Sunday, August 27, 2006
Just wanted to give a quick update. This has been a tough month. First, there have been some shake-ups at work. No layoffs, but some restructuring. I have to make some decisions about what I want to do. I also have to hang in there for the next few months while everything is sorted out.
And if that weren't enough, I received the results from a medical test last week. I've been feeling very tired lately, something I've noticed for a while, but had reinforced when I was writing my RWA conference report (I'll still write about Saturday, I promise) and realized that a nice, long nap was a big part of every day. I'm going to talk to the doctor on Tuesday, and that's when I'll get the complete details, but my internet research has turned up some information. More changes there, starting with exercise and a better diet. I've already started on both, but feel free to send good thoughts my way for Tuesday's doctor visit.
These days I'm trying to take things easy. I'm still writing, but nothing new is contracted as yet. In the meantime, Office Relations and Between Floors has been getting some terrific reviews. You can see some review excerpts here.
Thanks for visiting. Hope you have a great week!
Labels: life, reviews, RWA
Sunday, August 13, 2006
On Friday, I hoped I'd get up early to attend an 8:30 AM class. That didn't happen. I slept in and started my day with the Avon/Ballantine publisher-hosted signing. I had my rolling cart with me to hold the books, and it was very helpful. I also had the fan I picked up in the Goody Room. I made good use of it while I stood in line.
The signing rooms were pretty small this year. Last year's format was better, where the authors were lined up in a large room with one publisher on each side. This time around, they were squashed into smaller rooms with tables along the wall. This added a homey element, but some of the lines spilled into each other, making them tough to negotiate.
I hit the Avon room first, getting books from Kim Harrison and Laura Lee Guhrke, among others. Only when I got home did I realize I already had an autographed copy of Guhrke's book. Oops. I'm looking forward to Kim Harrison's Dead Witch Walking, though. I was hoping to run into Lisa Kleypas, but I didn't see her.
I picked up several more books in the Ballantine room, including Raven Hart's The Vampire's Seduction, Linda Howard's Killing Time, and Allison Brennan's The Kill. It was nice to say hello to Linda Howard. I told her that I love To Die For, and she said the sequel is coming out sometime in November.
After the signing, I attended my first class: Theme - Taking an Old Fashioned Concept and Turning It into an Effective Way to Market Your Voice. It was pretty good, although I had to leave early to make it to lunch. I did get some ideas I think will help me finish The Seventh Sense.
Next came the Passionate Ink luncheon at the Atlanta Aquarium. It was just far enough that walking would not have been fun, so I took a cab. I still got there a little too late to sit with any of my fellow Romance Divas, so I sat in a corner table. There were little goody bags that contained two print books, two e-books, and lots of promo items such as pens and bookmarks. Very fun!
There were a number of speakers at the luncheon, including one of the reviewers at Joyfully Reviewed, editor Raelene Gorlinski, and an agent. When it comes to erotic romance, many editors are looking for menage, male/male romance, and alpha males. Not good news for someone who writes heterosexual and monogamous romance, often with beta heroes. LOL! But there's room for me, too, I'm sure. :) It's good for readers to have many choices.
The next two pictures are of the beluga whales and fish at the aquarium.
After the luncheon, I took a cab back to the hotel and attended a class called Writing with Magic (for Muggles). I knew it would be about J.K. Rowling's books, but I hadn't expected it to be the main focus of the class. I haven't read book six, but I know a lot about what happens now . . . I should have anticipated that.
After the class, it was time for another publisher signing. This time around was Berkley and St. Martin's Press. While waiting in line, I ran into author Jill Shalvis and we chatted for a few minutes. It was nice to see her. Before she left, she told me that the wait for the Berkley room was worth it, and she was right. I got a bunch of books there from authors I really like, such as Gena Showalter.
Lia and Gena
I'm a member of MaryJanice Davidson's Yahoogroup, and I remembered she said she wasn't a member of RWA. So I was pretty surprised to see her at the signing. Once I did, though, I was quick to get in line. When I got to the front of the line, I told her I was in her group, so she gave me an "Official MaryJanice Davidson Stalker" pin (LOL!), and I had her sign my copy of Mysteria. I also got a copy of Unwed & Undead. Left to my own devices, I would have loved a copy of all the books she had available, but courtesy kicked in and I showed a little restraint.
Before I left, I convinced Gena Showalter to take this picture of us.
Lia and MaryJanice Davidson
After this signing, I wandered up in time to catch 10 minutes of the Publisher Spotlight on Pocket. I stayed for the Publisher Spotlight on Kensington. HelenKay Dimon gives a good run down of it at her blog. One thing to note: Kate Duffy is not interested in erotica, so that should be submitted to one of the other editors, such as Hillary Sares. They had a couple of books as giveaways, including an ARC for Jacquelyn Frank's Nightwalkers: Jacob, which Kate Duffy says is a series she is extremely excited about. Should be fun to give this a try.
After the spotlight, I took a quick nap, then headed off to dinner with some of the Cobblestone Press authors. We went to a place called The Varsity. Our shoes stuck to the floor as we walked in, but the food was good and the company was terrific. After dinner, we hung out with a few Romance Divas. I left early to get some sleep before the next day's events.
Number of Books Acquired on Thursday: 44
Total Books Acquired through Thursday: 104
Labels: book signings, writing conferences
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Between Floors Available Now!
Between Floors came out while I was in Atlanta for RWA.
When Chloe Wilson enters her apartment building, she doesn't expect to see ex-lover Sean Harris, the man who left her six months before. She doesn't know why he's back, and she doesn't waste time wondering--until they get stuck in a malfunctioning elevator. Suddenly Chloe has nothing but time.
Sean didn't plan for the elevator to break down, but he's not going to waste time wondering what happened. He'll take advantage of it, because his return is no coincidence. He wants Chloe back and will do whatever it takes to convince her to let him back in her life.
Click here or on the cover to purchase it.
Labels: Between Floors
August at Romance Divas
Don't worry, I'll get back to my day-by-day summary of RWA. To break things up a little, though, I'm posting about some great events going on at Romance Divas this month. Romance Divas is a terrific resource for authors, and they also offer interviews, chats, and things readers may also enjoy.
Author of the Month: Gemma Halliday - Contests workshop from the Golden Heart winner
Aug 5-7 :: Paranormal Event with Carrie Vaughn, LA Banks, CT Adams/Cathy Clamp, Gena Showalter, and Kelley Armstrong.
Aug 11 :: Jessica Faust: Bookends-inc agent in the Chatroom. 9 Eastern
August 8-18 :: Getting To Know The Voices in Your Head Workshop with Jo Ann Ferguson/Jocelyn Kelley
Aug 18 :: Theresa Meyers: PR/Promo in the Chatroom.
August 25 :: Ann Christopher, Patricia Sargeant, Maureen Smith and Sophia Shaw Multi-cultural Authors Chat
Hope you can attend at least one of these events!
Labels: Romance Divas
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Thursday's events started off bright and early with the PRO Retreat at 8:00 AM. Honestly, I have no idea how I managed to get up in time for this, since I am not a morning person and I'm even less a morning person in Eastern Time. LOL! Anyway, I made it to the retreat and sat with fellow Cobblestone Press authors Mia Romano and Shelli Stevens.
Left to right: Mia, Me, Shelli
There were several speakers, including Lani Diane Rich and Susan Crandall, who talked about the myths about what it's like to be a published author. Editors Raelene Gorlinsky (Ellora's Cave), Tracy Farrell (Harlequin) and Cindy Hwang (Berkley) talked about what's hot and what they are looking for. I thought it was pretty interesting that Cindy Hwang found a few authors by reading their fan fiction, which led her to their original fiction.
One especially promising moment during this discussion was the statement that a lot of e-book authors are making the jump into print. These authors are often prolific and are accustomed to deadlines, two definite points in their favor.
Jennifer Crusie, Bob Mayer, and Mollie Smith talked about the benefits of a website and blog. The goal of a blog is first to entertain, than to inform. I'm not sure how good a job I do with either, actually. LOL! They did recommend group blogs, which offer more variety for blog readers and put less pressure on authors.
Nora Roberts was the keynote speaker, and she was awesome. I loved her topic and found it very motivating. She talked about the importance of focusing on the story instead of getting bogged down by centering on your career. The story is what you can control. She also emphasized that there is no right way to write--one author's magic may not work for you.
After the PRO Retreat came the luncheon with Meg Cabot as the keynote speaker. Lunch was OK; I especially loved the cheesecake dessert. Ha! Meg was hilarious, and I enjoyed hearing her talk about her experience attending the movie premiere of The Princess Diaries. Two free books by her were waiting on the chairs when we entered the luncheon area to sit down. I now have three copies of Size 12 Is Not Fat, one of them autographed. I might need one or two more. What do you think? Ha!
After lunch, I went upstairs to my hotel room to take a nap. It was so nice to sleep for a while. When I got up again, I went downstairs and ordered MP3 of the complete conference classes. I knew I wouldn't be able to attend all the ones that interested me, so I ordered a set. They should arrive in about six weeks.
That night was a dinner at Azio's with the Romance Divas. More than 40 of us were there, and I didn't get any pictures of the table. I did manage to get pictures of all the Cobblestone Press authors who attended the dinner.
Back row, left to right: Eden Bradley, Loribelle Hunt, Me, Emma Peterson, Crystal Jordan; front row, left to right: Stella Price, Audra Price, Shelli Stevens
After dinner was the Midnight Madness Bazaar, where RWA chapters and other groups sold T-shirts, jewelry, bookmarks, lanyards, and all sorts of other fun stuff. I bought a T-shirt, handmade card, and a ribbon asking "Anyone seen my muse?" Sasha White had a table with twisted glass jewelry and book thongs. If you bought $20 worth, you got a free book. I bought a necklace, three book thongs, and got her book, Gypsy Heart, free.
Later a group of us went to Champion's once again. Tonight there was a lot of dancing. I consider myself a decent dancer, but some of these women can move, let me tell you. :) A few people also did karaoke. Here are some pictures.
Left to right: Eden, Jax, Kristen
Left to right: Lacey, Loribelle, Shelli
Shelli sings I Will Survive
Michelle and Amanda sing Like a Virgin
My smart roommate went to bed before midnight; I stayed for a while longer to dance. I did get to meet another Cobblestone author, Susan Greene. I went back to the hotel room before 1:00 AM to try and get some sleep before the next day.
Number of Books Acquired on Thursday: 4
Total Books Acquired through Thursday: 60
Labels: book signings, Romance Divas, writing conferences