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, October 30, 2011

Self Doubt, Panic and Readers Expectations

Yes, I am on book 18 (I think), does that mean panic and self-doubt go away? No. Does it mean the book is easier to write? No. Does it mean I'm not extremely concerned about reader expectations, heck no. More concerned than ever. Soo....

The set up: I took the opening to Heart Secret to critique group a couple of weeks ago (I have two). The first thing I was told was, "This is VERY dark."

Well, I think most of you know that I've had a dark couple of years. And I am allowed to put dark stuff in my books, of course. But I also know that most of my readers think of me as overall feel-good (and I'm completely okay with that) and I must take that into consideration. So NO Dark and Grim and Sad in Chapter 1 or 2.

In fact, recently I was recommended a very funny book by an author I enjoy. But she got up front about her heroine's flaws (and her heroine's flaws and situation were a little too much like my own). Did I read on the to funny parts? No. Did I put the book down after the first chapter? Yes. Will I go back to that book? No.

So, back to me. No Dark, Grim, and Sad in Chapters 1 or 2, which means, of course that Self Doubt and Panic lurk for me and bother me in my dreams. Am I good enough to rework Chapter 1 and 2 and still get the set up in that I want?

I can only do my best -- that is usually my mantra in this kind of situation. So there it is. I am doing the best with the resources I have.

Now I have another critique group, but since we are large today, only the first 10 manuscript pages are going to be read. And I've written a bit about the Baker St irregular cats to chapter 1 (from chapter 4)...and the very sad and grim and dark will be moved to chapter 8, about a quarter through the book.

Yes, writer/neurotic = redundant. Know this before you get into the business/the game.

And may YOU be free of Self Doubt and Panic today.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Writing Checklist

Writing Checklist for NaNoWrimo:

1. Insert more cat stuff with Garrett (hero) in first scene (he is a private investigator and he uses feral intelligent animals rather like Baker St irregulars). Move later cat explanation to here.

2. Take out Very Grim Stuff from Chapter 2 to save for later and add conflict between Garrett and FirstLevel Healer Ura Heather.

3. Keep track of changed files! Organize them!

4. Write transitions in the "time passes" days in the Turquoise House scenes. Add cover art to these scenes! (heh, yeah, I got it. If you're REALLY nice, I will post it. It is FABULOUS).

Friday, October 28, 2011

NaNoWriMo Is Coming!

NaNoWriMo is Coming! National Novel Writing Month is NOVEMBER. Before that I need to clean up all my out-of-sequence writing on Heart Secret so I can start writing new words and scenes midnight November 1 -- Halloween/Samhain.

Genista Furze's story in the collection Hearts And Swords, Heart and Soul, is set during Halloween/Samhain...and the Clover story is set during Yule. I did the latter when I understood that the book would be coming out in December.

As for Heart and Sword -- well, it is the Original Celtan holiday, Discovery Day, and Heart Story takes place in the spring....

In any event, unlike most NaNo'ers I work on a book that is usually started, in that way, I break the rules. I did a lot of Heart Search last November.

So I'd better stop nattering here and get back to work, especially since Halloween Critique is tomorrow.

As always, may you enjoy whatever worlds you visit today.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hearts and Swords, First Review

From Romantic Times Book Reviews

Robin D. Owens
**** HOT

Award-winning Owens fills in some blanks in her long-running Celta series with an exciting and intriguing anthology. Longtime fans will be thrilled to get a glimpse into the origins of Celta and its FirstFamilies, as well as catch up with some secondary characters. A terrific addition to a series filled compelling characters and imaginative romance.

SUMMARY: First up is “Heart and Sword,” which explains how the colonists first arrived on Celta. Captain Kelse Bountry faces both mutiny and low supplies as he tries to lead their small fleet to an inhabitable planet. “Heart Story” follows the tale of Heartmates divided by a domineering and murderous mother, as Blush Willow and Dri Paris have a second chance at love — if they can get past their unresolved anger. In “Heart and Soul,” Genista Furze, the scandalous ex-wife of Tinne Holly, gets a chance for a new life and love. Finally, in “Noble House,” Walker Clover experiences a triple passage and learns he possesses significant Flair, thereby elevating the Clover Family to Grandlord status. Now he must navigate the world of FirstFamilies, including unwanted marriage alliances, for Walker has his eyes on the mysterious Sedwy Grove.

Wowie, Zowie! (Dancing around bored cats).

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Working on Enchanted Ever After

I am working on Enchanted Ever After and hoping my trees don't wipe out my power lines. I go out to shake about every hour. So, any prayers/lighting of candles, etc. would be greatly appreciated. If I can make it through tonight I should be fine.

Many thanks,

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

In New Jersey This Week, Iselin, public signing

In New Jersey This Week, Iselin, public signing at the New Jersey Romance Writers, I'd love to see you there.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Question for Readers re: Characters

Question for Readers re: Characters. I have decided that one of my heroines believes that love is just not for her -- no terrible experiences with men (since I've recently done that), but she just doesn't believe in it.

Soooo, give me some reasons and backstory for this. If I use them, I'll send you electronic arcs of Hearts and Swords.

Many thanks,

Saturday, October 15, 2011

New Header for trial website

New Header for trial website.

I spent all day (and much of the night) making a new header for the trial website. I had sort of a pattern but didn't really think I could do it myself. So I've been learning my graphics program as well as wordpress.

All of the images are my own, of items I own (though the cats, of course, own all the items and the house and me), photographed by me. The art is by my wonderful friend Laura Givens, who is http://www.lauragivens-artist.com/ also working on an original header for me.

Whew. It's been a very intense week, and now I need to get back to writing!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wrestling with new website design and build

Wrestling with new website design and build: That's what I've been doing over the last couple of days. Currently at the link above.

The header is lame, but enough to give an artist friend of mine an idea to work with. I have done a little bit of placeholders on the pages -- please let me know if you think the Books page looks too crowded and I will make the images smaller and farther apart.

There IS a new excerpt on the Excerpts page and a new graphic in Extras. I'm thinking of moving the Quick Reading List to the Home Post/Page.

May you be amused at yourself today.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Master Class and Writing Retreat: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Master Class and Writing Retreat: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. I have been attending the hermit weeks for four years (this year will be my fifth), and have taught the master class. There are three spots available for the Master Class, and, people, the food is excellent as well!

There are two spots available for the hermit weeks -- one in each week.

If you can't make it, dream of the beach...and I only have about 500 pics so far...


Monday, October 10, 2011

Hearts and Swords, Heart and Soul Blurb

Hearts and Swords, Heart and Soul Blurb:

Genista Furze, scandalous ex-wife of Tinne Holly, has created a new life for herself working for a clockmaker in small Gael City. Content with simplicity and learning to value herself, Genista is in no hurry to risk her heart on another man -- no matter how attractive her neighbor is.

(note, there is a sword in every story, and Genista uses it in this one!)


Saturday, October 08, 2011

Hearts and Swords, Heart and Sword Blurb

Heart and Sword blurb from the collection, Hearts and Swords:
Captain Kelse Bountry leads a colony fleet in search of a habitable planet. His Ship is far off course and his crew on the verge of mutiny, circumstances that threaten both the success of Kelse's mission and his marriage. But Fern Bountry is not about to give up on either.

Again, may you enjoy all the worlds you visit today.

Change in Publishers

Change in Publishers -- no, not me, though I hope to dip a toe into the waters of epublishing in 2012, with the two historical romances (one paranormal, one not) that I wrote before HeartMate, maybe filling in a story or two (like Koz's) in the Lladrana universe, and, yes, I've been kicking around a brand new idea...

But in the past, if a person switched publishers in the middle of (or even after a book) of a series, the series took a new twist or angle, so it was essentially different. For instance, the paranormal elements would be removed or changed so they didn't work in the new world like they did in the old.

I must admit that I worried about the Heart series for the first few books (well, until epublishing became big), so I had an idea that the people who landed on Celta (which was not the original planet) was only the First Wave of escaping people with psi, and the Second Wave made it to the original planet...

I haven't thought about that for a while, but it is still an option in the universe...

But since I am reading an author who changed publishers and had to change her series, I am aware of it again.

May you enjoy all the worlds you visit today. As for me, I've been preparing for a Readers Tea all week long, with goodie bags for those at the table I'm hosting and a gift bag for a raffle...and I need to print out Enchanted Again now for that.


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