Friday, December 26, 2008

Pressies all round

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas.
I'm still playing with all the fab toys Santa brought our littlies. Fun!
I had a few nice pressies on Christmas Eve.
My fab editor informed me that my upcoming Modern Heat, TWO WEEKS IN THE MAGNATE'S BED (UK, March) will be out in the US in September as a Harlequin Presents. Yay!
The other was a great 4 star review from Romantic Times for THE BOSS'S BEDROOM AGENDA.
Here t'is!
"To help finance her career as a metal sculptor, Beth Walker takes a temporary job as a museum tour guide. She's not too happy about it, until she meets the temporary CEO, Aidan Voss. The attraction between them is immediate and electric, but Aiden is an archeologist who wants to go on digs around the world, and Beth wants to stay in one place and put down roots. Can they meet halfway? From the moment these two meet, the attraction simmers until it finally explodes. What a nice change of pace that these two start out as equals on a journey that's filled with emotional twists and turns."

Saturday, December 20, 2008


If you read or write romance, I want you to go outside right now, stand in the middle of your street, fling your arms in the air and shout "I love romance!" Shout it loud and proud. Make sure every person for miles hears you.

Okay, okay, I'm exaggerating but as romance lovers, I think that's what we have to do.

We have to be proud of the romance genre.
We have to hold our head up and meet gazes head on when people ask what we do and we respond 'romance writing.'
We have to proudly display that cover of a bare-chested hero in a steamy embrace with a gorgeous heroine while we're reading on the train.

We are romance ambassadors, every single one of us.

Last night, I was interviewed by several journalists in India to coincide with Harlequin Mills and Boon's 100th anniversary and the writing competition they've just launched there (more about that on Monday.)
The interviews went for 50 minutes total with a wide array of questions and the one thing that struck me, that has struck me repeatedly when I've done library talks or been a guest speaker elsewhere, is how fabulous romance is and how lucky I am to be part of it.

It's a genre that generated $1.375 billion dollars last year, with the biggest seller being contemporary series romance (Mills and Boon series romances), with 25.7% of the romance pie, followed by contemporary romance 21.8%, historical romance 16%, paranormal 11.8%, inspirational 7.1%, romantic suspense 4.7% with other subgenres to follow.

Harlequin sold 130 million books worldwide, equating to 1 book every 4 seconds and is the biggest romance publisher in the world.

These are statistics to be proud of.
These are statistics we should know as romance ambassadors.

Say it loud and say it proud.

"I love romance!"

That's my 'write not-so-whisper' for the day.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Almost there...

This man...
has followed this woman...

From here...

To here...

Okay, Nick hasn't exactly followed Brittany from Noosa to Oxford Circus but he is in London after stopping in the Caribbean along the way.
They're in Chelsea, in a dilapidated house, smack bang in the final scene.
Fireworks are going she's crying...and I'm too tired to write any more so I shall finish this book tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Just busting to tell you...

Two posts in the same day, highly unusual, I know, but I absolutely must tell you about 2 things.

First up, an author who is a new auto-buy for me.
I've just finished reading Richard Montanari's "The Skin Gods" and it was brilliant! Started it yesterday, couldn't put it down (and yes, I'm on deadline and trying to get this book done!) but here I sit at my computer with my word doc opened and my nose buried in this book desperate to finish it.

Harlan Coben and Tess Gerritsen are auto-buys for me, Richard Montanari is now part of that list. If you enjoy thrillers, grab his books!
I recently glommed Barbara Samuel and I'm off to glom the rest of this fabulous author's books too.

The other thing I had to share is the new cover for my next Modern Heat (March 09 in the UK).
I thought my Navy SEAL was hot in 'Purchased for Pleasure' but boy, does this guy rival him or what!!!

Right, you won't hear from me tomorrow.
I'm trying to finish this book!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

THE WRITE WHISPER: Making your readers care

Welcome to a new series of writing tips, discussion and general blatherings as I traverse the wonderful world of publishing.

I'm hoping to make this a weekly weekend series though in all likelihood, I can see it featuring fortnightly...or maybe longer, we'll see how we go!

(And if you miss out on a post, you can see the lot in the sidebar link and on my website.)

So, how do we make our readers care?

The idea for this series was sparked while I was watching Prison Break this week.
This series is the best yet, with the writers giving every character motivation for their actions, no matter how nefarious.
But what really struck home was when I choked up over a former bad guy dying.
How did the writers do that?
How did they make me care enough about a 'baddie' to feel sorrow when he died?

It all comes down to this.
If you give your characters sufficient, believable motivation for their actions, readers will be behind them all the way.

How many times are you reading a book or watching a movie and enjoying it, only to be jolted out of the suspended reality by the character doing something completely out of character?
It jars.
It takes us out of the story.
It ruins our suspension of disbelief and makes us question everything about the remainder of the book/movie.

You don't want to do this to your readers.
You want them swept along in the story, so caught up in the characters' lives they absolutely must keep turning pages until they reach 'the end'...and leave them wanting more, particularly your next book!

A strong, real, believable motivation is gold.

That's my 'write whisper' for today.