Saturday, November 29, 2008

Relaxing for the Weekend...Finally...

"Words are the most powerful drug used by mankind." ~Rudyard Kipling

Since I'm out of town this weekend, and Internet access is limited (and I went to bed WAYYY too late last night), just a quick update on my writing.

Tune in tomorrow for an actual blog post...oh, and if you haven't yet signed up for my monthly newsletter, go ahead and do so (it's right over there, on the sidebar). December's is coming out in a couple of days, with lots of of holiday tidbits and good news!

Current Word Count for Entwined: 15,034

Yesterday's Fave Sentence: He used to watch all those crime shows, back when he still had an apartment and cable TV, but he knows that in real life, answers take months and aren’t nearly as pat.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Black Friday!

"Whoever said money can't buy happiness simply didn't know where to go shopping." ~Bo Derek

By the time you read this, I will probably be sleeping, having gotten up WAYYYY too early to hit the Day-After-Thanksgiving sales. Of course, after doing this last year, I swore I never would again...and yet there is something to the thrill of planning out the sales and getting to the stores when it is still dark outside.

I know, I'm crazy.

Making slow but steady progress on both Entwined and Summer's Song, though to be honest, I don't think I'm going to hit the 50,000 word mark by December 14, as was my original goal. When you're revising a whole other manuscript at the same time you're composing a brand new one, well, your head tends to spin a little. Anyway, I'm slogging on, so here's today's WC and sentence:

Current Word Count for Entwined: 13, 502

Yesterday's Fave Sentence: When the bones fall onto his lap, complete with a skull the size of his palm, it is all he can do not to scream aloud.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am thankful for so much today, beginning with all of you who stop by and visit me in blogger-world. Here's wishing you a wonderful day!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Query Letter that got a "Yes"

Writers' Wednesday is on hiatus this week, but make sure to stop back next Wednesday, when I'll be featuring another author interview!

In the meantime, thought I'd share a bit of bright news: my regular blog readers know I've been mercilessly revising my novel Summer's Song, since Black Lyon Publishing asked to see it. Yesterday I also got an email from an editor at Avon, in response to a query I sent a few weeks ago, asking to see the manuscript as well. Avon normally takes only agented material, but you can still send an email query to their general submissions pool, which I did.

For kicks/informative purposes, here's the query I sent. I deliberately mentioned what I knew about their current wants and the shift in romance sub-genre that the Borders bookseller talked about at the NJRWA conference.

Dear Avon Editors:

In speaking with one of my writing colleagues at the recent NJRWA Conference, I discovered that you are currently looking for small-town, “soft” romance stories a la Debbie Macomber. I believe that my novel Summer’s Song would fit nicely into that sub-genre.

Pine Point is one of those small towns we all know and love. With its collection of quirky residents, local shops, and folksy gossip, it has a cozy feel of familiarity and nostalgia that readers of “soft” contemporary romance currently crave.

But Pine Point has its secrets too, and the death of Summer Thompson’s brother is one of them. Summer hasn’t lived in Pine Point for ten long years, since her brother died and her father sent her away for good. Now she’s on hiatus from a successful career as a museum curator to look over a half-renovated house her father willed her. Little does she know that as the weeks unfold, she’ll come face to face with not only her ex-boyfriend, but the truth about her own role in her brother’s death, along with a newcomer in town who might just change the way she looks at Pine Point forever.

Damian Knight recently moved to town with his mother and half-sister, to escape a brutal stalker. While he finds solace in construction work, it’s only a matter of time before his path crosses Summer’s, and the two fall for each other amid troublesome rumors that are brewing. Soon, Damian finds himself faced with split loyalties: protect his mother and sister at all costs, or let down his guard and fall in love with a woman at the center of a Pine Point scandal.

Summer’s Song explores the journey of going home again, of facing the past, of coming to terms with loss and moving on with both old friends and new lovers beside you. While the romance market has moved away from contemporary romance in recent years, “soft romance” is making a comeback according to many publishers and booksellers, and I believe this novel would fit well into that niche. Pine Point is a town full of personalities and small town conflicts, which also sets it up perfectly for a series of novels that could continue beyond this single title.

I am a multi-published author of contemporary romance novels (with The Wild Rose Press and Samhain Publishing). I have also published several articles on the craft of writing and belong to both the local and national chapters of RWA. Summer’s Song is complete at 75,000 words; if you would like to see a synopsis or sample chapters, I would be happy to send them along.

Thank you.

The chance of having a manuscript accepted there is very slim, but I'm amping up my revising and crossing my fingers anyway...

Current Word Count for Entwined: 12,073

Yesterday's Fave Sentence: Melted snow seeps onto the carpet, and for a moment all she can think is how it would feel against her skin, ice that raises gooseflesh before his mouth warms it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Novel Idea for Those Deleted Scenes

I spent most of my free time yesterday revising Summer's Song. It's amazing the different direction it is taking - I hope with good results, ultimately. I've cut SO much, though. I have an entire separate file with all the scenes no longer in the actual story. When I was at the NJRWA conference, one of the speakers recommended telling yourself you'll post those tidbits later on your website, under your "free reads" or "deleted scenes" section. Whether or not you ever do (she didn't) at least it eases the pain of ripping them from the story.

My word count for Entwined is still behind, but that's OK. I have a few days off for Thankgiving break, so let's hope I can catch up then. Right now, I'm wrapping up the first part of the main plot and hope to start working on one of the three subplots soon.

Oh, by the way, Samhain is hosting a Holiday Hunt, with a number of authors participating - you can win free downloads of their books! It starts December 1st, so stay tuned for more details~

Current Word Count for Entwined: 11,266

Yesterday's Fave Sentence: His heart aches with the distance between them, and yet he could more easily stop its beating than stop coming to Natasha Silverstone’s bed every night.

Monday, November 24, 2008

It's Monday Again?

"Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time." ~Steven Wright

It's Monday again? Yikes -- Thankgiving is a scant three days away. Thank goodness we're heading to my parents', which means we only have to bring something for the table, not prepare food to cover it. Who else is cooking/hosting for the big day?

Thanks to everyone for the concern and well-wishes for hubby's student. At this point we don't know more than he is still in critical condition, but there is no head trauma and he's now survived almost 5 days, so that's a plus.

On the not-so-good side, we had yet another car accident here last Friday night: two cars full of teenagers collided head-on. At least one death. It just breaks my heart. And I'm writing this blog post before I go to school, which I'm dreading because they haven't released the identities of the kids yet, but I'll guarantee we know at least some of them.

Now on the bright side: some good writing over the weekend, with positive revision and reconstruction of Summer's Song (I've cut 6000 words so far) and some good, fun progress on Entwined. I'm still behind, but I'm not stressing. I'll get there!

Current Word Count for Entwined: 10,619

Yesterday's Fave Sentence: She laughs, but she lays her hand on his knee, and he knows it is only a matter of time before he peels that scarf from her neck and tastes for himself the soft, dark spot at the base of her throat.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Manic Writing

"Writing is not a genteel profession. It's quite nasty and tough and kind of dirty." ~Rosemary Mahoney

I'm writing like a maniac today, since along with getting words down for Entwined, I'm also tackling a revision of Summer's Song for Black Lyon Publishing's Literary Love Story line. I couldn't even sleep that well last night because I was running over story possibilities in my head. How's that for living inside your novels?

So, here you go (and wish me luck on Summer's Song - I'm brutally slashing scenes and killing babies):

Current Word Count for Entwined: 9,878

Yesterday's Fave Sentence: By now, he knows the routines of everyone who works here, from the junior profs to the admissions staff to Dean Braber himself, who bangs blonde coeds once or twice a semester but never on Fridays, and certainly never after ten.