Sunday, March 27, 2011

It Was In The Stars All The Time!

It’s all Angela James’ fault and I couldn’t be happier. She called to tell me Carina Press wanted to publish my story.  I had practiced for this moment for some time, just like practicing a pitch. I’d be calm, listen carefully, ask just the right questions, and give witty answers. All to demonstrate to the publisher they had made a good decision.

Nope, didn’t happen. Tears, I remember tears. Not sobbing ones, jeez I hope she didn’t hear me crying. They were running down my face. When I pulled a tissue out of the box, it went flying out of my hand. And I kept repeating, “This is the call.” (I told myself to get a grip, but that didn’t work.)Nothing else came to mind. Nothing coherent that would even hint that I was anywhere near intelligent. None of those phrases I practiced and practiced.  It was an OMG moment.

We said our good–byes, actually, Angela said good –bye I was nodding my head. I hung up and stared at the phone, my heart pounding. That’s when the next brilliant words came out of my mouth. “Published. I’m going to be published.” I said them over and over I think to convince myself. Somewhere I started breathing again and called Paul and the kids. 
The last several weeks have been exciting. The smile is still plastered on my face. My Romance Writer chapter mates who didn’t laugh at my very first attempt but boosted me up when I lost faith, gently critiqued my ms encouraged me at every turn celebrated with me with flowers from NJRW, handwritten cards and cupcakes from RWANYC, a many congratulatory emails from FFnP, HTH, and RWAOL.  

I met Angela last Saturday at the Liberty States Fiction Writers conference, another great writer's group. I’m not certain I was any more coherent but I was finally able to express my feelings. After all the hard work writing, rewriting, editing, the ten minute pitches, the queries, and the rejections, Angela’s call was validation that my work was worthy. Pride replaced the edgy excitement. I’m proud of my story, my accomplishment, my many friends, and to be a Carina Press author. 

At Saturday’s conference luncheon, Gail Freeman, the LSF Writer’s President, spoke about rising stars and first sales and presented me with the beautiful engraved gold star at the top of this post, a tangible validation that sits sparkling on my desk as I write my next story.          

Sunday, March 20, 2011

On Writing

In Mesopotamia, somewhere in the valley between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, dating back to 3700 B.C., someone put stone to tablet and hammered out a message and we’ve been hammering out messages ever since.

What is the love affair with the written word? They have the power to move people and even nations; people steal them, go to war for them, suppress them, cry over them, and love them.

I love painting with them, finding just the ones that transport you to another place all in the comfort of my comfy overstuffed chair. The dappled sunlight in the forest, the clashing sound of swords striking steel, and the softness of the first kiss, *sigh* I love them all.

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have a story in my head, a damsel in distress and a knight in shining armor racing to save her, (I’ve always thought historical romance). There were times when I finished a book, I loved the characters so much I continued the story in my mind.

It may have been Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander that started me thinking how the accomplishments of today’s woman, the ones we take for granted, would play out in earlier times; accomplishments in music, sports, and medicine. No longer is she the damsel in distress but rather a full partner capable in the great hall, the theater, the surgery, and even the battle field. I found the idea intriguing and went off and spun my tale.

So, I started thinking. It’s the 21st century and time travel is still a Wellsian fantasy, but not for Rebeka Tyler. A small misstep at the standing stones at Avebury will transport her into the adventure of her life.  That’s how I started writing To Hearth and Home (working title), all hammered out from my computer.

Have you written a story? Even if it's a work still in progress, where did you get your idea? Please leave a comment and let me know.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


It started with a whisper. Denise said she was going to write a novel, a romance novel. That’s when I started thinking. Snippets of stories with dashing men, valiant women have always raced through my mind (I know, some call it daydreaming) only to fade. Denise’s whisper made me stop and think.

My daydreams have plots, goals, motivations, conflicts, romance, and a range of characters. So, I too started writing. How empowering to give my stories breath, watch the words fill page after page, and make the characters come to life. They became as dear to me as if they were real.  But that’s only part of my adventure.

For the last year, I’ve studied, taken workshops with some of the best romance writers, agents and editors in the industry, and worked hard to apply what I’ve learned. I’ve met wonderful people, published and unpublished the chapters and writing groups to which I belong as well as the classes I’ve taken.  A group of us even formed our own loop, Eliza’s Writing Divas.

There’s so much to tell you.  Where should I begin? Why don’t you tell me what you would like to hear. Wait, let me get a little closer. Whisper it in my hear …