Saturday, September 29, 2007

Some Random Saturday Ramblings

So a couple of days ago, I got a really cool piece of fan email. It was actually from a woman I met a few years ago; we met when traveling on vacation with a group of couples. But I hadn't seen or talked to her since then. I opened my email Thursday to find a lovely note from her, telling me that a friend of a friend had told her about the "Best Ebook" contest (wow...don't you love the word of mouth that is the Internet?). She read my website, my blog, my excerpt, bought One Night in Boston, and was writing to say she was taking her first writing class next month:

"I have to admit, I am definitely inspired by you as a local writer..."

Isn't that cool? It made me feel all warm and fuzzy.


Ollie is one of my faithful readers. She's also one of those people who's WAY UP on all the online social networks, i.e., she has a Facebook account and is constantly sending me messages or writing on my Facebook Wall (not that I even know what that is) or inviting me to join her groups or play collaborative online games with her other Facebook friends. And then I feel really lame because the only thing on my account is, like, my name and maybe where I'm from. I haven't even uploaded a picture yet. Actually, Judy is a lot like Ollie too. She's invited me to all these different groups and Facebook happy hours and I haven't joined because I can't figure out what it all means. I keep feeling I should really get my butt in gear and update and try to look as though I actually have a Facebook presence. Sigh. I'll try, guys, really I will.


Speaking of online communication, I've given in and created my very own author newsletter. I know, aren't you impressed? Over on the right sidebar is a place for you to sign up. The first issue goes out October 1, so make sure you're on my list!


And finally, I'm excited to share the news that I'll be participating in the NYC Independent and Small Press Book Festival, on Saturday December 1. I'll be sharing space at the All Romance Ebooks with a group of other romance authors, and while I'm more than a little nervous about such a major location for my first public appearance, I still think it's a great opportunity. So mark your calendars for 12/1/07, if you're anywhere near Manhattan!

Friday, September 28, 2007


Wow, I am SO glad it's Friday! Long week...and not a whole lot of sleep either, as we have new neighbors with a dog that barks all night long (reminds me of that "Seinfeld" episode, with Elaine. ANyone remember that one? Not that I would do anything to the dog, because I love animals, but still...)

So here's my Friday Feast~ enjoy!!


Appetizer: How are you today?
Tired. See above.

Soup: Name 3 television shows you watch on a regular basis.
Prison Break
Rescue Me

Salad: What’s the scariest weather situation you’ve experienced?
When I was living in Cleveland in the late 1990s, we got hit with a blizzard that lasted 2 days and dropped 4+ feet of snow. Knocked out all services for days. I wasn't driving in it, so I guess it wasn't as scary as it could have been, but it made you realize how completely in control Nature can be when she wants to be!

Main Course: If you could wake up tomorrow morning in another country, where would you want to be?
Rothenberg, Germany. I love that town!

Dessert: What do you usually wear to sleep?
Umm...not much :)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

So What's in a Title, Anyway?

Yesterday, one of my writing friends sent out a plea for help coming up with a title for her newly contracted romance novel. The editor loved the book...the title, not so much. So now she has to think of a new one.


I don't think of myself as very creative when it comes to book titles, so I guess I'm glad that One Night in Boston and Lost in Paradise were accepted by my two publishers as they were. My current WIP is tentatively titled Summer's Song, and I like that one a lot, because it's both a literal reference and a larger, figurative comment on what happens in the story.

Do you know about Lulu's Title Scorer, where you can find out just how appealing and marketable your title is? I scored my 3 titles, and here's what Title Scorer told me:

One Night in Boston - 14.6% chance of becoming a best-selling title
Lost in Paradise - 26.3% chance of becoming a best-selling title
Summer's Song - 76.9% chance of becoming a best-selling title

Hmm. Better stick to the actual novel writing, I guess, and finish up my WIP. I knew there was a reason business and marketing never appealed to me, in school!

What about you? Can you think of book titles that have really stood out? Do you have favorites of your own? And how do they score in Title Scorer, anyway?


P.S. I totally forgot to mention that I had an article, "I Am a Writer," featured over at The Long and the Short of It yesterday. Go on over and check it out...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Writers' Wednesday: An Interview with Nancy Sathre-Vogel

Welcome to Writers' Wednesday! I'm really excited today to feature writer Nancy Sathre-Vogel. But Nancy isn't just a writer. She's also an adventurer extraordinaire. Just wait 'til you hear what she has to share with us!

Hi, Nancy! Can you tell us a little about your background?
Hmmm... Where do I even start? I've never lived within the boundaries – never colored inside the lines, so to speak. I've been a classroom teacher for the past twenty years, but do it on my own terms. I've taught on the Navajo Indian Reservation and in five countries outside the USA. My bicycle is my main mode of travel and I've pedaled my iron maiden in more countries than I care to count. I didn't even 'do' kids like most people. The only children I have are twins.

When did you first begin writing? Was there an event or moment in your life that triggered your desire to write?
When did I start writing? I guess way back in first grade or so… Oh, you mean like, when did I really start writing? I suppose I would have to say back in 1991. I had just returned to the USA after a 13-month bicycle trip around the Indian subcontinent and felt like I wanted to get all those random thoughts and journal entries organized. I wrote a book about that journey, but ended up moving to Egypt three days after it was finished. That was back in the BC days before internet, so I never had a chance to try to publish it. Since then, the writing has been something I do to chronicle my journeys around the world.

Tell us about your latest writing project or published title.
I'm really excited about what I'm working on now!! My family and I just returned home after another 12 months on the road. My husband and I, along with our 9-year-old twin boys, pedaled 9300 miles through 19 US states and 4 Mexican states. I am attempting to get all those random thoughts and journal entries organized into a book!

What do you find most difficult about writing? What do you find most exciting or rewarding ?
The difficult part is thinking of creative ways to describe something. But that is also the most exciting and rewarding. I love those times when I get a brilliant idea – when the entry kind of writes itself. I generally get those flashes of inspiration while doing something repetitive and physical – like riding my bike or swimming.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Ummm.. pedal an 80-pound bike up hills??? I am also a teacher and a bead artist, so I keep plenty busy!

When you write, do you use the computer or compose by hand, oral dictation, or some other method?
I really like to write it out by hand. I think my writing is better that way – maybe because writing it that way makes me slow down and take more time to think. I'm trying to switch over to writing on the computer, since it is a lot faster, but I still find that I like my handwritten writing better.


What a great interview ~ thanks! (Though I think I need a nap, now, just thinking about pedaling all that way...)

Want to know more about Nancy Sathre-Vogel? Visit the links in her interview above, or leave her a comment or a question here. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

My Review Is Up!

Fellow Samhain author Ciar Cullen wasted no time in reading and reviewing my novel One Night in Boston, the winner in her promotional contest last week. And here it is...go and read and then come back, OK?

She was quite kind, I think. My favorite part:

"As much as this book is about loss, self-doubt, redemption, and finally, love, it is also about the definition of success. Maggie is a self-made businesswoman who is losing it all. Her stepbrother Dillon is a self-made businessman who has made it, but still has a hole in his heart. Jack, our hero, was born to wealth, but struggles to define himself in other ways. The way the three come together in forgiveness and a redefinition of family, trust, and belonging was masterful."

Wow, thanks, Ciar!!


In other news, I'm thrilled to death that my beloved Cleveland Indians clinched the AL Central and are headed into the playoffs!

I lived in Cleveland in my early twenties and discovered pro baseball when I was out there. Though I now live close to NYC, I will always be a Tribe fan. When I was living in Cleveland, in the mid-90s, the team was white-hot and went to the World Series (but lost) twice. Home games sold out something like 400+ times in a row, and let me tell you, everyone in and around the city lived and breathed the team.

I miss that, now, but I try to get to a game whenever I'm in town. Hubby and I were lucky enough, back in July, to catch a perfect one: it was against the KC Royals, and the Indians won in the bottom of the 9th. Perfect weather, perfect comeback, and a perfect fireworks display following the victory.

Ooh, I get chills just thinking about the post-season!!

Monday, September 24, 2007

It's Monday, and I'm Running Late, and...

...I still have papers to grade for my students that I just couldn't get to over this gorgeous weekend, so I'm off to work super-early to catch up.

In the meantime, though, here's a preview of a fun Halloween contest coming up next week:

The details aren't up yet at their website, but here's the deal: around 60 authors are participating. What do you have to do? Beginning October 1, search for a special Raven Halloween Hunt graphic hidden somewhere on those authors' sites. When you do, you're eligible for a bunch of different prizes, all donated by the authors themselves. More details should be coming soon...

Cool idea for a promotion, and to get people to visit all the pages of your website, right?

And speaking of promotion, I'm amazed to find that the contest I entered and won last week has given me more free publicity than nearly all of the other efforts I've put forth so far! I've already heard from a number of people who bought my book just from seeing it on the contest page.

So hooray!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A Relatively Quiet Sunday...So Far

Before today's meme, I just had to mention how tickled I've been at the response over my contest win. So many, many people, on my email lists and in my various writers' groups, were almost happier than I was with the results. (if that's possible, which I don't think it is, but anyway...) How nice to know so many people cheer for me and support my efforts, even if they haven't read my book yet!

Today's Unconscious Mutterings:

  1. Singles :: Bars (anyone meet their spouse in one??)

  2. Blaze :: of glory

  3. Sandwich :: BLT

  4. Outside :: Inside

  5. Gooey :: S'mores...made over a campfire

  6. Industry :: Execs

  7. Exclusive :: Read, as in what agents want sometimes if your book is potentially v.v. good

  8. Warranty :: Expires 1 week before you need it

  9. Magical :: Dawn

  10. Heels :: The higher the better :)