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Showing posts from March, 2008

Putting a good use to your research

You're written a manuscript, spent hours researching on line, or in the library to be sure you have accurate information before you send it to the editor. Now that the book is finished, and sent away what can you do with all the information that you'e accumulated.

Regardless of what genre you write in if you've done research you should always document it. Do up a list of books, contacts, internet links, etc because if there is a question then you can always go back and say I got this piece of information from this source.

Still it would be nice to do something with the piles of notes and copy that you've managed to create to write a work of fiction. There is a huge market out there for extended essays that are complete nonfiction works. If you're willing to do the extra bit of polishing and work and have a good data system with the links, books etc why not put it all together and submit it?

I know there are publishers out there who take nonfiction and want you to have…

What is your greatest nemisis when it comes to writing

For many of us who write part time, time is the biggest enemy we have. Still others its grammar and sintext. After all if you're writing 9th century druids how do you stay within the sintax of the era without having been there.

Research is the key. I spent more hours reading about Ireland and Viking history than I did doing anything else. It took me months to get the information I needed and even then not all of it was correct. There was contradictory information, vague half details, and enough road blocks that more than once I thought about switching time periods. I stuck with it and am happy with the end results.

Of course beyond the syntax of the story there were other challenges. Challenges that I don't really understand because lets face it English is not the easiest language to speak or write. Now you're saying, yeah right. It is so. Nope, I've got friends all over the place that speak and writing in a variety of languages and more than once they've asked me ab…

The long weekend is over but it brought its fair share of surprises

Happy belated Easter to everyone.

Long weekends are typically for kicking back and doing nothing - except soaking up the sun. However, this weekend shall go down in the anal's of history for me because I got a reply from the publisher!

Yes, you heard me. I wasn't expecting anything back until early April but there it was Saturday night when I opened my email. She read my partial with interest and wanted the full manuscript at my earliest convenience. My husband looked at me funny and said what's up so I told him...typically he didn't give much of a response but that's okay, everyone I promptly phone and told was jumping for joy with me.

So much work was done on my manuscript and now its like yes, yes yes!!! I've got a final read over from my beta and then I'll shoot it off. Hopefully she'll email me back in a few weeks and say Here's a contract, sign it!

Easter...its now become one of my favorite long weekends of all time - besides Christmas and my bir…

Writing, Editing, and the network of resources we have!

This week, I've spoken about critique partners, my two honored guests have spoken their opinions about them and shared a lot of information. Its a difficult call to make. If you're working on deadlines that don't give you a lot of time to really depend upon someone else to catch an error then you've got to learn to do it yourself. A task I'll touch on another time.

For some it's an easy task to critique and edit their own work. We could do it in our sleep. Yet, for others its a massive undertaking that at times can suck the very life out of us. I know, I'm one of those people that doesn't see the things other people see. I look for them, I read and reread, but I don't find them.

That's one of the reasons I'm such a big fan of critique and beta partners. The ones I have I've looked long and hard for, and we work well together. All of us work at the same speed, we communicate openly and honestly and the biggest thing is that we don't fla…

Win a special gift from Jax Cassidy

Fellow author Jax Cassidy has a new release and she's promoting it! Drop her a line and enter to win a chance at a delightful prize. Details below!

My book The Lotus Blossom Chronicles was released Monday, March 17th...St. Patty's Day...
Win Sensual Escape gift box and an autographed book by emailing and I will put you in my drawing.Winners will be announced April 1st!

Guest Blogger Amy Corwin on the pros of having a critique or beta partner

Reproduced from Coffee Time Romance with Amy's Permission.

A "beta reader" is someone who reads your book cover-to-cover the way a normal reader would, and gives you feedback from the perspective of the reader's experience.

The difference between a beta reader and a critique partner is basically:A beta reader reads your ENTIRE manuscript--and usually only reads it once. Your goal is to have fresh eyes that have never read any parts of it before. You're looking for how the story hangs together and works for a real reader.

A critique partner usually only reads a few chapters at a time and is usually (but not always) another writer. So they are more inclined to give you more indepth, writer advice versus "this just didn't work for me and I don't know why" which is what you would get from a beta reader.

A critique partner may also read the same chapters several times.Most critique partners will not read the entire manuscript end-to-end, so they may not …

Guest Blogger Jaci Burton on Critique Partners vs Beta Readers

I’ve used various critique partners over the years. When I first started writing seriously, I joined a critique group—a rather large one. We’d each submit a chapter and critique each other. It worked, for awhile, but then some people did more than others. I ended up dropping out, but met a lifelong friend there. After that I picked up critique partners here and there, invariably realizing that it was going to take awhile to find people that you click with. Lifestyles, work schedules, writing styles—all of that has to be taken into consideration when hooking up with a critique partner. I tend to write very steamy love scenes. Critiquing with an inspirational author wouldn’t work for me. I also write very very fast, churning out several chapters a week. Someone who takes a year to write a book wouldn’t mesh with my writing style. I did find a critique partner eventually whose style matched mine very well. She and I worked together for a couple years. Though we don’t critique together an…

An Upcoming Release

She believed the man didn't matter as long as he said yes - until the wrong man vowed to love her beneath....All the Trees in Pearlby Emily Ryan-DavisAvailable March 21 at Ellora's CaveSigned and paid for by one brother.Ethan Carver didn’t order a wife, but he couldn’t turn away from Margaret Redde’s lush mouth and proper manners. Could he keep up his brother’s deception and make her stay?Set on fire by the other.She wanted security and didn’t care where it came from - one brother was as good as the other - until Ethan touched her. One night in his arms changed everything. His hot kisses sent her up in flames and taught her desires she didn’t know she possessed.Read an excerpt today!

Differences between a critique partner and beta partner

I've written fan fiction for years and in that genre we've used beta readers. Wonderful, skilled people who like me write short stories, poems, novella's, novels, but their purpose is to help us build our story without editing it for us.

You're probably thinking, I know this already. I have a beta reader that works with me or for me as the case may be. I thought I knew it to. Until I got a real eye-opening heads up.

I have an awesome beta reader, she's thorough, she's tough, and she's honest - perhaps a bit too honest at times- but that's another story. We've worked together before on projects and I wouldn't trade her help for the world.

But, I've come to learn that any good writer must have a critque partner. Ha, you say, it's the same thing. Nope, it is not. A critique partner is very much like an editor. They catch the errors that you the author have missed before you send it to a beta reader. There are several very well thought out, len…

Letting Go of your work

What's the hardest thing you've ever had to do when it comes to your writing?

You ask any author who has submitted their work and you'll get a variety of answers. For me letting go of it was the hardest thing. I've invested countless hours, days, weeks, months into the manuscript. So much so that it feels very much like apart of me.

I've been tempted to go back and make revisions to it, beyond the edits that have been suggested by my proofreaders. I've lost chapters, I've stressed to the point of tears. And at the end of the day all I can do is wait. Wait for a response, wait to hear yes or no. Wait to find out if others will love my characters, my plot as much as I do.

Its hard to do that. I think in all honesty that regardless of how many books you've got published or how many reviews you have, you never get used to that waiting game. Its like sending you baby school for the first time. You smile, you look forward to it until the moment arrives then you …

Upcoming Release

Jax Cassidy has a new book coming out on March 17th which should be an exciting and thrilling read. The information to purchase this book is as follows:

THE LOTUS BLOSSOM CHRONICLESan anthology with Simone HarlowPaperback: 250 pages Publisher: Parker Publishing, LLC; First edition (March 17, 2008) Language: English ISBN-10: 1600430341 ISBN-13: 978-1600430343 In Jax Cassidy's

SIREN’S SEDUCTION ...Niko Chow craves solitude. Only fate won't leave him in peace. After losing his wife and unborn child in a car crash, he slips into the dark world of alcoholism. His desire to overcome his addiction leads him to a promise made to a dying friend and into the arms of a seductive chanteuse.
Donovan Matthews ignites a passion within him he has long denied. The more time he spends with her, the more Niko finds her spitfire determination and generous heart as sensuous and exotic as the Lotus Blossoms that bloom in his garden. Can she end his internal war and help heal his aching soul?

In Simone …

Winners have been announced.

Yipee! Finally the winners have been announced for the RCA awards. I won this year with my story Guy Talk and for my contribution to the Round Robin we had featuring Ice Cream! Here's the banners:

The link to the story and it's series is as follows:

Still Learning

I was chatting with my sister the other day and she said to me, '"now that you've got this book finished and sent away, guess that means you're an expert."

I had to smile at that. Regardless of how many books you write, pubish, edit, or think of you are never going to be an expert. Prime example, a very generous lady offered to proof the full manuscript in its completed form for me.

She sent back the first chapter with editorial suggestions...even though it's been looked at by two (count 'em Two) professional editors. Do I value her opinion, your darned right I do! I want this book to sell and if that means that I have to make more changes even though I've already submitted apartial, then I can make changes.

Writing isn't about becoming perfect, its about learning to test yourself and others by creating something tangible that is magical. Only a few ever truly learn the true lessons behind writing...some give up long before they ever get to the end o…

Upcoming contests

With life being so hectic of late, I need a break. So after looking through every link in the Canadian Directory I've decided on entering a few contests. One of those contests is through Ascent Aspirations Magazine.

copied with permission****:

Ascent Aspirations Magazine
Ascent Aspirations Fall 2008
Poetry/Flash Fiction Contest
Contest Open from January 1st to July 31 Contest open until July 31st, 2008
The submissions will be judged in late August and the anthology will be produced in September with a publishing date hopefully no later than the middle of November, 2008.
The publication will be a perfect-bound 120-page book with a glossy art designed cover. Since Ascent is a non-profit publication, offering the print edition as a contest will provide the funding for the book. This contest will run for six months and the print edition will appear in the Fall of 2008. At the same time Ascent will continue to publish…

Perks to organizing the awards

Whoo, the second annual RCA's are drawing to a close. There are still five categories being voted on but the majority have been finalized and I've started doing the banners given out to the winners. This year we had two ties, which of course makes things interesting but hey that's part of the fun!

Still, I'm going to be glad when they are done and I can get to work on next years awards. I figure if I start now I might get them done by the end of the year hehehe!

I did it!

I did it! Doesn't sound like much does it? Until you actually do something that you've been waiting to do and then the nerves attack. Yesterday morning I hit the send button on my submission proposal to Champagne Books. I've got two weeks to finish polishing and then another week or two to wait to hear back from them. I'm hopeful that they'll buy the book but if they don't, I'll keep trying.

Still, the nerves do get to you. So what do you do to relax after you've done something big and you're nervous and exciting and scared? Let me know!

The end of the Second Annual Reader's Choice Awards

With only a week left for voting on the Second Annual Reader's Choice Awards for one of my favorite fan fic groups I've really been pressed with time.

This is the second year that I've organized and run these awards. This has been a major undertaking, and not something that is as easy as one might think. I've learned a great deal in the past two years, and not all of it has been pleasant.

I was rather shocked by the responses I got from some. These awards were designed to showcase the skill and talent of the authors for a specific group, yet a lot of people figured it should be for anyone who had a story.

Now, I have no objections to highlighting talent. Heck if we didn't do that we wouldn't have the Oscar's, what I do object to is when people refuse to participate because they don't archive their work in one place - which just happens to be the place that's hosting the awards.

Which isn't to say that I don't think all the excellent author's…

Cookin' with Pat

Just thought for today I'd do something fun, so here it is. Recently, my husband was gifted with about twenty pounds of Halibut (Fish) and we decided to do something a bit different. Instead of simply deepfrying it or pan frying, we decided to smoke some.
Here is what we used:

Maple Syrup
Brown Sugar
Sea Salt
Hemlock wood chips
Cedar chips

Coat the fish in syrup, brown sugar and salt. Let sit over night, remove all excess brine. Place on cedar chips in a smoker, with the hemlock chips at the heat source. Apply indirect heat. Let smoke for at least twenty four hours, check sparingly.

Sounds strange? It isn't. Turned out really good! Try it!