Monday, August 31, 2009
Surpassing Expectations: Characters: Heroes and Heroines and Their Flaws:
Everyone has flaws. No one is perfect. We simply have to want to overcome them, and then get the chance to do so. Yes, it's a variety of things that makes us successful. We have to want to be successful and strive to be. We have to work for it.
We also have to be given the chance to do so. Sometimes, it really is who you know as much as it is what you know.
For a moment, think of the movie TWINS with Arnold Schwarzenegger and . Danny Devito's character was supposed to be the left over crap from their DNA compilation by the genetic engineers.
But his brother doesn't think of him as crap, even if he does have tendencies that are less than perfect.
Don't we all?
I know I'm always harping on the nature/nurture thing, but I think it's because I'm a teacher, and I came from a rough background. I grew up in a very poor family, but...my grandmother, who raised me, was always supportive. I'm tough on my students, and I don't let them use the excuse of being poor. I realize the home life of many of my students is atrocious. I hate it for them, but I tell them, my room is their safe haven. Take advantage of it, and make something themselves.
Our characters in our books sometimes have to do the same thing. They have issues. They have to solve their problems and overcome their flaws and/or dangers and/or drawbacks...whatever their situation might be.
If they don't, there'll be no happily ever after...and we can't have that:)
Leave a comment here, then go to my webpage and cut/paste this blog into the form on the contact page, and you'll be entered to win whichever one of my books you choose in pdf format. Thanks for playing along today!
Rebecca Savage spent her youth in a rural Missouri area living a sheltered life. She joined the US Air Force, traveled overseas to seven different countries for temporary duty assignments, and lived in Italy for five and a half years. She writes contemporary romantic suspense/intrigue because she spent ten years copying Morse Code with a Top Secret Security Clearance. So she writes what she knows, sort of, and she's been to almost all of her settings. If she writes about a place, she's been there, with few exceptions. She's a member of RWA, MORWA, and CRW, and she's very active in her field: reading, writing, critiquing, judging contests, newsletter editor. She teaches history to high school and college students and coached Mock Trial, , and . She lives with her husband, her fifteen year old daughter, and her new foreign exchange student/daughter from Italy, and she has two other grown children, a son who's an
army combat medic, and a daughter who's a mommy. She hopes you enjoy her work.
Author of Contemporary Romantic Suspense
: February 2009: Coincidence: Champagne Books
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Now I laugh at it.
For the first time in fifteen years, I managed to get back into bike riding. This wasn't a small feat. It involved my doing research into bikes based on what I would be using it for, buying the bike and the equipment to go with it (which wasn't cheap I might add!) and taking a few bikes for test rides around the place to see which one I liked best.
Naturally these test rides were my first time on a bike since...well...a while. First I had to try to get myself onto the seat. Then I had to relearn...balance.
As I wobbled down the sidewalk, I had flashbacks to being eight years old, terrified of cracks in the sidewalks, people jumping out at me, and bushes coming out of nowhere. The expression "like getting back up on a bike" came to haunt me during this episode, and I began to wonder if this was such a good idea. But I'm stubborn--very stubborn!
I test rode two bikes that day and wound up going with the slightly pricer but better one. I liked its handling of bumps in the sidewalk and figured my going over both bike trails and roads would be much easier. After purchasing bike shorts, a water bottle and holder, tools, patches, saddle bags, lights, and a bunch of other accessories to go with it, I started going on practice rides.
At some point turning corners got easier. After maybe the fourth ride I stopped freaking out when cars showed up on the road at the same time as me. Eventually I began biking to the grocery stores, wine tastings, you name it.
Now I may wind up biking to book signings! :D
Why mention all of this? Because I think writing's the same way. It's shaky on the first go if you've taken some time off, had writer's block, or just plain haven't had the time to work on it. But with a lot of effort and stubbornness, you can hop right back on that bike...and back into the craft.
Love & Magic,
Thursday, August 27, 2009
I spend half my life in Los Angeles, which has the dubious distinction of being the tagging capital of the universe. The other half I spend in Hawaii, where tagging - or graffiti vandalism - has actually become a problem to some sacred sites, causing them to be removed from tour guides.
Whether it is locals or tourists causing this damage is a whole 'nother topic...
However, the problem in California is rampant. The constant, incessant damage cause by tagging is so severe that the city's attorney Carmen Trutanich is seeking to have new laws passed that will make it illegal for taggers to simply hang out together. They don't even have to be caught in the act. Known taggers simply need to be caught hanging out having a Slurpee outside 7/11 and they will wind up in the pokey.
Make no mistake. I loathe and detest tagging. The problem in my city is very bad and Trutanich is right when he says the damage, especially to freeway signs and overpasses is so extensive, it 'requires an extraordinary police presence.'
I applaud the idea of limiting the sales of spray paint to anyone under 21.
Taggers moved into my neighborhood, Studio City and started spray painting their crap on our walls and even the building's awning.
The little bastards didn't stop there. As punishment I guess, when we all pitched in replaced the awnings, they came in the middle of the night and ETCHED their work into our glass front doors. These cannot be removed and it burns me up to see the graffiti each and every day. The awnings were replaced yet again after another attack, the stonework out front had to be sandblasted several times, but these taggers continue to wreck the neighborhood.
And we, the homeowners pay for it.
We're not talking art. We're talking unintelligible gibberish, which, I am told marks gang turf in some neighborhoods and signals the 'ownership' of them to other tagging crews.
I believe taggers should be fully prosecuted as the criminals they are and I applaud Trutanich's moves to make their parents financially responsible for the damage they cause.
But making it illegal for them to hang out together? That's taking things too far and certainly seems unconstitutional.
Taggers are not nice people. They're young and stupid and feel entitled to destroy other people's property. They don't tag their own buildings. I know this, because I happen to know a tagger and he was shocked at the suggestion.
"My mom would kill me," he told me.
In separate incidents last year in California, taggers shot and killed two women who came out of their homes and begged them to stop.
I applaud any and all creative measures to prevent graffiti crimes. My friend, boxing trainer Joe Goossen had a particularly novel idea when a tagger who went by the name L'il Daffy spray painted his nice, newly painted gym.
Joe put the word out on the streets of Van Nuys that he wanted L'il Daffy brought to him. He was dragged in a few hours later by a local guy who knew L'il Daffy.
Joe made him scrub his walls out front, then he said, "You think you're tough? Put these gloves on and get into the ring."
Well, I met L'il Daffy and I watched him spar, I even watched him fight. I think he's a better tagger than a fighter, but you can bet it was a lesson HE will never forget.
I thought it ironic that he posted the Ten Commandments to the wall inside the Ten Goose gym but still went about under the cover of darkness at night, leaving his wife and kid at home to tag buildings across the valley.
He's older now and his wife is a little bossier, but L'il Daffy likes to talk about how he felt he owned the city when he prowled the streets late at night with his spray cans and a screwdriver for protection.
Trutanich's injunctions seek to include the San Fernando Valley - where I live, South Los Angeles and the Harbor Gateway areas.
I frankly like the fact Trutanich is actually doing something about it, as opposed to his predecessor Rocky Delgadillo. I am just not sure being arrested for friendship is the way we should go.
At a news conference yesterday, Trutanich said, “I’m going to put together an end-of-days scenario for these guys. If you want to tag, be prepared to go to jail. And I don’t have to catch you tagging. I can just catch you . . . with your homeboys.”
It's been pointed out by some pundits in California that tagging and hard-core gang life are not far removed and the idea of limiting public association is signing kids' death warrants in some neighborhoods.
Not associating with a gang gives you no protection in some places...and I wonder, is this a good or bad move?
How about you? What is your opinion? Or do you think Tagging is...art?
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
How hot is too hot for a young adult story? I remember some seriously vivid scenes in a couple of books my girlfriends and I passed along in middle school. I remember having to hide quite a few books under my bed and in other various hidey holes so my mom wouldn't find them when she cleaned my room. I learned about sex early on and it seems like today's youth is learning about it even faster than that. So how much is too much and what is off limits?
The current story I'm working on is very emotional for me and the main character in the beginning of the book has just turned seventeen and has obviously been sexually active for several years at least. She has a reputation among the guys already. In one scene she needs a favor and the guy does it in return for a favor of his own(of a sexual nature here) He is older so I don't plan to write the actual scene just allude to what took place but would this be a no-no in both the YA and the adult category? I'd love to see everyone chip in and comment on what should and shouldn't be labeled as YA.
I hope some of you in the area will come out and meet me on my mini tour in Sept. I'll be in DC w/ DL King and Amanda Young on Sept 12th, Sept 20th in Roanoke w/ Margeurite Labbe and Andy Eisenburg, & finally Sept. 26th in Durham w/ Amanda Young and Vincent Diamond.
For questions or more info feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, August 24, 2009
There are lots of reasons to consider a pen name if you're a writer. Privacy was a large consideration of mine. After all, I have aspirations of being a NYT bestseller eventually. ;) I also wanted a separation between my writing career and my day job and a certain degree of anonymity because of the steaminess of some of my books. I find that "Jami Davenport" can be a different person, and that's a hoot.
After making the decision to have a pen name, here's how I picked one. Jami was a no-brainer. My father's name was James. My parents had wanted to name me "Jami," but my sister liked a different name, so my non-writing name is something else. Some people pick a first name that means something to them or that they've always liked. Some pick a first name to reflect what they write like "Faith"for an inspirational writer or "Scarlett" for an erotic writer. A historical writer might choose a more traditional name. Your name should somewhat match your genre because people have pre-conceived notions regarding certain names.
Choosing a last name was more difficult. I got out a family tree, wrote down some of the last names I liked, and went to a couple bookstores. I checked out where I'd be placed on the shelves. I wanted to be next to some good authors that would attract customers to that area on the shelves. I also wanted to be near the beginning of the alphabet. When I'm browsing, I start at the beginning and usually don't get to the end before I find a book. I also did a Google search to see if anyone else was using my pen name so I searched for pen name+author.
Warning: The Google search should be the last thing you do. Be prepared to buy your domain name soon after doing a search, as searches can be monitored and you may find it bought by someone else who wants to charge you a fortune to use it. This is a common practice.
Davenport was the last name of a great-great grandfather of mine. I chose that last name based on the above criteria. I wanted my last name to mean something to me and be a reflection of my roots.
Whatever you do, I'd avoid cheesy or overly ridiculous names. I find that a lot of erotic romance authors really go overboard on their pen names, just check out the average erotic publisher's author list. You'll see what I mean.
If you're a writer with a pen name or an aspiring writer, how did you choose your pen name?
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Pop Culture is to blame for our lack of quality women due to what we see on TV. Doesn't it annoy you to see too many thin fake women who have no personalities? With everyone proclaiming the beauty of being thin and "healthy" this trend has caused many problems and MEN are finally catching up.
At least in part.
Many of you know I'm a cross dresser and that I JUST bought a new chemise and when I read the size tag, (1X/2X) I flipped. Now to be fair, I'm 175 and 6'0. But that's an XL. Look! the pic above is of me (one publisher wants to use this as a cover LOL!)
I don't look bad, (in fact I think I look hawt!) but now I'm shopping for more clothes and having to buy things in that size. It's kinda disheartening to realize I'm a big woman...or something.
I recently read at Crossdresser Heaven about the author wishing he could be a size 0 or 1! WHY?
Are small, skinny women with no figures so desirable that even men of varying orientations want to be them?
I'm too big for Victoria's Secret's clothing, and same for Fredericks I think. So I have to go outside the norm and hunt for clothes.
With all this bullshit making CD men insecure, I say DAMN TV and DAMN the media for making us all feel this way. Not that I didn't sympathize beforehand. I did.
But it's okay for me to be 6'0 and even weigh 200 lbs. I can carry it, especially since that's gym weight. But at 6'0 as a woman?
I think something needs to change NOW before we continue to raise another generation of girls who think they have to starve themselves to please the "straight" me.
Btw, after having shopped for a new dress to hide the obvious parts (my large shoulders) for Dragon Con, I'm having a LOT more sympathy for women when it comes to clothes.
Friday, August 21, 2009
What I am interested in knowing is how long you like your books / stories to be.
Recently, I read a post somewhere complaining about how the author disliked short stories and novellas. The blogger in question wanted to read novels only, the longer the better, and anything else was too short.
As for me, I'm an equal opportunity reader. Depending on my mood, I'll read anything from short stories to epic novels. I often like to pick up anthologies, short stories, or novellas when I know I won't have a lot of uninterrupted time to read. I can get the satisfaction of finishing the novella or short story in one sitting, whereas I probably won't be able to do that with a novel.
Of course, I expect there to be plot and characterization in anything I read, no matter how short or long. The blogger who only liked novels did not believe it was possible for an author to develop a plot and characters in a short work. I disagree. I've seen it done many times.
Writing-wise, I've written mostly short stories and novellas. My one completed (short) novel is due out in October. I try to provide sufficient plot and characterization no matter how long or short the work, which often requires me to tighten up the writing and cut out the excess "fat."
What do you all think? Do you like short stories, novellas, and multi-author anthologies? Can good characterization and a fully realized plot exist in short works?
Hot and Bothered
Available now from Cobblestone Press!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I’m Damn Glad I’m Not A Virgin!
I know I’m going to catch hell for this, but the above, for me, is really true – I’m damn glad I’m not a virgin!
Surprised? Y’all shouldn’t be. Maybe I should start this off by saying that lately I’ve seen a lot of stuff on TV about the goodness of virtue, the upside of waiting to have sex until you’re married, and even more missives along these same lines. And, every time I see this stuff flash before me I nod and go along with it because I know it’s how I’m ‘sposed to feel, I know it’s politically correct, and I know it’s how things really ought to be. But, for me personally, the real truth is…..
I’m damn glad I’m not a virgin!
Wanna know why? Let’s face it, if y’all didn’t wanna know why you wouldn’t be here reading this, now would you? That being said, I can break it down for y’all in three different ways, and they happeneth to be:
1.One, I’m fifty-three years old and rapidly gaining on fifty-four. Given that, if I were to tell any of y’all out there reading this that I was still a virgin, you’d wrinkle up your brow and immediately think one of the following three things:
A. Ed’s weird.
B. Ed must still live at home, tote a blankie, and suck his thumb.
C. Both “A” and “B.”
So see, it wouldn’t even be considered normal for me to be a virgin. Plus, given that most folks that know me know that I have two kids, you’d have to do some pretty serious ponderin’ about the likelihood if it. If I still told y’all that I was a virgin given that, then y’all would be thinkin’ some things that we don’t even need to go into here. Now or ever. So on to #2.
2. Now that I know what sex is like, damned if I could ever go back to the way it was years ago, it’d be like giving up Elvis music or Captain Crunch!
…and I do mean years ago….
Look, sex is fun, fun, and then more fun after that. Even the worst I ever experienced was great, and the best was so good that you can only wish that one day you’ll have even more experiences to enter into the competition! Sex is fun, makes your neatest body parts feel their best, gives you a good aerobic work-out, and can potentially bond you even closer to your partner. And even if it doesn’t, it gives you a good, sleazy memory that you can always look back on with great fondness in the years to come. Believe me, more than one of us poignantly reminisces on items other than lemonade stands or spelling bees in our pasts…
3. If I were a virgin, I’d have a lot less stuff to write about!
It’s true, you know. Let’s face it, my first book was called Sex, Dead Dogs, and Me, and it actually sold some books. Ask yourself how I could’ve written it if I were a virgin? Hell, the title story and a damn good bit more would never have gotten in there on account of I would have never experienced the things that I wrote about in the first place! And, given the fact that I have a new Christmas novel coming out later this year, and given the fact that if it sells I might get a chance to put another book out sometimes after it, and given the fact that some of my material does seem to come from groinocologically-related matters, then it only stands to reason that being a virgin would hurt me literarily! I wouldn’t have enough material to write books about, hell, I might not even have enough to fill up a Campbell’s Soup can label up with.
So see what I mean? If I were a virgin I’d have to give up both sex and being an author, and why in the hell would I want to do that? So please everyone, allow me to wallow in my decadence, and allow me to keep on enjoying life as I have been. Be fruitful and multiply – I guess you could say that I definitely enjoy the being fruitful part, and my multiplyin’ days are long since over. And now that y’all know that the focus of this article was a bit different that its marketing-oriented title would suggest, y’all can leave me whatever missives you’d care to below…..
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I've heard authors say that they have put in scenes into their books that came straight out of their life. They've written personal experiences into their books...
To my fellow authors, how much of your real life do you write into your books?
To the readers out there, do you mind that authors put in stuff from their life into their books?
For each author the birth of a story is different. Creativity and inspiration do their thing and the beginning of a story starts to unfold.
When it comes down to it all that matters is the end result. Whatever formula we have to create, if it works don't change it. We would not have so many amazing books out there if authors didn't the thing they do to create their books.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I love stories about spies. Can't get enough of them. Because of my passion for the James Bond meets Jason Bourne stories, and in honor of the next in the NASSD Counter-Terrorist Agency series coming out around Christmas, I've decided to bring the first two in the series back into the limelight and blog about them.
Monday, August 17, 2009
I'm so excited about my sexy, new sci-fi erotic romance, Valuable Cargo, coming out with Liquid Silver Books on August 17th!
I don't write a lot of sci-fi stories, so this one was a lot of fun to come up with. It was also a little challenging, too. In a sci-fi story, you have to spend a certain amount of time developing the supporting environment, like how the spaceship works, what the planets looks like, and how things are different than they are here on earth. That can end up being a book in itself. But you still have to tell an engaging story about a guy and a girl that a romance reader would want to sit down and curl up with. So, you can't spend so much time on the background stuff that the main story gets lost. That said, I think I've pulled it off pretty well - if I do say so myself! LOL!
I suppose the best way to introduce you to the book is to tell you a little about how the idea popped into my head. My hubby and I were up at the Marshal Space Center in Alabama doing some sightseeing when we came across this cute little model of the X-33, a sleek looking space craft that NASA was thinking about building to replace for the space shuttle. That got us talking about whether humans could ever travel beyond our Solar System. Since it would take a really long time to go that distance, we decided astronauts would have to put themselves in some kind of cryogenic suspension or hypersleep during the journey. It was right then that I knew I had the beginnings of a sci-fi story in the making!
After I played around with the idea for a while, years actually, I decided to make things a little bit more interesting by having the hero's ship go off course after he puts himself in hypersleep. Thanks to the malfunction, the computer doesn't bring him out of hypersleep when it's supposed to and Garrick, the hunky, six-foot-four, blond-haired, blue-eyed astronaut, wakes up seven-hundred years in the future to find himself on a spaceship full of beautiful women!
Mankind has changed a lot in seven-hundred years and they don't make men like Garrick anymore, so as you can imagine, the women think he's totally hot. He's only interested in one of them, though, Tanna, the ship's sexy captain. While Tanna knows the problems getting involved with Garrick could create among the crew, she can't resist and finds herself inviting him into her bed, not to mention other interesting places!
Unfortunately, Tanna isn't the only one interested in Garrick. When I said they don't make me like him anymore, I meant it. Seven-hundred years in the future, six-foot-four, blond-haired blue-eyed guys are nonexistent and there are a lot of unscrupulous people who will do anything to get their hands on him!
I hope I've whet your appetite and that you want to read more about Tanna and Garrick! If you decide to pick it up, let me know how you like it! I love hearing from readers!
Watch the Trailer!
Buy it at Liquid Silver Books!
And for more of my sexy-erotic fiction, visit my website at http://www.paigetylertheauthor.com/
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Recently, a fellow author and friend described my writing as "light and fluffy," because my characters aren't trying to save the world from evil or an alien invasion. I write contemporary m/m erotic romance, so there really isn't a Big Bad for them to be struggling against, but that wasn't his main point.
That description is not entirely accurate. I'll agree that in general, there isn't a lot of angst or darkness in my work, and especially in shorter pieces, nothing horribly bad happens to either of the main characters. Generally, in short stories, the conflicts are internal, and in longer pieces, there is an additional external conflict. My novel-length work has more room to explore deeper problems and more complicated storylines, but again, nothing is particularly dark--the fate of the world or the planet is not in jeopardy. That's not to say it isn't dramatic.
I don't see a problem with this. In fact, I think it's a good thing. As a reader, I like to escape into a world that's very different from real life if at all possible. Just take a look at some of the recent events reported in the news, with murder-suicide incidents becoming increasingly common and horrific stories of parents harming their own children. In fact, Texas and the Carolinas appear to be the most dangerous states. I feel downright safe in Oakland, California.
Add to that the state of the economy and that more people I know are out of work than in it, and it's almost too much to deal with on a daily basis. Some days I'm afraid to take a look at the news.
Given that real-life provides more than enough angst and evil, I enjoy writing (and reading) stories with happy endings. Why not believe that two people who belong together figure how to find each other and end up together? I'm not saying my stories don't have conflict and drama. They do. You cannot have an interesting story without conflict, but it's not necessary to have violence and evil to make a compelling storyline.
So, I'm happy to be able to provide hot, sexy stories with likable characters and happy endings. Don't we all deserve happy endings now and then?
How do you feel about "light and fluffy" writing? Do you find darker stories more enjoyable? Does there need to be impending doom to drive a story? How often do you turn to books for a temporary escape from real-life pressures and problems?
Check out my free stories for some hot fun. Guaranteed to make you forget your own problems for a while.
http://www.emlynley.com | http://emlynley.livejournal.com | http://twitter.com/emlynley
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Detour Ahead Awe-Struck
"Rich in romance and suspense, this book had me mesmerized from the first page. I was definitely drawn toward the main character, Traci, and all of the emotional barriers that she faced. One man however, is determined to wait it out and break through those barriers no matter how long it takes. This is a "must read" for any romance reader's bedside table. Amanda Burns has done a sensational job of combining just the right amount of suspense with a sauciness that leaves you longing for more. Run, don't walk to your nearest book store for this sensational book." Val, You Gotta Read Reviews. Excerpt
Nadja’s Literary Cappuccino Freya’s Bower
It all seems simple enough: Ukrainian immigrant Nadja Petrov is determined to hold on to her thriving new coffee shop, Nadja's Literary Cappuccino, and Java Beans District Rep Kevin Langley is equally determined to move into town with a Java Beans franchise and run her out of business. Four Book rating at Long and Short Reviews! Excerpt
The Unmasking New Concepts
Opposites attract - Professor Matt Bayfield is as different from any man Detective Nancy Appleby's ever been attracted to as he can be. She isn't certain if that's why she finds her prime suspect so irresistible or if it's just because he's tall, dark, and handsome, but she figures the best way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it. 4.5 Blue Ribbons at Romance Junkies! Excerpt
Willow Smoke Awe-Struck
Amanda Burns grabs readers and she does not let them go in her wonderful and riveting story Willow Smoke. This novel kept me rapidly reading even while I squirmed in my seat. A wonderful book with lots of sex, it grabbed my attention as I struggled along with Daisy and Nick, saw the Northern Lights through Daisy's eyes, laughed at their outrageous behavior and cheered at the end. This is one book that is sure to please! 4.5 Kisses at TwoLips Reviews! Excerpt
Friday, August 14, 2009
Day Three (today):
(Yes I look like crap because I got home at 4am LOL)
I invite ya’ll to stop by the blog, The T-Shirt Project, and see my daily t-shirt. It could be fun! ;)
Thursday, August 13, 2009
I just checked my Google alert and found a pirate site making a request for one of my books. Boy doesn’t this p_ss you off when you see something like this. I work hard on every book and can’t see offering them to the world for a free read.
From reading the comments on the different Yahoo sites from authors, everyone is getting a taste of how the pirates work in snatching up a book.
After e-mailing my publisher, he sent an e-mail filing the standard abuse report to the pirate site. The only response he received was that they’d received the complaint and were making note of it.
How can these “no face” people get away with grabbing a book and passing it around to anyone requesting it? There should be some way to stop them. If we don’t, we’re wasting our time writing and going through all the necessary work of publishing and promoting. In the end, we probably won’t make a dime if the practice continues.
Thanks for letting me get this off my chest.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
If I haven't scared you off quite yet I'm amazed. It's a fact that this happens, at least temporarily, to most men at one point in their lives. Yet most don't want to talk about it. Well, I recently wrote a book where ED is the main theme. The hero and heroine are a lifestyle couple and they have to find ways to get past it or let their relationship go for good. So many people are affected by this but it's still a hush-hush topic. Bob Dole explained it in an ad in 1999 and
I have a 'place' that I sometimes post short stories for review and I did just that while I was in the midst of writing this latest short story. To my utter surprise I got comments that weren't so upbeat. One person said that erectile dysfunction had no place in erotic romance and that nothing about it was erotic or sexy. Without revealing my entire plot I can also say that some didn't like my ending...
Women burned their bras, men came out of the closet, transvestites are no longer the hidden in the closet people they used to be and yet we can't talk about a simple, natural body function? I've always written on the premise that erotic romance is about the relationship not the sex. Sure I write the sex in there and it's hot but ultimately I want the reader to connect to the characters and their relationship journey.
If we can't have erotic romance without blatant intercourse then that must mean that erotic romance isn't about the relationship but about the mere sexual act. But wait, I thought that was porn? Hmmm, any thoughts?
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
It's time for school shopping in my house. The kids are (reluctantly) getting ready for school to start back up. My daughter, of course, needs new EVERYTHING, all the way down to the latest fashion in socks. Socks! I didn't even know they could go out of fashion, but according to my 13-year-old, they totally do.
It's also time for summer deadlines. I have a deadline looming. September 1st seemed so far away when I agreed to take part of another anthology. Luckily anthologies are a compilation of short stories, and I've finally found my groove on the story I'm writing. It took all summer of me watching the sun go up and down while I sat at my computer tapping at the keys, but I finally have the story outlined in my brain.
How are your summer projects going? Did you get your numbers in? What that means is, did you say you were going to write so many words per day and actually wrote that many? It's a great way to challenge yourself and get your numbers in. With the kids heading back to school, that should lessen the distractions.
I'm part of a challenge to write 25K in 30 days. I've started a Twitter topic on it. #25Kin30days. Join me!!
"Under the Covers", Menage Amour
"Riding Double", Menage Amour
"Riding Lessons", Tasty Treats Anthology
Monday, August 10, 2009
I read a very irritating article at Spike.com a few months ago where the author (a man) complained about women he called "butterbodies", which according to the Urban Dictionary is "very much like a Butterface, only it pertains to a girl with a very pretty face and an overweight body." This was not a good thing. It was a riff on the term "butterface", which was the opposite – a woman with a hot and sexy body but a two-bagger for a face. Although the article has since been taken down (probably in some part due to most of the commenters calling the author a dickhead), plenty of people had lots to say about it, and none of it was good. Here's a quote from the original article describing exactly what a butterbody is:
"The true definition of a butterbody is a woman who has a beautiful face but a body that’s gone to butter. It’s like the butterface, but in reverse. If you are rich and famous, there is no excuse for being a butterbody. It’s your job to look fit and hot. Celebrities are not like normal people. They have the means to pay for a full time trainer and for someone to prepare their meals."
The moron who wrote this article went on to describe seven famous women he felt were these horrid butterbodies, including Salma Hayek, Liv Tyler, and Tyra Banks. For Heaven's sake, at the time the article was written Salma Hayek had just had a baby! The other two were not in the least bit fat but they were getting older, which apparently according to this moron was also not a good thing for women. This is the mindset that says that women are meant to be prepped, molded, and packaged for men's pleasure. Once they reach their sell-by date, junk them for a better model. Heaven forbid a woman weigh more than 100 pounds sopping wet.
There are plenty of women who have curves who are very sexy. Nigella Lawson and America Ferrera come to mind (note: Ferrera also made the Butterbodies list). Ferrera has made a living creating characters who are intelligent, passionate, sexy, and curvy. Rent "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" and "Real Women Have Curves" sometime and check her out for yourself. While obesity is a problem around the world, Hollywood and fashion magazines promote an unhealthy too-thin version of beautiful that most women simply cannot achieve. Some men and women are rejecting this artificial ideal, referring to the too-thin chic as looking like "a bag of antlers" or as having "sharp knees".
If you are in the market for some erotic fiction about big, beautiful women, there is plenty to find. The book "Ultimate Curves", published by Xcite Press, is about big and beautiful women. It was just released in August. My short story "The Beautiful Move In Curves" appears in this book. The title comes from a saying by Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton: "In life, as in art, the beautiful move in curves." Here is a blurb about my story. As you can see, I was influenced by that butterbodies article.
Olivia Taylor is a gorgeous and large woman who is angry over an article about "butterbodies" - women with beautiful faces "butterbody" leaves something to be desired. This is the flip side of "butterface". The idiot who wrote the article called Salma Hayek a "butterbody." If some moron can diss Salma Hayek, what does that say about Olivia? She cannot be in a bad mood before attending the SF/F convention, especially since she's going to meet Jeremy, a gorgeous hunk of a man several years her junior. There is more than enough woman in Liv to please several men, and she has the spunk and sex appeal to prove it.
Buy "Ultimate Curves" at Xcite books now!!
A woman who is a size 14 is not fat and it's about time degrading talk such as butterbodies stop. Women come in all shapes and sizes and there are many different views of what constitutes beauty.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
“Good morning ladies and gentlemen and welcome to a special edition of Book Review 4 U. Today we will be reviewing the new book by Bob Woodward entitled The Secret Man. Woodward, you may recall, along with Carl Bernstein, both reporters for the Washington Post, helped lead the expose of the Watergate scandal and associated misdeeds, which startled many readers with their revealing and concise reporting during those trying times. This duo collaborated on many best selling books of this period including the best selling All the Presidents Men which, you may recall was later made into a movie. I'm sure you all remember that Woodward was assisted in these endeavors by inside information from an inscrutable source. This mysterious individual was eventually given the nickname Deep Throat. The identity of Deep Throat, which has been widely speculated upon for years, was recently revealed in a Vanity Fair article last month as former FBI second in command Mark Felt and the book The Secret Man, which was rushed to the press shortly after, confirms Felt’s identity as Deep Throat.
“With us this fine Saturday morning is our usual panel members ET and Pamela Anderson. ET of course is our resident Science Fiction expert and Pamela doesn’t know that much about books but she sure is nice to look at, right ET. Gimme three! That a boy! The gentleman in the middle is of course ET’s long time interpreter Hailey Comet and last but not least is our two guest panel members, Film Actress, Lind Lovelace, who of course was known for her starring role in the pornographic movie Deep Throat and is sometimes referred to as Deep Throat herself and another lady who some consider an expert on deep throat affairs, Monica Lewinski. So good to see you again Monica. Have you been behaving yourself lately?”
“So good to see you again too Bill. You know I have a penchant for powerful men but I am working on it. I’m presently attending weekly meeting at Sex Addicts anonymous. In disguise of course.”
“Well Monica, you just blew it there, er, your identity I mean. You are after all on TV. Well just remember to get your dresses cleaned.”
“I of course I am your host, If you don’t recognize me, my name is William Jefferson Clinton. I used to work for the government and I know something about scandals.
“As usual I’ll read the fly leaf of the book, giving everybody a feeling for the book and then we’ll have our usual comment from our resident Epinionator Mr. Daumco and then we’ll open things up for discussion by our panel. Sorry ET but this one isn’t your favorite, Science Fiction either but it is a good book, isn’t it? You haven‘t read it yet but you‘ll read it on the commercial break. Hailey, why does he keep doing that? Never mind.”
“Well, I want you to know that I read it and it only took me four days. It is a short book you know? Only two hundred twenty pages.”
“Good for you Pam. I knew I could count on you. Now straighten up. That‘s it, now throw your shoulders back. Ahhh, I love it when you wear those low cut tops.”
“Here is what the dust jacket says, in part”
“In Washington DC, where little stays secret for long, the identity of Deep Throat - the mysterious source who helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein break open the Watergate scandal in 1972 - remained hidden for 33 years. Now Woodward tells the story of his long complex relationship with W. Mark Felt, the enigmatic former No 2 man in the Federal Bureau of Investigation who helped end the presidency of Richard Nixon.”
“The Secret Man chronicles the story in intimate detail, from Woodward‘s first, chance encounter with Felt in the Nixon White House, to there covert middle-of-the-night meeting in an underground parking garage, to the aftermath of Watergate and decades beyond, until Felt finally step[ped forward at the age of 91 to unmask himself as Deep Throat.”
“The Secret Man reveals the struggles of a patriotic career FBI man, an admirer of J. Edgar Hoover, the Bureau‘s legendary director. After Hoovers death, Mark Felt found himself in the crossfire of one of Washington‘s historic contests as Nixon and and his men tried to dominate the Bureau and cover up the crime of the administration.”
“The fly jacket is rather verbose, so we‘re going to leave it there and join Mr. Daumco on the phone to get his analysis. Good morning Mr. D, I hope everything is fine for you back in Arizona.”
“Thank you Bill. As the saying goes everything is ’Peaches’. It’s still quite early here, the sun just came up, so it’s fairly nice out right now. You know, In Phoenix we have no earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, tsunamis or snow but we sure do have HEAT. Speaking of heat, I‘m really impressed with your guests today. I’ll bet they can generate some heat of their own and Pam, I love your top today, if that‘s what it is. Didn‘t you wear that on the Howard Stern show?”
“Why Mr. D what a great memory you have. Yes I did wear it for awhile. I’m impressed you remember.”
“Ok Mr. D, we need to move along. What is your analysis of Deep Throat”
“The book The Secret Man by Bob Woodward.”
“Yes of course, sorry. Actually Bill. I’m glad you stopped reading the fly jacket because you would have given most of the book away if you had kept reading. To say that The Secret Man is laconic is like saying Phoenix is somewhat warm. For one of the biggest secrets of our times, Woodward had surprisingly little to say. The book is short! Short on information. Short on revelations. Short on words (about 40,000 I‘d guess). Short on interest. Short, Short, Short. That‘s not to say the book is totally without merit. Woodward continues to write in his ‘aw shucks‘, ‘down home’ style of writing and he does manage to give Deep Throat a face. A face of a kindly old befuddled gentleman now and the proud, confident, mildly ruthless, extremely secretive informer of the seventies.”
“Much to the authors chagrin he was unable to ascertain Felt‘s true motive‘s behind his secretive revelations before his dementia and we are subjected to his rehashing of all that has been said by his contemporaries in the past. However, we do get to see a side of Woodard that I had never suspected. That of a pushy, prodding, sometimes demanding but not ungrateful recipient of Felt’s largess. As Woodward recites the events, it seems that Felt, whatever his motives, be it personal, or resentment of the Nixon team for compromising his beloved FBI, was recalcitrant and events would not have moved forward, without Woodward’s persistence. This ultimately led to a split of these unlikely friends where Felt wouldn‘t take Woodward‘s calls and they did not talk for a period of some twenty years.”
“My feeling is that although Woodward had his book ready to go in draft form, he was taken by surprise by the sudden surprise announcement from Felt’s family and was rushed to come up with the finished manuscript. As short as the book is, it seems it was stretched by repeating things in the last third of the book. I found this repetition annoying. In summary I found the book mildly amusing and I‘m glad I read it, if for nothing else, to get a feeling for the man they called Deep Throat. Was he a hero or a traitor? My sense is that Nixon and his gang were out of control and Ship of State was dangerously listing and Felt with some help from Woodward and Bernstein were to only ones bailing the water at first. Yeah he was a hero. Wish we had some of his ilk today. He wasn’t obsequious. Nor was he a sycophant. He would have never said ‘Mr. President, it’s a slam dunk’.”
“I have mixed feelings about the book. I feel like the book was rushed for obvious reasons. The story, what there is of it is compelling but seems incomplete. I give it a rating of 3.2 Stars.”
“Great! Well thanks once again for your input Mr. D. When we return we’ll get a new viewpoint from our panel.”
“Welcome back folks. Now it‘s time to get our panel‘s opinion of The Secret Man. As Usual we start with ET. Hailey, What does ET think about our book.”
“Yes, I thought the book was a little short on specifics and tended to be redundant in order to appear to be more substantial than it was. Other than that I thought it was an average read despite that Deep Throat was my hero.”
“Thank you Pamela. That was very insightful, for you. Anybody else? Yes Monica.”
“I thought the book was wonderful. I‘ll admit I hadn‘t personally heard of Mark Felt but I was impressed. He was obviously a man of integrity, a virile, powerful man who almost single handedly brought down a President. I wish I had known him when he was young, at his peak.. I would have helped him bring the President down.”
“Thank you Monica. I‘m sure you could have been a big help to Deep Throat in bringing down the President. I think you‘ve had some experience along those lines. ET, Do you have anything to say? ET? Linda what are you doing to him?”
“Chill out Bill. He‘s cute. I used to have a teddy bear like him. Don‘t worry, he just put his finger by my mouth and pushed it in then out and so forth. He seems to like that. He‘s harmless.”
“I hate to tell you Linda but that‘s not his finger.”
“So What does ET think about Deep Throat, Hailey?”
“ET says he thinks she‘s the real McCoy. Is that how you say it?”
“I don‘t suppose he has any comments about The Secret Man, the book about the other Deep Throat?”
“ET can‘t really talk right now, but I can tell you that he doesn‘t understand human politics and he‘s very happy you invited Linda here today.”
“Monica what are you doing”
“Linda said it tastes good and I was just checking it out.”
Pamela does a double take and says, “Really, it tastes good?”
“Well I want to thank the TV audience for viewing our show. We‘re going to have to leave it there for now.”
“Pamela, What are you doing?”
“Tastes like chocolate, Bill”
“No it doesn‘t, it tastes like strawberries”
“I thought it tasted minty”
“Goodbye and don‘t forget to join us next week”
Upcoming from Dee Dawning
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Basically, I got tired of using "my muse is on vacation" as an excuse. I don't have a muse. I am the writer, and do not have some little entity sitting on my shoulder bearing wings and telling me its too tired to tap out anything today.
My friend Sarah Masters and I had been discussing writing and what we needed to do to give us the right direction for quite some time. Both of us vowing to make no more excuses and look at writing as a job.
That mind set is working for us. And I am loving every minute. So is Sarah.
Yesterday, Sarah posted to one of the groups I am a moderator on about Nora Roberts tweeting something along the same lines as our thinking. Roberts wanted to "bitchslap" people who used their muse as an excuse for not writing. lol While I may not want to bitchslap anyone, I certainly understood what she was talking about.
Plunk your butt in the chair and write. Period.
My friend Sarah's post garnered quite a bit of attention and disagreement. Seems not too many people believe writing is a job. Well, that's their opinion, and I wish them well. However, I plan to keep my present mindset and push through any so-called blocks. Since I have been doing that, the words and ideas are coming.
Wishing everyone here happy writing regardless of your mindset.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
I'm going to venture Yes on this one. In my experience, I've had two publishers who haven't liked my titles and asked me to change them or made suggestions that were either mundane or spoilery and I had to politely reject their suggestions while wracking my brain for a better on. For example, my novel originally called PROJECT RUNAWAY needed to be renamed so people wouldn't think it had anything to do with the TV show. It went through iterations of RUNAWAY GROOM and THE WEDDING WRECKER until eventually I hit upon SEX, LIES & WEDDING BELLS and they liked it. I admit, it's definitely my favorite and I'm still amazed I managed to come up with it. Which title does the most for you?
My upcoming release VENUS ENVY is in fact a m/m story, but my publisher was concerned the title might make people think it's a het story. Since it's a tale of Venus exacting revenge on a man who refuses her, it was a perfect title. The publisher decided to go with it in the end, and we'll see whether or not I made the right decision. (By the way, Storm Grant came up with that title for me. She's a title genius!)
As you can see, I'm not one who enjoys the process of finding a title. To make matters worse, I've realized that I need to come up with several in case the first one isn't to the publisher's liking. Recently, I found a fun solution to this problem by having a contest. I asked my readers to suggest titles, chose my favorite 10 and let people vote on which ones they liked the most. It was a huge success. I had over 50 entries and had just as many people voting. I ended up with some fantastic titles, far cleverer than anything I came up with on my own. Thus, BEDKNOBS & BEANSTALKS was born. Check out the other wonderful entries.
There was a slight downside to what seemed a huge success. I had a few comments that implied I wasn't doing my writerly duty in coming up with a title by asking others to do my work for me. Considering my lack of imagination and the amount of fun the contest entrants and votes had, I think the end result justified any "lack" on my part. Not only did I get a better title, but I got a lot of readers interested and excited about the book, and best of all, they felt they had a part in creating it. What's not to like about that?
Back to the original question: how does a book's title influence you? What are some of your own experiences and examples of retitling? How about a book that you would run a mile from just because of the title? Have you heard a title that made you want the book immediately?
And please check out my latest release: PUBLIC EXPOSURE (formerly titled something completely different!) How does that title grab you?
http://www.emlynley.com | http://emlynley.livejournal.com | http://twitter.com/emlynley
Monday, August 3, 2009