Living the Nora Life

 B1YtROqIcAAtnVhOn Sunday I got to see my lovely friends Darynda Jones and Katie Lane at the event for their new releases at Page 1 Books. Katie is telling a hilarious story about a trick-or-treater who came to her door talking on his cell phone. She refused to give him candy until he hung up and said “trick or treat.” She’s so damn funny. We met for lunch before hand and had such a great conversation. Love them both so much and so grateful to have them in my life.

Book events – especially for new releases – are kind of funny things. I mean, of course you want to do them. And they’re usually fun, because they’re a celebratory party thing and even better if you have author friends to join in, like this. I’ve got several events coming up for the release of The Tears of the Rose later this month. In fact, I should list them here:

Friday, November 7, 8-11pm, Independence Center of the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Washington DC – Mass autographing at World Fantasy Con

Friday, December 5, 7pm at Bookworks – me and Darynda!

Sunday, December 7, 2:30-3 at Page 1 Books – me and Celeste Bradley!

Come on by if you can!

At any rate, I was working last night on stuff to prep for this release and finding it a bit wrenching, because I’m working on something totally different now and my head is in that. It’s a weird thing about the whole business, that when I’m super excited about a book and want to talk about it, I’m the only one who knows anything about the story and there’s no one to talk to. Then, by the time everybody ELSE gets to read it, it’s old hat to me. Thinking about that, I recalled a conversation from Born in Ice, by Nora Roberts. I read it back in the mid-90s, when it first came out and before I ever thought I’d write fiction. But this scene struck me then and has stuck with me. The hero is Grayson Thane and he’s a bestselling author of thrillers. At one point he’s talking to his agent on the phone and she’s quoting good reviews to him. He tells the heroine, Brianna, that they’re early quotes on the new book. She says,

“But you haven’t finished the new book.”

“Not that new book. The one that’s coming out in July. That’s the new book, what I’m working on is the new manuscript.”

In another scene, which I can’t find in my paper copy and shouldn’t spend any more time looking for – this is one reason I love searchable digital books! – Brianna comments that he must be excited about the movie about to premiere of one of his books. He says, well, yes, but right now he’s all about Flashback. (At least, I think that’s what the title was – search might not have helped after all.) She asks what that is and he says it’s the manuscript he’s writing and all he can think about.

I really love this about Nora, that she created such a terrific character in Gray (and yes, his name IS over the top, because he made it up, we find out). He compelled me as a plain reader and now, years later, I identify so much with all the true-to-life details she layered in about him. Not that anyone is making a movie of my book, but I’ll be ready! Such a funny moment to realize I know what he – and Nora – are talking about. It’s the best possible world when I suddenly feel like a character from one of her books. Also a tribute to her skill in creating very real characters.

Speaking of new releases and author-type things, my first newsletter officially sent today! (Yeah, yeah, yeah – late, as my mother continually mentioned all weekend. Technical difficulties, okay?) So, if you thought you were getting one and didn’t, check your spam folder. Ironically enough, my own copy went to my junk mail folder. Sad day when I’m spamming myself…  If you still don’t have it, ping me and I’ll check into it.

I’m off to World Fantasy Con (see aforementioned signing on Friday) starting Thursday. If you’re going to be there, do say hi!

World Fantasy Con 2012 – Day 0

I’m just popping in for a quick Thursday post to update on World Fantasy Con 2012.

I’m calling yesterday Day Zero because I mainly traveled, got here late and ate dinner. BUT, I did hit the early registration at 9:30 pm and got the Enormous Tote Bag of books. Yowsa!

And the Carina Press spec fic authors’ page in the program looks fab indeed. That’s the inside front cover – very nice placement.

Events start at 2pm today, so hopefully there will be more missives!

Directing Creativity – Managing an Infinite Resource in Finite Ways

So, the big news is, I officially finished the draft of RP2, now officially dubbed “Rogue’s Possession.”

Exciting, yes – but the above pic truly encapsulates how we celebrate around here. Ahhh….

It’s so interesting to me how creativity works. We often talk about it like it’s a well, where the water flows at a certain rate, can be drawn down, needs time to replenish, and – horror of horrors – could maybe run dry. But I wonder if this is really an accurate metaphor? After all, creativity is a kind of energy, but it’s not subject to the physical laws of the universe. It almost belongs to the spiritual realm. My physical body might tire – the brain that translates the story, the hands that type it – but it seems to me the creativity itself should be endless.

Yet, it never feels that way.

Here it is, October 26, and I haven’t put up my Halloween decorations. I *love* Halloween. I have two great big bins of decorations sitting in the garage. I’d thought maybe I’d put them up last weekend, but I spent my time writing 10,000 words on Rogue’s Possession.

I know that’s not my usual thing, but I was experimenting. David was out of town for the weekend and I really wanted to finish Possession so I can get started on Ruby (book 3 in Facets of Passion) which is due to fabulous editor Deb at the end of November. So, I tried writing five 60-minute blocks each day. In between, I walked the dog, cooked meals, did dishes, that sort of thing.

Did not put up decorations.

It just felt like too much. Though it would have taken very little time, really.

And I did it! I wrote a little over 5K each day, did not feel exhausted and it let me finish the book early. The ending can be like that for me – I just have to keep going with it, because if I stop, I can lose the threads. Somehow, though, that extra bit of tangential creativity, putting up some decorations, seemed absolutely impossible.

I’ve done this at other times in my life, when things going on just absorbed so much of my personal energy that other stuff just had to be dropped, totally and completely. Shut the door and sever the cord. I used to quilt and loved it, but finally faced that I had to stop and divert that energy into writing. That choice made a huge difference in my writing productivity.

Now that the book is finished, I feel that energy bubbling within. Which is great news for Ruby!

Maybe I’ll get those decorations up this weekend…

Also, if you’re online this weekend, I’ll be participating in Coyote Con – an online free writing conference. I’ll be on a panel for Fantasy Romance, 6-7pm Eastern Time tonight. Tomorrow, 2:30-3:30pm ET, I’ll be on a panel with some fab friends “THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE GIRLY & THE MANLY” and another panel tomorrow night (Saturday 10/27), 9:30-10:30pm ET, on erotica and erotic romance.

Next weekend, I’ll be in Toronto for World Fantasy Con – provided Frankenstorm doesn’t raze the city. And, while I’m in Toronto, I’ll be signing cover flats at the Ellora’s Cave booth at the Everything to Do with Sex Show on Saturday evening, November 3, 7-9 pm.