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Things That Make Me Go Mmmruh

February 13, 2013 by in category Archives tagged as , , , , , , , , , ,
Cover Me
GVR Corcillo

When I decided to self-publish my ground-breaking chic lit masterpiece, She Likes It Rough, I contacted cover design goddess Lex Valentine of Winterheart Design. I commissioned my cover and explained through email, in excruciating detail, just what I wanted. A pretty do-able cover, I figured, made of inexpensive photographic images. In less than twenty-four hours, she emailed me back a cover that – horror of horrors! – was EXACTLY what I’d described. But it didn’t make my heart sing. It was the cover I’d asked for, but not the cover I’d dreamt of. I hadn’t requested the illustrated cover I’d been imagining for months because I figured that my vibrant, wild ideas would be impossible. And who was I, mere unpublished writer, to reach for such heights off mad fancy? So I asked for what I thought I could get, what I thought I deserved. And I got it. 

But some survival instinct in me bucked at my willingness to sell myself short without even trying. I deep down wanted an illustration that would convey the sexy and off-kilter humor of a story about urban scaredy-cat Lisa Flyte trying to find her backbone by teaming up with aloof adrenaline junkie Jack Hawkins. They go on white-knuckle adventures out in the wild in order to make her brave. But what happens in the wild doesn’t stay in the wild, at least not for Lisa, who starts to fall for Jack. Will what she learns on her escapades give her the courage to go after him? Come to think of it, would I have the guts to pursue what I most desperately wanted? I had to bite the bullet and go for my dream cover. I commissioned a new cover from Lex, and this time I told her my ideas. We both scoured available images for days, but we found nothing that would satisfy me. 

Then she told me about Annicka.

Lex’s daughter, digital artist Annicka Rietveld, code name Brosephiine, has a lot of her artwork posted on deviantart.com if I wanted to check it out and see whether I liked her style. If I did, she would put me in touch with Annicka and we would see what we could work out. I loved Annicka’s illustrations and her style. Her women were sexy, flirty, and kick-ass. 

Here is what we worked out:

The vivid illustration pulsated with sass and humor beyond my most daring imaginings. The details of the artwork blew me away. The lining of the shoe? Wonderful! I’d told Annicka that Lisa Flyte, the heroine of my story, has brown eyes with blue-green flecks. And sure enough, her eyes are brown with blue–green flecks! And the combo of the cover’s colors – sky blue contrasting with deep brown, accented with red and a little green – it just pops! Once the illustration was magnificently complete, I sent the artwork and all the cover info to Lex so she could design the cover. Here is what she sent back: 

You know, they say writing can be a very isolated profession. But putting this book together was anything but an act perpetrated in solitary confinement. I had the chance to work with two incredibly gifted and professional artists, who brought both my book, and me, to a higher level. I needed to not only believe that I was a writer, but I needed to be a writer. Putting this gorgeous cover on my book made me feel just and powerful, like Tony Stark (played by Robert Downey Jr.) putting on the Iron Man suit. Suddenly, I was a professional writer. I could feel it. My professional connections with Annicka Rietveld and Lex Valentine have been integral building blocks as I construct my life as an author. And the beat goes on. I have commissioned Annicka to do some artwork for my website that I’m building and Lex to do advertising bling for me. Creating my first novel has galvanized me to plow into a career in independent publishing. And with the majestic She Likes It Rough as my flagship, full speed ahead!

GVR Corcillo

author of  She Likes It Rough
Just released in trade paperback!

“Jane Austen Meets the New York Giants”

Queen of the Universe coming this Fall

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Things That Make Me Go Mmmruh!

June 17, 2012 by in category Archives tagged as , , , , , , ,

Dog on the Roof

Blog by
GVR Corcillo

In two days, June 19th, Simon and Schuster/Touchstone will release Dog on the Roof: On the Road with Mitt and the Mutt by  political satirists Bruce Kluger and David Slavin. 

Bruce, my friend and sensei of sorts, snuck me a few pages of the book, and I have to say, I laughed my butt off. The verse, the pictures, the wit…and the dog! Seamus, with his spot-on observations and yearnings, will jump on you with both paws, lick you in the face, and have you laughing uncontrollably. 

But even more amazing than the book itself is the galvanizing story of its whirlwind creation. In January, Bruce and his writing partner, David Slavin, both regular contributers to NPR’s All Things Considered, decided to write a satirical book designed to come out during the height of the presidential campaign season. But they wanted to do it right. I mean, really right. So, as if the goddess Nike were their muse, they just…did it. No fussing, no fretting. They just got to work.

They pulled a few  bestselling satirical books off the shelf to study all the components that made them hits — from length to format to illustrations. Then they buckled down and wrote their sharp and clever fuax children’s book that gets its humor from a universally felt truth. Dog on the Roof’s truth? It sucks to be strapped to the roof of a car! That’s moving! 

Dog on the Roof‘s deeper truth for us writers? If you want it, just do it. Mmmruh!

So, I decided to do it. Publish my own book, that is. No more acting like a dog on the roof for me, waiting for someone else (such as an agent or publisher) to set me free, give me what I need, and make me happy. Thanks to the trailblazing bravery of so many OCC authors, I am self publishing my humorous women’s fiction novel She Likes It Rough this summer. Can wild outdoor adventures with an adrenaline junkie give an insecure city girl the backbone she needs in order to make her humdrum life count for something? We’ll soon see. 

But first, check out Dog on the Roofhttp://brucekluger.com/BOOKS.html

GVR Corcillo, the artist formerly known as Geralyn Ruane

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Things That Make Me Go Mmmruh!

May 8, 2012 by in category Things That Make Me Go Mmmrrh . . . by Geralyn Corcillo tagged as , , , , , , ,

I Like to Watch 

by Geralyn Ruane

As gardener Chance innocently notes in 1979’s Being There, written by Jerzy Kosinski, “I like to watch.” Like me, he is referring to watching TV. 

Specifically, I like to watch romance. A few days ago, Barb and Jann blogged about what writers read while working on works in progress. For me, it’s more about what I’m watching. And I know I am not alone. 

Take, for instance, ABC’s Castle, created by Andrew W. Marlowe. I hear romance writers refer to this Nathan Fillion treat pretty frequently. The show reminds me of one of my eighties favorites, Remington Steele, co-created by Robert Butler and Michael Gleason,  with its by-the-book crime fighter and charming rascal of a sidekick motif. Despite Castle‘s silliness, or maybe because of it, the light cop drama keeps me hooked. So, don’t miss tonight’s Season Finale. As they do at the end of every season, the writers bring up Kate’s mother’s murder. But I’m really hoping that this year, Kate and Castle finally get together. And on screen, if you don’t mind! I cannot stand it when a show builds sexual and romantic tension all year or over several years, only to have the two characters finally unite during summer hiatus! (See The Office and the second time around for Doug and Carol on ER.)

This week is also the premiere of Masterpiece Mysteries Season Two of Sherlock, the tales of the adventures of Holmes and Watson in 2012 London. An alternate title could be Sherlock Holmes Meets The Internet.The show fascinates, galvanizes, and positively tickles. And, as February Afternoon Speaker Jennifer Ashley pointed out, Sherlock is an amazing creation to watch for tips on how to make a character unforgettable. And yes, Jennifer Ashley specifically referred to this modern Sherlock, recreated by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat and played by Benedict Cumberbatch. Martin Freeman’s Watson is equally awesome. This week’s episode, A Scandal in Belgravia, is fraught with sexual tension and unequalled in the series for its sheer brilliance.

For a more classic romance, Masterpiece Classic recently aired Birdsong, based on the novel by Sebastian Faulks and written for the screen by Sebastian Faulks and Abi Morgan. While in the trenches, a British soldier in World War I remembers his pre-war affair, and one day while on leave in a small town in France, he catches up with the life he left behind. What begins as a lush tale of romance juxtaposed with the heart-searing agony of warfare evolves into a profound story about life, death, love, camaraderie, and hope.

And if you are ever in the mood to “watch a contemporary romance novel,” one both delightful and satisfying, check out Chad Hodge’s I Want to Marry Ryan Banks, a television movie gem starring Jason Priestly, Emma Caulfield, and Bradley Cooper. A down to earth bookstore owner gets pushed into starring on a reality show that will determine which lucky contestant is to be the bride of gorgeous movie star Ryan Banks. The movie is light, romantic, sexy (but no sex), and fun, as our girl-next-door heroine finds answers and true love in the most unexpected places. 

Watching romance delights me, inspires me, and makes me consider options.

What have you watched lately? And what does it do for you?

Geralyn Ruane has been avidly watching television since she was very young.


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Things That Make Me Go Mmmruh!

April 8, 2012 by in category Columns tagged as
If a Blog Fell in the Forest…
“Just as long as we have we!” – Dr. Seuss and Albert Hague
In OCC lurks great power, but we do not harness it, nor do we wield it.
We have 175 members, 110 published authors, and myriad experts on everything from computer technostuff to cover design to contracts to self-publishing. And what makes the whole of OCC so much stronger than the sum of these amazing parts? Our interconnectedness, our willingness to share and communicate. So…our A Slice of Orange Blog should rock much more than it does.
We have the power to make A Slice of Orange grow into a cornucopia of talent, resource, tidbits, and discussion that romance readers and writers will consume voraciously. But when many of our published authors have a book coming out, they guest blog somewhere else. And many of our experts have their own blogs, and they ask OCC members to go there to read a good blog. Can we bring some of this love home to OCC? I think we can, and when we do, A Slice of Orange will be so much mightier than the sum of its parts.
-If you have your own blog, perhaps you can pick a blog day on A Slice of Orange (Marianne Donley has the master list of available blog dates mariannedonley@gmail.com). Then, on that day, on your own blog, instead of blogging, you can have a link to A Slice of Orange where your blog will appear that day.
-If you are a published author, you can blog about your upcoming book and add charming stories. Check out Jina Bacarr’s recent Titanic blogs.
-You can feature your upcoming book and add tidbits from your personal life. Check out Janet Cornelow’s latest blog. That is the kind of stuff reader’s LOVE! To feel they KNOW an author!
-Linda O. Johnston and Monica Stoner provide insight into the life of a writer – pure gold to fledgling writers tying to get to know the biz.
-Rebecca Forster’s recent blog on characters and Barb DeLong’s conversations with Jann Audiss offer such fodder for readers and writers alike to talk about the things readers and writers love to discuss!
-Louisa Bacio’s and Kitty Bucholtz’s blogs are always choc full of info info info about everything that a writer would want to know about. Calls for Submissions, details about self publishing, reading recommendations and more and more and more…
We need more participation to make A Slice of Orange as strong as it has the potential to be. And not just writing the blogs. Do you read the blogs? Comment! Check those boxes at the bottom if you found it interesting or funny or cool or great! Do you write blogs? Comment back – get discussions going. I think it would be great if the commenters even got into discussions with each other. For instance, today Laura Drake posted a link to a great blog by Larry Brooks, Storyfix. I looked 10 minutes ago, and he had 44 comments – I want that kind of interaction on A Slice of Orange!
Are you too busy to blog? You can pitch in by reading the blogs, checking the boxes, and commenting! We can all share and build our collective strength.
Why would this be such a great thing?
-A popular blog home base where you can publicize an upcoming release could be very useful – so the bigger our readership, the better.
-If you are self published and you blog about your book on our widely read blog, the more books you will sell.
-If you are not yet published, you can fortify your profile as a potential author who can sell her or his name by showing that you are a regular blogger on a popular blog.
-If you write your own blog, having it linked to such a strong hub can only increase your readership.
-If you are writer who feels unconnected, isolated or clueless, you can tune in to read about and chat with writers who love to share.
-If you are a reader, you can peek inside the world you love so much and get a heads up about what books are coming soon from some of your favorite authors. Or you might discover new favorites.
-Anyone in OCC can blog. Send Marianne Donley a request.
-Everyone in OCC and beyond can read and comment and discuss. But it has to start with us.
We need more OCC members writing, reading, commenting, commenting back, commenting back and forth, and telling others about our blogs in order to drive A Slice of Orange to its fierce destiny!
And even though many blogs are up for only a day before the next blog goes up, remember, the blogs don’t go anywhere! You just have to scroll down and you can keep the conversation going. For my Davy Jones blog, I was commenting back and forth for 4 days, even though Kitty’s blog posted above mine on day 2. And yes, I shamelessly asked some of you to read my blog and please comment so I could light a fire under my blog, and this flurry of comments brought in 8 unsolicited comments – but I want us all to have more than 8 every time! If we check in on the blogs and scroll through and comment and keep checking and commenting back, we can really get something going.
In OCC beats the power of its incredible membership. We need to harness and wield this power for the good of our careers. Unleashing such power will also enhance the vivacity and might of the romance community of readers and writers. And gleaning power from love and from loving what we do is good for everyone.
Please, let’s discuss. Let’s make this happen. All comments, pros and cons, will be welcomed, considered and discussed! And I hope we all discuss: commenters with me and commenters with other commenters.
Where better to discuss blogging than in a blog?
-Geralyn Ruane
To check out Geralyn’s other OCC posts:

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Things That Make Me Go Mmmruh!

March 7, 2012 by in category Archives tagged as ,

The Essence of an Idol

You once thought of me

As a white knight on his steed

Now you know how happy I can be…

I never watched The Monkees, not even one episode. Ever. But on the evening of February 29, a weird thing happened to me. I was driving when the radio announced the sudden death of Davy Jones. The Monkee, I knew that much. Huh, he died? Then NPR played a snippet of one of his songs, and this voice, so young, so adorable, wafted through my dark car. Suddenly, I was choked with tears. The man behind this fresh young voice, clear as bell, was gone?
That night, curious about my own largely unaccountable grief, I went to the computer and started looking some things up. First, the lyrics to “Daydream Believer,” the tune of which I couldn’t get out of my head.
It’s about a couple.
Composer John Stewart (of Kingston Trio fame) weaves dreamy metaphor into achingly familiar concrete detail to tell a beautiful love story: after the initial surge of romance ebbs and the tedium of life sets in, what you have left, when you’re with the right person, is everyday happiness.
Since the song got to me so much, I clicked on the Monkees video. And gosh I just fell head over heels in love with Davy Jones, the cute scamp singing about true love and core-deep contentment. His effortless exuberance makes me feel giddy and warm and fuzzy about the love in my life. He reminds me that bills to pay and other annoying obligations can hardly wear down daydream believers such as myself and my white knight. And I could see what his impish performance could do to a young woman: this adorable singer makes each girl listening believe that she could be The One in his life to bring him sweet joy despite anything, no matter what. He cracks open the possibility that such love is possible in anyone’s life.
That’s the essence of an idol: an idol lets you touch the magic – the magic within your own life, within your own soul. Kudos, Davy Jones.
Like moonbeams and the distant echo of a train whistle, idols possess the uncanny ability to make us go mmmruh. How do they do it? Not really sure. But I like the way it feels, this tapping of my deepest emotions.
The essence of an idol – if only we could package it, to take out and savor, again and again, whenever we wanted! But wait – it has been packaged, countless times. Just find that dog-eared copy of your favorite romance novel, and you’ll know what I mean.

-Geralyn Ruane

Lifelong believer in daydreams and idolizer of heartthrobs since 1977.

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