Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Tonight is the night for trick-or-treating. With multiple little ones, our house is abuzz with "is it time to go yet?" Normally, I love to go out with the kiddos, my husband and I, to see the costumes and teach them their manners while amassing an overload of candy that they will never eat within the next year. Check that, they could eat it, but I am a strict Mom when it comes to candy and trust me, not everything their little scary butts will collect will make it past their lips.

But today, this Halloween, I'm not going it for it so much. Mostly because the weather just plain sucks: it's humid as all get out and the forecast is calling for rain. Not to mention my oldest has developed a cough I don't like and there is no way in hell I can tell him he can't go out - -unless he gets progressively worse and runs a fever. I pray it doesn't get that bad. Not today. At least he has a full face mask with his costume and that should keep him warmer.

On another note, as I took my walk this morning, I contemplated Halloween and Romance. These two concepts don't seem to go together. You have scare your pants off and then you have endearing love. Wait a minute, what am I saying (I smack my forehead), of course they have a lot in common. What's better than having your pants scared off you so you can then be ravished with endearing love. That would be my best kind of Halloween. Big, big grin.

So here's to all of you tonight, whether you'll be toting the kiddos around, suffering from sugar overload, or later, playing halloween with your "loved" one and taking turns "scaring" each other's pants off.

Make it fun!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Same Name . . . Different Genre

First off, let me tell you that I am totally and completely rejected. My last story I sent out was in some cases bluntly put down and in others, beautifully let go. I, naturally, like to listen to the nicer ones, but a rejection is still a rejection. Doesn't mean I'm giving up, though.
Still, being rejected does tend to make a writer/reader wonder, and I know you have too: about those books, those authors, who are out there; who do have their stories published. Yes, it is completely subjective. It is completely at the whim of the editor/publisher as to who gets out there. I'm cool with that (I think). These people (and let's say agents too for the sake of argument) have power, period. They are on the side of 1) themselves and 2)the author. Still, you'd think someone would want to stand up for the readers sometimes. Let me extrapolate...
I've had this discussion numerous times with others about authors who write a particular genre. Say, romance, for example. Personally, I believe that if an author wants to write a different genre, like mystery, it would behoove the author to either have a separate pen name for this switch or to demand the publicity for said book ensures the reader completely understands the genre is different. Am I making sense?
Nora Roberts vs. J.D. Robb is a prime example. I love just about anything written by Roberts, but I know what I'm getting in her books based on the two names. No ugly surprises.
Karen Marie Moning and her Fever books is another. She's written a lot of fantastic romance, but her Fever books are not romance, and she emphatically tells everyone and everything these books are not romance. I like that, I can respect that, and I thoroughly enjoy all she's written as well.
So let's take another author I like. I am a fan of J.R. Ward. Her Brotherhood novels were terrific and even though she did veer off a bit with the story on Phury, I still loved the romance (listen here - ROMANCE) in all the other books. She has out now a new (series?) book called Covet. Naturally, as she's a good read for me, I picked up the book straight off the Romance section bookshelf. After I purchased the book, I was then warned that it wasn't really a romance. Okaaay. I still like her voice and decided to give it a read anyway.
This book is SO NOT a romance, I don't care who says otherwise. A good book, overall, but I'm glad that I had been forewarned. The back blurb is completely misleading, in my opinion, and you could chalk the novel up to having romantic elements, sure, as there are two people who do end up falling in love, but really, their story was not, is not the focal point. Now I'm wondering if (and when) she does continue the story of Jim - who these books really are about - if I'll really want to read them. Not to mention, it's touted as the Fallen Angels, but she doesn't truly explain the fallen angels bit enough for me to nod and say, "oh, okay." Maybe it's just me.
How does this snafu help Ward? Given her name and her success with the Brotherhood, many, many people (such as myself) will automatically buy this story. Good monetarily for all her people involved, too.
How does this hurt Ward? Two ways. One, her current readership will be disappointed and she may even loose readership due to misleading expectations. Two, she is losing a huge potential fan base of people who want exciting fiction but not labeled as "romance."
{Let me note that even though the spine is not labeled romance, but it seems it's been pushed as just that}
Ward is not the first author to fall into this pit and I know she won't be the last, but it's simply what's been on my mind lately.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Write What You Know - HA!

Wow. I cannot believe it's been so long since I've posted. I swear in my mind I post daily. Even more than once!

Right now I am very excited about this new story I've begun. No, it's not the one that would be series - that one's on very special hold right now. That would be too easy, you see. Instead, I was hit over the proverbial head with a great story idea that again involves three awesome people. This one is much more complex than my last story but I'm loving it! There is one area of the story, however, that makes me want to pull my hair. Let me explain . . .

A writer is almost always told "write what you know, the story will follow," or some similar words. I love Love. And Romance. And Sex. Sounds pretty cut-and-dry, right? Well, these same mentor-type-thoughts neglect to inform the writer that even though you may know love or romance or sex (or you think you do at any rate), that's not necessarily what your characters know. And vice versa, you don't always know whatever it is your characters know.

Case in point: in my new story, all three main characters love basketball. I mean, they love it almost to obsession. And their love of the game is integral to the story. Well guess what? I don't know jack about basketball. I've seen a game or two in my life. I remember the basics of the game from whatever seeped in during the endless hours of PE somewhere back in high school, but that's it. Players, Teams, important games, etc., forget it. My knowledge is nil. I am not looking forward to this research. I only say this because I'd so much rather talk to someone about basketball instead of looking it up online. Wish me luck with that, by the way!

That's it for now. I think in some earlier post I mentioned talking about books I've read. I'll try to get that soon. This past month alone I've read so much my eyes have crossed from lack of sleep, but I'm back on my writing horse so the reading is to the side temporarily. Very temporarily. (Truth, there are a few books I'm waiting to get. If I had them, I'd be reading right now.)

Until next time, why not curl up with a good book and get yourself snared!