Back Cover Copy

October 30, 2006 at 5:08 pm (Gab, Publishing)

I rec’d my back cover copy for Devil’s Possession today!!!!!!

She was a woman called to leadOrdinarily, women do not become
Highland chieftains.  But Faith Maitland is no ordinary woman-until a violent encounter in the forest crushes her courage and leaves her pregnant.  And now, because no clan will accept a sullied woman, she must find a sire for her bastard…
 He was a man they called a witchWhen Faith names Draven the Devil as the father of her child, she thinks she is blaming a dead man.  Instead, her accusation halts his execution for witchery.  When he is released from the stake to the Maitlands’ custody, Faith realizes that she has affianced herself to a silent man with frightening powers… 

Theirs was a devil’s bargainDraven has no reason to relish his escape, having long since wearied of the fear and hate that has been his lot.  Yet he finds himself unable to renounce Faith and expose her to the same shame.  Fascinated by her beauty and strength, Draven is drawn to Faith even as she is warmed by his tenderness.  But their growing trust will be tested by the threat of true evil… 

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The Process

October 13, 2006 at 9:41 am (Publishing)

I received an email a few days ago from an aspiring author who asked how my plotting process works. Since my first book hasn’t even been released yet, I feel compelled to answer (hey, it was almost like getting a fan letter).

The truth is, most writers classify themselves as either a plotter or a pantser (meaning, they write by the seat of their pants). I, however, am a plantser. This means that, while I’m writing freely whatever comes to mind, my subconscious is busily plotting away before, during, and after the book is complete. I start a book with a general scenario in mind – for Devil’s Possession, I started writing about a man being prepared to burn at the stake and a woman who mistakenly thinks he’s already dead and therefore, professes him to be the father of her child. That’s it.  From there, I either keep writing until I figure out the why’s and how’s and who’s, or else I take it to my wonderful critique group, the Plot Queens, and we brainstorm possibilities. By this, I don’t mean we plot the whole book. We might try, but I guarantee the suggestions won’t stick. They are priceless when it comes to giving me scene ideas, however, and those scenes then become sign posts for where the story needs to go. Two or three key scenes plotted, and the rest is by the seat of my pants. (I don’t care what states I have to drive through to get to California, so long as I arrive there in a timely fashion.)

Meanwhile, my subconscious, tricky little bugger, is already dropping in things of great importance that I don’t realize exist until the first draft is done and I go back for a first read. Things like theme and motifs and red herrings. I never understood how this worked until a brilliant author by the name of Catherine Spangler gave a workshop on The Subconscious Writer, which gave me so much insight and confidence into my own way of working. Even when I’m not thinking about my story, my subconscious is, which is amazingly true. That explains why the story is just there, waiting to write itself some days, even when I sit down with no idea where I’m going.

The plotting part of my process comes into play once the first draft is done. Time to read the book, start to finish, and pull out my trusted charts. I keep one for secondary characters, plot threads, chapter questions, character descriptions, location, setting, time, point-of-view. I’m a bit anal at this point. Time to shut down the right side of my brain and work from the left. This is where I spot a motiff (fire & faith in Devil’s Possession) that might occur in one or two places and try to thread it throughout the book. This is where I notice I have two Bruce’s in the book, or that my hero isn’t getting quite enough scenes in his point of view. It’s where the heroine’s eyes changed color in chapter 6, or a plot idea dropped in chapter 7.

It’s never a science. I believe that no part of the writing process is COMPLETELY left brained. There’s still that little creative muse on your shoulder telling you to add scenes, or “what if this happened instead.” But still, that’s part of the editing process. Cutting. Adding. Gluing it all together. It’s the part I’m in now, with my second book, and let me tell you, I’m on much friendlier terms with my right brain than my left. Convoluted plots are simply the worst!

But this is MY process. Talk to another writer and you’ll find another way to do things. We’re a creative bunch. There’s no factory line to make a book. And even when a writer claims to be one way or another, I guarantee that, at some point in her career, she’ll take a left turn (or a right) and her process will be a little different.

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This Week’s Top 5

August 9, 2006 at 9:56 am (Publishing)

Walden’s Romance Bestsellers – week ending 8/5

Series Romance:

1: Barbara Dunlop: Marriage Terms (S. Desire)
2: Brenda Jackson: Ian’s Ultimate Gamble (S. Desire)
3: Sheri Whitefeather: Expecting Thunder’s Baby (S. Desire)
4: Emilie Rose: Bending to the Bachelor’s Will (S. Desire)
5: Diana Hamilton: The Italian Millionaire’s Virgin Wife (H. Presents)

Paperback romance:

1: Lisa Kleypas: Scandal in Spring (Avon)
2: Janet Evanovich: Smitten (Avon)
3: Nora Roberts: Dangerous (Silhouette)
4: Christina Dodd: Trouble in High Heels (Signet)
5: Mary Balogh: Simply Unforgettable (Dell)

NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLERS (Bold = romance)(Week of Aug 6)

Hardcover:

1: Terry Goodkind: Phantom: Chainfire Trilogy, Part 2 (Sword of Truth, Book 10) (Tor)
2: Nora Roberts: Angels Fall (Putnam)
3: Janet Evanovich: Twelve Sharp (Stephanie Plum Novels) (St Martin’s Press)
4: James Lee Burke: Pegasus Descending: A Dave Robicheaux Novel (Dave Robicheaux Mysteries) (Simon & Schuster)
5: Scott Smith: The Ruins (Knopf)

Paperback:

1:Kim Edwards: The Memory Keeper’s Daughter (Penguin)
2:Sandra Brown: Chill Factor: A Novel (Simon & Schuster)
3:Lauren Weisberger: The Devil Wears Prada: A Novel (Broadway)
4:Michael Connelly: The Lincoln Lawyer (Warner)
5: James Patterson: 4th of July (Women’s Murder Club (Paperback)) (Warner Vision)

USA Today (Bold – romance) Based on sales through July 30 06

1: JK Rowling… Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince (ppb/ Scholastic)
2: Kim Edwards… The Memory Keeper’s Daughter (ppb/Penguin)
3: James Patterson… Lifeguard (ppb/Warner)
4: Nora Roberts… Dangerous (ppb/Silhouette)
5:Lauren Weisberger… The Devil Wears Prada (ppb/Anchor)

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