Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Five: It's Galley Time!

Got the package in the mail yesterday from Avalon Books. Inside were the galley pages for Nobody's Business, Book II in the Nobody Series. So, yeah. Those of you who wonder what I do with myself when I'm not writing, here are five things I'm currently up to:

1. Reviewing my galley for Nobody's Business
2. Judging the Emerald City Opener Contest
3. Revising two other manuscripts: one historical, one paranormal
4. Getting ready for RWA National next week
5. Spending time with family and friends

What are you up to?

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mid-Week Rude Awakening: Playing Hard to Get Makes You Hard to Find

There's that old dating advice that a woman never admits she has no plans on a Saturday night. In the writing world, the direct opposite is true. When invited to participate in a writing-related function or a social gathering, why on earth would you pretend you're too busy to be there? As a professional writer, you want to be available, accessible, and generous with your time and wisdom. Why?

Well, for one thing because I'm a big believer in Paying Forward. I'm humble enough to admit that I wouldn't be anywhere in this industry if not for the wisdom more experienced authors were generous enough to share with me when I was first starting out. The best way to pay homage to those great writers is to emulate their example.

Another reason? (Warning: a little more mercenary) Readers are more likely to buy a book from someone they feel they "know." In this harsh economy, people aren't as willing to part with hard-earned cash for an unknown. And if you don't show up at speaking engagements, book events, get-togethers with other writers, and other social opportunities because you're "too busy," readers won't get the chance to know you at all. The more often you participate in various appearances and events, the more often you volunteer your time to others, the more readers you meet and the more readers will get to know you. 

Need another reason? How about it's just plain rude and egotistical? Yeah...I thought that one would reach you.

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Five: Five Great Quotes

I love quotations. They inspire, amuse, or just give me a contemplative moment. Let's see what these five do for you:

1. A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous. - Coco Chanel

2. Few friendships would survive if each one knew what his friend says of him behind his back. - Blaise Pascal

3. If you don't have a dream, how are you going to make a dream come true? - Oscar Hammerstein

4. Show respect to all people, but grovel to none. - Tecumseh

5. Just because you got the monkey off your back doesn't mean the circus has left town. - George Carlin

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Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday Five: Five Things You Should Pack for RWA National

With less than three weeks until the RWA National Conference, attendees are starting to think about what they'll wear, what they'll bring, etc. If you're new to the Conference experience, here is a list of things you don't want to forget.

1. Sweater. Some of the rooms can get pretty cold. Like me, you may never need it, but it's always a good idea to have one...just in case.
2. Comfortable shoes. There's a lot of walking, a lot of racing around, and a lot of standing on line. Be sure you've got shoes that won't pinch or blister your poor feet.
3. Small bills. From tips to items to buy at Moonlight Madness, singles and fives will be required at least a few times during your stay. Keep a little stash of "mad money."
4. Camera. This may seem like a no-brainer, but a lot of people forget this crucial item. You're going to want to document the craziness of the Literacy Signing, the opportunity you got to meet your idol, and the friends you usually only talk to online.
5. A notebook. Even with the handouts you can download before the conference, there'll be so many aha moments while you're absorbing all that info and energy, a nice notebook is crucial. Nothing big: your kid's old spiral or marble composition book is fine. Just be sure you've got plenty of empty pages for jotting down thoughts, ideas, and new ways to write.

I hope I'll see you there! Look for me. I'm hard to miss. Big girl, bright red hair, usually with a flower on one side, and a boatload of energy.

For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page:

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mid-Week Rude Awakening: Growth is Essential

Some writers believe that the be-all/end-all is publication. Once they're published, they no longer have to continue to learn technique, worry about grammar and punctuation, or challenge themselves to write outside their comfort zone. After all, they've been published. That means they know what they're doing, right?


As any true writing professional will tell you, the publishing business is always changing. Think back to five years ago. What were you reading? And how were you reading it? How many publishers have come or gone in the meantime? Audiences change, their tastes change, and their methods of reading change. One thing, however, remains constant: the need for something new and different is bottomless. Ask any reader about an author they used to love but now can't abide. Chances are, you'll hear the complaint that it seems like said author is "phoning it in." Meaning, the author is simply following the same formula she has for years. She's no longer writing something new or fresh, no longer challenging herself or her readers.

A truly successful author seeks the new, the different, and dares to step to the edge of the precipice every single time. (S)he is always learning, always growing.

Don't fear the brave new world. Embrace it, and your readers will come along for the ride!

For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page:

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday Five: 5 Excellent Pieces of Advice I've Received at Past RWA Nationals

Last month, at the New England Imagination in Flight Conference, I had the opportunity to thank author Annette Blair for sitting in on my workshop. She told me she'd learned a thing or two from me and added, "You're never too published to take in a workshop." I couldn't agree more. With RWA National at the end of the month, I thought I'd share some of the valuable pearls I've learned at previous years' National Conferences (these are not direct quotes but as close as I can remember):

1. "Getting published takes three things: luck, talent, and synchronicity." - Patricia Potter
2. "I'm looking for a reason to reject your manuscript and get it off my desk. Don't give me that reason." - Steve Axelrod
3. "You have 24 hours to mourn (a rejection, bad review, or low contest score). After that, you put it out of your mind and move on!" - Susan Elizabeth Phillips
4. "Your voice is like your accent. You can't hear it, but everyone else can." - Jayne Ann Krentz
5. "Forget about how easy it was to get published ten years ago. It was just as hard then as it is now. Ride the hard." - Nora Roberts

I can't wait to learn something new this year!

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

The End!

For those who didn't see my Twitter post (you can follow me if you click the Twitter image in my sidebar), I finished my last book for my current series, Nobody's Perfect yesterday, and sent it off to my editor at Avalon Books with 20 minutes to spare on my deadline. I'll be sorry to say goodbye to the Raine girls: they've been with me now for about 18 months.
So what does an exhausted author do to celebrate the completion of a series? Well, this one opted for a serving of White Mint Fudge Light ice cream (100 calories!) and a date with her son to the movies. Today, as I slowly emerge from the writing cave and return to a life of semi-normalcy, I'll do some shoe shopping (Hooray for shoe shopping!). Eventually, I'll have to dash out for food, too. The cupboards are mighty bare these days.
I told the fam I wouldn't start a new story until after the RWA National Conference, but...
We'll see.

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