Tuesday, 31 July 2012

You Heard It Here First!

Very short, to the point post:

NAME TO WATCH: Shehanne Moore

Writer (no, Wordsmith) of historical romance who is quite simply terrifyingly good.  You'll know more when I do, but in the meantime, you heard it here first and I am smiling all over my face!

Monday, 30 July 2012

Scout (hearts) Dill

Harper Lee's To Kill a Mocking Bird made me a Romance Junkie

There, I've admitted it, I was a weird child and possessed by To Kill a Mocking Bird.

I faded the ink of that book, reading it over and over again.  I’d read to the end, flick back to the beginning and start all over again. I was caught in a time loop without end, so convinced was I that if I just read the story hard and often enough, I could make it happen: Scout would get off with Dill.
I was aged 11, maybe younger. My concept of what it meant to be adult was zero. In my mind Scout and Dill weren’t bound by age, I didn’t care that Scout was a child, she and Dill belonged together, forever, damn it! And to this day, the lack of closure, the absence of a HEA torments me.
I didn’t picked up on the racism, I did on the injustice. And Boo Radley scared the shit out of me. Atticus Finch was the father I wanted as my own and Jem would have been okay for a brother, I suppose. But I wanted Scout and Dill to fall in love and marry. They never did.
……and that’s how my affair with the romance genre started. I was scarred by disappointment, felt cheated, and I distinctly remember making the vow that if I were ever to become a writer, damn straight my books would have a happy-ever-after.
By the way, I also believed passionately that Peter Pan fell for the wrong woman—Wendy was such a prissy-priss—and Tinkerbell got a bum deal!

Friday, 27 July 2012

Arrogant Bastards! - not a great first impression.

                                  …or, more diplomatically: Tone Can Kill.

Subbing for the first time can be a scary process and I wonder how many publishing houses/agents have missed the opportunity to sign the next rising star (not me, not yet, maybe never) because they are unaware the tone of their Submission Guidelines is off?

I’ve certainly passed by certain houses and taken against certain agents where the tone has been intimidating, blatantly hostile even.  Frankly, if submissions aren’t welcome, don’t ask for them. Close your doors. Lower your shutters. Flick ‘Open’ to ‘Closed’ - Sorry to have disturbed you.

Stipulating format, specifying genres of interest and codifying dos and don’ts, admittedly makes for dry copy. But the funny thing about words is link enough of them together and personality will out.

Submission Guidelines are an important part of Corporate Image. They spark a first impression and often, an immediate judgement.  Get the tone wrong and the next big opportunity might just walk straight on passed you and worse, they are likely to share their first impression, however mistaken, with others they meet.

Why do I care? Because words are supposed to matter in this industry, a sensitivity to tone is supposed to have currency. I know that SGs are probably so far down a frantically busy agent’s/publisher’s/editor’s priority list as to have fallen off the bottom, but making a good impression is a two way process. Writer to publisher - Publisher to writer.

So don't just proof read your words, feel them.
(That sound you hear is me falling a few rungs further down the ladder on the climb to secure a contract)

Monday, 16 July 2012

‘Mummy’ Porn? – Great Genre, Lousy Label!

Why, when a woman choses to treat herself to a bit of erotica, does it merit a nervous giggle? (And yes, the giggles are definitely nervous). If I was a man caught indulging in a bit of porn, the very least I’d earn is a ribald guffaw, knowing slap on the back or a censorious look of distain, maybe even disgust.

And as a woman that is what I want; a bit of laughter from the gut or envious congratulation or even quiet appal. What I don’t want is to be patronised, ‘Mummy Porn’ indeed. The popularity of ’50 Shades of Grey’ certainly has a lot more to answer for than a few newly slapped and bruised arses.

As a woman, if I want to read about the ‘dark and dirty’ then show me some respect, pray for my soul if you must, but show me some respect. It’s porn, soft porn, (some of it is even hard core) but what it is not, is ‘mummy’ porn.

 (I’m new to the genre, not yet an expert but working on it. I’m not even sure what qualifies as erotica, porn or outright filth, but I’m certainly not ashamed to say I enjoy it.  Have you stumbled upon Taylor Lee’s, Grandmaster series? If not, and you’re interested, go search it out. It’s hot. )

Oh, and I welcome return recommendations.

No giggling or tittering allowed!

Monday, 2 July 2012

PAPER CUTS - Minor but Sting like a SOB

I don’t care what people say or how brave a face they put on it, receiving a rejection is akin to a full body flay of tiny nicks from an exploding paper mill.  Paper cuts hurt, so do rejections and all the sage advice in the world—don’t give up, sub to another house, start a new ms, take solace from the many thousands who have suffered likewise—isn’t worth a damn whilst the cut is still smarting.

I know, I received one and I very much pretended to be brave, whilst privately wishing I’d booked a bed at the local A&E department. God, did it hurt—for days!

Only thing that made me feel better was receiving a request for a full at the end of the same week…so maybe the sage advice isn’t totally wasted, sub far and wide, because publishing is subjective, and if the force be with you—luck by any other name—you will get a break…eventually.

My moment of sagacity:

Rejection = pain

Pain = Heart (you need a heart because without one, you’re a sociopath)

Painkillers (balls + bloody mindedness) = Relief (maybe)

Relief = Bad Hangover!

Bad Hangover = Hair of the Dog (get back to writing)