Sunday, November 20, 2011

Writer's Block

It comes out of nowhere and happens to all of us; dreaded writer’s block. The question is how to get over it and move on. For me and my critique partner—Coreene Callahan, urban fantasy romance and paranormal historical romance author,—the answer is easy. We head off to the local pub for breakfast and a BS session. BS stands for brain storming by the way.

In our case, breakfast can last three or four hours, and sometimes longer. We’re lucky, our waiter seems happy to have us around. The place is big, and there’s always room for new arrivals without tossing us out. Not sure, but I think tipping well really helps. Oh, did I mention pubs make excellent breakfasts? This is important, since we're working our butts off here and need to keep up our strength.

The added bonus is none of the other patrons notice us. Not when widescreens are alive with horse racing, soccer matches, boxing, hockey and everything else for sporting enthusiasts.  

And while we drink coffee, those guys are ordering quarts of beer with their steak and eggs. They probably can’t see us after a few hours anyway. Just kidding…not about the beer…but they can probably see just fine. They’re just more interested in what’s up on the screens, not other people hanging in the pub.

Really, a pub’s a great place to sit undisturbed and toss around ideas with a friend. That’s if you go early in the day, before the decibels break the sound barrier. Coreene and I chat about our works in progress, break down any problem areas and within a few hours, we’re both geared up with new ideas and ready to hit those keyboards.

Take it from someone who knows. Writer’s block is miserable but it doesn’t have to bring you down. Get together with your critique partner or call up another writer. Use them as your sounding board. Ask for ideas on how to move forward. Then do the same for them. Before you know it? VoilĂ , you’re both in the book business again.

Happy writing!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Promotion, promotion, promotion...

I know, I haven't blogged at all lately...I seem to spend too much time on Facebook,  or learning to Tweet, or trying to create professional looking bookmarks (a 4-year-old could do better!), or searching out marketing opportunities that are geared for writers.

I've always considered myself to be computer savvy. Lately, I think I'm behind the eight ball...A LOT. Am I the only one feeling technically challenged when it comes to marketing a future bestseller? (Okay, I admit it...I dream big!)

Thank God for my writing pals! Yes, you know who you are. I hosted a writer's retreat at my little writing cabin in the woods in August. I try to do this every year; not only for the camaraderie of kindred spirits, but because this is where I learn who's doing what to promote their books. To be honest, most of the time I think my colleagues speak a foreign language as they discuss agents, publicists, promos, Twitter feeds, links to sites such as Kindlegraph, book reviewers, promotional and 'guest host' loops, setting up blog tours, creating book trailers, attending networking workshops, tracking sales, how to write newsletters, accounting procedures, series spreadsheets, etc.

I attended Anne Hope's book signing at Chapters yesterday (Anne Besides her formidable talent as an author, Anne's a great role model for the uninitiated... makes book signings look easy, which they're definitely not. I encouraged her to have a workshop on book signings: presentation and design...she does it flawlessly...and I really, really need to attend. (I loved those little chocolates, Anne!)

I'm currently awaiting the release date for Dark Abandon, and already have tremors chilling my spine. Excitement, yes, but let's face it...I'm gonna have to pull out all the stops and get this book OUT THERE! Otherwise, who's gonna read it? (A huge sigh of's an e-book...I don't have to worry about book signings yet.)

My publisher, The Wild Rose Press, has provided me with a 'Release Checklist'; a what to do guide for 'Beforehand' and 'At Release' of the book. Easy, yes? So, why does it feel like rocket science to me?

Please, people, send up those positive vibes and wish me luck!

I wonder, when will I have time to write the next bestseller?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The sexier parts of writing...

As a romantic suspense author, it always amazes me when people ask about the sexy parts, as if the scenes are orchestrated in my very own bedroom. Sadly, no, this isn’t the case. Otherwise, I’d have no time for writing. If you must know, I credit the sexy parts to the washing machine repairman and a vivid imagination.

If I look at him just so, in the dim light of my basement; he has flowing sable hair, sultry bedroom eyes, a devastating smile, biceps flexing as he unscrews the agitator, washboard abs and heavily muscled haunches as he squats near a toolbox. T-shirt stretched taut across a powerful chest, he wears cargo pants—commando style—no boxers or briefs.

In reality and with my glasses on; he’s five-three, close to seventy years old, bald as a billiard ball, chicken necked, works his false teeth in and out of his mouth while focusing on the machine, is bowlegged and wears khaki coveralls.

Yep, a vivid imagination comes in handy. I wonder why no-one ever asks me about the suspenseful parts...