Saturday, April 25, 2009

Bam! Summer's Here

"Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air…" ~Ralph Waldo Emerson the beginning of this week, it was 38 degrees and raining. I actually considered taking out a winter coat again, just to stay warm. Then I rebelled.

Today: it's supposed to be in the 80s. No spring, for another year, it looks like. We tromp along through snow, sleet and ice for 5+ months and then bam! Summer temps and humidity before we can turn around and appreciate the daffodils.

Ah, well.

How's the weather in your neck of the woods??

Friday, April 24, 2009

Brenda Novak's Online Diabetes Auction

“If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I? And if not now, when?” ~Rabbi Hillel

Hey folks, I know I've mentioned this before, but May 1st begins NY Best-selling author Brenda Novak's 5th annual online auction to benefit diabetes research.

There are SO MANY great items up for auction, for readers/writers/the general public alike, and you really ought to check it out.

Plus, this year I've donated a prize, a hand-painted (by my MIL - she does terrific work) canvas tote bag with all my books inside! Here's a pic: (One Night in Memphis will be included too, but I don't have my author copies yet, so it's not in the photo):

Here's the link, and I'll try to have a banner up on my sidebar by the date it officially begins. Go forth and bid!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Some Laughs for Thursday

Found this on a loop and wanted to share. Yeah, if you're a romance writer you'll probably appreciate it more than if you're not, but it's still pretty funny, I think...

Flowchart for Writing Romances

And here's an article about the new book by Smart Bitches Candy Tan and Sarah Wendell, the biting but honest romance critics that everyone loves to hate...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Writers' Wednesday: An Interview with K.M Daughters

Welcome to Writers' Wednesday! Today I'm chatting with the authors known as K.M. Daughters (you'll find out why!) - a.k.a. Pat and Kathie. Enjoy!

Hi there, and thanks for joining me today! Can you tell us a little about your background?

We’re sisters born and raised in a New Jersey suburb of New York City. Our Dad, who died when we were teenagers, wrote children’s stories for us (we later self-published them posthumously) and perhaps the writing bug is in our genes. Our penname is dedicated to our parents Katherine and Michael, the K and M in KM Daughters.

Neat! So tell us about your latest writing project or published title.

Our latest published title (our 3rd published book) is Past, Present and Forever, a contemporary romance set primarily in Chicago. This was the first manuscript we wrote together as a team. Published by Sapphire Blue Publishing it’s available in digital formats at the publishers website, All Romance E-books and in the Amazon Kindle store.

How do you go about developing your characters?

We build our characters from birth, discussing their histories, personality traits, physical descriptions while walking – our favorite hobby. By the time we begin plot development our characters are real to us, three-dimensional people we know inside and out.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book(s)?

A huge surprise is that characters take on a life of their own. We once heard a Nora Roberts interview where she expressed the same phenomenon. We have to admit at the time it sounded illogical. But Nora’s right. Of course she is.

Now, I know there are 2 of you, but when you write, do you use the computer or compose by hand, oral dictation, or some other method?

Pat writes solely on the computer and Kathie prefers to write by hand first.

Great getting to know you both today! Is there anything else you’d like to mention?

We thank our readers for taking the time to provide us feedback and are filled with gratitude that the feedback has been so affirming and positive. Nothing thrills us more than a reader who told us she couldn’t put a KM Daughters book down or couldn’t wait until the next book in Our Sullivan Boys series is released:

We invite you to visit us at so you can get to know us better and if you like - contact us so we can get to know you.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pictures from Paradise

Some pictures from our trip to Hawaii!

View from the balcony outside our room

Me with the main grounds of the hotel in the background

Each night, a cliff diver jumps from the island's signature black rocks (no, not to his death...) to commemorate a warrior that did it ages ago

Dinner at the Maui Brewing Company

Our favorite spot to sit and sun/read/sleep, near one of the secluded pools at the hotel

Helping to light the torch in preparation for the cliff diving ceremony one night (because, clearly, he needed my help)

Monday, April 20, 2009

In Memory

"Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break." ~William Shakespeare

Today's blog post is in honor and memory of all those killed in, and affected by, the Columbine shootings 10 years ago today.

How can it be 10 years? I still remember where I was when I first heard.

There's a new book out, titled Columbine, that apparently delves quite deeply into the two shooters and the aftermath of the attack. While it obviously won't be uplifting or easy to read, I plan on picking it up. I'll let you know what I think~

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Special Writers' Weekend Post: An Interview with Jane Lovering

Welcome to a special weekend author interview, with fellow Samhain author Jane Lovering (you're gonna love this one...)!

Hi Jane! Can you tell us a little about your background?

My background? Well, received wisdom has it that I was constructed out of pure steel in a shipyard, but recently I found family documents which indicate that I was, in fact, born. In Exeter, the county town of Devon, in the lovely South-West UK if you please! I have one brother, who is made of toffee and is therefore soluble, and a mother who denies all knowledge of both of us. But then, she thinks she’s a teaspoon, so what can you do?

LOL...Tell us about your latest writing project or published title.

My latest project is currently undergoing an identity crisis. It was conceived under the title ‘Beethoven Complex’, but my agent thought this title desirous of ‘fluffification’. After much wrangling (which I like to think I won, at least my agent started crying and had to retire hurt, arm dangling uselessly), it now sports the rather racy little title ‘Don’t Stop the Music’. It’s about a woman who’s hiding from her past, and a man who’s hiding from his. It’s not the same past, you understand, well, it is from a purely linear-time point of view, but…oh, you get the picture.

Anyway. They are both hiding, separately, and then they meet. And hide from each other. Psychologically, I mean, it would be a pretty odd book if it consisted of people dodging under blankets and behind trees when they saw each other coming – I actually think that’s the plot of Richard Curtis’ latest RomCom. There’s biscuits in it. The book, I mean, not the RomCom.
And in June I have ‘Slightly Foxed’ coming out in paperback with Samhain, there’s even more biscuits in that one, and a bad-tempered cat called Grainger. There’s also a Work In Progress, under the title ‘Unconventional Behaviour’, which at the moment only contains a small number of biscuit-related episodes. So, I’m keeping busy, what with the writing and the raffia-work these nice people keep giving me…

I'd say you're keeping busy, indeed! Now, how do you go about developing your characters?

First draft is about getting the story down, and once I’ve done that I have to tweak people to make sure they are consistent. I have to admit that tweaking attractive men in the interests of consistency has to be one of the perks of the job. But mostly my people come, fully formed, with the storyline, I like to call my brand of fiction ‘psychological romance’, because the story tends to come from within the characters, rather than from outside. So my characters are ridden with flaws and odd twitches and things. And also seem to go to the toilet more than romantic heros and heroines conventionally do. But that’s probably because of all the biscuits.

OK, what advice would you give to new writers just starting out?

Read. Read everything you can find, apart from the label in your vest, because that’s embarrassing when you get caught doing it. And then write. All the time. Practice, practice, and then read some more. Oh, and I can recommend reading books you hate – there’s nothing to spur you on to write like reading a really awful book. So. Yes. Read. And write. And biscuits, biscuits always help.

Yep, pratice - I'll agree with that! Important question now: how do you balance writing with the rest of your life?

I’m not sure I do. My children complain about having nothing but pizza for dinner every day for a week and I have to fight the spiders just to get into the bathroom, but I reckon if you ignore the housework and show the kids how to work the oven, things balance out. I’ve got a day job where I am to be found in the mornings, then I get home, walk the dogs (I’ve yet to train them into walking each other, but I’m working on it), spend half an hour failing to do any housework or cooking but manage to get my e-mails done, then spend the rest of the day writing.

I’m sure that I wash and eat because no-one has complained about the smell, but I can’t work out when I do it. When I’m asleep, I suspect. But I must admit that I get a bit…well…tetchy when people tell me that they would write a book, ‘if they had the time’. I wrote my first novel (it was rubbish, but at least I wrote it) when I was doing time as a single mum of five kids under eleven. If that’s ‘having time to write’ then…………. (insert appropriate end. Go on, it’ll be good practice for you).

Jane, thanks a bunch for being here today! Readers, want to know more? (Of course you do...) Visit her website right here!