What have I been up to? Well
I'm back from Book Exposition America and what a wonderful time that was seeing
author friends, lunching with my agent, and meeting many of you at book signings.
Now it’s back to business as usual. I'm working on yet another novel. This one’s
called First Crush and is set in wine country. Anyone up for a full bodied red?
As most of you know travel
is in my veins. I'm heading back to New York in a week or so, but this time it’s
for pleasure. I'm hosting a luau for my niece. Can you imagine twenty little girls
all under the age of ten having the time of their lives? Bring on the pineapples,
leis, and hula dancers. Bring on the limbo stick. Of course a luau isn't a luau
without Don Ho singing Tiny Bubbles. I'll definitely be indulging my inner child.
Indulge your inner child
this summer. Read everything you can get your hands on and don't forget to write!
Editor -- Romantically Yours
of the Trade
or not to schmooze that is the question. With RWA’s national conference right
around the corner this should be a fitting topic. I advocate the “schmooze.” But
do it right. There’s nothing like a little self promotion to get your name and
your book out there. Whether you're a newbie or a seasoned veteran the following
tips can't hurt.
things first, prepare and plan
will you be attending? Is it a workshop, conference, cocktail party, lecture or
be there? Who do you want to meet?
do you want to get out of this event? Is it a publishing contact, new critique
partner or get the latest buzz about a new line or publishing house?
down what you want to accomplish and how you plan on going about it. Use an index
card and keep your goals SMART.
say you're attending an industry cocktail party. The idea is to acquire an agent
then SMART would be:
-Need to find an agent
Measurable - Need to strike up a conversation with
ten people to get recommendations or meet someone who can help
- I'm going to start off by chatting up people at the buffet table
- Writers and agents normally attend an industry event, especially a relaxed venue
like a cocktail party where people go to see and be seen.
Timely - Make sure
you have work that’s ready to go. No point in making the contact if you can't
follow up for months.
so you've got your SMART goals written down. Arrive early. This serves several
purposes. You can scan the attendance sheet at leisure to see who’s who. It’s
also easier to start up a conversation since cliques haven't yet formed. If you're
still feeling shy about mingling then why not volunteer? Volunteering will give
you something to do. It gives you an excuse to make conversation and introduce
Some good conversational
ice-breakers are as follows: (and yes they work)
a great dress (tie) etc.”
“How’s the food?”
“How’s the conference going
“I enjoyed reading your latest book,”
“You're always so gracious.
It’s one of the things I remember about you.”
“Where’s the ladies room?”
Remember to listen
more than speak.
the bash follow up with a handwritten thank you note. E mail is so impersonal.
Now go to it! Smile and
have fun! *************
July 11-14, 2007
September 20-23, 2007
September 28-30, 2007
October 5-6, 2007
October 26-28, 2007 *************************************************
truly rocks. This multi-published author and winner of several awards has her
hands full raising three little boys yet remains prolific. She has a Masters in
English and gave up several high power jobs to be a homemaker. If that isn't impressive
enough she looks like she stepped off the cover of a fashion magazine. For more
about this talented author log onto her website http://www.joannerock.com/ .
month I interviewed Ingrid Weaver who wrote To Russia, With Love, launching the
first book in the Harlequin Mediterranean Series Continuity. Your book, Scent
of a Woman is the second. Can you give us a brief plot description and who your
hero and heroine were modeled after?
is the blurb for Scent of a Woman-- Danielle Chevalier has a taste for
the finer things in life, especially the lush, exotic scents she creates at her
fragrance business. Under pressure from her brother to sell the small company,
Danielle is thrilled when she's invited to an exclusive conference aboard the
cruise ship Alexandra's Dream. There she hopes to gain the contacts necessary
to rally her business and avoid the devastation of a takeover. But Danielle's
dreams have a harsh run-in with reality when she meets Adam Burns, a representative
from a major U.S. competitor who is determined to outmaneuver her in negotiations.
off the advances of a competing fragrance company is hard enough, but resisting
her attraction to Adam may prove the real battle and mixing business with pleasure
just may cost her both.
didn't model the hero and heroine after anyone specifically. My characters tend
to be amalgamations of different personality traits that I see in a variety of
people. I can say that for my hero, however, I started with a rough vision of
a JFK Jr. persona. I liked the idea of the strong, independent hero predestined
for a certain role in life and I worked to make Adam the kind of character who
learned to see beyond what was planned for him to what was important to him personally.
this your first continuity? If not, tell us about others you've written. What
would you say is the most challenging aspect of this type of series?
Nights was my first continuity experience, but I enjoyed it so much I am thrilled
to be involved in a new continuity project called Thoroughbred Legacy that will
be out in 2008. I like the experience because it calls for me to bring to life
characters that have already been roughly outlined in a larger context, but that
same part is one of the most challenging aspects. I had to find a way to make
the characters true to their roles in the story, yet make them fully my characters
and characters that I could write about in a believable way.
All Night which was written for Harlequin’s Blaze is up for the prestigious Rita
award. Describe to our readers what a RITA award is. In your opinion what made
this book stand out and get noticed?
so excited to see Up All Night recognized. The RITA is the romance industry’s
highest honor and it’s fun to see which books are recognized because the list
of RITA finalists is always a great buying guide for books you may have missed
during the year. Up All Night is a finalist in the Long Contemporary category
and I think the book stood out because of the fun, sexy set-up where a case of
mistaken identity and the wrong email address pairs up two strangers in a hotel
room for a would-be tryst. But beyond the sexy hook, I think the story is appealing
for the unusual characters. An entrepreneurial agoraphobic pushes her personal
boundaries by daring to attend a business convention at a crowded hotel where
she meets an insomniac mechanical engineer who designs roller coasters and thrill
rides for a living. His thrill-seeking behavior make him all wrong for her, yet
they challenge each other in the best ways.
are you currently working on now? Is there a big book in the making?
just turned in a Blaze about a sports agent who thinks he’s cursed and hires a
paranormal investigator to get to the bottom of his bad luck. It’s a bit of suspense
mixed with a small paranormal angle and a hefty dose of steam. I really enjoyed
it! As for a bigger book, I have a historical coming out this winter tentatively
entitled A Knight Most Wicked. The story begins in 14th century Bohemia where
my heroine follows Princess Anne of Bohemia’s retinue as the royal entourage travels
to England for Anne’s marriage to the English king.
a homemaker and a mother of three, yet you've managed to have a successful writing
career. Talk to us about time management. How are you able to raise a family and
make time for writing?
my time is an ongoing process that I revisit a few times a year to make changes
and adapt to the kids’ ever-changing schedules. Also, effective time management
comes from knowing how much time I need to do various jobs, something I've learned
by trial and error over the years. I try to pay attention to when I work most
effectively and honor those times of day when my creativity seems to be highest.
I can get the most done when I work at times of day where I'm alert and tuned
into writing. Whereas I can sit for twice as long in the late afternoon without
accomplishing nearly as much just because that seems to be a slow time of day
for me personally. Learning my working rhythms has helped me make the best use
of them so I have more time for family.
there are four males in the household has it helped you to write from the male
point of view?
can't tell you how much this has informed my writing. My husband is a former sports
editor and columnist, and the man’s never been at a loss for words. He’s charming
and has a great sense of humor, but I like to tease him that he’s never had a
thought he doesn't share out loud. His lack of subtlety has surely led to a few
domestic disputes in our day, but it’s also been incredibly helpful for understanding
how men think. I feel comfortable stepping into my heroes’ shoes because I can
hear my husband’s voice oh-so-clearly in the background and it’s a voice that’s
very different from mine or my heroines’.
currently live in the Adirondacks and have lived in six states. Which is your
favorite? Have you used any of the states as settings for your novels?
love our current home and the Adirondacks are a beautiful place to raise a family.
I'm also blessed to be close to my husband’s clan (six brothers and a sister!)
to nurture close ties between my kids and their extended family. However, the
draw of family aside, I really liked living in Kentucky. We lived in Louisville
and I thought the people we met there-across the board-were some of the most welcoming,
gracious folks I've ever met. I also really enjoyed the contrast of country and
horse farms versus the great restaurants and cultural opportunities the city had
to offer. I set my first book, Learning Curves, in Louisville and am setting
my contribution to the Thoroughbred Legacy continuity in Kentucky as well. But
I've put all my home states to good use in my novels, including my time in Miami.
Florida showed up in six books for my South Beach series, and also in my Wild
and Willing, and Wild and Wicked books.
have a Masters in English and you've also taught college, been a public relations
coordinator, and a copywriter. Given this rich background what do you do differently
to promote your books? Have you ever contributed to the cover copy of any of your
came onto the writing scene with great intentions for extra promotion because
of my background, but I'd discovered over the years that the best way to promote
my books is to spend my time writing the best possible stories. I tend to feel
more scattered when I divide my attention up among too many tasks and bottom-line,
I enjoy the writing process best! So I've put more of my energy and focus there
and I think it’s been a good decision for me. However, I do think that my time
as a copy writer and my days in marketing have helped me to write stronger pitches
for my books. Coming up with tag lines and blurb-style copy is always a fun part
of the writing process and my editor has kept portions of these for some of my
books over the years.
a typical day in the life of Joanne Rock?
this depends so much on the time of year. During the school year, I start work
as soon as the kids go to school. My work begins with quiet time as I like to
clear my head while I read the paper and eat breakfast. This is a necessary step
since I can't just drop into my writing seat at any time and expect words to come.
I need to respect the transitional phases that precede it. Then I take my coffee
into my office and ideally write for two hours and finish the majority of my pages
on my work in progress. Sometimes, if the words aren't coming, I need a brainstorm
call to my critique partner (HQN author Catherine Mann) or I need to revisit my
synopsis and character notes. After a couple of hours-whether I've accomplished
much or not-I need to take a break and think about something else. At this point
I'll work on some of the million and one other jobs that go into being a writer-working
on revisions to a previous book, working on a synopsis for a future book, developing
cover art ideas, updating my website, blogging, etc. I usually spend a couple
of hours on pursuits like these or else critiquing for Catherine. By the time
I'm done with this, interspersed with basic house chores, the kids are home from
school. I'll pick away at little writing jobs if I have any down time between
this and bed time, but usually with homework and school sports, I don't get back
to my computer until after the kids are in bed. If I need to, I can write for
a couple more hours, but if the Muse has been kind to me, I can use this time
instead to catch up on email before bed.
what sparks your creativity? How are you able to come up with new and different
many things spark creativity for me that it’s hard to pin them down. I am struck
by couples I see in real life and I'll wonder how those personality types got
together in the first place. Other times, I'll read about a historical time period
and wonder how a woman set against that backdrop would manage if she were dropped
into that moment. Articles in the newspaper will give rise to new scenes and settings
in my contemporaries. I'm also inspired by my girlfriends and their personalities.
I'll spin a few characteristics from one with a few characteristics from another
and see what she'd be like if I brought her to life on paper. All of those things
have given birth to fun books for me and I hope they continue to for many years!
I'm enjoying this too much to stop now
is developing a non-fiction line and plans to launch it in 2008. The focus is
on relationships, health, self-help, diet, fitness, inspirational, memoirs etc.
The audience Harlequin hopes to attract is women thirty-five and older.
5,000 -15,000 words
Editor: Susan Pezzack
Editorial Office: Canada
Looking for bold,
sexually explicit editorial that pushes the envelope. These are highly erotic
words (200 manuscript pages)
Editor - Evette Porter
NY NY 10279
to a young African American audience between the ages of 14-20, reflecting everyday
experiences and interests.
- 75,000 words
Editor - Melissa Endlich
Editorial Office - New York
Launch February 2008
focus on Christian characters facing challenges. Log onto www.eharlequin.com for
Seas Literary Agency
P.O. Box 8571
Madison, WI 53708
Agents accepting Romance Fiction
Denise Marcil Literary Agency Inc.
156 5th Avenue, Suite 625
New York, NY 10010
Kern Literary Agency
P.O. Box 2908
Portland, OR 97208
You can find
like-minded souls on the following websites: http://www.romancedivas.com/ , http://www.romancejunkies.com/http://www.authorsinyourpocket.com/ , http://www.fictionfactor.com/
your heart in a book and continue writing.
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