No Thank-You

I’ve been thinking about our customs around saying “thank-you” to people. Since our topic at the SFF Seven this week is whatever is on our minds, I’m going for this!

Way back in January 2013 I did a post on why I hate thank-you notes, and I tell you – I *still* get people finding my blog by Googling that topic, and sending me messages. So, this is something I’ve been mulling for a long time. I’ve gotten a new perspective on the topic lately, so come on over to read more!

Closing the Circuit with Readers – Plus Voltage!

the dance 2 croppedLovely shot (IMO) of my stepson and his bride dancing at their New Year’s Eve wedding. There’s something so classic about this moment, the “first” dance. Two people full of hope and love.

We come together over these things, don’t we?

So, an unusual thing happened along those lines.

It started when my longtime friend and CP, Allison Pang, discovered the easter egg I hid for her in Rogue’s Possession, and wrote a blog post about it. I wondered if anyone would notice it, but Allison and I think it’s hysterically funny, which is always good enough for us. 

 Well, turned out one of Allison’s readers saw the blog post and went out and read Rogue’s Pawn and Rogue’s Possession. I know this because she emailed me to say so. Now, let me say right now that getting messages from readers is a kick that never loses its impact. It’s something not easy to explain – and maybe something that I would never have predicted would mean so much – but hearing from someone who just loved loved loved your story completes a kind of circuit. It’s like in physics, where the electrical current doesn’t flow until the circle is complete. When someone writes or talks to me about one of my books, it’s like they bring all that energy back around and it lights me up.

And this was even better.

The lovely and enthused Heather wrote this to me:

So I’m still basking in the afterglow of Rogue’s Possession. When stories affect me like this I usually create a music playlist for the book/series. I put my IPod on shuffle and see what comes up and fits the mood the book evokes in me and fits the story or characters. The first song that came up was one of my all time favorites from nineties industrial rock, Waking Up Beside You by Stabbing Westward. It was never released on the radio but it is my favorite on their album Darkest Days. I don’t know what your music tastes are but this song is so passionate about something so simple with an intense rock sound becoming so complex. It reminded me of Rogue and Gwynn immediately, a couple who is passionate, intense, and complex but crave simplicity in their lives. I see the song from both of their points of view. I hope you give it a listen, but if not no biggie. I just wanted to share it with you.

 Of course I listened to the song! I mean, right?? And I shelled out my 99cents and bought it. It moves me deeply, both how perfect the song is for Rogue & Gwynn, and that Heather shared it with me. This was like completing the circuit and amping the voltage. I love that I wrote about this feeling and she reflected it back. A shared moment.

I’m still high from it.

She’s right on, so I’m sharing it here.

Why I’m Proud to Say I Write Erotic Romance

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Many things going on today. Why today, I don’t know. Beware the Ides of October?

I’ve got a guest post over at What’s Beyond Forks today. She also gave Rogue’s Possession a lovely review.

I also am up over at Paranormal Romantics, talking about the map I drew for my Twelve Kingdoms trilogy and why maps of imaginary worlds are so compelling.

Finally, the BDSM Goodreads group is featuring Ruby on the group homepage. You can listen to a clip of it, which is really quite fun, I think. There’s also an interview with me, in case you don’t know everything already. :-p

Whew!

That’s stuff for Covenant of Thorns, Twelve Kingdoms and Facets of Passion, all on one day. What I get for simultaneously writing erotic romance, fantasy romance and fantasy.

It’s funny because I was at a conference this last weekend sponsored by a non-RWA writers’ organization. So the attendees wrote in a wide mix of genres. I gave a workshop called “More than Wham, Bam, Thank-you Ma’am: Wooing the Female Reader.” I wanted to make the case for adding love and sex to a story in ways that appeal to women. A number of the writers present came from a more hard-core epic fantasy lens. In fact, one guy handed me his book to peruse and, though the jacket copy mentioned probably five or six characters, not one was female. I nearly said I’d never read a book that doesn’t even mention a female character in the jacket copy, but I figured he wouldn’t care. I wasn’t his reader.

But I think I did take people aback a bit – even though I dedicated a slide at the start to a Fair Warning! that I write erotic romance and talk frankly about sex. A few people did leave, but more stayed. We had a great discussion. One question that comes up over and over is if I admit publicly to being a writer of erotic romance.

I find it funny that people ask that question. As if it’s something to hide, possibly to be ashamed of.

The gal who gave the opening luncheon address tossed off a remark that she wouldn’t want E.L. James’ paycheck (the writer of Fifty Shades of Grey) because she wouldn’t be able to face her grandchildren.

It struck me as a very odd thing to say.

After all, I have grandchildren. They’re obviously too young to understand now, but when they grow up, I’d be honest about what I write. I’d hope that they’d be proud to have me for a grandmother.

At a neighborhood party recently, the mother of three kids down the road said something interesting to me. She told me that she grew up in a farming community, filled with corn and conservative people. I wasn’t sure why she was telling me about it, but she finally said, “I am just so happy that my kids are growing up in a neighborhood where an erotic romance writer lives up the street. Even if they can’t read your books, it’s so good for them to know amazing people like you.”

It was one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me.

This Stuff Ain’t Stayin’ in Vegas!

hotel viewSo, I’m here in Las Vegas, downtown at the Plaza Hotel. The hotel website referred to the pool as “iconic.” David asked me what that meant and I said probably that we’ll recognize it from movies. We’ve now decided it means “old, but not neat enough to be historic, but you still can’t bitch about it being ugly.” We’ve also labelled the elevators iconic, the strange service and the decades-old cigarette smell. I noticed this morning that a casino hotel on the next block is labelled “legendary,” which suspect means the same this as “iconic.”

I met my Kensington editor, Peter Senftleben, last night. He’s just lovely in person. Agent Pam arrives this morning, so it should be a good time to be had by all. Now I need to work on my presentation for tomorrow!

Also, I’m guesting on the fabulous Suzanne Johnson’s Preternatura blog today, talking about worldbuilding as gardening. Comment to win a copy of either Pawn or Possession!

But first… You guys have to read the joint review Bookpushers gave Rogue’s Possession. Okay, you don’t HAVE to, but it’s the most wonderful, amazing review ever. Just to indulge myself, here are some quotes. You’re welcome.

This is one of the most imaginative, seductive and darkly sensual fantasy romances I’ve ever read.

There is a real emphasis on the characters and the plot as well as the world-building which is explored in much more depth but retains the surreal and dreamy tone with great touches of humour as well as darkness.

This was another great installment that was well worth waiting for. Now I can’t wait for the next one!

The tension between them which I thought was hot and sizzling in the first book, was an inferno for this one!

I stayed up into the wee hours of a workday morning because I was so hooked.

All right. Thank you for indulging me. You may now go on about your business.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Dream Casting the Movie

Armitage_New_York_December_2012I’m on the Carina Press blog today, talking about who’d I’d cast to play Rogue and Gwynn in the movie. Stop by to add your votes for alternative casting or for the secondary characters!

Tomorrow, I’m heading to Las Vegas (VIVA!) to attend the Nevada Writers Fiction Writing in the Digital Age Conference, where I’ll be giving a workshop on Saturday, More than Wham, Bam, Thank-You M’am – Wooing the Female Reader and signing swag at the Atomic Book Signing on Friday night.

If you’re in the area, come on by!

Release Week Shenanigans

Jeffe & DaryndaWHEW!

You know, we call it Release Day, when our books hit the market, but it’s more like Release Marathon. My mom has a friend who says “the birthday isn’t over until all the gifts are in.” That’s a bit how this feels. Yesterday was like my birthday, with all of the congratulations on the release of Rogue’s Possession, and now there’s more today and for the foreseeable future.

You guys are so great!

So, there’s all sorts of things going on.

My fabuloso buddy, Darynda Jones, also has a release today, making us Release Day Twins. Thus, we’re doing a Trivia Showdown over on Facebook. It’s pretty damn funny, I think. See, I asked her five questions and she gave me her answers. I posted them as multiple choice, filling in the other options myself. Maybe it’s diabolical of me, but I get pretty tickled when people choose my red-herring answers. Today she’ll ask ME five questions. Top prize is a $50 gift card to Wolferman’s Bakery, for the sheer numminess. Book giveaways are naturally also part of the deal!

I’m also over at Here Be Magic today, with an excerpt from Rogue’s Possession, just for fun – and wishing sister Word Whore, Veronica Scott a very Happy Birthday!

There’s a couple of giveaways in progress also. Hie on over to Pearls Cast Before a McPig or, if you want to read a chat between Rogue and Gwynn (who doesn’t, right??) you can visit So Many Reads.

See what I mean?

Send baked goods!

Drawing that Squiggly Line Between Inspiration and Plagiarism

RoguesPossession_400Release day for ROGUE’S POSSESSION is tomorrow!!

So, you know, you could totally pre-order it. I mean, I wouldn’t be a true Word Whore if I didn’t offer you some buy links right here and now, right???

Carina
B&N
Amazon

~does seductive click-the-buy-link dance~

Thank you!

This week, I’m over at Word Whores discussing Inspiration vs Imitation: How Far is Too Far?

Why Writers Need Other Writers

Rogue's PossessionThe ever-vigilant Samantha Ann King sent me the above today – and I made a screenshot. If you go to CarinaPress.com today, you’ll can see it live. But the list changes daily, thus the screenshot.

A book release brings such an odd mix of emotions. For a long time it seems forever away and then it’s next week. I get all excited for people to FINALLY read it – and then they mention they’ve got it (reviewers get it early) and are reading. Then I go into this frenzied spiral of concern. I’m like the family dog who’s hoping she gets to go on the trip, but is terrified she’ll be left behind. I get all hopeful and excited, but also filled with dread. Will they love it? Hate it? Does the dog bed mean I’m just going to the kennel??

Then I have to go pee.

Really, what gets me through all of it is my wonderful writer friends. They are the ones who know what it’s like. They watch the lists, like the one above. It makes me crazy to look at the lists and rankings like that, so I finally stopped. And they know that about me. When I tweeted back my thank you to Sam, she said “Somebody has to look out for you.” Because she knows that about me.

Sometimes I think that having other people know you is the closest we come to true communion, to the essence of love.

My friends reblog and retweet and share the good stuff and – most of all – they are happy for me. Not only are they there to hold my hand and talk me through the trials, they want to celebrate my successes, too. By this they show their tremendous generosity. Being happy for a friend is a tremendous gift.

See how wonky I am right now?

Speaking of wonky, the Wonk-O-Mance blog has a fun post up today, showing writer’s working spaces. They run a fabulous gamut from one gal’s car to another’s specialized garret. My treadmill desk is there, too.

I also really love this post about the real numbers behind self-publishing. I do think self-publishing is a great venue – heck, I’ve self-pubbed two books – but the numbers that get thrown around, fabulous, exciting, pyramid-scheme-worthy numbers, often strike me as … possibly inflated. People are enthusiastic and that kind of excitement leads to a lot of “I Want to Believe.” This article sheds a bit of bright light on that phenom.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Win-A-Book and Wednesday Wows!

Win-A-Book WednesdaySeveral fun things going on today.

If you dash over to the Here Be Magic blog, you can participate in our first ever Win-A-Book Wednesday, and possibly win a free book from me! This will be a regular weekly feature from us – I just happen to be first.

I’m thrilled to see Rogue’s Possession listed by The Bookpushers as an October Must Have. I’m particularly thrilled by the company – Lauren Dane, Mercedes Lackey, Meljean Brook and Nalini Singh, among others!

Finally, Total Eclipse Reviews interviewed Rogue today, with more or less success.