I know I'm in my own little world, but it's OK.
They know me here...


Monday, June 28, 2010

GUEST BLOGGING: Going for Gold!

Well, things are hotting up on the conference circuit. Blogs are beginning to post articles about preparing for them and interviews with RITA & Golden Heart nominees are underway.

The Ruby Slippered Sisterhood has invited all 2010 Golden Heart® finalists to visit and this kicks off tomorrow (June 29th) with a "Meet the 2010 Finalists" blog.

On Wednesday, 30th June, I'm in the hot-seat over at the RWOz blog with Sandie Hudson. She'll be interrogat-- umm, I mean interviewing me about being a Golden Heart® finalist, asking what it was like to get THAT phone call, to sharing a bit about the book that got me there.

Then, on Wednesday, 7th July, I'm revisiting the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood blog, only this time I'm doing a one on one interview and talking about  "Going for Gold" (yes, you guessed it, more Golden Heart® goodies!).

For anyone interested in finding out some more info about the mystery of this "Golden Heart" thing feel free to drop by. I'll see you there!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

PROMO: Nalini Singh

Guess who's coming to visit? Nalini Singh!

For those who live, breathe and love the paranormal romance genre this wonderfully talented author needs no introduction. But for the uninitiated, New Zealand author Nalini has taken the paranormal romance world by storm.

Many of her books in the highly successful Psy/Changeling and Guild-Hunter series have made the Publishers' Weekly, NYTimes and USA Today Bestseller lists and she's won numerous book awards in the romance writing arena.

Mark, underline, highlight and circle the following date in your diaries - Friday, 2nd July, 2010.

It's when Nalini will be joining me to discuss a variety of topics; some light-hearted, some intriguing and all informative about this lovely lady.

Don't be the only one to miss out!

Friday, June 25, 2010

CRAFT: An Author's POV on World Building

This is part 2 in my series on world-building. Part 1 defined what world-building was and you can find it in a previous post (located in the archive).

This week I wanted to know if writers approached world-building with a set process, so I asked some of my writer friends, published and unpublished, for their point of view on how did they handled it. See if any of their replies give you any ideas … 

“For me, world-building is very much an organic process. I feel as if I step into the world and write what I see.
One tip I can give is in terms of writing a series - consistency is key. It is the absolute bedrock of a realistic world. I've learned the value of keeping detailed notes on characters, events, the physical world itself. This helps so much in terms of maintaining continuity.”

Nalini Singh
(Paranormal - Berkley Sensation)

“Because I've done extensive research about the Regency over many years, I have a good general knowledge of the period so I usually know if a story will work within the constraints of my historical period. But each story has specific elements that require more specific knowledge.
For example, in CLAIMING THE COURTESAN and TEMPT THE DEVIL, I had to know about the demimonde. In UNTOUCHED, I researched mental illness in the early 19th century. The Regency is such a popular setting for historical romance, I'm lucky when it comes to world-building. I can often use just a few salient details to establish the world. Many readers probably know as much or more about this period than I do!
One thing I like to do to establish a feeling of time and place is throw in the occasional unusual bit of vocabulary or expression. I want my readers to recognize that they're reading about somewhere different from where they live now. Luckily the Regency abounds in really colourful, vigorous language so that part of my writing is often a joy.”

Anna Campbell
(Regency historicals - Avon/HarperCollins)

“I spent 7 years researching my 1000 BC book. I searched libraries for rare books, the ‘net, interviewed Jewish folk and historians.”
 Melissa James
(Harlequin romance)

“When creating the fictional peninsula and the township of Onemata in my February 08 release, TYCOON'S VALENTINE VENDETTA, and when I created the fictional luxury game resort in my August 08 release, CLAIMING HIS RUNAWAY BRIDE, both with Silhouette Desire, I drew very strongly on my own experiences and knowledge of the country in which I, and my characters, live. For what I was unfamiliar with it was an easy matter of researching such areas and places both online and via other people who'd experienced places like that (travel books are marvellous for this kind of information, I've found.)
As far as process goes, once I've decided upon where I'm going to set my stories I will glean as much information about it by (a) searching the internet, (b) taking relevant books out from the library, (c) visiting those places if at all possible and taking a whole lot of photos and notes, and (d) speaking to people who have been to those places or experienced the kinds of things my characters are doing.”

Yvonne Lindsay
(Silhouette Desire)

“My world building starts with the premise that my heroine is a powerful woman in her own sphere. Whether she happens to be a witch or a druid her existence is influenced by her matrilineal heritage and the goddess culture.
Since I'm fascinated by this, research is no hardship and I spend far too many hours reading up on ancient customs and beliefs, and then incorporate whatever happens to best fit my plot.
Within this framework I can twist the world to accommodate spirits of ancestors, elemental power from the earth herself and the occasional demon.
It's a lot of fun being the goddess-of-my-own-universe!!”

Christina Phillips
(dark erotic romance with paranormal elements - The Wild Rose Press & Berkley.)

“I usually use places I know for my books, although occasionally I will change some aspect of them.  I very rarely name streets only towns.”

Ann Patrick
(contemporary romance - Whiskey Creek Press)

“You … have to 'know' everything about the world you create: location, scenery, seasons, culture, traditions, history, clothing, food... all that and more.
For example, I've drawn a map of the Settlement where my hero lives, detailing all the major dwellings and surrounding areas of importance. This helps me keep everything straight in my mind and also helps whatever I imagine to be accurately depicted on the page…
I like to keep things simple. I tweaked my characters' names a bit to make them a bit more exotic but not too hard to relate to. Like B-l-a-i-y-n-e for Blaine, L-y-a-m for Liam, C-a-i-y-l for Kale. I referred to the jobs people did as 'Trades' and capitalised them all, e.g. Potter, Healer, Hunter, Tracker. Same with significant places: the Gathering Place, Healing Hall or Elders' Hall.”
Maree Anderson
(paranormal romance– Red Sage Publishing)

“My stories are steeped in reality, but my heroines have special abilities that set them apart, such as clairvoyance or witchcraft. So rather than building a futuristic, fantasy or parallel universe, my challenge is to show the internal world of my characters--what is it like to see and talk to ghosts; interpreting visions; learning who can you trust in the spirit realm--that kind of thing. I'm not psychic, but I do know people who have the gift and I draw on their experiences.
For research, I read a ton of esoteric books and memoirs by psychics, and I love to freak myself out by watching scary movies. This part of the process is where ideas for characters and plots percolate. By the time I'm ready to work on the book, I feel I'm writing from an authentic point of view.”

Vanessa Barneveld
(YA paranormal – represented by Writers’ House Literary Agency NY)

You can see from these comments that there is no set formula to world building. The process is as varied as there are genres. Frustrated yet? Join the club!

Next post we'll move on to how we begin world building when we have no idea where to start.

Quotes used in the posts:
* “We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto” article by Maree Anderson from her website (www.mareeanderson.com)
** Nalini Singh website – web-link called Behind the Scenes re: “skin privileges” (www.nalinisingh.com/psy.html)
*** Worlds of Wonder – How to write science fiction & fantasy – David Gerrold (Titan Books 2001)

Monday, June 21, 2010

CRAFT: What is World-Building?

Two of the most memorable novels I read as a teenager were DRAGONFLIGHT by Anne McCaffrey and CLAN OF THE CAVE BEAR by Jean M.Auel. The wonder of McCaffrey’s feudal-like society of Dragonriders and their Weyr’s and the savage beauty of Auel’s prehistoric setting sparked my imagination.

The detail, the unique characters, intriguing cultures and vivid descriptions drew me into their worlds and convinced me I was flying a-dragonback with Lessa and F’lar or walking right alongside Ayla as their stories unfolded.

This is the sort of effect we all want as authors when a reader picks up one our books and spends a few hours sharing our characters adventures. We want the world to stick in their minds so well the memories will last long after they’ve put the book down.

I’ve no doubt Ms.Auel and Ms.McCaffrey spent weeks, if not months or years, world building. And as they wrote other books in their respective series they revealed additional layers of detail and expanded our knowledge of the worlds their characters inhabited.

How did they do it? Is there a set formula or process writers’ use when constructing their world?

Answering these questions wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. Firstly, though, what is world building?

The best definition I could come up with was this … world building is imagination with logic, a world unlike our own but with enough familiar similarities that they resonate with the reader and then accept the differences.***

It’s also a term frequently associated with the science fiction, fantasy or paranormal genres. Type in the search words world building on the Internet and you’ll be inundated with thousands of articles and references that assure you the term is synonymous with this genre. In fact, it’s hard to find something that doesn’t mention it.

Sure, it plays an integral role in sf/f/p but it’s not confined to this genre alone. A contemporary still needs a setting, an historical needs to get its facts right, a suspense might be based loosely on a true story or an erotic romance might push the boundaries of what’s socially acceptable.

How can you address these issues, in whatever genre, if you have limited or no knowledge of them? Whatever you write, world building is as important to your book as any other.

So, is there a set process or magic formula to follow so we can get it right?

Do you want the good news or the bad news? Bad news is, there’s no set process or magic formula to make world building easier. You have to figure out what works best for you. This next couple of posts in this series on world-building will provide some ideas on where to start.

Join me next week to find out how other authors approach this process.

Quotes used in the posts:
* “We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto” article by Maree Anderson from her website (www.mareeanderson.com)
** Nalini Singh website – web-link called Behind the Scenes re: “skin privileges” (www.nalinisingh.com/psy.html)
*** Worlds of Wonder – How to write science fiction & fantasy – David Gerrold (Titan Books 2001)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Supernatural Underground Giveaway

The Supernatural Underground has a book giveaway going on at the moment!

Book 1 - BITTEN BY CUPID by Lyndsey Sands, Pamela Palmer and Jamie Rush.

Book 2 - SONG OF SCARABAEUS by Sara Creasy.

All you have to do is drop in on their website and follow the instructions at the bottom of the post!

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Thank you to everyone who commented during Joss Ware's visit.

For those who answered my challenge, I've thrown your name into my favourite coffee cup and drawn a winner. The lucky commenter who will be receiving all 3 books in Joss Ware's ENVY CHRONICLES series is...

Tyree Connor

Congratulations! If you can email me - kyliegriffin (at) clearmail (dot) com (dot) au [no spaces]- with your postal address I'll send these off to you ASAP.

Happy reading!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Italy Trip (part 6)

An odds and sods selection of photos from Italy this week.

Photo 1 - El Leone di San Marco
Photo 2 - The local polizia providing crowd control on their Day of Independence.
Photo 3 - Bikes were everywhere in Italy.
Photo 4 - Open Markets with delicious fresh fruits, vegetables and meats.
Photo 5 - Priests alking along the Rio Grande Canal, Venice.
Photo 6 - Houses in Corniglia, Cinque Terre.
Photo 7 - Pots of plants decorated every house.
Photo 8 - HM&B romance bookstand!
Photo 9 - Romulus & Remus and the Wolf who raised them.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Guest Author: Joss Ware

Everything they knew is gone.
From the raging fires, five men emerge with extraordinary new powers. They are humankind's last hope ... but they cannot survive this dark, ravaged world alone...
How's that for an introduction to a new paranormal series? Would that entice you into reading on? It certainly hooked me.

Thanks to recommendations made by Nalini Singh and the Book Binge blog site, I discovered a fantastic, new-to-me, paranormal author, Joss Ware.

*SPOILER ALERT* - I'll try not too give away to many specific details in relation to this series but for the comments and interview to make sense there will be references to characters and scenes within the series. There's also a giveaway at the end of the interview, so read on!

In Joss's own words, her Envy Chronicles series is "...an action-adventure romance series set in a devastated world that feels a bit like I AM LEGEND, with the essence of LOST and a paranormal component reminiscent of HEROES."

I'd also throw in a few elements scrounged from the post-apocalyptic classics of MAD MAX:BEYOND THUNDERDOME the movie, The Postman by David Brin, The Stand by Stephen King and the JERICHO tv series. (I'll let Joss tell you more about her series shortly!)

An exciting combination, eh? Tempted? Well, you should be! But if you need further convincing, then perhaps today's interview with Joss will intrigue you enough to read her books. I doubt you'll regret it because each of The Envy Chronicles have a powerful story to share, and all set in a complex, intriguing futuristic world that seems familiar but isn't.

Hi, Joss, it's great to have you here - thanks for agreeing to be interviewed!
It’s my pleasure, Kylie. And congrats on your GH final!! Best of luck in Orlando!

Thanks, Joss - I'm very exciting. I hope I get the chance to meet you in Orlando.

So, who is Joss Ware? Do you write outside the futuristic romance genre?
Joss Ware is also Colleen Gleason, and we both write totally different things. As Joss, I write the post-apocalyptic paranormal romance series called The Envy Chronicles, and as Colleen, I write historical vampire romances.
The Gardella Vampire Chronicles are about a female vampire hunter who lives during the time of Jane Austen, and they are like historical urban fantasy. The series is complete at five books. But next year, I have a new series of historical vampire romances coming out and they are more like J.R. Ward meets Jane Austen—sexy, brooding vampires who inundate the ton.

For the uninitiated, can you tell us a bit about The Envy Chronicles series?
The Envy Chronicles are a paranormal romance series set in post-apocalyptic Las Vegas. Fifty years after cataclysmic events destroyed the human race, our infrastructure, and most of our buildings, five men emerge from a cave to find that everything they knew was gone.
What had started out as a weekend caving trip in Sedona, AZ, turned out to be a travel through time or some other inexplicable event that froze them in time for fifty years.
Now these five men have to figure out how to live in this strange new world with villainous immortals, zombies, and their own paranormal powers.

When you first touched upon the idea for this series what came first – setting, characters, plot etc.? Which characters evolved first – the heroes, heroines, the Elite, the gangas, bounty hunters, the Waxnicki brothers?
The series started for me with: what happened to destroy the earth? And then immediately following that was, I don’t want to write a romance series set during the apocalyptic events, because that would be just too dark. And who would believe in true love and happily ever after if it happened then?
So I decided that I had to have the stories take place long after the catastrophe, and set it fifty years in the future. But then I also wanted to have the main characters be completely familiar with our world as it is today….so, I decided that a paranormal element was in order and that my guys would have been cryogenically frozen or somehow suspended in time for those fifty years.
Once I decided those elements, the details started to fall into place.

Your world building is riveting. You’ve woven in the mythology of Atlantis (with a twist), familiar technology, the creepy gangas, geographical/environmental world changes, weaponry, haunting snippets from journals, paranormal powers and slang language.
What sort of research did you do on these elements? Which did you find the most interesting? Is there knowledge about this world you’ve yet to reveal to readers in future books?
I spend a lot of time researching what and how the earth would be like, fifty years after the sort of events that happened during what’s called The Change. I read books like “The World Without Us” and watched TV shows about “Life After People”, etc.
I found it fascinating to learn just how tenacious Mother Nature is, and how the world would be…not brown and desiccated like we often thing of post-apocalyptic worlds (aka, Mad Max), but that it would be lush and green and that most man-made stuff simply doesn’t stand up to Mother Nature over time.

Where or how did you come up with the idea of the gangas?
The gangas are derived from zombies, and their presence is specifically tied to what happened during the Change. I liken the gangas to the Orcs in the Lord of the Rings—they are violent deterrents to our heroes and heroines, but they aren’t the main element or characters in the books.

One of the interesting/reassuring/surprising features of your world come from the people living in Las Vegas/Envy – their movie nights. I love the modern-day pop culture references you make throughout the series. What are some of your personal favourites in TV, movies, books that influenced you?
I’m a huge Buffy fan (which influenced my Gardella series) as well as loving Harry Potter (talk about brilliant world-building!) and Star Wars.
I’m glad you mentioned the pop culture references, because when I was working on this series, my first “readers” (who are my critique partners) had a lot of problems with those sorts of references. They often felt jarred out of the story, wondering why and how these people who lived fifty years after the Change knew about, say, Indiana Jones.
My argument and thoughts were always that their world wasn’t created in a vacuum, and that not only would stories and references be shared through those two generations since the Change, but also there would be many examples of DVDs and books that survived with those sorts of entertainment on them.
I didn’t feel that even if the world ended as we know it, that we would no longer look for ways to sort of gather around the campfire and share stories. It would still happen, just in a different way.

With a series, I usually end up with a favourite book or hero/heroine but this wasn’t the case when I read the first three books of your Awakening Heroes series. The emotional impact of every story, the vulnerabilities, flaws, and strengths of your heroes/heroines and secondary characters made each book special and unique.
Do you have a favourite book/hero/heroine among them? One whose story just bugged you until you wrote it?
I loved all of the heroes and heroines, especially as I got to know them. It’s hard to pick a favorite—I loved Elliott because he’s so normal and noble, and he has such a difficult decision to make about how to handle his new powers. I loved Simon because he was the quintessential brooding, damaged hero. And Quent…he was loosely modeled after Logan in Veronica Mars, and he has a great burden to bear.
And each of the heroines were unique and special to me. Zoë is the most fun to write, because she just says whatever the hell she wants. Sometimes even I’m surprised!

From time to time we see characters in books, on TV, in movies, who we’re not quite sure if they’re really a villain eg. Garak the Cardassian tailor from ST:DS9, Spike the vampire from Buffy.
Initially Ian Marck seems to be one of the bad guys. He’s certainly an intriguing character. You’re never quite sure whether you can trust him but you can sense something redeemable about him. Do you have plans for him? Will he have his own book?
You will definitely see more of Ian. Other than that….my lips are sealed. :-)

Will the aliens who helped Parris Fielding and the Elite make an appearance in the series?
Yes, I imagine they will. I’m thinking they might show up in book five, which I will shortly begin work on. But I’m a writer who doesn’t usually know much of what’s going to happen until it does!

You tackle some emotionally confronting issues with your characters and their pasts – rape and physical abuse in BEYOND THE NIGHT; mob-activity, alcohol-drug references, murder in EMBRACE THE NIGHT ETERNAL; physical and emotional abuse in ABANDON THE NIGHT.
It makes for great internal and external conflict and certainly lends a grittier, darker tone than some would be used to in a romance series. Could you share some of your thoughts on what motivated you to give such a dark edge to some of the characters/their pasts?
I think this series is rather dark overall—after all, we’re talking about the end of the world as we know it. And while it can sometimes get to be cliché if every character in a romance series has an abusive or dysfunctional past, I try to make whatever the issue is be relevant to this specific series/world.
In other words, yes, Quent had a rough childhood, but he would have moved on (as he did) and grown up to live without ever seeing his father again, and had a relatively normal life. Except that, the Change happened and his father reappeared. And so he had to deal with that relationship in a different way.
And Zoë is a woman on a revenge mission because her family was killed by zombies. But her entire character is built on a life lived in the post-Change world—which is so different from ours.

Can you tell us about the next book in the series – Theo’s story? What’s in store for him? Are there more books to come?
I just finished Theo’s book, NIGHT BETRAYED, which will be released in January 2011. I loved that book because I got to deal with some really interesting issues.
The story doesn’t take place in Envy, in fact, and having a new setting made it sort of fun to expand the world.
Selena is Theo’s heroine, and she is a cougar. ;-) What I mean is, she was born during The Change, so she’s fifty…and Theo…well, he’s a unique case himself isn’t he?
Also in this book we see more of Remington Truth, Ian, Wyatt, and Lou as well. And a little bit of Zoë, being…well, Zoë.
I’m able to explore the relationship between the Waxnicki brothers too, and the reader finds out a lot more about the zombies.
There will be at least two more books after Theo’s book, and then we’ll see what happens. There’s a lot that can be done with the series, or it can be wrapped up at six books. We’ll see!

And lastly, can we expect to see you at the RWA national conference in Orlando, Florida? If not, where can fans and readers catch up with you?
I’ll be in Orlando at RWA (now that it’s been moved from Nashville) and fans can check my website for appearances at any time!

Joss, thanks so much for visiting – it’s been great having you here and I’m now busting to read NIGHT BETRAYED. I can't wait for it to hit the bookshelves!
Thank you so much! And again, good luck with the Golden Heart, and I look forward to meeting you at RWAmerica!

Now for the fun part - I have the first 3 books in Joss's ENVY CHRONICLES to giveaway to one lucky commenter - all you have to do is answer this question...

Imagine you're transported into the future (like Elliott, Simon & Quent - Joss's characters).
What 3 things would you take with you to help you survive in this new world, and why?

You have until midnight, Saturday, 19th June to enter (Australian time).

Take a look at the blurbs from the Envy Chronicles series. If you go to Joss's website each have excerpts to tempt you!

A man with no future...
When Dr. Elliott Drake wakes from a mysterious fifty-year sleep, the world as he knew it is gone. Cities are now desolate, and civilization is controlled by deadly immortals. Stranger still is Elliott's extraordinary new "gift" – he has the power to heal, but it comes with fatal consequences.
A woman with a past
Jade barely escaped the immortals and is now hell-bent on revenge. She trusts no one... until Elliott. His piercing gaze and tempting touch shatter her defenses, but the handsome doctor seems to have dangerous secrets of his own. Is it safe to trust him with her heart?
If they are to survive in this dark new world, Jade and Elliott must work together to fight the forces that takes them beyond danger.
Beyond desire.
Beyond the night.

Simon Japp will never forget his violent past. But when civilization is all but destroyed, he sees his chance for redemption. Blessed with a strange "gift," he's determined to help the resistance against the Strangers, the mysterious force that stalks them at every turn. He can't afford to get distracted, even by the stunning, soft-spoken woman fighting by his side...
Sage Corrigan has learned to be careful where she places her trust. But she sees something good in Simon, even if he can't see it in himself. Posing as lovers to infiltrate a group key to their fight, they find that their staged affection soon develops into a desire that will leave them fighting for their lives in the night eternal... 

Quentin Fielding had everything. Money. Power. Women. But now that civilization is all but annihilated, Quent only wants one thing: revenge. Harnessing a strange new "gift," he embarks on a deadly mission to find the the man responsible for the chaos and destruction, the man he should have killed years ago: his father. Only one thing stands in his way – a mysterious, arrow-wielding beauty...
Zoe Kapoor is on her own quest for vengeance, searching for the monstrous fiends who murdered her family. Soon she and Quent join together, journeying through the ruins of the world they once knew as a desperate desire builds between them. Drawing closer to an enemy they never imagined, Zoe and Quent must abandon all fear, abandon all regret, abandon the night ... if they want to stay alive.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

RWAVF Sheila Results

I received the results for the RWA Valley Forge Sheila contest this morning - final judge was Alicia Condon from Kensington.

3rd place - Bloodborn
4th place - Shadows Eclipse (aka Dark Shadows)
5th place - Circle of Shadows

I'm thrilled as apparently the scores were very close. Cool anecdote - Ms Condon asked the coordinator if the 3-5th place were written by the same author - so she recognised my voice. What a great compliment!

I'm still grinning.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Italy Trip (part 5)

Something a little different from cities and towns - a collection of things that caught my eye.

Photo 1. A spectacular, hand-made carnivale mask from Venice.

 Photo 2. The bell tower clock in St.Mark's Square, Venice.

 Photo 3. The Trevi Fountain in Rome.

Photo 4. Part of the fountain - the statues are intriguing, aren't they?

Photo 5. A bunch of roses I spotted in a market.

Photo 6. Lamp posts like this were a common sight.

Photo 7. The ornate ceiling in an old palazza.

Photo 7. What a great door knocker!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Guest Who's Coming to...my blog?

If you like your romances grittier and edgier than most then this is a series, and an author, you don't want to miss.

Everything they know is gone.
From the raging fires, five men emerge with extraordinary new powers. They are humankind's last hope...but they cannot survive this dark, ravaged world alone...

Joss Ware has created the Envy Chronicles, an exciting new, post-apocalyptic romance series. To learn more about her books and characters, I've invited Joss to visit on June 15th. Don't miss this interview!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Italy Trip (part 4)

A collage of places from my trip through Italy.

Photos 1 & 2. The Tuscan village of Pitigliano - by day and by night. 

Photo 3. Corte Contarini Dal Bovolo with its famous winding staircase.

Photo 4. Castelvecchio Bridge in Verona. I love castles of any sort!

Photo 5. Manarola village, one of the five villages in Cinque Terre. I was astounded by the terrace farming on the mountain slopes of these seaside villages. You can see them if you look closely.

Photo 6. A church in Monterosso, Cinque Terre. It's made entirely out of solid, black and white marble.

Photo 7.  Palazza Pfanner in Lucca, with beautiful gardens and a statue-lined pathway of all the Roman Gods.

Photo 8. The city of Verona. Have you noticed most cities in Italy don't have towering skyscrapers or lots of tall buildings? Nice, eh?

Photo 9. Piazza Anfiteatro in Verona. Outdoor cafes lined the inner ring of buildings.

Photo 10. The famous Rialto Ponte in Venice - a foot-bridge and shops.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Forbidden Interview

Catchy title, huh?

Just thought I'd give a little plug to fellow Aussie author, Christina Phillips who's over at Mel Teshco's blog being interviewed about her upcoming Berkley Heat release, FORBIDDEN.

Drop on over and say hi to the girls, and learn more about Christina's debut book, a hot historical set in Roman-Celtic times!

Check out this cover - gorgeous, isn't it?

CRAFT: Great Writing Resources

The journey to publication isn't an easy one. As a beginning writer I had no idea of the wealth of resources available to me until I discovered Romance Writers of Australia.

From conversations with other writers, workshops at conferences and visiting the various bookstalls over the years, I've built up a substantial reference library of books that I use to help me in my craft, some more well used than others.

Maybe you might find one you're interested in - most could probably be found at your local library or ordered through a book/internet store.

The Australian Writer's Marketplace (insert current year) by Rhonda Whitton (Bookman Directories) - section headings include The Advice (including info such as what is an agent & what do they do, freelancing, getting appraised), The Markets (newspapers, scripts, publishers, manuscript appraisal services, agents), The Resources (literary organisations, literary awards & competitions, literary courses, literary events)

Martin's Young Writers Guide by R.D.Martin (Era Publications) - a book aimed at upper primary school aged children that explains and gives examples of ther English language in use and techniques for writing. Fantastic even for adults as it's put very simply and the examples are like gold!

Scholastic Dictionary of Synonyms, Antonyms & Homonyms (Scholastic Inc.) - a great resource for helping expand your vocabulary. 

Editing Made Easy by Bruce Kaplan (Penguin Books) - a non-technical book aimed at providing straight-forward, practical guidelines for editing.

ANY Baby Name books.

A good quality dictionary and thesaurus.

The Art of Writing Romance by Valerie Parv (Allen & Unwin) - multi-published Aussie romance author, Valerie Parv has written an easy to read and refer to book with chapter heading you can flit through to suit your need on sense & sensuality, characterisation, viewpoint, dialogue, plot & conflict, setting, query & outline, markets.

Kate Walker's 12-Point Guide to Writing Romance by Kate Walker - another quick chapter reference guide to suit your needs on emotion, conflict, dialogue, focus, sensuality, passion, heroes, heroines, plotting, the black moment, happy endings, practicalities.

On Writing Romance by Leigh Michaels (Writer's Digest Books) - written by Harlequin romance author Leigh Michaels this is another good book that shares years of experience and knowledge gained about writing romance novels, the industry and the marketplace.

Passinate Ink:A Guide to Writing Erotic Romance by Angela Knight (Lightning Source Inc.) - a much dog-eared and highlighter coloured book, one I use a lot, particularly in the section on Plotting where the author charts the hero, heroine & villain's internal and external conflicts in an easy to read table.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing Erotic Romance by Alison Kent (Alpha) - another easy to read guide on the elements involved in writing erotic romance. There's a particularly good chapter on The Emotional Journey.

Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass (Writer's Digest Books) - a practical book on how to take your writing to the next level using examples from work from best-selling authors.

The Writer's Complete Fantasy Reference (Writer's Digest Books) - a handy guide for anyone writing in the fantasy genre, romance or otherwise. It covers a lot on world building looking at traditional fantasy cultures, world cultures, magic, witchcraft & pagan paths, commerce, trade & law in comtemporary fantasy, fantasy races, creatures of myth & legend, dress & costume, arms, armour & armies, anatomy of a castle.

Worlds of Wonder:How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy by David Gerrold (Titan Books) - a step-by-step book on craft as well as techniques that will help you world build and improve your writing.

Your Novel Proposal:From Creation to Contract by B.Camenson & M.J.Cook (Writer's Digest Books) - another of my well worn and highlighted books that gives excellent examples of query letters, synopses & proposals.

The Dreaded Synopsis by Elizabeth Sinclair (Thomas Max Publisher) - when I write my synopsis this book lives beside my laptop and I refer to it constantly for insight and advice.

Blogging in the Classroom Grades 4-8 (Teacher Created Resources) - for the technologically challenged, an easy to read how to guide for young students (and "young" wannabe bloggers) on blogging, creating an interactive community and developing blogging skills.

Not every writer will find these books meaningful to them, they're just a launching point, a place to start if you need one. What you'll find, over time, is that you'll build up a core resource library of reference books you can refer to time and again. Hang on to them and, better still, recommend them to others!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Supernatural Underground

How cool is this name for a blogsite of paranormal authors, eh? They're a group of best-selling HarperCollins authors, writing Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance for adults and teens under the Avon, Eos and HarperTeen imprints.

Open the gates, roll out the red carpet, walk on in and be prepared to party June 1st, 2010. They're starting with a full month of free goodies from their authors: signed books, advance reader copies, bookmarks and bookplates.

Then throughout June, individual authors will talk about books that go bump in the night, why they write them, what inspires them, what they read, what they watch, what they're up to, where they're touring, and what's coming out next on the bookstore shelves.

Here's the schedule of who's coming up when!

June 4th: Jeaniene Frost
June 5th: Vicki Petterson
June 6th: Melissa Marr
June 7th: Jocelynn Drake
June 9th: Juliana Stone
June 11th: Tera Lynn Childs
June 12th: Pamela Palmer
June 14th: Terri Garey
June 15th: Joss Ware
June 18th: Merrie Destefano
June 20th: Tracey O'hara
June 21st: Nicole Murphy
June 23rd: Kimberly Derting
June 24th: Leah Clifford
June 25th: Kerrelyn Sparks
June 16th: Karina Cooper
June 28th: Dakota Banks
June 29th: Sara Creasy
June 30th: Sophie Jordan

Today they have autographed sets of books from Jeaniene Frost, Terri Garey and Joss Ware to give away if you visit their blog and participate in their challenge!

If you haven't visited the Supernatural Underground, then get on over and check it out!