Monday, May 29, 2006

back to the grind...

finally got down to the serious business of editing over the weekend. My edit letter for Dangerous Games (the 4th Riley) is 10 pages long, which sounds a whole lot worse than it is. The last time I got an edit letter this long was Kissing Sin, and one of the problems with that story was too much sex. Ironically, one of the problems with DG is too little sex (and the sex that is there is with people we don't care about). So, I have to switch that about, get rid of the 'for the fun of it' sex, and bring Kellen into it more. The other main problem was Gautier. He's sort of a side plot in this one, and yet he's not supposed to be. He's actually supposed to be one of the major problems in this book. So, I have to switch around some plot lines, get rid of some threads that don't actually go anywhere, and connect Gautier to the main plot more. Which means going through every single line of this book, deleting and correcting and adding. Hang on...maybe the edits are as bad as they sound! :D

Anyway, I've rolled over 150 pages, have deleted 15 pages and added 19 so far, and the story already seems a whole lot tighter. There's a long way to go yet, and it's bum-on-seat for me for the next four days. These edits have to be out by friday, so don't be too surprised if I don't blog a whole lot until then.

Friday, May 26, 2006

summing up RT...

RT was in Daytona Beach this year, at the hilton hotel. Which was right on the beach--half a dozen steps and you're on the sand close. There were six Aussies who made the trip, and Margaret, Wendy and I shared a room.

The Aussie Gals--minus Cherie, who always seemed to be missing when the camera came out. From left to right--Margaret, me, Rosemary, Wendy and Rebecca

(all photos thanks to Kate Douglas)

We were all up on the 15th floor, so the view was all ocean and sand for us. We tended to leave the sliding door open at night in our room, and go to sleep listening to the sound of the waves roll in. So nice. Rosemary, Rebecca and Cherie, the other (noiser) Aussies had a room a few doors down, so we were in and out each other's rooms a lot (pity the poor people in the rooms between us!)

The beach

My body clock was totally stuffed because of the time zone differences, so I was getting up around six and going for a stroll along the sand, watching the sun rise and yakking to all the fisherman. Which was a very refreshing way to start the day. And it was just about the only way you could walk on the beach for any length of time--man, it was hot during the day! Of course, this is coming from a Melbournian who'd stepped from the midst of winter, so maybe the heat is a relative thing :)

But onto the important stuff...and I have to say, there were authors, editors, agents, and booksellers thick on the ground (though a lot of the editors and agents weren't there in any official capacity--they were just there for the fun. My agent--the marvelous Miriam--for example, just went there to meet all her authors and have a good time, and she said there were a few other agents and editors doing the same thing). Authors I talked to included Kelley Armstrong (I actually had dinner with her and Linnea Sinclair, as we share the same wonderful editor), Charlaine Harris, Angela Knight, LA Banks (who, as I've said before, is very tall and very funny), Mary Janice Davidson (also very funny and a great speaker), Lori Foster, Kim Harrison & LK Hamilton (briefly, admittedly). Other authors there included Christine Feehan, Tori Carrington, Emma Holly Cheryl Holt, Tina Wainscott, Carol Nelson Douglas, Susan McBride, Maggie Shayne and many more. There were editors from just about every major house, including Harlequin, Kensington, St Martins, Bantam/Bantam Dell, Dorchestor, and Warner. (I took notes from the Kensington, St Martins and Bantam talks, and hope to get those up in the stuff for writers section of my site soon). There was also many major booksellers there (handy for authors wanting to make contacts).

They had dress-up parties every night and they were a scream. Some of the costumes were hysterical. I took pics from the fairy ball, as that's the only one I really got a chance to attend (too busy having dinner elsewhere )

there were tons of workshops--some aimed at writers (published and unpublished), some aimed at readers, some aimed at booksellers.

Workshops I attended included:

--digging up bones: history, mystery and the paranormal
--A power hour--editor and agent panel fielding questions about getting published
--What makes fantasy work/Characterisation when your hero isn't human
--Witches, werewolves and the wicked

Workshops I wanted to attend but just couldn't get to because they clashed with the publisher talks included:

--Authors on publicity--what works and what doesn't
--romantic comedies--what's comic to the goose might not be to the gander
--how to create realistic fight scenes
--what really goes on in the publishing office and how to make an editor fall in love with your work
--hooks, books, and great beginnings

There was also workshops on Chicklit, writing murder-mysteries, writing thrillers, practicing your pitch, writing erotica, debut authors 'telling it as it is', creating bombshell heroines, lots of stuff on vampires, and writing series romances. Tons of stuff for everyone.

The Tim Tam Morning Tea

For me personally, there were two main highlights--the first would have to be helping to host the 'Tim Tam Morning Tea', which is where we met so many great authors (pic above) and introduced them to the delights of the Tim Tam. The second highlight would have to be doing the hospitality suite and booklover signings and having people come up and tell me how much they loved my books. That's such a buzz.

RT was a hell of a lot of fun--more so than I can ever remember the one RWAmerica conference I attended being. Maybe because it's aimed at readers, writers and booksellers, while RWA is aimed primarily at writers. Whatever the reason, I'm defintely going to Houston next year.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I'm back...

from RT and as fuzzy as hell. As usual, I didn't sleep on any of the planes, so I've basically gone for 24 hours without sleep. Coordination is not my thing at the best of times, but right now, it's really out the window! :D

But there's no time to be a slacker--I've got some corrections to make to Tempting Evil that has to be done this week, and then I've got the rewrites of Dangerous Games, which has to be done by June. No time at all for the mind to unfuzz.

When the brain is in better working order, I'll post some more thoughts about RT--it was a blast, and I'm definitely going to Houston next year.

Friday, May 19, 2006

report from RT...

Well, RT is as crazy as I expected it to be, and then some. There's tons of writers, agents, readers, editors & booksellers checking out the workshops, bootcamps, reader programs and publisher spotlights, and the buzz around the hotel is great. I had my first book signing yesterday (which went well--lots of ladies came over to chat, and many of them actually had FMR for me to sign. How cool is that?) My second signing also went well, and I finally met several internet friends, including Cy Korte (who runs Book Isle) and Rachel--who also has Miriam for an agent--and discovered both as cool in person as they are online. And last night I had dinner with Anne, my Bantam editor, and had a great chat with her. I pried out the details of my next cover, and have to say, it sounds fantastic! Today the Aussies at the conference hosted a 'Tim Tam morning tea', and a lot of the top fantasy authors came along. I met Charlaine Harris, Laurel K Hamilton and her hubby, L A Banks (who is an absolute blast), Angela Knight and many others (I have photos, so will put them all on my site when I get back.) My next mission is to meet Kim Harrison, so I can thank her for giving me a such great cover quote. And then tonight, I'm having dinner with Anne, Kelly Armstrong and Linea Sinclair. Should be a blast!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I've arrived...

After over 22 hours on the plane and more than 30 hours of 'awake time', we finally arrived in Daytona Beach. It's lovely here--though I obviously carried the rain with me from Melbourne, because it's been raining here all day, and for the first time in ages. Typical. Us Melburnians just can't escape the weather! Anyway, the hotel is great, the view is to die for, and the bag of books that comes with the convention registration is to worthy of several months of reading (more if you read as slow as I do). The fun starts tonight with a welcome party, then we're in full convention mode tomorrow. Will fill you in on all the fun later in the week!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

off to RT...

I'm fully packed (except for my toothbrush and pillow, which will go in tomorrow morning) and ready to go. So, I'm signing off for a few days. I am hoping to find a computer and update my blog with all the goss once I get to RT, but no promises!

Friday, May 12, 2006

editing and RT...

well, I've only just started editing Dangerous Games, and it's going to be a long, slow journey. I'm actually changing a major plot line on this one, so that means going through every single line, looking for connections. I've been editing for two days now, and only have 40 pages done. I'm fully booked with family and friends stuff this weekend, so I very much doubt much more will get written before I head off to RT.

Speaking of RT--I'm just hoping I won't be the only one sans costume for all the various balls, because I cannot get anything else in my suitcase. As it is, I'm carrying half my clothes in a carry-on, because my promo stuff and all the various gifts are taking up half the case. Not that I actually mind going without a costume, because I hate getting all dressed up. I just haven't got the figure for it, and usually end up looking nothing more than stupid. And you know, the wierd thing is, I'm actually not excited about the trip at the moment--I think I'm too busy worrying if I've packed everything and not forgotten something, wondering if my suitcase will actually make it all the way over to Daytona or whether it'll get lost in transit. And worrying about what I'd do if it did. I think the excitement will only hit once the plane trip is over (we're in for 22 hours of flying all up--oh, the joy) and me and my case are safely united. But I am looking forward to catching up with everyone I've only ever chatted to via email--now, that should be a blast.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

the miners are finally free...

after spending 14 nights trapped underground, the two tasmanian miners walked free this morning. And to show they'd kept their humour over the whole situation, the first thing the two men did was not walk into the arms of their families, but over to the time board to clock out! :D There's been some totally amazing scenes on TV, and I'm just so glad it all ended so well. Congrats to all the miners and paramedics who have spent the last 14 days and nights keeping the men fit and healthy while trying to get them out. You're heroes, every one of you.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

just when I thought I had time to write...

... along come some more edits to spoil the ride. Although Anne (my editor) had warned me she was aiming for a quick turnaround on the Dangerous Games edits (the 4th Riley book), I wasn't actually expecting them to hit me Friday morning. And what's more, after reading the edit letter, there's going to be a few massive changes (bringing Gautier and Kellen into the story more, taking out some characters and scenes that 'float' and really don't add anything to the story.) I've got just over a month to finish them, which is usually more than enough time, but with RT in the middle of it, it might be a little tight. So, of course, what choofs along in the mail Friday afternoon? You guessed it--the copy edits for Kissing Sin. Thankfully, the copy edits aren't actually that hard to do--just a matter of checking the marked corrections, and answering the editorial questions where necessary. They want it back by the 16th, so that means I'm going to have to get them off Monday or Tuesday at the latest. So, if you don't hear from me for a couple of days, I'm head down, bum up doing the edits.

and for those who play the numbers game, I'm currently sitting at 200 pages done on Destiny. Half way there--woohoo!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

progress at last...

after completing the Tempting Evil edits and choofing them back to Anne, I basically did nothing but fluff around for a couple of days. Not sure why, but the muse seems to enjoy fluffing after doing edits. Oh, and shopping. I had to take my daughter's watch down to the watchmakers to get fixed (the rotten clasp keeps coming undone), and came back with a very nice black suede jacket. It was a bargain--only $50! Gotta love that price. Now, if only I could find a leather jacket at that price, I'd be a happy, happy woman.

Of course, I do have two books to finish, and one of them really needs to be finished--or close to finished--before all the line edits start rolling in for the three books being released in quick succession next year. So, the muse and I finally got down to business yesterday. Considering I had no idea where the scene following their first love scene would go, it actually turned out to be quite a revelation. Destiny's memories are finally returning, and she's beginning to think that maybe this is not a good thing. Because what she remembered yesterday was blowing someone's brains out. All good, gruesome stuff :). So, I did my allotted five pages plus one for luck and I'm currently sitting on 196 pages completed. Almost half way there! Hopefully, if the muse and I concentrate, I can get another 20 pages or so done before I leave for RT next week. It'd actually be lovely to be sitting at 250 pages by then, but considering the fluffing around that's been happening of late, I think that's a long, long shot.

Monday, May 01, 2006

miracles do happen...and a good review

It probably didn't even rate a mention in overseas news, but last week here in Australia (on the 25th), a small tremor hit the town of Beaconsfield, near Launceston in Tasmania, causing a rock fall down in the Beaconsfield Gold Mine shaft. Most got out, but three men were trapped nearly a kilometre underground. A rescue plan swung into action, but after several days of digging, the body of one of the men was found. And though everyone was hoping for a miracle, just about everyone had admitted there was little hope for the other two men.

Well, last night, five days after the tremor and rockfall, the two remaining men were found alive. They had no food, and had been licking the water running down the rocks to survive, but they're alive. And asking about the footy results (you've got to be an aussie to understand the humor in that!) Amazing stuff. Of course, they're not out of the woods yet. The mine operators reckon it could take up to another 48 hours to to dig a hole big enough to get the men out, but they're being passed water and food, and seem to be in good spirits.

It just goes to show that miracles do happen and that you should never give up hope, no matter what. And I'm so glad for everyone involved that a miracle is happening here. I just wish lady luck had stretched her fingers that little bit more to encompass the third man...

In writing news, I got another fantastic review for Full Moon Rising--this time from All About Romance. And they gave me 'desert island keeper' status! :D Amazing stuff. If you'd like to check out the full review, click here.

Got the edits in for Tempting Evil--the third Riley book--on Friday, so I've been busy doing that. Just gotta do a final read through today, and I should be able to get back to writing Destiny. Hopefully tomorrow.