Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Thursday Thirteen: 13 Secrets To Getting Published

13 Secrets To Getting Published

Sssh! I'm going to let my loyal readers in on the truth. Anyone can be published if they follow these simple rules.

1. Query before you start the story. Why waste time writing the book until you know you've got a sucker, er...that is, a publisher on the hook?

2. The squeaky wheel gets the grease! Before you send your manuscript, call the editor so (s)he'll know to expect it. Then call everyday after you mail it so (s)he'll be on the lookout for its arrival.
3. Show the editor how your book will look in print. Design a cover and have the manuscript bound before submitting.

4. Editors LOVE presents! Slip a $100 bill in between the pages of your manuscript. Or even better, include chocolate, especially in those hot summer months!

5. Rules are for people with no vision. You're an ARTIST! Don't worry about any guidelines the publishing house cites for submissions. Be daring, be brave. Break 'em all!

6. Make your manuscript stand out from the stack: use pink scented paper and curlicue fonts.

7. Send your manuscript to every editor listed in Publisher's Marketplace. Better saturation might get you a bidding war!

8. Lie. Tell your target editor that a famous author LOVES your work. It's not like (s)he'll check.

9. Quit your day job so you can be near the phone at all times. After all, you're going to be rich and famous very soon!

10. Your work is perfect the way it is. Critiques and revisions are for amateurs. Insist you'll make no changes to your manuscript. Editors respect writers who believe in themselves strongly.

11. Don't start writing anything new. You want to be ready to promote your work immediately upon getting "The Call." Once the money starts rolling in and you're on the NYT Bestseller List, you'll have plenty of time to write another story.

12. Sex sells! So what if your story is weak? Throw in super-hot love scenes in every chapter and your fortune is made. (Check Penthouse Forum for insight on how women and men really interact with each other!)

13. If all else fails...the secret word is: "goldfish." (But don't tell anyone I told you!)

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Fifteen days to go!

RWA's National Conference is just 15 days away. ready am I? Well, that depends. My transportation and accommodations are all in place and have been for months. I've been in touch with my roommate, Debora, as well as my hotel room neighbors, Cate and Shelby. I have cell phone numbers for other friends I hope to run into, including my favorite couple, Leslie and Brandon Dennis. Brandon is my web guru, owner of Writer Webs. Leslie is a multi-talented writer who runs one of my critique sites, Romance Writers Unlimited. While they won't be attending National this year, they're close enough that they can drive to the hotel and meet the rest of us for an evening of fun!

I've been going through my wardrobe, planning my outfits. Oddly enough, most of my clothing this year is black, white, or both. Seems black and white are the hot colors this summer. While it makes it easy to pack shoes (last year I brought six pairs, plus my sneakers!), it also looks a trifle...well...dull. So I wanted a more colorful dress for Saturday's Awards Ceremony. I found a drop dead gorgeous red gown on the web and promptly ordered it. Now, admittedly, I don't normally wear red--since it can often clash with my hair. But this time, I wanted something vibrant--red seemed to fit the bill. Until it arrived. It's red, which I expected, with silver sparkles, which I also expected. But it's also Pouf-City, which came as a bit of a surprise. It's wider than Scarlett O'Hara's ball gown and that much tulle is a bit heavy for Dallas in July. So...back the dress goes and the hunt continues for something fun, colorful, and fabulous.

Why do I envision myself shopping while in the Big D? Ah, well. Something tells me house-hunting Debora will be there with me, just as frazzled and desperate. Shopping's always more fun in pairs!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Words to Write By

As newsletter editor, I spend time each month looking for a famous quote to lead and inspire my fellow LIRW members. Here are a few that have never made it to publication, but resonated with me:

"A writer needs loneliness, and he gets his share of it. He needs love, and he gets shared and also unshared love. He needs friendship. In fact, he needs the universe. To be a writer is, in a sense, to be a day-dreamer - to be living a kind of double life." -- Jorge Luis Borges

"The secret of good writing is to say an old thing in a new way or to say a new thing in an old way." -- Richard Harding Davis

"Too often I wait for the sentence to finish taking shape in my mind before setting it down. It is better to seize it by the end that first offers itself, head or foot, though not knowing the rest, then pull: the rest will follow along." -- Andre Gide

"There's more of yourself in a book than a play. that's why we know all about Dickens and not much about Shakespeare. Ben Jonson murdered people; Marlowe was a spy; Shakespeare just sat in the corner and took notes." -- Sir John Mortimer

"Whenever you're in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude." -- William James

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Thursday 13: What Gina Wants

Last week, Diva Crystal Jordan used the TT to complete the sentence, "Crystal needs..." The answers were so funny, several of us decided to try it with our own names. But when I Googled "Gina needs" I got page after page of other TTers who'd done the same thing. So I decided to try "Gina wants" instead. Here's what Gina wants according to the search engine:

Thirteen Things "Gina Wants"

1. "Gina wants her man there when she wants him." (Of course she does. He's a keeper!)

2. "Gina wants to lick her whiskers." (I can think of no snappy comeback for this one. Feel free to talk amongst yourselves.)

3. "Gina wants to be able to stand up for herself." (Gee...and here I thought I'd nailed that quality a long time ago.)

4. "Gina wants a pocket in her shoes." (Now that you mention it, that could be handy.)

5. "Gina wants to die in her old age." (Doesn't everybody?)

6. "Gina wants to be a New York Times bestselling novelist." (Yeah, that would be nice.)

7. "Gina wants Starbucks." (Always.)

8. "Gina wants to sing 'I'll Stand By You.'" (Maybe in Dallas...but only after several razzaritas.)

9. "Gina wants a big, comfortable house where she can entertain future grandchildren." (In the waaaaaay distant future, please!)

10. "Gina wants everyone to fasten their seatbelts." (Safety first!)

11. "Gina wants her youth back." (And you don't?)

12. "Gina wants to color." (And have naptime and milk and cookies after lunch. I think this goes hand in hand with getting her youth back.)

13. "Gina wants it all." (Naturally!)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Follow Up

First, the answers to Thursday's TT Quiz:

1. I'm Henry the 8th I am (second verse, same as the first...)
2. A writer (most likely romance based on the snippets he reads aloud: "Love was...")
3. Joan Wilder (and her heroine was Angelina.)
4. Linda was shoplifting a tie at Bergdorf's
5. Ice cream
6. A psychologist
7. Russian (Glasnost, borscht...)
8. Dustin Hoffman
9. Horse and Hound
10. The San Francisco 49ers ("What did I tell you when we first met? I'm a niners fan...")
11. Orange, the fruit; not the color
12. Day by Day from Godspell (Day by day by day by day...)
13. She was having liposuction.

Congrats to Heather, who got more of them right than anyone else! No prize, but you can still call yourself an expert.

Yesterday was also the date of the LIRW's annual luncheon. I met a lot of new people, including two of my partners in critiquing: Penny from Down Under, and Debi from not quite so down under (New Jersey.) Lucky Mom won two of the baskets raffled off (though I still think one of them was mine since she had control of my tickets. LOL!) We had a great turnout of editors and agents and actually ran into overtime! If you were there, I hope you enjoyed the event as much as I did, and that you came away with some great contacts.

For me, the nicest surprise came at the end of the day when the current co-presidents of the LIRW presented me with a lovely engraved desk clock as a special gift. It now sits beside my Golden Rose in a place of honor. I'm so very grateful to have such wonderful people in my life. Family isn't always about blood; it's about love. And I've truly found a home at the LIRW. I hope every romance writer has a home chapter as warm and as giving as ours!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Thursday 13--13 Romantic Comedy Trivia Questions

How much do you know about romantic comedy movies? Take this quiz and find out. I'll post the answers on Saturday...

1. In the movie, "Ghost," what song did Sam sing all night long to get Oda Mae Brown to go to Molly's apartment?

2. What is Melvin Udall's occupation in "As Good As It Gets"?

3. What is the name of the character played by Kathleen Turner in "Romancing the Stone" and "Jewel of the Nile"?

4. In what famous Manhattan landmark did Arthur Bach meet Linda Merolla in "Arthur"?

5. In "French Kiss," when Kate finally confronts Charlie in Cannes, Luc wants to celebrate her victory with some wine. What does he buy instead?

6. When Kat hires male escort Nick to be "The Wedding Date," what does she tell her family he does for a living?

7. In "A Fish Called Wanda," Wanda gets all hot and bothered every time Archie speaks what foreign language?

8. A very famous movie actor has a cameo in "The Holiday" when Miles (played by Jack Black) waxes poetic about the musical score for "The Graduate." Name the actor.

9. What's the name of the magazine William Thacker claims to write for when he sits in on Anna Scott's press junket in "Notting Hill"?

10. Name Mary's favorite football team in "There's Something About Mary."

11. What's the English translation of the Greek last name, Portokalos, in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"?

12. What Broadway show tune does Greg recite when asked to say grace in "Meet the Parents"?

13. In "Legally Blonde," what was Brooke Windham's alibi at the time her husband was murdered?'d you do?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Three Days To Go!

The LIRW Agent/Editor Luncheon is this Friday and the guest list is still growing! Hard to believe, but at the rate we're going, we may wind up with 3 business professionals at each table. What makes this so exciting is the availability of editors and agents to hear pitches from writers. With no appointments, no time maximum, and no limitations on how many agents or editors you can approach, this event is worth far more than the admission price.

I have several projects to discuss and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to hear from those I respect about what the future holds, what they're excited about, and where the romance industry is headed.

So...the gift baskets are done, the chocolates are waiting to be picked up at Lindt (Thursday: any sooner and I can't guarantee the gremlins in my household--both two-footed and four-footed--won't get into them), I've chosen my outfit and picked up accessories to match, and of course my son has his final play of the school year smack dab in the center of the day on Friday! (One year it was my daughter's graduation, another it was Field Day...seems I always need to be in two places at once when it comes to this event.) Luckily, in this case, Dad and Grandpa will see the thespian at his best and I'll get a sneak peek by slipping into dress rehearsal on Thursday.

Can you tell I'm getting excited? I'm running on pure adrenaline these days. And that's for one afternoon! Wait 'til we get close to National! By then, someone will have to peel me off the ceiling.

I hope you're joining us this week. If not, maybe try penciling it in for next year. Or better yet, join us in Dallas in July. You won't regret it.

Friday, June 8, 2007

We're Counting Down...

We're only seven days away from the 10th Annual LIRW Luncheon! Last night, members of the Luncheon Committee got together to plan seating arrangements and review the multitude of extra duties that go into making this event special.

The Lindt store called on Wednesday to let me know our chocolates are in. Baskets for the raffles are filled and wrapped (with special thanks to Bertrice Small who answered the call so quickly when I asked her if she had any autographed books to donate. God, I LOVE that woman--a truly gracious and generous lady!) We confirmed dessert will be raspberry chocolate mousse--a Milleridge Inn decadent tradition. The Light of the Island Award winner has been nominated (Sssh! It's a secret!) And we're all looking forward to another successful event.

This year there will again be at least two business professionals at each table. If you haven't sent in your registration yet, what are you waiting for? Time's running out.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Thursday Thirteen Time!

We all have them; those confusible words that we look at and think, "Is that right? It looks odd." Whether it's spelling or general use, here are a few of my personal pet word peeves:

13 Commonly Misspelled or Misused Words
1. Lightning (Lightening is the result of successful dieting. That flash in the sky is lightning.)
2. Withdrawal (Would you believe I actually saw withdrawl on a news program?! Eek!)
3. Affect/Effect (Affect is the act; Effect is the end result. "Global warming affects our planet, having a negative effect on living things.")
4. Farther/Further (Use farther for measures of distance; further for everything else.)
5. A lot (Two words!)
6. All right (Again, two words!)
7. It's/Its (Do you use an apostrophe for "hers" or "his"? So, why use one in the possessive "its"? You don't. It's is the contraction of "it is.")
8. Lead/Led (The first one is a metal; the second is how the fireman got the victim through a dark house.)
9. Irregardless (Aaaaaaarrrrrrgggghhhh! There is no such word. The word is simply regardless.)
10. Stationary/Stationery (If you're standing still, you're stationary. You write on stationery.)
11. Nauseous/Nauseated (When you're nauseous, you're making someone else sick. When you're sick, you're nauseated.)
12. Imply/Infer (To imply is to suggest--think of the old retort, "I resent the implication..." To infer is to draw a conclusion.)
13. Ensure/Insure (Insure has to do with insurance contracts. Use ensure unless your hero works for MetLife.)
Got any pet word peeves of your own to share?