Sunday, June 29, 2008

Upcoming Workshop on Erotica

Am I hot or not? Erotic Romance VS. Erotica. Q&A with Liquid Silver Acquiring Editor, Tina Burns.All day July 12th at Romance DivasFeaturing:Tina BurnsHow do you know if you’ve crossed into the Erotica zone? Get a professional’s opinion. It will take place at the Romance Diva Forum. All are welcome. To get access to the forum you will need to register. The workshop will be in the “Steamy” section of the forum which requires permission from the admin. Details are HERE.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Fan Fiction A Mod's Tale


KellyAnn Bessa AKA Devil Doll (DD) has a BS in Management from Cardinal Stritch University, and currently works as a human resources consultant for an investment firm. She has been in fandom for nearly ten years as a writer, mailing list owner, community moderator, and webmaster.

In addition to running several archives, she hosts and maintains websites for a number of fan fiction writers. One of her first childhood crushes was Batman, and she still works several hours a week at her local comic book store, and participates in the online feminist comic fan community.

One of those fandoms is X-Men. She currently runs the Woverine and Rogue archive, where I personally have over a hundred of my stories posted, as well as several yahoo groups, a livejournal, and not to mention her work with the OTW.

She's an incredible woman who has managed to create a place for the fan fic author to post their work. Devil Doll has for the past couple of years also provided a home for the Reader's Choice Awards on her WaR archive. She's won with no surprise The Best Mod category twice and is understandably proud of her accomplishments.

I personally have submitted works to her for a four or five years now and have gotten a sense of what she looks for as a moderator. Tough but fair, DD as we call her, is one of the most level headed mod's out there. She's answered my questions, given advice freely, and hasn't treated me with disrespect. When I created the Reader's Choice Awards I have to admit and I'm sure she'd agree that the first year was a minor disaster. What had started off as a chance to see if the interest was there snowballed. This year however, DD came back with some awesome suggestions, tips, and rules that I never even thought of.

For us mere writers, having a moderator like her is a great bonus. She's allowed me and others to develop skills and to give and get feedback that is constructive without demeaning. Personally, I firmly believe that anyone who does what she does deserves an award. I don't think I could handle all the bad attitudes people have when they don't get what they want.

To find out more about Devil Doll, see the upcoming July issue of the newsletter. She's talking openly and candidly about herself and her work with the OTW. Until next time, happy writing.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Pro-active means success

When I first got the idea to send something to a publisher after years of writing for myself I had this grand idea in my head. You get published, your book comes out, you get a cheque and move on to the next project.

While that it what happens there is a lot of behind the scenes work. There's editing and rewrites, working one on one with a mentor to polish the polished manuscript until it shines like a diamond. There's promoting the book on line and in stores. The Publisher will do its share but for anyone to be successful you have to be pro-active in promotions.

I've created a solid presence on line with my blogs, my newsletter/group, chats, and forums. That's the first step now comes the hard stuff. Keeping that presence alive, keeping folks aware of me, aware of my work and not giving up.

There seems to be this grand illusion from those who aren't published or don't even write that once you've written and published one book you can sit back collect your royalties and not have to worry about real life. That's not how it works in real life. It takes a solid effort on both the part of the publishing house and the author to keep awareness alive.

I've made myself a network of places and people that I can turn to to help me build awareness. Bookstores, clubs, forums, all are solid marketing tools that can and should be used. I want to be successful, and that means that I have to keep things moving.

While my book isn't due out until next year I've already contact local bookstores, merchants, libraries, about booksignings, and carrying the book when it comes out in print. Most of them don't mind me putting up a poster or bookmarks in their stores to encourage folks to be aware of the book in its e-book format.

The local manager of a huge chain bookstore has already given me authorization to come up and put my work in their store. They can't order directly from the publisher because they are a chain but they're happy to carry my work on consignment. That means that they'll help me promote it. If it proves to be a big enough seller I may be able to expand, put in other stores even online bookstores such as Amazon.

However, that's in the future - its not a now thing. Right now its focusing on building awareness, on creating a network of groups and people that will be lined up waiting to purchase the work. Its now that the real work begins, because the writing of it was easy compared to this.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Real Life and Your Dreams

For the past few months I've been a stay at home mom. My days were filled with housework and taking care of my son. Then when I got the great news that my book Master's Mistress was to be published life hit fast forward. I didn't know where I was going or how I was getting there, the excitment and adrenaline were pumping through my blood faster 'n a Nascar Rally.

However, reality has set in. Yes my books coming out next year which means that when the time comes I'll have plenty of edits, rewrites, tightening, and such to do before I can really focus on the things I want to. This hasn't dulled my enthusiasm at all, in fact it's only made me want to do more. So here I sit, one manuscript that I've finished and are doing edits on, and two that I've barely started. I'm waiting to hear back on my Christmas novella - on pins and needles I may add - and all this must be done in my spare time.

Finances and time have come to a parting of the ways. So, to keep a steady income coming in I've had to reassess my stance. That means going back to work. I must admit I cheated - I'm working from home, providing day care for two boys. They get along well with my son, and we don't have any issues.

What does this mean for my time? Well it means that the time before I'd spend writing I have now to watch the boys. Time I could spend in teleconfrence or on the computer doing research means that it's field trips to the library. It does not mean that I've stopped writing - I've just prioritized to include the boys.

When real life intrudes on your dreams it can lead to dismay and discouragment. I won't let that happen for two reasons. First of course being that writing is a part of me. I can no more stop writing than I can spread wings and fly. To lose that would mean giving up a part of my identity. And the second reason is of course, its good for me. I'ce come to realize that I can't spend 16 hours a day on the computer - its not good for me, for my family, and quite frankly I think it would kill the love I have for writing.

If you're thinking that you can't mesh your dreams with your reality think again. Prioritize, set limits, and above all don't give up. Keep the faith you have in yourself and in your dreams. Be it a single leap or a series of tiny steps the path that you follow to reach your dreams has no difference, it simply means that you're following that tiny voice within you that belongs to your heart.

Good luck and have a great day.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Fan Fiction - Real or Not

With the upcoming interview with the moderator of one of the fandoms I write in, I thought this week we could touch on a topic that is as controversal as it could be. I've heard every argument out there about fan fiction being a copyright infringment, about it being a useful tool to a writer, and everything in between.

Being an author of fan fiction I have to admit that using another person's character to write a story is a harmless tool. I don't see the difference in borrowing a well known character to write a story and borrowing a pattern to make an afgan. As long as the writer/creator doesn't make a cent what's the harm? Personally, if people are so enamored of a character or show that they're willing to spend their free time (Something that there isn't much of in today's world) writing about it, take it as a compliment.

A fictional character is just that a piece of imaginiation by some really intelligent, creative people. Stan Lee is one of the most renowned super-hero creators of all time and with good reason. He's come up with some of the most famous characters of all time such as the X-Men and many many more. Each of his characters belongs to him, but should the public have a right to play with them? That's the million dollar question that has caused some serious debate. Fan Fiction borrows a character or a place and lets an author explore it before returning it. No harm in that, I say.

However, fan fiction is just that - fiction based upon an imaginary person. It's when it goes the other way that it becomes an issue in my humble opinion. Now there are certain lines I agree should never be crossed. For example I've started to read some fan fiction and stopped before I'd even finished the first page because the author has drawn the real person into the story. We're all exposed to the gossip and rumors of the tabloids and the celebrities, but really we don't know them as a person. How can anyone say that John Doe would do this dispicable thing or that good deed if they don't know him personally.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Upcoming Anthology

fantasy, science fiction

Star Stepping: An Anthology of Fantasy & Sci-Fi Tales

Written by VariousStories Included:

Beneath and Beyond by Debbie Mumford

Archaeologist Erin Carstedter is a no-nonsense kind of gal. If something can't be defined by scientific method, it doesn't exist. Erin's beliefs are about to be tested by a ruin beneath the polar ice cap. What Erin discovers in those icy depths will challenge her thinking...and change the world.

Read excerpt.

That Old Sweet Smell of Deception by Martin Owton

An ancient dragon tempted out to war for the first time in centuries finds the world greatly changed and dragons a rarity. Does an enemy wizard hold the key to saving dragonkind?

Read excerpt.

Fatal Wager by Andy Heizeler

Read excerpt.

A Pixie Story by Joe Miller

Miike awoke to find himself in a strange land. To then find himself surrounded by a whole hoard of pixies, each one with an arrow aimed at his heart, one could hardly guess how things would turn out.

Read excerpt.

The Honorable Lady by Kim Knox

Royal officials are vanishing and Evia-ben-Thiak doesn't intend to be one of them.

As a high-ranking member of the court, she fears for her life. So, she takes the only option open to her. She hides on a boat sailing to her home-island.

However, the boat is not the sanctuary she hoped for. A friend from her childhood, the now-feared sorcerer, Makovik is also onboard. To be seen with him could end her career; have her thrown in the deepest dungeon. But more than that, she finds he has a plan.

And his actions will change her life forever...

Read excerpt.

Wakinyan's Valley by Debbie Mumford

In a post-apocalyptic world, Mark Whitehorse and his friends search for a safe haven where they can raise their families. When they stumble across a hidden valley, they believe their search is over. But the valley is already inhabited. Will the band of survivors find refuge...or something else entirely?

Read excerpt.

Storms of Light and Shadow by Patrice Sarath

Some gifts are better left unopened.

Read excerpt.

Under a Full Moon by Tom Fowler

A weretiger wizard immune to the lunar cycles suddenly finds himself caught in a painful transformation -- one he suspects was caused by someone else. Can he stop it before he becomes a rampaging monster, and can he find the man who did this to him?

Read excerpt.

Casey by Noelle Sterne

An ordinary junior high school boy, Casey suffers the trials of a teenager until one day his life is changed forever.

Read excerpt.

Bastet by R. S. Pyne

Captain Kai Brenhin Righa of the corsair fighting ship Raven is quite happy not being human. The transition came without warning, a blessing from a stowaway with the face of an ancient Earth Goddess and a strange sense of humor. Now Bastet is back and she needs a favor.

Read excerpt.

Nana Genevieve by Julie Nordeen

As science creates robots that behave more and more like humans, how will we know when they cease to be our creations and become self-aware beings of their own? Nana Genevieve knows. And she'll make sure the world understands...if it's the last thing she ever does.

Read excerpt.

The Tie That Binds by Debbie Mumford

Twin brothers Cameron and Kyle McClellan have always shared a psychic bond. Though the adult men lead very different lives, when career military officer Kyle is wounded in Iraq, Cameron's ability to decipher their special link may mean the difference between his brother's life and death.

Read excerpt.

Genre: Science Fiction/FantasyBook Length: NovelPrice: $5.95Buy it here.