Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Get yer hot videos here!

Book trailers have become all the rage, and we here a GCC are no exception. I thought instead of actually having to write a blog this month, I'd just lay them all out for your viewing enjoyment.


by Samantha Graves
Available August 2008

by Samantha Graves
April 2007

by Sarah McKerrigan
Available May 1, 2008

Conversations With the Sexiest Man Alive video
by Diana Holquist

Laird of the Mist Meets Sexiest Man Alive
by Paula Quinn & Diana Holquist

Fanged and Fabulous Meets Sexiest Man Alive
by Michelle Rowen & Diana Holquist

Seduced by a Spy Meets Sexiest Man Alive
by Andrea Pickens & Diana Holquist

Twilight Magic
by Shari Anton

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Where in the World is Shari?

My suitcase is packed, and I'm ready to get on the plane headed for beautiful, exciting ... Pittsburg. Okay, maybe Pittsburg isn't one of the premier destinations (with apologies to anyone who lives there, but heck, neither is Milwaukee, so we're in good company). But it is the host to the 2008 Romantic Times BOOKReviews Convention.

Why does an author go to conventions? And why Romantic Times?

For many of us, these are the only places where we can meet face to face with our agents and editors. Many times they treat us to lunch or dinner, and I consider it one of the perks of employment :).

We also get to mingle with our fellow authors. This year several of the Grand Central Publishing authors decided to get together for breakfast. If both my camera and wireless connection work properly, which doesn't always happen, I'll try to post a picture or two on this blog.

Meeting with booksellers is also wonderful. Many of them make a special point to let us know how our books do in their stores. And it's always special when a reader approaches you with a book she's hauled clear across country just to have you sign her copy. Love those readers!

Okay, confession time. This isn't all business. There are also the parties, and nobody does parties better than Romantic Times. And this year I'm on hunk watch. The utterly watchable Adrian Paul is attending. I loved, loved, loved Highlander.

So now you know my motive. Believe me, if I get close enough to get a picture I will assuredly post it here. That's if I don't faint and miss the picture altogether.

Shari Anton
My Web Site
On MySpace

Saturday, April 12, 2008

How Not to Handle Rejection

Nobody likes rejection. Perhaps authors least of all. We’re delicate creatures. It’s that vulnerability and sensitivity that makes us able to touch the emotions of our readers.

Why then do we pursue a career so rife with devastating rejection--from agents, from publishers, from critics? Are we incurable masochists?

We’re expected to handle rejection with grace--you know, the same way the Academy Award losers smile politely and clap for the talentless hack who took the Oscar away from them when what they’d really like to do is either burst into tears, slap the winner silly, or yell things that would get them bleeped off the broadcast.

No, authors are all about the stiff upper lip. Some of us simply shrug, crumpling up rejection letters and tossing them over our shoulder. Some of us look hopefully to our friends and family for consolation and a lift back onto the treadmill. Some of us sink into a funk for three days--no more, no less--then come back to the computer with a vengeance and an “Oh yeah? Watch this!” fire burning in our bellies.

Most successful authors have a stack of rejection letters from publishers. And I DO mean a stack. For some perverse reason, we hang onto them. (See? I told you we were masochists.)

I ceremoniously burned all of mine when I got my first contract.

Whatever we do, we’re not supposed to reply to rejection letters, other than with a polite “thank you for your consideration.” Which is why the following video is so over-the-top hilarious. It’s from the British TV comedy series, “Black Books,” starring Bernard Black, an anti-social bookshop owner and bitter aspiring author.

Turn up the volume and enjoy!

Sarah McKerrigan...
Stories to keep you up all night!
LADY DANGER - Riding to the rescue April 2006
CAPTIVE HEART - Coming for you October 2006
KNIGHT'S PRIZE - Stealing your heart April 2007
DANGER'S KISS - Flirting with trouble May 2008

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Is Romantic Comedy the Next Big Thing? by Diana Holquist

Everyone's always wondering what's the next big thing in romance novels. Well, good thing I have a crystal ball...

Okay. I don't have a crystal ball. But what I do have is a list of the Romance Writers of America Rita finalists, and there are some interesting trends. In case you don't know, the Rita awards are like the Romance world's Oscars. Or Emmy's. Or National Slavic Book of the Year Awards. (Hey, to Russian historians, the NSBY awards are huge!) So what's interesting as perhaps a trend on the list?

Of the Paranormal Romance Finalists, one quarter are funny paranormals. (Some people might argue that some of the others on the list are pretty hilarious, too, but we're not here to be nasty. Have a drink with me at National and then we'll get nasty...) That's kinda huge after the surge of angsty, dark paranormals.

Of the Single Title Contemporary finalists, almost all are romantic comedies. (Including mine, of course...). Not only that, but they're marketed as romantic comedies, which is pretty amazing in itself after the downfall of the "cartoon" cover and the need to make a book look really sexy to sell. This cover for Kristan Higgin's book is pretty typical of the lot. Only one cover in Single Title Contemporary has a "clinch" (n.b.: thanks, Elizabeth!--see comments below) cover. Discussion question: do you think this is why no one has ever heard of most of these books? Because no one is buying them because they don't look sexy enough?

Then there's the WTF finalists.

Okay, sorry. This book didn't final. It's not even a romance. But I just really, really wanted to post it. Plus it did win the Publisher's Weekly, "Why Read the Book When the Title Says It All?" contest.

So, what do you think the trends are? And what do you WISH the trends were?

Happy Spring, everyone!