Friday, February 29, 2008


I just got this news direct from the publisher!

Congratulations! Your book RUNNER'S MOON: TIRON is the NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER at Whiskey creek Press Torrid this March 2008!This is your second WCPT NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER, following RUNNER'S MOON: JEBARAL, and is also noteworthy because this March is WCP's fifth anniversary!TIRON will be listed as the NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER on the WCPT Home page all month, and be permanently "red lettered" as a Number One book at the site. It will also be listed as the month's Bestseller in the WCPT newsletter and at the WCPT MySpace site.Don't forget to tell a person or two you're NUMBER ONE, again!
Once again, congratulations from all of us at Whiskey Creek Press!
Debi and Steven Womack
Whiskey Creek Press

Come Check Out What the Dark Tarot Authors Have Planned!

Every first Saturday of the month, Dark Tarot Authors will be chatting at the Coffee Time Romance Latte Lounge at 9 p.m. est. Come join us and see what we have planned in dark romance and horror!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

God Bless Google

One of the nice things about writing fantasy and science fiction is that 80% of your story is pure make-believe. Even STAR TREK and STAR WARS used so much “techno-babble”, people were sometimes fooled into thinking the shows really were using scientific theory.

However, once in a blue moon, I need to get some information to help shore up some of my statements. That’s why I thank God for Google. Ten, fifteen years ago I would have been forced to go to a set of encyclopedia to do any research. Or, in extreme cases, to the public library. Remember that? (G!)

Nowadays it hardly takes any effort to find out all I need to know about ancient Peruvian toilets, or Slovakian cattle games. There might even be a photo attached!

Before you know it, one day there will be an F key function where all we need to do is highlight a word, press the button, and -- voila! -- there's the complete text and bibliography covering that subject.

Ahh, technology. Ain’t it grand?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Half a Brain and a Lick of Common Sense

My grandmother, bless her soul, was Irish. As earthy a woman as you would ever meet. She always had these little sayings she would throw at me whenever I would go over to her house to visit. Like “caddywampus” and “hootchykoo”. Anyway, one of her favorite sayings was, “Never assume everyone has half a brain and a lick of common sense.” At the time I just absorbed her wisdom and blindly went on with life. But once I started writing, it didn’t take me long to figure out what she meant.

In one of my books, I had the heroine looking out her window at a “salmon-colored sunset”. I should never have used that descriptive.

I was accused of mixing my metaphors (what does a fish have to do with the sunset?)

I was asked what color salmon was (the fish? Or the actual color of a blouse that shade? Would I have been any better off calling it a trout-colored sunset?)

I was questioned if there was a river or stream nearby which held the salmon, since I didn’t mention it in the book. (I’m not kidding!)

In my effort not to have my metaphor sound like the descriptions of a thousand other sunsets, I stepped into a big pile of misunderstood confusion. *sigh*

I’ve never forgotten that episode. Nor have I forgotten Memaw’s words of wisdom. They’ve done me well when writing erotic romances. ::big grin!::

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

You’re Never Too Old... learn something new.

Don’t hit me, but the other day my editor taught me a new phrase.

“Going commando.”

Running through my edits, I screeched to a mental halt when I read that, knowing *I* hadn’t put it there. Shooting off an email to my editor, she quickly replied and explained what it meant. I literally cracked up (no pun intended). Here I am, nowhere near having enough experience to call myself a Woman of the World, but still with plenty of years under my belt, and this is the first time I’d ever read or heard that phrase.

Which leaves me to wonder what other choice tidbits I’m going to discover.

Monday, February 25, 2008

That dreaded “R” letter.

Haven’t we all had our share of rejection letters? Sometimes I wonder if they use the same template, and just pass it around from publisher to publisher to use. “Hey! Look at this one! It’s pretty cool, so I’m going to use it. Look it over and tell me what you think.”

Anyway, I only have One Deep Sigh when it comes to receiving one. Just One Irksome Moment. Just One Teensy Bit of Outrage which prompts me to say this.

Editors, if you’re going to reject my story, reject it on its contents and merit, please. Don’t send it back to me unread.

Case in point:

Last year, not just one, but two publishers I’ve been keeping an eye on put out calls for submissions for a particular line of books they intended to distribute. One publisher had out two calls. I submitted stories to all three. And all three stories were rejected after several months had gone by.

Why were they rejected? Heck if I know. The forms all basically said they were “not what we’re currently looking for”. Since then I’ve been seeing the new books come out, and, guess what? They were all by in-house authors.

Yeah, I know being an in-house author has its perks. I’ve perked a few times, myself. But my irritation at receiving that R letter was compounded by the fact that, once their requirement was filled, they never took the time to read anything else. I can accept a rejection if you've looked over the synopsis, guys, and maybe read the first couple of chapters, and decided it wasn't for you. But, to paraphrase an old movie cliche, "Give the kid a chance!"

Publishers, if you’re going with a new line, go with your in-house FIRST, and then if you still have slots to fill, do an All Call. Not only have you wasted both our time and effort, but you’ve probably angered a whole lot of people needlessly.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Going Down With the Ship...sans Captain

Aphrodite's Apples has closed its doors, but not for financial reasons. Bless the owners and publisher over there for sending releases to all authors for their books AND current payments.

Wouldn't it be nice if it was that way with every publishing company that tanked?

I was in a unique situation when Mardi Gras went under. My contracted stories with them had not been edited or released. But my heart goes out to those people who are still waiting to be paid, and not really expecting anything, if truth be told.

But being there during the grand sinking, I can see in 20/20 hindsight all the signs of a troubled publisher. And from what I've gathered after talking with authors from the now-defunct OMP, Venus, and Triskelion, the signs are pretty consistant.

I'm not going to post the entire list of items I originally wrote that other authors have reposted on other blogs and loops. But I will re-state the Top Five Signs to look for:

1. Evasiveness
Emails are either not answered, or if they are, your questions are either ignored, or answered in such a way as to not answer them. Politicians also have this skill. (And they can also say, "But I DID answer your question!")

2. Non-payment
(Or a very late payment.) There's always an excuse, always a "legitimate" reason. Or no reason at all. I especially love the emails where I'm told to "check my contract". Uhh, we did, and that's why we have questions.

3. Redirecting Blame
Oh, I love this one! Authors write their stories, then advertise the hell out of them everywhere they can, any way and any time they can, but then it's OUR fault the books don't sell? It's the authors' fault the pub is going under? I'm still scratching my head over this one.

4. Incompetence
The majority of authors do not know how to run a publishing company, true. But when a publisher suddenly says there's no money to pay, then there has to be an accounting of where the monies went. FictionWise and ARe pay on a regular basis. The money went into the publisher's pocket. So where was it spent, preventing the authors from getting their portion?

and 5. Distancing
Okay, you wrote a great story and got it contracted. NOW how does your publisher treat you? With respect or disdain? Does s/he basically tell you, "Tuff. We own your book for the next 3 years, so grow up!" when you voice a concern or problem? Or do they actually try to work out a solution or compromise?

Yes, authors working en masse can make or break a publisher, but it's how the publisher treats its authors that will determine whether it succeeds.

Yeah, this poor dead horse has been beaten into dog food. But it's my blog, and I can finally have my say about these things. :)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

You couldn't pay me enough....

to be an editor.

Jeez, Marie...

I was just emailed by another author who was having difficulties with her editor on her next book. Okay, first off, let me be the first to say that I have severe allergies when it comes to editors. I used to have the Editor from Hell who didn't so much correct my grammatical mistakes, or find those loose threads still dangling in the breeze (uuh, Linda, if she's talking to him in the kitchen, how does she "shift the car into gear" in the next paragraph and drive away? Is the car parked next to the stove?) as she did telling me why my fantasy was a piece of crap. At the time she was my ONLY editor, so I had no inkling that that's not the way things were normally done. Okay, I know better now. :D

But the majority of editors want three things from you: a readable story, a sell-able book, and a solid reputation for the writer and pub. Nothing turns a reader off more than bad grammar or missed words, or wrong words (they're for there or their, etc.) -- it makes the PUBLISHER look bad, not as much as the author.

Plus, if the story is a joke (in a bad way), readers are reluctant to buy another book from that writer, and maybe even that publisher.

But, in the long run, the end product DOES look and read so much better and cleaner. It's a shame the editors have to be subjected to some irate authors who believe their works shouldn't be messed with.

Hats off to you, editors! Yeah, I may BMW to my hubby whenever I see a sea of red on my manuscript, but as Jim is fond of saying, "Step away from it and look at it from the reader's perspective. It may make sense to YOU, but if the editor can't make heads or tails from it, how can the reader?"

And if it wasn't a decent story to begin with, the publisher wouldn't spend an ounce of energy on it to publish it.

Friday, February 22, 2008

FIRELIGHT is now available for just 49 cents!

Now Available from Amazon . com as an Amazon Short e-book for only 49 cents!
An old cottage. A cold winter's night. And shadows on the wall reflecting two bodies in the heat of passion...
except that one of them died over a century ago.

A contemporary fantasy romance
Linda Mooney

At first, Connie thought the disembodied voice in the room was due to her exhaustion. But when the apparition insisted she was the reincarnation of his lost love, she had no choice but to allow herself to become swept up in the moment, the memories, and the romance.