Monday, October 30, 2006

A Writer's Best and Worst Tool

Over the years, especially since 1998, I've become dependent on the internet. I read and send emails (hundreds a day as a lot of my paying job involves corresponding that way), read blogs, and research in the internet.

Though you have to be careful what information you use from the wide world web, you can find a website for almost everything. It's wonderful.

But as with all things, it has a bad side. Before you know it hours have passed and I've not written one productive word. I mean productive as in words in a manuscript. You know, as in completing a book.

With that said, let me give you some of my favorite sites.

Your Dictionary - 100 Most Often Mispronounced Words and Phrases in English.
This is so cool. I hadn't realized I pronounced most of these words correctly. I always worry about that. Stuttering as a child, especially for one that loved to talk, was rough and made me work hard on my pronunciation.

Quoteland.com
I'm editor of another chapter's newsletter and I've found this to be helpful. Plus occasionally I'll need it for a WIP. It's so much fun to see what you can come up with. For example, "Surfing on the Internet is like sex; everyone boasts about doing more than they actually do. But in the case of the Internet, it's a lot more." Tom Fasulo

WORDORIGINS.ORG
I believe Deborah Matthews found this one for me. Only writers would get a kick out of finding out how a word came to being.

See what I mean. Such great info, but if you're not careful so much time can be eaten up by nothing.

What about you? Where do you like to hang out on the internet and wast...uh...search important information?

Sunday, October 29, 2006

A query about queries

Today at the meeting, Rick asked me what bio info I put in the query letter that got me an agent. I promised I'd post the letter. Here it is, with some explanation:

I saw on publishersmarketplace.com and your web site that you have made many recent sales of single title romances. I thought you might be interested in YOUR CHEATIN’ HEART, a single title romantic comedy of about 98,000 words. This novel is complete, and I have not submitted it to publishers.

[In actuality, I would tailor that paragraph to say exactly what the agent had sold that made me think he or she might like my novel too. You absolutely must do this. Your research on the agent should happen before you query the agent, not after the agent offers you representation. If you have two offers, of course you must weigh them against each other. But you shouldn't query anyone you're not almost positive you'd want to represent you. That would be a waste of your time and theirs.]

As a record company’s top agent in public relations crisis management, i.e., babysitter to the stars, SARAH SEVILLE just spent nine months in Rio trying to keep rock singer Nine Lives out of jail long enough to record his new album--and barely succeeded. Now she needs a triumphant success so that she can claim her promotion in the New York-based job she loves. Trouble is, her new assignment is to prevent the breakup of the raucous country band the Cheatin’ Hearts, headed by sexy QUENTIN COX. As she edges closer to Quentin, she discovers layers of secrets. It seems Quentin is taking the spin doctor for a spin.

The Cheatin’ Hearts have stayed on top of the charts two years following three rules. Rule One, no sex with other band members. Rule Two, no sex with reporters. Rule Three, no sex with record company spies. Quentin figures he’d better follow the rules, because he made them. And because if you break a rule, you’re out of the band. But he can’t resist this beautiful pink-haired girl, and inevitably he breaks Rule Three with hot Sarah Seville. As he falls for her, he finds out that she has plenty of secrets of her own, and one of them comes knocking on her door: what really happened to her in Rio.

[Two-paragraph summary of the book, styled like back cover copy.]

I’m a PRO member of Romance Writers of America. YOUR CHEATIN’ HEART is my ninth completed manuscript. I am a doctoral candidate in rhetoric and composition at the University of Louisville, and I have taught writing at Louisville, the University of Kentucky, and Auburn University. I have also edited and written for numerous newspapers and professional journals. I now live in Atlanta, where I work as a freelance copy editor for medical publications.

[If I had to do this over again, I would compose this paragraph as carefully as I composed the paragraphs about my book. I also might take out the "ninth completed manuscript" part. I think the jury is still out on whether this makes me look like a Dedicated Writer or a Loser. But in general, you want to list anything you've done that lets the agent know you can be the professional writer publishers need.]

Please find a SASE enclosed for your response. Thank you very much for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.

Please share your successful letters! Or if you have questions about your query, maybe we can help you. Post the parts that are giving you trouble.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Meanie Weanie

Let's look at the opposite of Christy's blog. Luckily, I've never had anyone say anything mean or nasty to me about writing romance. At least not to my face. I know authors who do get mean things said to them. Sometimes the person may not even knowing what they say is hurtful. Or have someone grab your book and read just the lovemaking part and laugh. Are they jealous or just trying to be witty? Violence is not a good response to these people.

Miss Snark's June 9 blog had some interesting suggestions to the "When are you going to write a real book?" question. http://misssnark.blogspot.com/2006_06_04_misssnark_archive.html

Even Dear Abby got into the act in her Sept. 2 column http://www.uexpress.com/dearabby/index.html?uc_full_date=20060902 , but she responded to the letters she received and admitted she hadn't read a romance in years.
http://www.uexpress.com/dearabby/index.html?uc_full_date=20061019

Susan Combs, who wrote one romance novel in the '90s, is being called a pornographer by her opponent in the Texas Comptroller race. Fred has excerpts on his web site. You can guess what parts of the book he's posted. But if he really thinks her book is pornography, doesn't posting the excerpts on his web site make him a purveyor of pornography?

Has anyone ever said anything mean or hurtful to you about your chosen genre? If so, how did you handle it?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Word Nerd


When my husband and I started dating, one of the first things I learned about him was that he loved board games. This did not thrill me, as I have never, ever won at Monopoly, backgammon, or even Candyland. Of course, he beat me at any and all games that involved strategy, money, and world takeovers. One thing saved the relationship: I could chew him up and spit him out at Scrabble.

I have always loved words. I bet I was the only kid in all 12 years of primary and secondary school who adored vocab. My favorite words – discombobulated, loquacious, and pithy – come from those lists. I don’t think I’ve ever used any of them in my writing or even in conversation (and certainly never in the same sentence), but if I ever do, the feat will give me great pleasure.

Hmmm…

"Discombobulated, Eleanor stumbled into the senator, whose loquacious demeanor belied the pithy speech he had just given."

Okay, it’s not Faulkner, I know. But it was fun trying.

What are your favorite words?

JoAnn Weatherly

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Reminder about our Wonderful Luncheon!


***Permission granted to forward***

Come and join us at the Wynfrey Hotel (http://www.wynfrey.com/) on November 4, 2006,
Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Southern Magic presents NYT best selling Teresa Medeiros
and welcome speaker Harlequin/Silhouette author Lyn Stone.

Over twenty romance authors will be in attendance along with
Kay Stockham, Gayle Wilson, Debra Webb, and Linda Winstead Jones.
To see the complete list go to www.southernmagic.org/smrl2006.html .

Door prizes!!
Be prepared to purchase raffles for chances at baskets loaded with books
along with the popular Get Your Name In a Book!

A Book Signing (open to the public) will follow the luncheon.
Registration: $25 ($20 for S-M Members)

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Nicest Thing

I have to admit, sometimes I get down. I wonder if I'll ever see my book on a bookstore shelf, attend a booksigning as an author or see my book for sale on Amazon. Yes, I know there are still problems and disappointments after publication, but even knowing that, it's still what I want and what I'm working toward.

To keep me going in my darkest days, when my dreams seem more and more out of reach, I sometimes review nice things people have said about my writing. That old fragile ego just has to have some strokes and believe it or not, chocolate doesn't always work. The "I couldn't put your entry down," and "you've got a gift" for this or that, is extremely nice and I would pay money for people to tell me this all day long. But when I think back on the nicest, most rewarding and uplifting thing anyone has ever said to me about my writing, I have to choose a comment by a young college student I used to work with in Indiana. She was in her third year of college and fairly new to reading romance. One day, she asked if she could read one of my manuscripts. Me, being the shy, introverted, modest person that I am, said, "Absolutely! I'll go home and get it for you right now."

I was on pins and needles the entire weekend, just knowing she was laughing up a storm. Yes, I'm also insecure. When I saw her on Monday, she told me she was mad at me because she stayed up all night reading my book instead of studying. Well, that was a nice thing to say, but I also know that when I was in college, I would sometimes rather read a cereal box than study, so I didn't take that too much to heart. But weeks later, just in a casual conversation, she told me during Thanksgiving dinner with her family, they sat around and talked about the most memorable characters in books they'd read that year. Ones that had a major impact on them. She chose my heroine in my book as the most memorable character she'd read that year. The poor girl was somewhat startled when tears sprang to my eyes and I threw my arms around her. I don't think she anticipated what that statement meant to me.

I know that we learn more from constructive criticism than we do from compliments, but sometimes, it's so nice to know that you've touched someone or entertained them. Just remembering those comments often keeps me going.

What about you? Will you share the nicest, most uplifting comment someone said about your writing. Come on, it doesn't hurt to brag a little.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

And the story continues...

In the 1970s, the trend started for movies to continue a story until you had numerous parts. Such as Star Wars, Part IV, V, VI and then Part I, II, III. And soon we will have another Rocky movie. Is that number 8 or 9?

Then in the 1980s, I started to see books doing the same. Sometimes you would have the same hero and heroine, but more often you would have stories from the previous secondary characters' POV.

Now, myself, I like the secondary character stories, though I always had problems with having the hero and heroine in more than one book. I don’t know why, but when I read their story and come to the end, I want to think they are happy and no more problems will come their way. So give me the secondary characters, and leave the original hero and heroine alone.

And from what I’ve seen in readers’ websites, they love the secondary character stories, too. They want to know everybody in every book is happy. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be the "good" ones. Even the villains, if they live, need a resolution and be saved from themselves.

The only problems I have with some secondary character books are when the previous hero and heroine show up and almost take over the book. Or the author feels compelled to tell you about the other story and the role the now hero or heroine played. Usually too much unnecessary back story.

Do you have problems with continuing books? Secondary characters? Or series?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Location, location, location

I’m more than halfway through my new YA due December 1--actually, I hope to finish it on Halloween. Scary! I’m not writing any faster than I usually do. I’m not sure I’d be able to speed the process up if I tried. When I “write,” it’s about 10% pen to paper and 90% staring into space.

What I have done in order to meet this deadline is cut out all the procrastination, such as blogging *cough*. Also, I can’t have my regularly scheduled nervous breakdown for this book. There’s no time! And I need to play every trick I know on myself to keep myself from getting blocked.

One of my favorite tricks is changing the location where I write. I write a lot at home, of course, but there are several problems with this. There’s a computer with the Internet on it. There’s housework (and contrary to popular belief, I do do some of this). Lately when my husband has the day off at home between business trips, he feels compelled to fire up the power drill and/or the bandsaw. But most importantly, I’m staring at the same four walls I’ve been staring at for the last few books. A change of scenery is an instant brainstorm for me.

So, besides my daily jog (I’m training for the Vulcan Run on November 4, and I’m up to 4 miles; again, *cough*), I try to get out of the house while my son is at school, armed only with a printout of my writing so far, a pen and notebook, and my iPod to ward off the loud conversations and Frank Sinatra songs that sometimes prove distracting at Starbucks.

The Starbucks in Vestavia Hills has figured out who I am. I’ve been there enough in the past few weeks that I’m a “regular.” They finally asked if I’m a writer, and I had to tell them the truth about my book, since I discovered when I was a teenager that I’m a really bad liar. So, always preferring the incognito, I have switched to the Starbucks in Homewood. I’ve also had success writing at the Vestavia Hills library and at Central Park in Homewood, watching the skateboarders (and, I’m sure, getting a reputation as “creepy writer lady”). All of this may shift several more times before Halloween. I wrote a large portion of MAJOR CRUSH while working out on the elliptical machine at the YMCA.

Where do you write?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Southern Magic Author Website Spotlight

Go check out Rhonda Nelson's website and in particular her blog. She's a hoot and her books are hot!

http://www.readrhondanelson.com/blog/


Hey, it's turning out to be a Rhonda Nelson month.

Monday, October 16, 2006

To Heck with the Rules

I have a new litany. THERE ARE NO RULES! In writing that is. I'm amazed that we've come to a point where some writers say or imply that there are a set of rules writers must follow. As if their way is the only way. The only rule is to write a good book.

You probably have heard them as well. They include: The hero/heroine meeting in a certain amount of time. Only one point of view (POV) per scene. No prologue or epilogue. No sports heros. Never use was. And some contest judges feel compelled to use these rules when judging contests.

All books are not round pegs, but some seem to want to force all into a round hole. Editors want good books. Period!

Now, I'm not advocating not thinking about your manuscript. Certain things may keep the editor from getting to your wonderful prose. Things like a lot of typos or a hard to read manuscript. Or a failure to interest her/him at the outset of your manuscript.

So, what "rules" do you trample underfoot in your writing?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Nora's Town

A few weeks ago, I visited a place I had never been before yet knew intimately. Even though I couldn't pronounce its name, its most famous inhabitants -- Maggie Concannon, Rogan Sweeney, Brianna Concannon, Grayson Thane, Shannon Bodine, Murphy Muldoon -- are almost as dear to me as my own family members. It's called Kilmihil, in County Clare, Ireland.

Devoted Nora Roberts fans will recognize it as the tiny village that the larger-than-life characters of her "Born In" series call home. Born in Fire was the book that swept me off my feet, scooped me up, and carried me across the threshold into the extraordinary world of romantic fiction.

When my husband and I had the opportunity to spend a Saturday exploring the Shannon River region of Counties Limerick and Clare, I timidly asked him if we could go to Kilmihil. "We don't have to stop or anything; I'd just like to drive through it," I said. Frankly, I was worried. What if it wasn't what I had envisioned when I had become completely immersed in Nora Roberts's story? What if a gigantic billboard announced "Welcome to Kilmihil -- Home of the Concannon Sisters!" or Murphy Muldoon lookalikes wandered the streets signing autographs?

But I needn't have worried. It was exactly as I had imagined it. Neat storefronts lined a quiet, narrow street. A few villagers intent on their business dodged the parked cars pulled halfway up onto the sidewalks. The small petrol station sat deserted; no customers qued up for gas.

Still, my uneasiness didn't go away. Why did I feel so stupidly hesitant? I suddenly realized that it was because, well, this was Nora's town. I was a trespasser, an intruder. I fully expected someone to point a finger at me and say "Hey, you there -- you Nora Roberts wannabe! What makes you think you can walk these streets! Go away! You don't belong here!"

My husband had other, less insane ideas. "Let's stop for lunch," he said. Before I could protest, he had pulled the car up on the sidewalk, hopped out, and was standing at the entrance to The Fiddle Head pub. I took a deep breath and followed him in. No turning back now.

It's amazing how a pint of Guinness, a bowl of potato-and-leek soup, and homemade soda bread will vanquish fears. My sighs of delicious contentment must have been audible, because one of the older gentlemen at the bar turned and smiled at me. "Did you enjoy your meal, then?" he asked. I nodded, my mouth still full of bread and butter. He picked up his pint and walked to our table. "Are you on holiday?" he said. I had stuffed another piece of bread in my mouth, so my husband answered. "Yes, in a sense. Our daughter is studying traditional Irish dance at the University of Limerick, and we've just brought her over to get settled in." His face lit up. "Oh, is she now! I was All-Ireland Irish dance champion in my day!" he said, and struck a dance pose. The last of my shyness disappeared. He introduced us to others at the bar, and soon we were chatting, discovering almost-family connections, and having some laughs.

Later as we drove away, my husband said, "Now aren't you glad we stopped?" I could only smile.

And guess what. Kilmihil may be Nora's town, but she's gonna have to share it with me.

JoAnn Weatherly

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Southern Magic author's October release


Be sure to check out Rhonda Nelson's newest.
Another wonderful Southern Magic author.

From Harlequin's website:
Former Ranger Guy McCann has built a reputation for pulling off the impossible. There's never been anyone who's dared more, done more…. Still, he's nervous when his former commander, Colonel Garrett, calls in his "favor." The last two guys who paid ended up married! But that's not about to happen to this Guy….
Special Forces training instructor Julia Beckham knows she's a little uptight…but she's trying to fix that. And who better to help her loosen up than her new partner, legendary maverick Guy McCann? She knows Guy's in a hurry to move on and leave the military behind him. But he can't do that until she decides to let him out of her bed….

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Pushing Your Agenda or Alienating Readers

How far is too far? With mid-term elections coming up and tempers rising faster than my blood pressure when I see pictures of Hugh Jackman or The Rock...sigh... Uh, sorry, lost my train of thought. With so much controversy now and, lets face it, always, how far do we want to push our own agenda?

I'll be honest, I've read a few books, articles and even posts on different loops that so irritated me, I've stopped buying a particular author's work. Is that narrow minded of me? Probably, but I'm only human. If someone's particular view on politics, religion or even some non-controversial subject offends me, I'm less likely to buy their work in the future.

No, I don't expect people to think like me and heaven knows, I'm wrong many more times than I'm right. But neither do I want a particular's authors view of controversial subjects thrown at me. I want a good story, not their political views. Even if I happen to agree with them, I don't think it's appropriate. It pulls me from the story.

As writers, we walk a fine line to stay neutral and never offend anyone. I don't think that's even possible. Even though we're writing fiction, we have to keep the story as believable as possible and therefore, someone will always disagree with something we've said. I'm sure, though I'm not published, that I've offended one or more persons in my writing, for one reason or another, without meaning to. But controversial subjects that we all seem to have strong opinions on, I steer clear of and greatly appreciate others who do the same.

What about you? Does reading an author's work where you can clearly see their particular views are being pushed offend you, or do you overlook those issues? How do you keep your own views out of your work, or do you even worry about that?

Monday, October 09, 2006

Love Those Bad Boys! But What is Too Bad?


Not too long ago, I won a critique from a well-known author and when I received her comments back, I had expected some deep insights on the pluses and minuses of my WIP. She didn’t let me down. Some I agreed with and some I didn’t. One that we didn’t see eye-to-eye on was whether or not my hero was redeemable.

I’m sure you’re wondering what did he do that was so terrible? He was an assassin. No. He wasn’t CIA. Nope. Not even a secret agent of any type. He was a hitman. A hired gun. A bad man.

As a young man, others had realized how talented he was with a rifle. Circumstances push him into using that skill to make a living until the day he receives a contract to kill his dad. No way can he do that! His love-hate relationship with his dad never meant he wanted the old man dead. Weighed down with guilt from his past lethal jobs, he decides to end his life by allowing his enemies to catch up with him. Before they discover his location, he meets the heroine. An introvert living on the edge of life, she needs a man to show her how sexy she truly was beneath her baggy clothes. He figures he’s the man for job. Besides, he owes the fates one good deed before he dies.

Think of My Fair Lady meets the Sopranos.

Anyway, I believe he’s redeemable. By pointing out the men he’d killed had been drug pushers (contracts from other drug pushers) and other scum of the earth. Plus he never kills once he meets the heroine. I refused to take the easy way out by giving him a badge.

I guess the reason I feel he’s redeemable is all based on my faith. My faith teaches me that everyone is redeemable once they’ve learned the errors of their ways. Along with a couple of other important points I won’t get into as this blog is for writing.

So my questions are: Do you still love bad boys? How bad is too bad? What is your favorite type of bad boy?

Sunday, October 08, 2006

My Dark Side

Even though he’s never seen Star Wars, my 5-year-old wants to be Darth Vader for Halloween. He’s taken to drawing pictures of Darth Vader at school, frightening the kindergarten teacher. This is no surprise to me. He’s inherited my Dark Side. Everybody who knows me knows I have a dark, dark soul.

I’m supposed to be writing teen romantic comedy here, but two recent reviewers have said MAJOR CRUSH is surprisingly dark for its cartoon cover. My publisher turned down the book I wrote as a follow-up because it was darker still. They wanted me to write another book for the cartoon cover series. And now I’m second-guessing myself, wondering if I’m leading these new characters down the same path of eeeeeeeeeeevil.

Actually, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a lot of darkness in comedy, even romantic comedy, even teen romantic comedy. Characters can have heavy hardships in their pasts and the book can still be funny. Deb Dixon said so at our workshop!

But here’s the problem I’m having. In another book in the same series as MAJOR CRUSH, Aimee Friedman’s A NOVEL IDEA, a chicklet finds love when she starts a reading group. Near the happy ending, the narrator says reading the same author over and over is like visiting an old friend. So the second book I write needs to be close enough in tone to the first book that readers think the same old friend wrote it! And even though there are twelve writers producing books for the MAJOR CRUSH/A NOVEL IDEA series, readers have some expectation the same old friend is writing all of them.

I’m not sure how to solve my problem with darkness, except to keep it in the back of my mind along with the other 1,238,490 things I need to keep there when writing any novel. Because if I really tried to write a lighter book, I would be breaking what I consider the most important rule of all: Write the book you want to read.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Does Age Matter?

Over the last two months I've been to more doctors and been prodded more than I have in years. They seem to throw the reference of my age around a lot.

Several years ago because of my age and family history I started having a mammogram yearly. "At my age" I now needed a colonoscopy as well as a bone density test.

With my recent move, I've had to acquire all new doctors, which hasn't been fun. Though, the female gynecologist is more thorough than my old one. Yesterday I had a D&C to check out a problem.

You're probably thinking this is TMI. But it got me to thinking about the age of our heroines. They tend to be young in the majority of books. Occasionally, you see a book where the heroine is older, but not real often. The heroines I write for my Regency historicals tend to be on the younger side and inexperienced, yet eager to learn when they meet the hero.

They say age matters in fine wine. You can't have good sauerkraut without letting the cabbage age. A new love is no less exciting with age. So, why does heroines tend to be younger? Or maybe it's just because I'm older they seem young.

What age heroines do you write and why? Does she resemble you and your life experiences? Or is she younger? More inexperienced?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

What Drives You Crazy?

As writers, we strive for perfection, though most times we don't make it. I know I never have. Even in published books, there are mistakes that weren't caught. Sometimes, as a reader, they're easy to see and we wonder why they weren't caught before publication. Simple human error.

What about those things that were actually intended though? Those things that, for whatever reason, the author and publisher deemed fine, but as a reader, it drives you bonkers? I just read a book by one of my favorite authors. Normally, I love her writing, but her dialogue this time almost drove me to put it down and stop reading. Her characters continually said "okay". This is normal speech and I say it a lot myself. However, repeated over and over again in dialogue seemed awkward and affected. And, to make matters much worse, or at least to me, okay was spelled OK. Yikes! That's like fingernails on a chalkboard.

Of course, what drives one reader crazy, is perfectly acceptable or invisible to another reader. Everyone seems to have their own hot button. And everyone seems to have their own favorite(s) in their own writing that keeps getting said over and over. I have a tendency to write, 'the fact of the matter' a lot. Weird, huh?

What about you? What's your hot button when you're reading? What do you hate to see or what pulls you from the story? Also, what about your own writing? What are your 'demon' words or phrases you have to watch out for?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A change in the Romance Readers Luncheon

I have sad news. Sherrilyn Kenyon had to cancel her trip to Birmingham for the luncheon. She wanted everyone to know this was a hard decision - in fact, this is the first time she's cancelled with anyone. St. Martins asked her to participate in a charity signing in Louisiana for the hurricane victims that same weekend.

I told her that everyone would understand her decision and that we're glad we can still get her for the conference next year. (Have to look at the bright side, heh?)

Besides, we still have Teresa, Lyn, Gayle, Deb, Rhonda, Bonnie, Jennifer, Paula, Giselle, Kathleen, Kelley...

You get the idea. :-)

Be sure to come and enjoy the Romance Readers Luncheon. So many "old" friends to chat with and new ones to meet.

Come and join us at the Wynfrey Hotel (http://www.wynfrey.com/) on
November 4, 2006,
Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Southern Magic presents NYT best selling Teresa Medeiros
and welcome speaker Harlequin/Silhouette author Lyn Stone.

Over twenty romance authors will be in attendance along with
Gayle Wilson, Debra Webb, Rita Herron and
Linda Winstead Jones and many more.
To see the complete list go to www.southernmagic.org/smrl2006.html

Door prizes!!
Be prepared to purchase raffles for chances at baskets loaded with books
along with the popular Get Your Name In a Book!

A Book Signing (open to the public) will follow the luncheon.
Registration: $25 ($20 for S-M Members)

Monday, October 02, 2006

What is the next fad in romance?


When it comes to writing, everyone wants to know what’s the next big thing. I wish I could tell you. I do know that I might be writing it. Or you might be writing it. Or someone may have already written it.

No. I’m not psychic. No. I’m not some business genius. I’m observant and this is what I believe is happening.

I do know that paranormal isn’t finished yet. I believe that vampires, unless it’s completely different, are waning. That’s sad for me, since I love vampires, but the books I’ve read and seen lately often do not hold my interest. Nothing wrong with them overall, they just don’t get me excited about reading more. But remember that there are more aspects to paranormal we can explore. Some that may surprise us to the point, we wish we had thought of it.

I do know that romantic suspense is still selling strong. But I have several non-writing friends (yes, really) that love romantic suspense, but they admit that they’re becoming burnt out on serial killers and women who are too brave for their own good. I believe that you will see a few more years of romantic suspense before a new verison of romantic suspense takes its place. What is that? I have no idea. I will say that everyone loves a mystery. But like I said, I’m no psychic.

We already see chicklit evolving into a new genre with lasting appeal. Young adult books I believe will become stronger and bring in new readers. I’m happy to hear westerns are making a comeback. I miss the gunslingers. We see Regencies have evolved into longer and sexier reads. It might be a while, but I believe medievals will come back strong again. Of course, that might be more hopeful-wishing on my part.

Do you want to write the next fad? Then start reading everything. I don’t mean just current fiction. Read some current and past history. You will be surprised how many ideas out there are waiting for your own personal stamp.

Now if only I could figure out the stock market...

What fads do you see fading or becoming strong?

P.S. I thought I would share with you a picture I took in Alaska two years ago.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Once again, a Southern Magic author made the finals


Congratulations, Debra Webb!!! Her book, The Enforcers: John Doe on Her Doorstep, is a finalist in Georgia Romance Writers' 2006 Maggies for published authors, Long Contemporary category. Click on the book to purchase.