Nervous Jitters

So, like the title says, I have the nervous jitters right now, and I’ll tell you why. This time next week I will be at my first ever RWA Conference. Romance Writers of America is a national organization that provides networking, support, and education (in the form of seminars and online courses) to those pursuing a serious career in writing romantic fiction. I joined the RWA shortly after I published book 1 of The Pierced Trilogy, and I did so mainly because it sounded like a safe, friendly place to find like-minded people and learn more about my craft and the publishing industry. So far, that has been the case and I’m enjoying being a member. But I am extremely nervous about attending this conference because, from everything I’ve been hearing and reading about it, pretty much everybody who is anybody in the world of romantic fiction will be there. Top editors and agents from all over, not to mention all your favorite romance authors! I’ll probably be too busy making a fool of myself and being star-struck to do myself any good!

I’m told that most of the writers who attend conference, do so in order to meet with their editors/agents, or to make a pitch to prospective editors/agents. In fact, a big part of the conference is scheduling those all-important editor/agent appointments. I didn’t do that. And the reason I didn’t is because, frankly, I’m feeling very overwhelmed at the moment. My main reason for wanting to go to conference was to catch the seminars. They are offering some really great ones this year – including an entire track on self-publishing! To me, that’s exciting stuff, and I can’t wait. When I first wrote Pierced and decided to self-publish it, it honestly never even occurred to me to try to go the traditional publishing route. I’m not sure why exactly. Although it could have something to do with the fact that I am the most impatient person on the planet, and I know that going the traditional route often takes years. So self-publishing has been my focus from the beginning, and I’m excited about sitting in on these lectures.

Then there’s the excitement of meeting new people. And I’ve also been reading all of these tips on what to expect and how to survive the conference. Things like: always have your business cards handy (business cards for a writer?), and be sure to wear comfortable shoes, and make certain to have your elevator pitch ready to go. Until a month or so ago, I didn’t even know what an elevator pitch was! If I added pitching to an editor or agent on top of all that right now, “nervous jitters” would be the understatement of the year!

Anyway, wish me luck. When I get back, I’ll tell you how it all went. Follow me on Twitter to catch my tweets from the conference!

Romance Junkie

Why do women love to read romance? It’s a question I keep asking myself as I work on my new book project, and I keep coming up empty-handed every time. I can’t figure it out. And I’m really starting to believe the reason I can’t come up with any answers is because there are simply so many. I don’t know where to begin.

Maybe it’s because we just can’t get enough of the excitement? Maybe we’re addicted to the passion we find between the pages. Perhaps it’s the dance of the seduction that hooks us. Or we just love to read about the thrill of the chase and imagine that we are the ones being pursued? Or maybe … we just get off on meeting a new, really hot, sexy hero who makes us swoon. After all, anyone who reads romance novels regularly, knows that boyfriends are just better in books because sadly, romance is often sorely lacking in our everyday, real lives. I mean, don’t get me wrong … there are some men out there who do romance very well but, they’re in the minority. Most men just don’t get it. And maybe that’s the crux of it right there. Women are just different.

Women are hard-wired for romance. We crave it. We need it like we need the air to breathe, water to drink, and food to eat. Maybe we invest so much of our free time into reading romance because it’s something our bodies need but aren’t getting, or aren’t getting enough of. Sort of like when we don’t get enough of a key nutrient and our bodies become deficient in that area. Well, perhaps most of us are romance deficient and, if we’re not getting those nutrients naturally – in the form of a really hot, sexy hero of our own – then we need to get those nutrients in some other way. Like with a daily dose administered via romance novel. (Read two to four chapters daily for best results!)

I know that for me personally, I love reading romance because it fills me with a sense of hope. And actually, I find that I write it for the very same reasons. There is nothing better than when I’m in the middle of reading a story that I just can’t put down – or I’m working on a story that consumes me – because I’m so invested in the hero and heroine and the adventure they’re on. Watching them pursue their happily ever after brings me joy.

Or maybe I’m just a junkie who self-medicates with romance because it feels good!

Baker’s Dozen Finale

It’s finally here! The long-awaited conclusion to the Baker’s Dozen Fiction Story, and I am so excited about it! If you have been following our progress on this little project, you know that our hero has been through some major ups and downs (well, mostly downs) during this story, but that all comes to an end with this final chapter. And what a chapter it is! Written by our fearless leader, Joe Owens, of Joe’s Musings, Forrest finally gets the answers to so many questions, and finds the courage within him to do what needs to be done. Check it out, right here!

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Book Hangover

I read this really great quote on Pinterest. It said, “Book Hangover: the inability to start a new book because you are still living in the last book’s world.” Now, this was meant to be a quote about avid readers. But I’ve learned recently that the same could be very true for writers as well.

For the past month or so, I’ve been itching to begin working on a new story. Not that I don’t have any new story ideas – that’s not the issue. The issue was, like the quote says above, I was suffering from a book hangover. I was still living in, and hanging on to, the whole Pierced world that I created with The Pierced Trilogy. Not that I’m complaining – I adore those characters and their story. But it’s an odd thing about self-publishing. As indie authors, we not only write the books but, we are responsible for promoting that book and doing everything we can to bring that book to the attention of potential readers. So, we’re sort of forced into that book hangover state because even though the story is written, the job’s not over yet. We are forced to hang on a little longer.

Well, I’m happy to report that I have finally begun writing that next book – creating that next world – and it’s going great. I’m four chapters and over 26,000 words in so far. And to be perfectly honest … even though I’m loving this new world, I’m still feeling the effects of that hangover a little bit. And I wonder if all authors feel this way. A few years down the road, when I’ve got 15 or 20 books under my belt, will I still feel as though I have a slight Pierced hangover?

Book Reviews & More: A Tour Stop

I just wanted to give a great big thank you to Book Reviews & More By Kathy, for hosting the final day of the month-long series tour for The Pierced Trilogy. Today she is featuring book 3, Pierced Ever After, so be sure to go have a look and enter the two giveaways while you’re there!

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Jayne Kingston: A Tour Stop

I want to say a great big thank you this morning to the wonderful Jayne Kingston for hosting a stop along the series book tour for The Pierced Trilogy on her site. Today she is spotlighting book 3, Pierced Ever After, so be sure to check it out. And make sure you enter both of the TWO giveaway contests!

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Baker’s Dozen: Chapter 12!

Chapter 12 of the Baker’s Dozen Fiction Story is here, and all I can say is WOW! I am blown away by this installment from blogger David Stewart, of The Green-Walled Tower. With only two chapters left until the story’s end, I had no clue how it would ever be wrapped up. Finally we (and Forrest) begin to get some real answers and it is one heck of a ride! Click here to go check out chapter 12, and to find links to the previous 11 chapters as well!

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Tattooed Book Review: A Tour Stop

I want to say a huge thank you today to the Tattooed Book Review for hosting a stop along the series tour for The Pierced Trilogy. Today on the beautiful site, they are featuring book 3, Pierced Ever After. There is a terrific interview with me with some really fun questions so, be sure to check it out! And don’t forget to enter the two (count them!), TWO giveaways for some really fun prizes while you’re there!

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Baker’s Dozen: Chapter 11

Chapter 11 of the Baker’s Dozen Fiction Story is live, and boy is it wild! It has a couple of twists and turns that I never, EVER expected! Hats off to blogger Francesca, of Dr. Franny and Mrs. Myself, for the imaginative installment. Trust me, you don’t want to miss it. You can find chapter 11, as well as the previous 10 chapters, right here!

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