered some postcards of my pretty cover for the goody-bags from VistaPrint (and VistaPrint rocks! I'm awesomely impressed by their customer service) and it will be fantastic to meet up with everyone.

I've also discovered it's a Very Bad Idea to look at airfare prices late at night on an iPhone. With the upcoming RWA conference in August, I was almost beside myself last night when I discovered Virgin Blue charged $209 for a return to Sydney so immediately raced to the computer to grab this bargain with both hands. Only to discover, of course, that was a one-way ticket! I hadn't scrolled down far enough on the iPhone. Oops!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Another Blank Page

New book, new blank page, new fear of starting!!

But it can't be put off any longer. My new hero and heroine are clamouring inside my head, demanding I get their story down. The only problem is... actually starting it! It seems to get harder, not easier, the more books I write. Is that normal?

Anyway, I finally throttled the fear sufficiently to put fingers to keyboard. I'd nutted out the first scene in my head. Hero conversing with his king. So instead my hero's ex-mistress drifts into the room...

This happened with CAPTIVE as well. I knew exactly how the book should begin - with my hero. So of course as soon as I started typing it was my heroine who took over. I sometimes wonder just who's in charge of the writing department!