Tag Archives: April Dawn

Turning good into WOW


Your manuscript is complete, now what?
Send it off to the publisher and/or agent of your dreams, right?
Wrong…

Now that your manuscript is complete, and your story is told you have a lot of work ahead of you. First, you are going to want to polish your script. I wish I had known as much about this when I turned in Crushing Desire and Bound by Freedom, Unbound by Love as I do now. It would have made the final edit process easier and more fruitful.
You can’t finish a manuscript and say it is good enough. Unfortunately, it likely won’t fly in the publishing business. They will tell you, in no kind terms that the manuscript isn’t polished and they can’t accept it. I have discovered in my research about the craft that there are steps that you must take when you revise a manuscript and I will list them for you here.

Steps to a final edit…
I can’t say it enough. Edit your manuscript… Edit, edit, edit.

Step one…
Download a text to speech reader.
These things are amazingly helpful for first as well as final edits. When you are reading your manuscript, things might seem to be going smoothly. You know what you meant to write, and you are reading those words and getting wrapped up in the prose. Even your critique partner might miss a small mistake.

Example-
You meant to write:
They moved from the kitchen, holding hands as they went.
But what you typed was:
They moved form the kitchen, holding hands as they went.

This is a mistake you can easily miss. I know that I have missed it form time to time. JK. A reader -such as Natural Reader, which has a free download of their text to speech software- will catch these if you read along with it. I usually open the text in natural reader and my word processor as well. I can then follow along in the word processor document and make corrections while the reader reads the text.

Step two…
Remove repetitive words and beginnings.
It is important to remove repetitive words and repeated sentence beginnings in the text. Overused words can get annoying and you might not catch them on first reread. Look especially for words like had, was, and that. Make certain that all -ly words, such as lazily, have a purpose. If not, omit them. Pay attention to words you overuse, and try to pare them in step two. Check your manuscript for the words saw and noticed, and see that the are not telling instead of showing.

Example-
Jane moved into the room, and was surprised. She saw John sitting on the couch, his length lazily stretched along the cushions of it. She was sure that he knew that she had no dowry, so why was he here? Was she to believe that he thought that she would not know that it was he that had divested her of it?

This is a bit overdone, but you get the picture. It would be better written this way.

Jane stepped into the room, eyes widening in surprise. John reclined on the couch, stretching his length along its cushions. Her dowry was gone and he knew it, having divested her of it personally. So why should he be here?

Removing the repeated and overused words gives the passage a fresher sound. In fact, you could remove the term ‘in surprise’, and ‘stretching his length along its cushions’ in this passage as well. They really are implied. Surprise is suggested in the widening of her eyes. The word reclined insinuates that he is stretched out on the couch. As a romance novelist, however, I appreciate that some things are left in for the craft’s sake. It is up to you. Remove what you can of the repeated words without destroying your voice.

Step three…
Give the manuscript to one, or more, trusted reader(s)
A critique partner, or heck, even two or three of them can be invaluable. Give the script out to beta readers. People who will read your scripts and tell you (honestly!!!) what they think. They might give an opinion on the whole book or on something specific you ask for an opinion on, but they can be helpful in catching mistakes. Your readers can tell you if some question isn’t answered or if there is a major flaw. Some critique partners will go through chapter by chapter with you and give you a detailed critique.

Example-
I have critique partners who is critiquing my current WIP chapter by chapter. I also have two readers that read my WIP and tell me what they think on the whole.

Step four… Final read-through and polish.

Once you have all the feedback and have removed or reworded what must be fixed, it is time for the final polish. This is the spit polish, so to speak. You really want to do your best for this part of the final edit. I often use Natural Reader for this part as well. I want to hear how the final product is sounding. I keep listening until I can get all the way through without revision. Then my manuscript is ready.

Step five…
There is no step five… Yay… If you follow the previous steps, and polish your heart out, you will finally be ready to seek your agent or publisher. You will also have a far better chance that the search will be successful.


April Dawn
-Author of Crushing Desire and Bound by Love available now through Breathless Press, All Romance, and Kindle.

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Clean House or Write- The Sophie’s Choice of the Writer with an Infant


I’ve been noticing that my time is at a premium lately. I have two children, a toddler and a newborn (well, three if you count the nearly six foot one I call hubby 🙂 ). Well, as a writer, I love to write. It’s part of my soul. When I don’t write, I feel grumpy and incomplete. (I’m sure fellow writers will understand this.) Because I need to write, and I was forced–by my high risk ob–to take 6 mos off, I feel the need to write more acutely right now.

Stephen King in On Writing–a book I highly recommend–said that to be successful, you have to think of writing as a business. You should have your business hours and keep them. So it behooves me to find time to write. At least two or three hours if I want to keep my goals.
Now, some things I cannot ignore for writing. There’s meals, potty training, diaper changes, and the funner play and snuggle times. Then there is evening hubby time. Each of these I can’t or wouldn’t want to give up. Which leaves the few things I can give up, in moderation of course.

Where does that leave time to write? Well, there’s sleep time. I’ve carved out two hours at night when I write instead of sleep, but I can’t miss more than that and still function. That leaves another hour I need to find at least. During nap time, I could nap, do housework, or write. Therein lies my own personal Sophie’s Choice. I don’t usually need a nap, so that is easy to give up, but oh housework in the quiet time without someone making a mess as fast as I can clean it? That’s not so easy to give up. Yesterday I chose writing. Today cleaning. I guess my Sophie’s Choice will be a daily struggle. What do you do to find time to write? What do you give up? What is your Sophie’s Choice?

What I learned in 2010


I thought that I would talk a little about what I learned this year like I did in my post last year.

What I learned while researching-

-Your hero/heroine should meet within the first 3 chapters if you have a regular novel, sooner if it is short. (This is one that I think you can play with depending on your story.)

-You have to make your hero and heroine lovable, but you should also think about the smaller characters. (This is something I always try to do, but I thought it bore mentioning.)

-You can’t have a character under 18 be sexually active, even if it is a realistic thing for the time you are writing in.

-Reading about writing can give you ideas, so even if you know everything about a subject, you should still check it out. It can help.

-There are a number of websites to help you find the things you need. If you need to research how much money a stable boy made in the 18th century, or what an officer would do when responding to a shooting, you can find it on the internet. (Ava Delany is blogging on this very subject on Friday, and as she always reminds us, Just be sure to check the credibility of the information and the website). History teachers, librarians, even cops are all willing to take time to help you if you tell them you are writing a book.

What I learned personally in 2010-

-It always hurts to get rejected by that agent you really thought you would gel with or would make your work shine. No matter how prepared you are, or how many others you query, that one always hurts.

-You have to get out there, no matter how many acceptance/rejection letters you receive. And each one will be just as nerve-wracking as the last.

-You have to take chances in your writing. You never know what people will want next.

-Don’t be afraid to write what you feel. It may not be as dark or scary as you think. Besides, dark and scary can make for great tension. 😉

Hope these help those of you who are thinking of writing, and perhaps even those of you who have written often.


April Dawn -Author of Crushing Desire and
Bound by Love available now through Breathless Press, All Romance, and Kindle.

Another year gone by


Last year I posted a what I learned on 09 and what I hoped to achieve in 2010 list. Sort of a new years resolution list. I was derailed mid-year by an unexpected high risk pregnancy, but now we have a very welcome addition to the family, so it was all worth it.

Let’s see how I did anyhow.

In 2010, I hope to learn what it is like to

  • -Have a great review (or many of them.)
  • I’m happy to say that I achieved this one. I’m glad so many of you loved my novels.



  • -Get a great agent.
  • Not yet, but I’m hopeful for a few manuscripts I have for next year.

  • -See my novels in Barnes and Nobel.
  • Ditto

  • -See someone reading my novels on the street.
  • Wouldn’t that be fun!


  • -Hit 1000+ followers on Twitter.
  • 586, not too bad…


  • -Have another reader send me an email telling my how much they enjoyed one of my novels.
  • I’m happy to say I have received a number of these as well. Thanks for the kind words.



    What’s on the agenda for 2011?

    -Submit and publish more novels

    -Enter a contest or two (scary! lol)

    -Get a great agent

    -Hit that illusive 1000 followers on twitter

    -See someone reading my book

    -Submit to the other genres I’m dying to try

    -Get a print contract to widen the readers I reach with my work

    We shall see how I do next year with this list, but for this year I have to say 1/3 of the list isn’t bad for resolutions achieved.

    Stay tuned for what I learned in 2010.


    April Dawn -Author of Crushing Desire and
    Bound by Love available now through Breathless Press, All Romance, and Kindle.

    Ebook Readers – Nook, Sony, or Kindle, oh my!


    For Christmas, I decided to research ebook readers. While there are many choices, all within about $50 of each other for base models, I decided chose to focus on the top three 3G readers – the kindle 3, nook, and sony daily reader.

    So many sites review these readers, but after much research I found some little known information between seeing the readers in store. Though I will share some of the regular info, I will focus on the little known facts.

      There are three main features of each reader that I love, unfortunately they seem to be unique to their reader.

    The Sony Daily reader offers a handwriting feature. Using a stylus (or a finger) you can draw pictures, take notes, anything you want. That’s a great option for a woman with two kids and one husband that is quite similar to a kid when it comes to drawing cartoons.

    The Nook has the lend me feature. You can lend any book you buy (once for a two week period). You can also get loans from a friend with a nook. Reader applications on a PC, Mac, iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry or certain other androids can also allow this lending feature with the proper app.

    Kindle has text-to-speech. I love that, especially as a mom. When you just can’t put that book down, and you need to make lunch or change a diaper, you only need a pair of headphones and viola!

      Other than these features, there are a number of great things about these ebook readers.

    The Sony features six font sizes, which could come in handy. The media expansion slot is a great plus. The Daily Edition also displays Word and PDF files, shows most image files, and plays MP3 and AAC audio. Unlike most other readers, the protective case is included.

    The Nook has “in store” features that include the ability to browse complete eBooks (though there is a one hour limit within any given 24-hour period) and promotions for Nook users. MP3 audio files and images can be loaded onto the reader, but can’t be done wirelessly. Each of these readers has 3G and wifi, but the Nook actually lets you browse the net. It also has android apps which might make the Nook future bright.

    Kindle is said to be the fastest and easiest to use, not that I noticed that much of a difference in store. You can listen to music on this one as well. Social networking and some web browsing is allowed with the internet connection, as are blog updates, so you could keep up with blogs like A History of Romance. *wink*Your books are synced with other devices so you can keep your page even when you get home or go out sans kindle.

      Other small considerations.

    There’s no charge/contract for the wifi or 3G service.

    Both the Nooks and Sony Readers let you read ePub files (library and free materials are often ePub).

    Kindle 3 does not offer a touch screen, however Sony Touch Edition and the Daily Edition, the nook (only at the base of the screen) and the nook color do have touch screens

      Read more from some of the sites I visited:

    Top ten

    consumer research

    This one has videos for each reader.
    Cnet

    Anything you want to add to help others make a choice? Leave a comment.


    April Dawn -Author of Crushing Desire and
    Bound by Love available now through Breathless Press, All Romance, and Kindle.

    The Hero and/or the Heroine’s Journey.


    I begin with a short review of the Monomyth courtesy of Wikipedia:

    The Hero’s Journey, also referred to as the Monomyth, is an idea formulated by noted mythologist Joseph Campbell. The central concept of the Monomyth is that a pattern can be seen in stories and myths across history. Campbell defined and explained that pattern in his book THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES.

    Campbell’s insight was that important myths from around the world which have survived for thousands of years, all share a fundamental structure. This fundamental structure contains a number of stages.

    1. The call to adventure, which the hero has to accept or decline.
    2. Next, there is the road of trials, where the hero succeeds or fails.
    3. Achieving the goal or “boon,” which often results in important self-knowledge.
    4. A return to the ordinary world, which again, the hero can either succeed or fail.
    5. Application of the boon, what the hero has gained can be used to improve the world.

    Now it’s up to the individual writer to refine and expanded the hero’s journey. When this methodology is put to use by creative and talented writers, the formula appears work every single time. I have a personal soft spot for the reluctant hero/heroine. The one who either believes he/she is unworthy or that he/she is not strong enough, bright enough or whatever enough to take on such a monumental task/adventure.

    Luke Skywalker is the iconic, contemporary reluctant hero. In fact, this entire exercise into the hero’s journey was originally undertaken by George Lucas, who used THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES Monomyth to help him write his screenplay for Star Wars.

    Ah, but what about Bilbo Baggins in the Hobbit? And Frodo Baggins, who continues the quest in LORD OF THE RINGS. Elliot in E.T. ran the gamut from reluctant young hero to enthusiastic defender of the cutest alien in the entire universe. Even Chief Martin Brody, the ocean-phobic, city cop in JAWS, is a wonderful example of the reluctant hero.

    And I couldn’t leave out everyone’s favorite young magician, Harry Potter.

    The female brand of heroism can also take on a similar role to her masculine counterpart. Alice, an early Victorian adventuress, fell down a rabbit hole on a curiouser and curiouser journey through Wonderland. Moll Flanders, was a thief, a wife, a mother, a whore and much more. Quite, an adventure, in my book. No, actually, that was Daniel DeFoe’s book.

    The iconic modern female adventure/heroine has a tendency to be either a seer or spell-caster with powers, a vampire slayer or a gun-toting-latex-jumpsuit-wearing-karate-chopping-freelance-archeologist. What exactly is Lara Croft, anyway?

    So thrill me. Who are some of your favorite heroes and heroines? Please share, I would love to know, really I would.

    G. Jillian Stone

    There are fields in time that burn with desire. Meet me there.

    Jillian is a recent RWA Golden Heart finalist for THE YARD MAN, the first story in The Yard Men Series. Set in late Victorian London, Scotland Yard detectives have never been as wickedly sexy or as brilliantly clever. To read more about her latest work in progress, THE SEDUCTION OF PHAETON BLACK, please drop by her website: www.gjillianstone.com

    Oceans of Wonder


    The sea, once it castes its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever. –Jacques Yves Cousteau

    Big fish eat little fish. It is a universal axiom understood by almost everyone without having to experience a documentary film like OCEANS. BUT. If you have a spare  afternoon or evening this week you might go see a real movie. (Wait for the DVD to come out only if you have HD and a home theater.)

    It has become a rare experience to see a film that actually evokes a sense of awe or wonder. But this one does it with the aid of some amazing, digital cinematography, brought to you by Disneynature.

    Nearly three quarters of the Earth’s surface is covered by water and OCEANS chronicles an assortment of mysteries that lie beneath. Directors Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud (Frenchmen, of course) explore the harsh reality and rare beauty of the amazing creatures that swim, crawl, waddle and soar through 84 minutes of wonderful storytelling and unforgettable images.

    So rarely do films inspire me anymore, that when I experience one that does I actually sit through the credits. The names scrolling by never mean much to me. I think it has more to do with wanting to pay homage to a long list of filmmakers who brought something worth while into the world.

    In the same way an excellent book inspires, so does a very good film. I’m not sure exactly what takes place in my imagination but watching a shrimp rip the claws off a crab or seeing a giant white shark swim gently beside a scuba diver sends my thoughts whirling into all kinds of fantastic scenarios. I think  of a particular scene I am writing and realize how flat it is compared to real life survival.  And I don’t mean the reality TV kind of survivor, either.

    I always find myself in awe of the innocent nobility of wild life, and that includes all of the odd sea creatures of OCEANS as they struggle to survive and still find time for play. Like, do dolphins leap out of the waves to spin and twirl in the air just for the sheer joy of it? Anthropomorphically speaking, I hope so.

    And the concept of writing tension into every scene has suddenly become vividly real for me. I realize these saltwater vignettes are, in essence, reminding me to take a look at my work with a more critical eye. The muse returns to wallop me over the head. I swear I will write with more emotional honesty, push scenes further, fresher, higher, darker. Reach for something more–maybe even a little wonder.

    I tried to set up a link but WordPress wasn’t cooperating, so you and Google are on your own. Try: Oceans movie trailer

    G. Jillian Stone

    There are fields in time that burn with desire. Meet me there.

    Jillian is a recent Golden Heart finalist for THE YARD MAN, the first story in The Yard Men Series. Set in late Victorian London, Scotland Yard detectives have never been as wickedly sexy or as brilliantly clever. To read more about her latest work in progress, THE SEDUCTION OF PHAETON BLACK, please drop by her website: www.gjillianstone.com

    The Pitch.


    The first thing I notice is my heart rate accelerates. My palms sweat and my breathing becomes erratic and shallow. I feel an anxiety attack coming on and I haven’t had one for years. Where’s the paper bag?

    What could possibly be causing such a disturbing reaction? Would it be the live pitch? The manuscript presentation I am expected to have ready for workshops or conferences. And this pitch that I so carefully prepare, practice, and perform is the magical ticket to copious manuscript requests from agents and editors, right?

    I just want to be a writer, but now I am also required to be a pitch artist. And I must prepare to pitch my manuscript at the RWA conference, where I will admit, I should be able to interest at least a few agents or editors being that I am a Golden Heart finalist, right? At least, that is what I keep telling myself.

    My poor crit partner had to talk me down off the ledge I got so worked up over this pitching business. Even her “Suck it up, buttercup” attitude fails to rattle me out of this strange pitch anxiety that periodically overwhelms me. Or is it shyness? It feels like it needs Xanex. Am I shy? I guess I’m on the reclusive side, I’m a writer, not an actor.

    Then, one of my sister GH Finalists recommends a book. SELLING YOUR STORY IN 60 SECONDS. Whew! You mean it could be over in a minute? I could be in and out of my pitch in sixty measly seconds. I have to admit, I saw a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

    All this angst started when I heard what the pitch sessions are like at the RWA Nationals. Writers are collected outside the door to the pitch room and marched in single file. Then you find the agent or editor you signed up with (hope they have name cards). I suppose you introduce yourself first and chat a bit. That could take up another twenty or thirty seconds. Then you pitch. Now there are three and a half minutes left (remember, my pitch is sixty seconds). I would hope the agent or editor might ask a few questions to indicate their interest. Then again, they might just be being polite. Or killing time until the next pitch arrives.

    Nice, huh?

    Be prepared, in the upcoming weeks, I am planning to practice my pitch (in writing) here on the blog. I am going to ask for advice and feedback. I am going to traffic everyone I know to this site for a critique. This is the way I deal with anxiety. I just wear it down. If  I work on the script enough and practice enough, I will wring every last anxiety ridden moment out of the pitch.

    Do you have pitch anxiety?  If so, please share your angst and your tips, please!

    G. Jillian Stone

    There are fields in time that burn with desire. Meet me there.

    Jillian is a recent Golden Heart finalist for THE YARD MAN, the first story in The Yard Men Series. Set in late Victorian London, Scotland Yard detectives have never been as wickedly sexy or as brilliantly clever. To read more about her latest work in progress, THE SEDUCTION OF PHAETON BLACK, please drop by her website: www.gjillianstone.com

    Monday Madness – Poppy’s Passions


    Time to announce the winner of our last Monday Madness! And the winner is…

    Anna Shah Hoque

    Congratulations on winning. Please watch for the email. Thanks to everyone for their entries.

    And now for some more fun…
    As always, you must be 18 to enter.

    Poppy’s Passions by Stephanie Beck

    Can Poppy find the courage to risk triple the love — and triple the heartbreak? Poppy Maguire is tired of being a loser. Emotionally neglected as a child, she wants to find the courage to leave her family and the job she hates. She desperately wants to make a change. Little does she realize how much of a change sexy brothers Cody, Michael and Trevor Paraby will bring to her life when the friendly shoulders they offer turn into so much more. Comfort turns to passion and Poppy learns what life could be like in the arms of not one, but three men who love her. But what happens when the pink line on a pregnancy test doubles and she’s expecting twins, courtesy of one of a Parabys? The brothers blow her mind by offering her the family and love she’s always longed for. But do they realize what they’re in for? Cody is moving a little too fast, Michael may not be in for the long haul, and Trevor is a bit self-centered.In order for Poppy to have the extraordinary love she fears she hasn’t earned, everyone is going to have to do some growing. But can she break free from the bad seed of her abusive family and have the courage to bloom?

    Any comment will enter you to win the ebook, but tell us what you love about multiple love (twins, brothers, etc…) romance novels and you may be quoted in a future A History post.

    Good luck to everyone.

    Contest runs until next Saturday, midnight. Stay tuned for the announcement of the winner on our next contest coming next week for Monday Madness.

    April Dawn -Author of Crushing Desire and
    Bound by Love available now through Breathless Press.

    http://www.breathlesspress.com/erotic/timeless.html

    http://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html?searchBy=author&qString=April+Dawn

    http://aprildawnbooks.com

    A History – Guest Blog – Romance vs. Fiction


    Today we have a guest blogger at A History.

    Stephanie Beck is a full time mom, part time writer and amateur speller. She loves knitting, reading, writing and baking when she isn’t busy with her two girls and husband. Her debut novel is a ménage romance about three naughty brothers and the woman they love. Poppy’s Passions is available April 19th, 2010 though Lyrical Press. Contact Steph at stephaniebeckauthor@gmail.com

    Welcome Stephanie Beck. Continue reading

    Monday Madness!


    Time to announce the winner of our last Monday Madness! And the winner is…

    Cassie Exline

    Congratulations on winning. Please watch for the email. Thanks to everyone for their entries.

    And now for some more fun…
    As always, you must be 18 to enter.

    Today we have our April grab bag with lots of fun goodies.

    Comment and be entered to win. Tell us what you love about romance novels (and you may be quoted in a future A History post).

    Good luck to everyone.

    Contest runs until next Saturday, midnight. Stay tuned for the announcement of the winner on our next contest coming next week for Monday Madness.

    April Dawn -Author of Crushing Desire and
    Bound by Love available now through Breathless Press.
    http://www.breathlesspress.com/erotic/timeless.html
    http://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html?searchBy=author&qString=April+Dawn
    http://aprildawnbooks.comhttps://letstalkromance.wordpress.com/

    The Dreaded Wait


         I finally took the plunge and put myself out there in the publishing world. I few months ago I wrote a short story for the writing class I am currently taking. My instructor loved it and praised me on how heart felt the story was. So I figured I would see what my crit partners thought. They all encouraged me to try and get it published. I worked with my crit partners to get it as polished a possible. Excitement over the reaction to my story gave me the strength to try my hand in the publishing world.

         I was overjoyed and my confidence was huge. I knew I could do this and my worry of the dreaded no was nowhere to be found. I had to wait two weeks before I could submit. I counted down the days. Everyday that passed was one more day closer to my dream of being able to say I’d had one of my stories published. It was all I could think about.

         Then the day came to submit my story and doubt crept in. It was a foreboding feeling I wasn’t expecting. I found myself procrastinating. I was doing everything I could to find a reason to do it later. All that excitement was no where to be found. Only the evil little voice, “What are you going to do if they say no? You will have to tell everyone and feel the shame of failing.”

         Finally I went to my computer and opened the Glimmer Train website and stared at the screen. This was it. This was my big moment. I reached deep down for the strength I needed to open myself to the dreaded no. I downloaded my story and paused as I reached for the mouse to hit the submit button. I looked over, my hand was shaking and my heart was racing. With a deep breath I hit the little red button that would leave me open to defeat.

         I have encouraged many a crit partner not to worry. They would be fine. I’ve told them I believe in you and your writing. But here I sat with no faith in myself. Now I realize, telling another writers not to worry is easier said than done. It’s a really weird feeling to be able to believe in others but not in yourself.

         Now the really hard part is set in motion. The waiting and wondering. I asked some of my published writing friends how they deal with the waiting. I was hoping for a miracle cure. Take two aspirin and call me when you’ve made a decision. Yeah right. But there isn’t one, you just have to keep busy and carry on. Here are some quotes from published authors I crit with.

        

    “Write another story. And for God’s sake don’t sit on your e-mail like a lost puppy. *easier said than done”

    Catherine Bybee

     “There is a terrible, hollow dread after submitting, an uneasy anticipatory void. The trick is to fill it as quickly and completely as you can. Count on rejections. Scout the terrain. Find your next victim, er, potential publisher. And for the gods’ sakes, work on your next project while you wait.”

    Angel Martinez

    “I write. Nothing gets your mind off the numbing fear of submissions better than engrossing yourself in the next story. (Or the editing of another completed story.)”

    April Dawn
    Crushing Desire and Bound by Love

    “Keep writing.”

    Annie Nicholas

     Happy Reading and Writing.

     

    Tabitha Blake

     

    Interview – Kate Douglas


    Today we have a guest interviewer helping me out.

    Margie says…
    This is an interview with Kate Douglas (Wolf Tales & Sexy Beast series). She is the one who inspired me to write. I mean years of rejections and she kept at it. Can’t top her determination to create.

    Now that is inspirational. So lets find out more about Kate…

    How did you get started writing?

    I’ve always wanted to write. I kept diaries as a kid, wrote poetry, got my degree in English Literature and wrote commercials for a country-western radio station when I got out of college. Worked as a newspaper reporter and also wrote freelance stuff, but when I discovered romances in the 1970s, I knew that was what I really wanted to write. I started writing for publication in 1984 but didn’t sell my first story until 1998, and that was to an epublisher before anyone knew what ebooks were. It wasn’t until 2005 that I signed my first New York contract. I honestly don’t think writing was anything I chose to do—it sort of chose me.

    What do you love most about what you do?

    I love everything about writing. Coming up with an idea, developing a story, getting to know my characters. I love revising and editing and making a story work, creating new worlds and even new histories for my characters. There is such an amazing sense of creation in taking the seed of an idea and ending up with a printed book in your hands. There’s nothing else to compare…except maybe pregnancy and childbirth! Writing isn’t nearly as hard on the waistline, though.

    What do you dislike most about what you do?

    There is absolutely no part of what I do that I dislike. I even enjoy the promotion I need to do, something a lot of authors don’t care for. I see it all as a great adventure.

    Is there anything you would like to share about yourself or your work?

    I can’t think of anything new—my life is pretty much an open book. I’m all over Facebook and blog quite a bit, and my readers know they can ask me anything and I’ll answer them. My writing schedule is really heavy so I don’t have a lot of time for a social life, which means the online community, because it’s so accessible, fills the need for me to have a connection with real people as compared to my fantasy characters. I’m really pretty boring in real life—have been married to a terrific guy for almost 38 years. We’ve got two great adult kids and between them they and their spouses have presented us with five grandchildren—so far! It’s all good. J

    What achievement are you most proud of?

    I’m very proud of the fact that after almost twenty years of submitting my stories and racking up the rejections, I didn’t give up. I stuck with it, trusted my agent and my own instincts, and now, I’m a fairly successful author with over thirty books in print. I like to think I’m living proof that stubbornness and tenacity can pay off.

    What part of a manuscript do you most enjoy writing?

    As I said earlier, I like the whole process, but I think my favorite part is when I get to the last few chapters and everything comes together. I don’t really plot my stories. I just sit down and let my characters tell me what’s going on. Sometimes it takes them awhile to start spilling the story, but they always give it up before too long. That final few chapters, though—that’s where I really get rolling and can be so caught up in the writing that I don’t hear the phone ring, don’t hear my husband when he comes into the office to ask me something—all I hear is the sound of my characters and the action in the story.

    How would you describe your love scenes?

    Hot. Very, very hot, especially in my erotic romances. I’ve often said there are no barriers I’m afraid to cross. The sex scenes in my Wolf Tales and Sexy Beast books are graphic, they’re erotic, and they tend to push buttons some people don’t want pushed. I have no problem including group sex in my erotic romances, including same-sex interludes. Even my “straight” paranormal series has pretty hot scenes, but I like to think that when the author has created an emotional connection between the reader and the story, that readers are disappointed if they don’t get the really powerful scenes between characters they’ve come to know and care about. I want my readers to feel the powerful emotions my characters feel for one another, and a well-written sex scene makes that connection. I think it tends to grab the reader at a visceral level.

    What are you working on now?

    I just finished writing Wolf Tales 11 three weeks ago, completed page proofs for Wolf Tales 10 which comes out in July, did the copy edits last week on HellFire, which is the second book in my new paranormal series, The DemonSlayers, FedExed the copy edits for Crystal Dreams, a novella that’s part of my DemonSlayers series, to NY this afternoon, and tonight I’m back at work on StarFire, the third book in The DemonSlayers.

    Any professional advice for other authors?

    Never, ever quit. If you love writing and feel you’re meant to write, stick with it, because you’ll never feel complete if you quit.

    What is your favorite television show?

    I watch the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC, and that’s it. I don’t have time for television—I’d rather read a book than watch the tube, but we turn Rachel’s show on during dinner every night. That’s literally the only tv I see unless my husband drags me downstairs to watch a movie…I do that about three times a year.

    What kind of music do you like?

    Celtic music on occasion. Native American. I rarely listen to music when I’m writing unless a scene calls for it. Then I’ll play whatever my characters are listening to so that I get the pacing and rhythm incorporated into the writing.

    What is the most memorable book you’ve read?

    Earth Abides by George R. Stewart

    Do you have any pets?

    Rufus has me. He’s a little furry dog that someone threw out of a car a dozen years ago. He landed well and rules our household.

    Do you have a hobby/favorite pass time?

    Reading and gardening, though I never have enough time for either. I also love to hike, but that’s another one that takes second place to my favorite thing, which is writing.

    Where can fans follow you?

    I blog every other week at www.runningwithquills.com and once a month at http://www.aphrodisiaauthors.com/blog/ Plus readers can find me on Facebook . I’ve deactivated my MySpace page—it was just one too many things to deal with!

    Find out more about Kate and her novels at her website.
    She just recently wrote her first mainstream novel Demon Fire available in bookstores now as well as
    Wolf Tales
    Sexy Beast—Chanku Rising
    Wolf Tales II
    Wild Nights—Camille’s Dawn
    Wolf Tales III
    Sexy Beast II—Chanku Fallen
    Wolf Tales IV
    Sexy Beast III—Chanku Journey
    Wolf Tales V
    Sexy Beast IV—Chanku Destiny
    Wolf Tales VI
    Sexy Beast V—Chanku Wild
    Wolf Tales VII
    Sexy Beast VI–Chanku Honor
    Wolf Tales VIII
    Sexy Beast VII–Chanku Challenge
    Wolf Tales 9
    Sexy Beast VIII–Chanku spirit (Spring 2010)
    Wolf Tales 10 (July 2010)
    Wolf Tales 11 (January 2011)
    Wolf Tales 12 (July 2011)
    —-
    April Dawn -Author of Crushing Desire and
    Bound by Love available now through Breathless Press.
    http://www.breathlesspress.com/erotic/timeless.html
    http://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html?searchBy=author&qString=April+Dawn
    http://aprildawnbooks.com

    The News in Reviews 3-26


    This week in reviews

    Winning Off the Court, by Abby Wood

    On My Knees by Dyanne Davis

    Last week in reviews

    Stormy Weather by Nancy O’Berry

    Binding Vows by Catherine Bybee


    April Dawn -Author of Crushing Desire and
    Bound by Love available now through Breathless Press.
    http://www.breathlesspress.com/erotic/timeless.html
    http://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html?searchBy=author&qString=April+Dawn
    http://aprildawnbooks.com

    The I Heart Contest. Yet another journey into the dark heart of contesting.


    A few months back, on a bet, my crit partner and I entered the I Heart Harlequin writing contest. Then, after several weeks of putting it off, I wrote a chapter and synopsis one week before the deadline. I even managed to dredge up a plot that worked without giving me too much heartburn/acid reflux.

    I do not write contemporary, nor do I generally dream up the kind of stories that are the staple of the Harlequin Presents or Modern Heat lines. And this kind of writing is more difficult than you can imagine, because it requires a great deal of emotional character angst shoveled into a well worn story line. What I like about Harlequin editors is they come right out and tell the contest participants not to write anything too fresh or creative. (Whew! What a relief.) They want you to use the time tested plots “we have all come to know and love––just change up the characters a bit.” Well, I have to say, at least they’re honest.

    Here is a kind of sample scenario:
    Handsome Rex Ruthless billionaire, coerces young attractive waitress, Dixie Doosey into sleeping with him. Either that or he will foreclose on her Grandpa Gabby’s ranch. Then somehow (don’t ask how, it’s just too unbelievable) the rich hunky dunkster realizes he has fallen in love (sigh). Now he must do everything in his bank account to win her back, like pay off the huge tax lien on grandpa’s property. Then the enchanting waitress will have sex with him again, oh no, I got that wrong––I mean so that the she will marry him. HEA.

    By the way, the story above was not what I wrote. If I had written the love tale above, I might have had a chance at winning.

    There is an alternate plot that revolves around a love child custody battle and heroine abduction but you don’t really want to read that blurb, do you?

    So, that’s it. Needless to say, I didn’t win. My crit partner is sad about the fact that I lost, because she wanted me to win badly. I suspect it would have given her great pleasure to see me struggle to complete a 55,000 word Modern Heat manuscript with the help of a Harlequin editor (for a whole year).

    Boing. (The sound of my brain imploding.)

    G. Jillian Stone

    There are fields in time that burn with desire. Meet me there.

    Jillian is currently finishing the second book in The Yard Men Series. Set in late Victorian London, Scotland Yard detectives have never been as wickedly sexy or as brilliantly clever. To read more about her latest work in progress, THE SEDUCTION OF PHAETON BLACK, please drop by her website: www.gjillianstone.com