Friday, July 27, 2007

Tina Ferraro

I did a fun Q&A with my long-time writer-buddy and multi-pubbed YA author Tina Ferraro over on the Romance Bandits blog today. Mosey on over and see what Tina has to say about her rocky road to publication, writing YA and her relationship with Clint Eastwood!

Oh, and she's giving away a copy of her current release: Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress. CHECK IT OUT!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Naming of Names

Or, a race car driver by any other name...

Okay, if you would like to read about Dario Franchitti and how I pick names for my characters, you'll have to go over to Romance Bandits and read this post! Check out the August 21, 2007 post at:

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Goody Goody for Me

Since they've returned from RWA National, a bunch of my Bandita buddies and I have been engaged in a private conversation about "goodies." You know, all those little do-dads and thing-a-ma-bobs that get handed out at conferences, or lie about on tables for the taking -- book marks, magnets, pens, pencils, candy, even condoms! Our discussion has been about what (if anything) an author can give away that will actually lead to someone buying the book.

So far, our conclusions have been probably nothing.

To be fair, I'm probably not the best judge of such things because I actually don't buy that many books. *GASP* Did Aunty just ADMIT such blasphemy?!?! Matter of fact, the last four books I bought were all written by friends (check the comments and I'll NAME the books). Note I did not say these were the last four books I have READ (though I did read and actually ENJOYED all of them). As for the trinkets, I LOVE the quality pens (not those stick pens with the caps that immediately get lost), sticky notes, and the little note pads.

But quite honestly, I've NEVER bought a book by any of the authors whose trinkets (and sometimes candy) I've scooped up and carried home from conferences. I wonder if anyone reading this has? TELL TELL TELL!

One thing several of my Bandita buddies said got them to buy was reading an excerpt on an author's website or elsewhere, like a review site. Nope, afraid that hasn't worked for me either. I'm strictly a 'go into the brick&mortar store, pick up the book, read a little and decide whether or not to buy' kinda gal.

Hey, I never claimed to be normal...

Monday, July 16, 2007

Moving Day

UGH! I HATE moving, even if it is only moving my blog through cyber-space.

You see, back when we were starting up the Romance Bandit blog, I did a little investigating of the various blog platforms and actually started my own personal blog on WordPress. It was strictly for fun and I mostly put up the posts I did on the Bandit blog. Then around about June 3rd, I took a look at the stats WordPress keeps and discovered that I actually had some readers! Well, that was all it took! The idea that someone might actually READ what I wrote spurred me to take my personal blog seriously. Soon I'd had over 100 visitors and I was THRILLED.

Of course, shortly after that WordPress decided to deny me access to my dashboard, so I could no longer write or post!

The course of true love AND blogging... you know the rest.

I emailed their support and did receive a timely response. I was told to clean out my cache (EXcuse me?), reload the page, and "it wouldn't hurt" to upgrade my internet access device of choice. I dutifully did the first two, multiple times in fact, but to no avail. I finally broke down and upgraded, even defragged my hard drive. NO GOOD. *heavy sigh*

That was nine days ago. I decided it was time to cut my losses and relocate.

SO HERE I AM! Unfortunately, I won't be able to transfer the comments, but I'm looking forward to everyone leaving new ones. And I'm trying to keep the original dates of the posts. I eliminated most of the stuff that wound up on the Bandit Blog, so you'll just have to mosey on over there to read them.

Now I just have to figure out how to access and actually USE Google Analytics. Yes, I'm a nerd for stats, but how else am I supposed to know if I have readers?!?! Oh yeah, YOU COULD LEAVE A COMMENT!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Losing Aimee

My CP Aimee is moving to Missouri. In TWO WEEKS!

Okay, okay, she told me a couple of months ago about her plans. But I’ve been in denial (my favorite river in Egypt). After all, we’ve been face-to-face CPs for almost two years now and we’ve worked really hard at our writing and at being supportive and helpful to each other. No small feat!

I’ve had a number of critique partners and participated in lots of groups (both formal classes and organizations and less formal ones) over the years, both online and face-to-face. Finding a “good one” is %#&#@) DIFFICULT!

Losing one is an absolute B*TCH!

Finding a CP who “fits” is hard work. You need to find someone who “gets” your writing, and vice versa. You need someone who is equally dedicated to his/her writing and to critiquing. But most of all, you have to find someone you can “trust.”

The trustworthiness of a CP goes far beyond the trust in many other relationships. Like it or not, every writer imbues her work with a certain amount of herself. What you write definitely reflects who you are, but it goes beyond a mere reflection. In so many ways, our writing truly becomes “our baby.” Finding someone you trust enough to criticize “your baby” is tricky indeed!

Aimee and I will continue being CPs, but online rather than face-to-face. And I will begin my search for a new face-to-face CP. But I know it will take a lot of time and effort for me to find someone, and no one will completely fill Aimee’s ballet slippers.


Sunday, July 1, 2007

Life As An AYU Writer -- Part The Third

OR: I just didn’t love it enough… and other “Secret Handshake” phrases that lead to justifiable homocide.


Okay, maybe not REAL homocide, but ficitional. Or the intense desire to commit homocide. What a blood-thirsty mood I’m in! Obviously the rejections are getting to me.

Every writer who receives more than two or three rejections quickly begins to recognize certain “standard phrases” used by editors and agents. Phrases that might have once meant something, but due to extreme overuse in too many situations now mean absolutely nothing. Well, except as maybe an excuse for the recipient to beat his/her head repeatedly on the most convenient immovable object and/or seek his/her vice of choice.

You know the ones I mean…

And while you or I may scream,
“Why NOT?”

“What was unlovable about it?”

“What IS RIGHT for you right now?”

We will never really know. And it’s that uncertainty — the NOT knowing — that is so frustratingly hard to accept.

Most of the AYUs I know (myself included) have this nagging unreasonable fear of the “Published Writers’ Secret Handshake”. Being published is like a special club and we don’t know the secret handshake that will get us admitted. Hearing or reading those ambiguous phrases like “…just not right for us…” serves as a reminder that we are NOT in the club. :-(
And of course, the big fear — We may never be in the club!