Monday, July 23, 2012

Just For Me-Common People

Although I have some fun ideas for a Victorian Romance that would follow a few of the servants and lower staff members, for the most part writing historical romance means writing tales about the upper classes in society.  I will admit that I get jealous thinking about the grand estates, beautiful clothes, and lavish dinners that my fictitious characters get to enjoy.

Maybe that's why I love this song.  It is a very British pop song about a spoiled young rich girl who thinks it would be cool to act like the 'common people'.  While this is my favorite version I must give a shout out to William Shatner's version too!

Enjoy and welcome back from your weekend!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Just for Me-Must be Santa

Bob Dylan and Santa
This might not make sense unless you've seen my last post, Christmas in July.  It is a relatively new Christmas song that I'm betting most of you haven't heard.  Bob Dylan partying it up Christmas style, I swear that everyone in this video has hit the punch beforehand.  I hope that you enjoy and Merry Christmas-in-July to you all!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Christmas in July

I remember hearing about this when I was little and thinking that people who celebrated Christmas in the middle of summer were crazy.  They still are but this year, I'm one of them!

Not entirely out of choice though.  I'm working on the third book in the Mrs. Brentley's Girls series, which will be out in late November 2012.  It is a Christmas story that I've put off writing for awhile because I wanted to be in the holiday mood.  The problem is that Christmas is a very busy time and I never get any writing done.  I've decided that the book has to get done this year, no more procrastination!

Thus I have decorated my writing area with a few Christmas bits, I've been listening to some Christmas songs in the car, and I'm reading up on a few Christmas themed romance novels!  It is a great chance to read my friend Penny Watson's latest hot son of Santa book, Sweet Magik.  Also I'm rereading Lisa Kleypas' Christmas novels.  My favorite by Kleypas is her recent modern one, Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor.

I'm still irked that the local ACMoore has an aisle filled with last year's Christmas stuff so that they can celebrate Christmas in July, even though last week the same items could be found in the clearance aisle for half the price!  And I'm not about to give gifts or sing carols with the family.  Still it is interesting to attempt a second Christmas in the middle of the year.  It makes me wonder if I will now be more excited for the real Christmas this year or less excited.

Have any of you celebrated Christmas in July or some other off schedule holiday?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Just For Me-Tents

This week I got to enjoy-silence.

My husband and I are planning a camping trip soon and decided to make sure that we still knew how to put up our tent.  Honestly it went up very easily, considering that we found the instructions inside of the tent and only after we'd been fooling around with it for an  hour.

So what's relaxing about a tent in the middle of the yard?  Everything.  I spent almost two days this weekend hiding out in a lovely shaded area (it is a rather large tent with a little screened in porch area) reading some books and getting a bit of writing done.  It was wonderfully quiet!  Made me wish that every weekend I could escape to a tent in the middle of my yard!

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Key to Success and Happiness in Writing

When I started my first romance novel, I was already counting the advance checks that I'd be getting.  I first queried to Dorchester about a year before that company completely changed.  Back then if they said yes to a book it was $3000 per book unless it sold really well and you started making beyond the advance.  I was a fast writer and I figured that I could put out three novels a year which would mean $9,000 at least until I could sign up with a better company like Avon Romance and start making even more.

If you've followed my blog then you know that it didn't happen.  I hit that brick wall that most new writers find, reality.  I spent almost a full year after that first rejection letter trying to find an agent, a publisher, anyone who would give it a chance.  I was writing my second book at the same time and despite the horrible series of punches to the gut that was the querying process I decided to put my second book through the same thing.  I had a little better luck but in the end nothing came of it.

I didn't exactly give up.  I was still writing down ideas.  I finished a third novel, started a forth.  I had some hopes and dreams but at that point I finally understood why so many writers just throw in the towel.  My new goal wasn't really to make money, it was to not quit trying.

When e-publishing came along I shook my head.  I wanted those gate keepers at the big industries to love my book and after seeing a few really bad e-books I didn't want to find myself lumped together with them.  It wasn't until some of the experienced authors began turning away from their publishers and turning to e-books that I gave it another look.  Just because the big-time guys weren't interested wasn't to say that others wouldn't like my books.

My first book didn't make much waves and I didn't do anything to promote it or myself.  Still the dozen sales that trickled in over the past two months felt good and they kept me going.  Then I released my second book just last week and much to my surprise I sold eighteen books in a week.  That isn't a lot of books and it doesn't make me a lot of money, maybe about $40 once everything is said and done.  I can't go quit my full-time job or anything.

But those sudden eighteen sales made me ecstatic.  After three years of rejection letters and disappointments I had started to feel like no one wanted to read what I wrote.  Then eighteen separate people decided to pay three dollars to give it a try.

So I finally do have some advice for all of those writers just starting to create their first book or those who've just opened their first rejection letter.  Ahem..."The key to being a successful and happy writer, is setting your expectations very low and working twice as hard to get there.  It can make $40 suddenly seem like a life-long dream realized."

That said I'm now trying to figure out what I did right so that next time I can do it even better.  I'd still love to make enough money off of writing that I could quit my day job.  Come on, I still have to dream big, don't I?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Up in Flames

You may have heard about the fires burning in Colorado but unless you live in the area you may not have heard about all of the other fires that are consuming the western states.  There was a brief one across the way from my sister's house in Utah, my mother's home town of Roundup Montana has had two nearby and those are just the few that have effected my family.

Then my hometown of Pocatello, Idaho was hit this weekend.  It started at 2:30 in the afternoon and by the next morning 66 houses were destroyed.  My facebook account is filled with personal stories of houses that burned or barely survived.  One family that we are close to lost their home last year in a huge fire.  I was horrified when I heard that their new house was near this fire as well and for much of the time they were evacuated.  Luckily the winds turned just in time and they are now back home.

If you live in a wonderfully damp environment like the coast please keep the westerners in mind. If you are a westerner please be careful this weekend and maybe skip the fireworks.  The whole area appears to be a tinderbox this year that is ready to flame out of control!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Just for Me-A Bit of 80's Fun

I understand that this song has to be used sparingly but trust me after the doozy of a week I just had, I need it.  Here's to working yourself to the bone to reach a deadline and then pushing it just a bit farther!  I encourage everyone to put their hair into a side ponytail, put on their most garish makeup, maybe some old leg warmers and enjoy a piece of the 80s!