Archive for February, 2008

AND THE WINNER IS….

Jennifer Leeland Yay!!!!! Thanks for pimping me. (That sounds wrong on so many levels) Send me an e-mail at melissablue (at)melissblue (dot) net with your shipping info.

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February 29, 2008 at 4:51 pm 1 comment

THINGS PUBLISHED AUTHORS TOLD ME: And I didn’t believe


I’m not sure if you noticed but I liked to put things in list when they really boggled my mind. Well, today I’m going to explore the things I thought were complete and utter bullshit when said by a published author.

1. Being published isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Hmm, at the moment when I don’t have blaring deadlines in front of me I find this one to be on the light side of bullshit. It’s wonderful holding your book in your hands, knowing you wrote it.

2. Being published isn’t all it’s cracked up to be due to promoting your brains out.

Oh, this one I can believe now. I’ve got e-mails I need to answer at the moment. I’m waiting on a phone call from my local African American Newspaper to do an interview. I need to make business cards. Jeez, just shoot me now.

3. The things you write may come back and haunt you.

This one’s my own damn fault. I told the people at my job about my book and now everyone wants a copy. That’s in itself isn’t a bad thing I’m selling books, but now I’m thinking about those steamy love scenes I wrote. My supervisor and the CEO have a copy of my book with those STEAMY LOVE SCENES. If that isn’t bad enough I just handed over a copy to my father. When I told him, “No, you don’t have to read it. No, really you don’t have to read it.” He got offended when all I wanted him to do was to keep on believing I swallowed a pumpkin seed that got me pregnant. Dear baby Jesus.

4. Peddling your books is hard work.

How many ways can you say, “buy my book” without being annoying? I still haven’t found a steady balance for that one. I feel like the person outside the grocery store asking for spare change. But if it sells a copy of my book…

5. The excitement with the second book isn’t as high.

This one I can kind of agree on. I checked out the latest releases on my publishers website and found See Megan Run (formerly known as Overworked and Underlaid) and I had a squee moment. Not the the same pitch of squee when I saw How Much You Want to Bet? But a squee nonetheless. Hell,to be honest I may have only talked about See Megan Run in passing since I sold it. Oh, but trust me I’m going to be hitting over the head with that one. (To sum up that book: Mommie Dearest meets The Princess Bride.)

6. At the end of the day you still have to write.

So, true. With all the fanfare going on I still find the time to open up a word doc and write my little heart out. Now I just may be juggling edits with my editor, my own personal revisions, and trying to get down a daily word count, but I’m still a writer.

Two things: That picture is from a Tarot Deck (the fool card) and I’ll pull names later for the grand finale win.

AMENDED TO ADD: I’m number 8 on the bestseller list on my publisher’s website. SQUUEE! That may be why I’m not jaded by publishing yet.

February 29, 2008 at 8:50 am 15 comments

FAIR-WEATHER BLOGGER(but really who cares I’ve got pictures)

I haven’t blogged this sporadically since I first started. I’m not going to make any promises. I’m just going to blog, but today here’s a treat. Look what I received in the mail today.

Yup you guessed it.

Ain’t she a beauty? Here’s your last chance to pimp me to get one, SIGNED by me. And yup after Friday we’ll be back to the regular schedule. Make sure to let me know you pimped me, otherwise I won’t know.

February 28, 2008 at 5:24 am 8 comments

THE ACTOR’S STUDIO

Today’s winner is….Booklady! Yay!!!! You can e-mail me at my new and improved e-mail addy melissablue (at) melissablue (dot) net and I’ll send you your free e-book copy of How Much You Want to Bet?

Also this week is your last chance to link the hell out of me. Get your name entered into the big drawing for a PRINT, SIGNED copy How Much You Want to Bet? You know you wanna win.
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I don’t say this often because I really don’t believe anything works for every writer. The only thing I do believe is a writer finding their own way of how THEY write. For me it’s all about what gets the words on the page and what helps the writer tap into a part of themselves that will make the story breath. It may happen in the first draft, the second, six months after you’ve written the story, but at some point something hits you about the characters and you think to yourself, “I’ve got it.”

But today I’m going to say if you are a writer then you need to watch The Actor’s Studio. It won’t teach you all the nuts and bolts of writing, but it’ll make you understand passion, getting into character, and the moments when you are outside yourself and writing. Those moments are when the words are flying from your brain to your fingers. It’s those days where you sit back and there is a shit eating grin on your face because you know you’ve got it.

The main reason why I’m all for this show because (some) actor’s talk about how they get into character. They talk about the things they do that helps them get into a character’s skin. Yes actor’s have a unfair adavantage because you can visually see a character. But the good ones make you walk away from the movie and if just for a few moments you believe the characters are real. Years down the line you’d think, “I wonder how they are doing?” because when a good actor does their job you will swear on a holy bible that actor is that person. Ex: Anthony Hopkins…I would not want to be in a room alone with that man, because to me HE IS Hannibal. So today’s treat is a sneak peek into an actor’s brain on how they get into character.

Did I mention I love this show?

Oh, and if you have the time go to youtube and watch Tom Hanks interview from 1999. INCREDIBLE ACTOR!

What shows have you watched that have taught you a lot about character?

February 22, 2008 at 2:54 pm 4 comments

CONFESSIONS OF A ROMANCE AUTHOR

It’s been a month since I last confessed…

Oh, my, it’s that time again, but I’m happy to say not much has bothered me in my reading. The things that did…well they made it to the list.

1. I must ask this and don’t take offense if you have ever done it, but what’s with the teeth thing? Why must the hero’s teeth “flash”. Does he have a hidden camera in his mouth? Have I stepped into a Colgate commercial and not know it? It’s nice, yeah, that the man has all his teeth and that they are white and shiny, but must the heroine’s knees buckle at the sight of them. It’s just a curious question and like most things that irritate me I find myself about to write them. It’s a disease, but I was strong enough to fight the “his teeth flashed” phrase. (a sidenote: I was not reading a paranormal when I read this line.)

2. Bettye pointed this out and then I read it and had to laugh. “The kiss was punishing.” Okay, first let’s attack the passive voice, because some writers tried to avoid that by writing. “He kissed her punishingly.” Then I can attack the adverb, but really stop it with the whole phrase. Have you ever been kissed “punishingly”? It can’t be arousing. You can’t sell me on that one.

3. Since we are on kisses and the like let me address the one I’m SOOOO guitly of: “He devoured her… (lips, skin, and dear baby jesus, please, not her genitals)

A. Synonyms for this word can be : 1. eat greedily (find the pun in that.); 2. Demolish

B. Depending on the person the first one wouldn’t be too bad. But who wants to be demolished while having a little four play?

Still not sold on giving this word up?

Let me give you a scenario. Your d.d./dw, or significant other starts to kiss ya. He/She uses a little teeth. Not bad. You are getting into the groove of things…then he/she start to chew…vigorously. I mean he/she are going at you like they haven’t eaten in WEEKS. Hold that imagine…Now won’t you go WTF? and then say, “I am not a BLT sandwich!”

On that note I think ’nuff is said. Readers out there give me so more things you find in romance novels that make you go WTF? Cliches, bad visuals…go at it in the comments.

February 21, 2008 at 2:30 pm 6 comments

IT AIN’T JUST MY MAMA…

…Who thinks my writing is good. You can read my first review here.

Oh, and thanks, Raine. I wasn’t sure if it would be a faux pas if I left a comment.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got today. I’m sure tomorrow I’ll be doing a Confessions. Well, I know I’m going to be doing a Confessions, because I’ve been reading A LOT lately, and my eye twitch keeps getting worst.

Talk to you folks tomorrow.

February 20, 2008 at 5:02 pm 8 comments

WRITE QUESTIONS: Pam Walters

Today’s interivew is with a very good writing friend of mine, Pam Walters. She’s a fellow Cherry (Jennifer Crusie fan)and this upcoming RWA conference we’ll probably be joined at the hip. (and probably with something with alcohol in our hands) Without further ado…

When did you start writing?

August, 1996

What was the defining moment that made you sit down and start writing a book?

A really, really, really bad poem that I wrote and shared with my husband (English major, writer and poet long before he met me.) He very tactfully encouraged my efforts and suggested that maybe I start by writing something I know. Well, I knew romance. I remembered seeing a contest for romance writers and had an A-ha! moment.

What made you take yourself seriously?

I always did with my writing. That’s just who I am.

What have you learned about writing that shocked you the most?

Turning points, arcs, layers—um, I guess you could say craft.

What sub-genre(s) did you gravitate to when you first started? Is it the same as now and why do you think it’s changed or stayed the same?

100% historical. Historicals have always been my comfort read and the style of book I naturally turn to. I had been reading Johanna Lindsay, Judith McNaught, Julie Garwood, Kathleen Woodiwiss. At that point, I don’t think I could have done anything else. Now? I still love my historicals but have a much better appreciation for them, but I’ve branched out into paranormal (both light and dark) and contemporaries for both reading and writing. I think it’s changed because I’ve grown as a reader and forced myself to read outside my comfort zones. As I discovered the big wide world of fiction out there, my writing really started to go to a new level.

What advice have you gotten that you live by?

Swing wide.

What advice would you give a newbie (if it’s not the same as above)?

Pretty much the same—write the book as you hear or see it and don’t worry about your friends, family, upcoming multi-million dollar contract—just write it for you. No editing, no censoring, no doubting!

What’s you’re writing process? Has it changed since writing your first book?

My writing process seems to change based on the book I’m working on, things going on in my personal life, work, etc. Needless to say, it’s a very fluid process. I’m actually less disciplined than when I first started and that’s something I need to get back to. I am 65% panster and 35% plotter/planner but many times the characters just take over and I run behind them with a notebook, screaming “Wait! What did you just say? And who are you?”

What keeps you writing?

The maniacal giggle that bursts out when I have just written something brilliant.

Do you have a support system? Do you have a writing community? What valuable lessons have you learned from them?

My primary support system is my husband. He’s also a writer so I never have to worry about pissing him off when I stop him dead in the middle of a sentence and run off to write an idea down. My other support system is The Cherries (led by the fabulous cherry herself, Jenny Crusie.) What I have learned from them in terms of craft, process, the writer’s life—everything—cannot be conveyed in anything less than 20,000 words with liberal helpings of chocolate, hugs and sparkly things.

Define success for yourself?

Being a career author.

What’s your comfort reads?

Jenny Crusie, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Laurell K. Hamilton, Jim Butcher, Janet Evanovich, Lani Diane Rich, LaVyrle Spencer, Carl Hiaasen, Donald Westlake, Gregory McDonald

Who are you reading right now?

Elmore Leonard’s “Escape from Five Shadows”, Jennifer Crusie’s “Strange Bedpersons” and Stephen King’s “On Writing”

What book(s) that makes you want to write better (or stop writing because you’ll never be that good)?

There’s no way I can just pick books, so instead I’ll go with Joss Whedon, Jenny Crusie, Christopher Moore…basically anybody who can make me go, “Wow.”

Plug away…

My goal for 2008 is to get the website up so check back at http://www.pamwalters.net sometime in the spring, but in the meantime, you can visit me at http://www.myspace.com/pamwritesromance Any friend of Melissa’s is a friend of mine!

February 18, 2008 at 11:37 pm 3 comments

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