Thursday, May 28, 2009

A writer's career path

So far this year I've had four requests from high school students to do a career interview. You know, what classes do you need to be successful in your career, what kind of degree, skills, personality traits, and so on. 

This time, I got to the question, "What is the career path like (entry level to advanced)?" and I stalled. If you're a programmer or a social worker, this is fairly clear. But the writer's career path? Mine has been as different as I am from Diana or Elizabeth or anyone else who posts on the Cafe. But . . . I had to answer the question. So here's what I wrote:

Form-letter rejection.

Rejection with personal note.

Rejection with offer to revise and resubmit.

Request for partial.

Request for full manuscript.


Start over.

Request for full manuscript.

Rewrite manuscript.

Offer on manuscript.

Multi-page revision letter.

Book is produced and published.

Start on second book.

Get better offer, with better terms and more money.

Reviews come in for first book. They’re mixed—good and awful.

Six months to write second book, wondering if the awful reviews were right and you really have no talent.

Turn in second book. Goes to production and is published.

Orders are better.

Start on third book.

Offer for third book in a multi-book deal.

Reviews come in for second book. Fewer awful ones. Some really good ones. Maybe you can do this after all.

Am I having a career now?

Back to third book. Screw the reviews—it’s the writing that really matters.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mother's Day Gift of Laughter

This had me laughing so hard that I had to play it three times just to hear all the lyrics. It’s Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg with their "moms," and it's as wickedly funny as their first video. I hope you enjoy it, too:

Is there nothing sexier than a guy who can make you laugh?

I’ve met my share of tall, dark, and handsomes, but if they don’t have a sense of humor, especially about themselves, they really don’t rate very high on the appeal meter.

What about you? Do you prefer six-packs abs or belly laughs?

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

Friday, May 08, 2009

Jennifer Haymore Intro, Plus Contest & Freebies

I’m Jennifer Haymore, a brand new Grand Central author, and I’m way beyond excited to be here! My first book from Grand Central will be releasing in just a few weeks!

A HINT OF WICKED is the story of Sophie, the Duchess of Calton, who loses her beloved husband at the battle of Waterloo. Pregnant and alone, she picks up the pieces and learns to be independent and strong, and years later, she falls in love again. A few months into her second marriage, her first husband returns. Both men want her; she’s in love with both. It’s a tangle of emotions and passions complicated by a sinister threat to all their lives.

The heroine of A HINT OF WICKED, Sophie, is a mother—and for the years preceding the opening of the book, she was a single mother. Sophie’s daughter and stepson significantly affect the decisions she makes. In fact, one of the pivotal questions in the book for Sophie is whether it will be best to raise her daughter with the family she’s known all her life, or with her biological father whom she’s never known.

Kind of reminds me of my own life, and how my kids are behind all the decisions I make, throughout my day, every day...and night. Cast in point: I was up late last night, and I abruptly woke up late this morning from a nightmare about my kids starving at school. I ran downstairs, and not only did I find their lunches sitting untouched in the fridge, I discovered they’d gone to school without their homework. Gah! I was furious (and my husband can attest to that fact after the fuming phone call he received from me at 8:06 a.m.). Seriously, without mothers fretting about lunches and homework and the like, there would be a lot of starving kids and angry teachers in this world!

Grand Central just sent me a boxful of copies of A HINT OF WICKED. To celebrate receiving final copies of the book, and Mother’s Day, I’m giving away a new copy of A HINT OF WICKED to someone who signs up to receive a set of freebies (free promotional items from me and five other authors). You can find more info about this contest at my blog, and if you’re too late for the book contest, you can still sign up for a packet of freebies here.



Friday, May 01, 2009

Elizabeth on Fairy Tales

I've got a new book out today--To Beguile a Beast--which is based on the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale (bet you didn't see that one coming!)

I'm often asked why I'm so interested (read: obsessed) with fairy tales. Ususally I respond with a well reasoned "Erm..." But today I thought I'd give a shot at a slightly more eloquent answer. So here goes:

Fairy tales, myths, and legends are storytelling at its most basic. There's no room for character development. Dialogue, setting, and description are all usually very sketchy. What remains are stories in which the fat has been removed; underneath are bare, beautiful bones in which it’s easy to trace motif, themes, and morality—especially morality.

I like to use fairy tales in my books to highlight or reflect what's going on in the main story. In To Beguile a Beast the fairy tale is a version of "Beauty and the Beast" but with a twist--the "beast" is a woman...and the hero has a few surprises of his own.

I hope you enjoy it!

Elizabeth Hoyt