Thursday, September 29, 2011

Planning and Outlining



I am not an out liner.  The two novels I have written I wrote in the fly by night style.  That is I started with sentence one and keep going from there.  I would tweak, edit, reword, reorganize as I went along on my first.  On my second I wrote the first sentence and go from there.  Unlike the first though, I had more of an idea of where I wanted to go.  When ever I stop writing for the night I would make notes at the end of the scene on what I wanted to happen next.  I found it is so much easier to leave myself little cliff notes at the end.  It helps to keep writers block at bay.

This time I have decided to write a whole outline for my book first.  The reason why I actually did this was because I had an idea for another novel, but I wasn't finished with my WIP.  I loved the idea and I didn't want to forget it.  So I wrote down a quick three for four scene outline to get myself started and closed the file on the computer and let it sit.  I haven't looked at it in months.  I wanted to concentrate on LightWeight.  I wanted all my energy focused on one project.  I'm a big believer in finishing what I have started.

Now though, I can happily say I have finished LightWeight and have started the editing process.  I'm going through all the red lines my critique partner had given me and I am enjoying reading my WIP and fine tuning it for agents.  Since I need a break from editing I have decided to take out my outline and finish work on that a little.  I figure by the time I have finished round one of edits on LightWeight, I'll be in a good place to start writing my WIP.  Only I won't. I'll probably let it sit again, until I finish round two of edits, and word on another project I have started, a romantic comtemporary for a little while.  THen I might go back to LightWeight for another go around. Then I'll glance at my outline again.  The idea is to never get to a point where the story line gets old to me, I want to keep things fresh  I'm trying this out, we will see how it goes.

I have no idea how long this new process will take, it doesn't matter, the fun is writing it.  The fun is finding the idea and creating.  Although I have to admit. I love to seeing the finished product. Even more I'd love to see my books sits in the hands of the reader. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What I'm Up to these days

 Hey blogger world!  I hope everyone has had a great weekend.  I know today is Stand Out Synposis day, but I haven't gotten any entries this week so instead I thought I'd let you in on what I have been up too. (As soon as I get some more in, you'll be the first to know! So hurry up and get those synopsis in!):-)

The weather has been horrible here in Rhode Island.  For September it has been hot and humid and gross.  I don't even have an air conditioner anymore because we took them out thanks to Irene, and we figured what was the use of putting them back in when the summer was basically over.  Stupid, Stupid.

Anyway, I know many of you have been wondering how I am doing with sewing my son's costume, so I thought I'd post a picture for you to see.  Not a bad looking guy huh?  He looks like he belongs on a cover of a book.




  It's a renaissance shirt, anyway, notice the sword he is holding, that is why my son picked it; he wants the sword the model has in the picture.  I didn't argue, because the shirt looked fairly easy to make, minus me remembering how to sew again.  Besides, the model is pretty easy on the eyes.  Hey, you have to refer to the picture once in a while to make sure your sewing looks right.  Might as well have a nice picture to look at. 



 (And yes the cushion you see in the back round I sewed as well)

And here is my version, not exactly the same but, I'm not done yet.  I have to finish the cuffs on the arms so it has the same banding as the the collar and hem the bottom.  I think it will take me a total of 3 weekend days to finish.  Not bad for someone who hasn't sewn in years.

As for writing I decided to put the editing on my WIP aside. I figured after all the great feed back I got on it this week, I need walk away for a while.  Instead, I have opened up an older WIP and started editing and finishing that.  (I squeezed that in, in the early morning hours this weekend). It's not YA, it's a romantic contemporary and I hope to finish it before spring at the rate I'm going.

So tell me, what have you been up to this weekend?  Have you gotten any writing in like I have?  Anything fun go on?  Tell me curious minds want to know!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Only a Fraction

Who am I you ask?





Ah, some times I wonder. I, like many women in today's society wear many different hats. So I've decided I'm Wonder Woman, actually no I'm only kidding. 

But seriously, we do; men and women alike wear many hats these days.  For example most of us are parents, teachers, musicians, taxi drivers, maids, chefs, bakers, gardeners, the list goes on and on. How many different things do you do in a day?  I bet it's more than that, don't worry, me too. Those things don't make us who we are though.  There is so much more to us then that.  So I have decided to finally share my ten things about me.


1) I'm a wife and a mother of  two very active lovable boys.

2) I'm a dog lover. ( I kept my Buster even after I found out I was allergic and started allergy shots just so I could keep him. We miss you Buster!)   Now I have another dog Rascal, because I'm a glutton for punishment.

3)  I teach religious education class.

4) I love to sew, although I never have time anymore.

5)  I love to cook, when I have the time.

6)  I hate doing laundry.

7)  I hate knives, I have a deep fear of them.  They are dangerous, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

8)  I was on the PTA Board.  I had to quit and miss it,  but hey there are only so many hours in a day.

9) I hate swimming in ponds.  Slimy Yuk!

10) I love fresh cut flowers.

But even this is only a fraction of who I am.



Your turn, tell me about you?  What things do you love? Hate?  What are your ten things?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Can You Hook a Teen?

That's what we are striving for isn't it?  Well, maybe not all of you guys, but a good handful anyway.  Well this week we get the chance to find out if our writing can hook a teen's interest enough to want to read our masterpieces.  Brenda Drake is hosting a contest.  click over to see the rules and play along.

Rules:  Post 250 words of your manuscript and on September 21st and 22nd.  Then Post it in the comments on the 23rd of you blog.  Doesn't sound hard and the prizes are pretty darn good.  So, here is my first 250 words.

Lightweight (working title)

I never saw it coming. The impact sent lighting bolts of pain through my jaw. I saw stars as the tunnel vision blocked my sight. Then I felt my body smashed against the brick wall behind me. I needed to defend myself. I lifted my arms to block my face. I knew I couldn't stand much more. I thought about how I got here. It was stupid really, if you thought about it. All I did was try to do something right for once.


Flash back#
Jose was bothering this girl, Michelle who was sitting with Mary outside by the steps at lunch reading a book. I told him to leave her alone, she was minding her own business. I saw no need to cause trouble that day. I wasn't in the mood.
You're not needed here Tony, get out of here. Can't you see I'm busy talking to Michelle?”
I saw Michelle hunch her shoulders trying to ignore Jose and go back to her book.
She doesn't look like she wants to talk to you.” I got up and stood between them.
Come on Michelle, put the book down and let's go for a walk.” Jose said reaching past me. Jose tried to take the book out of Michelle's hand.
I'd rather not.” Michelle bravely looking up at Jose.
That's enough Jose.” I was getting upset.
Come on Michelle, let's go to the parking lot.” Jose pushed me out of the way, grabbed Michelle's arm and pulled her along.
Get off of me.” Michelle stood up to him. I had never seen a girl stand up to Jose before. 

Your turn to join in on the fun.  Let me know what you think and post your 250 words! 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Worst Movie Ever Blog Fest

   


Okay so I'm a day late, but at least I got the post up, right?  And everyone got a chance to critique Christie's synopsis right- so we are all good.  Okay on to my Worst Movies Ever:
  

Alex J. Cavanaugh is hosting a Worst Movie Ever Blog Fest and I have signed up to join in the fun.  At first I really thought this was going to be hard.  I try very hard not to see bad movies, I mean movies cost a lot of money these days.  It's a small fortune to pay for a night or afternoon out with my husband and boys, especially when they want to watch it in 3D.  I mean two dollars extra for kids and four dollars extra for adults, and there are less then a hand full of scenes in the movie with 3d parts in it?  I mean really? Nobody is that rich.

Anyway back to my point, after thinking about it and researching movies that I have forgotten about I realized that I have seen a lot a crappy movies.  So with out further ado, here is my worst movie list.

1- Gnome and Juliet
2- The matrix Reloaded
3- Se7en
4- The Princess Bride
5- Police Academy - all of them it doesn't matter
6- Weekend at Bernie's
7- Stop or My Mom will Shoot
8- Speed II
9- Robo Cop
10- Dumb and Dumber

I can't wait to see what you have as your worst 10 movies ever!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Stand Out Synopsis: Contemporary MG

 
 
 
Today's synopsis comes from Christie Wright Wild. Her story is a middle grade contemporary, and after reading the 3 paragraphs she sent in, I think it's going to be a winner.  Now you know the rules, read the entry and post your comments to help Christie out in the comments section.  You know where mine will be. 
 
Title: GLEEK
Genre: Contemporary MG

Fifth grader, Art Schaeffer, nicknamed Gleek because he can "snake-spit" further than anyone in the school, loves to eat, but nobody can tell by looking at him because he's as picky and as skinny as his pet snakes. Although Gleek is the treasurer of the Math and Science Club, he cringes at the prospect of having to enter the upcoming Science Fair because he doesn't like to read, hates writing, and abhors spelling, all of which are necessary to create a winning entry.

Meet Cody Boggs aka Matso, the smartest math whiz in the school and a bit of a bully. He loves to eat and everybody can tell by looking at him because he'll eat anything. When Matso enters the fair with a strange food experiment, Gleek becomes suspicious and discovers Matso breaking lots of rules. 

Gleek wants to report Matso anonymously, but doesn't know how to submit an article to the school paper, much less how to write one. The closer Gleek gets to finding out Matso's secrets causes him to fear for his safety. Will Gleek find out a way to expose Matso before the judges of the Science Fair award the prizes? And will he do so with his limbs still intact?
See below my red lines.
Title: GLEEK
Genre: Contemporary MG

Fifth grader, Art Schaeffer, nicknamed Gleek because he can "snake-spit" further than anyone in the school.  He loves to eat, but nobody can tell by looking at him because he's as picky and as skinny as his pet snakes.  Although Gleek is the treasurer of the Math and Science Club, he cringes at the prospect of having to enter the upcoming Science Fair because he doesn't like to read, hates writing, and abhors spelling, all of which are necessary to create a winning entry.  
(what is snake spit, and what does it have to do with the word Gleek?  I also changed sentence 2 and 3, but that is only my opinion.)

Meet Cody Boggs aka Matso, the smartest math whiz in the school and a bit of a bully. He loves to eat and everybody can tell by looking at him because he'll eat anything. When Matso enters the fair with a strange food experiment, Gleek becomes suspicious and discovers Matso breaking lots of rules. 
(Why is he suspicious?  How does he find out he is breaking rules?) These are good questions, it means you've intrigued me. 

Gleek wants to report Matso anonymously, but doesn't know how to submit an article to the school paper, much less how to write one.(Who does he report it too?) The closer Gleek gets to finding out Matso's secrets causes him to fear for his safety. Will Gleek find out a way to expose Matso before the judges (can you tell us who the judges are?)of the Science Fair award the prizes? And will he do so with his limbs still intact?

Christie Wright Wild
WEBSITE:  http://www.christiewrightwild.com
BLOG:  http://www.christiewrightwild.blogspot.com
 
 
Okay Christie, I have to say not much room for improvement here, other than try to give a little more information, you have got my attention, but I'd like to know a little more. I guess I'll have to read the book to find out. I liked it. You have all the vital information, and I found myself asking questions which only reading the book will answer. How about you guys? Did you pick up something I didn't? Any kind words of advice?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What's old is new again!




I have been busy lately.  School has finally started, CCD has started this week, and I've been working hard with edits on my manuscript.  I'm hoping to finish round one of edits by Halloween, but I doubt it because I promised my son that I would make his Halloween costume this year, so I need to set time aside for that.  I have all the pieces cut out, now all I have to do is sew it together. 

I haven't sewed in a few years so the excitement and the novelty is still new in me.  I've sewn many things over the years, a costume for my oldest when he was a baby, pillows, purse, pocket book, a large window cushion, a dress and the usual hemmed clothes.  Over the years I have lost time though.  This year thanks to a friend of mine my interested has been found again. 

You see I let a very good friend of mine borrow my machine, and by accident it has been destroyed.  She thought it would be safe leaving it outside my cabin in a cooler, and it would have been if I had known she put it there so I could pick it up, but I didn't.  It rained hard for two days.  A few days later I found my sewing machine in six inches of water.  I saw a few shades of red. 

Have I forgiven my friend?  Oh course, stuff happens, no one got hurt, we are still very close, and I still love her.  It's an object, not a human, and yes she took me shopping and replaced my machine. Now I have a new sewing machine and I'm all excited to sew something, anything. 

I sat down with my son and cut the pattern out with him for his costume then sat down and read all the sewing instructions again.  Understanding what needed to be done and why came back to me like riding a bike.  I can't wait to get started on the sewing now that everything is prepped.  

It's a little like writing; when you walk away from a material you have worked so hard on you become numb to it, it isn't fresh and new anymore, but when you walk away and leave it for a while then come back  the excitement is back, the novelty is new again and you can't wait to dig in and tackle the project. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Stand Out Synopsis/Query: A Russian Historial Saga

 
 
 
I have received the first entry for "Stand Out Synopsis", and I want to thank  Carrie-Anne Brownian for allowing us to help her out. Carrie's work is a period novel, set in Russian and extends to America. Take a peek and add your thoughts in the comments.  My comments will be posted below.
 
These are the synopsis paragraphs of my Russian historical saga set from 1917 to 1924.


Seventeen-year-old Lyuba Zhukova is left behind in Russia when her mother and aunt immigrate to America, forcing her to go into hiding from the Bolsheviks and sometimes flee at a moment’s notice.  By the time the Civil War has turned in favor of the Reds, Lyuba has also become an unwed mother.  But she still has her best friend and soulmate Ivan Konev, a cousin, and a band of friends, and together they’re determined to survive the Bolsheviks and escape to America.

As Lyuba runs for her life from during the terror and uncertainty of the Civil War, she’s committed to protecting her daughter and staying together with Ivan, her on-again, off-again boyfriend in addition to her best friend and the man who’s raised her child as his own since the night she was born.  The race to get out of Russia, into Estonia, and over to America intensifies after Ivan commits a murder to protect her and becomes a wanted criminal. 

Once in America, Lyuba discovers the streets aren’t lined with gold and that she’s just another Lower East Side tenement-dweller.  Ivan brings in dirt wages from an iron factory, forcing them to largely live off the savings they brought from Russia and to indefinitely defer their dream of having their own farm in the Midwest.  And though the Red Terror is just a nightmarish memory, Lyuba is still scarred in ways that have long prevented her and Ivan from becoming husband and wife and living happily ever after.
 
In the lines below I have added my comments as promised.  Please notice the red lines, and comments.  
 
 
 Seventeen-year-old Lyuba Zhukova is left behind in Russia when her mother and aunt immigrate to America, forcing her to go into hiding from the Bolsheviks and sometimes flee at a moment’s notice.  By the time the Civil War has turned in favor of the Reds, Lyuba has also become an unwed mother.  But she still has her best friend and soulmate Ivan Konev, a cousin, and a band of friends, and together they’re determined to survive the Bolsheviks and escape to America.
(I'm dying to know why she was left behind)

As Lyuba runs for her life from during the terror and uncertainty of the Civil War, she’s committed to protecting her daughter and staying together with Ivan, her on-again, off-again boyfriend(the man who stole her heart) in addition to her best friend and the man who’s raised her child as his own since the night she was born.  The race to get out of Russia, into Estonia, and over to America intensifies after Ivan commits a murder to protect her and becomes a wanted criminal. 


Once in America, Lyuba discovers the streets aren’t lined with gold and that she’s just another Lower East Side(lower case) tenement-dweller.  Ivan brings in dirt wages from an iron factory, forcing them to largely live off the savings they brought from Russia and to indefinitely defer their dream of having their own farm in the Midwest.  And though the Red Terror is just a nightmarish memory, Lyuba is still scarred in ways that have long prevented her and Ivan from becoming husband and wife and living happily ever after.
 
As you can see I didn't have to much to add or change.  Carrie I think you did a great job, and I'd love to see the final work.  Yes, that means I'd love to read this book.  It's the type of book that is right up my ally. 
 
Okay world, your turn to add your comments.  Let Carrie know how she did.  And don't forget to submit you synopsis or query for review.
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Annette Blair, National Bestselling Author Shares Her Writing Journey To Publication

  I'm very excited about this blog today.  Today I get to introduce to you a National Bestselling Author, Annette Blair.  I got a chance to meet Annette through my writing group RIRW.  A wonder group of  writers who are very supportive of each other and very giving of their time to help each other reach their goals, personally and professionally.  At one of our meetings Annette was asked to share with the group her experience with rejection letters.  I myself was very interested because I am still experimenting with my writing and honing my skills; to be able to see and hear what a best selling author went through, to me was and is priceless.  I asked Annette if she would share with us on my blog what she has experienced in her journey.   (Note:  all of this information can be found on Annette's website: http://www.annetteblair.com/index.html) as she has given me permission to use it.  But I must add. If you have any question for Annette please post them here in the comments section and Annette will answer as many questions as she can.  

About Annette


Former prep-school administrator and award-winning author Annette Blair owes her comprehensive theme of "Magic with Heart," to Salem, Massachusetts. The national bestseller writes single titles for Berkley Sensations and Vintage Magic Mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime. Her historical backlist can soon be found on an e-reader near you. 

In her thirty plus books, she’s explored nineteenth-century Amish Country; Regency and Victorian Britain; and madcap, modern Salem Mass, where bold women follow the Celtic faith with heart. There, she fought dragons, and fell in love with an angel. More recently, she’s solved mysteries beside Connecticut’s Mystic River. Wherever Annette’s landed, she's thrived. An adventurer and storyteller at heart, she’s proud to be a second generation American with French Canadian roots. Her Paranormals include her Accidental Witch Trilogy, her Psychic Triplet Witches, and her Works like Magick Novels, and the Vintage Magic Mysteries. 

Annette's work has garnered multiple Romantic Times TOP PICKS, Reviewers’ Choice Awards, and HOLT Medallion nominations.  A triple Golden Heart Finalist, she's also finaled in the Golden Leaf, the Lauries, the Golden Quill, and the National Readers' Choice Awards.  She’s won multiple Booksellers Best Awards, LORIES Awards, Laurel Wreath, Blue Boa, Aspen Gold, RIO, Southern Magic, More than Magic, Orange Rose, Winter Rose, PRISM, Beacon, Colorado Awards of Excellence, Write Touch Readers' Choice Awards and an Orange County Book Buyer's Best Award. With SEX AND THE PSYCHIC WITCH, Annette took home three Anne-Bonney Readers’ Choice Awards out of four.  VAMPIRE DRAGON, her third Works Like Magick Novel, a "B&N Jules's Pick Must Read" and a "Night Owl 5 star plus TOP PICK"  hit stores in April 2011. SKIRTING THE GRAVE, her fourth Vintage Magic Mystery, hit stores in July 2011.

Recent re-prints include: Jacob's Return, an Amish Historical, a Kindle US & UK TOP 100 Bestseller (formerly titled Thee, I Love) also contracted as an audio book; The Butterfly Garden, another Amish Historical, and Scoundrel in Disguise a Victorian Historical, both due before the end of 2011.

MY JOURNEY TO OVERNIGHT SUCCESS

YEAH RIGHT!

DON'T FALL OFF MY ROLLER COASTER
by Annette Blair

My purpose in writing this is to tell those of you who are at the beginning, in the middle, or toward that illusive “First Sale” point in your roller-coaster writing career, that persistence pays off, even if that first sale doesn't happen fast.  If you write daily, submit your work, continue to learn and grow in your craft, you WILL make that first sale.  I'm living proof.Count each baby step--an honorable mention, a good rejection letter, an agent who thinks your writing has promise:  They’re important
Before I sold, when published authors announced new sales, I’d think, big deal, so what?  Of course you sold.  Because back then I had no idea that the struggle continued beyond the first sale, but now I know better, and so should you . . . if only to soften the sharp blow of reality.  Yes, it’s a never-ending roller coaster, and the lows are low, but oh man, the highs are incredible.
Step onto my personal coaster and join me for some ups and downs that will help you appreciate the upward movement of your career. 
 1987/88—Christmas Break from school.  My daughter challenged me to take my plot ideas from my nightstand drawer and write a book. 
  • That day, I began writing AWAKE TO A NEW DAWN—which sold as LADY FAITH eleven years later.
 1988—Daughter said send my book to a publisher, and I said, “No way.” 
  • I got 26 rejections that year, from publishers and agents, though one of the publishers didn't publish romance.  He liked the book, though.
  • I started MORE THAN A PROMISE, which will never see the light of day. Hubby had said I should start with an outline, so I did.  The rejection said:  “It reads like an outline.”  It should have said:  “It has no plot.”  Moral of the story:  "Don't let your husband help you write a romance." 
1989—I got an agent—bad move agent-wise, and the first of several. 
  • Got five rejections through that agent. 
  • I saw an ad for a Spring into Romance conference in NY.  I sent my registration, took a train to NY, got a hotel.  At the conference Roberta Gellis told me about Rhode Island Romance Writers and RWA (Romance Writers of America), including the New England Chapter.   Who knew?  
  • Entered my first contest.  My combined score: 26 out of a possible hundred.  I knew squat.  Several other contests were not much better.  Yes, I was a contest slut from the very beginning, and oh man did I get horrible scores.
  • I joined RWA, went to their conference in Boston, and learned I knew nothing about writing.  I met people from my local chapters.  What a helpful group of women and so advanced in their careers.  I had a lot to learn.
  • Got an Honorable Mention for MORE THAN A PROMISE.  Go figure.  This is the single early book that was never published.
  • Entered a few more contests and saw the scores go up as far as maybe 56 out of a possible hundred.  I had a POV problem.  What the hell was POV?
  • Kept going to NEC & RIRW meetings and revising my first two manuscripts according to what I’d learn at each—did that a trillion times.
  • I received a second Honorable Mention
1990—Six rejections that year.
  • More lousy contest scores.
  • One more Honorable Mention
1991—Four rejections that year.
  • Started writing PATIENCE OF A SAINT, which sold eight years later as LADY PATIENCE.
  • Took two years to write that book.  I stopped being obsessive and went for as long as a month or two without writing.  Bad habit, induced by discouragement.
  • Got two honorable mentions for LADY PATIENCE.  Maybe the re-writes were helping.  I found that encouraging.
  • Kate Duffy requested LADY PATIENCE for Meteor’s new Historical Line.
 1992—Sixteen rejections that year, including one from Nancy Yost, who thought I had potential.  Nancy is my current agent and my smartest choice ever.
  • The Meteor Line folded.  In six years, Kate Duffy would actually buy LADY PATIENCE and two other books which would make my first sale.  I wonder if she would have bought LADY PATIENCE in 1992, if the line hadn’t gone under?  Story of the business.
  • I began writing ACT OF CHARITY which would sell ten years later as AN UNMISTAKABLE ROGUE.
 1993—Seven rejections that year.
  • Continued working on ACT OF CHARITY.  I did not write, daily, weekly or even monthly in the mid 90’s.  Try not to get into that slump.  It slows you down in more than words on the page.
 1994—Four rejections that year.
  • LADY PATIENCE got a Top Ten Award in a contest.
  • I began writing THEE, I LOVE, which would sell in five years as part of my first sale.
  • I became obsessed with writing as I had two more hours in the day to write now that I'd moved closer to my day job and wasn’t commuting.  I began writing daily again.
 1995—Got my second agent--another bad move.
  • Six rejections that year.
  • Continued working on THEE, I LOVE
  • Started entering more contests
 1996—Three rejections that year. 
  • A second place win for ACT OF CHARITY.
  • A third place win for THEE, I LOVE
  • A fifth place win for THEE, I LOVE
  • A Golden Heart Finalist for ACT OF CHARITY, published six years later as AN UNMISTAKABLE ROGUE—I thought I’d sell instantly as a Golden Heart Finalist—Wrong.
1997—Eighteen rejections that year.
  • A First place win for AWAKE TO A NEW DAWN, which had become KEEPING FAITH, which would sell as LADY FAITH in one very, very long year.
  • A Golden Heart Finalist for LADY PATIENCE—I thought surely now, with two Golden Heart Finals, I’d make that first sale—Wrong.
1998—Eight rejections that year.
  • March—A Golden Heart Finalist for THEE, I LOVE—third GH final—But I was totally jaded and knew I’d never sell. 
  • April—New England Chapter Conference.  Awesome conference, by the way.  I pitched to Kate Duffy.  She asked to see everything I’d written.
  • June 23rd at 1:10 pm—THE CALL. Kate Duffy bought LADY PATIENCE, LADY FAITH and THEE, I LOVE.  I have never seen my hands shake as much as when I realized I’d made my first sale.  I called everyone from the New England Chapter and Rhode Island Romance Writers.  They cried with me.
1999—My first three books were released.
  • I started writing THE BUTTERFLY GARDEN which would not sell for five years.
  • I started writing A RAKE UNDENIABLE which would sell as AN UNDENIABLE ROGUE in three years.
  • I got the last of my counted rejections.  Now they’re just passes and have become part of the journey
  • No new sales.
 2000—I got my third agent.  When she quit the business, she relinquished all rights to the books we sold together. I will always be grateful for that.
  • I wrote one and a half Victorian Historicals, A PERFECT SCANDAL and its untitled sequel.
  • No new sales.
2001—A big year.  I sold AN UNDENIABLE ROGUE, AN UNFORGETTABLE ROGUE and AN UNMISTAKABLE ROGUE.
  • I went to Salem Massachusetts for a weekend with friends, saw a shop called The Kitchen Witch, and thought, WHAT IF...that was the name of a Salem TV cooking show and the woman who got the job couldn’t cook?  Hmm.  The idea for THE KITCHEN WITCH was born.
  • My first Victorian Historical, A PERFECT SCANDAL, won the PASIC (Published Authors Special Interest Chapter) contest.  It would be released as SCOUNDREL IN DISGUISE five years later.
2002—Two Rogues were released and they were award-winning hits, which I believe was my first BIG break.
2003—Nancy Yost became my agent, my second BIG break. She’s awesome.
  • Nancy sold THE KITCHEN WITCH, my first single title contemporary, a bewitching romantic comedy, to Berkley, my third BIG break.  
  • We sold A CHRISTMAS BABY to Kensington, the last of the rogues . . . so far.
  • AN UNMISTAKABLE ROGUE came out with a larger print run than the first two, already out of print.
2004—THE KITCHEN WITCH became a runaway “smash hit” and later reaped a host of awards. (As of 2011, it's in its 10th printing.)
  • We sold MY FAVORITE WITCH to Berkley.
  • We sold a novella in an anthology called HOT TICKET with Deirdre Martin & Julia London.
  • THE KITCHEN WITCH & A CHRISTMAS BABY came out in October.
2005—THE BUTTERFLY GARDEN was released in hardbound
  • THE KITCHEN WITCH & A CHRISTMAS BABY began winning awards & contests.
2006—MY FAVORITE WITCH came out in January and became a National Bestseller.
  • HOT TICKET, with my first ever novella, came out in trade paperback in May, another bestseller
  • SCOUNDREL IN DISGUISE came out in hardbound in May
  • The trade paperback version of THE BUTTERFLY GARDEN came out in June
  • THE BUTTERFLY GARDEN started winning awards.
  • April 13th, I retired from my day job to become . . . A FULL-TIME WRITER!
  • Nancy sold a trilogy of psychic triplet witches to Berkley in what I like to call my first “big girl” deal:
    • SEX AND THE PSYCHIC WITCH
    • GONE WITH THE WITCH
    • NEVER BEEN WITCHED
  • Luncheon speaker  2007 New England Chapter Conference in April 2007. 
  • THE SCOT, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE second National Bestseller.
    • A Doubleday Book Club Selection
    • A Rhapsody Book Club Hot off the Press Selection
      • Rhapsody Book Club Famous First Line
      • Topped the Charts at Rhapsody Book Club for four months
2007—SEX AND THE PSYCHIC WITCH, August 2007, Another National Bestseller
  • New England Conference Luncheon Speaker in May
  • Sold my first mystery series to Berkley Prime Crime in May
  • THE SCOT, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE published in large print in July
  • Five contract deadlines to meet in the next year and a half
2008—GONE WITH THE WITCH, May 2008
  • Sold THE SUPERNATURAL EMPLOYMENT AGENCY series to Berkley.
  • Learned that my books have been modeled at Barnes & Noble--automatic reorder as sold and no more running out or stripping covers--a major career milestone.
  • Learned that ON WRITING ROMANCE by Leigh Michaels cites THE KITCHEN WITCH in several places in her book.  I find it uber cool to be indexed in a HOW TO WRITE book.
  • Sold the Accidental Witch Trilogy to Germany.
2009—FOUR BOOKS BEING RELEASED IN 2009
  • First Vintage Magic Mystery, A VEILED DECEPTION, Jan 2009
  • Third Triplet, NEVER BEEN WITCHED, February 2009
  • Second Vintage Magic Mystery, LARCENY AND LACE, August 2009
  • Mass Market Paperback release, HOT TICKET Anthology, September 2009
  • Sold three more books in the Vintage Magic Mystery series to make six mysteries.
    • My total books sold is twenty-five.
2010—THREE BOOKS BEING RELEASED IN 2010
  • THE NAKED DRAGON, A Works Like Magick Novel, January 2010
  • DEATH BY DIAMONDS, Third Vintage Magic Mystery, April 2010
  • BEDEVILED ANGEL, A Works Like Magick Novel, August 2010
    • A VEILED DECEPTION, my first Vintage Magick Mystery, was an RT Book Club Reviewers' Choice Award Nominee
    • LARCENY AND LACE, Second Vintage Magic Mystery, went into a second printing.
    • I contracted novellas for two anthologies for Constable & Robinson Publishing in the UK and Running Press Publishing in the US:
      • THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF SCOTTISH ROMANCE
      • THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF GHOST ROMANCE.
    • I contracted a novella for an anthology with HCI Books, the Chicken Soup for the Soul Publisher for:
      • FIND LOVE LIKE A ROMANCE WRITER
    • Total books sold is twenty-eight.
2011—NINE BOOKS SCHEDULED FOR RELEASE IN 2011
  • MAMMOTH BOOK OF SCOTTISH ROMANCE, January 5
  • FALL IN LOVE LIKE A ROMANCE WRITER Anthology, February 1
  • JACOB'S RETURN (formerly THEE, I LOVE) Amish Historical, Re-issue, May
    • #1 Kindle Bestseller, Amish Historical Romance
    • #1 Lachesis Bestseller, Fictionwise
    • Top 100 Kindle Bestsellers, US UK
      • Sold as an Audiobook
  • VAMPIRE DRAGON, third Works Like Magick Novel, April 5
  • SKIRTING THE GRAVE, Fourth Vintage Magic Mystery, July 5
  • MAMMOTH BOOK OF GHOST ROMANCE, Sept 5
  • THE BUTTERFLY GARDEN, Amish Historical, Re-issue, TBA
  • SCOUNDREL IN DISGUISE, Amish Historical, Re-issue, TBA

  • 2011 SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS: 
    • Uxbridge Free Library, Presenter, March 26th
    • Some Enchanted Evening, Presenter, March 27th
    • Miami Dade College Arts & Letters Day, Presenter, April 6th
    • Keynote & Presenter, The New England Chapter
      • Let Your Imagination Take Flight Conference, April 30th
    • Connecticut Fiction Fest, May 14, Presenter
    • Cape Cod Writers Conference, August 15 to 19
    • New Jersey Romance Writers
      • Put your Heart in a Book Conference, Oct 21 & 22, Presenter
    • New Hampshire Writers Conference, September
  • 2011 News:
    • Sold SCOUNDREL IN DISGUISE, A Victorian, to Debut a new line for Lachesis Publishing.
    • Sold JACOB'S RETURN as an audiobook
    • Sold THE BUTTERFLY GARDEN as an audiobook
    • Sold SISTERS OF SPIRIT Anthology
2012—BOOKS SCHEDULED FOR 2012
  • CLOAKED IN MALICE, Fifth Vintage Magic Mystery, April 2012
  • OPERATION PETTICOAT, Sixth Vintage Magic Mystery, TBA 2012
  • SCOUNDREL IN DISGUISE, a Victorian, set to Debut TWO O'CLOCK PRESS, a new Classics Line by Lachesis Publishing.
2013--BOOKS SCHEDULED FOR  2013
  • SISTERS OF SPIRIT Anthology, PICTURE IT by Annette Blair, debuting three new writers: Jeanine Spikes, Lynn Jenssen, and Christine Mazurk.
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  • That's the story of my roller coaster . . . so far . . . .
  • An overnight success . . . as you see.  
No more 'rejections,' because I hate the 'R' word.  I block any "passes" from my mind and move on.
I sincerely believe that if you write daily, submit your work, continue to learn and grow in your craft, that you WILL make that first sale.  Then it’ll be like going from high school to college, or college to the workplace, a different kind of challenge, but a challenge nonetheless.  An invigorating challenge.  Writing always is, but it's not for the faint of heart.
Grow a thick skin; you’ll need it.
Nevertheless, I wish YOU instant success, a ride straight to the stars, which many have achieved—I was not one of them.  If your roller coaster does not fly straight up, then I wish you tenacity, all our support, hours of writing pleasure, and a career that is worthy of your struggle.  Never give up ... and pay attention to the signs.
Hugs, and Happy Writing.
 
Any questions? Comments?  Leave them in the comments section so Annette can read and answer any question or comment you have. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Labor Day Blogfest

 Labor Day Blogfest

I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend.  My weekend was filled with boating, BBQ's, fishing, family, friends and fun.

 We spent the day at the cabin on the pond enjoying the last days of summer.  My boys were supossed to go back to school on the 29th but because of Irene, it has been delayed until today.  Yup, my boys got one more full week of school.  I'd be happy about it for them, but they are just going to have to make it up in June.  Oh well. Anyway summer is still drawing to a close either way you look at it and in honor of the end of summer, starts The Labor day blog fest.  You remember the rules right?


 Here they are: just in case you forgot.

 1) You must follow this blog.

2) Spread the word. Mention this Blog Fest on your blog, the more who join in the better. Make sure you visit others who are joining in as well.

3) Sign up on the Link below.  If the link doesn't work (I'm new at this tech stuff) Please leave your name and link to your site in the comments. (The link is closed now, but you can still join in the comments.)

4) On Tuesday September 6th post on your blog the American Flag and your State Flag with five American Historical sites you have been to or wish to see.

Now it's my turn to share with you the American Historical Sites I have visited:

1) Ellis Island

2) Liberty Island

3) Washington DC

Places I'd love to visit

4)  The Grand Canyon

5) The Golden Gate Bridge

There are so many more places I'd like to visit so this is just a tiny peek.

How about you?  Where have you been, or want to go?


Monday, September 5, 2011

Challenge 1



Rach Writes has given the first Challenge, write a short fictional story totaling 200 words to be exact.  I found mine went over, so I had to cut.  It has to open with the words "The door swung open."  As an added challenge it needs to end with "The door swung shut."  Here is my entry, let me know how I did.

The door swung open. I glanced around the room not knowing what to expect. The matradee told me the room was being prepared for another wedding. I thought I'd find bare tables with workers all around busing themselves for tomorrow's wedding; instead I found white linen table clothes draped over large round tables. I counted twenty beautiful set of tables scattered around the room. The china was pure white with flecks of gold glistening off of the sconces, the silverware glistened next to the china making the tables almost glow in the dim light. The Dias stood near the back of the room; a long rectangle of a table draped in white linen with pink ribbon draped around the front and sides. Empty vases sat in the center of each table waiting for the flowers to arrive. Champagne glasses and napkins shaped as doves sat in front of every plate.

This was perfect. I scanned the room again drinking everything in. I needed to get back, I only had a few minutes. I stepped back and walked through the doorway watching the room disappear as the door closed shut.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Up and Running



I hope everyone has faired well through Hurrican Irene.  Thankfully in the Rhode Island area she decided to fizzle out a little.  We have had a lot of trees down and many people have been without power. Luckly my house didn't lose power, but we played games of monopoly with the kids anyway.  After monopoly since we didn't lose power my oldest wanted to make remake Robo.  Robo is a lego kit where you make a robot. Yes literally.  It took my husband all day, and he needed the lap top to build it.  Now all that needs to be done is program Robo also with the lap top.  Needles to say I got no editing done on my work in progress. Oh well, I did the Wii fit instead.  It felt good to move my body again. 

We also got the call that the first day of school was canceled (they were supposed to start Monday.)  Monday we got the call saying school has been canceled until further notice.  I'm hoping my the time this post airs they are back to school.  My guess is one of the schools lost power. I wouldn't be surprised because Monday I couldn't go to work because we lost power there too.  I went in on Tuesday and expected to do what I can while the generator had us half up.  Luckily over the lunch hour we got power back. Yay, I can get a full day's pay. 

So there you have it.  We survived.  My house is safe; we only lost one tree which never came down, but is leaning against another and is coming down on Wednesday when the tree guy comes.  The cabin is fine, just cleaning up the lawn, and getting ready for Labor Day.  Hey, that reminds me.  Did you sign up for the Labor Day Blogfest?  The link is closed but that doesn't mean you can't particitpate.  September 6  is the day of the Blog fest.  Click the link to find out more!

Have a safe and happy Clean up!