Category Archives: Writing Process

Blog Tour Day Four: Magical Words, Max and Me

I’m in three places today. It’s bizarre. But you’ll have to follow the various links to see how this all happened.

Of course saying “Max” and “bizarre” kind of goes hand in hand.  It all started when I was going to write about Max and how she helped me with my writing on Max’s blog, and she said, wait, you can’t write about [redacted] on my blog. I don’t allow [redacted] on my blog. So I had to write about something different on Max’s blog.

So I wrote about [redacted] on Magical Words instead.

And then, I figured I might as well post excerpts of the two scenes that had [redacted] in them on the Fury Triad site, so you could see them for yourself.

Let me know what you think.

Let Max know what you think, too.

 

BLOG TOUR:

May 5: The Word Wenches  How Research Gave Me the Home I Didn’t Want and the World I Needed

May 6: Get Lost in a Story  Welcome Patricia Burroughs Q&A

Mary Robinette Kowal: My Favorite Bit: Patricia Burroughs

May 7:  Suzanne Johnson: Q-and-A With Patricia Burroughs and Win a GC

May 8:  Celluloid Blonde Of [redacted] and Aubergine

               Magical Words:  Of Adders and Writing Process

               Fury Triad: Of Adders and Rattlesnakes

And because this is what it’s all about, don’t forget that you can buy my book. Really. You can. I won’t stop you.

 This Crumbling Pageant, is  available all sorts of places.

Amazon Kindle    Amazon Trade Paperback

BN-Nook    BN Trade Paperback

Kobo

Hardcover and iBook links coming soon!

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Filed under Book Pooks Wrote, Screenwriting, The Fury Triad, This Crumbling Pageant, Writers, Writing, Writing Process

Lettermo Day Two — Thanks for Being on TeamPooks!

I’m participating in lettermo, and having a lot of fun:

~~~

LetterMo2014squareMary Robinette Kowal says, I have a simple challenge for you.

  1. In the month of February, mail at least one item through the post every day it runs. Write a postcard, a letter, send a picture, or a cutting from a newspaper, or a fabric swatch.
  2. Write back to everyone who writes to you. This can count as one of your mailed items.

~~~

I sent out another postcard.

Yes, another postcard that has my BRAND NEW COVER on it.

That you can’t see yet.

But the PR person at Story Spring Publishing is about to get one in the mail. We did a google hangout with my editor/publisher yesterday and had fun scheming, and she asked me to send her a postcard.

Twist my arm. Seriously. As if I’m not wanting to spread this cover everywhere!

But I can’t. You know, not time for the cover reveal. So this is all you can see today. Sorry!

Day 2 #lettermo 2014

spot-of-mail1

And I earned my Wee Spot of Mail Badge.

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Irony, aka, the story of my life

So, I’m teaching workshops on storyboarding for novelists and screenwriters.

But right now I am behind the eightball on a deadline for another book I’m writing. No, not that one, the one you don’t know about, yet.

keep-moving-nothing-to-see-ver-3

Available 9/24 from Amazon, print only.

A book that I hope you don’t buy because I hope you don’t ever do this unless you intend to move to Los Angeles or already live there. And yes, there is a lot of irony there, too.

And as I have struggled with this book, not the writing, but the arranging and the organizing and figuring out how to weave all the different things together, it hit me this morning–

I need to storyboard it.

I need to storyboard my nonfiction book.

I never even considered such a thing.

Storyboarding is for stories, right? Duh.

Physician, heal thyself.

Teacher, teach thyself.

Writer, get back to writing.

And for those who are local to DFW and interested, I am teaching the workshop on storyboarding and also the workshop on adapting your novel [just noticed error on cover over there which should say YOUR novel, note to self: contact cover designer] at the Collin College Writers Conference on October 4 & 5.

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Thissing and Thatting

It’s Friday and my plate runneth over. I am going to park a long need-to-do list here, but first–

I found some cool stuff this week.

potterbookshelfI bought this book, Harry Potter’s Bookshelf: The Great Books behind the Hogwarts Adventures by John Granger (hey, any relation…?).  Harry Potter’s Bookshelf: The Great Books Behind the Hogwarts Adventures explores the literary landscape of themes and genres J.K. Rowling artfully wove throughout her novels-and the influential authors and stories that inspired her. From Jane Austen’s Emma and Charles Dickens’s class struggles, through the gothic romances of Dracula and Frankenstein and the detective mysteries of Dorothy L. Sayers, to the dramatic alchemy of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and William Shakespeare, Rowling cast a powerful spell with the great books of English literature that transformed the story of a young wizard into a worldwide pop culture phenomenon.  Not sure when I’ll get to read it but I had to have it in print so I could mark it up.

I read a really good article about the terrific state of publishing today for writers who aren’t crying in their beer like Scott Turow is. I agree with Kris Rusch, in that I have access to so many books today in digital format that would never have been reprinted. Life is good for readers and writers, both.

This fall I’m offering my Blueprinting Your Novel class for those who have been waiting for it and have already taken the Basics class, but I’m offering it much earlier in the semester than usual. So if you’ve been waiting for that class drop me a line, or keep following this blog and/or my facebook page and/or my classofpooks blog.

Now, that plate that runneth over.

Here are a few things I need to do:

Bite my nails over good news I can’t announce yet.

Do my taxes.

Change my front page here on this site, since the big “buy my book NOW!” push isn’t hot on the top of my list, though of course, I would love for you to buy any of my books NOW.

Pull Scandalous from the BN site because they are doing annoying things and truly, life is too short.  So if you have a Nook and were wanting it, get it soon before it disappears.  Otherwise, all my ebooks are available at Book View Cafe in .epub (Nook) or .mobi (Kindle) so it will still be available, just not at BN.

Mail last two print books off to be scanned and sent back to me for release as ebooks. I’ve already paid for this service so you’d think I’d get right on that, right? You’d think.

Revamp the cover to Some Enchanted Season to match the new cover style I’m using on all my romance novels, yay!

Work on cover designs for last two romances.

Get pub dates from Book View Cafe.

Design new book page for this site.

Split script of Redemption away from novel La Desperada, so people can get whichever one they want and not have to get both.

Switch facebook cover page and avatar from the current Scandalous promotion which I love because it’s pretty, but it’s time for a change.

Finish reading good book I’m reading for good writer and write notes on it.

Work on short story.

Work on trilogy series (what do you call a five-book series? oh, a five-book series).

Research Medieval Ireland, Tudor Ireland and Arthurian connections to Ireland. (Got references? Let me know in comments!)

Read the really good books that are sitting my TBR waiting to be read.

Oh, yeah–record my March reads in the Embarrassment of Riches Challenge, oops.

Bite my nails over good news I can’t announce yet.

Do my taxes.

That’s some of what is on my plate right now.

What about you?

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Book Pooks Wrote, Book View Cafe, Books, Reading, Writing, Writing Process

Blog Hop and WWW Wednesday (12-12-12)

My WWW Wednesday entry is at the bottom of this post, for those who are more interested in what I’m reading than what I’m writing.

I was invited to join in this blog hop by WP Admirer, whose post is here.  Thanks, Sarah! This is my first-ever blog hop!

The questions:

1) What is the title of your book?

Scandalous

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

My muse had madcap heroines from the 20s/30s on her mind, I’m afraid, even though I was writing about a world firmly set in the (then) contemporary 90s. Before I knew it, speakeasies and flappers and romances of Christmases past were occupying my mind and the life of Paisley Vandermeir.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

Louise Brooks

Romance. It was meant to be a romantic comedy, and it definitely has those elements, but it ended up having a bittersweet poignancy as well, as Paisley deals with the death, bequests and scandals of her great-aunt.

4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Louise Brooks is the obvious choice, but alas, she is dead.

Jennifer Lawrence

So I’d go for Jennifer Lawrence, whose spin in Silver Linings Playbook is spot on perfect and has the kind of tough vulnerability (compounded by being downright weird) that I see in Paisley, even though the characters are very different from one another.

Also, even though she’s much too young, I definitely can see Susan Sarandon as the fiercely independent Aunt Isadora [aka Auntie Mame on acid]. I wrote a screen adaptation of this book in which Aunt Izzy comes back as a ghost and haunts Paisley in an attempt to make her do things she wants done. That was more fun than a bag of monkeys.

As for Chris–I don’t know. He just needs to be able to look charmingly befuddled, as if he doesn’t know what just hit him, splendid in a tux, and also be willing to fight like hell for love when he finds it.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

“All she needed was a safe little scandal, and he seemed as safe as they come. Oops.”

6) Was your book self-published or represented by an agency?

Represented by an agent in its print format. The digital edition available now was published by Book View Café. I’m currently looking for an agent who specializes in my current areas of writing interest, science fiction and fantasy.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Probably three months, though that was once I sold the proposal. Creating the idea, characters, proposal–that all takes more time than I can usually calculate because some of these things live in my head for years before I actually put them down on paper.

8) What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

The fashion! Aunt Izzy left a magnificent couture wardrobe behind, and Paisley is having to let go of it one memory at a time.  I am not a fashionista, but I had so much fun researching this book!

And I had fun with this blog hop. Thanks, Sarah/WP Admirer for inviting me!

I’m tagging these terrific writers, all of whom have tales to tell!

Jeffrey A. Carver
Katharine Eliska “Cat” Kimbriel
Pati Nagle
Steven Harper Piziks
Deborah J. Ross

Now for WWW Wednesday. Again, this meme is from shouldbereading:

 

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

• What are you currently reading?

I’m listening to The Twelve Clues of Christmas (A Royal Spyness Mystery) by Rhys Bowen. Yes, it’s set in the 30s. Do you detect a trend? It’s the newest book in a series of mysteries set between the wars in England. “Her ridiculously long name is Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, daughter to the Duke of Atholt and Rannoch. And she is flat broke. As the thirty-fourth in line for the throne, she has been taught only a few things, among them, the perfect curtsey…” Lots and lots of fun.

• What did you recently finish reading?

Khepera Rising, by Nerine Dorman. Horror… fantasy… not sure which it’s considered but it’s graphic, brutal, compelling, and I liked it a lot. Set in South Africa, and the first book I’ve read about that nation that wasn’t political. Nerine says, “Khepera Rising is my first novel, a tale following the doings of Cape Town-based black magician James Edward Guillaume. Themes in this work include drug abuse, religious intolerance, violence, magic, alternative cultures and sexuality.” Yep, that pretty much sums it up!

• What do you think you’ll read next?

I can never answer this question!

What about you? What have you been reading lately?  Put the link to your WWW Wednesday entry in comments, or just tell me!

 

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Filed under Blog Hop, Blogging, Book Pooks Wrote, Book View Cafe, Books, Out of Paisley's Closet Contest, Reading, Romance, Scandalous, Writers, Writing, Writing Process, WWW Wednesday

Somebody took the "shocking" out of my Scandalous!

It’s strange how it took me years to figure it out, but sure enough as I was proofreading I stumbled across a gaping black hole.

But wait, I need to tell you something else first. It’s also strange (except this really should be first, which would make the first strange I typed the “also,” oh never mind) how I can go back and read a novel I wrote and blink and grin and even laugh and sometimes gasp because darn it, I’d forgotten that. And this. And THIS.

I wrote a book set in New York City and I’d never been there. And I researched. And I researched. And I researched. And I talked to people who had been there or lived there. And I spent a lot of long distance dollars talking to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and various other locales, searching for the information that my characters would know without asking. I ended up with files and files about Paisley Vandermeir and Christopher Quincy Maitland and their world.

And now I read the book and I see “this” reference and I remember who told me about it. And I see “that” detail and I remember where I got it from. I remember the library books and the conversations, and I’m kind of in awe of myself, because I’m not a detail person. I have trouble holding my own stuff in order in my head, much less detailed worlds I’ve never seen. And here I was writing about a place I’d never been, and the same place where the editors who edited my book lived.

Wow.

And guess what. It seems to have worked.

But I also find myself reading something and sitting back and wondering. Did somebody tell me this? Did I make it up? Did I just kind of “know” that it would be like this? That half-eaten hot dog in the street that Paisley stepped over and Chris stepped on–that throwaway moment that meant absolutely nothing to the book but now I see with fresh eyes. Did I just know that would have happened or did somebody tell me?

For everything that I am remembering, there are things I don’t remember at all.

Which is one reason that I’m actually amazed about the missing “shocking.”

Paisley was all about vintage couture before vintage couture was cool. It’s all through this book. And see, I am not a girly-girl. I do not know about this stuff. And yet, here it is, all through the book. And I by damn researched every bit of it.

When she shows up at a debutante’s debut ball the hero sees this:

Paisley Vandermeir had declined the invitation and then had come anyway. Unfashionably late. Dressed like a Hollywood extra in a period movie. And now, she was wandering around as if she were lost, or drunk, or both, and attracting undue attention. Of course his mother was uneasy.

No Hollywood extra ever wore a Parisian couture dress designed by Callot Soeurs in 1928, but that’s being picky, don’t you think? But when I saw “Callot Soeurs” I had to google and find The Dress, because yes, of course there had been a specific dress I’d described. Black and beaded and dramatic.

Go ahead. Google. I didn’t find The Dress, but I found omgsomany The Dresses that I went into a sugar coma.

But that’s okay, because the fact that “French, Paris: Callot Soeurs, 1928” survived in the book means I know that dress it out there somewhere (even though I have a vague memory that it might not have been black, and I made it black myself).

But I could not have told you that if it hadn’t been in the book.

But the hole? The missing shocking?

That jumped out at me even though I didn’t notice it before when we were in the middle of rewrites and edits.

The scene where Paisley Vandermeir ends up on the floor of a dirty New York City taxi wearing a shocking pink wool suit designed by Schiaparelli, the artist-designer who put the “shocking” in pink. Only as I was reading, nowhere did it say shocking. Nowhere did it say pink. Nowhere did it say Schiaparelli.

The outrage!

So of course I put it back in.

Better late than never.

Now wait, you’re saying. You said you didn’t know any of this stuff, but oompty-years after you wrote this book, you suddenly remember this kind of detail, a specific suit designed by a specific Italian designer named Elsa Schiaparelli?

Of course I do. Because from the first time I can remember being tall enough to peek over the dressing table surface and see all the pretty bottles until the day she died, this was one of my grandmother’s prized possessions.

Shocking de Schiaparelli

You’d better believe I put the “shocking” back in.

This time when I turned to google, the dress I sought popped right up from the divine Gail Carriger‘s retro fashion blog’s recent celebration of pink.

1938-1939Suit Elsa Schiaparelli, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

It’s really rather astounding that Schiaparelli ever designed something so prim.

It still doesn’t explain why the “shocking” got edited out of the Scandalous.

But now you know more than you ever wanted to know about why it got put back in.

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Filed under Book Pooks Wrote, Books, Callot Soeurs, Fashion, retrorack, Scandalous, Schiaparelli, Vintage Fashion, Writing, Writing Process

Count me in…

Amongst the ranks of the certifiably insane.

 

Because, dear reader, I’m in.

What is it? National Novel Writing Month, where I and around 300,000 of my closest friends will attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days!

I will be posting a daily word count, and I hope to have cheerleaders. Get ready to say “yay!” and “you go, girl!” and “wake up and write, ya loser!” (Wait. That last was not exactly cheering.)

Are you in?

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