Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Timeline of Publishing

"To write what is worth publishing, to find honest people to publish it, and get sensible people to read it, are the three great difficulties in being an author." ~Charles Caleb Colton

So I'm supposed to write a catchy blurb for One Night in Memphis and send it back to my editor at Samhain. Soon.

Thing is, I haven't even looked at the story in about 6 months. I mean, I remember it, of course. But it sure isn't fresh in my mind. That space is all filled up with Summer's Song, my latest WIP. It's like, you finish writing a book, all shiny and new, send it off to an editor and hope for a contract...but by the time you hear back, and then have to write blurbs and do edits and think about promoting the thing, it's been ages since you've been entrenched in the writing of it.

And the time gap between electronic and print publishing? Another hurdle to deal with. You do all this cool promotion when your ebook releases, try to push up the sales and your name so more and more people become familiar with it...and then you have anywhere from 6-10 months until it comes out in print. Then the new release date looms, and you have to figure out whole other strategies to get people to buy it in print and get excited about it all over again.

Now, I'm not complaining. Becoming a published author has been one of the coolest things that's happened to me in recent years. It's just that the whole learning curve about what happens on the other side of signing the contract, is huge.

So I have to shift gears, pull up ONIM again, and figure out how to make it sound so fun and intriguing and appealing - in the space of about 200 words - that readers will want to buy it. Hmm.

I also have to fill out the cover art form, telling what I'd like on the book jacket. This, though, I'm thinking (hoping?) will be easier, 'cause I know cover artists usually try to make jackets by the same author resemble one another, so you can tell it's the same person writing. Plus I like the idea of the cover from One Night in Boston, the clock face superimposed on the city scene, so I'm hoping for a variation of that. We'll see how it works out!

Friday, February 08, 2008

The Red Tent

"If you sit on the bank of a river, you see only a small part of its surface. And yet, the water before your eyes is proof of unknowable depths." ~Anita Dimant, The Red Tent

Update on The Winter Reading Challenge:

I just finished The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. Wow - what a powerful book! The author takes the story of Dinah, a minor character mentioned in Genesis, and turns it into a magnificent account of that one woman's life during Biblical times. I hadn't (still haven't) read that story straight from the pages of the Bible, though I probably will now. But according to the author there is little to no detailed information on Dinah, so nearly all of what she wrote in the novel is historical fiction. Here's a blurb:

Her name is Dinah. In the Bible, her life is only hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the more familiar chapters of the Book of Genesis that are about her father, Jacob, and his dozen sons. Told in Dinah's voice, this novel reveals the traditions and turmoils of ancient womanhood--the world of the red tent. It begins with the story of her mothers--Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah--the four wives of Jacob. They love Dinah and give her gifts that sustain her through a hard-working youth, a calling to midwifery, and a new home in a foreign land. Dinah's story reaches out from a remarkable period of early history and creates an intimate connection with the past. Deeply affecting, The Red Tent combines rich storytelling with a valuable achievement in modern fiction: a new view of biblical women's society.

It's a beautiful book, and I highly recommend it. The story spans from before Dinah's birth all the way through her life and really highlights the role of women, and the power of motherhood and female friendship, especially in a patriarchal society. The writing is simple and lyrical, and I can't think of anyone who wouldn't enjoy reading it.


Well, my contract for One Night in Memphis is officially signed and returned, and just yesterday I heard back from my editor regarding putting together a blurb and filling our the cover art form. That was fast! And I have a tentative early July release date. It's exciting to think about another novel releasing...and yet a little overwhelming too, when I start thinking about all the ways I'm supposed to market and promote this one. Ah, well. One thing at a time, right?


Have you entered my Valentine's Day Contest yet? It's really, really easy! You can find all the details here.


Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

A Day of Videos

"Restriction on free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us." ~William O. Douglas

For your viewing pleasure today, here are 3 (totally different) videos that were emailed to me in the last few days.

What do you think?

I can't embed this one ("I Am Not a Pornographer") but it's TOTALLY worth seeing...even if you skip the other two.

I'm serious. Watch it. Do not leave my blog today without doing so.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Writers' Wednesday: An Interview with Marisa Chenery

Welcome to another Writers' Wednesday! Today I'm featuring historical and paranormal romance author Marisa Chenery.

Hi, Marisa! So tell us, how long have you been writing? When did you first begin?

I first started writing around 11 years ago. I have always been an avid reader and writing seemed to be the next logical step. I had taken an interest in writing when I was a teenager, but I really didn't put much effort into it at stage in my life. As a stay at home Mom, being an author was my dream job. I could work and not have to worry about leaving my kids.

What's your latest writing project or published work?

I was just offered a contract from Liquid Silver Books for my newest full length novel. It's called Beowulf and Roxie. It's the first werewolf romance I've written and I'm really looking forward to this one being released. I also started working on the sequel to The Blue Lotus, which came out in September at Liquid Silver Books.

Wow, very exciting! Congratulations. Can you offer some advice to aspiring, unpublished writers?

The best advice I can give new writers is to never give. Keep writing and eventually all your hard work will pay off. If you believe in yourself enough, it will happen.

Do you have a favorite author or genre?

I love to read historical, paranormal, werewolf, vampire and fantasy romances. I would have to say my favourite author is MaryJanice Davidson. I have read just about every book she has written and loved them.

Now the question everyone wants to know: how do your balance the responsibilities of the rest of your life with your writing?

Having a house full of kids, I had to have my own little writing area away from everyone else. That has turned out to be my bedroom. The kids know that when I'm up in the bedroom writing they have to give Mom some quiet time alone.

What do you do when you're not writing?

When I'm not writing I like to read or play on the internet. I'm a self-proclaimed internet junkie! I also like to work out at the gym three times a week.

Last question: how do you compose your novels? Computer, by hand, dictation?...

I wrote my first three books completely by hand in coil ring notebooks, which took a very long time. Now I do all my writing on my laptop. Taking all those typing classes in high school is really paying off now!

Thanks so much for being here, Marisa. Good luck with your writing! Readers, if you'd like to know more about this author, make sure to visit her website or blog. And have a great day!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Valentine's Day Contest

"Love is a symbol of eternity. It wipes out all sense of time, destroying all memory of a beginning and all fear of an end. " ~Author Unknown

First off, a big thanks to LaskiGal, who was kind enough to bestow these beautiful flowers on me...

And second, yes I am featuring a blog contest for February. Of course ~ it's the month of Valentine's Day...what did you think? So here you go...

The Rules:

1. Read my featured author interview at The Romance Studio this month.

2. Answer the questions below and email the answers to

3. That's it! I'll toss all the entries with the correct answers into a box, draw one name, and announce the winner on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2008 ~ next Thursday.

The Prize:

(I know, I know...what do you win?)

1. Two brand new books (yep, two!): The Sex on the Beach Book Club by Jennifer Apodaca and Critical by Robin Cook

2. Chocolate truffles (you knew there would be candy involved, didn't you?)

3. Free downloads of my 2 novels, One Night in Boston and Lost in Paradise

4. A collection of beauty products to treat yourself!

The Questions:

1. Where does Lost in Paradise take place?

2. Allie based the character of Eddie West on whom?

3. What writing project is Allie working on right now?

4. Who are 2 of Allie's favorite authors?

5. Besides writing, name 2 things Allie does in her spare time.

Monday, February 04, 2008

The Monday After

"Baseball players are smarter than football players. How often do you see a baseball team penalized for too many men on the field?" ~Jim Bouton

Well, hats off to the NY Giants, who pulled out a huge upset win over the NE PAtriots in the Super Bowl last night. Good for the underdogs, and good for Eli Manning, who has an MVP trophy to match big brother Peyton's from last year.

Now, when does baseball season start?


The game wasn't all that exciting until the 4th quarter, to be honest, and even the commercials didn't wow me this year. Anyone else feel differently? The Life Water geckos dancing to "Thriller" were kind of cute, and I loved the Budweiser one with the dalmatian coaching the Clydesdale. Did anyone else notice how many health/energy drink ads there were? Forget the Doritos this year...apparently we're on a health kick now. Shaq did one for Vitamin Water, and then there was that bizzare one for some energy drink with a greasy fat man hooking up jumper cables to himself to start a woman's car. Gatorade, though, did have a cute "man's best friend" one with a very slobbery dog drinking his own "energy drink " - water.


Got a telephone call yesterday from our local ABC news automated poll about who I'm voting for in the primary on Super Tuesday. Should be an interesting day. While I'll admit I haven't completely made up my mind about who I'm voting for, it's been an interesting race so far. I never thought John McCain would be so far out in front for the Republicans, and well, to see a black man and a woman vying for the nomination in the Democratic party warms my heart. Wonder who'll be on the ballot come November?

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Super Sunday

"Football players, like prostitutes, are in the business of ruining their bodies for the pleasure of strangers." ~Merle Kessler

So are you watching the Super Bowl tonight?

Hubby and I will head over later this afternoon to a friend's house and get together with 2 other's become kind of tradition. Most of us work together, and buy squares in the Super Bowl pool, so we'll root for each other's numbers just as much as the score, in most cases.

Except this year the NY Giants are in the big game, so most of the room will be cheering for them. I'd like to see the Patriots win, though - a whole undefeated season? That's historic.


In other news, I'm so happy because I've had a chance to start working on my 3rd? 4th? umpteenth? revision of Summer's Song. LOL This is the last time through before I send it out to some poor unsuspecting readers for feedback. So far it's going well, and I'm liking most of what I've written (always a good thing!)

And here's the latest trailer I made!