Posted by Susan Sey Jul 31 2009, 5:32 am in Uncategorized
by Susan Sey
I wouldn’t feel right about leading anybody on, so I’m going to say right up front that this is not a Princess Bride blog. Sorry, fans.
In spite of the title, there will be no ROUSes (Rodents of Unusal Size), no Six Fingered Men, & no love in the Fire Swamp. There will also be no more rhyming, & I mean it. (Though I will give props & bonus points to the first person to successfully finish off that quote. It’s my mom’s favorite.)
No, the Pit of Despair I’m talking about (hereafter referred to as the PoD) is a writerly phenomenon. It’s not an underground torture chamber, exactly, though there are similarities. It’s more a state of mind.
A moment of clarity.
It’s the place you end up when you must reconcile three ugly realities:
1) You have reached the limits of your talent.
Seriously. You have taken every workshop, tried every technique, read every craft book & worked your tail off. You have dug deep, you have summoned up your courage & honesty, & you have put your heart on the page. On lots of pages. Maybe a book or two (or three or four) worth of pages.
2) You have put your work out there.
You’ve queried every editor, every agent. You’re written a kick-ass query letter, your synopsis rocks. You’ve endured the sound & fury of the contest circuit, & flung yourself on the mercy of every person even remotely interested in critiquing you. You’ve even (saints preserve you) pitched in person. Maybe you have an agent. Or even a contract. But you’re doing the work. You’re out there.
3) It isn’t enough.
Your contest scores blow. Or maybe they don’t. Maybe you’re winning contests, but not getting requests from editors. Or maybe you are. Maybe you’re getting full requests, but getting form rejections that get your name wrong. Or maybe that agent you sweated blood for just blew you off. Or maybe your long awaited publication date just got pushed back. Again. Or maybe book two on your contract just got shredded by your editor & you’re pretty sure you only had one decent book in you.
Welcome to the PoD.
Good news, though. You’re in good company. Hell, you’re in great company. NYT best-selling company. And how do I (not remotely a NYT best-seller) know this?
Easy. I heard Janet Evanovich speak at the RWA conference a few weeks ago. And of course, she told us her Call Story. Now keep in mind, it’s been something like 15 years & several millions of dollars since she got The Call. But between the part where she wrote & failed & wrote & failed for ten years, & the part where her husband & son tracked her down at a roller rink so they could tell her her editor had called–her editor!–she had to stop.
She got choked up & had to stop to collect herself so she could go on. Fifteen years after the fact, fifteen years in which presumably she’s gained a certain amount of confidence in her talent, she still remembered so vividly what it was like to live in the PoD–and how it felt to be so miraculously released–it could move her to tears. I don’t think there was a person in the audience who wasn’t moved by that. Or inspired.
I know I was. Because while I don’t have the faintest clue what it must feel like to see your name on the NYT best-seller list, I sure as hell know what it feels like to reach the limits of your talent, & see that big gap between where it ends & your dream begins. I know what the PoD feels like, & I know what it feels like to live there long enough to write a book or two. Or three. Or four.
So when I find myself in total despair (like when I read anything by SEP or Kristin Higgins & realize I will never write anything that witty or charming), I like to reframe things. Because what if the PoD isn’t a death sentence? What if it’s a prerequisite? Because here’s something I know:
Maybe not everybody who lives in the PoD winds up on the NYT best-seller list. But every single writer who hits the NYT list has lived in the PoD. They all served their time.
And if they can go on to own the list, why can’t we?
So, tell us. Spent any time in the PoD lately? What–or who–pulls you out when you fall in? Share!
Posted by Jo Robertson Jul 31 2009, 4:05 am in Delilah Dawson, guest blogger Brenda Novak, Jo Robertson, Winners
posted by Jo Robertson The winners of Brenda Novak’s fan pack, the first three books in her Last Stand series, go to Laurie and Maureen! Congratulations, ladies! Please send your snail mail addy to email@example.com and I’ll forward the addresses to Brenda. And the winners of Delilah Dawson’s books go to Janga and Pink Peony! Send your snail mail information to jo (dot) lewisrobertson (at) yahoo (dot) com. Thanks for commenting both days, everyone! And thanks to our guests Brenda Novak and Delilah Dawson for their generosity.
Posted by Jo Robertson Jul 30 2009, 4:01 am in Delilah Dawson, fantasies, Jo Robertson
by Jo RobertsonI’d like to welcome my good friend and former chapter mate, Delilah Dawson, to the Lair! Hi, Delilah, thanks for joining us today. I’ve been waiting a long time to lure you into the Lair, ply you with some drinks and a cabana boy or two, and probe your mind about writing erotic romance.DELILAH: Thank you, Jo! Love what you’ve done with the place! Keep the drinks coming, and the cabana boys fanning me, and you can probe my mind all you like. JO: Hmmmm, probe your . . . mind, Delilah? Are you getting naughty on us
Posted by Jo Robertson Jul 29 2009, 4:30 am in Guest Brenda Novak, Jo Robertson
Today I’m so happy to welcome back my good friend Brenda Novak! Whether you’re a reader or writer, a fan or an Auction junky, Brenda always finds time to support and mentor the people in her life. New York Times Best-selling Author Brenda Novak has three novels coming out this summer—THE PERFECT COUPLE, THE PERFECT LIAR, and THE PERFECT MURDER, all part of her popular Last Stand Series. She also runs an annual on-line auction for diabetes research every May at http://www.brendanovak.com/. To date, she’s raised over $770,000. Brenda considers herself lucky to be a mother of five and married
Posted by Suzanne Ferrell Jul 28 2009, 6:36 am in Suzanne Welsh, Teen crushes, unrequited love
by Suzanne We got to talking on someone’s post the other day or week about first loves. This got me to thinking about my first crush. No, not the lastest media-blitzed boytoy made to appear all american or rebellious for the thrill of young girls. I mean that first guy who makes your heart do little flips every time you’re near him? The one you have a secret crush on but would DIE if he ever found out, especially if he didn’t think of you as anything more than a buddy or little sister. (That’s Gidget over there with the
Posted by crocodesigns Jul 27 2009, 6:02 am in Aunty Cindy explains it all for you, guest blogger, Love at First Flight, marie force
posted by Marie Force with an assist from Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy Thanks so much to my dear friend (and evil twin) Aunty Cindy and all the Banditas for having me back to the lair again. And thank you all for the lovely gathering in Washington, D.C. during the RWA conference. It was great to meet most of you in person after reading your blog the last couple of years. What a fun, dynamic, and successful bunch of women! I’m delighted to be in your presence today. This is the last stop on my blog tour for my second
Posted by Nancy Northcott Jul 27 2009, 3:09 am in Bandit Booty
I have winners for the book packages I picked up at RWA! Package One is for comments on last Sunday’s blog, “The Vision Thing.” The package contains the following books: Outcast by Joan Johnston, Mystic Rider (signed) by Patricia Rice, Undressed by Kristina Cook, and the combined edition of Traitor’s Kiss, and Lover’s Kiss, by Mary Blayney. This package goes to Joder. Package Two is for comments on today’s blog, “Somebody Save Me.” It contains Heart of the Wolf by Terry Spear, Don’t Bargain With the Devil by Sabrina Jeffries, Too Good to be True by Kristan Higgins, and Warrior’s
Posted by Nancy Northcott Jul 26 2009, 5:20 am in better angels, heroes, Jo Robertson, rescues and rescuers
by Nancy We all love a good rescue, don’t we? Many of us in the Lair especially like rescues involving massive boom. Most rescues, though, are a lot quieter. Even when there’s boom in a romance novel rescue, the more important salvation comes when the hero and heroine free each other from their baggage–when love lets them finally shed the ghosts, scars, and fears of their pasts and make a new life together. This blog was inspired by the Remy Zero song “Save Me,” which happens to be the theme song for Smallville. The chorus, which is the part in
Posted by Kate Carlisle Jul 25 2009, 4:45 am in Anna Campbell, Kate Carlisle, Literacy Autographing
By Kate For the first time ever, I attended the RWA Literacy Signing last week – as an author! I signed lots of books, gave away lots of chocolate (Ghirardelli, of course, because my protagonist in Homicide in Hardcover lives in San Francisco), and had an absolute blast! (Hey, I just got this photo of me taken by my friend Maureen Child! Thanks, Maureen!) But before the day arrived, I must admit I worried. There are hundreds of authors signing at this event. What if I sat next to a weirdo? What if my neighbors thought I was a weirdo?
Posted by Guest Jul 25 2009, 4:19 am in Uncategorized
So I guess you’ve all been waiting to find out the winners of the Alyssa Day book giveaways, right? Well here it is! Lori T, RKCharron, Estella, Di R, and joder… Prepare yourselves to be UNLEASHED! You’re the big winners of Alyssa Day’s book giveaway! Please contact Alyssa at: authoralyssaday @ aol.com (no spaces, of course!) and mention the Romance Bandits blog so she can send your copy of Atlantis Unleashed! And thanks for giving Alyssa such a warm welcome! -Kirsten