I can't believe the date of my last entry on this blog! Has it really been that long? No, I haven't been in a 2-year coma, and no I haven't quit writing to become a nun or anything like that. But actually it's kind of close... I've spent the last year and a half in the writing-coma that is new parenthood! Yes, I've been busy creating, but not writing--I've actually made a real human being with my latest creative efforts! I have to say that so far, he's my masterpiece. If I could turn him into a book, he'd be a bestseller for sure. :)
But for anyone who's tried it, writing erotica while caring for a newborn on relatively little sleep while longing for a shower and wearing spitup-stained yoga pants for the tenth day in a row doesn't really work all that well... Or at least it doesn't work for me, though I'd love to hear from anybody who has been able to make it work! Writing while pregnant would have been great (nobody ever told me about the effects of pregnancy hormones on the sex drive--wowza!), but I was inevitably too exhausted at the end of each long work day to do anything more ambitious than just collapse into bed. But now that I'm moving out of the blissful fog of new motherhood, I'm finding myself craving writing time again, sneaking away to dash off a little fantasy scene or two while the baby's sleeping.
Eventually, I was able to find enough time and focus to rewrite my second novel, which I'm shopping around right now. It's super hot but at the same time a bit of a genre-bender, with a hint of magic woven through in an otherwise realistic plot. Magical erotic chick lit, is about the best way to describe it... You could never class it as a paranormal, but there are definitely a few elements in it that make you have to stretch a bit to suspend disbelief. Just a few, though--think "Bewitched" with an erotic twist!
And so now, here I am working on my third novel. So excited about this one! It's another librarian on an erotic adventure, this time taking a house swap to Cornwall, where the locals are just as gorgeous as the scenery... Well, at least that's what I think it will turn out to be--you never know what will happen to a story after you start writing it. Stay tuned and I'll let you know how it goes...
Nothing like completely dropping off the face of the virtual world to make a girl feel guilty! So my two-month stint of full time work has dragged out into 5 months, and only now is it finally drawing to a close (I think). I'm excited to be able to get back to my long days of writing--sitting in the sunshine in the backyard with my laptop, my cats trying to knock it off so they can sit on my lap instead... I've been able to get little snatches of writing done here and there, but nothing like what I thought I would do :( I now have a whole new respect for those writers who work at full time day jobs, only to pump out great books in the wee hours of the morning or late at night.
Okay, so I might be fibbing a bit when I say I'm getting right back to my writing--actually, I'll be going on a bit of a detour first when I head out on a 3-week vacation, driving down the west coast from Vancouver to California. I've driven the coast before, and was amazed at how beautiful it is. (If you get a chance, you should try it--as long as you don't tend to get carsick, as the twisty coast road in California will do you in). Whenever I go on a trip, I get excited about all the great story ideas I might have, but I'm not so sure about camper van road trips. Not much sex appeal in the idea of trekking to the communal toilets, eating hot dogs around the fire pit, or wearing your flipflops into the shower in the morning.
But Europe, on the other hand, now that's a sexy trip! (provided you're not backpacking--see above re. communal toilets, flipflops in the shower, but also include the fact that you're sleeping in a room full of snoring strangers.) I recently went to Italy and the Southwest coast of England, and I definitely got lots of great story ideas there! I've never been to Italy before, and I can't say I was particularly excited to go there. My Italian is super-basic (limited to what I learned on the plane on the way there), and Italian guys don't really float my boat. Or so I thought before I actually saw a few Italian men in person. Yummy! Well, I might have to correct myself and say Italian boys, as the loveliest specimens were usually between 20 and 25, sadly a bit too young for me. But not too young for my fantasies!
I've lately had a bit of a thing for Bollywood guys (google Akshay Kumar or Hrithik Roshan if you have any doubt), but I have to say that some of the Italian guys I saw are giving them a run for their money. The hotel desk clerk looked so much like my favourite Akshay Kumar that I just about fainted on the spot!
And then the coastal setting in Devon & Cornwall--wild and windswept, craggy shoreline, dramatic views--wouldn't it be nice to take one of those gorgeous Italian guys and drop them into a Cornwall setting along with my willing and experimental heroine? If you're a writer who's feeling blocked, just take a trip to Europe--I'm sure you can write it off on your taxes as research, right???
*Sigh* It really isn't easy to keep up a writing career when you're working full time. How do other people do it? In the last two months, I might have spent only 20 hours writing. My "firm" goal of writing every day has flown out the window. Maybe it's because I'm in the revision stage, which is definitely my least favourite part of the writing process. It's hard not to procrastinate when you have to do something you dislike almost as much as emptying the cat litter box.
But now I'm starting to miss my writing so much! It's that familiar, restless craving to sit down and pour out another story. But with most of my time spent at work, as well as the need to get through these blasted revisions first, I'm not sure when I'll be able to start my next story. I need to do something to make my schedule work better with my writing. I'm not a morning person, so the idea of getting up at 5am to write seems like torture. On the other hand, writing at night doesn't work either, because at the end of the day I'm so tired, I can barely keep my eyes open. As for right after work, the last thing I want to do after sitting in front of a computer all day is fire up my laptop! So that leaves--when exactly?
I guess if I had to pick the least of the evils, I would surprisingly pick the 5am wakeup. I can understand why so many full-time workers/part-time writers choose the wee hours as their writing time. There's nothing to distract me at that time, other than my warm, comfy bed... Even the pets won't wake up that time of day, so I'll be all alone with my story and my sexy characters and who knows what kinds of adventures they get up to? Hmm, maybe not much at 5am, but we'll see.
So shall I try it? An experiment: I'll get up at 5 am--no wait, let's make that 6am--every day next week and see how I like the early-morning writing routine. Not this week, though, because I'm off to Vegas for a few days. Hmm, maybe I'll get some inspiration for my next novel while I'm there???
I love love love Christmas! I tuned my radio to the all-Christmas station a month ago, and I've been singing carols to myself ever since. And reading piles of Christmas novels and crafty holiday magazines. I like Christmas stories almost as much as I enjoy the holiday itself, except that this year I've been a bit disappointed that the ones I'm reading all seem to be so sweet. Well, okay, the Christmas erotica isn't usually sweet! But lately I've been reading a lot of non-erotic fiction too. :)
So what have I picked up lately? Here are a few of the (unusual for me) titles from the pile of books I've been reading at my library and listening to in audio:
What's sweeter than a Cedar Cove Christmas? Yeah, so, this one really wasn't my kind of book! Very Christmassy, though :)
Aaaaaand.... I followed that one up with an Amish Christmas! Sounds like it would be even sweeter, right? Not quite--I almost enjoyed this one :)
Hmm, a bright red cover, the word "kissing" in the title... Has to be hot, right??? Well, no--it's sort of a cozy British mystery. Not even all that Christmassy, unfortunately :( But it was an audiobook, and I enjoyed the narration and the characters, and the overall feel of the book was fun for a few hours before it got a bit zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz for my taste.
I liked this one! It was sweet and pretty cheesy, but I enjoyed it :) I guess as it gets closer to Christmas my tolerance for sweetness/cheesiness goes up...
Ah! Now this is a bit more like the kind of book I really like! Nice hot romance with a hint of cozy Christmas happiness. Not to mention a gorgeous shirtless man on the cover surrounded by presents! Now this is more like it!
So... What's next? Have you seen the Holiday books at Carina Press? They look GREAT! Pretty much every cover I see makes it onto my Christmas wish list :) But this one looks like it might be sexy & spicy enough to make it to the top of the list!
Happy Holidays! And happy reading! If you know any great Christmas reads, let me know!
Overdue for Pleasure is about 65,000 words long. That's a pretty quick read, just a bit longer than your average Harlequin romance. I like that length, both as a writer and a reader, and so with my current work in progress, I've been aiming for something along those lines. But now 65,000 words has come and gone, and still there's no end in sight... Not that I'm complaining, because I love my new characters and all of the crazy fantasy scenarios they're getting into, and I'm reluctant to say goodbye to them just yet.
But it's disconcerting that I suddenly have no idea what's going to happen next--and who knows how much longer I'll have to keep writing before I find out? I have an idea of how the story should end, but when it comes down to it, I find that I actually seem to have very little control over how it turns out.
Although I have to say that I do love that moment--that Eureka! surprise moment when the characters do something so outrageous and unexpected, and the story delights me all over again. I LOVE it, except when (as is happening right now) their changing their mind takes them away from the fantasy that I've been looking forward to writing for the last few weeks... But they are (hopefully) travelling towards an even hotter scene... I guess I'll just have to wait and see!
At the library where I work, I've been getting more and more questions about ebooks. Now with the Christmas season rolling relentlessly towards us, I'm anticipating even more questions. So what should my answers be? What have I noticed about ebooks? How do I feel about them? Pros & cons? How is it from an author's point of view?
When I wrote Overdue for Pleasure, I knew I wanted it to be published as an e-book, so I was delighted when Carina Press picked it up and offered to epublish it. Why? I suppose it was partly because I had just gotten my first ereader, so I was completely enamored with ebooks at the time, but it was also because I felt (and still feel) that erotica, romance, or really any "quick read" are perfectly suited for ereading. And the instant gratification of buying an ebook from the comfort of your home and then reading it a minute later seems especially suited for erotica. Also, voracious readers of several books a week might appreciate not accumulating a huge pile of books at the end of the year and/or paying a bit less for the ebook versions.
And then there are the other unexpected benefits of the ereader--best of all, in my opinion, is the one-handed read. I can have my cat on my lap, a mug of tea in my hand, and the ebook resting on the arm of the chair, with no worries that the book will slip and I'll lose my place. Or reading while lying down in bed, which gets uncomfortable when you have to keep re-positioning the book, but with the ebook, it stays propped up in its original position for as long as I want. Which is a suspiciously lazy-sounding reason to like ebooks, but so it is.
And of course there's the benefit that everyone knows about--being able to carry around an entire library of books in a device the size of one skinny book. That has been an invaluable benefit when I'm travelling, or even when I'm indecisive about what I feel like reading while I'm waiting at the dentist's office.
A few cons, of course. More page turns per book, which can get slightly annoying for my thumb. Running out of power when you're in the middle of a good book and don't have anywhere to charge it (like if you're on a cross-country camping trip for a month, staying in rustic campgrounds with no electricity like I did this summer--I think I got through maybe one book before my old ereader died. Thank goodness my new ereader has much better battery life!) What else? Oh, reading in the bathtub or on the beach are off limits for my ereader, or rather for the clumsy person holding the ereader...
So on balance, I'd say that as a reader, I'm enthusiastic about ebooks. But unfortunately, because I work in a library and I'm constantly coming across so many great "old-fashioned" books to read, I still read the majority of my books in paper format.
As an author, how do I feel about ebooks? Am I disappointed that I can't hold a physical book in my hands to show off to my friends and family and/or to sign for them? Not really. It feels pretty real to me. Besides, this isn't the kind of book I'd want to give to most of my friends and family, so I don't mind not having paper copies to share with them. I might be a bit disappointed that I don't have a copy to put on my shelf at the library, but maybe I can add it to the virtual shelves in our downloadable library instead.
So what do you think about ebooks? Like them? Love them? Feeling peer-pressured into trying them? Let me know!