I didn't attend
many workshops but I did attend some informative PAN (Published author network
events.) Otherwise most of the time was spent catching up with friends, networking,
shopping, and restaurant hopping. The food and ambience in San Francisco can't
be beat and I sampled plenty of it. There is a diet in my future somewhere.
highlight of the conference was the Harlequin party held at The Four Seasons Hotel.
Harlequin is known for its wonderful bashes and this party did not disappoint.
I attended with author friends, Kathleen Lawless (this month's interviewee,) who
writes “Romantica,” those highly sensual stories we all like to read, Sandra Kitt,
Sandra Madden and Carole Stephens. We immediately got Cosmos and with drinks in
hand found a table. We were fortunate enough to sit next to author, Eva Rutland
(a legend in her own right,) and her two beautiful daughters. Please check out
my website http://www.lovemarcia.com/for the wonderful photo
of me, Eva, and Ginger, her daughter coming off the dance floor.
of dancing, the D J kept us on the floor until the wee hours. My one regret was
that I never got to take my hot air balloon ride. However I did go to wine country,
and that visit came with sampling lots of vino. Do I hear that diet calling?
While there's wine on the mind,
in November, FIRST CRUSH, my new release set in wine country
will be in the stores. As an additional treat that entire month I'll be suggesting
wines that go well with different kinds of foods. Again check out my website http://www.lovemarcia.com/for some useful holiday
May the muse be
Editor — Romantically Yours
Tools of the
are tough — What's a writer to do?
it seems every time we open a newspaper, or turn on a television, there's some
company filing for bankruptcy or going out of business. The real estate market
is in crisis and people are walking away from their homes. Executives previously
earning high six figure salaries are out of work and pounding the pavements to
pick up a job, any job; even some they thought were beneath them.
would then come as no surprise that the current state of the economy also affects
book sales. Readers who would normally buy an armful of books are now shopping
at their local libraries. A drop off in sales means a downsizing of authors.
companies closing around us, or actively looking for ways to reduce cost, it makes
it even more difficult for new authors to get published. Those with a proven track
record are having a challenge getting new contracts. If your sales figures aren't
where the publisher wants them to be, then you can count on not having your contract
renewed. Only the strongest will survive in a weak economy.
don't mean to paint a morbid picture of this career we're passionate about. But
the facts are that writers face a huge challenge. No wonder so many of us keep
a day job. Rather than giving up on writing altogether, it's time to get smart,
hone our skills and become resourceful.
and foremost a positive outlook is essential. Be willing and prepared to shift
gears. If you're a fiction writer with an affinity for working out then why not
start writing health and fitness articles? If you're a ‘foodie' or simply enjoy
good wine consider submitting to epicurean magazines. Small town newspapers will
publish short stories and articles from locals and in fact will welcome your submissions.
Don't forget e publishing
is alive and well today. My e published friends tell me the royalties cannot be
beat and far exceed what the book publishers offer. Go on line and explore the
many opportunities out there. You just might be surprised.
field of copywriting can also be quite lucrative. Snag a winning headline or lead,
and you can become one of the most sought after writers today. So what's copywriting
you ask? Any writing that promotes a product or service for sale; think ads and
junk mail. Based on the amount I get in my mail box there are many, many writers
might also consider partnering with a web designer or just advertising on your
own to write copy for websites. Keep in mind almost every business or independent
contractor has a website these days. Designers aren't necessarily writers, and
business people, smart as they are, may not have the time, inclination or skill
to pen their own prose.
contests, attend conferences, and do what needs to be done to keep your name out
there. In lean times get creative. Why not continue to do what you love and get
paid for it?
Interview with Kathleen Lawless:
Lawless is as sultry as she is talented. I met this vivacious woman at the RWA
conference in San Francisco. We'd been introduced via e mail previously by a mutual
friend, and clicked almost immediately. Kathleen is one of those attractive, earthy,
extroverts completely comfortable with her sexuality. She is the perfect person
to write Romantica; those highly sensual stories you love to read. Hear what she
has to say on the topic of romance and love. Log onto http://www.kathleenlawless.com/for more about her.
Tell us a little about Kathleen and what inspired her to write romances?
L.: Being a total romantic, I inhaled romance novels in my formative
years, not realizing that their appeal was far more-reaching than the Happy-Ever-After.
The novels that stayed with me long after the last page were the ones that tapped
into the basic core myths or fantasies that resonate deep within our psyche. Stories
featuring marriage of convenience, kidnapping, cowboy fantasy, wounded hero-on-the-run,
Cinderella, and other myths, were the ones I loved the most.
loved to write, so as a young stay-at-home mother, it made sense to try and write
a book that I hoped would touch a reader the way all those wonderful stories had
long have you been writing and how many books have you written to date? Of all
of the books you've written which is your favorite?
L.:I actually attempted my first book so long ago it was on a typewriter.
And it was very, very bad. But I finished it, which was tenacity training for
the rest of my career. Not only did I finish it with the help of a lot of white-out,
I had the audacity to mail it to Avon Books, who had launched Joanna Lindsay.
My effort boomeranged back so fast it renewed my faith in the postal service.
It also renewed my determination to write a publishable book.
my first sale in 1995, ironically coinciding with my divorce. Perhaps because
I was no longer living-happily-ever after, my fantasies grew stronger. I subsequently
sold four more books in a very short time and when people asked me the reason
for that fast-track success, I laughingly attributed it to my newly single status.
I have published 15 books to date. Notice that's published, not written! Which
is my favorite? That's like asking which is my favorite child. But I have to say
TABOO, my first erotic romance will always have a special place in my heart. I
wrote that to be the type of book that I wanted to read, at a time when it seemed
no one else was writing that genre.
writing has been labeled Erotica or erotic romances. Would that be an accurate
description? If not, how would you describe what you write?
L.:I'm okay with erotic romance, although I would never classify my books
as Erotica. My books are first and foremost a romance, which to me means a monogamous
relationship once the two lead characters meet. My books are sexier than the “typical”
romances I grew up reading.
I think what sets them apart is that the
high degree of sexuality is important for both characters' growth. It's not a
gratuitous boink-a-thon (not that I object to those, it's just not what I write).
My characters are forced out of their comfort zone on many different levels because
of the sex. They would not learn what they need to learn about themselves if they
were not experiencing such an intense degree of sexual intimacy, and while they
might start out enjoying the best sex of their lives, and lots of it, once they
recognize that there's a whole new level of emotional intimacy tangled up in it,
that just adds to the conflict.
When you first began writing what types of romances did you write?
L.: I started with historicals, inspired by the likes of Joanna Lindsay
and Kathleen Woodiwiss. Currently, I enjoy doing both contemporary and historical
because it keeps me fresh. A range is good.
do you think sensual romances have become increasingly more popular?
L.:I'm sure there are as many different reasons as there are readers.
Sad as it sounds, I talk to a lot of women who have very unsatisfactory sex lives
and/or a low sex drive. In that instance, I like to think of the books as therapy.
Maybe she can leave it out for her husband to peek at. Or they can read an excerpt
together and talk about it. Maybe the books get her turned on so she can reach
sexual fulfillment on her own. Maybe the reader just needs hot escapism. As modern
women, we want it all, but what exactly is “it all”?
are the essential ingredients to writing a grabbing sex scene?
L.:To me writing, or experiencing, a grabbing sex scene are both the
same. You need enthusiasm. An emotional connection. Trust. And a sense of humor.
Props are optional.
Describe your favorite kind of hero?
L.: My favorite kind of hero is one who will do whatever needs to be
done, even if it requires personal sacrifice. Can you tell I'm a big fan of “The
What in your opinion makes a man sexy?
L.: I find most men pretty darn sexy, once you ferret out their secrets
and strengths. But I would have to say “being capable”. Firefighters and cops
are popular heroes because they impart a confidence-inspiring energy that they
can deal with whatever comes their way. I appreciate a man who can order from
an extensive wine list, sooth a crying baby, and whip out his chainsaw if he needs
to deal with a fallen tree across the road. Someone you can relax with because
you know he's got it covered. And he won't try and stiff you with the bill at
the end of the night.
your knowledge of wine have you considered writing a book set in wine country
or has one already been completed?
L.: Well, I do love wine, and my characters periodically enjoy a nice
vintage as well. But Nora Roberts did it so well in ‘The Villa', I think that's
something I'll stay away from.
makes Kathleen smile?
L.: I like to think I'm always smiling. I'm a very happy person.
had vampire stories, cowboy, secret baby stories, and home and hearth stories.
What do you predict will be the next hot sub-genre?
L.: Let me polish the crystal ball! A good, strong, well-told love
story will always have its place with the reader. And different readers resonate
to different fantasies, to be sure, given the popularity of paranormal and urban
fantasy right now. The Alpha hero will always be in style. Currently, I'm hearing
murmurings on-line about time-travel, which well might be due for a resurgence
of interest. For as you know, everything is cyclical, and not just in our business
us a sneak peak as to what next we can expect from Kathleen Lawless?
L.:I really do love it all! I'm currently at work on a trilogy of erotic
thrillers, which is a lot of fun. And of course, speaking of - ta-dah! - A time-travel.
There's nothing like bringing that Alpha-male from the past into the 21st century
and totally befuddling him.
with Gayle Wilson
Date: September 27, 2008
Sponsor: Vancouver Island
Location: Dunsmuir Lodge, Sidney, BC, Canada
Fee: $ 75.00
Date: October 3-5, 2008
Sponsor: Georgia Romance Writers
Location: Hilton Atlanta Northeast, Norcross, GA
City Writers Conference
Date: October 10-12, 2008
Sponsor: Greater Seattle
Location: Bellevue Hilton, Bellevue, WA
Fee: $229 (early bird discount)
Keynote: Julia Quinn
Star Writers Conference
Date: October 25, 2008
Sponsor: NW Houston RWA
Location: Spring, TX
Speaker: Patricia Kay
Your Heart in a Book
Date: October 24-25, 2008
The Woodbridge Hotel &
Sponsor: New Jersey RWA
Location: Woodbridge, NJ
Speakers: Lisa Scottoline/Eloisa James
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Did You Know?
you're an uninsured writer and a member of Romance Writers of America you'd be
remiss not to take advantage of the voluntary insurance program offered. This
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to join http://www.rwanational.org/
* ABOUT Marcia's ROMANTICALLY YOURS
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