Friday, October 31, 2008

The Hardest Part of Writing

When I took my first writing class at Columbia College in Chicago, our professor told us on our first day of class that the most important part of writing is re-writing. As this elicited a groan from the class, he proceeded to tell us the story of Dostoyevsky. When he wrote Crime and Punishment, he started writing it in the first person. About five hundred pages into the book, his main character/narrator became mentally ill and was no longer able to process or describe what was going on around him. So, Dostoyevsky re-wrote the book in third person. This, of course, was before typewriters, let alone word processors or computers. Besides—he pointed out that re-writes counted toward the sixty-pages of original fiction that we had to produce just to pass the class. I averaged about a hundred pages per semester. I couldn’t tell you how many of those pages were rewrites, but now I couldn’t imagine turning a first draft over to anyone—even a critique partner. That is NOT the hardest part of writing.

So I have to learn to write a letter. And a synopsis in order to get the thing published. I’m a writer. I can do that. I can even take the rejection slips (or e-mails as the case may be). OK, so I got scammed by a fake agent. It’s just growing pains. It was disappointing, but I knew that money always flows toward the author and as soon as the “agency” asked for money, I withdrew my book. And I learned about Predators and Editors. Finally, I gave up on getting into print. There’s a flourishing e-pub business out there and the Romance Writers of America has (grudgingly) accepted that they’re real publishers. And as of last weekend, even Oprah admitted to enjoying a good e-book on her Kindle Reader from Amazon. So, I have a publisher. An e-publisher, to be sure, but it counts.

Then there’s the editing process. You mean to tell me that someone is going to mark up my baby with a blue pencil, or red lines and bubble-comments? Goddess forbid that blankety-blank editor should change a word of my masterpiece. I have a Voice! I had a great editor who respected my voice and helped me tighten up my manuscript. I'm all for tight manuscripts. No—that’s not the hardest part, either.

Now I have to promote the book. Market it. Sell it. If I could sell, I’d have made my first million twenty years ago with Shaklee. However, my sales skills went as far as selling a lipstick to a friend—and lending her the money for it. Then there was the water purifier thing. I tried pounding the pavement on a scorching day and bought a hat. Total sales: minus $15.00.

So—here I am. I’ve written my blurbs, joined just about every chat group I can find, dropped blurbs and excerpts everywhere. I don’t leave home without bookmarks, which I give away like candy. And I worked eighteen hours on a You Tube trailer—only to have it pulled five minutes after I uploaded it when some ******* flagged it as spam, even though the User Agreement specifically says that “promotions of artistic endeavors” do NOT constitute spam. I am now at war with You Tube, which is distracting me from promoting my book. I can’t get a hold of a real person to save my soul. Oh, I also made a banner. And maybe before this book goes off the virtual shelf, I’ll figure out how to upload it onto my blogs.

So—Rock Bound comes out in less than a week and this was supposed to be a happy blog. I did manage to get my trailer up onto my own website so you can see it at And there are other places I can post it, as well. And if I ever get a real person, I will get it back up on You Tube!

Meanwhile, I will be chatting Monday on, and on Wednesday on Savannah Chase’s Yahoo Group, and Thursday at the Red Rose Forum. I also have an interview coming up on Billie Williams’ blog and will post that info when I have it.

So, that’s the hardest part of writing--Marketing and Promotion. Please make it all worthwhile—buy Rock Bound!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Rock Bound Coming November 6 from Red Rose Publishing

Wow, it seems like forever since I’ve blogged. So much has happened. Rock Bound is due out in a matter of weeks, and I’ve been working on a sequel, Rock Crazy. I’ve been editing for Red Rose Publishing, I’ve been telling fortunes (don’t ask) to raise money for promotion, I’ve been traveling and having problems with my left eye.

I really think it’s interesting that Rock Bound is due out the week of the elections. Hopefully, we’ll have a new Administration in place—a legitimate Administration, duly elected by the people of this country and committed to upholding the Constitution as it is written, not just the parts they like. Maybe we’ll be looking at a future in which writ of habeas corpus means something, and freedom of speech is truly freedom. (Hi, NSA!)

At any rate, for those of you who do not follow romance site chats, here is a taste of what’s coming:

Rock Bound – Blurb:

When the US Constitution is abolished and Congress is disbanded, Annie Peterson and Jake Johnsrud are among the thousands of people who descend upon the Mall in Washington, DC, to protest. In a massacre reminiscent of Tiananmen Square, many of the protesters are killed by US troops. The able-bodied survivors are conscripted into indentured servitude by the Luna Mining Corporation—a company owned by the President. Annie and Jake struggle to adjust to life on the Moon—Jake as a miner, and Annie as a doxy to "service" the men. Jake fights increasing feelings of anger and jealousy as Annie struggles to perform her job, while she resists her increasing attraction to him. Along with their fellow inmates, they fight to survive on the lunar "rock" that is their prison.

I hope you’ll check out my website,, and be ready to buy my book on November 6th!