Friday, October 14, 2011


Especially after my week!
I seem to have misplaced a blogger or two, or perhaps they’ve misplaced me. Not really surprising with busy life styles and writing deadlines, is it? In today’s busy world there are times we would lose our heads if they weren't conveniently attached (My mom told me that so I know it's gotta be true). 

I’m not sure how your week was but mine has been filled with deadlines, meetings, bureaucracy galore,in other words, chaos. And I seem unable to have a quiet day at home. You know, that free and quiet time so you can reflect, catch up on things, and god forbid, maybe even read?

Yeah, well, not happening here. Hope y’all have had better success with that than me.

Some winners:

Laila won a $10 Amazon gift card at Loucinda McGary’s launch party last Friday.

Jo Wake and Tracy Dent won a copy of The Lady of the Storm by Kathryne Kennedy. I do have your email addys but I will need your physical address to forward to the publisher so the books can be sent to you.

A good book I read recently:

You remember IsabelCooper visited the blog a couple weeks agoWITH TIME ON MY HANDS and her book, No Proper Lady. Well I ordered the ebook. It was a great book and I finished it swiftly. I couldn’t wait to see how everything played out. A historical and yet not as it has a touch of paranormal and scifi. Loved the time travel aspect of it—traveling back in time to save the world for the future. Joan is a skilled assassin and lives in a world so very different from England of 1888. Her adjustment to a relatively safe and normal world (except for corsets which she considers torture extreme) where there is plenty of food, wildlife, and shock, the world is full of green forests. It was fun to see her transformation from soldier (you would not believe where she hides all her weapons—she’d shock the leading ladies) to a lady who would fit into the Ton so she could get close to her target. I also loved the fact that the hero is a magician and his sister is a minor one. Both Simon and his sister have trouble wrapping their minds around what happens in 200 years.  Simon also has to come to grips with Joan’s language and sexuality—so different from the women of his time. On the last page, last scene, I was like, what do you mean this is the end? No, I want more, dammit! I really enjoyed reading this book. You should check it out.


A fun book trailer:

Another thing I thoroughly enjoyed is AlexCavanaugh’s newest book trailer, CassaFire. It’s high definition and well done, great voice over, scenes from the book, seamless animated content. 

I loved his first book and trailer, which is how I met up with him. For those of you who haven’t seen it if you click here  it will take you to it.

Check out his site too!  

A great movie:

My son, Jake, and I had a great movie night last weekend—popcorn, some chocolate raisinettes, and multiple kittens to snuggle with.  We saw Fast Five. I loved it. Lots of action, fast cars, and amazing scenarios with precision drivers—good guys win and bad guys lose and major slimebag first gets his butt kicked financially and then his just reward. 

Oh, yeah. Love kick ass and take name movies. An added bonus was Vin Diesel and The Rock. Sigh…They sure were purty to look at. I want to see it again.

Blogs I learn from or entertain me:

Beth HillThe Editors Blog. Beth has some fabulous craft articles with good examples. She is also an excellent editor for story presentation, grammar, etc. She knows the market well. Check out her archives.

Olivia Cunning Musings From an Erotic Romance Author  Olivia is just plain fun and talks about writing, her work, polls, and other fun stuff.

So, there you have it friends.

Your turn to share.

  • Any good books you've read? 
  • Fun book trailer links? 
  • Any good movies?
  • Any good news?

C’mon, tell me all about it!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Moving Forward as a Writer

My guest is romance author Abigail Reynolds. Abigail writes The Pemerley Variations. It's a series of novels exploring the roads NOT taken in Pride and Prejudice fiction.

Regardless of what genre we write, our writing must progress and change. Part of that is a learning curve all writers go through. To remain current with the market  and not have each book we write an interchangeable carbon copy we must change and add conflicts and problems for our characters to solve on their way to their happy ending. Fans don't always like how authors change and grow. 

So how do you deal with fans that don't like the new conflict your characters face? Abigail discusses this with regards to her own writing.  

I’m starting to realize how difficult it is to evolve and change as a writer.   Not the evolving part - that happens naturally – but dealing with reader reactions. Those of us who write in the “comfort reading” genres discover quickly that many readers who love our first book(s) would really prefer that all future books stick very close to the same pattern.  Those readers end up feeling betrayed when a new book isn’t what they expected, and as an author, I have to be careful to stay clear of those angry readers so that I don’t turn into a book-manufacturing machine.  I’ve read too many books by talented authors who are afraid to move out of the reader’s comfort zone, and instead end up with interchangeable books.

I understand the readers’ position very well.  Some of my favorite writers started out with books that were light hearted and low in angst (my favorite), and when their later books become progressively darker, I didn't like it.  But as a writer, I found myself doing the same thing and noticing that most of my fellow writers followed the same path.  It seems to be part of the author’s journey to start looking into more complicated characters and situations as time goes on, but the dilemma is dealing with those reader expectations.

The expectations can be astonishingly precise.  My earliest books had 100% happy endings.  By the time I wrote Mr. Darcy’s Undoing, there were painful issues to be resolved in the course of the story, and the ending is only about 95% happy.  Darcy marries Elizabeth and they’re very contented together; all the other main characters also end up happily married and secure in life.  There are only two ever-so-slightly bittersweet notes.  One is that Darcy and Elizabeth aren’t fully accepted by London high society owing to some of their earlier struggles, but that doesn’t bother them since they don’t like to go to London during the Season anyway. Also, their wedding unexpectedly takes place a week early after they’re caught in a compromising position, but Darcy is thrilled to be marrying Elizabeth sooner, while Elizabeth would have preferred to wait, but thinks it’s probably for the best this way. 

For me, those two things are just part of life not being perfect all the time, but I’ve had several readers tell me they didn’t like the book’s unhappy ending.  The first time that happened, I was completely baffled, since at the end of the book every single character was happy, but I eventually realized that in my earlier books, there hadn’t been even a suggestion of life being less than perfect or that there could ever be lasting consequences of mistakes that were made. 

In the end, though, it all comes down to who I write for.  While it’s very difficult for me to let go of thoughts about what readers will like, I’ve learned from hard experience that trying to write anything but the stories that appear magically in my head is the surest road to writer’s block.  These days I look at my manuscripts and think uncomfortably about the readers who may not like it, and then I remind myself of the new readers who discover my later books and think those, like Baby Bear’s porridge, are just right.

What about you? 

  • As a reader, how do you feel when your favorite author changes style or adds darker or lighter conflicts?
  • As a writer, do you notice your writing changing and growing the more you write?

 **Abigail is traveling to Texas today for a writers conference but she will be checking in as she can.

MR DARCY'S UNDOING-available in e-format and print 

A passionate new Pride and Prejudice variation explores the unthinkable-Elizabeth accepts the proposal of a childhood friend before she meets Darcy again. When their paths cross, the devastated Mr. Darcy must decide how far he'll go to win the woman he loves. 
How can a man who prides himself on his honor ask the woman he loves to do something scandalous? 
And how can Elizabeth accept a loveless marriage when Mr. Darcy holds the key to her heart? As they confront family opposition and the ill-will of scandal-mongers, will Elizabeth prove to be Mr. Darcy's undoing? Chapter 1 excerpt

Abigail Reynolds is a physician and a lifelong Jane Austen enthusiast. She began writing the Pride and Prejudice Variations series in 2001, and encouragement from fellow Austen fans convinced her to continue asking "What if...?" She lives with her husband and two teenage children in Madison, Wisconsin.