Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Romance Smack Down

I haven't done any work this morning, instead I've been trying to catch up on the emails in my inbox from the Romance Writer's Australia loop.
It seems yesterday morning here in oz, one of the morning shows, Sunrise, hosted a small segment about e-book sales for Harlequin Mills and Boons going up by over 50% in the past months. Unfortunately it dissolved into the typical trash talking about Mills and Boons novels, resulting in some very pissed off RWA members. As we speak, the RWA committee and media team are working on an official response to the slander.
Obviously I'll be keeping a close eye on things to see how it all pans out. I hope RWA ends up sticking it to them.
I only WISH I could be published with an internationally based company like Harlequin Mills and Boons, no small thing to make jokes over - I should know.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Making My Head Hurt

I have a problem with the first book in my SOAP series.
The beginning.
Not a small problem by any means when I can't seem to find a way to start this book which I'm happy with. Sometimes my book ideas come with the a great opening scene, like the two category romantic suspense manuscripts I've been working on. Sometimes my book ideas only come with other scenes and I have to work my brain overtime to come up with a way to set the mood. I've lost count of how many times I've re-written the opening scene to SOAP book #1. After re-writing yet another beginning yesterday and giving myself a headache from frustration because it just didn't seem to be working, last night I think my brain solved it for me while I was sleeping. Funnily enough (or not so funny, where all the headaches are concerned) I've decided to go back and use the very first original starting I wrote, but a different version of it, if that makes sense.
In regards to the actual Brava competition, I'm flying a little blind at the moment since none of the details have been released. I assumed the manuscript would have to be single title length (around 90,000 to 100,000 words), but Brava actually publishers any length, from 15,000 to 100,000 words. Therefore, I may actually be able to enter my 55,000 word length category I've been sending around these past few months.
Meanwhile, I'm halfway through Christine Feehan's Street Game and boy, do I have a lot to say about that. But I'll resist judgement until I'm actually finished it and leave that for another post on a different day.
Now, unfortunately my bathroom is due for a good cleaning, so back to the real world I go.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Exciting New Contest!

I checked my email this morning to find news of an exciting contest being held by the Brava imprint from Kensington. For unpublished authors, its a huge opportunity to have a manuscript read by an editor and of course either winning or even placing in the top ten wouldn't be half bad. They haven't put up all the fine details yet about when and where to enter, but it seems I might have at least until September to get something in. I'm thinking its time I cracked out my old SOAP manuscript (which I'd always been planning to get back to soon anyway) and start polishing it like I've never polished anything in my life! At least its a complete manuscript, but some of it is really rough and I'm going to have to edit to the point of melting my brain again. There also might be a few scenes/chapters that would benefit from a re-write. Do I seem exacted? Well, I am just a little. Its a huge opportunity, but I'm realistic, the competition will be fierce and this is going to have to be the best work of my life to get me anywhere.
I've reorganised my writing board to reflect my new goals and I'm going to make a start on things straight away.

Friday, March 26, 2010

No News

Nothing to report today. I haven't heard back from The Agent yet, but I believe from her blog she's a bit behind on replying to queries. So I figure it could be up to three weeks before I hear anything. RWA's Val Parv closed today, I wonder how many authors are doing a last minute dash to the finish line at midnight tonight? The entries will be going to judges over the weekend and then its a matter of waiting and waiting and waiting.
You know, the waiting really kills me! You think I'd be used to it by now.
I put in an order with Rendezvous for books this afternoon, despite the fact my to-be-read pile already consists of: Juliet Marillier - The Well of Shades, Charlaine Harris - Trueblood Omnibus, Linnea Sinclair - Games of Command, Laura Griffin - Whisper of Warning, Gina Robinson - Spy Games (&) Spy Candy, Susan Kearney - Lucan (&) Rion and Julie Garwood - Fire and Ice.
Today I added to that list: Suzanne Brockmann - Force of Nature (which I have read and loved, but didn't own a copy until now), Linnea Sinclair - Rebels & Lovers, Susan Grant - Your Planet or Mine? and Kresley Cole - Pleasure of a Dark Prince.
Who knows when I'll actually get to read all of these books. I started Christine Feehan's Street Game this week, but have barley gotten through the first chapter. Not because I'm uninterested in reading it, but simply a lack of time. Since there's not much on TV tonight, I should probably take myself and get some reading done now.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Out in the World

I sent my entry into the RWA Valerie Parv award on Monday, now all I can do is sit back and wait for the results, which I guess will be in about eight weeks give or take. Today I also sent a query to The Agent (yes, back to her again). I've been procrastinating over this for weeks, I don't know why. Today all of a sudden I just thought "well, why the hell not?" So I whipped up a query letter and sent it off to her. With luck, I should hear back fairly quickly and if things play out as they have in the past when I've queried her, she'll hopefully request to see the first 3 chapters. Which I've polished to - well, I'm not going to say perfection because nothing is ever perfect - but surely I've polished it to a high sheen by now. Of course I wouldn't have sent it into the Val Parv or submitted it anywhere if I wasn't satisfied with the presentation.
Fingers crossed for good results all round!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Editing Induced Brain Melt

Just a quick update to say I've been doing some pretty intensive edits on my romantic suspense manuscript to enter it into the RWAus Val Parv award for unpublished authors. This is the big one, people! First prize is a year's mentorship with HMB author Valerie Parv and the opportunity for your manuscript to be read by Leslie Wainger, exec editor at none other than Silhouette in New York. Of course I've already posted my first couple of chapters off to them, but if I won the Val Parv, that'd obviously cut me out of the slush pile and put me on the editor's desk. A dream come true!
Well, I've got lots to do today, so I'd better get to it.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Rainy Sunday Morning

Is there anything better than waking up to rain on a Sunday? Add a steaming cup of brewed tea from the teapot (no teabags in my house!) and some toasted rye bread fresh from the bakery this morning and I'm in heaven. I feel the inspiration to do some great writing today, the only issue being I don't know which manuscript I want to work on. I think I'll go with my young adult since I'm coming up to a climactic scene which is pivotal to the entire plot.
These past few weeks I've been judging for RWA, the Little Gems comp and First Kiss comp. That's all done and dusted now, so I've got to get back to editing for the Val Parv award. I'm about half way through editing the first few chapters again. As much as I want to be determined that this time I'll make the short list, I keep telling myself that so much of it is out of my control, all I can do is put together the best story I can and hope all judges it ends up in front of like it or at least are partial enough to score me accordingly.
Anyway, no thinking about editing or judges today, I'm off to write!