Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

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Hello? Is this thing on?

I’ve somehow managed to be away for two years, so it’s a little dusty here. I’m trying to make sure that things are in working order!

My apologize for my unplanned absence. I wish I had a list of excellent reasons that I haven’t been writing, but we’re just going to have to go with…life. Yeah, life happens, right?

At any rate, I have been writing up a storm the last few months. I’ve sent one novella off to submission and have decided to self-publish a novel in the same world as Perfect Formation. It’s called Perfect Alignment (I know, not the sexiest title ever, but it goes with the theme, so…) and it is currently in production mode (beta reads, edits, formatting). This is my first attempt at self-publishing, so I’m not sure what the timeline will be like, but it will probably release in June. I’ll post a date as soon as I figure it out! In the meantime, I’m working on another Perfect Fit story, tentatively titled Perfect Addition (I know, I know, I need an official titles person). I’ll tell you all about these in some upcoming posts, but, as I said, first I wanted to dust things off and make sure everything was in proper working order.

I’ve missed you all (for reals!) and I’m excited to be back in the swing of things.

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Want to be an EC writer?

Announcing Tawny’s Taylor’s “Some Like It Hot” writing contest!
Starting October 25th, 2010, Tawny Taylor will be hosting a writing contest.
The final judge is an editor from Ellora’s Cave.

The Prizes? Read on!

All SubGenres of erotic romance accepted, including:
~Contemporary~Fantasy~Futuristic~ Shapeshifter/Vampire~BDSM~

*You may submit one chapter–not to exceed 5000 words. Stories must be complete and unpublished.

*Each Monday, two stories will be selected by an Ellora’s Cave editor who is actively acquiring. At the end, six weekly winning authors will submit a partial (first three chapters, last chapter and synopsis) to the final judge for ranking.

The first place winner will receive …

A critique of the full winning manuscript by EC editor Grace Bradley!

The second place winner will receive…

A critique of the partial manuscript by EC editor Grace Bradley (first three chapters, last and synop).

The third place winner will receive…

A critique of the first chapter by EC editor Grace Bradley.

Details at: http://www.tawnytaylor.com/WritingContest.html

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Today

Those lovely but naive ladies at the Australian Romance Readers Association asked if I’d like to guest blog for them. They probably assumed I’d be interesting and witty. Er, not so much, but I did ramble on and manage to write a whole post. I talk about becoming a writer and how it changed my world. There’s also a little hint in the comments section, if anyone cares for a sneak peek on upcoming news. Also, Book Thingo posted a lovely review of Perfect Formation. I don’t normally announce reviews on my blog, just post them in the reviews section, but this one is connected to the ARRA thing, and besides, I felt like it. 😛

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The End, Again, My Friend

This weekend I finished the first draft of Keeping Claire. I didn’t set up a reward for myself this time. What do you think, another massage? Or an extra nice dinner out? Must decide soon, or it doesn’t count! In the meantime, I’m excited not just for finishing, but because it means I get to go back and do the revisions for Bound by Sunlight. It’s been more than a month since I finished it, and lately I’ve been thinking about all the things I want to do with it, not to mention missing Connul and Kyr. I’ll let Ryan and Claire rest while I revise BbS. By the time that’s done, I should be itching to get back to them, lol. Now, another decision, this one for the upcoming Excerpt Monday. I have to decide if I want to do another excerpt from Keeping Claire, or introduce one from Bound by Sunlight. There’s a scene just a bit further along than the one I already did for Claire that I really love, so I’ll probably do that. Plus, I did a lot more versions of Claire than BbS, so the early pages are much more polished. BbS just sort of came out in one long effort, where I have about six versions of Claire.

While I’m here, I’ll pimp a new release from a fellow Romance Diva. I haven’t had a chance to check this one out, but it looks yummy.

Brush Strokes
Jax Cassidy

For Sage, attending the Parisian sex club, Plaisirs Sombres, was the ultimate fantasy. So when the conservative gallery assistant is cloaked behind the velvet mask, she never expected to be the object of the club owner’s desire. Spurred on by D.S. Gregoire’s erotic and sensual brush strokes of the exclusive club, she gives into a brief liaison that leaves her breathless and wanting.

For Damien, known to the art world as D.S. Gregoire, his art has always been an adrenaline rush. But when an exotic and mysteriously uninhibited ‘sex club virgin’ enters his establishment, he is willing to break his club rules for another taste of the dark pleasures she brings him.

Enjoy!

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Hitting the End

It’s been a while, so it feels extra great to be able to say that I’ve hit the end on a story, Bound by Sunlight. Of course, really that’s just the first draft, so now I have to go do some revising, find someone to critique it and is willing to tell me if I’m off my rocker or if this story is workable, revise it again, then submit. I’m going to give it two weeks to percolate before I go back to do the first round of revisions.

In the meantime, I’ve returned to a piece I’ve been working on for a while, Keeping Claire. I started and restarted this thing four or five times. At one point, when I wasn’t sure quite what I wanted to do with it, I started Bound by Sunlight. Then I went back and forth on both of them for a while before BbS took over. Now I’m excited to get back to Claire and Ryan, and though they keep throwing me curve balls, I’m pretty sure I know what’s going to happen to them. Poor Ryan’s just bungled big time, and I’m looking forward to how he’s going to get back on Claire’s good side. She’s had a tough life and her patience is pretty thin, so he’s going to have to work his butt off. I can’t wait. 😛

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Romance Divas Workshop

Romance Divas will be hosting a Romantic Suspense workshop, “Dark Secrets and Dead Bodies” October 22-24. Definitely something I could learn more about, I look forward to the workshop.

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A Hero Born

An interesting thing has happened with the release of Alpha Turned, something that didn’t happen with Perfect Formation. Readers have written to me asking if I will be writing more books in this world. Even more, they’ve actually been asking me to do so. How cool is that? Of course, I realize that Perfect Formation didn’t really have a lot of secondary characters, and no world building, so it’s not like I’m unhappy nobody responded that way to it, I’m just fascinated that people liked this world enough to ask for more. Also, it’s not like I hadn’t thought about it – of course I did. I didn’t specifically set anything up, except for the introduction of Alexis. I definitely wanted to write her story, but not for a while. She has some growing up to do. And I had a sneaking suspicion that the unnamed teacher who gets shot might want to have his say.

I have a few other stories I’m working on, so I decided to wait and see who spoke up the loudest and demanded the most attention (I’m talking about in my head here, not the readers, just to be clear, lol). I wasn’t surprised when I got some tentative pulls from the teacher. What did surprise me was the lady who said, ok, he’s good, but he’s mine. Myra, the National Alpha. For some reason, she completely blindsided me. I love it when that happens. I’m still working on my other pieces, but I’ve started daydreaming about Myra and…hmm, it’s probably time to name the poor guy. Adam? That might be right. So far he’s mostly a lovely vision (it’s not my fault he happens to be naked in this very important scene!!), but I think I like Adam.

For now, I will jot down some notes and let my daydreams work things out a bit, while I play with my Fae (different story/world). This part of it is all normal for me (no laughing), it’s pretty much how all of my stories started. But the fact that readers asked is fantastically encouraging. So, thank you!

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Excerpts

So, as you may have noticed, I have a new book coming out. (Just give me a second here to SQUEEEE. Ok, better now.) I got the release date for Alpha Turned, made the book page, and had to include an excerpt. Well, I suppose I don’t have to include one, but I believe very strongly that every book should have an excerpt on the authors website. Which should be easy, right? Well, no.

For some reason, I have a really hard time picking them out. I keep wanting to explain what the reader should already know, if they had started at page one. I cut and paste one section, then delete and try another. Seriously, it’s like a sickness. Of course, when I read other people’s excerpts, I completely understand that it’s just a taste and that I don’t need to understand everything that’s happened. But I have a hard time letting go, I think.

For Perfect Formation I just used the excerpt my fabulous editor picked out. Actually, she made a couple of suggestions and I just agreed with one of them. It was my first release and I had no idea what I was doing. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s the same scene the publisher used on their website, and as a reader I like to have a couple of different ones to read. So I was determined to use a different choice on my site this time. I finally decided that since the one the publisher is using is in the heroine’s point of view, I would give my man Zach his chance, here. Maybe next time I’ll give out advanced copies with the expectation that the readers pick out a scene they think should be the excerpt? *Sigh* I’m pretty sure this is supposed to be the easy part. 😛

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More RWA and Pimping

I should probably do another post on RWA President Diane Pershing’s response to Deidre Knights letter, linked here in my last post. But, I don’t want to and others have already done a better job. Instead I’ll direct you to one I liked a lot at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, here.

And now, to much more fun stuff, a recommended read!

I only read historicals occassionaly, and haven’t in a while, so I kept putting off reading Jennifer Haymore’s A Hint of Wicked. Once I started, I couldn’t put it down. Loved it.

hint-of-wicked-new-coverA Hint of Wicked
Jennifer Haymore

Caught between desire and duty…

Sophie, the Duchess of Calton, has finally moved on. After seven years mourning the loss of her husband, Garrett, at Waterloo, she has married his cousin and heir, Tristan. Sophie gives herself to him body and soul. . . until the day Garrett returns from the Continent, demanding his title, his lands-and his wife.

Torn between two husbands…

Now Sophie must choose between her first love and her new love, knowing that no matter what, her choice will destroy one of the men she adores. Will it be Garrett, her childhood sweetheart, whose loss nearly destroyed her once already? Or will it be Tristan, beloved friend turned lover, who supported her through the last, dark years and introduced her to a passion she had never known? As her two husbands battle for her heart, Sophie finds herself immersed in a dangerous game-where the stakes are not only love . . . but life and death.

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My Hobby

ESPAN, the RWA chapter dedicated to epublished and small press authors, has a fantastic blog post from writer and agent Deidre Knight in response to RWA President Diane Pershing’s letter in the monthly newsletter.

In the letter, Ms. Pershing admits that RWA is failing to educate its members properly. I happen to agree. Here is how I think they should be educating their paying members (me).

What I want RWA to do for me:

  • Help me understand the pros and cons of publishing with a large press.
  • Help me understand the pros and cons of publishing with a small press.
  • Help me understand the pros and cons of publishing with an epublisher.
  • Help me learn how to distinguish between an ethical and respected publisher, be they large, small or electronic, so that I can make an informed decision about submitting to them.
  • Help me know what clauses I should look out for in a contract and what the negatives and positives are to those clauses so that I can make an informed decision about signing them.
  • Help me learn about the craft of writing and the business of publishing, by offering online classes, local chapter level meetings/workshops, and national level workshops at the yearly conference.
  • Help me network by offering local chapter meetings, online chapters with specific focuses, and the national conference where I can expect to hear from, meet with and pitch to publishers and agents that I have decided to pursue, based on the research above.
  • Help me make the decisions. By educating me.

 

Do not attempt to make the decisions for me. If I decide to work with an agent despite your warning of a specific type of clause in their contract, that is my decision to make. If I decide to publish with a large press publisher to get the advance they are offering despite learning that they are unlikely to help promote my book so that I will earn out that advance, that is my decision to make. If I decide to contract with a brand new epublisher because they have a good marketing team despite learning that many new epublishers do not last, and they turn out to produce crap I would be embarrassed to introduce to my ebook reader, that is my decision to make.

Some may disagree, but I truly believe that there are different pros and cons to each of the first three options listed above. People choose those options, I chose one of those options, because of weighing the differences, not because I fell into the one when I couldn’t do the other. I would like to be able to say that I made my decisions based on information learned through the organization I pay to support my writing career. Instead, that organization thinks I’m just playing with my hobby and gave me little to no help – I found the information, both good and bad, that I needed to make my decision through sources that were entirely free.

RWA does give me something for my money. It gives me the support of my local chapter. It gives me the support of my online chapter which supports electronic and small press authors. It gives me the opportunity to attend a national conference where I can attend workshops about the craft of writing (but not the business of publishing in my chosen avenue) and the chance to network with other writers and some agents and publishers (just not the ones that I’m interested in meeting with). Lastly, RWA tries to give me a sense of being less than other writers, writers who have chosen a different path then I have. Writers who are apparently “career focused” while I’m simply lucky to be making money with my hobby.

There are reasons that I chose the path that I did. I weighed the pros and cons. It works for me, at this time and I can see no reason to change it. I can certainly see why others might choose a different path and I wish them well. I hope that they educated themselves about all of the options available to them. But if they relied on their professional writers association for that information, then they are sadly lacking in knowledge. Which doesn’t mean they made the wrong decision. It just means they made that decision based on limited information, which is very, very sad when they are members of an organization meant to educate them.

I am not an idiot. I am fully aware that there are many epublishers that will do little to advance the careers of their authors, and some that will harm them. That is also true of traditional print publishers and agents. Simply pushing an entire publishing model to the side and hoping that it will go away, is not helpful. Worse, insulting the professionals who are actively advancing that publishing model is not doing your members a service.

Since Ms. Pershing has admitted to the organizations failing in the education of its members, I hope that they will seriously rethink their strategy and remember that I am asking them to teach me, not to make my decisions for me by showing me only the options they themselves would choose.

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