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Thursday, March 30, 2006

A Good Blog?

Okay, you folks were terrific about sharing your POVs on what you like when you go to web pages. What about blogs? What do you look for when you take a peek at the all-important Web Log ((insert echo here))? What makes you come back for more?

(Really just curious; the topic came up on Backspace.)

Back to unpacking boxes...and EEK, waiting for a plumber to fix our first leak...

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Next Step on the ROAD

Heard from my faboo editor today. He "loved" (yes, that's a quote, huzzah!) the chapter outline to THE ROAD TO HELL, and told me "full speed ahead." WOOT!

Uber thanks to Loving Husband for helping me brainstorm and getting me back on track, and to the amazing Heather for virtual hand-holding and for reading drafts so raw they probably left friction burns.

Okay, back to packing...(we move TOMORROW!)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A Good Web Page?

Here's a question, to any and all:

What makes a good web page?

When you visit an author's web page, what are you looking to get out of the experience? What makes you come back for more? What do you absolutely hate?

I'm working on content for my upcoming page (looking to launch in June), and I'd love to get your thoughts on this.

Uber thanks, everyone!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

It's MAGIC...

While waiting for the good word from my editor about THE ROAD TO HELL, I've been giving the contemporary fantasy some serious thought. And I've come up with a plot that I think works well. The YA urban fantasy is officially up and running as a WIP, and the name is...

THE MAGIC BRIGADE.

Two chapters done. Don't know if it's any good; fingers crossed. I'm not sharing it with my agent until it's done, spit shined and polished. But I have me a good feeling about it.

Books to Read
I finished both Hunter's Moon and Moon's Web by Cathy Clamp and C.T. Adams. And folks, if you like werewolf stories, and you like romance--and if you like dark, anti-hero protagonists--then this is the series for you. Excellent stuff, especially regarding sensory description.

I'm finally reading Ally Carter's uber-amazing Cheating at Solitaire. And I'm having a blast while I'm reading it. Lighthearted and fun, this is, simply put, a terrific read. I'm so going to have to buy her YA book, I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have to Kill You when it's available...

Thursday, March 09, 2006

My First Blurb!

I am SO psyched! The talented Cathy Clamp, co-author of the award-winning Sazi series from Tor, has this to say about HELL'S BELLES:

"As sinful and decadent as melted chocolate on skin. A dazzling debut! The sequel can’t get here soon enough."

Cathy's is my first blurb. THANK YOU, CATHY!!!

I've been reading the Sazi series, and I have to say, I love what she and co-author C.T. Adams have done with the werewolf legend. The first book, HUNTER'S MOON, is so much more than "just" a werewolf romance -- it's a thickly plotted, sensory-packed tale. These authors take sensory description to a whole new level. It was a very, very engrossing read. And the fact that it has a male protagonist, who's a hitman to boot, makes it all the more delicious. I just started the sequel, MOON'S WEB, today. At this rate, I should finish it by, oh, tomorrow... :)

Monday, March 06, 2006

Garbage In, Garbage Out

In our mad preparations for moving at the end of the month, Loving Husband and I have been sorting through stacks and stacks of paperwork. (We're both packrats, which is a real problem when we're also both messy as heck and have trouble maintaining a filing system that actually works.) We decided that we're keeping relevant paperwork and are ditching things we don't need.

So I finally threw out all my rejection letters -- dating back to 1994. Every single one (in hard copy) is gone. Later today, I'll do the same for my electronic rejections.

I also ditched a pile of notes for my first novel, that elusive Great American Novel, the failed contemporary fantasy. The notes went back 16 years, and they formed a stack that was more than one foot high.

At one point, I will be starting from scratch with the GAN -- with no baggage. (Yeah, I still have electronic copies of the actual manuscript versions. Those I'll keep. But the notes, the half-formed thoughts, the stuff shackling me to one vision of that old novel, those are gone.)

It's damn liberating. And kind of sad -- it's sort of the end of an era. But I've decided that this move is going to herald a new mindset, one that's not shaped by constant reminders of rejection. Instead, I'm going to focus on my successes, and on constructive feedback that will lead to future successes.

That, and chocolate. :)

Friday, March 03, 2006

And...

...after a serious brainstorming session with Loving Husband and a bottle of wine, I set to banging out the detailed outline for THE ROAD TO HELL. I had the right idea with the previous draft, but I was getting too caught up in the immediateness (is that a word?) of the scene/chapter -- heck, even of the novel -- and stopped seeing the Big Picture.

Because there is a Big Picture, kids. The HELL ON EARTH series is a projected five-book main story arc, with three one-shot standalone novels spotlighting supporting characters. And unlike, say, Janet Evanovich's fun Stephanie Plum series, where although events from previous books do carry forward, there's no major story arc (that I could see by Book 7, at any rate), the HELL series has a series-wide plot.

So I was so thoroughly buried in the second book as a book that I failed to see it also as part of the series. Once I figured out what Jesse must accomplish/do/set in motion in this book -- to further the overall series plot -- I was able to plan around those points for specifics in the novel itself.

Gah, does this make sense?

Loving Husband was an essential part of the brainstorming. I have to say that I'm blessed with a very supportive, very helpful hubby (who looks damn cute with or without his beard). Thank you, Loving Husband! And a huge thanks also to the ever-fabulous Heather for agreeing to look at my outline (as well as the feedback)! Mooches smooches!

My agent (bless him) has given the thumbs up to (for?) the outline. So now it's with my editor...who says he'll try to read it next week.

So basically, I have a week's time to take a mental vacation from all things Jesse. It's a long time in coming.

Club Med vacation...the an-ti-dote for civilization... la la la...

((NOTE: Apologies for a rambling post. It's almost 12:30 am, and I should be sleepingzzzzzzzzzzz))