After merrily telling you all I had BIG NEWS what did I do? I disappeared. I apologize to everyone who was waiting with baited breath to hear the BIG NEWS, but I’ve been sick. And not just a little bit sick-almost two weeks of a sore throat and a horrendous cough that had me pleading with Mr Kate Pearce to put me out of my misery. Two weeks of not sleeping, of coughing so loudly and for so long that all the muscles in my diaphragm seized up and got confused between coughing laughing and breathing, which meant -I just coughed.
A couple of nights ago, I left Mr K P sleeping at 1 a:m and went downstairs to sleep on the couch because I was coughing so much-being a considerate kind of person. I went back upstairs at 5:15 a.m and about twenty minutes later he THUMPED ME! He ‘says’ I sounded like a whale stranded on the beach and that he was just ‘helping me’ turn onto my side. (I had wondered who was making the groaning noise but thought it was the wind.) Needless to say I was not convinced by his explanation LOL.
Anyway, so last night was the first night I managed to sleep through and stay in my own bed for almost 2 weeks without coughing a lung up. I’m almost feeling better. I am a bit concerned about some of the tasks I completed last week in a medicated drugged up haze…Friends-did you all get your Xmas cards?? (especially JoAnn) If not, tell me now!!
I had done most all the Xmas shopping, thank goodness-I did that before I got sick and finished most of it today at the mall. The tree is finally up and the kids are happy-no one is sick so I’m hoping we’ll all be fine for the big day!!
Oh, and the BIG NEWS?? Kensington offered me a new contract for two more in the “Simply…” historical erotic romance series (#5 and #6) AND a contract for a contemporary erotic romance. That means I’ll be employed and busy until Feb 2010.
Considering the state of the economy and the dire warnings about book publishing in general, I consider myself a very lucky writer.
I also consider myself very lucky to know everyone who reads this blog, friends, family and fans. If you didn’t keep coming back to see what I’m up to and read my books, there wouldn’t be a blog or any new books to tell you about. So thank you all, and Happy Holidays to every one of you!
I’ve had several writing friends involved in the Romantic Times American Title contest and this year is no exception. I’d like to welcome Marie-Claude from my RWAOnline chapter to my blog and let her share some of her experiences with you!
1. How long have you been writing?
About 15 months now. I’ve been writing my journal since I am a kid. But I started my first novel (my American Title entry- ANCIENT WHISPERS) in September 2007. It took me about 6 months to complete.
2. What did it feel like when you received the call from Romantic Times that you were one of the finalists?
It was actually an email, which is good because I would have been speechless on the phone! It was a strange combination of relief, awe and disbelief. I haven’t done too well on the RWA contest scene, so when I got asked for a partial for the American Title V contest, I got a little glimpse that maybe there was hope for me. I got great validation at that time. I honestly didn’t think I would final. I was so new at this (still am). But to have an editor choose my entry really gave me the push that I needed to continue pursuing publication. It might not happen right away but I now believe that there is a chance that it may actually happen if I work hard at this.
3. What was the hardest portion of the contest to prepare for?
I entered American Title on a whim. I had my first 50 pages ready because I had submitted them to other contests, and entering American Title was free. The full manuscript was done, but not perfect. It was also too long by 6000 words. I had ten days to polish it. I worked non-stop 12 hours a day while my two boys were at home for school summer holidays. It was quite a challenge. I sat down outside with my laptop in my garden chair for hours while I watched them play with the kids next door. And I’d be working early in the mornings then late at night LOL.
So preparing that full manuscript for an editor what the hardest thing I ever did since I started writing.
4. How has it affected your home life? Is everyone behind you or looking on in bemusement?
A bit of both. At first, of course everyone was very happy for me. Now, I suppose my husband is the one looking on in bemusement because I am so busy and tend to neglect things at home. My kids are the sweetest, because at their age, they believe everything is possible. My mom is probably my strongest supporter and is passing bookmarks to everyone she knows in my hometown of Quebec, even though she’ll never be able to read the book because she doesn’t speak English. She took her whole computer to the mall to get it fixed just so she could vote for me in the first round.
5. How do you feel about promoting yourself? Does it come naturally to you?
It is really hard to promote hot air. I have nothing to offer but the promise of a book. So that is hard. I am naturally very shy. But I have worked hard over the years to overcome my shyness by working with the public. I worked for 15 years in the fitness industry, first as an instructor and then as a fitness manager. I learned quite a lot of promoting tips from that experience.
I have to stretch my imagination and skills and do fun stuff, like the book trailer. I have good computer skills so I focus my promotion efforts online. I’ve come to accept that all I can do is ask politely if people want to help me. Most people have been very generous with their help.
How do I feel about it? Well, I realized that it is a part of the whole business of publishing. I much prefer writing of course. But, I am glad to have the opportunity to learn promotion now and find way to make it less painful for me.
6. What has surprised you most about this ongoing experience?
The number of people who are willing to help. I didn’t realize that I would get so much support. Sometimes I have friends that I suspected would vote for me but they go a step beyond and ask all their friends. I also made some great new friends online with whom I now chat regularly. I have met so many great people.
I am also pleasantly surprised to see how I have become so close to the other American Title contestants. It is a strange experience and only those who live it can truly understand. We talk almost daily and share our good and bad news. I am very lucky to count them as my friends.
7. Where do you see yourself writing-career-wise in five years time?
I am not getting any younger, so I have a definite plan of what I want to accomplish in 5 years. I cannot control if I sell or not, but I control what I write. I have 2 manuscripts and a novella completed so far. In 5 years, I want to have at least 10 more manuscripts, each submitted to a series of agents and publishers. I have a list of paranormal romances that I plan to write, including a few that are the sequels to ANCIENT WHISPERS. I also have two planned urban fantasies, one that should be completed in 2009. I’d like to try a few more novellas. I might change direction slightly towards more erotic romance or perhaps historical paranormal.
If I haven’t sold or make some sort of progress in 5 years, then it would be a cross-road for me to maybe change genre all together. I have a children chapter book outlined already and I am big fantasy geek.
Regardless of what happens, I know I’ll be writing, maybe get my stuff spiral-bound at Kinko then stashed in the basement to read when I am really old!
I promised my boys a bunch of books for them to read when I am gone
Thanks Kate for having me today. Always a pleasure.
And here’s some more information about Marie-Claude’s book, where to vote and other stuff-I’m so impressed she made a book trailer 🙂
You can now vote for best hero/heroine in the American Title V at:
Here is a quick mini-blurb of ANCIENT WHISPERS:
ANCIENT WHISPERS is a dark romance set in Rhode Island and inspired by the poem Evangeline (Longfellow, 1855). It is the tale of an immortal bold sorcerer and his quest to be reunited with the fiancée he lost tragically during the Acadian deportation in 1755.
It is a fast-paced story filled with tortured heroes, intense emotions, dark desires and realistic Pagan rituals, and which brings to light the history of Cajuns and Acadians.
Here is the link to my book trailer on youtube: (I made it myself)
Wishing you all the best in the next round-the story sounds fabulous! Now everyone go and vote!!
Tomorrow I’m welcoming Marie-Claude Bourque to my blog. Marie is one of the contestants in the Romantic Times American Title Five Contest. She’s going to tell us all about herself and why we should be voting for her book to be the winner!
Hmm…my image is a bit wonky-apologies!
I’ve added something to this auction for a fellow writer. A signed copy of Simply Sexual and Simply Sinful, just in case anyone wants to go bid on them and help someone out. 🙂
See all the items by clicking this link
We had a great Thanksgiving week. Last year we were visited by the plague and everyone was violently ill. (see my post a year ago about my 3 day vacation in Sedona, AZ when I wanted to die I felt so bad) Apart from my daughter who has back teeth coming in-she’s six, everyone else was well and healthy and ate!
We cheated and got the Marie Callender Turkey breast dinner complete with all the trimmings again. It was worth it. I made my own cranberry sauce just so that I could say I cooked 🙂 Christmas is more my thing. I’ll be adding roast potatoes, home made ice cream, xmas pudding, brandy butter and mince pies to my repertoire! and let’s not forget the crackers-the paper hat kind I mean!
And I also have 2 new covers to share with you: the first is for Riding the Line, the third Virgin ‘Cheek’ book which comes out next February. It’s got the road trip feel to it and she is perfect-the guy I’m still staring at, I can’t decide whether he’s like my character or not.
The book is full of hot sex, snappy dialogue and takes place on the road and in LA. It reminds me of one of those old black and white movies with Katharine Hepburn or Clark Gable, all smoldering sex and quick wit and sexual tension. It was definitely fun to write. The nice thing is that because it ties in with the previous 2 books we get to re-visit Grayson, Lauren, Jay and Helen and find out how they are doing too!
Next up is the Spanish translation of Simply Sexual-Esclavos del Sexo Until I opened the box, I didn’t even know there was a Spanish translation of the book so it was a complete surprise! Apologies for the poor quality of the scan, it is actually in color, a pinkish, brownish bluish, if that makes sense. The cover is certainly different. At first I didn’t notice that there was a man standing behind the woman, but now I get it.
If anyone wants to go and check it out in full cover, here’s the link to the website.
I have more news to share, but I’ll leave it until later in the week! Yes, I’m mean like that LOL