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Werewolves and Hawks and Cougars, Oh, My!

August 6, 2011 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston tagged as , ,
by Linda O Johnston

I’m just ending a spree of writing and/or editing three different stories in my Alpha Force miniseries for Harlequin Nocturne, all with deadlines within three weeks of one another. Not only that, but I was traveling in the middle of it all. Fun, but grueling at times!

What precipitated this? Well, I already had a deadline for my fourth Alpha Force full-length book pending at the beginning of August. Alpha Force is a covert military force of shapeshifters which I created for Nocturne–Harlequin’s paranormal romance series. All of my full-length Alpha Force Nocturnes feature shapeshifters who are werewolves.

I also had two Alpha Force Nocturne Bites pending–what I refer to as e-novellas, since they are shorter than the full length Nocturnes and available only on line (except if later printed in an anthology like my first, CLAWS OF THE LYNX, was). In the Bites, I include shapeshifters who can change into other kinds of animals.

I had turned in the manuscript for my second Bites, HAWK’S CHALLENGE, but since it’s an October release my edits were pending… and I received initial ones the week before I left on a family vacation–a Caribbean cruise. The completed edits were sent while I was at sea, and although I had Internet access I wasn’t able to download them. Fortunately, the additional changes didn’t require much input, but I had to turn around the edits I’d already received in a day’s time–while onboard! I was happy to learn that, though I couldn’t download attachments, my editor could download the ones I sent to her.

I had completed a manuscript for my next full-length Nocturne (title still pending) but needed to finish editing it to send it off soon after I returned home. As a result, I was still editing it on the trip.

And… I had an entire Bites to write while traveling! My deadline was supposed to have been next year. However, Harlequin is ending the Bites line and replacing it with the new Nocturne Cravings line. I’d learned that at RWA National but was initially told that my deadline wouldn’t change. However, it did! My final Bites, COUGAR’S CONQUEST, is now scheduled for publication in November 2011, the month after HAWK’S CHALLENGE.

So, yes, I was writing COUGAR’S CONQUEST while traveling. Since Bites aren’t too long, I felt I could do it–but I hit a snag when I lost an entire chapter by accidentally saving something else over it. I rewrote it after dinner that same day… a very long day, I might add. I’m just about to send in that manuscript after completing and editing it.

Oh, and by the way–my third full-length Alpha Force Nocturne, GUARDIAN WOLF, just happens to be an August release…

Do deadlines sometimes drive you nuts? Do you enjoy them as much as I do anyway?

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RWA National Conference–A Fun Event!

July 6, 2011 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston, Writing Conferences tagged as , ,

by Linda O. Johnston

I was one of the 2,000+ attendees at the Romance Writers of America National Conference last week. It was held at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City, and the theme was Bright Lights, Big Stories. That was the saying that appeared on the tote bags we were handed upon registration–filled with the conference’s program, a thumb drive with handouts, a fill-it-in-yourself conference calendar, and lots of books!

I understand that this month’s program at OCC will be a recap of conference highlights. Unfortunately, I’m unlikely to be there, although I’m not sure how much actual information I’d be able to contribute anyway. I spent most of my time networking more than attending workshops or other events. But there’s a lot of value in that, and I’m delighted that I was there. I saw lots of writers I already know and met many more. I spoke with people who buy and promote books professionally and by word of mouth. I went to lunch with industry professionals who affect my career, and attended parties including the ones thrown by Berkley and Harlequin.

One very helpful event was Harlequin’s Digital Day. I obviously blog, and I also belong to Facebook, but I’ve been avoiding Twitter. I took lessons on how to sign up, though. I’ll probably give in and join it one of these days.

Then there was the librarians’ and booksellers’ event, where I networked with some of those pros and distributed handouts for both kinds of my books–my Alpha Force miniseries about covert military shapeshifters, for Harlequin Nocturne, as well as my Pet Rescue Mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime. The Literacy Signing was huge, and I also sold both genres of my books to benefit literacy.

There is a lot going on in our industry, as you undoubtedly know. Smaller publishers and e-publishing are on the rise. Traditional publishers recognize that and seem to be adapting, or at least trying to.

What will the publishing industry be like in one year? Five? No one really knows, although a lot of opinions are being expressed.

Meantime, I’ll keep on writing and try to make sure my career continues to adapt, too! Attending conferences like this one should give me some insights about how to keep it fresh.

As you probably know, the RWA National Conference will be in Anaheim next year–much easier for those of us who live in Southern California to get to. I’ll be there. Will you?

Linda’s Alpha Force miniseries from Harlequin Nocturne continues with GUARDIAN WOLF, an August 2011 release. The Pet Rescue Mysteries spinoff from her Kendra Ballantyne Pet-Sitter mystery series will continue in October 2011 with THE MORE THE TERRIER. And of course, BEAGLEMANIA is still available.   Visit Linda at Linda O Johnston 

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Reader Events Rock!

May 6, 2011 by in category Events, Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston, Reading tagged as , ,

by Linda O Johnston

I just returned home from a trip east to attend three wonderful events for readers and writers.

The first was Malice Domestic, for fans and writers of traditional, cozy mysteries. I did my first Malice Go Round, which is speed-dating for fans. Lots of authors in groups of two visit about 20 tables packed with fans and told them all about their respective series in two minutes or less each. Exhausting! But definitely fun.

I attended panels and meetings and dinners at Malice, and was also on a panel called Tales with Tails with other authors whose stories involve animals. It was all delightful!

Then it was time to head for Oakmont, Pennsylvania, outside Pittsburgh, for the Festival of Mystery presented annually by the Mystery Lovers Bookshop.

Before the actual Festival was the librarians’ tea. It was really enjoyable meeting librarians and book club members there–with lots of goodies to eat, too. My mouth was usually too busy chatting to eat much, though.

And the Festival? What an amazing event! About 50 authors were delightfully swarmed by lots of fans in book-buying mode. We got to introduce ourselves and chat with readers and sign a bunch of books, and all this in a town that’s out of the mainstream–which means that many people had to come a distance to attend.

Didn’t hurt that I still have family in Pittsburgh. I got to see my father and aunt while I was there.

So now I’m looking forward even more to RWA National. How about you?

Have you read the new Lauren Vancouver, Pet Rescuer series? The first book BEAGLEMANIA was released in March 2011. It’s a spin-off from the Kendra series, and Lauren was introduced in HOWL DEADLY.

Linda O. Johnston

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The Writing Life…

April 6, 2011 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston tagged as , ,

… is busy!

And it’s not just book deadlines that are driving me nuts these days. I’ve taken on blog guest appearances in addition to my weekly post on Killer Hobbies and my monthly post here at A Slice of Orange.

Plus, I’ve thrown myself into pet rescue after all the research I’ve done and continue to do for my new Pet Rescue Mystery series, which started in March with BEAGLEMANIA. I volunteer weekly as a dog adoption counselor at a local private shelter, plus I’ve become the L.A. Pet Rescue Examiner. I have to admit that I haven’t been posting articles for the Examiner as often as I’d like, but I hope to remedy that–and in the meantime I’m collecting some good stuff to talk about there.

Berkley Prime Crime

Linda O! Johnston

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Missing OCC

March 6, 2011 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston tagged as , ,

by Linda O Johnston

I miss OCC.

I haven’t been able to attend a meeting for a while, and still won’t get there till May at the earliest. Sigh.


Well, in January I had another commitment, and in February I couldn’t get there because I was in the middle of frantically trying to meet a deadline. Plus, I was–and am still–dealing with a lot of time-consuming promotion for my new Pet Rescue Mystery series that debuted on March 1 with BEAGLEMANIA.

I won’t be there this month, either, because of a signing I’ve got lined up. In fact, I have a lot of signings scheduled. I had two last week, one at the grand reopening of the Flintridge Bookstore, and a launch party for BEAGLEMANIA at Mystery Ink in Huntington Beach. My signing on March 12, the date of the next OCC meeting, is at Mysteries to Die For in Thousand Oaks. Coming up are signings on March 19 at Vroman’s in Pasadena, and at Bookstar in Studio City on March 26. (My name is already in lights there! Bookstar is a former theater and keeps its marquee going to publicize events.)

Berkley Prime Crime

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