Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What would you write?


I was thinking about writing today- I know, when don't I think about it? But today it was about what I write vs what I write and why. I'm talking genres.
We love a great story and have a driven desire to write our own. Face it, everyone would love to be 'the next (place famous author's name here)'. Me? Well, I adore MS. Roberts, Louis L'Amour, Sherryl Woods, Sharon Sala, Paula Roe, Yvonne Lindsay, Brenda Novak- I have a lot of favorite authors, so I hate that question, "Who's your favorite author?" Why must I choose just one? Who made up the rule that we have to have one favorite anything? My tastes range from historical, western, to single titles and contemporary category, on to melodramatic, funny, sensual, suspenseful, paranormal (yep, Twilight freak here)- so why just one? Who can answer that question honestly ? Someone tell me just one specific author they like more than any other- I'll sit over here in my padded corner and eat my flip-flop as they do.

So, I was thinking about this today. Each of my cps write differing genres from what I write. One likes medical, one or two paranormal, suspense, some venture into steampunk (which I thank them for because I never knew what that was until they wrote it), and I wouldn't be surprised to read erotica from them. The one theme in common, why we are so great together? We all read various genres and know about more than just the one we prefer. And it's all romance. Ok, maybe that's two common themes, but we aren't living in a plastic bubble when it comes to reading or writing. And I began to wonder if I could write anything I choose, what would it be?

You're asking "Don't you do that already?" No. Well, maybe I do, but not every writer does. I believe the stories and comments I've heard, that some of us choose to write, while others are chosen. I also feel the same holds true for the genres we write.
I'm no exception to this. I grew up hiding romances- Barbara Cartland- and True Detective Magazine from my old fashioned daddy.The first because he would have had a cow that his twelve year old read 'smut', all the while honing my own craft. Heck, at twelve even I didn't know that was what I was doing. I hid the second because of all the blood, gore, and horror of those true stories, because a) the stories scared sleep right out of me and kept me awake all night, and b) because they gave me nightmares that kept me awake half the night. But those were the kinds of stories I liked, maybe was even addicted to.

When I began to seriously write five years ago I knew what I'd write. Or, did I? Sure. Either hot or suspenseful.
I wrote hot, it fit, it was what I like to read-'they' say its important to write what you like to read. 'They', those voices that be, also say to write what you know. Desire-here I come! I wrote and submitted my first full manuscript (MS) to Silhouette Desire.


I wrote by these two guides. I was told my voice was 'fit' more to Special Edition. What??? My voice had nothing to do with it, I typed the whole 258 pages! Ah- then I learned that my voice had everything to do with it. That was the tone in which I wrote, the single most important thing that separates me from anyone else as a writer. And what happened to me happens to many writers. I may have chose to write, chose the content of my mss, names of character, titles, have great scenes planned, and so forth- but the genre chose me according to my voice. I write somewhere between tender and contemporary romance. I'm fine with that. Heck! I'm great with it, as long as I stay true to my voice.

So, if you could write anything you wanted...what would you write?


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The best of writing


I just had a wonderful weekend! Friday I got together with fellow OKRWA members for a 'meet and greet' with guests, agent Lucienne Diver, of the Knight Agency, and Associate editor, Charles Griemsman with Harlequin/Silhouette. I can honestly say I have never met two more wonderful people! Lucienne, also a YA author, has the most fantabulous wardrobe! When I commented on it she said she has to keep up with her Fashionista vampire. Lol
Oh, and Charles and Lucienne love, love, love chocolate! Shhh

I would, first, like to thank these wonderful people (and their companies) for visiting our neck of the woods for OKRWA's SHMC (OKRWA Summer Heat Mini Conference). I truly appreciate them both giving us ideas of what they look for when acquiring new authors to represent. THANK YOU!

SO, what was the best part of this past weekend for me? Meeting them of course, hanging with my favorite writers, the OKRWA Outlaws. And, by far not least, the networking op. Harlequin Intrigue author, Merline Lovelace and Love Inspired author, Margaret Daley each gave great workshops on the craft of writing which is great for me, someone who is still learning so much about this career I've chosen. I think it has chosen me, because I can't seem to stop even if I tried- which I'll never do!

And then I pitched my story to each of them and was nervous, even though I'd had margarita's with them just hours prior! Maybe I didn't have enough, the effects wore off? :o But...because of the professionalism of these two, their respect for writers, I felt confident, comfortable (as much as was possible), and in control of my writing.

Believe me when I say, I felt NONE of that at my first ever pitch two years ago! That was mostly because I had no idea what the heck a pitch was really all about. I've done a lot of reading/research since then. Also, I had never met anyone in the industry before so, I think its fair to say, I was more than a little intimidated by the overall experience. It was still fun, the agent and editor who visited were great, wonderful ladies, but I wasn't comfortable in my writing skin back then.

Does that mean I am now? Ahhh-nope!

Just more so, and it's because of people like I spent my weekend with that have helped me gain confidence and thicker skin about writing. And I can't end this post without saying-I know a lot of any successes I have writing-wise has to do with the fact that I have a wonderful support system in my critique partners of CBC, my Twinkies. These women are so thoughtful, respectful, and when necessary, tough-love cps. I highly recommend you find one, two, or ten! We have a lot of fun too. Oh, the laughter aches I go to bed with on some nights after staying up with them! And the tears we cry.

You can check out their blogs in my Twinkie-link on the left.
Elisabeth Meadows had an interview here two days ago for her first book 'Her Decision' which has been requested by Harlequin. If this link doesn't work, you can find it through her website.]
I hope one day we will get to have a Twinkiefest. I'd love to meet them! I just know one of us will publish soon!!!! I think that's the one who needs to foot the bill for us to meet. But that's just me.

So, until then (and way beyond) I will continue to write, read, and anything in between, that has to do with the craft I love so much.

Dodadagohvi~ until we meet again

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Excitement abounds


Saturday, ironically, I became inspired to plot, plan and do some research on the next ms. It's part of a series with fellow writers and I've been trying to get a grasp on mine since March. With no luck, except, I knew it would be about a Vietnam war doctor who goes home- since that was the era I had chosen to write it in. I figured it had to do with getting the current one edited through first so I could focus on another project. Maybe it helped, maybe it didn't, but that one is now steeping before final edits, and Saturday the new one whispered to me.
Of course, I couldn't ignore it! :) hero has a name, first and last, as does the heroine, his mother, and her mother. I'm very pleased with the way this one is starting out. Why? Because it is an historical, which I don't write...well, I never have until now, guess I can't say 'never' anymore. I love the research, mood settings I've fallen into for this one. Since I usually listen to modern pop, rock, and mainly country I needed something to help me sink into the era of Poodle skirts, muscle cars, slower times-- and the Beatles, Elvis and the Chiffons. I found a great website that I can choose music for any year I choose. I now live in the sixties while writing. It amazed me the first day how many songs about the Vietnam war, also called 'the rock and roll war', were written. If not in bold content, then in subtleties. You just 'feel' the times through the music of those war years. But the love and 'atmosphere' in the songs of those times is also amazing. Pure. Fun.

It is 1967, and Dr. Sam Callahan has returned home to Silver Town, Oklahoma with more than a little PTSD to contend with. Days after his arrival, he finds himself targeted by Poppy Tippens, the illegitimate daughter of a gypsy. Her black, bouncy curls and pixyish smiles drive the doctor mad in ways the war never could. Poppy's sights are set on Sam, and a determination to help him create a new life outside the war-torn boundaries of his own mind.

Excerpt from 'HOME':

But, he was home now, exposed, naked, making it visible, like a black cloud following him everywhere he went. Folks he'd grown up with, had taunted and pestered, now stared as he headed to McGregor's Grocery for Ma. The stigma, the brand followed him, Vietnam veteran.

He'd changed.

Sam gathered up the bags with his mother's listed groceries and nudged the door of the store open just as someone barreled through from the outside knocking both paper bags from his arms. "What the...?" He stood watching tomatoes and an orange roll back to the cashier's checkout stand before he turned to see who had steamrolled him, words ready on his tongue to let the person know he was mad as hell.

"Hey, soldier, you dropped something. Want some help?"

Poppy Tippens. He should have guessed by her sweet flower scented perfume. The girl smelled like Ma's garden. Not that he'd really noticed what she smelled like, just that she wore enough of it so it was hard to miss if she was in a three block radius.

Now she stood, hands propped on skinny hips, tapping one black-and-white saddle shoe-clad foot impatiently. "Well?"

Before Sam could think what to say she shook her head full of springy black curls and knelt to gather vegetables, toothpaste, and toothbrush along with several other items, in her small hands. "Get me a fresh bag, would ya honey?"

Finally coming to the realization Poppy wasn't going away, Sam accepted the new bag the cashier held out to him and bent to let her stuff the purchases inside, before going after the escaped fruit. In seconds Poppy had reloaded his bags, though not as orderly as they had been, and stood to hold one as Sam took up the other, before handing him the one she held. "Thanks."

He couldn't get out of there fast enough with all the town folk staring, and silent.

As he fled through the door he heard Poppy speak, and his steps faltered as he came to a halt and he turned to stare in disbelief.

"What's the matter? Ya'll ain't never seen a soldier home from that damned war? At least he's walkin', and on both feet. Not like Donny Brubaker, poor soul. So quit your staring and get to shopping and leave Sammie be." With that, Sam watched her slam the door and march up to snake one of the bags into her arms, and start walking. Four steps and she turned, "You comin', or what?"

She smiled, and Sam forgot how to breathe.

There will be more of this one as I get closer to submission. Right now, that's all the taste I can offer.

Does this sound like something you would read? I'd love to know.