Thanks for dropping by my niche in the universe.

I write contemporary romance. Building families--one romance at a time.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Christina Dodd – Some Enchanted Evening

One of the many things I love about writers' conferences is the number of free books you receive. Through these piles of books, I've discovered authors and genres I wouldn't pick up walking through a bookstore. The authors hook me on their storytelling and then I buy their backlist. What do you know – free books work to build an audience! Buying the backlist is even easier now that I have my Nook. I love the fact that I can purchase books that are out of print and the author will still get a royalty. I no longer have to buy the backlists through second hand bookstores.

To my delight, the 2010 WisRWA conference goodie bag included Christina Dodd's Some Enchanted Evening. I've read the book, more than once, but couldn't wait for a new introduction to the lost princesses.

I'm thrilled to say, the magic hasn't worn off. I keep trying to read books as an author, analyzing each plot twist and motivation. Unfortunately, I become too engrossed in the story. Although I can now identify the sub-plots before Clarice, one of the lost princesses of Beaumontagne, does, I still love going through her discovery. Clarice, surviving exile through her wits, knows she should stay away from the hero, but she can't.

The hero, Robert MacKenzie, the Earl of Hepburn, is a wonderfully complicated alpha male intent on justice. As with most men, his focus hasn't allowed him to see beyond his goal. He doesn't notice what is happening in his own family. Princess Clarice opens his eyes and his heart and helps him achieve justice.

An added joy are the quotes at the beginning of each chapter -- little tidbits of wisdom from the old men of Freya Crags or the Dowager Queen of Beaumontagne.

I can't wait to find the next two books, buried somewhere on my library shelves, and follow Princesses Amy and Sorcha's journeys.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Janet Evanovich's -- How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author

I just read Janet Evanovich’s How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author over Memorial weekend. A three to four hour read, I really enjoyed the book. While I may have read all of the writing hints before, Evanovich kept me interested by dropping in examples from the Stephanie Plum series.
I’m a great fan of the Plum series. Some of the few times I laugh aloud reading is when Stephanie has once again blown up a car.
What struck me as interesting was how Evanovich’s voice came through. I saw her give the opening speech at the National RWA Convention in 2009. She flung the Q&A cards around the stage, made fun of herself and kept the thousands in the audience laughing. She does this in her books, in her non-fiction writing and in person. Making you laugh at her characters and in some little part – yourself.
But what came through loud and strong is Janet’s perseverance and work ethic. It took ten years for Janet to publish her first book. She started as a romance writer (near and dear to my heart). When she decided to change genres, she took a year off and researched. Some might not deem buying beers for policemen as research, but it seems to have worked.
What did I pick up from the book besides chuckling?
· Ten years to publish.
· Perseverance.
· Writing is a job.
· Use active interesting verbs.
· Writing is a family endeavor for the Evanovichs.
· She has both a parrot and a trend mill in her office.
· Write ever day – even a sentence, or a paragraph, better yet a page, even better -- ten pages.
· Stop polishing the first chapter of your completed manuscript. Write the next book.