Friday, May 31, 2013

Oh the Pressure

Swag, get your free swag

I am busy prepping for the 2013 Lori Foster Reader and Author Get together. My preparations are not especially well-informed since I’ve never been to this event. I was informed I’d need giveaways and I have managed to accumulate some things, such as the candy bags pictured above. My son and I labored many hours (not really) on putting these together. I suspect he helped mostly because he wanted to sample the candies, but no matter, one hundred bags are filled with candy, a magnet, and are stickered with my info. I’m also bringing some stress balls, although they are more like stress cubes. I plan on giving those to people who buy copies of my book while I’m there. And there are more magnets to be included in the goody bags all attendees get.
Since I’ve never been to one of these, and I tend to be a stay-at-home introvert who suffers terribly when forced to make small talk, I’m trying not to get nervous ahead of time. Here’s what I’m worried about in no particular order.
1.       I will make some incredibly obvious new author faux pas and everyone in the vicinity will give me pitying looks
2.       I will sit at my book-signing table and no one will talk to me, let alone buy a book
3.       I will miss some important thing because I was distracted or lost or caught in a crowd
4.       I will have to bring home most of these give-aways because no one will be interested
5.       I won’t like the food and I’ll be hungry all the time
6.       I will make a fool of myself in pitches
7.       I will meet people and immediately forget their names
8.       I will feel like a dork during the ‘party’ portions of the event
9.       Someone will want to talk about paranormals, erotica, new adult, shapeshifters, whatever and since I don’t read those genres I will have a blank and ignorant look on my face the whole time
10.   No one will put a ticket in to try and win my raffle prize
Okay, so I just typed all that out and now I’m really nervous. I haven’t even packed yet. As I review the list, I can see there are some common themes such as meeting people and swag. In an effort to make myself feel more confident, if you are reading this and are going to RAGT this year, mention my insecurities to me and I will give you a bag of candy. Or a stress cube.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Rejected but not Dejected

My manuscript was rejected for publication. That hurt just a little bit to type, but not as much as it would have a few months ago. I didn't even get sad when I read the email, just a bit confused at the contradictory reasons the editor gave. There weren't any concrete criticisms or suggestions that would make it possible for me to even  re-write the thing so I'm not going to bother. It's not worth it because the response was so formulaic I know the editor has zero interest in my work. I can read between the lines and understand exactly where I stand (or don't with that publishing house). And that's okay because I wrote a good story, I wrote it well, and another editor will like it.

I'm like one of those knights, I'm just going to keep waving my sword (manuscript), hold up my shield (faith in my work) and fight again (submit it to someone else).
If anyone's interested in reading an excerpt from my unattached book, leave a comment and it might show up on a future blog post.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Trek and T*ts

So I had a Star Trek and mammogram kind of day. Here's the picture to prove it. In the early a.m. went to have my annual mammogram. Go get yours if you are due! And that's all I'm going to say about it.
And in an unexpected turn of events, I actually got to go out to lunch with my husband and go see a grown-up movie afterward. We so very rarely get to do this since he works and we have a child which means kid friendly entertainments ninety-nine percent of the time.
We went to Wurst und Bier, and ate a lot of German meats and each had a beer. Neither one of us could remember the last time we'd both gotten to have an alcoholic beverage AT THE SAME TIME. We could do this because a) our son was not with us, and b) we could walk over to the movie theatre after we ate and drank. And oh my goodness the meat and beer were delicious. We waddled over to the movie theatre and lowered our bloated bodies into the plush seats of the UltraScreen for a matinee of Star Trek Into Darkness. OH MY.
What can I say about this movie? It grabbed you and just kept tossing you from one scene to the next. Bruce Greenwood! Peter Weller! Klingons! Tribbles! KHAN!!!!
I enjoyed the movie very much, but had trouble catching my breath about halfway through because of the unrelenting action sequences, explosions, crashes, assaults, and general mayhem. It did throw in a lot of material from past Treks (radiation in the warp core, hello! and KHAN!!!) but I was very entertained and that's all I expect from my summer fun films.
Simon Pegg was lovely as usual. And I'm finally getting the Benedict Cumberbatch crushes. I guess it just took him playing a despotic, genetically engineered superman to catch my eye.

P.S. I want all the leather jackets everyone wears in the film. Right now. Even though it's eighty degrees and sunny.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Blog Hop!!!

Welcome to my first blog hop! I've never done this before so let's hope it all goes well. I'm only asking two things, please make a comment below and then click through on the link at the bottom so you can visit the other contemporary Secret Cravings authors hosting this weekend.
Be sure to post a comment here and at the other author's blogs. I'll be giving away a copy of my my book Bent Boot Road to someone.

Here is the badge for the contemporary blog hop. There is no button since there will be no overall SCP prize. Each author should have their own prizes and select their own winners. The link to the SCP blog -- and please link back to the blog is:!/photo.php?fbid=10200511198001271&set=o.367142080026996&type=1&theater

Monday, May 13, 2013

Gatsby in Mind

Joel Edgerton as Tom Buchanan
I don't own copywrite on this so will remove if asked
Lucky me, I was able to the new Baz Luhrmann film The Great Gatsby this weekend. On Mother’s Day to be exact, so that was a nice present to myself. I’d seen one review of the film that was vaguely complimentary, so I didn’t have many preconceived notions about it before I sat down other than I liked F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, and I love that period. I was hoping for some great costumes and sets, hoped for good music, and as long as the script wasn’t radically different than the book, I didn’t really care. It had an afternoon to myself, a tub of popcorn, and an iced chai (yes, my theatre serves chai, who knew? They also serve White Castles, which is all kinds of awesome.)
Let me say first off, I really liked the movie. It was as wild, frenetic, loud, and colorful as you would expect from this director and once I settled in for the ride, it was perfectly fun. I believe the movie treated the characters much more sympathetically than I ever did as a reader, which made sense considering how ‘pretty’ the whole movie was. It would be jarring to have terribly conflicted and hard to categorize characters in the middle of these over the top gorgeous surroundings. And they were gorgeous. The crystal was Waterford by my guess, the costumes conspicuously expensive, and the floral arrangements alone looked like they’d cost tens of thousands of dollars. There was as much conspicuous consumption up there on the big screen as what you would have seen at any striver’s party during the twenties. The only quibbles I had were with jewelry; Daisy’s famous pearls rolling all over the floor when the string broke was totally unrealistic, pearls are always individually knotted to prevent just such an occurrence but I’ll give it a pass because it’s such a dramatic visual. And one of Jordan Baker’s necklaces was too clunky for the period, it would have fit better for a thirties costume.
I didn’t notice the actors much, Gatsby and Daisy were credible, Carraway was more appealing than he’d ever seemed in the book as was Jordan Baker. The only actor that stood out to me was Joel Edgerton, he really nailed Tom Buchanan and gave him more nuance and interest than I’d ever gotten from the book. Of course he was a horrible, spoiled, and entirely pointless excuse for a person, but the actor made him interesting.
As I watched the film, I began to see where the novel influences my own writing. In my first book, Bent Boot Road, I compare my hero Carter, with an Arrow Collar man, an image of which featured prominently in the film. My heroine Lydia also compares the hero’s nice shirts to Gatsby’s lovely excess. Of course, Carter Harris is about as far away from Jay Gatsby as a fictional person could be. All they have in common are ethnicity, gender, and sartorial elegance. And in the book I am polishing for pitches this summer, my hero, Thomas, arranges for a beautiful hotel room with fresh flowers and lots of snacks for the heroine Mel to enjoy when she comes to London. It was very similar to the scene in The Great Gatsby where Jay Gatsby sets up an overblown tea for the reunion with Daisy, all to try and impress her. So F. Scott Fitzgerald’s work has had a subconscious influence on me as a writer and not just as a reader, which is really interesting considering I haven’t read the thing in at least a decade.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Sunshine On My Brain

Maybe because it finally feels like spring and the sunshine and warmer temperatures are mellowing my brain, or maybe because I wrote over 50,000 words on a new book last month for Camp NaNo, I haven’t paid attention to making a blog post in far too long. Let's blame it on all the plants emerging in my garden and distracting me terribly.

First off, the writing is going very, very well. I am so pleased with the SFR story I’m finishing up now, all the little connections and threads I needed are coming together at the end and that’s a great feeling. And I went through another story (one I wrote last November for NaNo)  and revised it in the last two weeks. This one I’m going to pitch to an editor at Lori Foster’s Reader and Author Get Together in June, so it’s very nice to have most of the heavy lifting done on it already. It’s a contemporary set in Ohio, the heroine is a small town school bus driver employed for the summer to drive around some movie actors on a location shoot in her home county. And our hero is one of those actors who decides he doesn’t want to be famous. So far, my favorite scenes to write were one at a garage sale, and another of a seduction in below zero weather in a drafty bedroom.

Still waiting to hear about the pitch I made three weeks ago. I kept myself busy and haven’t thought about it much other than wanting to know what the editor thought so I can enter it into our Central Ohio Fiction Writer's contest; Ignite the Flame. I might just enter my contemporary instead and not worry about it. I just want to find a publisher for my SFRs, I have written four and I’d love to find a home for them so I can get them out there.

I also managed to order my swag for the above mentioned RAGT. If you are attending, expect a magnet from me, and I’ll have some cover post cards to sign, stress balls, AND bags of Brach’s hard candies. Getting ready for this event has been hit or miss for me. I have no idea what to expect, so I’m kind of muddling through all the pre-planning. Although I have been getting great advice from a writer friend, Allyson Young , who has attended before. This will be my first ‘appearance’ as Lynn Rae, author. It’s a little daunting. I have a not so secret fear that no one will have even heard of my book, let alone read it. Ah well, if that’s so, I’ll just mingle and fake it.