Tuesday, November 19, 2013

NaNoWriMo Gives Good Goals

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) holds a special place in my heart.  It helped me write until the story was done.  NaNo helped turn me from a writer into an author.

This is day 19 of NaNo.  At 29,500 I am a little behind, but nothing that I can't get caught up on tonight with a little help from a plot bunny and a glass of wine.  I would go into the connection with writing and alcohol, but I think that is a musing for another time. (Bottles of wine are welcome gifts.)

I have read many blogs over the past couple of weeks.  If you are looking for some top quality NaNoWriMo reading I highly recommend Chuck Wendig's Terrible Minds Blog.  Much hilarity and awesome advice.

I just had to add my voice to the NaNoWriMo buzz.

I have heard many people saying that NaNo doesn't work. That it's not conducive to "REAL" writing.  If you ask me...real writing happens in a lot of different ways.

What works for me? I need deadlines.  I need progress bars.  I need someone on my ass asking "Why the hell are you on Facebook?"

Here's the bottom line.  There is NO writing style or technique that makes everyone explode words onto the page.  There is no "right" way to do this whole author thing. 

Something NaNoWriMo does, and does well, is it makes you set a concrete goal.  There is no wiggle room in that 50k goal.  You have to copy/paste your words into a verification tool to make sure your 50k is the same as everyone else's 50k. 

When you tell yourself you want to "get some work done", or "make the document cleaner", or "get my WIP ready to submit", what does that mean?  Well it means you will probably never be done, that's what.  Or at least that's what it meant to me.

When I realized that there was a specific goal of actual words that I had to meet...wow...did that change things. 

Once I set this 50k goal, and met it, I set another goal.  Then another one. 

The big goal I set for myself at the beginning of this year was, I wanted to submit two manuscripts to publishers before the end of 2013.  I have done that, and now have my first book published and the second one in process.  That never would have happened if I hadn't done that first NaNoWriMo novel. 

I am a seat of my pants writer.  There is nothing more inspiring to me than a blank page.  I love looking at all that white and watching it fill up with words that I try and catch with my fingers.  NaNoWriMo works for me.

Does it work for you?  Only one way to find out.  Set the goal.  Work towards it.  Even if you fail, you now know one technique that does not work for you.  Then it's just time to set the next goal.

My next goal is to finish up this manuscript 1667 words at a time.  If you want to watch me stumble and get back up again you can add me as a buddy on NaNoWriMo.org.  Or you  can check out the word count widget at the bottom of my website home page at RoxyRocksMe.com.

I am off to write.  I have goals to meet.


Friday, November 1, 2013

National Novel Writing Month! Time for Coffee, Ordering In, and Frantic Word Slinging.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short) is one of those strange phenomena that illustrates a simple plan creating an extraordinary outcome.

I have seen many blogs and people talking about why NaNoWriMo is ridiculous.

"You should be doing this every month!  Taking only one month out of the year to write is a recipe for failure."

"I need to write slower so I can edit while I write.  NaNo novels are junk."

 "It's too much stress."

"When will these NaNo people get the hell out of my Starbucks?"

All of you can bite me.  I love NaNoWriMo.  And I have invaded "your" Starbucks way before November.

I haven't been quiet about the fact that my first published book, A Love Worth Biting For , was a NaNo novel.  Was it my first ever novel written?  Oh hell no.  My computers are the graveyard to a few doozies. But this was the first time that I sat down and felt the magic of my own words.

NaNoWriMo also helped me do something that I had been struggling to do.  It helped me finish.

You will see me squealing around the Internet about NaNoWriMo.  Why?  Because it gave me a plan, it gave me some tools, and it gave me a community.

The biggest thing I got from NaNoWriMo, was the realization that there were many other people out there at that exact moment, pounding away on the keyboard.  Writing can be a solitary event.  You don't have to talk to anyone, and there are days that the isolation is GRAND.

Getting home from a stressful day job or dealing with someone who you can't stand...yeah...destroying those people in a literary blaze of pain and torture can be a great deal of fun that is best without a witness...er...I mean, audience.

But then there are those times that you've written yourself into a corner.  There are those time that you can't figure out if what you wrote works with the rest of the story.  And there are those times where you just need someone else to tell you, they hit a wall too.  During November, I can take to Twitter and find the #NaNoWriMo or #NaNo hashtags.  I can find people on the NaNo forums, or check in on my writing buddies on the NaNoWriMo website.

The best part?  I get to be encouraging and competitive and drink coffee, and my family puts up with me ignoring them during Thanksgiving.

I am a writer.  So it's time I stop babbling on my blog and do what I love to do.  I am going to watch the words magically appear and create a story from nothing.  The best part?  You can join me.

I have a few bets in play to keep me motivated.  And if I want to win that Starbucks gift card so that I can continue to annoy the piss out of the local business men while I write about public fornication, I better get my butt in gear.

Time for words.  Time for coffee.  Time for NaNoWriMo!


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Release Day Recap...Did That Really Happen?

I expected a sale or two.  I expected to watch my rankings for a couple of hours before they dropped, and I expected to have a slice or three of birthday cake. (Or five)

What happened on October first was so much more.  I began the day doing dishes.  Complete glam life, am I right?  But dammit, I wanted some Boo Berry cereal, and we had no clean spoons.

I love Halloween for giving us Boo Berry.

Then I did what any new author would do.  I scampered to my computer and checked out my rankings and ratings.  I watched them climb higher than I would have ever hoped for.  I am not a known player in the writing world.  I am nobody, but I was so lucky to have some amazing people at my back.

Then the super amazing things happened.

I broke into four digit rankings on Amazon!  Sure it was only #9250, but I can tell you that is now my new favorite number.

I moved up the best-sellers list at Samhain Publishing.  I actually hit the top ten for the whole site! 

Then the shoutouts.  OMG the shoutouts.  I got so many birthday wishes and happy release day posts, that I could not possibly name them all.  What I can say is that I slapped my husband frequently that day and squealed, "Holy CRAP! {insert amazeballs person here} just wished me Happy Release Day!"

Then someone knocked on the door, my hubby answered it, because it was my day, and I was wearing comfy pants to enjoy it.

These beautiful flowers were what was at the door.

With a note from a woman I consider an idol in the Erotic Romance Industry.

I won't say who, but if she happens to be reading this I hope she knows that these flowers were an amazing highlight for me, and who they were from made them even more beautiful.

I am still smiling at the pretty pink bouquet.

So my day can't get much better, right?


It was my birthday as well as my release day, and hubby, being the amazing man he is surprised me with this...

That is a damn near life-sized framed poster of my book cover.  It's hanging right next to my signed books shelf.  He told me that when he sets up my writing office, that is going right behind my desk.  He said it's to remind me where my writing career started.  I think he might be enjoying Amber a bit, too, but the sentiment was so sweet, and the fact that hubby walked into the store and printed out a huge erotic romance book cover and then walked out with my cover blazing earned him big brownie points.

Needless to say, I am on a major high by this point.  The day is winding down, and I am trying (very unsuccessfully) to tear myself away from the computer.  Then my cell phone dings to give me a notification.

It let me know that the Kindle Smut group on Goodreads, had chosen my book as one of their Featured Reads for October!

It was a good thing Hubby stayed home to feed me, otherwise I wouldn't have left the couch to eat.

The next day was just as incredible.

A lovely woman sent me a message.  Just three sentences, but it told me she read my book, she loved it, and she was waiting for book two.  Just so you know, dear reader, you were the icing on my birthday cake...that I totally had for breakfast the next morning.

I got reviews!  I had people talking about my book.  And many of them enjoyed it.

Now.  This is when it winds down, right?  This is when I slide back into obscurity?

Not yet, at least.  I get the Samhain Publishing newsletter.  My own cover is staring back at me.  I AM ONE OF THE FEATURED BOOKS FOR OCTOBER!  *dies*

***NOTE***  If you buy my book through Samhain Publishing and enter the coupon code "FALLREADS" you can have 30% off the price through October 31st.

Then I get a DM on Twitter.  Did I see the newsletter?  Well heck yeah, I saw the Samhain Newsletter!

She tells me, no, not that one...the All Romance Ebooks Newsletter!

Nope.  Not joking.  Off to the right hand side of that email blast was my book, tagline, and buy link.

So here I sit today.  My mouth is slightly ajar, and my eyes are fuzzy from staring at the screen, but I am insanely happy.  Thank you everyone for the start you gave me.  I could never pay you back, but I hope I can pay it forward.  Just know that you all had a huge part in this.  All I did was let the voices in my head hit the paper.

For everyone that read my little corner of crazy...words will never express my gratitude.  But words are all I have so...

Thank you.


Monday, September 30, 2013

Tomorrow Starts My New Reality

I have always been a firm believer in fate.  There has always been something inside me that gave me a nudge in the right direction.

These nudges became a downright pounding on my gut when I started writing.  I kept fighting them, because there is NOTHING scarier than putting something in your brain down on paper and handing that over to someone else. Well, being inside my brain could also be pretty terrifying, but that is a whole other story.

There are a few places that I have walked into and felt like I fit in.  One of them happens to be an online community of woman that I met through my love of books. I started talking to them in the middle of the day, when I couldn't stand the thought of one more boring day folding laundry, and in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep.  Women from all over the world came together to create a glorious group that helped me remember what I loved to do.  Write.

Tomorrow my first ever book, A Love Worth Biting For, goes live.  Some people will love it, and some people will hate it, and still others will get a smile on their face which is all I could ever ask for.

Tomorrow I get to become an author.  I get to do something I dreamed about as a little girl locking up my Lisa Frank journal with the butterfly key.

Thank you to everyone who let me into your online family, you gave me my dream.  Tomorrow, let's all sit down and read something naughty.  I hope I give you a little something to shift in your seat over.  I hope I make you smile.

I will be grinning from ear to ear.

Join in the hybrid fun and buy A Love Worth Biting For at


Barnes & Noble


Samhain Publishing

And many other ebook retailers who know how to have a good time. ;p

I will be toasting my new career all over the internet.  Find me on FB, Twitter, and chatting with Mary Hughes over at her blog.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Getting Rear-Ended...and NOT in a Good Way

Guess what this is...go ahead.  Guess.

Torn wrapping paper?

Strange looking Jell-O?

Melted lipstick?

I wish.  

No, folks.  That is the bumper on my car.  A city truck slammed into me on the highway.  I have only been in one other accident before, and I was a lot younger.  Obviously age changes things, because it feels like more than my vehicle is trashed.  

I am working on projects, but thanks to some fun medications, my attention span is smaller than a kid walking through their favorite toy store.

With just over two weeks until my first book releases, to say this is a bad time is an understatement.  

I have been bouncing around on the Samhain Publishing best-sellers lists in Comedy and Vampires.  To see my book up there with Mary Hughes, Vivi Andrews, and Sierra Dean was amazing.  For everyone who pre-ordered my book I want to say thank you.  You've had me smiling through my prescribed haze.

I am working on some blog appearances to kick off the release.  

Some of the upcoming stops are...

September 17th - Guest Spot and Giveaway at Something Wicked (Thanks to Angie Fox for letting me invade!)
September 26th - Character Post and Giveaway at Scorching Book Reviews
September 30th - Guest Spot and Giveaway at Bookie Nookie Reviews
October 1st - RELEASE DAY! 
                        Guest Spot and Giveaway with Mary Hughes at her Blog

There may be more coming up as we get closer, so make sure to check out my website for the up-to-date list.

I would say I popped a cork to celebrate, but with all the back  medications I am on, I actually just drank some water and smiled really big.

Thanks for the smiles.


Thursday, August 29, 2013

We're Not Done Yet!

My first book A Love Worth Biting For is still a little over a month from release day.  But I had to share some great news.

Two of the characters you will meet in the first book of the Hart Clan Hybrids series will get their own story in Book 2.

The ink is dry on the paperwork and I can officially say Love's A Witch : Hart Clan Hybrids Book 2 will be published by Samhain Publishing next year.


I get to work with some new people this time around and can't wait to get fresh eyes on these pesky hybrids.

I already drank the champagne, so I can't give you any.  But know that it was very tasty.  ;p


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Sneak Peak at A Love Worth Biting For

Just two more months and Samhain Publishing is releasing Amber Paulson into the world of books for me.  I still shake myself that I have words out there for y'all to read.  I am ridiculously excited for everyone to meet the werewolf that has been snarking her way through my brain for so long now.

Now for a sneak peak at why I love this character so much.  The reading below has some NSFW language, because if you woke up like Amber did, you would be grumpy, too.

Hart Clan Hybrids Book One
Releases October 1st 2013

I was dreaming. There was a rabbit hopping ahead of me, and I was chasing it. Yeah. Okay. I have wolf dreams. But you don’t know how fun it is to tear a rabbit apart with your teeth. The way the fur feels against your tongue…
I was waking up.
“Do I not have your name right? Or are you already ignoring me?”
Damn. Guess the honeymoon was over already.
“I figured you might say that. So I brought coffee and bacon.”
“I’m awake.” I looked around. I sniffed the air. I frowned. “Where the hell’s the bacon?”
“That, my dear mate, is the point. There is no food here. My control is not where it needs to be. You have to venture out for us.”
I looked around. Crap. Were there any clothes we hadn’t destroyed? I got up and stalked outside to the shed behind the cabin. Our Pack kept a few scant necessities out there. Looked like I would get to do the walk of shame wearing a pair of SpongeBob pajama pants and a “Where’s the Beef?” sweatshirt. Goodie.
I went back inside to find my flip-flops. At least I knew they had made it through. Jake woke me up three different times during the night, and the last time, I had rolled on top of my shoes.
I growled at the chuckling behind me. Fucker was lucky I was going anywhere. If he kept laughing at me, I would make sure to eat everything I brought back right in front of him while I kept him tied to the fireplace.
Ohhh. Jake tied up. With rope.
“Amber! Whatever you are thinking, stop it! I can smell you from here, and if we both keep going like we did last night, we will die of starvation. You need to bring us food.”
“Are we already up to the ‘make me a sandwich’ stage? Keep talking, Jake. That should help with the sexy. I’ll totally be able to control myself if you don’t shut up.” Maybe. He was still naked. And I could tell from the tent in the blanket he had over himself, he was very much enjoying being naked.
He shook his head. His statuesque perfection was gone in the morning light and tousled black strands hit below his ears. The sex-rumpled thing looked great on him. He also didn’t have a scratch on his body that I could see. I knew he healed fast, but even when I was clawing at him like a cat climbing curtains, I couldn’t remember ever having made a mark on his skin.
“Before you talk, take a few steps back. Please. I need to have a little more control. You smell even more incredible than you did last night. If you are out of my immediate reach, I stand a better chance.”
I took a step back. The fact that he still wanted my body when it was covered with a fluffy, square sponge creature who lives in a pineapple made me feel good. Yeah, it could have been the mating thing, but my ego decided that it was my sexy bod he wanted instead.
“Sooo…what do I get for you? I know that you bit me last night. And it was fucking awesome.” He growled and the spot on my neck where he’d taken from me tingled. Hell, I tingled everywhere when he growled like that. “But was that enough to feed your Edward side? Or do I need to kidnap a coed? Because there is this little chick in my history class that has been really pissing me off.”
“I don’t want anyone but you.”
“Okay, that sounds sexy as hell, but do I need to worry about you sucking me dry? I’m not really up on how this works. And I didn’t really pay attention when they went over the not-really-mythical creatures run-down in Council sooo…what do you eat? Do you only eat meat?”
Sitting up, his feet hit the floor. After the back snapped off of the couch, we left it that way. It made a pretty comfy bed. His hands scrubbed over his face and ruffled his hair before he looked up at me.
“I don’t take enough to hurt people. I don’t actually need as much blood as full vampires. While I needed to bite you and feel your blood inside me, I promise you my orgasm was not due to physical nourishment.”
“Okay. So I don’t have to kidnap someone and give them a good old fashioned bleeding?”
“Sooo…fast food?”
“I would eat the wrappers right now.”
“Lots of fast food. I’ll be back soon. Do I need to lock you in?”
“You can do that?”
I shrugged. I wasn’t sure how much of our life I was supposed to share here. On one hand, he was my mate, and I should share everything with him. On the other hand, he was a fucking vampire. Were we supposed to keep our vampire and wolf lives separate? How could we? This was a mess.
“You’re not the first wolf to not have full control.”
“I’m a vampire.”
“With a furry side?”
“Just go get food.”
I took great pleasure in locking his ass in after that.

You can visit Amber at quite a few different places now.  She is making her rounds.  Look for this cover...

You can Pre-Order from the following fabulous ebook sellers.  Just click on the retailer's name.

Amazon - $3.44
Barnes & Noble - $4.49
KOBO - $3.99

Also check out a bit more information about my book including the blurb and another excerpt here.

And don't worry.  There are good things ahead for Amber.  I can't wait until you take the journey with her.


Monday, July 1, 2013

Cover Me Excited!

Working with the editorial team at Samhain Publishing has been incredible.  I am almost sad to see the process end.  Okay, not really. (Editing and I are not buddies)  I need an editor with a whip and a harsh deadline to keep moving forward like I should.  Lisa Dunick pushed me in the most wonderful ways, and made me let go of words that didn't work, all the while making me create more words that I loved even more.  I can't thank her enough for everything she has done to help jump start my career.

Then one wonderful day...I got my cover art.  Kanaxa and I never spoke directly, but if I ever meet her, I will hug her and squeeze her and buy her alcohol.  I had some ideas about my cover, but between Lisa and Kanaxa they brought in new ideas that I will be forever grateful for.  

Now that I have gushed about the poster-worthy cover, you are dying to see it aren't you?  

Here it is.

Coming to Samhain Publishing October 2013, A Love Worth Biting For.

God, she's sexy!  
Samhain Publishing is holding her down for a few more months, but my heroine Amber won't let them keep her captive for long. Unless they use silver thread in the cuffs. ;p


Saturday, June 1, 2013

In the Hybrid Home Stretch

After a chaotic couple of days I am delighted to say that my first book is being finalized as we speak! (or as I type...whatever)

I have learned so much going through this experience, and thank goodness my editor is a VERY patient woman.

Some of the things I have learned...

1. Make sure Track Changes is on BEFORE you do your edits.
        There are probably all kinds of curse words that erupted from my editor's mouth about that.

2. Slow it down.
         My brain moves faster than my fingers at times, and I had to learn to break up my paragraphs into smaller more manageable chunks.  I had to stop my characters from their tendency to monologue.  Slowing down, let the impact of my important points really shine through.

3. Twitter is my friend.
        Sending a quick question, or letting my editor know there was a reason to check her email, was a fabulous way to get a fast response.  It also helped me from sending her endless..."So you got that and the file opened, right?" emails.  Twitter is apparently my editor's friend as well.

These are the things I can quantify.  I learned so many things that I can't fit into easy bullet points.  I learned where I am strong, learned where I need to improve (Hi my name is Roxy, and I have an ellipsis problem), and learned to spot these things in my next story.  Book 2 of my trilogy is covered with pink pen markups.

Mark your books with pink or purple pen folks.  It makes you feel better than if you murder your manuscript with red.  Or it makes me feel better at any rate. ;p

I am waiting on my ARCs now.  But mark your calendars folks!

Coming Fall of 2013...

Get your e-readers ready for The Hart Clan Hybrids Book 1.

A Love Worth Biting For by Roxy Mews

Who's afraid of the big bad hybrid? (I'm not. He's a hottie.)

She's trying to stay away.  He's trying not to turn furry.  They both fail miserably with plenty of enjoyable and sweaty property destruction.

I can't wait until you get to meet both Amber and Jake.  I went way past PG-13, and had a blast doing it.


Saturday, May 18, 2013

My New Favorite Editing Tool

I am working on edits for two books right now.  One is off for the final round polish and with the second I am going in to tear apart my rough draft and get it ready for submission.
All this editing (not my favorite part of the process) has forced me to improve my technique.  It needed to happen, but I can still whine about it a bit. ;p
I have tried a few different ways to go through my books. I printed them out to work on, read them on my kindle and took notes in the file, and tried just editing in the document itself.
Someone owes my editor alcohol after the steep learning curve I went through with Track Changes. Pretty sure that someone is me. Bourbon, right Lisa?
Then I tried something else. I have an older model Kindle Touch that offers a Text-to-Speech feature. It reads documents (that have the feature enabled) in a robotic, monotonous tone. What I discovered, was that any mixed up or missing words, and other mistakes or awkward wording jumped out at me like blinking neon lights.  I threw my own books on the device and started listening.
Only problem was it was a pain in the booty to follow along on a computer.  So I brought out my printout, and had my "Aha!" moment.
I found my groove and the edits are going so well thanks to my out-of-date e-reader.
Anyone out there have a favorite technique or tool they use during the editing process? Share below!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

RT Recovery

I have no idea what day it is.  I have no idea what time it is.  I have no idea where my coffee cup went.

That's right, I am home from RT 2013.

I have some pictures to share.  The first day, I was so excited that I woke up at 4:30 am.  Much to my roommates' dismay, the trend continued.  I am an early riser and always get up ready to go.

 Samhain Publishing had a TON of signage out.  They even had these really cool clings on the elevators.  I might have taken a few pics with my new publisher. Don't judge me, but I may have kissed one or two.

 This is a shot of me with Lexi Blake/Sophie Oak.  I fell in love with this author when I found her first book under the Sophie Oak name.  Small Town Siren.  I found book two in the series, and then promptly emailed her and let her know that I was stalking her.  For some reason she responded rather than blocking me, and she is just the most fabulous person.  I was so glad to run into her again.

This was my embarrassing fangirl moment of the con.  Victoria Dahl was one of the first authors I read that let me know it was okay to be funny and sexy at the same time.  Her books and her female characters were strong and snarky and fabulous.  I hugged her.  It was great.

At that same book signing I also met Angie Fox!  She took such time to chat with me, I was amazed. Angie Fox is also one of my funny idols.  I was freaking out a bit when she handed me her card and TOTALLY forgot to get a picture.  She signed my book, and I love that she wrote all over the page for me.  Know that she is also awesome.

And now, for what you really want.  Here is a picture of one of the cover models wondering around the convention.  The Ellora's Cave Cavemen were there as well, but only stayed for a night and didn't really hang out and have fun with us like these guys did. Until I learned Charles Paz's name, I might have referred to him as the guy with shoulders bigger than his head. But don't tell him that. He is a great guy who worked hard to keep the energy up at the events.  Another cover model not pictured, is DeLonn Donovan.  He was my dancing buddy at the Ellora's Cave Disco.  I blame him for my busted knee.

I also am heartbroken that I don't have a picture of Dawn from Daydrmzzz (http://daydrmzzz.blogspot.com/).  Dawn and I met on Goodreads, and we touched base for just a couple hours in Chicago at the last RT.  She introduced me to some fabulous people, and I just had to hang on for the ride.  She also beat me with an evil stick, but don't worry.  It was totally consensual.  :D

My roommates were Mary Abshire aka Diane Thorne and Dani Morgan.  We were sad to see the week end.  It was an incredible experience, and I hope both of them are going to RT 2014.  New Orleans sounds like an absolute blast. 

Now I am off to do epic amounts of laundry, and drink even more epic amounts of coffee until my body recovers.  

Oh, and I suppose I should actually be writing, too!  I only wrote 3k the whole time I was away, so I have some editing and new word catch up to do.  Hopefully my body will be a little bit more motivated today. I yawned as I typed that.  

Thank you to all the people I met.  I am going through all the business cards and each time I add someone to twitter or mark their book on Goodreads, I am hit with another amazing memory.  

The romance community truly is a home away from home for me.  I am so glad I found you all, and can't thank you enough for the fabulous time.


Friday, April 26, 2013

Getting Ready for the RT Convention!

The RT Booklovers Convention (http://www.rtconvention.com/) is my first official conference as an author.  I have been to a couple of other cons as a reader and had a blast.  Meaning, I got tons of free swag and fabulous conversation with some of my favorite authors.

Book cons for me are a complete escape from everyday life.  And as an added bonus I get to go as my alter-ego.  Roxy Mews is my pen name, but I find she is much more me, than I am most of the time.

I get to go out, talk about books, and chat with other authors and readers about what they have on their e-readers that they can't turn off. That's right, I am addicted to ebooks. My kindle goes everywhere with me.  It is overflowing with more books than I will probably ever read in a lifetime, and I still wait like a kid at Christmas for those Tuesday releases.

Although my book isn't out yet, I am taking some business cards and information about my book with me.  My cover was recently finalized and I will be handing out some postcards to give readers a heads up.

Even though I am going in a slightly different capacity this round, I will have a lot of the same prep.  Over the weekend I will be packing, making lists, realizing I forgot my underwear and starting over when I realize I don't have any room left in my suitcase.

For anyone going to RT, I have a few words of advice.

1. Don't worry about a big purse.  There are tons of totebags that you will be given through the days.  Carry one of those.  Authors will be wandering everywhere, and you never know what there will be to haul around.  Also, the totes are fab to get autographs on as a free souvenir.

2.  Bring permanent markers.  Seeing your favorite author's autograph in skinny, skipping pen is such a disappointment.  Keep markers in your totebag and be ready for those completely inappropriate fangirl moments.

3.  BYOB. This might not make me popular with the hotel staff, but if you are driving rather than flying in you can bring in your own alcohol, and save your money.  Those cash bar tabs add up pretty fast. Bringing in your own can allow a little extra cash for books.  BUT don't skip out on the bar totally!  A lot of shenanigans go down where the alcohol flows.  Make sure you don't miss out.

4.  Keep a small clutch or wristlet in your totebag.  This should have a bit of cash, your room key, and any necessities like medicine, glasses, or breathmints.  When you are ready to head for an official party, this makes it easy to drop your larger bag off at the room and hurry to the next event.

5.  Be ready to wait in line.  RT is a HUGE con. And it actually sold out this year.  Get in line for the big parties early, or make sure one of your group camps out to save you chairs.  The big parties have big swag, and you want to get to a table close to the action.

6. Be ready to throw that carefully planned agenda out the window.  Because if the author you go fangirl crazy for offers to take you to lunch, or if the publisher of your dreams wants to chat, GO WITH THEM! All the panels are wonderful, but the connections you make will be where you make the most impact.

Look for me at RT.  I will be one of the authors with a silk flower on her badge.  I can't wait to chat with all of you.


Friday, March 29, 2013

Write drunk, Edit sober...

Write drunk, edit sober. 

Maybe that's why I like writing more than edits. ;p

I am trying to get into my first round of edits with the same gusto I had while writing the manuscript in the first place.  Only problem is I seem to be fighting an uphill battle over here.

Sickness has assaulted my home and work environment. Despite the endless amounts of sanitizing products I used, my immune system lost the battle.

So here I sit, going between hacking my lungs up and trying to see through the antihistamine cloud.

My grumpy Tinkerbell mug and I are not amused.  I am off to reheat my coffee again and try to be coherent. And sexy.  Cause nothing gets you in the mood for sexy writing like discarded tissues and coughdrop wrappers. :)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Roxy Mews...Samhain Author? No way!

Reading and writing seem to go hand in hand.  I devoured books as a teen. I lived at the library and idolized the people that brought to life the stories I got lost in. I fell in love with vampires and read the Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith over and over and over.  And over.  I think my mother worried that I might try and bite her.

Then life happened.  I immersed myself in my school projects and getting ahead, and I was motivated to do everything I was supposed to do in life.  I did great.  I graduated with honors from high school and college.  I got a job.  I was…miserable.  I was doing everything I was supposed to and nothing I wanted. 

So I decided to lose myself again and picked up a book.  I remembered the worlds I loved, and found a fabulous author named Mary Hughes who showed me that vampires could be not only intriguing and angsty, but sexy and funny!  I had never read anything like this before.  Then I found Sophie Oak, and Shelly Laurenston, and Dana Marie Bell, and Victoria Dahl, and Lauren Dane, and Eliza Gayle, and well I could go on, but those women stand out in my mind.  They wrote about strong women who had a sense of humor that I could see myself in.  The humorous erotic romance genre…well it was home.  I found where I belonged. 

I was stalking websites and blogs and dying to read more.  In that search I kept returning again and again to a certain publisher.  I loved the books they published, I loved the authors they signed, and I loved their warnings at the bottom of all their blurbs.  Samhain Publishing became the golden ring I longed to reach for.  When I found the guts and shared some of my own writing I was thrilled with the positive feedback. Samhain Publishing was the first place I wanted to send it to.  I had never sent in anything for submission before, and I knew that I would be rejected a few dozen times before I ever saw a yes.  All the other authors told me so.  There was a ton of “don’t give up” and “it can take years” all over the place.  I was ready for that rejection. 

I wasn’t ready for the yes.  

I read those emails over and over.  They couldn’t be right.  But no matter how many times I read them, the words stayed the same.  And now I have started this crazy road to publication with the publisher I have been looking at with stars in my eyes for the past two years.  Some of my idols write here.  I still pinch myself when I wake up in the morning, and until release day, I will probably be waiting for the big bad to go wrong, but as of right now, I am finally saying it.

I am a Samhain Author.

Did you feel the chills?  I sure did. :D

Make sure to check out their store here . Read the blurbs and find a new author.  And make sure to look for Roxy Mews on the virtual shelves late this year.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Hurry up and wait...

I have finally ventured into the world of authors.  I have sent in a manuscript for review.

No I am not telling where I sent it in.  I refuse to jinx myself by talking about the specifics.  But let me say that there is NO deodorant that can hold up while you are typing that email.  I recommend maxi pads in your armpits if you are thinking of typing that email.  Even then a well-ventilated room and a fan maiden might prove useful.

Before that day, I made myself a spreadsheet of all the different publishers I thought might be a good fit for me.  (yes I am the queen geek)  I wrote down all the specifics for each publisher.  Where to send that initial query, who is the initial contact, what their formatting specifications are, the royalty schedule, and length requirements were all laid out in a very formulaic pattern.  I knew where I was going to go first, who I needed to send to, and had started writing my blurb, synopsis, and query letters. Do you know how many different lengths publishers want for a synopsis? The industry really needs to come together on this.  

Well, in the middle of all that I get an email.

"I know an editor..."

All my plans go out the window and I scramble to finish a fast final read through.  I don't know the protocol for emailing the editor directly!  It's not in my spreadsheet!!  *flails*

But I am given the opportunity to get my foot in the door.  I have to jump on it. So I send it in.  Now what?

You guessed it.  I wait.

Week 1: My story is great!  The editor is going to love it.  I can't wait to hear back.

Week 2: Well, maybe it's not as good as it could be.  Hopefully, the editor will  realize this is my first book.  Should I have put that I am willing to do revisions?

Week 3: My story is the worst thing I have ever written.  I hope the editor won't spit on the computer screen while reading.  I would hate to get sued for the repair bill. Maybe it's best if I don't hear back.

Then I was checking my emails like I do every morning and there it sits.  THE EMAIL.  The editor loved it!  I think my sanity would have been questioned if the way I danced around my living room would have been video taped. Pretty sure the moves I did, held no rhythm consistent to any song in existence.  Good thing I was at home and not checking my email on my phone in public.  I would have been dancing just as badly regardless of where I was.

There is nothing better than a stranger telling you, that your story is good.  Nothing better.  It falls in line with sex, chocolate, and bacon.  That good.

Now I am in the system.  I got positive news.  What's next? More waiting.  I have a few more weeks to tear my hair out and believe myself the most inept author in the world, but for right now, I am going to take the praise.  I am going to frame the email, and I am going to have a beer and toast a day in my life I will never forget.  Cheers.

Tonight, I celebrate.

Tomorrow, I wait.

Monday, January 21, 2013

New Year, New Goals

Well, I kind of disappeared for a few months, didn't I?  The holidays do that to me.  I lose track of myself and work so hard to get things done for everyone else.

I got a fabulous present this year in my stocking.  I have my registration for the RT Convention paid for!  I have been to a couple conventions as a reader, but this time I registered as an aspiring author.  I have a few cards and a few goodies to give to people I have met and who have supported me in my efforts to move from "aspiring" to "published".

I also don't want to take advantage of this gift.  So one of my goals for this year is to submit two different manuscripts before attending the conference.  Maybe I can drop the "aspiring" part of my registration. ;p

I didn't post any New Year's Resolutions yet, because I have been doing some real soul-searching about what is feasible, what I want, and what I am willing to give up to get there.

So here goes.  I am putting down my goals for the year.  You are all going to hold me accountable right?  Keep me in line?  Crack the whip?  I need a little help with that.

1. Finish writing and editing my PNR trilogy.
 I have stalled on book three.  It is going to be significantly longer than the first two.  I have my ending.   I just need to finish the journey my heroine takes to get there.

2. Start a writing spreadsheet.  Keep accountable and write at least 5k new words per week.
I have a heavy work load two days out of the week, but the other five days there is no reason I can't get a thousand words down.  I need to get into this habit.

3. Read one book on the writing craft every month. 

A present from a great friend made me realize I have a quite a few books that I have been meaning to read. I have a lot of valuable information at my fingertips.  Time to pick them up.

4. Come out of the Erotica closet with my immediate family.
My family knows I am writing.  They don't know the heat level.  With my stories getting ready to go public, I need to come clean about this aspect. I am not ashamed of what I write.  And if I am honest with myself, I have always been a bit of a black sheep.  I am proud of how sexually free and fun my characters are.  They have no regrets about themselves, so I should have no regrets about writing them.

5. Find a way to pay it forward.
The main reason I began this journey was due to my friends and loved ones.  I have some incredibly supportive people who believed in me when I wasn't so sure I believed in myself.  I want to find a way to show them appreciation and create that same amazing feeling in someone new.

I am not a twenty-something who knew what she wanted to be right away.  I am just a woman who is discovering who she is, and who she was meant to become.  I am trying to enjoy the journey, and hope to make steps towards "me".  I use a pen name, not because I am hiding, but because I am reinventing myself.  There is more truth in who we create ourselves to be, than in who others have tried to mold us into.  For the first time in as long as I can remember, I am working towards my goals, and not someone else's expectations.

Do you have any goals you are working towards?  Anything you want to accomplish?  Post them here, or post them where you can see them.  Let's hold each other accountable.  Or at least hold hands when the reality gets a bit scary. :)