Okay, so I'm a hard core JR Ward fan. Seriously in love with the Black Dagger Brotherhood and have been anxiously awaiting Rehvenge's story in LOVER AVENGED. Not just a little anxious, but big time, as I pre-ordered it online knowing I wouldn't be able to get to a store on April 28 and well aware I didn't want to wait a moment longer. The book arrived the day after I completed my latest book, DemonFire, which is the first story in my new Demon Slayers series for Kensington Zebra, so I was ready. I curled up on the couch, the house was quiet, and I started to read.
Now, if you're really into a series, ANY series, you know what it's like when you start a new story. You already love the world or you wouldn't be buying the books--in this case, forking over WAY more than I should have for hardcover. LOVER AVENGED is a huge book--close to 600 pages, and I was all the way to page 368 when I went to 369, AND IT WAS FRICKIN' GONE! TORN OUT, JUST A LITTLE PIECE STUCK NEAR THE BOTTOM!!! I sat there for a good five minutes in total disbelief--I had been so caught up in the story that it was like getting physically ripped out of another dimension.
Finally I set the book down and decided to walk away for a minute. Had to leave Caldwell, NY and all the brothers and return to my own dimension, which, of course, meant checking email and going on Facebook, where I did a primal scream and told the world what had happened.
Within SECONDS I had a reply from a Facebook friend, a woman I've never met but someone who took pity on me, scanned both sides of the missing page and emailed them to me. Liz from Colorado has been elevated to heroine status in my book--the pages arrived, I went downstairs and crawled back into the BDB world and stayed up half the night to finish the book, but I realized, as I closed the pages, that what had occurred would have been impossible just a few short years ago.
It also reminded me what terrific people we are privileged to meet through various online communities. Sometimes I complain about what a time suck Facebook and MySpace and even blogging can be, and then I realize what an important connection the Internet has given me with people I'd otherwise never have a chance to meet. There are wonderful folks I've met through my newsletter that I have gotten to meet in real life on the occasional trips my husband and I take--others I've gotten to know through Facebook and MySpace, through replying to their emails about Wolf Tales, all individuals I never would have met if not for this medium that can be either a boon or a blessing.
For what it's worth, the Internet has changed my life, and I'd have to say it's all in a good way. What about you? Can you think of something that's happened in your life that's been totally due to people you've met online? A change in your career, maybe someone you've met you might never have known? I started thinking of all the things that have changed for me, and realized I could go on for days, from my first published books that were digital, to Liz sending me pages 369 and 370 after taking pity on my total frustration. We are a digitally connected world, from Twitter to MySpace, to Facebook, blogs and plain old email. And it's not impersonal at all--it's one more way to connect with some truly fantastic people.
And Liz, this is my public thank you for making this latest book even more special for me--that someone I have never met would take the time to scan and send me the missing pages meant more than you can possibly realize.
Posted by Kate Douglas ::
10:03 AM ::
By the time this post goes up, I'll be at the RWA (Romance Writers of America) National Conference.
This year will be a lot different for me than last year. In my very first post on this blog, I talked about how I sold to Kensington Aphrodisia while at conference last year. It was exciting and scary to be the total newbie on the block.
I mean, at the time, I didn't have an agent, had no idea what I was doing, and spent the entire conference running around like a chicken with its head cut off. It was, in a word, in-freaking-sane.
I thought this year would be mellow. Relaxing. Easy-peasy compared to last. Since I wrote this before I left for conference, I'll have to check back in to tell you if I was wrong or not, but looking over my schedule, I'm thinking this is not going to be a relaxing conference.
On Thursday alone, I have--count 'em--five parties or meetings to go to. Chapter meetings, agent meetings, publisher parties, agency parties. It's pretty crazy. Friday morning, I'm holding my critique partner's hand before she pitches, Friday night is another publisher party, Saturday is just...packed solid again.
It's good because it means I've had a successful year--I have places to go and people to see (who would ave ever imagined that? Not me!). It's bad because I'm still doing the headless chicken routine.
Erotic romance is relatively new. It’s hot, just like chick lit was before it. Is it just a fad? Will it go the way of chick lit? Will there be a slump in readership? Will the economy be a factor in beheading it?
When chick lit became hot, publishers wanted it. Readers wanted it. More authors began writing it. There was an understandable rush to catch the wave. A lot of great chick lit was written, but there was also “me, too” chick lit and “not that great” chick lit. There was a glut. Sales slumped.
Is that going to happen to erotic romance? Maybe. I know I’ll never stop reading it, but I’m being more selective now that there are so many choices. I’m always looking for 3 things if I’m going to buy: great non-boring sex, believable romance and sexual tension between a believable hero and heroine, and an intriguing storyline. (And setting and character development and an overarching storyline… the list goes on.)
At my first RWA national convention last year, a NYT best-selling author said she thinks erotic romance will stick around as a sub-genre of the romance category. I agree. Chick lit did not go away. The great and the good chick lit novels are still being published and read. I think the same will be true of erotic romance.
What 3 things top your list of “gotta be in the book” before you’ll take an erotic romance home with you?
Elizabeth Amber LYON, THE LORDS OF SATYR (August 2008!) www.elizabethamber.com/excerptLyon.html
Posted by Elizabeth Amber ::
1:02 PM ::
So I'm heading out to San Francisco in less than 48 hours. I'm so excited. I'm going to this great, big, massive romance writers conference. Where everywhere you look there're women. Some decked out to the hilt. Manicures, pedicures, trendy clothes and shoes (jeez, you'd think I was typing up an add for single men!) And count me in as one of them. Oh, except for that shoes part. No I didn't type that wrong. I'm not a shoe gal. Or at least I should say, I don't do the killer heels. Last year I gave it up. I said, "I surrender, you win!" to my feet that threatened to go on strike. And I know that's half the fun and nature of the beast. All the women will check out each others outfits, handbags and--of course--the shoes.
So, yeah, I gave them up last year, but I have to confess: I was never one of the girls who would be strolling down the sreet--pause in front of the designer shoe store and have a heel induced orgasm over something like this blue thing. Though I will admit that while browsing online for an image of a fashionable shoe this did have me saying oh I likey!--I'd just never wear it! I mean I'd like to try out an entire football team in the bedroom too, but some things just work better in your head. I mean, seriously, look at that pic and tell me that wouldn't kill your feet.
Since I don't want to show up at these conferences with the most comfortable and undoubtably fugly shoes ever, I've found a happy medium. I do comfy (yet cute!) flats and such. Though I am braving a couple pairs of 'comfy' heels so to speak.
Is anyone else in my boat? Being done with the sexy shoes (IMHO they have their place and it's called the bedroom--and at least there you're not on your feet!)
Or are you one of those die hard my-feet-will-look-sexy-come-hell-or-Plantar Fasciitis gals?
Since this is my first post, I suppose I ought to begin by introducing myself. I'm Jackie Barbosa, and Kensington will be releasing my single author anthology (currently titled BEHIND THE RED DOOR, but we'll see if that sticks) in the summer of 2009. I have a few ebooks out with Cobblestone Press and a couple more coming out later this year, but my Aphrodisia release is my first sale to be "big" New York print publisher, and I couldn't be more thrilled (or daunted, lol) by the opportunity.
So, since my debut is being published in the Aphrodisia line, I probably don't have to tell you that my book contains numerous explicit sex scenes. I love writing these scenes of intimacy, discovery, and, most especially, vulnerability and consider them an essential element of a good love story, but I do sometimes wonder what readers think about the sex lives of the writers who craft such scenes. How much of what we write do they attribute to experience and how much to fantasy?
Of course, it would be crossing well beyond the boundaries of TMI for me to actually tell you my personal answer to that question. You don't really want to know about my sex life, and I don't have any intention of actually telling you. But as I was chatting the other day with my friend and critique partner, Emma Petersen, the subject of a particular sexual variation that I've included in more than one story came up, and I had to admit that it's something I don't care for in real life.
That led me to ask myself why I enjoy writing about this particular activity (and I do!) when I don't enjoy doing it? The answer, I think, what draws me to writing about sex (and, honestly, nearly everything else that goes into a story) is the opportunity to experience things I either can't or won't do in real life. Whether it's engaging in a threesome or attending a Regency era ball or committing a murder, what makes writing fun for me is also what makes reading fun: the fantasy that we are living someone else's life. And when it comes to sex, I find that the less likely I am to experience something myself, the more likely I am to find it thrilling to read or write about.
What about you? Do your tastes in reading/writing fall more toward experience or fantasy? Or is that just TMI?