Deadline Diaries

Five Romance writers tell all.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

MORE THAN FIENDS - Buy It June 5!!!

Hi Gang! Kate here, just dropping by to let everyone know that Maureen Child's fabulous new paranormal romantic comedy, MORE THAN FIENDS, goes on sale June 5!

MORE THAN FIENDS is simply fabulous! Maureen Child has written the funniest, sexiest book since Stephanie Plum arrived on the scene to tumble with Ranger and Joe. But hey, you don't have to believe me! Here's what two best-selling authors have to say about it ...

Wildly funny and sexy-as-hell ... literally! Maureen Child has a sharp, witty voice that will leave readers begging for more. -- Katie Macalister

Brilliant! ... Fun, sexy, incredibly entertaining, MORE THAN FIENDS is guaranteed to delight ... it's simply exceptional. -- Allie Mackay

And here's the back cover copy:

Cassidy Burke is finding it hard to believe that she's next in a long line of demon dusters--Burke women paired with centuries-old cleaning solution to shine windows and spot demons. Sure, her "Clean Sweep" maid service is taking off, but wiping out supernatural bad guys? Come on.

But Cassie's surprised by her sudden fighting instincts and fierce new strength ... both of which she's going to need. For one thing, her teenage daughter thinks her dad is dead, but in truth he just never knew about her ... and now he's moved back to town. And after many dateless years, men are finally lining up on Cassie's doorstep.

Sadly, most of them aren't human.

This book is laugh-out-loud funny and sexy as all get-out!! So get out and buy it!!

And be sure to stop by Maureen's blog for a chance to win gorgeous jewelry designed by author Amy J. Fetzer. But more importantly, be sure to race out on June 5 and pick up your very own copy of MORE THAN FIENDS!

Friday, January 12, 2007

So Long, Farewell....


Posted by Christine

Well, this is it--for now, anyway.

We'll miss y'all.


We wish you magic--days of joy and nights full of stars...











And most of all, we wish you....

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

DDers taking a break......


posted by Maureen

Okay, so we're not really going fishing! What we ARE going to do is take a hiatus of sorts.

Actually, Christine is going to do a goodby blog on Friday, but thought I'd give a shout out on my regular day, as well.

We're all hip deep in deadlines--(no pun toward our title intended)--and we've decided to take a little blogging break!

But I personally want to thank all of you for coming by to visit. And to those of you who've taken the time to write to me, THANKS! It means a lot. Our websites are still out there, so come visit. And Kate and I both have our personal blogs up, so feel free to stop by and say howdy! But for now, this is my last DD post.................sniffle.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Reading on the Other Side of the Fence

I forgot to make a big splash over here about the fact that my latest book, Not Another New Year’s, is excerpted in January’s Cosmopolitan magazine! It’s the "Red Hot Read" of the month. Cool, yes? So consider this my big splash, and now I’ll go on to blog about what I really want to blog about.

Every once in a while I pick up a few men’s magazines to get into “guy” head space. When I’m starting a new book (like I am now) I need to figure out my characters and wouldn’t you guess that the women are always easier to flesh out than the dudes. So I find that the “lad mags,” you know, like Esquire, Men’s Health, Maxim, Details, offer me a window into the male world.

I was reading Men’s Health at the gym on the stepmill when one of my sweat buddies, Katherine, joined me on the adjacent machine. I thanked her for giving me someone to chat with and so distract me from the exercising, though I added that the lad mag was pretty distracting in itself. That it was enlightening to see what men were interested in. She glanced over at the glossy pages of beautiful people. “Is it really that different than what women are interested in?”

Yeah.

Guys are interested in cars and gadgets and adventures that other guys take that involve spending blood and/or bullets. This takes up the same space as the articles on the “New Bright Eye” or “How to Look Slimmer in Blue” that show up in or magazines.

Where women read articles about making the time with their children quality time, guys are reading about just making some kind of time for their kids.

Guys want to know how to have more sex. They want to know how to make their wives and girlfriends want more sex. Women’s magazines have articles on how women can get a man to want to take them out to dinner. I see a problem developing.

Magazines catering to men have articles on the very minimum wardrobe a man can get away with. This is a foreign idea to women, and is why you’ll never see a story in Glamour entitled “Why You Don’t Need Seven Pairs of Black Shoes.” Because of course everyone knows you need at least eight.

Both kinds of magazines have Q & A columns, and I always love those. Women ask questions like “Can I date my friend’s brother even though I once didn’t tell her her latest haircut made her look skanky?” The guy magazine I just read had a question like this (no lie): “How do I convince the new woman I’m dating that my DVD collection of over 150 slasher films doesn’t mean I’m weird?” They actually came up with an answer. “Explain that you take them seriously by tossing around some film-critic type phrases.” Um, dudes, don’t bother. Any woman in her right mind has already left the premises and is in a cab speeding away as fast as she can, while at the same time calling Cingular to change her cell phone number.

So, all in all, it’s always an interesting experience when reading on the other side of the fence. Always something new to learn about men. This time, it was about the effect of too much booze on a man’s sexual performance. Who knew it was called “brewer’s droop?”

Do you ever read on the other side of the fence? Men’s magazines or even a male author who writes books that seem particularly male-centric?

Monday, January 08, 2007

A Business Plan for Me!


Posted by Kate

Lately, I’ve read a number of articles written by people I admire, telling me how and why I should create a business plan for my writing career.

So I did it. I wrote a business plan.

I started with a mission statement. You do this by asking yourself questions, like, Why are you a writer? What kind of books do you write? Who’s your intended audience? Why should they read your book when they could be reading someone else’s?

So here’s my mission statement. I write smart, funny books that make people laugh and cry and when they get to the end they smile through their tears and say “Damn, I wish she’d write faster.”

Then I worried that my mission statement wasn’t business-like enough. Maybe I should try to be more profound. Like, maybe I should write books that are thought-provoking and emotionally rich. Maybe my books should stimulate intellectual discourse between the reader and the community.

Or maybe not.

I mean, if somebody reads my book and tells me they laughed and cried all the way through, I'd probably be the happiest writer in the world.

I know it’s important to have goals and the determination to meet them, but I’m not sure if a business plan will help me accomplish them any more than a vivid imagination and a good calendar with clearly marked deadlines can. To each her own business plan, I guess.

Just to be sure, I solicited another opinion and asked a published author friend about her business plan and mission statement. After she finished mocking me, she had to hang up because she had to finish writing her book.

So after much deliberation, I have determined that my Business Plan for 2007 will consist of the following:

* A good calendar (for marking deadlines and fun stuff)

* Daily affirmations repeated over and over until I believe them (I am an award-winning writer with dozens of fabulous story ideas)

* Visualizations (Hefty checks arrive weekly in my mailbox and Rabid fans are clamoring for my next book)

* I will chant skyclad once a month under the full moon

Seriously, if you want to learn the right way to create a business plan, see Mary Castillo’s article in this month’s Orange Blossom newsletter, or you can visit Stephanie Bond’s website, which has lots of good articles dealing with the business of writing.

So what’s your plan for 2007? Do you believe in affirmations? And when was the last time you danced skyclad under the full moon?

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Will These Do?


Christine is away for the weekend and I thought I'd step up to the plate. Hah! But this man photo thing is harder than it looks. I googled "handsome men" and it recommended internet dating sites. "Sexy" men took me in another direction as well...let's just say I was afraid to click on some of those links.

Then, somehow I found them! The Carlson twins. They're not wet like the Saturday guys Chris often shows us, but they're on the beach, they look a little sweaty (or is that suntan oil that some lucky woman has just applied) and there's TWO of them!

So go ahead and enjoy.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Curses!

All right, enough of the holiday fun. It’s time to get serious here. It’s time to get serious about swear words.

I spent time in my early 20s working on a Navy base with current and retired Navy personnel. Working with men. Men who swore. I worked with women who swore too, and just as you’d expect, this previous Ivory girl (99-44/100% pure) started picking up the lingo.

That was okay, until I was a mother and didn’t want to teach my little darlings to say a notorious four-letter word before they were four years old. So I switched back to “shoot” and “fudge” and “darn me.” That’s still how I speak (okay, most of the time) and I do cringe when I hear people loudly (and frequently it seems in public these days) roll swear words off their tongue as easily as I lap up ice cream.

When I started writing romance for Silhouette Books, there were certain words I knew not to use and I had no problem with that. As one of my writer buddies once said, in many Harlequin/Silhouette romances there’s a certain filmy gauze over the grittier aspects of real life. Then I started writing single title romance and there were less limits (at least in my own mind). And as our heroines became more kick-ass and the heroes as likely to drink your blood as to drink white wine, language in our novels developed a harder edge as well.

So my fictional guys do swear out loud. More often, they swear in their head. My heroines will at times too. I’m not talking about a heroine using “bad” language in front of her child. I’m talking about adults in adult situations using adult language. Do we consider the slang forms of body parts swearing? Because I use those, too.

Those, however, don’t seem to bother my readers so much. As a matter of fact, no one has ever called me on any of my language choices until I received two letters in the last month from readers who condemned my use of the “f-word” (they’d read two different books, by the way). One said she wanted to wash my mouth out with soap (Ivory?).

Though that last letter was a little weird, it did get me thinking. Should I tone down my language?

I don’t think I will. I’m writing sexy, fast-paced romances about contemporary characters in contemporary circumstances. Lately I’ve been thinking of my books as “reality-based reading” and contemporary language and its usage are going to remain part of my single title books. While I hate to offend anyone and don’t go out of my way to do so, I’m going to stand by what I’ve written. And when word choices come up in my next manuscript, I’m going to think about what my characters would say under the particular circumstances and not what these particular readers would like. They are certainly entitled to their opinions, but those opinions on this subject do not match mine.

So what are your thoughts on swear words in books? Do certain words shock you or turn you off altogether?