Monday, July 25, 2011

Blogging AWOL

I'm here to tell you that I doubt I'll be blogging much in the weeks leading up to the conference. I can also confirm that I did get an appointment with Erika Tsang from Avon, so there's some more excitement. I'm seeing both her and Kristin Nelson on the Friday.
As you can see by my wordcount meter, I'm almost halfway through writing the Shadow Hunter novel I plan on pitching. I've got 17 days to go (eeep!) but I've been keeping up pretty well with my 3500 words a day aim. Although, I may well be brain dead by the time the conference rolls around from getting out this many words in such a short amount of time.
In other news, I've at last caught up and brought myself an e-reader. I just got a generic brand that takes Adobe PDF files, because that's the format all the e-books I have on my computer are in. Now that I've gotten one, I'm actually pretty enthusiastic about it. There are still authors whose books I would rather buy and read in print format, but I think at least half my purchases now might end up being in e-book. Its much cheaper!
Right, obviously I have 3500 words to pound out today, so I should get to that... ow, my fingers are aching.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Exciting Conference News!

As I said in my previous post, I had missed out on pitch appointments because I registered late. However, I'm very excited to share that I found out last night I now have an appointment with Kristin Nelson, as there was a cancellation in her schedule. I almost fainted when I read the email! In my world, this is like being told I've got the chance to meet Nicole Kidman or something, seriously, it's that huge to me. I plan on pitching my Shadow Hunter novel, so obviously I have some work to do to get it finished - 3500 words a day as a matter of fact. But, if I put my other projects aside and focus solely on Nathan and Tessa's story, I have every confidence I'll get it finished in time.
I may also be getting an appointment with Erika Tsang from Avon. This is where things get a bit cloudy. I really want to pitch Atrophy, my sci-fi romance to her. Now, I know that Avon have never published a science fiction romance before. But, I really think it could be an up and coming genre. I'm going to discuss some facts with them (yes, this could all go horribly wrong).
Other authors with other publishing houses: Sherrilyn Kenyon's League series, published by Hachette UK's Piatkus imprint became a New York Times bestseller. Okay, we all know it was her name that was the driving factor in that, but it proves the right author can put a sci-fi romance at the top of the best seller's lists. Again, Piatkus have JD Robb's In Death series hitting the bestsellers lists. Its not hardcore sci-fi, but it does have a fair bit of technological advancements in it. Harlequin have been publishing Susan Grant's sci-fi romance under their HQN imprint for years and she has become a national best seller. Linnea Sinclair is published through Random House's Bantam imprint and has been nominated for a RITA. Jess Granger is an up and coming sci-fi romance author (who I think will do quite well) published with Berkley. And Avon have published Joss Ware's futuristic, post-apocalyptic romance series. Surely when other publishing houses are getting into this genre, and considering Avon are already half way there with a futuristic series, a sci-fi romance with the Avon imprint wouldn't be such a stretch?
If I get to sit down in front of Erika Tsang, those will be my arguments. And of course, I'll tell her a bit about Atrophy as well.
But right now, I have those 3500 words I need to get written, so I should get on with that!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Quick Update

Four weeks to go until the RWAus conference and I can't decide if I'm extremely excited or so nervous I want to puke. Though I've been a member of RWA for 8 years, this will be my first conference. Because I registered late I missed out on applying for the pitch appointments, some of which included Kristen Nelson of Nelson agency (one of the top agents on my list) and Erika Tsang, editor at Avon Romances. But I got a spot on a waiting list, so if any cancellations come up with either of these two, I might get my chance. I'm looking forward to going and putting faces to names of people I regularly chat to through RWA.
In other news, I'm getting all the technical stuff done for Singularity (and yes, that now is the official title we're going with) and am hoping to get a release date in the coming week or so. I've also been getting through Sinner, which is Drayke and Leandra's story, doing a bit on Cadmiel's novella for the anthology that goes along with the November blog tour I'm involved in, and also writing some of my Shadow Hunter novel (which is the book I would pitch at the conference if I happened to get an appointment.)
So as you can see, I'm keeping myself very busy. I've never worked on 3 separate projects at once in a sustained fashion like this before. I am enjoying it, though I'm hoping I don't burn myself out. I've been writing a minimum of 2000 to 3000 words every day. But I guess I shouldn't worry, I'll be taking a forced break from writing once the edits for Singularity come in.
I've got queries out with two agents (the last two I plan on querying) for Atrophy and  I'm still waiting to hear from Certain Publisher about it. But I've moved my focus onto my Shadow Hunter novel. All the energy I was putting into waiting and wondering was just exhausting, so I decided I couldn't do that anymore. I've been focusing that energy on my Shadow Hunter book with the thought of "if this doesn't get me an agent, I don't know what will!"
It looks like later in the year I'll be getting back on the query roundabout with yet another project... guess I've got to finish the thing first. So I should probably go do that.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Best Quotes of Supernatural Season 3

Look at this! So it didn't take me very long at all to get through a re-watch of Supernatural Season 3 and note down my favorite quotes. There are a lot of them! Maybe I'm getting less picky and easier to please as the seasons go onward, or maybe the writers were just getting more clever. Either way, there were a lot of classic Deanism, a lot of the usual Sam/Dean snark and a few cameo one liners from some of the supporting cast.
Dean laughed in that face of death (actually, I believe he does literally, in later seasons, but that's a whole 'nother story) and even when he was about to take an express ride to hell via the not so friendly ministrations of a hellhound, he was still coming out with his usual wit. Poor Sammy got tortured in this season, got a glimpse of what life would be like without Dean and generally tried to hold things together and find some answers when it seemed Dean didn't even care about his imminent demise. This was a great season and of course we all know it was only building to bigger and better things down the track.
I've even made a start on watching and noting season 4 quotes, so look out for that coming up in a few weeks. But, here we go with quotes of season 3:


Deanisms
- Oh, so he kills somebody and we just sit here with our junk in our hands?
- So what do you say we kill some evil sons of bitches and we raise a little hell?
- Okay, weirdy-Mcweirdison
- Gumby girl… does that make me Pokey?
- The kids. The creepy, stare at you like you're lunch kids.
- Great, we'll just bust in, drag the kids out and torch 'em on the front lawn. I'm sure that'll go down great with the neighbors.
-  If it's any consolation, I think you're a truly awful person.
- Say goodbye, wascily wabbit.
- Now what do you say we destroy that ugly-ass piece of dead thing?
- Oh, don't go away angry. Just go away.
- Or it could just be a suicide and a psychotic scrap-booker.
- And what? A few hours later you pucker up and kiss your ass goodbye?
- A hand of glory? I think I got one of those at the end of my Thai massage last week.
- You couldn't pick up the phone and tell us a raging psychopath was coming after us?
- Its like a giant haystack and Gordon is a deadly needle.
- Just another day at the office. A massively dangerous day at the office.
- You just charged a super-vamped-out-Gordon with no weapons. That's a little reckless don't you think?
- Oh great, so we're looking for pimp-Santa.
- I hate witches. They're always spewing their bodily fluids everywhere. Its creepy. You know what? It's downright unsanitary.
- So we’re looking for some old, cranky Blair-bitch in the woods?
- Why does the rabbit always get screwed in the deal? Poor little guy.
- Let me guess, they dose up, bust out the didgeridoo and start kicking 'round the hackey-sack?
- I don't know what's weirder. The fact that we're in Bobby's head or that he's dreaming about Better Homes and Gardens.
- Sam, you know joints like this one are tourist traps, right? I mean, balls rolling up hills, furniture nailed to the roof? They're only dangerous to your wallet.
- Look, I'm just saying that its crazy, you know? Even for us crazy, like Dingo-ate-my-baby crazy.
- My god, you're a freak.
- Sammy, I get all tingly when you take control like that.
- It’s a free country. A man can't chose his own syrup? What have we become?
- Its like we got a contract out on us. You think its 'cos we're so awesome?
- Honestly, I think the world's going to end bloody, but it doesn't mean we shouldn't fight. We do have choices. I choose to go down swinging.
- Pack your panties, Sammy, we're hitting the road.
-Well don't get too excited, Sammy, you might pull something.
- Newsflash, Sam, people are supposed to be freaked out by ghosts.
- Zombies do like the other-other white meat.
- A zombie with skills. Doctor Quinn, medicine zombie.
- You're chasing slicey-McHackey.
- Oh right, yeah, Because you were human once and you liked kittens and long walks on the beach.
- What, you gonna give her the Carrie stare and Lillith goes poof?
- Oh no. No. You're not going to bust out the misty goodbye speech. If this is my last day on earth I don't want it to be socially awkward.
- And then what? Give a Columbian necktie to a ten year old?

Samisms
- So what, this demon just walks up, touches someone and they go stark-raving-psycho?
- You do realize there's red meat within striking distance, right?
- Yeah, its like putting a neon sign on your front door that says 'come kill us now'."

Sam - Let me see your knife.
Dean - What for?
Sam - So I can gouge my eyes out.

Sam - Dean, what are you doing?
Dean - I'm comforting the bereaved. What are you doing?
Sam - Working. Dead body, possible demon attack, that kind of thing.

Dean - Just stay back.
Demon - Or what?
Dean - Good point.

Dean - It's like there's a light at the end of the tunnel.
Sam - That's hellfire, Dean.
Dean - Yeah, well… whatever.

Sam - How do you sleep at night?
Bella - Rolling naked in money.

Dean - I'm Batman.
Sam - Yeah… you're Batman.

Bella - It’s a shoulder hit. Relax. Besides, who here hasn't shot a few people?

Bella - I'm out one point five million and on the bad side of a very powerful, fairly psychotic buyer.
Dean - Wow, I really don't feel bad about that. Sam?
Sam - Nope, not even a little.

Dean - There's gotta be a demon or two in South Beach.
Sam - Sorry, Heff, maybe next time.

Sam - I'm thinking about fairy tales.
Dean - Nice, do you think about fairy tales often?

Sam - You remember Cinderella, with the pumpkin that turns into a coach and the mice that turns into horses?
Dean - Dude, could you be more gay?... Don't answer that.

Dean - And you shot her?
Sam - She was a smartass

Dean - Can I shoot her?
Sam - Not in public.

Bella - I think the three of us should have a heart to heart.
Dean - That's assuming you have a heart.

Bella - You know, when this is over, we really should have angry sex.
Dean - Don't objectify me.

Bella - What do you suggest?
Dean - I'm thinking.
Bella - Don't strain yourself.
(and later...)
Dean - Maybe next time you could give me a little heads up on your plan.
Bella - I don't want you thinking, you're not very good at that.

Sam - You.
Dean - What?
Sam - You mean she got one over on you.
Dean - Thank you, Sam. Very helpful.

Sam - Nice move you pulled back there, running right at the weapons.
Dean - What can I say, I'm a badass.

Dean - Well, I'm just saying he's not leaving us a whole lot of options.
Sam - Yeah, I know, we've gotta kill him.
Dean - Really, just like that? I thought you would have been like 'no, we can't, he's human, its wrong'."

Vampire - I'm staring down eternity alone. Can you think of a worse hell?
Dean - Well, there's hell.

Sam - I'm sick of your whole stupid kamikaze trip.
Dean - Whoa. Kamikaze? I'm more like a ninja.
Sam - Its not funny.
Dean - It’s a little funny.

Dean - So was I right? Is it the serial killing chimney sweep?
Sam - Yep, its Dick Van Dyck.
Dean - Who?
Sam - Mary Poppins?
Dean - Who's that?
Sam - Oh, come on… Never mind.

Dean - What could you possibly say that sounds crazy to me?
Sam - Um… Evil Santa?
Dean - Yeah, that's crazy.

Dean - What'd Bobby say?
Sam - That we're morons.

Sam - Huh. When you sacrifice to Holnacar, guess what he gives you in return?
Dean - Lap dances, hopefully.

Dean - Did you sell them for free?
Shopkeeper - No, its Christmas, people pay a butt-load for this crap.
Dean - That's the spirit

Dean - You bitch!
Madge - Oh my goodness, somebody owes a nickel to the swear jar. Oh, you know what I say when I feel like swearing? Fudge.
Dean - I'll try to remember that.
(and later…)
Dean - You fudgin' touch me again and I'll fudgin' kill you!
Madge - Very good.

Sam - What was Bobby doing in Pittsburgh?
Dean - Taking an extremely lame holiday?

Sam - Bella? You're actually suggesting we ask her for a favor?
Dean - I'm feeling dirty just thinking about it, but yeah.

Sam - Dean, you sure you don't want me to drive? You seem a little caffeinated.
Dean - Oh, thanks for the newsflash, Edison.

Sam - Dude, Asia?
Dean - Come on, you love this song and you know it.
Sam - Yeah and if I ever hear it again, I'm going to kill myself.

Sam - Dude, I had a weird dream.
Dean - Yeah? Clowns or midgets?

Sam - Yesterday was Tuesday, but today is Tuesday too.
Dean - Yeah. No, good, you're totally balanced.

Dean - And did it look cool, like in the movies?
Sam - You peed yourself.
Dean - Of course I peed myself. A man gets hit by a car, you think he has full control over his bladder?

Sam - You're crazy, Bobby, I'm not killing you.
Bobby - Oh, so now I'm the crazy one?

Trickster - I tell you what, whoever said Dean was the dysfunctional one has never seen you with a sharp object in your hands. I mean, holy full metal jacket!

Hendrikson - After all, seeing you two in chains…?
Dean - You kinky sonuva bitch, we don't swing that way.

Sam - How's the shoulder?
Dean - Its awesome. I'll live. You know, if we get out of this alive.

Hendrikson - I shot the sheriff.
Dean - But you didn't shoot the deputy.

Ruby - Does anyone here have a breath mint? Some guts splattered in my mouth while I was killing my way in here.

Dean - Listen to me, there's some salt in my duffle. Make a circle and get inside.
Ed - Inside your duffle?
Dean - Inside the salt you idiots!

Harry (from the Ghostfacers ep) - Ed, you gotta go be gay for that poor dead intern.

Sam - So you two were talking a case?
Dean - No, actually we were talking about our feelings and then our favorite boy bands… yeah, we were talking a case.

Dean - What is it?
Sam - A Crockata
Dean - What, is that some type of sandwich?

Dean - I see they improved your face.
Sam - Right back at you.

Sam - You remember that thing in the paper yesterday?
Dean - Stripper suffocates dude with thighs.
Sam - No, the other thing.

Rufus - You do her ear?
Dean - Hey man, I'll try anything once, but that sounds uncomfortable.

Dean - Why don't we make a TJ run? Senoritas, cervesas. We could… what's Spanish for Donkey-show?
Sam - So if we do save you, let's never do that.

Bobby - Well, aren't you good at just brining down the room?
Dean - It’s a gift.

Sam - How do you get around so fast?
Ruby - I got the Super bowl jetpack.

Dean - What do you think?
Sam - I think you totally should have been jamming Eye of the Tiger right there.
Dean - Bite me. I totally rehearsed that, too.

Bobby - Do I look like a ditchable prom date to you?

Bobby - Your piercing the veil, Dean. Glimpsing the b-side.
Dean - A little less new-agey please?
Bobby - You almost hell's bitch, so you can see hell's other bitches.

Dean - So is this your big plan, huh? Drag me to hell, kill Sam and then what? Become Queen Bitch?
Lillith - I don't have to answer to puppy chow.

A lot of great stuff there and I'm sure season 4 will prove just as good. For now, I've got some of my own writing to get back to.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Hacked!

I checked my email first thing this morning to find I'd been hacked and a whole bunch of spam had been sent on my behalf. Ergh! I was so frustrated. I thought that if your password was made up of a combination of letters and numbers, it made it less likely this would happen. Maybe I'm just lucky.
Anyway, the worst thing about this is knowing all the agents and editors on my contact list (which, the way my spam folder is set up, anything that's not from a contact automatically goes bye-bye, so I need to make sure agents are on my contact list if I don't want their response to my queries to become cyber trash) who would have gotten this spam email from me. I know its not really my fault, but its still kind of embarrassing!
So I've started off this morning a bit stressed out.
But, at least at the moment my current manuscripts aren't stressing me out. The words are flowing and I'm having an easy time of it. I always try to enjoy this kind of run as much as I can, because I know that my mood can easily swing back the other way and then it'll be a chore trying to get even the simplest words onto the page.
I started working on my novella for the Noble Romance Authors Blog Tour I'm doing in November. Its going to be about 10,000 words long, so I should have it done in a week or so. I decided to make it part of my Sanctuary series. Its going to be called Saviour and is based on Cadmiel, the angel of destiny, who appeared briefly in the first book, Sanctuary.
Drayke and Leandra's story is coming along well enough. I'll be starting chapter five today.
I've also decided I want to put some serious energy into my Shadow Hunter novel. Even though I'd done a lot of research and written a chapter and a half, I had been resisting getting into it because I have so many other projects on the go. And because I hadn't been willing to accept defeat when it came to Atrophy. Okay, maybe that's the wrong way of putting it. Maybe I need to say something more along the lines of reassessing my publishing strategy. Anyway, however you want to see it, I've decided that I've queried Atrophy to death and can't do anything else about it, so its time to write something else and start the process all over again.
And I had promised myself that this year I would land an agent. It hit me the other day that sitting on my hands, waiting for a handful of agents and one editor to get back to me wasn't being very proactive toward that end. The year is half gone, if I'm going to achieve my goal for the year, I really need to get my butt into gear. So the plan is to see Drayke and Leandra's story through, get Cadmiel's novella written and then focus on the Shadow Hunter novel, which I'm aiming to make about 90,000 to 100,000 words long.
So I have a lot of work to do, but right now, I'm really looking forward to the prospect of it all.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Science Fiction Romance, The Next Big Thing?

You all know I've been chasing dreams of glory with my sci-fi romance manuscript, Atrophy. I've been hoping that the next massive trend would be sci-fi since the whole vampire craze might at last be waning. Well, maybe I was on to something.
Over at the Sci-Fi Romance Brigade blog, Laurie Green posted the latest news from the Romance Writers America national conference. It seems the way might be opening for sci-fi/futuristic/apocalyptic to be The Next Big Thing.
This news is a double edge sword for me. On one hand, great! My sales of Sanctuary and Severance are going along steadily enough, and obviously I'm hoping to see a rise in sales when Singularity comes out. And even better, maybe I will be able to sell Atrophy.
Except, I spent most of last year querying Atrophy, so the number of agents I could now contact about it are probably limited. Its frustrating that I may have hit too early. Some of the agents who rejected me said the manuscript fell right between sci-fi and romance, so they didn't know where it would fit on a bookshelf, but that I should write something else and send that to them.
Certain Publisher still hasn't gotten back to me and I feel maybe its time I stopped sitting here waiting and considered my options with agents again. I'm going to do a bit of searching and see about putting some queries together.
But, I'm lagging a bit on my word count aims for the fourth Sanctuary book, so I should probably do that first!
In closing, I just have to say that I would be elated if sci-fi romance becomes the next big trend. Guess we'll just have to wait and see!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Great Review for Sanctuary

It makes my job so much easier when I get fabulous reviews like this latest one for Sanctuary:

"I'm not a big fan of Angel stories, but the Sci-Fi aspect of Sanctuary attracted my interest and then the unique new slant Jess Anastasi has given to both the End Time scenario and the fight between Angels and Demons kept me turning pages as fast as I could read them."
"This short novella has just about everything you want in a book: a fast-paced plot with crisp writing, a few unexpected surprises, and interesting characters whose angst quickly invests the reader in their plight."

To read the review in full, visit here: Two Lips Reviews.

I'm looking forward to seeing the reviewer's thoughts on Severance, which she is going to read and review next. I only hope she enjoys it as much!
I guess some days I get so caught up in the work aspect of things -- getting the words down on the page, then making sure they actually make sense, then editing until the manuscript resembles something people might actually want to read, then editing it again over and over with my editor until its as good as its going to get and we can put the book out in the world -- yeah, its easy to forget on the other end of that, people out there are reading it for the enjoyment. They don't see the nuts and bolts like I do, they get to sit down and read it with no strings attached and hopefully come away feeling like it was worth their time.
Every so often, I'm reminded that's why I do this job.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

4th Sanctuary Book Started

I decided to jump straight into the 4th Sanctuary book, Drayke and Leandra's story, while the characters were fresh in my mind. I've made a good start in the past couple of days -- 6000 words and counting... wow, only 54,000 or so to go...
Anyhoo, I have grand plans of getting through it within the next five weeks or so. Yeah, we'll see how I got with that. It would be nice to get the 3rd and 4th books out in quick succession, and then maybe I will finish that romantic suspense of Ric and Madi's.
In other news, my local paper ran a double-page-spread feature on me and my books this weekend. Unfortunately, its not online otherwise I'd be pasting the link. The pictures turned out okay (I'm not crazy about getting my photo taken) and the story made me sound pretty smart, so I had to be happy with that. I've had lots of enthusiastic feedback from family and friends and gained a couple of new 'fans' on my facebook page, so that's nice.
My current daily minimum writing target is 2000 words. Its already after lunch and I've done exactly 0 words, so I should got do something about that!
Hoping to get word on a release date for Singularity in the coming weeks, so I'll keep you all updated.