Wednesday, May 30, 2007

just a quick one...

I'd like to send a huge congrats to fellow Miriam devotee, Rachel Vincent, because her very first book is out today. Go Rachel!! :) Here's the cover for those who haven't seen it:

Go check it out, folks. It looks absolutely brilliant. I have it on order :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

yay me!

I finished the edits that didn't want to be finished! To repeat, yay me! I rock :D

I didn't think it was ever going to happen, because it was such a massive rewrite. The basic structure of the Destiny story is still there, but switching it from the first of a continuing series to the first of a stand-alone series (each book featuring a different hero and heroine) was way tougher than I thought it would be. And it just goes to prove--you should always follow your instincts. When I was first writing this book, I got about half way through when the muse waved a frantic hand and suggested this wasn't going to work as a continuing series. It needed to be a stand-alone. But it had been sold as a two-book series, and that's what I felt I had to write. Even Miriam said I had to finish it as is, and see what happens. So, that's what I did, and back it came with a ton of edit comments, including the confirmation that yep, it stunk as is, and really needed to be a fantasy romance stand-alone.

The rewrite is great though--sooooo much happier with it now. Love the ending, and love all the extra world-building information I've put in there. And I also happened to get a couple of great story ideas for follow-on books, which is always a bonus :)

So now, all I have to do is a final read-through, then this baby is out the door. Then I just have to hope my editor likes the changes as much as I do. And now, finally, I can get back to writing Riley 6

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Happy (belated) Anniversary...!

nineteen years ago yesterday, I got married. Shame neither Pete nor I remembered that fact until his mum rang up to wish us a happy anniversary. Lol. We tend not to celebrate the day all that much, and not simply because we don't remember the date. We'd been together ten years before we decided to 'make it official', and I tend to remember the day we became an 'item' more than the day we actually got married. And really, the only reason we did end up getting hitched was because we'd decided to have a child. (although making the decision to finally get married did at least stop people asking when the heck we were going to get married. That question gets tiresome after the first three or four years :) )

Anyway, happy belated anniversay Pete! :) Next year it's the big 20 (or 30, depending on which date you're counting)

On writing news, well, there's still not a whole lot to report. I sent back the line edit queries for Embraced, and I'm still clawing my way through the rewrite of Destiny. I'm hoping to finish the first edit run-through by the end of this week, which would give me a week to go through all my editors comments--so not looking forward to that, because there's a ton of them!

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Monday, May 21, 2007

no comment, just a link...

why Joss is my hero

Sunday, May 20, 2007

yet another plug...

this time for a good cause. I'm not sure how many of you have heard of Brenda Novak's Auctions to benefit Juvenile Diabetes Research, but it's a brilliant idea that raises some serious money for a great cause. Here's the blurb from her site:

Join me as I work to raise money for those suffering from diabetes. My youngest son, Thad, lives with diabetes, so this is a very personal cause for me. I appreciate the support of the many people who have come together to make this happen. What an inspiration their generosity has been! In year one, we raised $34,982 that went directly to research. In year two, we nearly doubled that amount at $63,000. This year I was hoping to reach $75,000, but we've already blown past that. We're at $88,000 as of May 16th, so I've readjusted my goal to shoot even higher. I'm now hoping to raise $110,000! To encourage your excitement over this event, the person who places the most bids over all (even if that person doesn't win a single item) will receive some amazing prizes.

There's some amazing items up for auction, all donated. For example, for writers there's things like critiques from editors and agents, web site design, lunch with various top authors or editors, etc. For readers, there's things like a ton of rare and signed books or having your name in the next book of a top selling author. There's also stuff like paintings, televisions, jewelery, and home-made quilts. There's even fun stuff, like a day of bridge with a world class player, or wine tours, or a pillowcase signed by 75 top-selling romance and fantasy authors (me included :) )

In other words, there's something there for everyone, so if you have a bit of cash laying about and are feeling a little generous, how about hopping over to see if there's something that tickles your interest? As I said before, it's certainly in aid of a worthwhile cause.

To check out the full list of items available, and for details on how to bid, head on over to Brenda's site.

And head here if you'd like to check out the pillowcase.


Saturday, May 19, 2007

still plugging away...

on the Destiny edits, so there's not a whole lot to report. I'm 280 pages in on the first edit run (which is where I self edit according to the comments on the edit letter) and once I finish that, I'll actually go through the line edits and fix all those. So, a fair bit of work ahead of me yet.

Because I have nothing else to say, I thought I'd plug a friend's book. Steve Perry is one of the sock monkey's, an online crit group that's evolved into more an online support group. His novel, Darkside, has done the rounds of publishers and agents, and it keeps getting rejected. Not because its no good, but because the publishers and agents don't believe there's a market for humorous fantasy. (apparently, no one has ever bothered telling Terry Pratchett this). Anyway, Steve's basically said enough is enough, and is offering Darkside online as a free read (though you can paypal a token of your appreciation if you care too :) ). So, if you enjoy a spot of wryly humorous fantasy, head on over to his website and check it out. And don't forget to check out the reviews--esp the ones from his family--they're a hoot :D

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

happy mum's day....

to all the mum's (or mom's, whichever spelling you prefer) out there. Hope it's a day filled with love, cheer and family for you all. :)

Me, I spent the day with my mum, brothers and sisters, and it was all rather nice. Loot wise, I did rather well this year, and ended up with a Nelly Furtado CD (great), a Michael Buble CD (some good songs, some so-so songs) and a pair of sheepskin ankle-length moccasins that were made locally (gotta do our bit for the local industry :) ) Here's a pic (complete with faithful fuzzy hound giving me the look):


Thursday, May 10, 2007

here's some pics...

from RT. There's a couple of more over on my website, but as I mentioned before, my camera battery decided to crash 2 days into the event, so there's not a whole lot this year. (though hopefully I'll be 'borrowing' some from others. With permission, of course :) )

Miriam's mob--from left to right:
Rachel Vincent, Miriam (standing), me, Jenna Black (standing) and Vicki Pettersson

Myself and the lovely Sunny

Myself and DN Simmons

In writing news, I'm working my (big) butt off trying to get the Destiny edits done, so nothing else is happening writing wise....Which reminds me. I have a ton of email sitting here waiting to be answered, but I'm not going anywhere near it until I finish this book. So, apologies if you've sent an email and I haven't answered it yet, and advance apologies to anyone who might send an email sometime in the next two weeks!

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

still recovering....

the week of not sleeping properly at RT and on the planes has finally caught up with me. I don't think I've slept this much in my entire life! I'm even having afternoon naps, which is something I've never been able to do.

Of course, between all the napping, I've had to do a whole heap of work. The first pass proofs for Embraced by Darkness came in while I was at RT, so I've had to move my butt to get those read and back over in time. And of course, there were more mistake than normal in this one--I think someone was trying to see how awake I was ;)

Right now, I'm working on the total rewrite of Destiny. I've got two weeks to do this one, which means that Riley 6 is on the back burner for a while. Which is a pain, considering I'd only just sorted out several problems I was having with its direction. That's the problem with plotting beforehand--the muse feels restricted to the plot, and it takes forever to work out where it's going wrong. But it's sorted now, and I think it's going to work in lovely with what I have planned for the next couple of books. (Yes, I'm a pantzer, but I'be always known where the emotional plot was going, and what would happen in the end. Let's just say that Riley's trials are far from over just yet!)

I should be able to get some RT pics up soon. My camera's battery went dead, and I haven't had a chance to recharge until now, meaning I haven't been able to grab any of the pics I took. It's charging now, so start looking for some pics tomorrow :)

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

home from RT...

and it's nice to be here, too. As much as I had a blast, it's great to be home with my family again. Especially after over 24 hours of flying. I tell you, I'm seriously considering the whole business-class option next year--particularly after being stuck in the plane on the run way for over 40 minutes at Houston airport, thanks to the storm that hit just as we were getting shunted away from the terminal, and then being shoved next to a space invader on the Auckland--Melbourne leg of the jaunt. I mean, not only did this idiot spread his legs as wide as he could (not sure why--his packaging didn't look anything to be so proud of ;D), but he kept jiggling his legs up and down. And kept poking me in the ribs when wriggling about. There was no point saying anything--he didn't understand english (I was stuck in the middle of a Japanese tourist party) and he certainly didn't understand the many evil looks I sent his way. Mind you, the guy next to him was really nice, so I think I got the bad penny of the group.

Any way, seeing I didn't get to blog much about RT, I thought I'd make a list of the good points and the bad :)

Good Points:

Eating, drinking, gossiping and generally having a good time with Jenna Black, Miriam Kriss, Vicki Petterson and Rachel Vincent (now known as Miriam's gang, because super agent represents us all). Miriam obviously has fantastic taste in clients (after all, she had the good taste to pick me up! lol), and we all got along like old friends. Can't wait for RWA in July for the repeat!

The Mr. Romance contest. As corny as hell, but also hysterically funny. Especially when you're sitting next to Anne Groell, Miriam Kriss, Jenna Black and Rachel Vincent. The snarky, funny comments were flying thick and fast, and it was just brill. I hope they get the same MC back next year, but I think he might have done his dash with his whole marriage and divorce run of jokes. Sections of the room (the sections taking it all way, way too seriously) did not appreciate it.

Meeting and chatting to fans. It was great to be able to finally meet many of the people I've chatted to via email!

Workshops. I know RWAmerica has the rep for catering for writers needs, but RT had some fantastic workshops and panels this year. And there were plenty of editors and agents to talk to, as well.

Being stuck at the bottom of an escalator, with my agent on one side, and my editor on the other, both of them loudly saying (to a packed line of people waiting behind us to get into the party) that I was a New York Times bestseller, that they could vouch for me, and that I really wasnt trying to sneak into the party unpaid. It didn't work--the stickler guarding the gateway still made me go upstairs to get my name tag so I could get into the party, but hey, it was worth it :)

Meeting and chatting to authors like Sunny (such a lovely lady!) and DN Simmons (who I've chatted to via forums but never actually met)

The book fair. Hundreds of authors, thousands of books, all in one room. What a buzz :)

Free books! There's tons of them at RT--just about every party had free books on offer (and there were a ton of parties). Plus, there was a goody-bag room as well, where you could have six books, and as many of the Ellora's Cave and Red Sage novels as you wanted. There were people walking out of there with thirty or so books!

Being finally able to buy hot tea that wasn't herbal at American restaurants! Okay, this may not seem such a big deal to some, but the first time I went to America (ten years ago now) restaurants used to give me the look that suggested I had three heads when I asked for regular hot black tea. I lived on that lipton iced tea stuff in bottles on that trip, and that stuff is revolting.

Bad Points:

Waiting up to 25 minutes to get a lift in the morning. Not RT's fault, I know.

Lack of information when it comes to what is required of authors when authors are giving book packs etc away at club RT. Authors need to know they have to provide the entry forms and the entry box for these giveaways. I wasn't the only one running around like a headless chook trying to come up with these items at the last moment.

Organisers need to leave at least a five minute leeway in the starting times between all the sessions. Many authors and attendees were late for workshops or panels because it was simply impossible to get from one session to another on time (especially if they were on different floors)

Hardly any shops or restaurants being open on the weekend. I know there's nothing RT organisers could have done about that, but hey, what is with that? Walk through the middle of Melbourne any time you please, and you'll find a ton of shops and restaurants open!

Having my case smashed and rendered unusable by the baggage handlers. Though I guess I should be grateful that the lining of the case prevent my dirty laundry leaving a scattered trail from Houston to here.

Pittsburgh 2008, here I come!!

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