Saturday, May 31, 2008

Book Promotions

"Without promotion something terrible happens...Nothing!" ~P.T. Barnum

Report on last night's Borders book signing:

OK, book signings are fun, if only because you get to see other authors (provided you're doing a multi-author one), hang out in a bookstore, enjoy complimentary beverages, and talk to readers. But I'll affirm what other people have said: I'm not so sure they're the best use of time and money. After 2 hours, 2 of the 5 of us had sold 1 book each. Now, I only drove an hour to get there, and enjoyed dinner with hubby and my mom as well. But gas prices being what they are, I would not be the person who drove 2+ hours one way to sit there for 2 hours and sell nothing. I think other forms of promo are better. But of course, I'm still learning~

Also, we discovered that, as romance authors, we did NOT pick the best Friday night for our signing, since the "Sex and the City" movie opened last night. Guess where all the 18-40 year old women were? Not in the romance section of Borders, but standing in line waiting to buy tickets for a movie that began about 15 minutes before our signing. Oh, well.

Today, a crack at a different kind of promo: I'm mailing 80 envelopes to various independent bookstores in NY/CT/MA/RI/NH with a general tip sheet about my book(s), a handwritten note introducing myself and asking if they'd like more info or bookmarks or a visit from Yours Truly, and a self-addressed, stamped postcard that they can return if so. The cost of this honestly isn't that high; it's more the labor of researching the stores and putting the mailing together, but it will be interesting to see what kind of return I get. That, of course, will let me know if I should do it again.

So I'm off to stuff and seal envelopes!

Friday, May 30, 2008

It's Pouring

"The more we do, the more we can do; the more busy we are, the more leisure we have." ~Dag Hammarskjold

OK, it's official: the whole never-rains-but-always-pours cliche applies to my writing life. Honestly, it's a funny, funny thing: I can be in limbo for months, working on a WIP but that's it, and then suddenly BAM! Everything that must be done before a certain deadline rushes into my email inbox hanging over me.

Honestly, May has been the craziest month:

1. I got my edits for One Night in Memphis, which have a one-week turn-around.

2. Both One Night in Boston and Lost in Paradise released in print.

3. I ran around like an insane person trying to set up promo for late May and June, which has worked out well except that I have 3 author spotlights in 3 different places which means making sure I'm sending the right info and the right links by the right time, to each one. You should see the lists and the scratch-outs on my calendar!

4. One Night in Memphis releases in less than 2 months, which means I should really start thinking about the promo for that (I haven't).

5. Oh, and that darn day job always comes to a non-stop climax in this month as well, between final grades coming due and final projects needing to be graded and awards ceremonies and frantic seniors trying to get everything in order so they can actually graduate.

Tonight I am going to my first official (since my books have been released in print, anyway) book sigining, at a Borders in Paramus, New Jersey. Very cool, since the store was even able to order my books, and I don't have to carry them in myself. I feel like a real author! (I know, I know, I did before too, but this is a cool affirmation as well).

And now I'm going to stop complaining, because as busy as I am, it still is better than achieving the dream of writing and publishing books at all!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Two Good Things on the Writing Front

"It is perfectly okay to write garbage--as long as you edit brilliantly." ~C.J. Cherryh

Writing is good here. Why?

1. I'm working through my edits for One Night in Memphis and have been hugely relieved to see that my editor is right, it was a pretty clean manuscript and she's only asking for a few small changes. Besides cutting out my over-use of commas, she wants me to address a couple of scenes set in POV other than the hero and heroine (I knew that was coming, and it's the toughest), add a couple more hints of the bad guy's evil character early on, and change some of the H/H's introspection to active dialogue. That last one's a little tough too, when the characters are alone, but I'm working on it.

2. And reading through that story again inspired me to FINALLY finish the first draft of One Night in Napa! (it was a good way to take a break from my edits) It's 55K words, which means I'll need to add about 10-12K when I revise, but it's complete from start to finish, with an actual plotline I can work with. I'm thrilled!

OK, I'm off - busy day ahead (which ones aren't??)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Writers' Wednesday: An Interview with Skylar Sinclair

Welcome to Writers' Wednesday, and today's featured interview with erotic romance author Skylar Sinclair!

Hi, Skylar ~ thanks for being here today! Can you tell us a little about your background?

I am an award-winning and bestselling author of paranormal, fantasy, futuristic, and contemporary erotic romance. I started writing in my early forties and have been writing ever since. I am also a cover artist and graphic designer.

Wow, you wear a few different hats in the publishing business! Tell us about your latest writing project or published title.

I seem to be fixated on futuristic stories for the moment. I have two books I am writing (by the time this interview comes to pass, they might already be done!) They will both center around far out worlds and men we all dream about, with women who know just how to handle them, but maybe not at first *grin*. I hope to see these stories out by the end of 2008.

You've obviously learned a lot in your success as a writer. What advice would you give to new writers just starting out?

Write what you know and love what you write. Never give up if writing is all you think about, dream about. Take online classes, read books and, first and foremost, believe that you can do it.

Terrific advice! Now, what kinds of books do you like to read? Who is your favorite author?

I really love all types of romance books. I read a lot of historical and paranormal books of late. Just a few authors I favor are: Robin Schone, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Elizabeth Amber, Laura Baumbach and Christine Feehan (and many, many more).

What do you find most difficult about writing? What do you find most exciting or rewarding?

I have no problem with the beginning and ending of my books, it is the darn middle that always gives me fits. What I find the greatest part of writing would be the readers who buy my books and email me how much they enjoyed them. That makes all the difficult times so very well worth it.

Ah yes, that dreaded middle! So what was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book(s)?

Heck that’s easy: That I can even string a few sentences together and slowly I create a story. That process still amazes me to this day!

Thanks for sharing your writing world with us today, Skylar. Is there anything else you’d like to mention?

To find out my latest releases and what new things I having going, you can visit my site: or join my newsletter group:

Thank you Allie for this wonderful interview!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Print Release Day!

"How amazing, Jack thought, to peel back the layers and realize you still loved someone beyond all comprehension. How amazing to admit you still ached down deep..." (from One Night in Boston by Allie Boniface)

Today is the print release of One Night in Boston!! My very first book ever contracted ~ what a thrill to know it's out there in the world! (That also means it should ship from Amazon today, for everyone who pre-ordered). It should be up on Samhain's main page later today, too.

Here's the trailer...

And the winner of the giveaway contest to celebrate is...WindyCindy! Cindy, email me your address at and I'll get those goodies in the mail to you!


Dru asked the other day "What's container gardening?" Well, it's the lazy woman's approach to full-fledged gardening, and basically it means that you grow flowers/vegetables in pots, or containers, rather than in the ground.

Actually, it isn't just for lazy people; it's also good if you don't have a lot of ground in which to plant things, or to keep things contained from the critters that like to nibble on them (as long as you can put your pots somewhere protected). We're attempting to grow a few veggies this summer in containers, sort of as an experiment. Here's what our side deck of containers looks like now:

That includes cucumbers, beans, peas, lettuce, broccoli, and basil. We're also going to plant some tomatoes, in those upside-down hanging thingys that supposedly work well. I'll give you a report as the summer goes on...


And finally, I need some help! Yesterday I opened another email from my Samhain editor who needs the blurb for One Night in Memphis tweaked. Specifically now, the publisher is asking for authors to write down a couple of novels that are similar to their own. I guess this is so readers and booksellers can make comparisons and know what they're picking up, which makes sense, but honestly? I have no idea what to put down.

Um...anyone who's read my novels have any suggestions? I mean, the writing style and nature of the romance are pretty much the same in everything I write. So if you have any ideas, don't be shy!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day

Personal politics aside (or as aside as they can be), today is certainly a day for remembering those men and women who gave their lives to protect freedoms we take for granted in this country. Let's hope soon we can bring home most of the soldiers who still serve abroad.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Planting Time!

"Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity." Charles Mingus

It's shaping up to be a glorious weekend...the goal for today is to finish planting some annuals around the house and then tackle the vegetables - we're trying container gardening this year for the first time. Should be an interesting experiment!


Diane posted the link to a great article on deep POV (point of view), which I'm going to link to here as well, for any writers out there.

[Loved this line: "The heroes I take to bed with me, usually after they have fallen off a horse or been shot. That’s when they introspect on their past the best..."]

Hmm. Maybe I need to insert a horse or two in my novels.

I've never really had a problem with POV; I'm usually pretty clear on whose head I'm in, and I don't hop around often. But the recent comment from my editor, about the couple of scenes in minor characters' POV in One Night in Memphis, has me worried. I mean, she's right: I do have a couple. Three, if I remember right. Do they add to the plot? Well, they move the action along. And they happen in places where the hero and heroine aren't present. Again, I haven't opened the file my editor sent me yet (I'm putting it off until after the weekend), but I hope she doesn't want me to cut them altogether.


I'm off to play in the dirt!