Recently, I went back and read a make-out scene I’d written a couple of years earlier, where the guy basically shoves my heroine up against a lamppost, sticks his tongue down her throat and presses his erection against her belly. At the time I wrote it, it seemed sexy. It was also well justified because the male character was possessed by a demon. (Although the demon’s actually the good guy and the bad behavior is all on the part of his human host, but that’s a whole, quirky story–The Demon’s in the Details, coming in October, 2017).
When I reread the scene in light of Harvey Weinstein/Kevin Spacey/Roy Moore/Louis C.K./Matt Taibbi/Al Franken/ad infinitum/ad nasuem, it didn’t work for me anymore. I didn’t like the hero for what he did, I didn’t like the heroine for not punching him in the face for doing it, and I didn’t like myself for perpetuating the myth that men who ignore a woman’s right to affirmative consent are sexy.
I’m experimenting with a new type of post–an interview with a fellow author. My plan is to ask, not just easy questions, but challenging questions specific to this particular author, either through their body of work, or through how they present themselves on social media.
For my first-ever interview, I asked Priscilla Oliveras, a fellow RWA® 2015 Golden Heart® finalist. I chose Priscilla because she’s kind of a hero of mine, for reasons I hope will become apparent as you read the interview. Priscilla’s first book, His Perfect Partner, was released in October 2017.
Question 1: You were a Golden Heart® finalist four times. What made you keep entering when your first final didn’t result in publication?
Probably my love for the genre and my desire to share the stories and characters I kept imagining. This is a tough business. Rejection, unfortunately, is a large part of it. Being an active member of RWA® has blessed me with a great network of fellow romance authors–friends and mentors–whose successes and misses both inspire and fuel me. My family is a great source of support, too. They’ve encouraged me through all the ups and down, never giving up on me. So there’s no way I was giving up on myself, either.
Whether is was fate or faith or whatever you wanna call it, each of my GH finals seemed to come at a time when I needed the boost. When the reminder that maybe I wasn’t just knocking my head against the wall, and maybe my goal of publishing had potential, soothed my psyche. Each final was the shot in the arm I needed at that specific moment. And the instant GH family that forms when you final is an incredible gift.
Did I wish I had published sooner and no longer been eligible to enter the GH? Sure. But I’ll take the good that comes my way and focus on that to keep fueling my desire to do better. Continue reading
In October, I took an online dialogue class with Linnea Sinclair.
It was a great class and I learned a lot. If you get an opportunity to study with Linnea, I highly recommend her.
One of the lessons had to do with beats, those bits of action that are interspersed with dialogue to illuminate a character’s emotions, motivations or intentions. As an exercise, Linnea provided us with the following dialogue:
“I can’t believe you went out and bought one,” Erica said.
“Don’t you dare tell Kermit,” Vanessa replied.
“You think he’ll be angry?” Erica asked.
“It’s my money. I saved up for this.”
“Remember, I’m just a phone call away if you need me.”
It’s already the first Monday of November. Can you believe it? And you know what that means! It’s time to fess up. Tell us what you did (or didn’t) accomplish toward your creative goals for October, then share your November goals.
So are you ready to play ‘I’ll show you mine, you show me yours’? As always, I’ll go first. This month, though, I’m going to do this a little differently. No harsh words for myself. No disappointment. Celebration and appreciation for what I did get done. It’s all part of incorporating self compassion into my creative process. I’ll write more about that in next week’s post. But for now, time for some self-compassionate accountability.
1) Finish the novella revision. Continue reading
For the past couple of weeks, I’ve had a bad case of book brain.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with this term, it refers to the severe absent-mindedness associated with being deep into writing a novel.
The reason for this is that humans are capable of holding five to nine (or about seven) pieces of information in their brain at the same time. If you use five of these slots to track what’s happening in your book, that doesn’t leave much for real life.
Under the effects of book brain, I have: Continue reading
I was hoping to show off my brand new author website today, but it’s not quite ready for prime-time. It’s getting closer, though!
It’s been over 4 months since I made my down payment to Spark Creative Partners (formerly Bemis Promotions). When I went to write my blog post last month, I realized that, aside from the occasional “we’re working on it and we think you’re going to be thrilled,” I hadn’t heard from them.
So I emailed them and said, “When?” The next day they sent me a link to the draft site that’s currently running on their test server. And they were right–I was thrilled.
A closer look revealed that the site still needed a lot of work, but I loved the concept. Here’s a sneak preview of my header:
This post is supposed to be my monthly progress update, but:
- My web developer is on vacation, so my website is on hold.
- I’m neck deep in revisions to my first demon book based on the feedback I got from my editor, Karen Dale Harris.
- I’m also trying to rethink the plot of the second demon book and wrap my head around the premise for the third. So, lots of in-progress, just nothing completed to crow about.
So, instead, I’ll share the problems I run into when I write too sexy for my style…. Continue reading