On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Sunday, August 31, 2008

As the Story Grows -- Heart Duel

Still thinking about Heart Duel, a few things happened in that story that I hadn't anticipated, that grew as I wrote it. Actually, this always occurs, but with Heart Duel it was important because the whole subplot that I'm finally tying up in Heart Fate was started and became a dangling thread.

What I still like the best about Heart Duel is that when you first meet the patriarchs, T'Holly and T'Hawthorn (in order of appearance), T'Hawthorn is the cooler, more impersonal, less sympathetic character, especially with regard to his children.

But in the end it is T'Holly who makes the dreadful mistake that carries over through several books and wrenches his Family apart. He is the one who is the most blind and intransigent.

I hadn't planned it that way, but I had started comparing/contrasting the two men and when it got down to the end of the story and I knew what would happen, I thought it would be really interesting to twist it.

So that's how that particular part of Heart Duel grew.

May you enjoy the characters you meet today.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Heart Fate -- Research

List of research items in no particular order:

Estate gardens
Hot springs
Abused dogs
Self-Defense (a LOT of dvds...)
Satellite orbits
Chakras (I did A LOT of research on chakras since I also used them in Keepers of the Flame)
Hair color
Herbs -- Burdock, Furze, Horsetail, magical and medicinal qualities, scientific names
Distillation (Organic chemistry)
Drying herbs
Expresso (I drink tea)
Runes (again)
Why Paint Cats (again)
Childhood development (again)

That's much of the list, but not all. May you enjoy learning something new today.

Saturday -- Series Scenes

The Friday post should have been Saturday. So this is for Saturday.

I think I've spoken of this before: including scenes that will move the series on and could (possibly) be cut from the book, or condensed.

This happens, and usually is fun for the author, and fun for the reader if they catch it.

The scene that is the best example of this is in Heart Quest. I wrap up the entire book, but I have a dangling thread of a subplot that I need to tie up. Thus the ending wedding scene of Heart Quest. I knew I wanted that thread woven in at that point in the series, but it didn't fit anywhere BEFORE in the book without taking away from the suspense and the action. BUT, this particular scene didn't need to be in Heart Quest for Trif and Winterberry's story, which was the main story of the book.

I do have some scenes like this in Heart Fate -- set ups for books down the line. One is Tannun's favorite scene which is a set up for Heart Change (writing now) and Vinni's book. I think this scene DID do good double-triple duty in that it fit well in the story, emphasizing some points.

There is also an "introduce-a-new-hero" scene which didn't need to be a scene but could have been a paragraph or two (and, by the way, I cut several bits surrounding that subplot). My mentor knew (and the savvy reader will know) exactly what is going on. But it was fun and worked into a subplot.

The ending of the first scene was a good hook, and I liked it. The identity of the person who came on stage was determined by the next books. His backstory was changed, and it also got me thinking about further stories down the line.

So there's a scene near the end, a whole subplot set up that works into the heroine's plot, that is there for the story of one of the next generation.

Yes, I do think of these things well in advance when I can.

May you enjoy your own plotting today.

Friday, August 29, 2008


Backstory is what has happened to your character (All your characters) before the story starts, usually what experiences they've had to lead them to personal flaws they need to overcome, motivate all their actions, etc.

Or just the history of the character, a shorthand for you to flesh out someone and know him/her a little more. Is blue his favorite color? What shade?

So....I spent some time looking at all the scenes I had Cratag in -- just Heart Duel and Heart Fate -- to see what he said and what the reader knows about him. I'd thought he had a sister who died young. So I was thinking about that and how it motivated him, having him leave the southern continent of Brittany to come to the northern (I've named it recently, but don't recall)...then I started REALLY thinking about this. Sounded like Straif Blackthorn's backstory to me (though he had TERRIBLE losses in his life).

So, the sister will stay the same. But what of an older sister? Why would he leave? What if she got married to a country gentleman and changed muchly, not wanting him around, or the country gentleman thought he could use Cratag's sword as a mercenary guard for trading? Or what?

Cratag Timeline that the READER knows:

Leave Brittany and travel to Druida
Arrive Druida and find FirstGrove
Offer Sword to T'Hawthorn
Befriends Laev Hawthorn
Becomes Security Chief for T'Hawthorn's guards during the Hawthorn-Holly feud
Participates in feud
Helps Laev
Meets D'Marigold during Healing Ritual
Follows orders to give T'Hawthorn's sword to T'Blackthorn to give to Holly, feud end
Becomes Laev's bodyguard/friend
...Heart Fate stuff...

So I need to keep the above the same, but can fill in.

May you enjoy your worlds today.

Heart Duel (book 3) Excerpt

I'm writing Cratag's story now, and he was at the beginning of this scene. It's after a street melee. Lark (Hawthorn) is the heroine and a Healer, in love with Holm, a Holly, and their families are feuding. T'Heather is her grandfather on her mother's side and her boss. And all this explanation...is it worth it? Do you want to see old excerpts?

Lark had thought of making a new life, becoming a new woman. She had partially gained her goal. T’Heather’s support of her independent living had given her the respect she so wanted from all her Family.

But nothing could lift the pain of loving Holm, and the knowledge of imminent heartbreak.

T’Heather urged her from the site of death, circling around the dark blood that seeped between the cracks of the gray stones, staining the mortar red.

May you enjoy what you read today,

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Who's A Published Author? Writing Organizations

Recently we got a request from a writer who wanted to get his PEN (first sale) award because he'd sold to a small e-pub who would pay royalties -- after they published his book next year... So, is he published or not.

This has been a hideous question that RWA has struggled with, and is thorny. People vociferously lobbied for epublishing to be recognized...but many on the boards of RWA said they were looking after authors and were not believed.

I've had good friends and acquaintances get REALLY BURNED by epubs. I've heard sad stories and horror stories, and stories that resulted in writers angry at other writers which is NOT GOOD. We need to stick together.

So RMFW is tackling this issue today (at Woodbury Library, close to me and Mile High Stadium, good luck in getting around). I think we're going to go with something like the Mystery Writers of America, at least that looks good to moi.

The Science Fiction Writers Association seems to have convoluted rules. RWA's new rules are pretty good, too.

Anyway that's it, I think I'll clean the kitchen...I found there were very few places I could take a pic of with the new camera that didn't show a bit of mess.

Flat surfaces are my Doom.

May no doom come upon you today.

Days -- Daze

I've been thinking, and playing and sleeping and doing errands and preparing for the release of Heart Fate, and the RMFW Colorado Gold conference, the signing on September 9 and etc.

So nothing new to speak of, except I got my camera yesterday and took some pics but haven't messed with the software yet, and, of course, SURPRISE, the memory card that came with it is tiny. I think a visit to Target is in order.

The body has been feeling rough, so that added to Rationalizations.

Now I've really thought of a topic, so I guess I'll do it, too.

May you enjoy your day,

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

On Tour -- Razorgirl

PhotobucketRAZOR GIRL by Marianne Mancusi

Molly Anderson is not your average twenty-one-year-old. It’s been six years since she and her family escaped into a bunker, led by her conspiracy theorist father and his foreknowledge of a plot to bring about the apocalypse. But her father’s precautions didn’t stop there. Molly is now built to survive.

Yes, Ian Anderson’s favorite book gave him ideas on how to “improve” his daughter. Molly is faster, stronger, and her ocular implants and razor-tipped nails set her apart. Apart, when—venturing alone out of the bunker and into a plague ravaged, monster-ridden wilderness—what Molly needs most is togetherness. Chase Griffin, a friend from her past, is her best bet. But while he and others have miraculously survived, the kind boy has become a tormented man. Together, these remnants of humanity must struggle toward trusting each other and journey to the one place Molly’s father believed all civilization would be reborn: the Magic Kingdom, where everyone knows it’s a small world after all.

Cover: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51RHRIRT3KL._SS500_.jpg


When it comes to writing, award winning author Marianne Mancusi likes to play the field. From time travel comedies to kick butt speculative fiction romances to a Buffy’esque vampire series for teens, she’s published eleven books in three years, in a myriad of genres and styles.

In addition to writing, Marianne is a multiple Emmy award winning television producer, currently working for the nationally syndicated women’s lifestyle show Better TV. A Boston native and graduate of Boston University ’s College of Communications , she currently lives on Manhattan ’s Upper West Side . (But has NOT become a Yankees fan!) In her spare time, Marianne enjoys clubbing, cosplay, cheesy horror movies (especially those featuring zombies!), her dog Molly, and videogames.


“Opens with danger and will grab your interest immediately. Stellar!”
--Huntress Reviews

“An increasingly intense, suspenseful edge-of-the-seat thrilling ride…stunning, cutting edge romance.”
--Merrimon Book Reviews

"Non-stop thrill ride from page one! Marianne Mancusi spins an eerily marvelous tale in her book RAZOR GIRL."
--Simply Romance Reviews

"Mancusi doesn¹t hesitate to take chances and innovate!"
--Romantic Times

"Marianne Mancusi has returned with an edgy all-new tale, Razor Girl, filled with fast-paced action and a heroine strong enough to mold her own destiny."
--SF Scope

May you enjoy all you read today.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Day Off -- Weird stuff

I took yesterday off, since I was feeling achy, went to my massage therapist who had been down with a sinus thing, too (took a rare sinus pill yesterday). She, too, is having planes pass over her home -- apparently enforcing the no fly zone. Ok.

I postulated that the "energy" in Denver might be very different than what we're used to. I dunno. I listened to Connie Willis read Heinlein's speech at WorldCon and he made a point of not making judgments (kept rewriting that sentence and it kept coming out badly), but, man, I have trouble not making judgments about politicians and those who want power in the US political arena. I DID go to school in DC, and lived there for a while, too. I really don't believe any of them (and the lower they get, like the Denver City Council the worse it can be) truly believe in service. That's me and my beliefs. I'd like to think that they did, but I don't....

Obviously I'm getting sucked into the energy and the goings-on here.


May you enjoy your day with or without politics.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Good Morning, Contract Advice

Hope your day is well. Didn't feel good yesterday and have a head and body aches this am. Not sure why. Massage today might take care of it, then I really need to start the exercise program again which will make me chipper and have more energy.

I've decided, for the moment, to pamper myself a little by keeping the daily wordcount low. I'm also thinking more about this book since I don't know my characters as well.

I did purchase a camera online to be received in a few days, so more pics should be posted on the blog, etc. Shortly.

Still have to reinstall the printers. Ever since the guy at hp "helped" me, my color printer won't scan and my black and white laser jet won't do landscape book stuff.

Of course I should be promoting Heart Fate as much as I can, too, since it hits the stands NEXT WEEK, though you've said B&N is selling early.

So: with Berkley I have a "pay on publication" clause in my contract, which my agent told me is "Pay on shipping." Since a third party (B&N) is now selling the books and shipping them, I think I should be paid, right?

Off to send an email to my agent, pamper myself a little, then hit the writing. After all my upcoming seminar/conference obligations I'll have the retreat, and I also hope to up my daily wordcount dramatically.

Be well.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Daily Writing Life -- Saturday

Critique today which went fairly well. Took chapter 2 of Heart Change, they want a little bit cut and the rest of the scene punched up, my mentor, she of the action -- wants more description. So, not too difficult but I've only made 1/2 my wordcount for today and want a nap, then to get back to the current scene.

That's the writing.

The air pattern over Denver has changed and now planes or helicopters are flying over the house. A couple of days ago I heard a sonic boom. I definitely need to figure out my driving patterns so I don't go down Speer near the Pepsi Center and, Heaven forfend, don't go near Mile Hi Stadium when Obama is speaking. Both are a few miles from my house.


But I'm cranky and tired and want a nap now, so I'll spoon out more food for Tommy (who has continued to break up my sleep cycle in the wrong spots), and listen to the Thistle and Shamrock which is defining Celtic Music this week and next. And forget about the jerk with "Recreate 68" who said he was protesting Obama when the guy started the whole damn thing before Obama was nominated. The Democrats are NOT the war party this time, let him go and protest in Wisconsin. Waste of good NPR airtime given to him and I'm ashamed he's a Denverite like me. **snort**

May you have a good weekend. I'll be fine after my nap.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Writing Rituals

Writers have them, to get into the mood. To signal the brain -- subconscious, and conscious that now is the time to be creative.

I really, really, REALLY missed my earphones at the retreat. Of course I'd thought I'd packed them (wonder where the set is -- I have 3). Most often I do subliminals on my machine -- Creativity, High Focus, Confidence, Positive Thinking, whatever...by several artists. But most demand that earphones are worn.

Not to mention there was usually some talk in the dining room behind me that I couldn't pretend not to hear. I might still have heard it with the earphones, but then it would have been background noise. My new to me computer bag (3 weeks old) doesn't have the pockets that I'm used to, so I haven't figured out a good organizational system. I may add another pocket or two, somehow. I don't think I'll ever be giving this bag up.

Anyway, I did manage to make my wordcount Fri-Sun. Monday I think I only did about 900 words because I was anxious to get home. One day I did 2500 and one day I worked on the light-urban-paranormal-romance.

I've done the morning wordcount (could be daily), and I've looked at the email and Echoes In The Dark copy edits have been delivered.

I just finished a sparring scene and think I might check out something like it on City of Heroes to get the movement right ( ;) rationalization, though it IS good for some fighting, one of my scrappers has the most incredible kicks).

So I am pleased. Oh, and it's time for breakfast.

May you have a sunshiny day.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Cutting Threads

Done with work for the night. Yesterday and today have been very long days, working on the copy edits of Echoes in the Dark. My editor didn't like the way I handled something, so I decided to cut that particular thread...or minimize it at least. I think trying to do it right in the space and time I have is impossible.

I DID get the edits a little while back -- during Worldcon, and they are due Friday, but I thought they would be cleaner than they are. Some of my typo mistakes are there, but some new ones, too, so someone typed the sucker in, I think. Not to mention cutting the thread (this is a whine....). So the thread comes out and that means I have to follow it through and change it every time it appears.

Advice for the day, make sure you follow your threads through if you have to revise them.

That said, I am up to the middle of the battle, which means I'm only thirty pages from the end or so. The end of the book goes really, really fast (that is a warning). I want to do a little more with them, and my editor added some sentences previously where SHE wanted a little more something, so I will probably go back and revise those bits, too.

Anyway, I'm tired, so it's off to bed. Echoes In The Dark should definitely be gone tomorrow and reach the proper offices at the appointed time.

May you enjoy your work.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Announcement & Blind books

Autumn has come to Owens Residence, I walked in at the height of the heat yesterday to find the house 64 degrees, which seemed nice and cool at the time. The door is open now because Dingo LOVES the outdoors (and my neighbor's backyard), Charlie has been introduced to Dingo, so he knows which cat is prowling around his yard. So the fans will come out of the windows and the shades will come down.

Now for the announcement. Since my agent has announced this on publishers lunch, I guess I can do it here.

Berkley has bought three more Heart books. This is particularly fine since I only sent in a proposal for two. Heart Change, the story of Cratag Maytree and Signet D'Marigold, and Heart Journey, the story of Raz Cherry and Del (Helena) D'Elcampane. I think I've spoken about this work.

I think the third book (called a "blind" book in that the publisher is buying something they have no idea it might be -- but you can be sure the contract will say "another book set on the planet Celta" and I DID tell my editor that I was planning to slip about twenty years and move on to the next generation. That's my idea now.)
Celta: 427 Years after Colonization.

Since lives are very long on Celta (to make up for poor birth rate, etc.) all the people I've written of will still be alive -- and in their prime, except for one secondary character. I don't see that I'll be going back to the previous generation's time.

I've got an idea how I will link the books, it came to me when my editor said she wanted (or "could give us") three. First up will be the oldest youngster in the Heart Books.

Now I have to get back to Echoes In The Dark line edits (bath first)which are due FRIDAY, but I wanted to take as long a break as I could from it. The sun has risen since I've typed this. More about the retreat and the wonderful dinner I had last night (in which I applied an epiphany I learned in San Francisco) and my old alma mater, later this week.

May serenity come to you today.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Writers' Retreats

I spent a few years looking for a good Writers' Retreat, found one in SC last year (and am returning this year), and now have been invited to a local group in Fairplay. It was phenomenal and I got much good work done...of course there was a little snow on Friday as I drove in and it rained until this am, so we DID work. Occasionally broke into conversation or asked questions re: word choice, spelling and grammar....

Tired now, more tomorrow.


Sunday, August 17, 2008


You really need to have your office set up so you will work in it. Not too messy if that bothers you, or not too clean, ditto.

I have a floating keyboard, and once had a floating monitor. I'm careful of the lighting.

That said, I now must root out my office because it has gotten too full of PAPER. All sorts of stuff, website stats for years (I used to be diligent about checking weekly), first reviews of HeartMate, reference books, blank paper, lined paper, calendars...portfolios of projects, contracts, supplies. You name something in an author's office and I bet I'll have it. Stickers, certificates, the odd mask and stuffed animals (2 teddy bears, my bunnies and a snake crochetted by my grandmother). Hats, red velvet witches hat with gilt accents, and mickey mouse ears....


Did I mention 3 sides of my offic has bookselves?

Anyway it's time. Look around your office and consider what might be holding you back from writing there. Is the computer too slow to load? The light not right? The chair? You do all your banking and promo on it and associate it with loss of money? You have other stuff in it?

So, make sure your comfortable, but your office is still a place that you want to be.

May you be comfortable today.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


I'm not sure whether I will say this right, but here goes. There is an excellent line of thought that if a hero will NEVER do something, that's what you should twist circumstances to do. For instance, if a hero would never betray his honor, have him make a choice to betray his honor to save the heroine. (That make sense?)

This is, of course, from those who really like to make things worse and worse and worse for their characters and twist your heart with angst. I'm only a so-so angst person. I once read a wonderful Elizabeth Lowell book, but I swear that woman tormented her heroine until I couldn't bear it. I now look at my Elizabeth Lowell books very carefully. And, BTW, I think one of the best romances ever written was by Elizabeth Lowell and called Tell Me No Lies.

Anyway, a warning, I have been twisting Tinne Holly up over the last several books and when you get to Heart Fate, he'll have the worst day EVER. It's the most I've ever tortured a person.

So, following the dictum above, I thought that if I wanted to really show what Tinne was made of I should have him betray his honor. The problem is, he wouldn't. Not after all that has happened to him and his Family since his parents betrayed THEIR honor. Tinne would literally DIE before he betrayed his honor. So, sometimes that wouldn't work.

Anyway that's the thought of the day (or at least of Thursday night to be posted on Saturday am). May you have excellent food for thought today.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fan Comment -- Laugh of the Morning

Ok, I've been dragging around this am, slept some yesterday so woke up in the middle of the night (I think Tommy has been waking me up during my REM sleep, of course the sleep yesterday was a nightmare -- lost and hungry with no money and not speaking the language in France -- so I was glad to get out of there). Took the car in for a travel check before I drive up to the mountains tomorrow. I have used all my free AAA calls this year and renew in December...

So, I decided to check my email in case there was something I needed to respond to from my agent and editors. We have been talking. Or regarding the RMFW conference, the last two days of which I've been working on it. There were messages so I feel vindicated in doing the email instead of writing. ;)

As you may know, my contest email supplies a box for comments and today I got this one:

I love your books so much I buy duplicates. Of course my cat likes them too, she's eaten one and started on another before I caught her. :)

Priceless, now to work. I have the new Fancy Assam in my new Grace Cathedral labyrinth mug.

May you laugh today,

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Progress on Heart Change, Advice

The last two days I've buckled down and started real work on Heart Change. I really would like to take a long vacation, but...anyway my rhythm is not back, I only got a little over 1500 words written in a longer period than normal, but it's better than nothing.

Signet is a Catalyst, and even I don't know what that really means. One of those things that I'll be working out as I go along. It's a matter of describing effects/results rather than how she does what she does (unconsciously, like the Null power Ruis Elder has). So I'd already set a scene up to show this, and had to think about it.

I'm still not sure about the many aspects of the catalyst (and though I'll take comments, I'm going to be adamant about this that I'm going to do it my way). I believe she works one great change in a person's life when they spend a fair amount of time in her company over about two weeks.

I'm not sure if she will continue to have small effects on their lives, or her own, or the Residence's or whatever. That will come, I fully believe.

So, advice of the day, allow yourself to make things up as you go along. You don't need every detail of how a thing works in your fantasy world when you start the book, but by the end of the book, you need to know it, even if you don't explain in entirety. Sometimes it can remain a "mystery," (but don't use this often).

Anyway, that's that, and I really need to start working on the house. May you enjoy your imagination.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Upcoming Retreat, Blog Off

I'm going with some RMFW writers to a weekend retreat in Fairplay, Colorado at The Hand Hotel (haunted). So my blogs on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday will probably be pre-done and loaded to appear.

I've been running around a lot this year. I still have the RMFW conference, Mile Hi Con, and the Master Class and South Carolina writing retreat. Whew. But I'm really looking forward to some beach time.


Procrastinating, Echoes In The Dark Question, Heart Change

So...two weeks ago I was flying to San Francisco for RWA, a week ago I was dragging around after RWA and gearing up for Worldcon.

Today I am procrastinating. I have a few paragraphs of chapter 2 of Heart Change written (and I may have news to share soon), and music playing on the computer, and it looks like the heat has broken for the year here. THANK HEAVENS.

But...can't get into the scene. I am sure I started it where it needs to be, and I've set up what needs to happen here in chapter one, but...bleh...

My dining room table (current work area) is back to the layers and layers on layers and layers, and I have the line edits of Echoes in the Dark just out of sight on a chair in the living room (flat surfaces are BAD for writers), but not out of mind.

Re: Echoes In The Dark, I've been canvassing certain loops about a disagreement my editor and I have about the ending. Like whether those who survive need to be rewarded for going through all this, come out better than before. I like that idea and my editor doesn't think it's realistic enough.

I think I'm tired, but am sure that if I went up to bed to try and sleep more, it wouldn't happen. Did my usual bath last night so I don't want to do it this am, too, especially since we're hurting for water.

I guess it's time for the very strong black tea and subliminals...and since the scene takes place in a setting we haven't seen since HeartMate (T'Ash's ResidenceDen), and it's changed, maybe I'll look at HeartMate.


May you all be motivated today.

Monday, August 11, 2008

German Title?

I think I told you all that I got a German magazine with Sorceress of Faith (Sorceress of Lladrana) in it (of course I can't read it, but I'm hoping it was good since it showed the book cover).

Well here's something a fan alerted me was on Amazon. I did a search for "huterin" and couldn't find it, so I'm thinking "hunter" or "guardian."

Many thanks,


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Worldcon Went Well

The panels were great, talking with old friends and new excellent, and the reading was intimate but lovely. One of the ladies there from Alberta didn't have good access to my work, so the next time I saw her, I went out to my car to search for Heart Thief, which tends to do best with the sf/f crowd...though it's also my sexiest, found it and gave it to her...

Anyway, that's that. I may be getting my sanity back shortly, though I have the line edits for Echoes in the Dark. Retreat next weekend in Fairplay. Running all around this year. RMFW in Sept., MileHi Con in Oct, end of Oct and early Nov is the SC Master Class and retreat....

smooches, and may you have a good day.

oh, and I bought this print for my office

Keeping Comments

I was sifting through the layers on my dining room table, handling the last batch of critique group comments (more clarification and motivation needed), when I came across about thirty double sided pages.

Comments from my editor on Echoes In The Dark. GOOD comments. Little hearts, a "good" or two...etc.

Yeah, I saved them, will probably keep them.

When I first started writing I saved all my "good" pages. In fact, since I had the time, I printed out a clean copy of some of my books, color coded my critique buddies, and transferred comments from the pages to the copy. I think I have the full copy of HeartMate this way, and comments nearly every page, since some things strike only one person, and some hit everyone. I don't think I've looked at these for years.

Not sure if this was excessive, but it helped me get through the unpublished time. So, if you need to, keep your comments. But, again, know that inner validation is the very best.

May you be pleased with yourself today.

Saturday, August 09, 2008


In a couple of hours at Worldcon. 2:30 in the Granite C. MIGHT even print out Heart Change and Heart Journey.


Believing the Myth

This is something that someone else I met at RWA said and I'm passing along. I think it was one of our local Colorado Romance Writers' chapter members.

One of our well known and multi-published authors is changing from romances to thrillers. When comment was made, someone said that she didn't think the author believed in the myth anymore...the romance myth. That there is someone for everyone and a happily ever after for everyone. And writing in a genre where you don't believe in the myth is difficult, especially if you're expected to deliver that myth with conviction. The author is single and I think has given up on a true mate.

Most genres have myths. For instance, mysteries have the myth that murders will be solved; thrillers that the world will be saved; fantasy (regular, not dark), ditto. Say, if you were involved in a hideous crime and the murder was never solved, or if solved the murderer went scott free. Would you be able to write cozy mysteries where everything is wrapped up neat and tidily? I'm not sure.

So, speaking personally, I still believe in the myth.

May you enjoy your own myths today.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Signing this pm, Reading Tomorrow WORLDCON

Ok, getting nervous now. I'm moderating a panel and mostly dressed for it, leaving in a few. I won't be taking the bus today, though, which means shelling out some good dough for parking...

The panels today are: Putting romance in your SF, and Writing Full time.
Signing this evening, check previous messages.

Many thanks for all your support, may you feel supported today.

Cover Flats: Signing FRIDAY, World SF Con, Denvention 4:45PM


I do have a few cover flats of several books that I will sign or give away.


Thursday, August 07, 2008

I'm A Fictional Flaw... ;)

LOL, I laughed at this. At least I was mentioned, by name, and "collection" was put in the story....



Reminder: Signing FRIDAY, World SF Con, Denvention 4:45PM

Yes, you will be seeing this every day.

Just letting you know. Please stop by and talk. Panel at 1:30 at writing romance in SF, and 5:30 on being a full time writer.


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

SATURDAY READING 2:30 Denvention

TO MY AMAZEMENT I AM READING ON SATURDAY 2:30 FOR 1 1/2 HOURS!!! What were they thinking that it would go on so long. I'm already dreading (no negative thing written here, but you can imagine). Anyway I will bring stuff -- some Heart Fate...and some of the Luna books, Keepers of the Flame, of course, the scene in the grocery store. Urgh.

So if you belong to Worldcon and you want fresh material, please drop by!



Well, I tore myself away from loafing and took the bus to Denvention. The first person I saw was a woman I'd been in the improv group with, and her husband who reviews for the Denver Post as I waited to register. Then I saw Carol Berg, sauntered down to look for the green room and saw a panel with a local friend on it, sat in, saw another local author, wandered around, listened to Connie Willis.

Anyway, it's odd. The tribe thing. For a long, long time a big part of my life was being a sf fan, at least participating. But they don't feel like my main tribe now and I'm not exactly sure what my main tribe is. Writers, perhaps subheading, published. OTOH, I wasn't at all uncomfortable.

Of course I took the bus, and when I decided to come home, it was RAINING. It hasn't rained all summer long, and it's raining (still). Why?


TO MY AMAZEMENT I AM READING ON SATURDAY 2:30 FOR 1 1/2 HOURS!!! What were they thinking that it would go on so long. I'm already dreading (no negative thing written here, but you can imagine). Anyway I will bring stuff -- some Heart Fate...and some of the Luna books, Keepers of the Flame, of course, the scene in the grocery store. Urgh.

Little shock.

That's it, I want to go bury my head in the sand now, thank you very much.

Signing FRIDAY, World SF Con, Denvention 4:45PM

PhotobucketJust letting you know. Please stop by and talk. Panel at 5:30 on being a full time writer.



The very first contest I entered was the unpublished Maggies (Georgia Romance Writers). I took third with Betrothal and Blackmail (never published). JUST got the call tonight that Protector of the Flight is a finalist! Hooray! I expected Protector of the Flight to do better in the contests. It's a more accessible book, some time is actually on Earth, etc. etc. It's also more of a romance.

I was very pleased to be a finalist in the National Readers' Choice Awards, but I'll be even happier if I win the Maggies! Anyway, that's the news tonight.

The contest season is drawing to a close. I believe there are only two main contests left.

May you do well with all your work.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Day Off -- Refilling the Well

I crashed on Sunday and most of yesterday, and instead of writing this am, I went out to do my errands when it was cool.

So as soon as I finish this, I'll be working on Heart Change...though my mentor is always wary about someone working on a book before a contract has been negotiated or is in hand. As it is, I will be lucky to get Heart Change out next November (instead of December). The current due date is end of February, which gives me (I hope) plenty of time to do a good job on the book.

I also want to work on the paranormal romance light urban fantasy proposals. I have the first chapter of one, the first few lines of the second. The second I have a greater idea of the outline...ah, well.

I haven't received the comments from my editor about Echoes In The Dark which she said would be coming (and she hadn't read the end, where I added two scenes), so now is a little window of relaxation.

May you enjoy the pace of the day today.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Career Landscape

Back into the heat. I needed the heavy jacket when I left SF this am at 5:40, it was 90 by the time I arrived.

I heard that Denver was breaking all weather records, like string of days in the 90s. Both cats alive and glad to see me. I turned on Big Blue (computer) up here in the office then went down and puttered (and took a cool bath), and napped on the downstairs hide a bed.

I dreamt of designing a huge estate (and I have in my time), and I dreamt that it took several shapes, I could transfer in and out of it in the future and see how one design would look, then a second or third. One had a roaming zoo with dangerous tigers. One had an estate that was mostly flooded and beautiful with water, conserving water, and recycling it or saving it or something.

Didn't take too long for the muzziness to clear my mind and I realized it was my career.

Everyone wants books. Berkley is happy with me and wants more Heart books, they will look at my contemporary paranormals light urban fantasies. Luna wants the edgier dark fantasy trilogy.

So now I prioritize.

I DID have what I felt was a wonderful idea for transitioning from the current generation in the Heart books to the next. I think it will work well. And if it does, and Berkley buys more books, the first of the younger generation whose story will be told will be Huathe "Laev" Hawthorn. Laev is seen in Heart Fate.

Anyway, I'm hot and want to wander back downstairs.

May you enjoy any cool breezes that come your way today.

Saturday, August 02, 2008


I am now checked out of the Marriott and will be at the Mosser again. I was drafted to be on a panel (writing/selling cross-genre), so I have to work now. See you all soon.

May you enjoy your day,

Friday, August 01, 2008

Cautiously Optimistic about more Heart Books

Dear folk,

I met with my Berkley editor (Heart books) yesterday and my agent. My editor says she liked the 2 book proposal and the tentative date to turn in Heart Change is end of February for publication later next year. I know this is moving the books later, but I need the time ;), and maybe I can turn it in early! A new subplot came to me in the wee hours of the am, so I am very pleased.

We also talked about the Light Urban Fantasy Romance series (both editor and agent) and Berkley will probably get first shot at this. Still considering whether it will be a romance or slanted more to fantasy with heavy romantic subplot. If romance, my agent wants it to be hotter.

That's the news, but not all of it! I'm going to take off to Grace Cathedral shortly.

Thanks for all your support (oh, did NOT win National Readers Choice award).

Take care,

Out of the Blogosphere
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