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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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Long Days

Enchanted Again is due at the end of the month. I'm not going to make it. But I'm going to be putting in very long days (as long as I can physically and mentally manage) to get as many words done as possible.

Thanks for all your support!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Being Out of Contract

When a writer is unemployed, this is what you say. "I'm out of contract." Currently I have 3 more books in my contract, including the one I'm racing to finish, Enchanted Again. Then I have one "Heart" book, Heart Secret (sorry that was the original title of Heart Search), and Enchanted Ever After.

Mentor is out of contract. I anticipate she will get another book deal this week.

The way you stay IN contract is to send in book proposals pretty much as soon as you finish the last book in a contract. Which means you have to be juggling work as you look to the future. Next year at this time, I'll have to be putting together the next proposals for Luna. I'm not sure how many they will want.

That will depend on how well Enchanted No More and Enchanted Again do.

That's how it works, folks.

May you do well in business today.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Name, Story, Character, Magic Generators

All right, I need a name for my 3/4 mer 1/4 elf hero, and I've spent too much time on the above site. It's a wonderful incredibly fun site.

May you enjoy your wanderings today.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Enchanted No More -- Battle and End

Enchanted No More was set at this time of year, and I've been very aware of that as I am writing Enchanted Ever (which is set at the same time as Enchanted No More, but in Denver -- so Amber and Rafe are going through tests and trials in Mystic Circle while Jenni and Aric are in California).

The big battle was the Spring Equinox, and I had Jenni and Aric deciding to come "home" after that. I think Rafe's magical duel will take place this week or next...but the end of March. So I'm watching the weather and thinking of next year. I do know that Enchanted Ever After (current title) will be set later in the year, in the autumn, probably.

May you enjoy all the seasons you visit today.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hearts And Swords Publication Date!


I found on amazon.com that Hearts and Swords is scheduled for December 6!

I did NOT screw with the schedule too much with the longer stories and later deadline!
And, like, I think my editor trusts me, baby.

May you find nuggets of joy in your day.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Tools -- Software Problems

As you all know, I use wordperfect. I also have Word, and have loaded Scrivener. But I have trouble with Word...and this was emphasized lately when during my copy edits. I can't SEE exactly where the formatting is...say when a Fam's italic speech ends so I can add more...

And I have macros on my toolbar that will save to a flash drive and my hard drive at the same time, one push of a button -- or save to my new huge external drive and my regular drive at the same time.

And, of course, I still know all the keyboard shortcuts for wordperfect such as underlining and centering, etc. so I can time and use them instead of moving the hand to the mouse and back to the keyboard.

So, yesterday, when I tried to open Wordperfect X3 and couldn't, I had a real problem. Like you, I'm sure, messing with this took me all day. Finally, I just (hopefully) deleted the whole thing and put on Wordperfect X4 which I'd purchased last year but hadn't used.

And, yes, I'm still peeved. I wasn't ready to go to X4 from X3 that I've used for a lot of years.

I hate it when problems like this occur, and am considering actually paying someone at Corel to tell me what's wrong. I persist in thinking there's a simple fix.

Anyway, that's the news from SPRINGTIME IN THE ROCKIES.
Happy Equinox, and now, since I got nothing done yesterday, I will have start making up my deficit.

May you enjoy the equinox, and hope you looked at the moon last night!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Copy Editing Info for the Reader


Things I recall from Copy Edits every time:

1) I can (and am sure every author can) play with word choice ad infinitum.

2) I will go through the ms pages and look for orphans (1 word hanging on a line at the end of a paragraph), and fix them 8 out of 10 times. Ditto with 1 line at the top of a page at the end of a chapter. If I don't fix them, then the whole chapter is tight and I believe needs every word.

3) If I add some language early (like about a week ago ;)) that I think I am so-so with, when I look at it, the paragraph/s are ok.

4) There are things that I, the copy editor, and my editor will miss, and sometimes they are BIG. Like when I said in the previous scene that "she teleported them home and to bed." And in the next scene he is walking out to the glider and thinking about the glider ride home.... Granted these were two different scenes, and both copy editor and editor might have missed it because they took a break between scene 1 and 2, but I didn't (I did this, literally, in one very long day), and I caught it.

5) I MUST say it. I work in Word Perfect and have problems with Word. Editor comments start out with green, then, when I open it again on a different day or machine, she is now blue.

Fonts get messed around. Can't see the formatting if I want to add something to a Fam's italicized comment because I can't see where it begins or ends, like in WordPerfect. Also, takes over a minute to load, too full of edits for Word to handle. Nothing I ever have in Wordperfect takes that long to load.

6) This time I did figure a few things out re: formatting. Don't change to .rtf then to Word, it's worse than importing Wordperfect to Word. I also finally figured out how to hide the comments and how to cut and paste the document into Wordperfect without the comments showing (which I won't want them to do because of the ARCs I'll make).

So, all in all, there were occasional bad moments, but not as hideous as it could have been.


And I still love the story of Heart Search. ;)

May you enjoy the challenges of your work today.

Sunday, March 13, 2011



I got sucked into a review site last week and had to remind myself of several things with regard to reviews.

1) I am writing books that I like and I am absolutely doing the best that I can.

2) People's tastes are subjective, though I would love to have everyone like my work, that won't happen.

So, thanks for the support, folks. Not sure that I say that as often as I should.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Creativity Weekend

I am here. I have committed hideous art (concept excellent, execution very poor), and will be working here also, but breakfast with the group is soon.

May you enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Genre Info

I am judging books for one of my chapter's published contest and got a book I loathed.

Why? Because it was not a romance. It didn't have "romance" elements. Most chapters have contests with Mainstream with Romantic Elements, or Single Title with Romantic Elements (which I consider Enchanted No More to be for the Big One, the RITA(r), but for others will enter in the Paranormal Romance category).

Know your genres. In the Daphne, there is room for different mysteries, just like in the PRISM many genres are broken out instead of lumped together in Paranormal.

I was peeved when I read this book because the author didn't do his/her homework on the contest. The author wasted his/her money and my (and the other judges') time.

Romance: 1) Hero does not cheat on the heroine, no matter what the provocation. Resisting temptation is what makes him a HERO.

2) Hero does not die in the end (even if he deserves it for cheating on the heroine -- which is why I think the author had him do that in the first place, so s/he could kill him off with less remorse at the end).

This SO did not work for me. It's like the amateur detective failing to unmask the killer, or the killer offing him. Or the galaxy blowing up with all the noble heroes and heroines trying to stop it. Or Evil forever taking over the Earth.

Know your genres, especially if you plan to enter contests. You (I) don't determine what goes on the spine of the book, the publisher does that. But darn well know the rules of your genre, stick to them and pick the contests that will showcase your work.


Noble Heart Contest Winners Sent

I sent out e-copies to all the Noble Heart graphics and motto winners, so if you haven't gotten it, email me. ARC in .pdf format.

Thanks, now onto another blog.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Heart Search Copy Edits

I've been avoiding the Heart Search copy edits...or putting them off until the Collection was done, then wanted to get some solid Enchanted Again pages under my belt. I didn't, but I DID open the edits.

So, here I am. I "got to work" about 40 minutes ago, so a little before 7. But since the laptop has a wider screen to see the comments, I am working on my bed. The day is gray with a skiff of snow that fell last night.

And I am listening to excellent music and on my bed and writing, watching the morning traffic. I am not standing out in the cold waiting for the bus. Or in the cold car waiting for it to warm up as I fight the traffic downtown.

Today life is good.

Of course there are downsides. I put in about a 10 hour day yesterday (with breaks) and stopped work at nearly midnight. I anticipate a 12 hour day today. Deadlines are hanging over my head like anvils about to drop.

No chatter of co-workers unless you count the word warriors writing group. Which, this morning is "I'm half way to my goal," and "go." The view is the bedroom, part of a tree, and a corner of a house and gray sky. When I did the day job, there were always incredible views. Not that you could see them today anyway with the storm rolling in.

Any donuts or bagels I get (none), I will provide.

But...still...and the work will twist my mind as I add in a thread...but I can fall asleep at my "desk" and still be cool except for the time I've lost.

Enjoy your work and your day.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

The Houses of Mystic Circle

One of the ways I decompressed a bit after the Heart Collection was done was to take a long drive around Denver looking for the right houses to grace Mystic Circle. Most will be in my neighborhood, within a few blocks or a few miles. Others weren't quite right, so I needed more of Denver to mine from.

Here are two, the "Captain's House" (Rafe's/hero's title), and the "Spanish House." And, really, Denver can have a mixture of styles on the street. True.



Hope you enjoy. Neither are Jenni's or Amber's house. Jenni's I have to mess around with before posting, and I was planning on walking down and photographing Amber's (now an unfortunate shade of lemon yellow), but it is turning even grayer...

May you enjoy all the places you visit today.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Hearts & Swords Submitted -- Contest Results

Hearts & Swords has been submitted. It's one honkin large collection, so a story may get cut -- or the print made smaller, or something. In any event, IT IS DONE.

Contest Results:

Thanks to all who made graphics for the Clovers. I have saved them all, and EACH OF YOU will receive an e-copy (pdf) of NOBLE HEART. PLEASE SEND ME YOUR EMAIL AT ROBIN AT ROBINDOWENS DOT COM Please do not post these anywhere.

That said, written into the book, is the graphic at the above link, B. Basney's

As for mottoes: AztecLady WON!

I really liked: In a field of many, each is unique.

But, oddly enough, it doesn't fit the Clovers or the way Uncle Pink or Walker feels in the story. ;)

So I went with, also AztecLady's:

We make our luck.

Thanks for all your support!

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