Posted by Susan Sey Feb 27 2012, 12:12 am in Guests, Inara Scott, romance bandits, RWA National, Susan Sey
So I achieved a milestone recently. It wasn’t anything quite as awesome as Kate’s hitting the NYT bestseller list (go, Kate!) but it was a milestone nonetheless. One of which I am ridiculously proud.
See, I recently blurbed a book. (This means I provided the little quote on the cover telling the world what a really great book it was, for those of you who don’t speak writer-ese.) See? There it is! Over there, on the cover on the left! I know it’s a little hard to see, but click on the cover to see it live & in person on the internets.
And I didn’t blurb just any book, either. Lord, no. This was a really, really good book. One that I would have been thrilled to blurb no matter who wrote it. But it just so happens that my dear friend & critique partner (and former Romance Bandit) Inara Scott wrote this particular book, thus allowing us to fulfill yet another of our long-dreamed joint milestones.
And what, you might ask, is a long-dreamed joint milestone?
Well, it’s what happens when you put two brand-new, starry-eyed, sky’s-the-limit writers in a room together. Specifically in a hotel room in Reno where RWA is holding its 25th annual conference. It’s what happens when those two writers have a glass of wine (or two) and some ice cream (or a lot) and some chocolate (or a great deal), & start planning their careers with the subsequently lowered inhibitions.
First we’ll land a couple of agents! (That was a few years down the drain but eventually…done!)
Then we’ll both sell books! (A couple more years down the old tubes on this one, but then Inara sold her YA in a two-book deal. I sold my Golden Heart winner in a two book deal not quite a year after. Here’s me & Nara celebrating my GH win in 2008.)
Our careers will then take off like rockets! (We’re still throwing years at this one.)
And then when we’re amazing superstars (not enough years in the universe but okay), we’ll blurb each other’s books & go on tour together & it’ll be our own little fairy tale!
[insert reality here]
Okay, so we didn’t take off like super stars. Nobody has, as yet, decided to send us out on a joint book tour. (Inara did get to do a mini-tour in support of her first Delcroix book but I was not invited. I can’t imagine why not. She was promoting her young adult series at middle schools & I was writing adult romance. What could go wrong?)
But then Inara hooked up with Entangled Publishing, & began to release her adult romances. (There she is in her glammed-up, I-write-romance author photo. Nice!) And guess who she tapped for a cover quote for her latest, the Rules of Negotiation? I’m thrilled to report it was me! And they put it smack on the front cover, too.
I was proud on so many levels–first of Inara because I love this book & I’m so glad it’s finding an audience. Selfishly for myself, too, because I’ve always wanted to blurb a book. It’s a cool thing to be viewed on any level as an authority on what’s good to read.
But I was mostly thrilled with the both of us. (There we are on the left being thrilled together in NYC last summer.) And why? Because seven years ago we were dewy-eyed newbies with more hope than sense, & but we didn’t let that stop us from dreaming. And dreaming big.
And maybe our dreams haven’t all come true but we’ve put our backs into it–put our backs against each other’s, really, & circled the wagons when necessary–& we’re hauling each other into that future we dreamed so long ago. Inch by stingy inch sometimes, but we’re walking that path together.
So here’s to Inara, & her latest release! Here’s to me & my latest milestone! And here’s to the readers everywhere who love a good love story. We write for you. Heck, we are you. So dream big. And take a good friend on that walk with you. It helps.
Inara (www.inarascott.net) will join us in the comments today, & she’ll be giving away an e-copy of The Rules of Negotiation to one lucky commenter. So tell us about your dearest friends–do you have one or lots? Have you known her since kindergarten, college or last week? When has a true friend really made a difference in your life?
Posted by Joan Kayse Jul 13 2011, 5:00 am in Broadway, New York City, RWA National
Right up front I’m going to apologize for the brevity of today’s post. I’ve been immersed in my new paranormal work in progress, working and trying to get back to baseline after a wonderful National conference in NYC. As a result I forgot until tonight, the 12th. Plus…I swallowed a bug on the way home
I had a great time the eight days I was there, despite a bomb scare in Times Square, a delusional rapper on a lamp post rapping for 2 hours and overdosing on cheesecake. But here are some of my top favorite things about NYC.
1. The food. Seriously, you can get anything you want, any time you want and never cook. We had great Italian at Tramonti’s served by the dreamiest REAL Italian guys. Ummmm..yes Mario, I will have more cheese.
2. The diversity. Not just a handful of people from different countries but from ALL the countries of the world were represented at any one time. Yes, including Mars and other points south.
3. The history. I did the requisite tour bus twice and learned something new each time. For instance, Bellevue hospital invented the hyperdermic needle! The were the first hospital to seperate OB patients from the general population, the first bypass surgery and microscopic surgery. No deets on if they pioneered plastic surgery but odds were are they did.
4. The pups. I was missing my kitties so bad three days in. Surprisingly, New Yorkers do not walk their cats but they DO their dogs…so I made the best of it. Cooing, and petting everyone I could including the explosive detection yellow lab. Oh, and I asked a police officer if I could pet his horse because I missed Cricket. He replied “Ah, geez.”
5. Broadway shows. Man, I wish I had the time and money to go to every one. I did see “Anything Goes” which was BEYOND wonderful!!! I was actually tap dancing in my seat and sang the songs for hours afterward.
That’s all I have for now. It would take multiple blogs to tell all about my trip but there is a storm going on and kitties that need cuddling. So give my regards to Broadway…
Have you been to NYC? What are some of your favorite things? If not, what would you like to see?
Posted by Suzanne Ferrell Jul 6 2011, 3:10 pm in RWA National, Suzanne Ferrell, vacations
Well today is officially my last day of my summer vacation. Every year I use one week of my three weeks of vacation time from the hospital to go to the RWA National convention. I don’t go to the beach, I don’t go to the mountains, I don’t go visit family. I do to a convention where I have to dress in nice clothes, smile at everyone and listen to speakers (in the workshops I attend).
Nope, not for me. See, since I started going to RWA National I’ve been to Atlanta, Reno, San Fransisco, Denver, Washington D.C., Orlando and now New York City. (The 2 Dallas conferences don’t count coz that’s just down I-75.) I’ve gotten to do a limo chauffered tour of Sonoma wine country. Been to Alcatraz. Seen the Golden Gate Bridge. Toured many of the monuments in the nation’s capitol and walked through the Smithsonian. Hung out in Disney World. Played the slots in Reno. And last week I did NYC tours by day and night and boat! Not to mention went to 2–TWO–Broadway musicals, (WICKED and JERSEY BOYS).
But another great thing about my summer vacation is that it energizes me. It makes me want to come home and write. To words down on pages. It makes me want to read…all those great stories I brought home with me, or I heard about in conversations. It makes me wish I had a whole other week of vacation to take, but unfortunately, in my line of work summer is one of the busiest times of the year for having babies. (uh 9 months ago people were snuggling in the cool or cold weather.) So each nurse only gets one week of vacation in the summer.
I’ll take another week in the fall to go see my parents in Ohio. I love fall in Ohio. It’s cold. It’s rainy. It helps me get in the mood for Thanksgiving and Chistmas. It completes the cycle of the seasons for me. Something I don’t always get down here in Texas.
So, what about you? What is your favorite vacation? Beach? Mountains? The jungles of Costa Rica (my friend Aly Burton did this with her family!)? Let’s talk VACATIONS!
Posted by Kate Carlisle Jun 25 2011, 4:01 am in bibliophile mysteries, conferences, Kate Carlisle, National Conference, romance writers, RWA conference, RWA National
by Kate Carlisle
I did it! I met my deadline for ONE BOOK IN THE GRAVE, the next Bibliophile Mystery. Pretty good, considering that I’ve been working in the midst of a total kitchen remodel and my family visiting. When I reached the final sentence of the final scene, I paused, took a deep breath to savor the moment, and then slowly typed: T. H. E. E. N. D.
Moment savored, moment gone… and instant panic set in.
The Romance Writers of America conference is mere days away, and I have done nothing – nothing! – to prepare. I have nothing to wear. My nails have suffered the double mutilation of hammering away at the keyboard and of being gnawed at while I tried to work my way out of plotting quagmires. My scalp has little bald spots from me tearing out my hair, trying to get the book done in time.
Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration. If you’re going to conference, promise me you won’t look for bald spots!
The truth is, I have a lot of work to do to get pretty enough for conference. Because you know that we all want to look good for each other. It doesn’t matter that 98% of the attendees are female. It’s soooo not about the men. We want to look fresh and relaxed so that when we reunite with friends we haven’t seen for a year, they’ll tell us how great we look, and we’ll be able to believe that they’re not just being polite.
(Yeah, I dream big.)
We also want to look professional so that when we see our editors and agents and other industry professionals, they will get the impression that we easily handle the stresses of this writing life. In the hopes, of course, that they’ll pile on more stresses by giving us more, bigger, and better contracts.
(I do actually dream big.)
Which means, of course, that I must go shopping. And I can’t rely on the internet this time. There’s no time to have clothes shipped to me, try them on, realize I ordered the wrong size, return them, and get a second outfit to try on in the comfort of my own home. No, I will have to brave the harsh light of the dressing room.
And don’t get me started on shoes. Ack.
I can’t possibly visit the clothing stores until I get a mani/pedi. Otherwise the sales clerks won’t take me seriously. Getting a manicure is an exercise in patience for me. It’s hard to sit still long enough for the polish to dry. Almost invariably, I end up with at least one ding. So I repair the ding by adding a glop of polish, which leaves a little raised bump on my nail that looks like I have some sort of medical condition.
If you’re going to conference, promise me you won’t look for deformities on my fingernails!
My hope is that all the panic and craziness I’m going through now will pay off in the end. That I’ll arrive at conference looking polished and chic precisely because I am worried about it now. Which means at conference, I’ll be able to relax and enjoy the experience without giving a second thought to how I look.
That is, perhaps, the biggest dream of all.
The RWA conference is part professional networking event, part high school reunion. When is the last time you attended a big conference or reunion? Did you stress about what to wear, how your hair looked, how your nails looked, whether your shoes were scuffed… ? When you look back on that event, what sticks out most strongly in your memory?
Posted by Donna MacMeans Jun 16 2011, 5:03 am in Beau Monde, RWA National, Sewing, Susan Gee Heino, Temptress in Training
hosted by Donna MacMeans
It’s my pleasure to welcome my good friend, Susan Gee Heino, into the lair. Susan’s latest Regency, TEMPTESS IN TRAINING, is set to release July 5th and is the third in her series that began with her debut, MISTRESS BY MISTAKE. Romantic Times calls Temptress in Training: a spy thriller that has as many tangled threads as one of Sophie’s garments. Welcome Susan!
Hi, Banditas! Donna, thanks so much for having me. I just love hanging here. And I’m really excited to get to see some of you all in just a couple weeks!
Yes, it’s that time again—time to figure out what to wear to RWA Nationals. True, I should really put more effort into studying the workshop schedule, preparing for the two panels I’ll be participating in, and thinking up intelligent stuff to discuss with my agent and editor, but seriously, this month is devoted to angsting over my wardrobe.
Anybody out there sew? I love it. I’m not fantastically good at it, and I think patterns are mostly just a suggestion, but I do love sewing. Especially fancy clothes. And costumes. And guess what? I get to wear both at National!
The biggest, fanciest event is the RITA/Golden Heart Awards ceremony. Also, I’m a member
of the Beau Monde Chapter which usually hosts a Soiree where we are invited to dance the night away in Regency-era costume. What could be more fun, right? I spend months dreaming about what I’ll wear. I love selecting my patterns, fingering all the materials, choosing trimming, and basically being able to make the gowns exactly the way I want them. I feel so powerful!
Well, except for the hours while I’m actually making them. That’s when I don’t feel quite so powerful. I’m ripping seams, jamming the machine, poking myself with pins, and swearing next year I’m going to just wear something out of my closet. But eventually I’m done and I love my creation. I have the thrill of taking it out in public and feeling awesome. It’s sort of like writing.
I don’t know about other writers, but I go through pretty much the same stages in my writing. The thrill of brainstorming, planning my opening scene, and gathering characters that make me giddy with excitement. Then I actually have to write the book. Not as much fun. But then, eventually, it’s done and my agent loves it and my editor loves it and I have the thrill of taking it out in public and introducing my creation to readers.
So not only will I finish my gowns for National and get to wear them to par-tay all night, but I also get to show my next book to readers. TEMPTRESS IN TRAINING comes out July 5th and I can’t wait to introduce people to my latest heroine, Sophie Darshaw. And guess what? She’s a seamstress! I found a way to incorporate my sewing interest into my writing. But OMG, some of the stuff
Sophie sews… woo baby, steaming hot! The cynical and secretive Lord Lindley gets a few surprises when he starts digging into Sophie’s work.
Sorry, folks, I won’t be modeling any of Sophie’s remarkable creations. But I did get my daughter to model one of my Regency gowns. Isn’t my sweet Joy just darling? She has to wait a few years before she’s allowed to read my books, though.
So what gets your creative juices flowing? Are you a seamstress, or a fabulous cupcake maker? Tell me about your artsy/craftsy passions and I’ll put your name in a drawing for a copy of TEMPTRESS IN TRAINING, hot off the presses. And if you’d like to read an excerpt of TEMPTRESS IN TRAINING, visit my blog at www.susangh.com.