The hot, lazy days of summer heated up last month when Harlequin editors, Gail Chasan and Malle Vallik came to speak at our August OCC meeting.
I was especially thrilled to see Malle Vallik. I’ll never forget the excitement racing through me when I found out that Malle wanted my NAKED SUSHI novella for the new Cosmo Red-Hot Read line from Harlequin. Not only did the Harlequin team have to approve each manuscript, but also the team from Cosmopolitan. This was a story I loved because I used my own experiences producing video podcasts as well as working for a computer magazine and a video game company to create her character.
A selfie of Malle and me — somehow the OCC Chapter sign got reversed when I put it up on Instagram.
In Naked Sushi, Pepper O’Malley is a tech-head but under that flannel shirt, she’s just itchin’ to find the right guy and fall in love. And she wants to be a spy:
Here’s the cover copy:
One day I’m getting canned from my job as a computer programmer for having wild copy-room sex with a guy I thought was the new game designer. The next, I’m crashing my ex-boss’s business lunch in a creative attempt to get my job back and men are eating sushi off my naked body!
Here’s a fun Instagram video I made with the opening lines from Naked Sushi:
Coming in October 2013 from Cosmo Red-Hot Reads from Harlequin:
Copyright Â© 2013 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
Cover copy text used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited.
Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A. Cover art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited. All rights reserved.
By the time my post is up, OCC will have passed the 30 year mark. I can only imagine the whisperings and giggling and story plotting filling the hallways at the Embassy Suites this past weekend. How many bestsellers were born that weekend, we’ll never know.
How many lifelong friendships were born, well, that’s something we do know.
If you’re a member of OCC and/or a reader of this blog, then you’ve got friends. I’ve never known a more supportive group willing to share ideas, information and a hug when needed.
Now that the publishing business is in such a flux, it’s more important than ever to share ideas, whether it’s looking for a NY publisher to self-publishing. We will continue to encourage each other to follow our dreams because that’s what we do at OCC.
That’s what friends are for.
Whether it’s helping each other through a rejection (we all get them) or celebrating with a red or pink or white rose, we’re here for you.
Even when you can’t attend the meetings, the OCC newsletter is filled with encouragement and practical information for everyone from the pre-published to the published to the self-pubbed.
No one knows how all this change will work out, but one thing we do know: from print books to e-books to whatever the future will bring, OCC will always be there for its members.
I’m proud to be a member of OCC.
A bit of nostalgia: Here’s a photo I snapped at OCC’s 25th Birthday party showing our newsletters throughout the years:
by Jenny Hansen
Technology has been a fluffy happy kitten for some of my friends and a scary jaw-snapping lion for others. Everyone knows itâ€™s here to stay but that doesnâ€™t mean it’s gonna be their Happy Place.
Last week, I saw an email from one of my blogging pals at 3:30 am because sheâ€™d set an alarm TO POST A BLOG. After fighting a migraine the day before. Iâ€™ll tell you what I told her: I don’t ever want to hear that any of us got up at an obscene time to post a blog!
For the love of your sleep (which is golden to me as a new mom) and your stress level in general, please schedule your posts!
If you are shaking your head and wondering what Iâ€™m talking about, read on my happy friend, read on. You’re about to get a whole lot more sleep. 🙂
Below are the instructions for how to do this in the two most popular blog hosting platforms: Blogger/Blogspot (which is what OCC’s blog uses) and WordPress. (If youâ€™ve got great tips or links for any of the others platforms not mentioned here, please post them in the comments.)
From the Blogger Dashboard, click the New Post button. You will be on the New Post screen on the Posting tab.
This screen is where you add text, format, insert Hyperlinks (the button with a globe and a chain link). Below is the Hyperlink screen, which Iâ€™m including by request.
At the bottom of the New Post window, you will see Post Options underlined in blue. Click this link to show the extra window detail seen below. This is the area where you can schedule your blog (Marianne, our webmistress, is blessing me right now) and label or tag it for search engine optimization. (Think Google results.)
When you are finished with your changes, click the Publish Post button and this blog will be shown in your list of scheduled posts.
All the screenshots above were done on the old post editor for Blogger (since thatâ€™s what I use at work). For the new post editor, click this link. There are several improvements, particularly with the handling of images. I might have to lobby for an upgrade…
To enable the new editor, first navigate to your blog’s Settings Basic tab. Near the bottom of the page you will see a field called Select Post Editor, and from there you simply need to select Updated Editor and save your settings.
Log in to your site and go to the Dashboard â€“ thereâ€™s typically a toolbar at the top of the screen with a button that says, My Blog. When you click it, a dropdown menu appears â€“ the word Dashboard will be at the top. All the magic is in the Dashboard â€“ Settings, Posts, Widgets, etc. â€“ this is a place to spend time exploring.
To schedule a New Post:
In the toolbar above (to the right of Jenny Hansenâ€™s Blog), there is a button that says â€œNew Postâ€ or you can look on the navigation bar on the left side of the screen. You will see the word Posts and below that is Add New (you might have to click Posts to open this menu).
Go to the Add Post button to get to the Add New Post screen (shown left).
On the right side of the screen, just above the Publish button (which changes to say â€œUpdateâ€ once youâ€™ve published), you will see the word “Immediately.”
Note: If you don’t click OK, this will revert back to “Immediately.”
If you have the Publicize feature turned on in WordPress, an update will be pushed out to the Twitter and Facebook accounts of your choice. You may edit the Twitter/Facebook content by clicking the Edit link next to the accounts that youâ€™re Publicizing. Again, this is just above the Publish button. I also add Tags to my posts to make them come up in more search engine results â€“ this is located down the right side of the screen.
Click the Publish/Update button at the end of all your edits in order to post the blog.
Other cool Techie blogs:
Are You A Learning Addict? by Jami Gold
WordPress Plug-ins at Dear Author â€“ tweeted by Elizabeth Spann Craig (if you are a writer and havenâ€™t found Elizabeth on Twitter yet – @elizabethscraig â€“ you are missing outâ€¦her Tweets are legendary!)
Blogger For Dummies â€“ has all sorts of articles for Blogger websites
Keyboard shortcuts while posting in Blogger
Scheduling your posts lets you add three or four posts at a time and get ahead. I think itâ€™s one of the best features available in both these blogging platforms.
What do you love or hate about posting your blog? Tired bloggers want to know! If you aren’t blogging at all, what made you decide to bypass it?
Jenny Hansen fills her nights with humor, writing memoir, womenâ€™s fiction, chick lit and short stories (and walking the floor with her new baby girl). By day, Jenny coordinates training for two accounting firms. After 15 years as a corporate software trainer, itâ€™s nice for her to be able to sit down while she works.
Stay tuned each month for Jenny’s blogs on software, computer how-tos, new parenthood and the latest works in progress. The rest of the time you can find her on Twitter at jhansenwrites, over on the Writers In The Storm blog or on her own blog at http://jennyhansenauthor.wordpress.com.