Okay, I was going to talk about summer blues, but decided to be positive instead.
Tomorrow is the first day of Summer!!!! Happy Summer, everyone!
What do you do with your time during the summer? Are you like me that you have extra time during the summer? Or is your schedule pretty much the same in the summer?
Having that extra time means one of two things for me. Either A-I write a whole lot or B-I get so bored I can’t motivate myself to write much at all
I love the fact that it stays lighter longer. It just seems to give me more energy and the desire to do things. I am less likely to want to spend the day in bed like I do when it’s cold outside. So far I have organized my bedroom, my guest room and half of my kitchen in the last couple weeks.
I find that I often create cheerier Heroines in the summer, too. It’s like I’m full of sunshine inside, then they should be, too
So what do you do during the summer? Do your reading habits change? Your writing habits?
What do you do during the summer?
Okay, I was going to talk about summer blues, but decided to be positive instead.
In February I launched a new website. Along with info on my books, I’ve been blogging there regularly. The goal was to make the site simple yet attractive, and — most importantly — easy to navigate and read. I welcome any feedback on it. What do you look for in an author website? I’m always striving to improve!
I’m pleased to be part of a groundbreaking anthology of short stories written by fifteen erotic romance authors and edited by Delilah Devlin.
GIRLS WHO BITE will be released September 13, 2011 from Cleis Press. This anthology of fun and sexy lesbian vampire stories is unlike anything else on the fiction market. I had a blast writing “The Crystal Altar” and hope you enjoy my wickedly humorous tale, set inside Pennsylvania’s historic Crystal Cave.
Pre-order your copy today!
I was originally going to write about writer’s block, but I changed my mind last night.
The husband has been wanting to see Shogun again, yes, Shogun, that mini-series from before most of you were probably born. . Netflix had it, so we got it and we’ve been watching it one disk at a time.
Last night we were on disk 2, and it was the part where the main female character needs to teach Angin (Richard C.) how to speak Japanese. She explains to him how to make something negative in Japanese, how to make it a question, etc.
She then says that to speak Japanese you have to truly understand the Japanese. And honestly, after watching 5 mins of it, I remember more Japanese than months of my hubby trying to teach me a word here and there.
But, besides for that, I realized that so much of this episode that I enjoyed would be cut out nowadays. It would be edited out as “unneeded”. And in defense of some editors, it wasn’t NEEDED but it made the whole story deeper and richer.
So it got me thinking. How much description is too much?
My first book my editor edited out entire descriptions of areas of the city, telling me it was unneeded for the romance, but I felt that it let you know where she was, how the area made her feel, etc. I edited it out, because, what did I know? She was the experienced one. And she managed to train me to leave out most description of other stuff.
I have since realized/learned I need to put in more. That even though she didn’t like it, sometimes it DOES help.
But having said that, I will say that I have read some stories where description does go overboard. I read one story with 3 entire sentences about the color of the hero’s shirt. Oh, wait, they might have mentioned the texture/material, too. But the point still is that the author went WAY overboard in description.
So, what do you like? Do you like a lot of description? Very little? Do you want to know where the character is? Do you like descriptions of the area (think Kenyon and New Orleans)? Or nothing at all? Can you go overboard (ala James Fenimore Cooper)? Or is it never too much?
This is something I’ve been pondering while working on a new book and I’m conducting an informal poll around the blogosphere. As long as a character is 18, are you okay with reading about him or her in sexual situations? Or is that still too young? What’s your threshold? 18? 19? 20? Older?
And does it change when the story is historical rather than contemporary? Is having a 17-year-old hero or heroine okay in a historical depending on the mores of the time period? Does the age of the other half of the pair come into play? Say, two 19-year-olds is okay, but a 19-year-old with a 30-year-old makes you uncomfortable? Does gender make a difference?
Does the plot matter? Would a BDSM story with an 18-year-old be off-putting while a sweet, traditional romance be fine?
Or does age not particularly matter at all as long as it’s a compelling, well-written romance?
Why read Erotica? There are several reasons why I have read Erotica… to get in ‘the mood’, because I’m feeling sexy, or to get inspiration for writing my own are just a few reasons. I did a little poll of several of my friends who also read (and write) Erotica and they had pretty much the same thing to say. It can be a real turn on if it is done in a way that speaks to the reader.
This led me to ask the question – what do you like? For me it has to be tasteful. I’m not a big fan of vulgarity which really depends on what your definition of vulgar is. For some, and I’ll venture to guess that they don’t read much Erotica, any slang term is vulgar. For others the more hard-core the better. Of course there are many layers in between as well.
One polled friend said she liked for it to be realistic. It needs to be something she would see herself doing or a situation that is believable. I agree with this to a point. It is fiction after all but even in my mind I’ve fantasized situations that I would never be in. Again, it depends on your preference and what mood you are in at the time.
I do tend to get in trouble when I read it. I like very romantic Erotica which is probably why I started out reading Harlequin Romances in Jr. High and then moved on to something with more ‘action’ to it. I then find I want to experience some of that in my own sex life it can be… interesting at times! But as long as you have a willing partner – it can also be a lot of fun!
How often do you read Erotica? For me it varies. Sometimes I just get in a mood and especially if there is a good plot involved the Erotica is just a plot device, and especially if it well done then I find myself wanting to read more. Sometimes I have gone a year or more and not read any. I have one friend who had not read any since she was in junior high – that raging hormonal time of youth.
Whatever your reasons, likes and dislikes or turn-ons, there is something out there for everyone. And if you can’t find anything that really speaks to you – write your own!
“No one looks good in HD”, an actor said on TV. I had to laugh at his remark, because it’s true. High definition resolution shows every flaw on an actor’s skin. Scars, pimples, lines and moles that make-up and filtered lenses used to hide are impossible to cover in high def.
Seemingly overnight, celebrities have transformed from impossibly perfect icons into regular people dressed in their Sunday best. We’re able to see them as they really are–flaws and all–and I find the change refreshing. It not only removes the impossible standards women, especially, are pressured to emulate, but also levels the playing field for us authors, who never had the benefit of filtered lenses, plastic surgery or make-up artists in the first place.
At book signings, I always wonder how readers see the people behind the stories. We authors aren’t celebrities like the actors on TV. We’re more like the man behind the curtain in Oz, who might intrigue us, but whose appearance might sometimes be better left a mystery. As long as there have been books, there have been ordinary people behind the scenes. Our imaginations, not our physical forms, are what inspire readers.
I like that high definition television has opened the wizard’s curtain and let us see actors a bit clearer. It makes life so much easier for the rest of us.
I had an interesting conversation with a bunch of friends of mine the other day. They all know I write, and that I write “perverted” stories, but not the specifics. So we were discussing it.
I pointed out to them that the statistics point that women that read romance in general tend to be college educated between the ages of 25-45. When asked where I got these statistics by one woman who seemed disbelieving, I was able to assure her that studies have been done by everyone from RWA, Romantic Times, Amazon, etc.
We then discussed what seems to be popular and why. None were surprised to learn that m/m/f and m/f/m were popular. One commented “Well, yeah, women want that attention of two men on them.”
They all seemed to understand perfectly why Dominant males are popular and submissive woman. Which brought us into a whole new conversation about “I want a man to be able to carry me, throw me down at the end of the football field and ravish me”. (I should have expected that from M but she surprised me nonetheless.)
They even accepted the idea that m/m romances are very popular with women. “It shows how romantic men can be.”
All of this is nothing new to most of us authors or even regular readers, but I was impressed by their attitudes. I live in a very rural, very right wing area, and it was nice to be able to have this conversation with a fairly large group of women (all 25-45).
These women might not read my writing, but they know why women would choose to. And they were very nonjudgmental. Who knows, I think I might have created a future reader or two for us erotic romance authors.
It’s not always as easy as sitting down and tapping on those keys – especially if you want to craft a good story… or one with great continuity.
One great piece of software available for Mac users is Scrivener.
I am a total neophyte user of Scrivener, but frankly, it’s the best damn thing since sliced bread!
Writing has been patchy for me the last year or so, but with Scrivener I know I never have to worry about losing pages, research, photos… pretty much anything that can be turned into a digital format. That means when I do get to sit down in front of my laptop to write, every single thing is right there, waiting for me to use it.
Check out Teddy Pig’s blog where he’s previewing some screencaps from a variety of authors showing how they use Scrivener:
(I’ll add more as they come up)
They all are just a little different. It’s quite fascinating, really.
Check out the what’s new page. There are some seriously cool changes they’ve made for Scrivener 2.0.
And if you don’t believe me on how good Scrivener really is, check out the Testimonials page – all these other authors can’t be wrong, can they
And if you don’t have a Mac, what are you waiting for??? Not only is the software a tax write-off, but so’s the new Mac to run it on!
Hope everyone had a very happy and healthy holiday season.
For me, this is the time of year when I hibernate and get a lot of writing done. (If I’m being honest, I also get a lot of TV watching and faffing about on the internet done!) Living in Toronto, it’s cold, usually snowy, and dark by around 5 p.m. All the better to curl up with my laptop.
I usually don’t make resolutions, since they tend to be the same each year (eat better, lose weight, etc., etc.), but this January I’ve resolved to not only get my writing done, but participate in one outdoor activity a week.
Yesterday my friend and I went Geocaching, which is basically going on a scavenger hunt using a GPS. People all around the world devise hunts and clues, leading you to the “cache,” usually some sort of watertight container, where you sign your name on the paper inside before putting it back for the next hunter. I have to say, it was a ton of fun! Our hunt was in a local park, so we just walked over with our list of clues. Will definitely be geocaching again! It’s an appealing way to get active outside.
Do you have any new resolutions this year?