Monday, October 16, 2006

Gearing up for NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month is nearly upon us again.

For those of you not in the know, participants aim to write 50,000 words or more of new material (i.e. starting a new book) between the first and last days of November. Boards/forums and sign-up takes place in October and there's a fair amount of chatting going on already!

I'm giving it another go this year (always a bridesmaid etc. but maybe this year I'll get the garter instead of looking after the mad relative in the corner!)

Click here to register and join in the madness! (err... I mean fun of course heh heh heh)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Interview with Cindy Hwang from Berkley

Go to the Running with Quills website to read an interview Jayne Ann Krentz did with Cindy Hwang, Executive Editor at Berkley Publishing Group. In this interview she talks about the rise of the paranormal, why it's hot and what some of the sub-genres of the paranormal genre are. Cindy also lists a few of her authors.

So, have a look. See what you think & add your 2p!


On the me front - I've mostly been doing tours and presentations for new students coming into the University (when they turn up, that is) and consequently I feel absolutely knackered and can't quite believe that I've got another three-and-a-half days before I can have a lie-in -- which I probably won't get anyway because I have to get up to let the dogs out and if you're awake enough to get up and let them out, you may as well get dressed and take them for a walk as well. Right? Well. That's what they think anyway.

Mood 1: Knackered!

Mood 2: Knackered!

Listening to right now: Moulin Rouge Soundtrack - Disc One

Reading : Jenna Starborn by Sharon Shinn (and I will update my "I have read" list - it's on the to-do list I have, but it's not near the top)

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Well - I've been having a few problems with one of my main characters in WIP1 (no working title as yet) because her motivation for being where I want her to be seemed a little spongy to say the least. However, on my way home the other night I had a blinding epiphany (aka a stray meme) and realised I'm giving her too much backstory at the start of the book - blah blah blah (reader falls into a boredom induced coma) and that I needed to start it straight in and cut her off from everything. On her own, bit of a lost fish - really needs to find who she is, not who she's dutifully been for the past 15 years.

I actually feel as if forward motion is once again possible (as opposed to hamster on a wheel motion).

So. Progress. New outline but from a better starting point and it's better for her character.

Mood: Excited

Weather: Raining

Music: Necromantic Overtures by Bill Efting

Oh, yeah - I also need to update the books read bit in the sidebar. I think I'll redo it so that the books I read, and the books I re-read are in separate sections. We shall see. I'm away at the weekend, so it'll be next week sometime before I'm likely to get to it.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Romance Diva's Erotica Industry Q&A 19th-21st Sept

NB: If you're not already registered with Romance Divas you'll need to do that before the event, because you'll need to request access to the Steamy Workshop after registration - it's not automatic.

So come along and join in the fun and get some of those burning industry questions answered!

Ready to learn from the Pro's?

Please join us at Romance Divas from September 19th - 21st as we host some of Erotic Romance's hottest names!

This free question and answer session will be held in the Divas Steamy Workshop section of our forums. Because of the adult themes and language, this workshop will be limited to our members who are 18 and older. Click here to visit out our Steamy Workshop and make sure you have access before the event begins!

Our confirmed guests include :

Erotic Romance Authors: Eden Bradley, Joey Hill, Shelley Bradley, and Sunny

Agents: Jessica Faust and Laura Bradford

Editors : Treva Harte of Loose ID and Raelene Gorlinsky of Ellora's Cave.

Contact Karen if you have any questions prior to the event.

Writers, readers, fans, and anyone curious about one of the fastest growing segments of romance are welcome. Be sure to join us to ask these industry professionals your most burning questions, and learn from their suggestions and advice!

permission to forward granted

Mood: Excited!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Long weekend coming up!

Actually, it's a very long weekend. We've got the Bank Holiday on Monday, and I've got Tuesday and Wednesday off so in all that's five days I'm not at work! Yay!

I do have some house-related stuff to take care of (more book-shelves!), but that won't take up the full five days so I'll have time to get some writing done in nice stretches rather than brief bursts here and there.

And of course, one mustn't forget one's dog-walking duty. Collies have rights and expectations you know!

So, short and sweet, but hey that's me all over!

Mood 1: Excited!!

Mood 2: Productive!!


Knight Agency Group Chat today!

Kristin Daly from HarperCollins will be chatting with the Knight Agency today (12:00-13:00hrs EST - which works out to 18:00hrs in the UK (if I got my time conversion right - British Summer Time gaaah!))

You need to be a member of the Knight Agency Yahoo Group to take part.

Friday, August 25th from Noon to 1 pm EST, We at TKA are thrilled to be chatting with Kristin Daly. (I know you're dying for more so here's a bit about Ms. Daly...)

Kristin first became interested in children's books as a career in high school, when she worked in her local public library shelving—and often covertly reading!—books in the children's room. In May 1999 she was hired as an Editorial Assistant at Golden Books, where she worked on picture books, series fiction, and the Road to Reading line. In January 2002, she began working at HarperCollins, where she has been for the past four and a half years and counting.

Kristin has been privileged to work with authors and illustrators such as Valeri Gorbachev, Charles Santore, Lee Bennett Hopkins, Jack Prelutsky, Suzy Becker, and Barbara McClintock. Currently, she is especially excited to be working with best-selling author Gary Blackwood on his first I Can Read Book, The Just-So Woman, and talented newcomer—and SCBWI member—Sudipta Bardhan on her first Harper picture books, Snoring Beauty and Hampire! Kristin edits a range of children's titles, from picture books and easy-to-reads through middle-grade, and is currently on the hunt for her first YA novel.

So go along and say hi and get some of your questions answered.


Mood: Grumpy
(I have a cold - just in time for the Bank Holiday weekend!)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

100 Blogs (or more)

A number of gals on Romance Divas, and bloggers elsewhere, are taking part in this viral blogging experiment, so I thought I'd add my (quiet) voice to the fray - you never know, someone may stop by! So if you're reading this and want to enter into the experiment, click on the links to get the code and post it on your blog!

I am participating in a blogging experiment hosted at To enter the contest, put up this blurb, image, and trackback and you are entered to win the following prize package.

$200 Amazon gift certificate
Signed copy of Slave to Sensation
New Zealand goodies chosen by Singh
ARC of Christine Feehan's October 31 release: Conspiracy Game

You can read about the experiment here and you can download the code that you need to participate here.

Slave to Sensation

SLAVE TO SENSATION Nalini Singh Berkley / September 2006

Welcome to a future where emotion is a crime and powers of the mind clash brutally against those of the heart.

Sascha Duncan is one of the Psy, a psychic race that has cut off its emotions in an effort to prevent murderous insanity. Those who feel are punished by having their brains wiped clean, their personalities and memories destroyed.

Lucas Hunter is a Changeling, a shapeshifter who craves sensation, lives for touch. When their separate worlds collide in the serial murders of Changeling women, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities…or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation.


Mood: Excited!

The power of persistence

Sherry Thomas has an interesting post on her blog today about the percieved Great Divide between published and unpublished authors - and how, once she got The Call she discovered that the Divide was a construct and that proud moment of being published shouldn't just encompass the moment when you get that contract in your hands, but should also acknowledge your persistence and perserverence in getting there.

The true watershed events in my quest for publication happened not on the day I got bought, but on the day I first sat down to write the story in my head, on every day that I filed away rejections and did not quit, and on the day when I finally realized that rejections are meant to be learned from, not just filed away.

The full post can be accessed here

Mood: Not bad, not bad at all.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Busy, busy, busy at Romance Divas this month

Romance Divas
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

So make sure you come along and sign up for some of the chats and workshops!

Unfortunately, I'm going to miss most of the paranormal event as I'm away this weekend (shopping! book shopping! mwaahahahahaaaa!) and won't have access to t'internet; but I'll be able to stop by on Monday (and possibly Sunday night as well)

Mood 1: Excited!
Mood 2: Tired!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Interesting...verrrrry interesting.

Your World View

You are a fairly broadminded romantic and reasonably content.
You value kindness and try to live by your ideals.
You have strong need for security, which may be either emotional or material.

You respect truth and are flexible.
You like people, and they can readily make friends with you.
You are not very adventurous, but this does not bother you.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Left behind - those not going to the RWA Nationals

PBW is doing a series of Virtual Workshops on the craft of writing for those who aren't going to the RWA conference (either because they don't want to/ can't afford it/ live in a completely different country so really can't afford it etc.)

Check them out and see what you think: yesterdays was about planning a series, todays is on tracking trends in the industry.

Alison Kent is doing giveaways each day on her site (one for readers and one for writers)

Lucy Monroe is also hosting a blog party and giving away prizes (you have to post a comment to have a chance of winning something)


Been a while...

Well, it's nearly August and the outline isn't done yet. But, I've made myself a promise that if I get the outline done in short order then I can have a (brief) break to work on something else I just had an idea for.

One of the problems is that my main character has changed. It was going to be the female MC, but now it looks as though it'll be the male MC. Not that there's anything wrong with that - it just threw me because it's not what I originally planned. Sod's law also says that when it actually comes to writing/revising it that that may change again. I don't even know if it's a straight paranormal or a paranormal romance. I want it to be a PR, but we shall have to see whether that's a direction it can go in, or whether I'll need to drop some character attributes to make it work.

Mood 1: Hot, damn hot.

Mood 2: Tired.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

It's hot...damn hot!

And unless we get the thunderstorms we've been promised, it's going to get hotter! (Actually, it's not so much the heat, as the humidity that's wearing me down - especially at night when the temp and the humidity seems to rise and you just doze instead of having a good regenerative sleep.)

Had a couple of ideas for storylines - not sure yet if they're novel/novella or short story items - and I've put them on the backburner for the moment as I need to get the outline for the current novel done/ 50% done by the end of this week. I've got a 1 year old's birthday party to go to after work today, but then I should have 2-3 hours to work on it this evening. Unfortunately, there may be little opportunity to work on stuff at work for a while as I've got a lot to do to get ready for the new term (I know it's in September but when you've got to get someone else to print what you've written for handouts etc. you need to get it done ASAP to avoid the start of term FUBAR effect - gaaah - been there, got the migraine)

Which means, it's going to be evenings and weekends (and lunchbreaks if I can get out of the office)

Have a good one, and try to stay cool.

Mood 1: Busy

Mood 2: Hot

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Star Wars Horoscope

Star Wars Horoscope for Aries

Like many aries, you have demonstrated your penchant for inflicting pain.
You feel you are at the center of the universe and that you must be in control.
You enjoy being a leader... and you find that your aggression and quick temper serve you well.

Star wars character you are most like: The Emperor


is both a terrible and a wonderful thing.

You know you should stop buying books (or at least retrench slightly), there are a number of very good reasons for doing so (for at least a month or two) and for perhaps a week, you may manage it. Then you see a review, or you realise that book three in a series you're really enjoying is due out and so you can't help yourself - you go to buy it.

Then, you think well, it's only one - it might get lonely in the box on its own. And(!) if I spend x pounds in one order - I will save money! Yes I will, that means it's a bargain. Bargains are good. Now, how many books does that work out as?

A bit flippant, but if you've been there and done that, you know what I mean. I haven't bought any books for the last week and a half. I have, however, added 31 potential buys to my already dense "book of books"* Oh. My. God.

I'm very lucky in that my Father helps my affliction (disease? obsession?) by giving me Amazon vouchers for every birthday and Christmas. Which I then usually double up on. And that feeds the compulsion for a while, until that little tickle in the brain starts and you start acquiring all over again.

However, my housemate has told me that boxes of books stored in her parents loft will have to come out because they're having their roof done. I will also have to take posession of c.20 boxes of books that are currently in my mother's loft. We have no room for them as we have no loft, no garage, no real storage of any kind. So I'm going to have to let some books go. I'm going to have to be stern (and brutal) and be honest with myself as to which books I will read again once they're out of their boxes, and which books I will never read again because life is too short. And then I will have to dispose of them.

Amazon Marketplace is a good idea (you make money and it's fairly decent money) but, it takes time and you still need somewhere to store the books while they're waiting to sell. I could take them to a second hand book shop - I wouldn't make very much, but they'd be out of the house (off the floor joists - very important) and someone may come across them and find something they'd been looking for for ages.

The bibliomaniac side of me is screaming Noooooooo! but the practical side of me is pointing out that unless I make enough money to move into an old-fashioned four-bedroom house (i.e. a big one) then something's got to give. Shelves will go up first, in place of the bookcases (get a load of the weight off the floor), and then some furniture will be removed/replaced.

And then we will see. Will the loss of a portion (large or small) of my book collection (which I've been building since 1986) cause a sudden upsurge in bibliomaniac brain fever? Wait and see.

Mood: Not happy.

*a very nifty little filofax with the address dividers in it (ABC DEF etc.) and then when I come across a book whose review I liked - or that's by an author I like - then I list it in the section for the authors' surname. Probably comes across as rather sad - but, being that organised it means I rarely buy the same book twice because I'd forgotten I'd already bought it. Needs tidying every now and then, but apart from that it's quite a handy thing to use.

Friday, June 02, 2006

EEEK!!!! I'd forgotten...

I'm away next week for four days (work, unfortunately) so I'll need to make sure I pack enough writing/reading material without doing damage to my shoulders/back etc. I always overdo it and pack as if I'm going on a 3 week cruise on a ship that has no book or stationery shop. Choosing the writing stuff to take will be easy. Reading material? Aaaargh! Hours of torment.


Don't Panic!!!!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Back at work

Had a few days off and managed to get lots of reading and sleeping done - boy did I need the sleep! Didn't get much writing done, although I did have a few more ideas for my YA which I need to feed into the outline.

My paranormal is coming on well, the worldbuilding is expanding and I need to write some of the mythological/ legendary backstory in a 'story' format. I may not present it in quite that way in the book but I think it'll be useful to me to have it written out that way.


(even though it's raining and I either have bizarre hayfever or a stinking cold!)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

What Tarot Card Are You?

You Are The Wheel of Fortune
You represent the cycles of life, death, and rebirth.You embrace change, the the ups and downs of life.Fate is something you accept, even when you could possibly change things.Big things tend to happen to you more than other people.
Your fortune:
Something huge is about to happen in your life, and you have little control over it.You must accept your destiny, but luckily it is good fortune that has come your way.Big things and big changes are about to come your way.And while things will be intense for a while, they will be followed by a period of rest.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Productivity rising...

Well, I got some of the mythology worked out for my 2YN over at Forward Motion. There are still one or two things I need to tweak, but it's slowly coming together. I'm still a bit behind on the actual assignments & commenting on others' but I'm getting there.

This has been quite a tiring week with lots of early mornings/late nights (at work that is - no partying!) so I'm quite looking forward to the weekend and being able to wake up naturally.

I've had an idea on some characterisation for my YA novel- that's been on hiatus for about 2 months now and I want to get back into that. I'm pretty sure I'll be ditching the first chapter though. Although it's been useful for me re: the direction of the story etc. it takes too long to actually get to an interesting point so I'll discard it and write a tighter, (hopefully more interesting!) version.

Did Katie McAlister's Dragon Sept Quiz earlier - and this is me:

Which Dragon Sept is Right For You?

You are calm, understand the meaning of zen, are a poet, and value the time you spend with other people. You would do well with the Silver Dragon Sept
Take this quiz!


Make A Quiz More Quizzes Grab Code

Mood: Productive

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


I've been doing some worldbuilding on my contemporary paranormal (werebears) and it's been going well. I slid back a little when I was on/got back from my holiday and I've only just managed to start picking it up again, but I'm confident that I can get a good portion done by the weekend.

One thing I think it's important to avoid is an overabundance of research. Reading a couple of books to get an alternate view is good, but I know that I personally need to avoid the trap of "research, research, research" - because it'll either be too easy to put off the writing or I'll be tempted to add too much detail.

So, read some - write a lot, and don't go overboard!

Mood: Positive

Monday, May 08, 2006

I'm baaaaack!

Well, I've been back off holiday for a while and have only just started back into writing. The holiday was great, but I've been absolutely exhausted and sleeping as much as possible between everything else (work... work... work... - you get the idea!)

Anyway. Started back with the notes for my contemp. paranormal and I also need to do some more scene outlines for my YA. It'll take me a while to catch up, but the engine has been filled with coal and the water's heating, so a good head of steam is on its way!

(And as for catching up with blogs etc. - well, let's just not go there shall we? ;D )

Mood: Tired

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Hmmm...been a little while since I posted

I have to admit - I haven't written very much in the last week. I've been at a conference and then was visiting family, and all conspired to leave me completely knackered, desiring only to sleep for as much as possible!

Ah well, I have plans for the weekend! I want to write another chapter of my YA novel, and I also want to do some worldbuilding for my paranormal.

If I get the chance, I also want to start re-planning an earlier paranormal that I stalled on. I think I need to take it right back to the beginning to try and figure out what went wrong and why and see if I can fix it now. If not, I'll put it on the back-burner (again) and look at it again later. It may just be that it's not ready to be written yet.

****Romance Divas are having an Agent Chat tonight - 19:00hrs EST (00:00hrsGMT) where agent Jenny Bent of Trident Media will be available for questions! Click on the Divas icon to get to the site - you'll need to register if you want to chat.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

What I've just finished reading...

Shadow Touch by Marjorie M. Liu (Love Spell, 2006)

Loved it! This is the second book in the Dirk & Steele series, the first being Tiger Eye. I had (much to my shame) Tiger Eye in my TBR pile for quite some time before I plucked it out to read at the weekend. Well, I read it in one sitting and was quite fortunate in that book two had already arrived so I was able to dive straight in to that one and I finished it today.

I enjoyed Tiger Eye, but Shadow Touch was even better.

Artur Loginov works for the Dirk & Steele Detective Agency. He has the ability to touch people and see into the heart of them, and it's a talent that he now uses to help others. Elena Baxter can heal with her hands, encouraging ailing bodies to heal themselves. Both Elena and Artur are kidnapped by an organisation that wants to use them, hurt them for their talents; and the depiction of the villains is so chilling and disturbing that you can really feel how evil they are. No cardboard cutout villains here just three dimensional sociopaths. (I wouldn't want to meet any of them on a sunny day, let alone on a dark night!)

Elena & Artur meet in captivity, and through a series of events have to win through and save the day. It was a great read, I found myself rooting for Elena & Artur throughout and the ending was satisfying too (although now I have to wait until December '06 for book three! )

Reviews here, here and Marjorie's website here

Not a bad evening

Well, I wrote 3015 words of my YA novel this evening - basically completing chapter 1. Very rough draft - but I'm not going to edit anything until I get to the end.

Tomorrow I want to outline a couple of short SFRs. I'll start off with one-line scenes and then build on them, expanding them a bit before I start writing. I also want, at some point, to completely scrap my Raven's story and start completely from scratch from the mythology all the way up to the outline.

I also need to get up to date with the 2YN stuff as I'm one session behind at the moment, but that's coming together too, which is cool.

I have to say that the writing went well tonight, and I didn't miss TV or reading at all (I read at luchtime and I finished the book I was reading so that may have had something to do with it!)

Well, off to bed as the fire is no longer roaring (solid fuel heating - don't you just love it? Are you sure this is the 21st century?)