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BBB Awards in Dallas

September 14, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as

Enjoy a video clip of the Book Buyers Best Awards!

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The Spicy Contessa

September 12, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as

From podcast goddess to contessa, ah, such is the life of an erotic fiction writer!

Most of you know me as the podcast producer for OCC. I’ll let you in on a secret–I’m also The Spicy Contessa. Okay, so I’m not a real contessa, but I sure felt like it when I snapped this picture wearing this gorgeous mask in the Piazza di San Marco on my recent trip to Venice, Italy.

I’ve learned a lot researching over the years and I thought it would be fun to start a blog talking about the backstory, cool facts, and interesting observations I’ve made about writing erotic fiction.
Come with me, The Spicy Contessa, as I take you around the world when we go “behind the scenes” of the wild and raucous world of writing erotic fiction. Venice, Paris, Rome…discover the story behind the books. We all know the research can be stimulating…it’s also fascinating.
I have two entries up on my blog: The Pretty Women of Paris (19th century brothels) and What’s in a name. A by any other name is…

I’ve also started a Yahoo Group so you can be notified about my blog updates: Join my Yahoo Group for updates to my Spicy Contessa blog
Or you can check out my blog and subscribe to it on my Naughty Paris MySpace Page!

Until next time…

Ciao, ciao,
Jina

Naughty Paris
The Blonde Geisha
Coming in 2008: Spies, Lies and Naked Thighs
Tokyo Rendezvous — November Spice Brief

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THINGS THAT MAKE ME GO MMMRUH!

September 10, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as

Help!

by

Geralyn Ruane

In High School Musical 2, (mmmruh!) blonde teen queen Sharpay tells Troy, “We can all hold hands around the campfire later! Right now we have a show to do!” But Troy chooses decency to his friends over fame and fortune with her.

Gosh, I wish everyone were like Troy Bolton!

Because I don’t think we can wait until later to be nice. The world is going to hell in a friggin’ huge shopping cart NOW. Know what I mean? Can you feel it? A bloody quest for nothing noble. An election with no hero on the horizon. A bridge that collapsed because nobody bothered. Sports records broken by cheaters. Animal cruelty defended as status quo. Another year another size. That rejection letter in the mailbox. Everything is so messed up, and I can’t fix it all! Neither can you.

But I can help. And so can you.

All we have to do is be nice. Seriously. Just because living history throbs with the cadence of “Screw or be screwed, screw or be screwed,” doesn’t mean I have to march to it. And neither do you.

Help whenever you can. However you can. Some people look at the big picture and drive hybrid cars or picket on behalf of neglected Katrina survivors. But it doesn’t even take that much energy. Be friendly to the waiter even after he forgets the garlic bread AND the ketchup. Let the over-processed diva who thinks the world revolves around her go before you in the checkout line just so she doesn’t bite off the cashier’s head. Get out of the handicapped stall right quick when somebody disabled comes into the restroom. Don’t flip off the jerk who nearly side-swipes you. Give the one-armed guy offering to wash your windshield a buck or two. After all, how can he shoot heroin with only one arm?

A homeless guy I met last February refused the soup and sandwiches I’d brought him saying he had food already. He told me to go to the park and give the food to the homeless folks there. Gotta say, there’s a wrenching kind of clarity in a man with no shoes telling me to go help others.

A few weeks ago, as my guy and I were changing the tire to our twenty year-old tank of a car, the jack slipped.

Rrrrrr!

A truck screeched to a halt, two men jumped out to help us catch the car. Thanks to them, the whole shebang didn’t crash to the ground in a tireless crunch of sparking metal.

Mmmruh! They saved us! For no other reason than that they were THERE and they COULD! Do I think these two guys helping us was some sort of karmic payback for the blankets we’ve given homeless people or for stray cats we’ve fed? Does what goes around, come around?

Doubt it. I don’t think the cosmos is that fair. But at least each one of us can make the world GO around. Even if it never swings back our way, at least we can tilt it in the direction we want.

So go ahead. Give it a push.


Geralyn Ruane’s favorite Hardy Boy is whichever one Parker Stevenson played, and these days she writes romance, chick lit and women’s fiction. Last year her short story “Jane Austen Meets the New York Giants” was published in the New York Times Bestselling anthology The Right Words at the Right Time Volume 2.

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AUTHOR INTERVIEW

September 7, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as

JANET QUINN’s Life Balancing Act

Janet Quinn has wanted to be a published author since she was seventeen. Despite the demands of her “other life” as mother, teacher, and active OCC volunteer, she’s managed to accomplish her goal and garner ten sales to her credit.

Q. Janet, you are one busy lady. I know that you work as a Director of Education, are a mother of three boys, an active member of OCC, and you still find time to write. Can you give us some idea of how you manage all this so well?

A. Luckily my sons are grown and don’t take a lot of time now, though all three of them are living with me again. My youngest does most of the cooking, shopping and housework, which helps. I only work a 30 hour week, which is more than enough. When I get home at 5 p.m. on Thursdays,I become a writer instead of the Director of Ed for Sylvan. Thursday night through Sunday night I write and do promotion. I usually write during the afternoon and evenings since the boys go out and it’s just me and Chewbacca, the dog. He likes to help me write. He thinks if I’m at the computer, I must want to play ball.

Q. Do you ever have trouble keeping up with it all?

A. Yes, sometimes I don’t manage so well. There are days I just sit on the couch and watch TV or read a book. Then the next day I’m back at it. Everyone is allowed days when they can’t cope and I figure I’m allowed a couple a month.

Q. I agree! I personally take several! Looking back, is there anything you wish you’d done differently after publishing that first book?

A. I’ve always wished my first editor and I had a better relationship. I’ve had a couple of agents I wished I’d never hired. Otherwise, I’m pretty happy with what I’ve managed to accomplish.

Q. You should be. So what’s the best writing advice you ever received?

A. Sit my backside in the chair and finish the book.

Q. Yeah, sitting is good; finishing the book is even better. But what inspires you to get past the hard times?

A. My sons inspire me. They have always been very supportive. My middle one said to me once, “I tell everyone you’re a writer. It would be nice it you sold something.” A week later I sold my first book. A lot of my inspiration also comes from within. I love telling stories. I always have since I learned to talk and I just can’t imagine not putting them down.

Q. I know that THE KILTED GOVERNESS is available now, and you’ve sold a contemporary
that should follow soon. So what can we expect to see from you after that?

A. I have a witch book and an alternative universe book I’m working on. Those are both fun, though the alternative universe is a challenge to make it different than a fantasy. I’m also working on a sequel to THE RIVER’S TREASURE which is my first sequel and an underground railroad story. I think I’m moving more to the fantasy side because I find it so much fun to create worlds where my rules are the only ones that count.

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Available now by Janet Quinn at her website: www.janet-quinn.com

WHISKEY SHOTS Vol 7 from Whiskey Creek Press,
WILD HONEY

Available from Whiskey Creek Press
THE IRISH COUNTESS, THE LUCKY LADY and A MOMENT IN TIME

Available at Amber Quill Press
THE KILTED GOVERNESS, ARROW OF THE HEART and THE RIVER’S TREASURE

*********************************************************

(Sandy Novy-Chvostal aka Sandra Paul loves interviewing OCC’s talented authors. To read more of her interview with Janet–and to learn Janet’s thoughts on writing for e-publishers compared to a traditional house, check out the OCC interview in the September ’07 issue of the Orange Blossom.)

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Advice to Myself as a Newbie Author

September 5, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as

by Rebecca Forster

Here’s the truth: every book you write will feel like the first one, every day you face a blank computer screen you will feel like an amateur, every minute you spend waiting to hear from an editor or agent will leave you second guessing your experience, your talent, your purpose and your creativity.

If this doesnt scare you, then congratulations and welcome to the writer’s club. You are doing what almost everyone in the world dreams of and you’re doing it despite naysayers and, sometimes, your own self doubt. The first step is a heady, marvelous, challenging moment – one you’re destined to take many times over in the course of your creative career.

As I write this, I am sitting in my favorite writing spot – a coffee shop overflowing with Salvation Army furniture, an eclectic clientèle, and spotty Internet access – hoping to I will hear good news from my agent. While I wait, my brain is pinging between the project that is finished but not sold, another one that is in the proposal stage, the zygote of a new idea, housework undone, bills that need to be paid, kids in college and a weekend away with my husband. Nothing is really getting done and it’s time for me to ground myself yet again.

I have published twenty books in three genres and even enjoyed a flash-bang moment of bestseller status. I have taught writing at university extension programs and been engaged for hundreds of speaking engagements. Most days, though, I feel as green as Al Gore. In analyzing myself and my work I find I am a creative schizophrenic. I have a short attention span but can work for twelve hours editing a manuscript without lifting my head, I am instantly energized and just as quickly disheartened, I am impatient yet can wait like a loyal dog to hear from an editor, I am creative but have to work hard to sustain that creativity.

In the final analysis, I am like every other new or experienced author. We are all newbies because of the nature of the beast we are trying to tame. Publishing and reading fashion are ever changing, editors are in constant flux, new media competes for a consumer’s disposable dollars and booksellers struggle. Knowing all this I must remind myself to relentlessly reengage as a writer, businesswoman, promoter and thoughtful craftsperson. Daily I search for that focused place that will allow me to write effectively. I walk the fine line between taking comfort in past success and worrying about future rejection.

And so, I give counsel myself. Usually this advice is predicated by a swift kick to my emotional rear: self-pity is equally as dangerous as blind faith in my own brilliance. For what it’s worth, my advice to myself as a newbie is the same advice I give to myself as a published author. It works for me, perhaps one or two suggestions will work for you.

1. Write with abandon; edit with discipline and objectivity

2. Acknowledge your talent and develop your writing intelligence. Talent will get you started; intelligence will move you forward.

3. Find one person with an honest, consistent voice who will tell you the truth about your work. Often this is a reader, not a writer.

4. Listen to your critique group but go with your gut. Logic beats emotion. You can’t please everyone. Give weight to #3.

5. Rejection letters are the Mother Lode. Mine them for every bit of of actionable information.

6. Never, ever get angry with an editor. They want you to succeed. They have neither the time nor inclination to reject you just for fun.

7. When you are completely blocked go play tennis or golf or garden or quilt. Do something physical and forget about writing for a day, a month, a year. The spark will come back.

8. Learn the business. All of it. Publishing, bookselling, public relations, public speaking, contracts and finances. Relate all information to your creative effort.

9. Celebrate a contract with your family first then with your writing buddies.

10. Thank people who help you and ask for help when you need it.


Best wishes for good writing and successful selling.

Rebecca Forster
http://www.rebeccaforster.com/
HOSTILE WITNESS
SILENT WITNESS
PRIVILEGED WITNESS

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