Nancy: The Big Reveal: Name Change

Hundreds of years ago, Shakespeare’s Romeo told Juliet, “What’s in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Well, roses and amorous suitors aside, turns out there is something to a name, especially when it comes to a writing career. Some weeks ago, I went on a quest determine the best name(s) forward for my planned multi-genre writing career.

For as long as those of you reading the blog have known me, I’ve been Nancy Hunter because that’s the name I chose a decade ago (!!!) when I had a book come out with a publisher. At the time, I worked in a very intense and Very Serious career, and needed to keep some daylight between it and my writing life. This was not a deep cover pen name, as co-workers with appropriate googling skills would occasionally uncover my ‘secret identity’. And HR departments always knew it, because I had to claim my intellectual property (IP) at the outset, lest the corporations employing me try to claim writing created on my own time as theirs. (Gotta love corporate America: for the price of your salary, they claim the right to monetize everything you say, do, think, and feel every minute of every day, please and thank you.)

Lo these many years later, I’ve left that corporate world. I swear! Girl Scout’s honor (yes, I was actually a Girl Scout, so you can trust me). And in addition to the freedom to make my own schedule and write whenever and where ever and whatever I see fit, I also now have the freedom to use my very own legal name. If I so choose… Continue reading

Elizabeth: Writer Conferences

This summer, Romance Writers of America (RWA) will be holding their national conference in Orlando, Florida.  I had initially intended to skip this conference, planning instead to be in studying in Oxford at that time.  Regrettably however, the class I enrolled in was cancelled (gasp!) and my second choice – “Lovers and Libertines, Spinsters and Spendthrifts, Radicals and Reformers:  The Treatment of Love and Money in Selected 19th Century Novels” – was full.  Who’d have thought it?

Oxford’s loss was Orlando’s gain and I was able to register for the RWA conference and, amazingly, book a room at the conference hotel.  This week the preliminary list of conference workshops was released, so I’ve been going through them, deciding which ones I want to attend so I can make the most of my conference investment. Continue reading

Michaeline Recommends: Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen

A stylish woman sailing on a lake in the mountains.

The future of Sergyar!

Lois McMaster Bujold’s new book, Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen, was released on February 2, and when I checked just now, it was #11 in Space Operas on the Amazon rankings chart, and #18 in Adventures –> Science Fiction. (find the links here on GJ&RQ’s Amazon page; BTW, the rankings listed didn’t jive with the links) (Don’t put too much trust in these figures; they change hourly, and are sure to be different by the time you read this. At any rate, hooray for book number 17 in the Vorkosigan Saga!)

Studying this release is interesting from several angles. First of all, it’s a great book from the fan perspective (it ties up a lot of loose ends in surprising ways), and it’s also accessible to the first-time reader. (Bujold blogs about it – a long-time concern is that she’s afraid fans are scaring off new readers by saying, “Oh, you really need to read all 15, 16, 17 books in order to really appreciate this one.” Here on her Goodreads blog, she links to proof that it’s not so.)

Second, Continue reading

Jilly: Looking Beyond the Draft

15090927_sIt’s that time of year again. Not the Japanese cherry blossom season Michaeline wrote about so poignantly yesterday, but the three-day beauty parade that matches the cream of (American) college football talent with the good, the bad, and the ugly of professional football in the over-hyped, eye-wateringly expensive, insanely risky extravaganza otherwise known as the NFL Draft.

Most of the 8 Ladies are football fans, and well-informed ones at that. I’m nowhere near their level of clued-in, but I’m working on it, and as I was trying to get my head around this weekend’s decision-making and horse-trading, I thought I saw some parallels with the rookie author’s struggle to find their place in the publishing process. Not the obvious one about long odds, either 😉 .

What interests me about the Draft is that teams spend a fortune Continue reading

Justine: The Shift from Hobby to Career

woman with six armsThis past Tuesday evening, I had the pleasure of attending a meeting held by my local RWA chapter, Desert Rose. The main event of the evening was a Q&A with five published authors. The topic? How to make a living as a writer. For me, it was very pertinent. Over the last few months, I’ve been trying to figure out how to make the psychological adjustment, both for myself and within my family, of being a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) second and a writer first. Continue reading