Thursday, August 31, 2006
Now, for lesson number two, I'm covering character archetypes and I need help coming up with the names of authors who best write certain types of characters. This time, I'll put the names of everyone who posts into a hat and draw a winning name. The winner will receive an e-mail $25.00 gift certificate to Barnes and Noble. Just tell me who you think which author personifies the following types of characters in her work and then e-mail me to tell me you want in the drawing.
Top Dog Alpha Hero
The Tortured Hero
The Honorable Warrior
The Daring Adventurer
For the heroines:
The Girl Next Door
The Woman Warrior
The Caring Nurturer
Authors, you can play along too! If you excel at a particular archetype, throw your hat into the ring. You'll get free publicity out of it in my romance course.
Contest is open until September 5th.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Now, if some of you who posted haven't heard from me it's because I'm having trouble with your e-mail addresses. That rotten Damein Mailer person keeps saying you don't exist. So please e-mail me at Loriwilde@aol and tell me where to send your free book. Thanks so much!!! You guys are a real treasure.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Thursday, August 24, 2006
I'm making a foray into teaching. I need the extra income yes, but honestly, I've always imagined that once I learned the basics of writing and publishing that I'd like to teach it. Both my parents were teachers, I've given a few workshops, so I thought I knew what I was getting into.
I discovered something. Creating your own course is almost as difficult as writing fiction. Not quite as difficult because with ficton you've got that dreaded blank page you've got to fill up with stuff right out of your head. But teaching--and doing it well--is a whole other skill set.
Anyway, I'm writing the first lesson which deals with defining what romance is and I discuss the various subgenres. As I was describing what the subgenres were, I realized I needed something more visceral. Something to reach out and grab the throats of these students and make them understand what's so special about romance.
To that end, I'm asking for help from readers.
What are your favorite subgenres of romance to read and why? Which type of book speaks most deeply to you? How has reading romance affected your life? What does it mean to you? And how would you feel if romance novels suddenly disappeared from the shelves?
I'm counting on you guys to help me impart the emotion experience that reading romance gives you. Are you game?
To reward your efforts, everyone who posts in the comments section gets a free book from my backlist. Just post your heartfelt answer, go to my website www.loriwilde.com pick out the book you want from my backlist (one caveat--I have limited supplies of some titles) and pick out the book you want. This offer limited to the first twenty posts. (Yeah, okay, twenty posts you say? Well, a writer can dream, can't she?) Anyway, thanks ahead of time for your particpation!
Sunday, August 20, 2006
While she’s humming in the corner (annoying me to tears), I am busy revising Desire in His Eyes, my Warner book #3, also known as Blake’s story. Most of the story takes place in Brighton, a town made fashionable by the Prince Regent.
The story is set in 1816, before Prinny’s Pavilion is completed.
1816 was also known as “the year without a summer,” because of unseasonably cold weather persisting throughout Europe and North America. Still, Brighton was the place one spent the summer, if one was fashionable. The Castle Inn and the Old Ship Hotel held card parties and assemblies throughout the summer. As I was rewriting a scene at one of these assemblies, I was stumped about how the Master of Ceremonies might start the dancing. Would he announce an old fashioned minuet or the very modern waltz? How about a quadrille or a country dance?
Diane Gaston is tapping me on the shoulder to remind me that I danced Regency dances at the Atlanta Beau Monde soiree (Regency writers RWA chapter) with Joanne Carr, one of her Mills & Boon editors. This was right after the winners of the Booksellers’ Best Awards were announced. She didn’t win that one, I tell her. She huffs and says her The Mysterious Miss M won the Readers Choice Award. “Who cares,” says I. My The Marriage Bargain was a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice nominee, and I also danced Regency dances in the Assembly rooms at Bath, where Jane Austen danced. She reminds me that she was there, too.
Anyway, to find out what dance would open a Regency ball I went to Yahoo and keyed in “Nineteenth Century Dance.” I found a bunch of lovely sites discussing the variety of dances of the time period. I even came upon this wonderful site.
Videoclips of dance from Renaissance to Ragtime!
From the Library of Congress! That’s where my husband works. And my friends Virginia and Helen.
Play the videoclips, especially the early nineteenth century ones! You can actually see dancers performing the steps of the dance. You can also read dance manuals of the various time periods.
This is the stuff that gets me excited about writing historicals. I love to find evidence of how it really was in the Regency!
Of course, I still need to discover which dance should open the ball.
Friday, August 18, 2006
Here I am, sitting at my computer, trying to come up with something witty or intelligent that might capture your attention, yet I'm already imagining you rolling your eyes and snapping your fingers for the waiter to hurry and bring the check.
And then another thought crossed my mind.
What if we Warner Women had a cheat sheet? What if a few of you sympathetic blog frequenters out there would take time to share your definition of what makes a great blog?
This inquiring mind would LOVE to know.
Is it getting inside a writer's head that appeals to you? (A scary thought, since one minute inside my head would probably have you looking around for the Tylenol.)
Or ... are you most interested in our upcoming books? The craft of writing, maybe? Tidbits about our personal lives?
The most important writing relationship authors have is the one we establish with our readers. Romancing the blog gives us a perfect opportunity to take that connection beyond the written page, but it sure would be nice to have a little help from you.
However, to be on the safe side, below is a list of few things I'd rather (ahem) not discuss:
1. Why I write romantic comedy instead of suspense when the suspense market is consistently so HOT - hint: my idea of suspense is waiting to see if my bra strap is going to hold all day without snapping.
2. Sir Isaac Newton's Law of Gravitation - (see NO. 1. above) GOT IT, OKAY!
3. That my husband's eighty-year-old aunt fainted when she read the sexual fantasies in my new August release YOUR BED OR MINE?.
4. That I still have my day job for more than just the "social contact."
5. Why Oprah hasn't chosen any of my books for her book club.
Anything else is pretty much up for grabs.
So, here's your chance to give us some input on what interests you most when you visit a group author blog. Hit us with your ideas and your questions, PLEASE!
I guarantee you we Warner Women will deliver. :)
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Ah, Sarah, I understand your addiction to Google Earth. Isn’t it amazing and bewildering how something on the web can capture and hold our attention?
For me, it’s a new feature on my web site called a Clustrmap. All it does is record a hit to the web site, then put a location dot on a map. That’s all it does. It doesn’t tell me who the person is, or give me an email address. The program isn’t capable of gathering information such as whether the person visited the site on purpose or if they just stumbled across it. All it tells me is where in the world the hit came from.
And it’s fascinating!
I’m really bummed about the lack of hits from the upper west of the
The dot that truly captures my imagination is the one off the east coast of
The whole thing just goes to prove how truly small a world we live in, and how our books touch more people’s lives than we probably realize. It’s both an ego boost and humbling.
To see the map, go to www.sharianton.com and scroll down to the bottom of the main page. Click on the Zoom icon to see a bigger map with the dots more clearly defined. And if you happen to be that person in the ocean off of
MIDNIGHT MAGIC, Available Now; TWILIGHT MAGIC, Dec. 2006
Friday, August 11, 2006
Stories to keep you up all night!
Riding to the rescue April 2006
Coming for you October 2006
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Which of your characters are you? Is this based on your experience? When did this happen to you?
It doesn't quite irritate me, but it is certainly one of those things about the writing life. It's not all that incomprehensible--we are the filter, and the work (usually) comes through us. The drink is going to taste like the filter, to some degree. I am interested in katanas, history, classical education, psychic phenomena, and forensics. Some of that comes out in my work.
But I am not Danny Valentine. I'm very glad not to be her, as a matter of fact. She's not a very nice person. I'm also glad I'm not Theo Morgan or Mari Niege or Rowan Price or any of my protaganists. They are mostly people with inadequate coping mechanisms. Well-adjusted people don't make good suspense stories, I guess.
If I were to be asked which character of mine I most identify with, I would be hard-pressed to find a protaganist. I tend to identify much more with secondary characters--like Jason Monroe in the Valentine series. The exception to this is Elise in Fire Watcher, with her irritation over a world that just moves too bloody slow. But other than that...I just don't see myself as any of my characters. Certainly they interest me, and their stories interest me--otherwise, why would I write them?
But they are not me.
I recently had a discussion with Christopher Luna about the "meta-I" in poetry. Basically, a poem is a compressed moment of experience, and the "I" in the poem might not be the "I" of the poet. Yet we associate the I in the poem, however far-out, as the I of the poet. It's only natural to do so. After all, we're trained linguistically to think of I as a powerfully-charged word. We recognize the power inherent in self-declaration (witness our million-dollar memoir business and the popularity of blogs.) We also love to peek into other people's Is and witness their intimate moments.
This is what art, especially writing, is built on. The urge to peek inside another person's head. Voyeuristic? Sure. Enjoyable? Certainly. Healthy? To a certain degree.
And confusing? Oh my, yes.
So how about it, my fellow Warner women? Do you identify with your characters? Why do you think the author and the character are so often conflated? Where is the line between processing one's experience and vicariously living through your works?
I want to know. :)
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
But I digress.
Here are a few books I read as a kid (or a not so young kid) that influenced me. Made me want to be a writer and create such cool new worlds. Interesting characters. Etcetera.
The "Adventure" series by Enid Blyton. Which didn't have such a cool cover when I read it. I remember there being a group of friends, a couple of siblings. A widowed mother. Um. A weird older guy who helped them and he had a cockatoo named KiKi. I totally wanted a cockatoo. I still do. Sort of. And they'd go on adventures and get into trouble and get the bad guy. Big fun.
Ah, Sweet Valley High. I remember being around for the launch of this series. I think I was in grade seven. It was awesome. I wanted to be Jessica, of course. The cool, popular twin. Rather than Elizabeth who always wanted to do the "right thing." Boring! And check out this guy on the cover. Nice mustache, buddy. I think he was supposed to be the "older guy." Right.
Trixie Beldon totally kicked Nancy Drew's butt. I read a bunch of these. I don't remember much about them other than the fact that they Rocked. I think they've recently been reissued with way cooler covers. Trixie looks more like a teen model than a tomboy now.
L.J. Smith's Nightworld series is absolutely brilliant. It is paranormal romance for the YA audience. I discovered it just as I was trying to find my writer's voice. YA still has a huge place in my heart and my first finished project (and frankly, all my writing since) was inspired by her writing. However, I read it as an adult (sorta). Not a kid. And that cover copy? "One Good Witch. One Bad Witch. One Human Boy." Come on. Fabulous.
So how about you? Have any books you remember very fondly from being a kid? Or if you're a writer, was there a book that sparked your creative juices?
Thursday, August 03, 2006
2. Got stinking drunk in my kitchen and told my orange cat that if he didn’t give me a bigger advance for my next book, I was walking (he said yes!).
3. Googled “RWA Conference 2006” 47,693 times
4. On the 47,692nd search, discovered that Diane Gaston won a Rita (the VERY prestigious award from Romance Writers of America) for Best Regency Romance for A Reputable Rake. Of course, we at Warner Forever know her by another name (she might have written a Warner book called, The Marriage Bargain, hint, hint) …but still, we’re awfully proud!
5. “Did Lunch.” Baloney sandwiches, mostly. Leftover pasta. Went to Wendy’s once.
6. Moved from upstate New York to Philadelphia in the 100-degree heat and lost my sweet little gray cat. (Darn cat probably went to Atlanta like everyone else…)
7. Added up all the money I saved by not going to Conference, then spent it all on chocolate-mocha double scoops at Ben and Jerry’s feeling sorry for myself.
8. Thought, “well, it’s probably even HOTTER in Atlanta than here. Good thing I’m not missing this historic heat-wave in an air-conditioned hotel…”
9. Served my family rubber chicken and peas for a week.
10. Was really, really sorry I missed everyone and vowed I’d make it next year…if my cat comes back…
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
It's not easy to get out of the mother/daughter routine. "You look tired" can come across as an older variation of "You're skirt's too short". Comments like that fall under the category of what psychologists call the parent-child relationship. According to psychologists by this time in our life we should be having an adult-adult relationship with our parents. I think it is time we as a society realized that psychologists don't know what they are talking about.
Parent-child is an eternal relationship. Just 'cause I live in a bigger house than my mother does and just because my kids are out of the house, doesn't mean I'm not my mom's little girl anymore.
The only thing that changes in the relationship is recognizing the words "You're skirt's too short" really mean "I love you and I don't want to see you cheapen yourself by showing off your legs so that boys driving by hang out of cars thump the side of it and whistle at you and think you're easy." This is quite a mouthful for mothers to whip out as their child heads out the door in a hurry to get to school.
Parents have to speak quickly to kids. Kids don't have time to listen to all the things parents want to tell them. So parents spill out such immortal words of caring and wisdom like "Eat your lunch", "Be home on time" and "Take care of yourself". Words that are code for a whole lot more.
I know all this. I've said it myself to my kids. But with my mom, I'm still learning to look past the words "You look tired" and hear "Make sure you get enough rest so that you can take care of your family and yourself and not snap at them because you're tired....I love you."
The trouble is, things get confusing for my mother - when to give advice and when to simply listen. I still phone her and complain, hoping to get some sympathy. As in "You know mom, all my fellow writers were at the National Romance Writers Convention and I had to stay home and work." and she's supposed to say, "Oh, honey. That's too bad." but I know the inevitable will come . . . "Are you sure you're not too busy? You sound tired."
And that's okay too. I'll say the same things to my daughter, when I phone her this afternoon.
After my nap, of course.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
So it was a wonderful, exciting conference, made even better by the LOVELY hospitality the staff of the Atlanta Marriott showed everyone. Every employee I met, from bellboy to waiter to the lady in the gift shop was exceptionally polite and kind.
Then I flew home and picked up my luggage. And, well, the shock was quite rude. But here, I'll let you read the e-mail I sent to A Certain Very Big Airline:
Dear Sir or Madam,
I bought a new suitcase for a week long business trip on July 20. On my arrival home today I found that your baggage handlers had not only torn the handle of my suitcase from the frame, they'd also torn the foot from the frame. Granted, one does not expect one's luggage to arrive in pristine condition, but one does hold out hope that one can use a brand new suitcase for more than one trip. I have been traveling since childhood and frankly I've never actually had my luggage destroyed before. I am sure you are as appalled as I am by the treatment of my luggage. Therefore, I am sure you will agreed that it is only fair that Big Name Airlines pay to have my suitcase replaced. Please send a check for $100 to my address above. No doubt you are as pleased as I was that the suitcase was on sale.
Very Truly Yours,