Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Power (and danger) of Reviews

I've heard that Regency historical fans are the most loyal and enthusiastic of any romance readers. They love history, the craziness of the time period, and the fun of escaping into another world. And they are indeed wonderful. I also know that some readers will hold your feet to the fire to for historical accuracy. This is a good thing. Historical authors want to be accurate, although mistakes can be made. We, as authors, do our best. We love Regencies, too. That's why we write (and read) them! 

I work hard to get my books right, though sometimes titles can be a bit befuddling to even an obsessive like me. The British do love their titles. Some nobles had (have) so many titles that even their own mothers had to have been confused. I recently read a book from a fairly big name author who called her duchess Lady, Lady, Lady. Duchesses are Her Grace, Your Grace, Duchess, etc. Neither she or her publisher caught that one. Though I admit to twitching while reading, the story was otherwise good and I enjoyed the book. I've found that most readers do the same. They fall in love with the romance between the hero and heroine and forgive a typo or two. That's why we love them!

Many authors suggest not reading low reviews as they can kick you in the confidence. This is true. However, tastes very wildly. One reader's hamburger is another reader's Filet Mignon. A book can spend weeks on the NYT Bestseller List and not be a hit with all readers, while a little book by a newbie author may be the best book in the history of the history of books. Who knows? It's all about what you like. All an author can do is write the best book she can and hope the story strikes a happy cord in her readers. Typos and all.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Writing Career

I was thinking today about how long it took me to find the right project and get published. I was not an author who sold her first book! My career was a slow learning process. I didn't even know about one inch margins when I started. Sad, I know! I read and took workshops and read some more. I joined RWA back in 1999, my local chapter two years later, and learned, learned, learned all I could about writing and the publishing business. From the first few pages of my first book, I knew I had to finish the manuscript once I started. I wanted to know how the story turned out!

I started writing with the goal of being NY published and not once wavered from that path. And there were times when I was certain that selling would never happen for me, but then I'd get a 'nice' rejection letter telling me I was so close and I'd be off and running again. If an editor took the time to write a personal letter and tell me how much she enjoyed my writing style, plot, whatever, I knew I was heading in the right direction. No more more form rejection letters for me. I kept growing as an author until I finally sold. It wasn't easy.

Tip: The one tip most authors hear most often is to never give up. That's fine, but eventually all authors (musicians, artists, actors, etc.) need to take a good hard look at themselves, and their work, and decide if their career is advancing in the right direction. If not, then they make adjustments. This could be as simple as taking more craft classes, stepping out of the box with their writing, or changing course altogether. Because if you want to be published bad enough, work for it. There are no short cuts! :-)   

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Week One (and a half!). Book 4

I'm up to about 3500 words on book 5 and am feeling the love. I always like starting a book and this one is fun because the hero and heroine meet in the first sentence. Hint: She is mortified with what she sees! I also received revisions last week for book 4 and am working on those. I have a tendency to over think my editor's suggestions (I want them to be perfect!) so a few revisions can take me a week or so to do. For anyone who gets writers block, I know the feeling. Some days it takes a crowbar and a lot of determination to pry any creativity out of me. Today is one of those days!  

Tip: RWA National is coming up and many authors will be pitching editors and agents. My tip is to not only polish your pitch, but also have a really good (1-3 sentence) elevator pitch for a second book idea, in case the A/E is lukewarm on the first and you have extra time. It worked for me! I sold the second book that I pitched!

Friday, May 4, 2012

I've been missing for so long, that I almost forgot I had a blog! :-) When I'm working on a book with a tight deadline, my brain only has that one focus. When I'm not creating, I'm staring at mindless TV, watching ducks and frogs on my pool cover, or gazing off into space while plotting my next chapter.

A friend told me that I should write about writing, so I'm going to do that. I just started my new book this week and thought I'd post about that and other stuff that comes up. If anyone would like to look over my shoulder and see what I'm doing, check back. I'll be here!