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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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Last Chance for Names in Books http://brendanovak.auctionanything.com/

Yes, you can choose the name of a brownie in Enchanted Ever After (haven't got the copy edits yet), OR the name of a geographic feature on Celta -- like Apollopa Park or the Bluegrass Plains, or even the name of the camp of the excavation of Lugh's Spear.

Luna books: I'm out of contract, but if I sell more Mystic Circle books...I haven't really named the heroine of the next -- a fencer at the Denver Lyceum of Fencing. So that is up for grabs. I'm thinking of a blond amazonian woman...

Also I am offering at this charity site ARCs for Enchanted Ever After and Heart Secret!

And a critique.

So come on in and bid, some are lower than I'd anticipated, but all go to a GREAT cause. Just search for "Owens".


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Heart Books News

Agent has cleared me to say I sold 3 more Heart books, though I have not received the contracts. Heart Fortune (Glyssa and the-hero-who-wants-to-be-called-Race-when-there-is-also-a-former-hero-called-Raz in the book), Heart Honor/Heart and Hearth (Tiana and Antenn), and Heart Legacy (offshoot Blackthorn hero, protege of Tab Holly, and Itha Yew).

People on fb have been asking about the next generation. I am thinking that Dani Eve and her quest for space will be coming up, and, of course, Vinni T'Vine. I had an idea for T'Ash's younger son, Abutalon Gwydion (WHY did I call him Abutalon? I guess I thought I'd never get to him).

Many thanks for all your comments!


Monday, May 21, 2012

Extremely Impressed Cats

Yes, Dingo/Beadle (left), and Mystery Merlin/Brazos (right) are extremely impressed at my yelling at being informed Heart Search is a Daphne Finalist this year!

Merry meet and merry part and merry meet again,

Sunday, May 20, 2012

New Excerpt

I had the idea for a new series a while back...shapeshifter set in Denver. But when I started writing, the hero ended up being from another dimension. So I was, NO, ROBIN, NO! Celta is a niche market as it is! Do not write another niche market! But I've gone back and looked at it and I really like the story. I've been thinking about it for the last few days. I could, of course, make up a whole shifter society in this world as so many others have, but I'm still not sure.

So here's a taste for your comments (and I'm trying out the google drive feature until I can whip up my website).



Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Opening with too many characters

I am working on Glyssa Licorice's book, the public librarian, and best friend of Camellia Darjeeling D'Hawthorn, heroine of Heart Search. And I like the second scene (all right, I really opened with the hero). BUT, I think that if you forget who is who, or have never seen the series, I have too many people on stage. There's Glyssa at dinner with Laev T'Hawthorn and Camellia, and the women's other friend, Tiana.

THEN I move to the starship the next day and there are all of the above PLUS the intelligent ship, Nuada's Sword, and Dani Eve Elder. Who are watching a video showing the hero and mentioning three other people. That is Way Too Much.

I DO need the 3, Glyssa, Laev, and Camellia in the first scene, and though it pains me to cut interaction with her friends, I'm going to do it. Then, in scene three, there will only be Glyssa at first, then Laev and Dani Eve Elder (daughter of the Captain of the Ship) will come in. So rewriting already.

I know who all these people are and can picture them, but I've picked up middle-of-series books by other writers and been confused. I don't want that.

And thanks for letting me ramble. May you not need to rework anything today.

Monday, May 14, 2012


Yes, I have one series finished and two running. The Heart books (should I sell more to Berkley, and that's looking very good), don't have an end in my mind (though they once did, but I'm still intrigued with the world and my cast. There were the five Summoning books, and I'm working on Mystic Circle (though I am at the end of my contract for that series and it's up in the air for traditional publishing, too), which I contemplate being nine books.

I aspire to be one of those authors that people will love all my work, not just one series or another. A "trust me, baby" author. Trust me to deliver characters you like, engaging plots with twists and turns, a writer people will follow through all her series.

And I understand if you only like the Lladrana books (more fantasy), the Mystic Circle books (set here and now), or Celta (Romance and the characters you know).

Yesterday I bought an ebook where I was piqued by the premise and the character and I enjoyed it greatly. I wasn't sure about the authors' other two series, because they weren't the same premise...and the characters sounded like they might be making the same mistakes the character I just read about did. But I bought a trilogy anyway, and I was disappointed.

It's a balancing act, giving people characters they like, but who are different, and I struggle to do this, and yes, some of my guys aren't gung-ho alphas in the Heart series, and yes, some readers only love alphas. I do my best, trust me, baby.

May you have a GREAT day,

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Arcs, Char Naming (brownie!), Critique on Brenda Novak's Auction

If you like writerly stuff, you MUST visit Brenda Novak's auction to benefit research for Children's Diabetes. There are ARCS, meetings/critiques with editors and agents, trips... I am giving away an ARC of Heart Secret, and ARC of Enchanted Ever After, character naming in the Luna universe (probably a brownie, but you can talk me out of that...maybe the next heroine!), and a geographic name in the Celta universe. Since the next book (hopefully I sell) will be at the excavation of the starship, Lugh's Spear, it will show up there. Also giving away a critique.

And editors/agents give away critiques, other authors give away meetings and lunch and dinners...a whole lot of wonderful offers. I have an eye on a couple...

Please, go, look, bid...and the winner of the last Celta naming deal had her park (where a murder was committed), mentioned a truckload of times. ;D

Gray and cloudy here, and I'm heading on in to write...I have a story I'm thinking of epubbing under my own name, and maybe a couple under a pseud....


Friday, May 11, 2012

More good news, Hearts and Swords!

More good news, Hearts and Swords was chosen as Best Anthology of 2011 by Romance Reviews Today! It IS a collection, that is, all the stories are by yours truly. :)

May you enjoy your day (it's cool and gray here).

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Two gold covers this year! (and art notes)

Luna gave me a gold cover with Enchanted Again.

And Berkley gave me this awesome hunk cover for Heart Secret! Below find the notes I sent to the art department...more about how the cover influenced the story later!)


I love both of them!

And here are the art notes for Heart Secret...as you can tell, I talk to the art dept. pretty much like I talk to you. :)

Tatts: If you are doing tatts: any kind of Celtic knot, or a heart shaped Celtic knot, or maybe a chain of hearts and daggers? Or a heart and a tear?

Weapons: If you are doing weapons, a long dagger and a long sword, or a long dagger and a blazer/blaser (stream of blue light?). Or an exotic knife (an exotic knife can be used in the murder), this would be shorter and must have a point, but let me know the size/shape so I can write it in.

Time of Year: Summer, heat with occasional rain showers


1) Secret walled garden – day or night with a glowing turquoise pool and steam rising?

Hero: Garrett Primross, private eye, middle class. Has some feral animals (mostly cats) as informants. Has a leopard spotted KITTEN. Brown-blond hair, brown eyes, muscular, big.

BACKSTORY: Garrett was the sole survivor of the most virulent form of a disease that killed the woman he loved and her baby (not his child), as he was transporting them in a bus-all-terrain vehicle from a clinic to a quarantine area in the mountains. He is becoming known as a private investigator and his business is beginning to pick up. See general pics.

Oh, also, Garrett is a master at slight-of -hand, rolling a coin across his knuckles & making it appear and disappear.

Hope you enjoy!


Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Upcoming - Heart Secret Blurb

Here's the blurb for Heart Secret, coming in August! Garrett Primross, P.I., Artemisia Mugwort, Healer. Cover tomorrow. :)

When a virulent disease killed the woman he loved and her baby, Garrett Primross was left alive, a reluctant survivor. Now, as a private eye, he strives to banish the memories of his past and rebuild his life. The Healers of Celta have something else in mind: Discover why he survived.

He is monitored by Healer Artemisia Panax—his HeartMate, a love he never pursued. Still mourning his loss, he refuses to acknowledge her. Since her family was publicly disgraced, she's used to such treatment. She wants nothing more than to guard her livelihood and protect the secrets she's sworn to keep.

Thrown together by duty, Garrett and Artemisia find the body of the last Black Magic Cultist who ruined her family. Suspicion flares, but they have little choice but to investigate the crime together. When their own lives are placed in danger, they realize that denying their HeartMates is only denying their own future.


Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Enchanted No More Finalist in National Reader's Choice Awards!

Enchanted No More Is A Finalist in National Reader's Choice Awards! I am so pleased and thrilled and happy! It's been a while since I finalled in the National Reader's Choice award with a book. Worth dancing around the house for sure!

Thanks for all the support and good will!

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Good News 1 of 5

Good News 1 of 5 (and yes, I am going to make you wait for the others). ENCHANTED EVER AFTER IS DONE and out to Beta readers, and, of course, I am biting my nails (not quite literally). This is the end of the contract (DOES NOT MEAN THE END OF THE SERIES...YET). I think the end of the story is the fastest plot I've ever done. And, just for being you, I have the original opening scene below (which has long gone by the wayside).

Twilight, Mid September, Denver, Colorado AND in the game Fairies and Dragons


Kiri Palger – Moonsilver – stared at her fallen partner, Saturnina, as giants jumped on her body in the Deathgulp Forest.

"Wha’ happened?" Shannon, the person running Saturnina, asked over her mic, a little tinny since it was electronic and Shannon was actually in her home across town.

For a minute Kiri considered lying. But she was the long-distance shooter and she loved her sonic bow and arrows. She’d be doing the same thing again.

She cleared her throat softly, so the mic didn’t amplify it. "You were fighting the giants next to a high explosive tree burl and I, um, shot it. Took most of you out."

"Dammit, they’re stealing my new wings!"

Kiri winced as the pretty transparent wings were ripped off Saturnina’s back. Kiri opened the email program and sent her friend some gold pieces to replace them. Least she could do.

Shannon said, "I think this forest mission is too difficult for us, and I’m wiped. It’s been a hard work week. Let’s call it a night."

They’d only been playing an hour, but Kiri agreed. "Yeah."

"‘Porting to the Dome," Shannon/Saturnina said.

"Kk," Kiri said as she hit the spacebar on her keyboard to do the same. During the few seconds it took to zone to the safe area, her game concentration and adrenaline faded and dark weariness filtered through her, muzzying her mind. She let her shoulders slump.

When she was in the Dome, a safe lounge for good fairies, she saw the sparkly Saturnina rise with a groan and shake her limbs. "Got the gold pieces, thanks," Shannon said.


"Kiri, have you talked to your neighbor, Jenni Weavers yet?"

Kiri’s heart stuttered for real, even as she let Moonsilver sit on a couch. Jenni Weavers was the best writer for the game, Fairies and Dragons. The woman had moved into a developer position.


"But you sent in your resume and application for the job," Shannon pressed.


"And your docs have your Mystic Circle address on them, so she knows you live in the same cul-de-sac."


"Following the plan then. Go, Kiri!"

"I intend to say something to Jenni tomorrow at the block party. Sure you don’t want to come?"

"Unlike you, stalker-girl, I have a man."

"Yeah, yeah."

Shannon’s voice softened. "I know how much you want this."

"Work sucks."

"IT always sucks, especially end-user software support. Nature of the business. By the time they get to us, users can be fuming."

"The game developers are opening that new area in the game next year, Pegasus Valley. I know I have good story arcs for it," Kiri said.

"I liked them," Shannon said.

"Thanks. It’s real luck that the folks who bought out the company are based here in Denver. I’ve got a shot at the job. I have the background and some credits."

"You can do it."

"Good to hear that," Kiri said.

"It’s true. See you Sunday brunch," Shannon said.

"Right. Later."

"Mmmmm," Shannon purred. Her guy must be doing the neck-kissing thing on the other end of the line.

"Smooches to Averill," Kiri said.

"Mmm. ‘Night." Shannon’s mic thumped and sounds of smooching came. Shannon’s character began the logoff countdown.

Kiri just stared at the computer screen. Blinked. Her shoulders and fingers ached, but sometimes the game beckoned more than reality. And once you began spending more time in the game than anywhere else, you were in trouble. She logged off.


May you enjoy your work, even that which isn't quite right, today.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Call for Beta Readers Enchanted Ever After

Call for beta readers, Enchanted Ever After #3 Mystic Circle. This is a rough draft, want a quick read and general comments and absolute discretion. Many thanks, email robin AT robindowens .com

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