Monday, April 30, 2012

Sold the Second Book in the Series!

I've been keeping secrets.
It's particularly challenging to blog when you're out on submission because you're not supposed to tell people that's where you're at in the process. It's even harder to blog when a book has been accepted but you're waiting for all the paperwork stuff to go through so you can't tell anyone.

BUT...it's really easy to blog today.

I'm THRILLED to announce that the sequel to CONFESSIONS OF A SLIGHTLY NEUROTIC HITWOMAN will be published by Avon Impulse!!!


I'm once again immersed in the world of Maggie, Godzilla, and the rest of the gang. It's a weird and wonderful place to be.

I've never written a sequel before and I'm finding it to be an interesting balancing act. On the one hand I don't want to bore people with repetitive details from the first book, but on the other hand, I know that most people won't read the second book right after the first, so I need to put in enough info to jog the reader's memory. Not to mention, the book has to make sense to someone who reads it who hasn't read the first book at all. It's making my head spin!

TELL ME KILLER FRIENDS: What do you look for when you read a second, third, or forth book in a series?  What authors do you enjoy that do it well?

If you've read CONFESSIONS OF A SLIGHTLY NEUROTIC HITWOMAN  who or what do you hope to see more of in the next book?



Thursday, April 26, 2012

When Science Meets Fiction

One of the things that drew me to science fiction as a reader and eventually as a writer, was the idea of seeing the future, not just imagining it, but predicting it.

Veteran science fiction authors like Jules Verne, Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov took their knowledge of science fact and created fiction that gave readers a glimpse into the future. I always wondered if these authors were simply able to predict the future or if it was just inevitable that reality would one day catch up with their imaginations.

Reader and fellow author JW Cleland sent me the link to this article yesterday:


[Caution: the topic may not be completely work safe!]

I had to laugh because it was always a secret fantasy of mine to be able to predict the future…and it seems like maybe reality is catching up with my imagination, or at least the part of my imagination I channeled when I wrote SEVEN DAYS IN SYDNEY.

In SEVEN DAYS, the robotic body given to my protagonist Tess Ronson is technically a medical device, designed to give people with debilitating illnesses or injuries a temporary ‘home’ for their consciousness while their organic body heals. Of course, one of the first things Tess experiences with her borrowed body is mindblowing sex, thus paving the way for a whole host of ‘extracurricular’ uses for robotic bodies.

I’m pretty sure my story didn’t inspire the invention of the sex-bot, but I may have to give the company that created the prototype credit for inspiring one of my stories in the future.



If you could be someone else for a week, would you?
What if you could be someone else forever?



 

Monday, April 23, 2012

It Doesn't Matter if it Rains

I love my home office, but I suspect that if a stranger were to see it, they'd think I was a runner, not a writer.
(I'm not a runner. I'm working towards being one, but I still walk more than I run.)

The first thing that catches my eye when I step into my office are my medals. I've got two of them, one for each of the half marathons I've completed.

I intentionally hung them so that they're in line with the door. I can't walk in without seeing them.

The bib from my last half marathon (which I did last August) hangs on the corkboard on the wall behind my computer monitor. It's sort of wrinkled and beaten up.

On the wall opposite it, for those times when I just can't face my computer for one more moment, is a pillow that says "Completing 13.1 Miles Rocks".

So what does all this running stuff have to do with writing? And what in the world does it have to do with rain?

I completed both of my half marathons in the rain. The first, in a full-blown Nor' Easter, and the second, in a storm that dumped three inches of rain in the first hour of the race.

Some people won't train in the rain. It's too challenging, or unpleasant for them. I don't disagree that most of the time it's not what I'd call particularly fun or enjoyable, but I happen to think it's a necessary evil.

Some people won't write without inspiration. It's too challenging and unpleasant. Again, I happen to think it's a necessary evil.

Because here's the thing: lots of people say they want to run a marathon or write a book, but relatively few cross a finish line or type The End (okay, I don't actually type The End, but you know what I mean). Most people don't want to do the rainy day work.

It's the rainy day work that separates the dreamers from those who reach their goals, whether they're running or writing, going back to school, raising funds for a favorite charity, home-schooling their kids, or perfecting their recipe for the perfect chocolate chip cookie.

I don't keep my running mementos in my office to inspire me to get out there and train, I keep them in sight because they're reminders of what I can accomplish when I do the work on the days when I really don't want to.

I know what it feels like to go 13.1 miles (well, in the Nor' Easter, I actually went further than that since the arrows telling runners where to go blew away) and cross a Finish Line.  I know what it feels like to finish writing a book. And I know that working through the rainy days pays off.

Tell Me Killer Friends:  What goals are you chasing down? What past successes inspire your current goals? Do you have any physical reminders of the successes or goals that you keep in sight?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Random Facts

This is what happens when I put off writing my blog post until 7:40 PM on Tuesday.


Random Fact about Me #1:
I met my husband at a Star Trek Convention.

Random Fact about Me #2:
I will drink chocolate milk out of a glass, but I will only drink plain milk out of a plastic cup.

Random Fact about Me #3:
I cannot go to sleep unless I check my alarm clock twice.

Random Fact about Me #4:
I stopped wearing a watch a couple of years ago and I don’t miss it.

Random Fact about Me #5:
I am not afraid of snakes, but I’m terrified of spiders.

Random Fact about Me #6:
I can recite the prologue to the Canterbury Tales in Olde English.

Random Fact about Me #7:
I cannot jump.

Random Fact about Me #8:
I chose my pen name because several people have mistakenly called me Bernadette over the years, and I figured it was the universe trying to tell me something.

So there you go. Now tell me a random fact about yourself.


Eight Facts

Monday, April 16, 2012

What's on your Reading/Writing Bucket list?

Last week as I was listening to a program on NPR about what people have on their New York City Bucket lists, I got to thinking about my own reading and writing bucket lists.

When I was a little girl, I desperately wanted to make candy out of maple syrup and snow the way they did in the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I tried it a couple times. It never worked.

When I was a teenager, I wanted to visit Colorado because of James Michener's CENTENNIAL  (well, not the whole Dust Bowl part, but the rest of it). I wasn't disappointed when I visited.

As an adult, I HAD to run a half marathon, if only so that I could tell HYSTERICAL stories like the ones Dawn Dais does in The Nonrunner's Marathon Guide for Women. (I've now run/walked two...and do I have some stories!!)

As a writer, I wanted to give Allison Brennan and James Patterson a run for their money. I haven't exactly pulled that off, but I did write a pretty creepy suspense novel with romantic elements THE FIRST VICTIM for Carina Press.

And I desperately wanted to write a farce, which I sort of did with CONFESSIONS OF A SLIGHTLY NEUROTIC HITWOMAN.

There are still plenty of items on my bucket list. There are books I want to write, books I want to read, places I want to visit, and things I want to do. (I'm still working on the whole RUNNING a half marathon thing, lol.)

What's on YOUR Bucket List?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Who has YOUR support?

Most of us write alone, and yet, aspiring, debut, mid-lister, or best seller, big house, small press, or self-published, we are all part of the writing community.

Like any community, we have our problems. People who seem intent on making trouble, or who give writers a bad name, or who seem intent on being official naysayers. But for the most part, writers are AWESOME people.

But even the awesomest of folks need support.

You can mentor someone with less experience, provide critiques of manuscripts, query letters, and synopses, provide a shoulder (virtual or real) to cry on when the inevitable rejections roll in, buy books, rate/review books, comment on blog or Facebook posts, share tweets, share resources, offer advice (when it's asked for), share your story, judge contests, and a host of other things.

I've gotten some really wonderful reviews and fan letters in the past couple of weeks for CONFESSIONS OF A SLIGHTLY NEUROTIC HITWOMAN. I can't begin to tell you what that kind of support means!! A giant THANK YOU!!! to all who took the time to do so.

Speaking of support, have you voted yet for the GoodReads Independent Book Bloggers Award?  Book bloggers are wonderfully supportive of writers, why not check out the list? Maybe you can support one whose work you enjoy...or maybe you'll find a new blog to follow!

Personally, I voted for Girl Who Reads who has been incredibly supportive of CONFESSIONS and who has a killer blog. Even if you don't vote for her, I highly recommend you check it out.


Independent Book Blogger Awards

Vote for Girl Who Reads for the Independent Book Blogger Awards!

Vote




Tell Me Killer Friends: What kind of support do you most need? Who is your greatest source of support? How do you support writers?

My special thanks to my critique partners for being so wonderfully supportive:

Cynthia Valero: http://tenminuteuniverse.blogspot.com/  Check out her quick fiction!

Jennifer Colgan:  http://jennifercolgan.com/  Read her books!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Birthday release!

To commemorate for 450th birthday [No, that isn't a typo. Yes, I'm really that old.] I planned the re-release of my erotic novella for today.

Something is on the prowl in Pelican Bluff, Minnesota. When the mayor calls in cryptozoologist Laurel Jensen to investigate strange sightings of a winged, demon-like beast roaming the forest, she can’t resist. It’s not her passion for the unknown that draws her, though, but her need to come face to face with the creature that’s been haunting her dreams.

He calls to her, eager to lure her into his clutches and claim her for his own. Certainly not a run-of-the-mill cryptid, more than a clever hoax, the beast is real, and it’s searching for the perfect mate.


National Forest Service Ranger Cade Morrison draws the thankless task of escorting Laurel on her search for evidence of the beast’s existence. Cade knows the mayor is looking for publicity to attract tourists to the Bluff, and he doesn’t want any part of it. But he does want Laurel, and he’s not willing to share her with the Demon of Pelican Bluff.

You can read an excerpt HERE.

Available at:




 Don't worry, JB will be back on Thursday!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Squee moment!

I just got the awesome new cover art for the re-release of my erotic romance novella, THE DEMON OF PELICAN BLUFF.


If you're an indie author in the market for excellent cover art, check out LFD Designs for Authors. I've gotten all my indie squee moments from them.

Will she choose a demon lover over the man of her dreams?

Cryptozoolgist Laurel Jensen is finally on the trail of the winged beast that haunts her dreams. He calls to her, eager to lure her into his clutches and claim her for his own. Will she give herself to the erotic allure or will she deny the Demon of Pelican Bluff?

Stay tuned for more about THE DEMON OF PELICAN BLUFF. Soon to be available from major ebook outlets.

Monday, April 2, 2012

What It's Like to Speak to a Book Club

Last week I had the distinct pleasure of attending a meeting of the Suncrest Village Book in North Carolina.

We had a fun and spirited discussion about CONFESSIONS OF A SLIGHTLY NEUROTIC HITWOMAN. (Thanks, ladies!)


I must admit that I was a bundle of nerves beforehand. (A confession that amused my hostess to no end.) This was my first in-person meeting. I was worried that there'd be someone there who'd hated the book and that I'd be stuck spending hours defending my work.

Everyone was absolutely lovely and I enjoyed hearing their perspectives. It never ceases to amaze me how many characters in the novel are readers' favorites.




I was also worried that they'd ask me questions I wouldn't know the answers to. (I re-read my own book on the plane just so that I'd be prepared.)

And they stumped me...at least twice, maybe three times.

I know that probably sounds crazy, but here's the thing: I only have so much storage space in my brain. I haven't worked on developing Maggie and her story for over six months. I haven't referenced the research I did for the book for even longer.

I wrote a completely new and unrelated book in that time, which required it's own research.  That's what's occupying my storage space right now.

So when I told the women that I didn't know the answers to their questions, but that it's all in my notes, I wasn't playing coy...I simply didn't remember. (Which didn't help me feel like any less of an idiot, lol.)

Speaking to the book club was WAYYYY more fun than I'd anticipated and I hope I get to do it again, soon.

Tell me Killer Friends: If you're a reader, have you ever had a guest speaker at your book club meetings? Or have you ever gone to see a writer (WHO???) speak at a book signing, workshop, etc.?  If you're a writer, what would you be afraid of happening when you speak to a book club?