Saturday, March 26, 2011

Romance on my mind...

I'm sitting up at 12:45am, listening to the Eclipse soundtrack. It happens to be the song played in the background when Bella and Edward come close to making love. It's got me thinking heavily about romance tonight.

What is romance? I watch movies and sigh in want. You know, the scene on The Notebook where they lay in bed as an elderly couple and drift off to Heaven together. Or, movies like the Twilight saga where the two people are so madly in love they'd rather give up their own lives to save the other. But is this what we want in real life?

When Billybob Thorton and Angelina Jolie were married they each wore a vial of each other's blood around their necks. While others found this morbid and disgusting, I found it incredibly romantic. I had even planned on giving my husband a similar gift, until I found out he felt like the rest of America...EEK!

Now, I write romance...I breathe it, read it, write it, dream about it. But, each time I sit down to write, read, etc my image of romance is different. Is it what we dont' have? Is it what society tells us is romantic? Should I base all my stories on the same concepts as every other romance writer? Hell no, that would be boring.

But, if I write 'romance', and what I find to be the most romantic gesture (like when my husband told me to go ahead and spend the extra money to buy myself both a laptop AND a Dyson vacuum) isn't viewed as others as romantic, then what the hell am I writing?

My good friend, Norma Beishir, recently wrote a blog on our dream man. What is that? What is the true dream man? Sounds strange, but I found mine; he works overtime so I can focus on writing, he loves my kids as much as I do, and he tolerates my obsession with reptiles. Oh, did I mention he got me a cat for my birthday a few years back, even though he's allergic to cats? 

Sorry, I digress. Is our dream man flawed? Does he have the perfect body? Does he have...bodily functions of which we won't discuss? Or is he real? My ideal man doesn't have a hard body. Oh, don't get me wrong, I like a nice physique, but those 'perfect bodies' you see in ads spend entirely too much time in the gym, and don't allow themselves the yummy foods I love to cook. I want a man with a little extra meat on him. I want him to have a scar. I want him to cry when his heart breaks; but not cry because he stubbed his toe.

In my books, I always try to make both my lead characters flawed...but is that considered romantic? Should my heroine be perfect, without a hair out of place, no discerning characteristics, just your atypical heart shaped, pouty lips, full breasts, and an hour glass figure?

I'd love to know...what is your idea of romance?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Oh what shall I write about today?

While I never have a shortage of thoughts, I always have a shortage of fingers with which to type. My husband and I were watching television the other day, and after seeing a commercial, I had a fantastic idea for another book. Is this odd? Nope.

As writers, or artists, we are constantly bombarded with inspiration, ideas, and character makeups. At any given point in time you could pick up a manuscript from a writer you're friends with and see some of yourself in there. Everywhere I go I see something, hear something, smell something that begs to be written about. So what to do with all these thoughts? Where to put all of these ideas?

No, seriously, I'm asking you. Where do I put all of them?

I carry a memo pad in my back pocket day in and day out, but that doesn't seem to help organize all my thoughts. I bought a voice recorder, but I used it until it gave up. So, where to put all these thoughts?!

Every book you've read came from an idea that popped in author's head while they were driving/working/napping/showering, etc. These ideas usually come in the form of a "what if". What if there was no such thing as trash pickup? What if a elementary school prodigy created time travel? What if a sheltered teen had telekinetic powers and set the prom on fire? Okay, that last one was from Carrie, but you get the idea.
The next step is fun; we get to daydream and call it a job. I'll sit there and dwell on that idea, embellishing it, putting characters into the scenes, building more of the world. How many times has something happened and your mind ran with it? That's what it's like for writers on a daily basis. Our minds won't let us just see something for what it is. Rather, we see things for what they could know, add in a few vampires, or nymphomaniacs, or whatever. We get to create the world in any way we want.

But there's still that nagging problem...what to do with all the ideas while we're busy working on that one, or in most author's cases, those four stories?!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

No, I'm not weird. I'm just an author!

"Hello, CL."
After reading through a bunch of conversations on various links I'm a member of, I've come to realize, we're an odd bunch. At least to those around us.
Someone recently asked if our family members and friends think we're weird. That was hard for me to answer. I mean, I've always been weird, writing has nothing to do with it. Come on, I prefer the color black, including in my eyeliner, I dye my hair a different color every couple of months, and I own lizards as pets. One of them is over five feet long, and I refer to him as my baby. While that may seem weird to others, it's completely normal for me. Did I mention I put my big green baby on a leash and take him outside to sun during the summer? Again, completely normal for me. Hey, the baby needs sun sometimes.

I think what people truly think is weird about writers is what comes out of our heads. My current work in progress, for instance, is about a petite red head who just happens to hunt and kill demons. "But, Christy, doesn't that sound a little dark? I mean, why are you thinking about demons?" My answer, I'm not thinking about demons, Tena is. Who's Tena? The red headed demon hunter...duh.

I also tend to talk to my characters, as well as talking about my characters as if they're real people. They do become real, at least to the creators. Ask any author about her/his characters and they'll tell you, once we're done with a book it's like telling an old friend good-bye. It hurts in a way. Seriously, I'm not the only one who feels this way.

Think about it this way...if you worked at a job for, say six months, became close to your coworkers, knew everything about them (and I do mean everything), wouldn't you be sad when you had to walk away, never to talk to them again? Of course you would. That's how it is for us. We're getting to know someone, albeit someone we created, then we kill them/marry them off/end the story, never to look back at their lives again. See, now you're sad, aren't you?

For those of you authors out there, feel free to chime in and explain to the non-authors how very NOT crazy we really are.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Show me yours and I'll show you mine....

Every writer has a cave; somewhere they prefer to write. So few of us actually have a separate office in which to write, and those who do seldom use only that room. Personally, I use my laptop. Sure, I have a desk top computer just like the rest of you, but I only use it for the Internet, you know, Facebook, Twitter, blogging, research. I've only written one book on this computer, and it has since been completely rewritten.

One of my favorite links to visit is on Paige Cuccaro's site. The link I love to check out is called The Cave. You gotta go have a look around. Some of my favorite authors have their "offices" pictured on there.

So, here's the challenge. Show me yours, and I'll show you mine. Don't want to post it directly this blog? Feel free to email the photo to me at I'll take a couple of pics later when the husband wakes up and post my lovely writing area.

While you're at it, why don't you tell me/us all about your weird little writing ritual. I, for instance, have to have my feet covered, my cigarettes and coffee within reach, and some kind of background noise, be it music for my mood or mindless television.

Don't be scared. We already know how strange you it's time to prove it. Yeah...I called you strange. This coming from the Lizard Lady.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Do I have anything important to say?

I woke up in the mood to blog, then realized, there's nothing truly important enough to denote a chunk of space to blurb about. There's more a swarm of ideas and thoughts running through my head this morning.

For one thing, my self-published e-book is doing fairly well so far. Granted, it's not yet available on Nook and other such appliances, but it will be shipped to B&N, Apple and others sometime this week. Therefore, though I told you all it was already available, it won't actually be available for download until sometime next week.

I've been researching marketing and promotional ideas at an exhausting rate lately. My back is aching from all the hours I've sat in front of the computer, but I think I'm finding some really great resources.

One blog I found interesting was by Amanda Hocking. In this link I've provided she details (in her own way) how she came about her self-published success. Strangely enough, she's now being represented by Steven Axelrod of The Axelrod Group. I wasn't aware she had planned on signing with an agency, but I also don't know her personally, nor do I make it my business to keep track of everyone else's decisions.

I've also found a great download by John Kremer titled 50+ Ways to Tweet. This has been a little more work than I had anticipated, but I've found some very interesting people, or I guess that would be Tweeple, as well as some interesting links and nuggets of info.

Of course, Writer's Digest is a wonderful community of writers from every genre who hold a wealth of information for all writers. I've made some awesome friends from that site, and even found my writer's group by going there.

That's all I can think of this morning with such low amounts of coffee in my system, but if you can think of anything I didn't post, feel free to link us all to it!

Until next time, Happy Writing!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

It's no longer a secret....

I have self-published my first book. Why, you ask? Well, that's why I'm writing right now.

I originally went the traditional route, working all last year on queries, synopses, talking with and emailing agents. I did get offered a contract, but after a lot of thought and prayer I decided it wasn't the right option for me. For one thing, I've never been the most patient person in the world. It's not so much the wait as the hurry up and wait that kills me.

The second, and biggest reason, is I really don't care if I make NYT Best Selling list. I just want my books to be read and enjoyed. Who cares if some stuffy critic likes my book, as long as my fans keep coming back for more. Another reason is I really have no desire to have my face plastered everywhere like my beloved Stephen King or Stephanie Meyer. Don't worry, I'm not comparing myself to them, but when going the traditional route all creative liberties are restricted and you become an employee of the publishing house, instead of the other way around. I don't want someone telling me how to write, how to market, etc.

Some have doubted this decision, although the some is a tiny percentage of people I've talked to. I'm posting a link to a very informative article to argue my own point here. After reading this link, as well as many others, including some by JA Konrath, I'm convinced I'm doing what's best for myself and my family. I have no illusions of gradeur, or fantasies of wealth. I just want to make a living doing what I love. After all, don't we all dream of living our dreams?

For those of you who haven't seen the links yet my book is available here and here. Head over and sample the book or feel free to purchase it.

Until next time, happy reading.