Saturday, March 13, 2010

Undiscovered Gems of The Lair

Whew! Another long day in the writing cave, thought Jeanne, Duchess de Snorkville as she closed out the latest Deadly file. Rolling her shoulders, she grabbed her bottle of Diet Coke and headed for the door.

Click, click, click…*&^$$$%^

What was that noise? It was pretty late. Even the Aussies should be in bed..or in their pool or off on an exotic Japanese vacation.


“Stop it! I don’t want you two making out right now! We have conflict to resolve!” a frustrated voice growled.

Curious, the Duchesse followed the sounds of plotting out the corridor, turned right and headed down the auxiliary tunnel. Funny, she thought, this was the secret passage to the cabana boys locker room but the noises coming from behind the golden door at the end were not the usual…um, noise one heard.

Ever the RS author, she grasped her Coke bottle by the neck. Hey, it wasn’t C4 but it could do some damage…and with less calories. Slowly she opened the door and stared.

Eight Banditas sat hunched over keyboards. The clacking was deafening, the only light in the room shone from their computer screens. “Hey guys,” she said, strolling in “What’s up?”

Eight Bandita heads shot up. “You scared us, Duchesse,” said Caren, “And that’s not easy to do with with KJ and Cassondra and their arsenal.”

“Sorry,” she answered, abashed. “But it’s late. What are you doing up?

“We’re creating brilliant novels,” replied Suz, stroking the bunny in her lap.

“Yeah,” piped up Joanie T, signaling to Demetrius to bring her another glass of sangria, “We’re AYU-As Yet Unpublished-but we’re working our butts off to get there.”

Jeanne, frowned, pulls up a chair and sat down. “Yeah, I don’t get that. Ya’ll are great writers. We should be seeing your book covers on the sidebar.”

“Perseverance,” said Anna S. tossing Nancy a hockey puck. “Keep at it till the right editor and agent recognize what they…and the publishing world... have been missing. We are the next best thing!”

“It’s hard to hang in there,” admitted Jo aka JoMama, grabbing a dark chocolate kiss from a jar marked ‘Perseverance’ “but there’s an old saying “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.”

Nancy tossed the puck to the dragon who chased it like a dog. “Adding boom helps a lot,”

“It does,” agreed Cassondra, molding a lump of C4 into a tiny cabana boy, “And staying in the chair on track does too.”

“Research,” added KJ, “Lots of trips and top notch conferences fuel our determination."

Jeanne nodded. “We’ve all been there, done that. What's the first story you ever wrote?"

Caren: My first story was about a Highlander-obsessed sword-wielding Wal-Mart worker who lived on her parents' screened-in porch. It had less than no chance in New York, but it was hilarious.

Suz: Mine was REFUGE. My writing wasn't bad, but over the years I've improved my craft, so a few years back I went back to this story, because I loved it so much, rewrote it and am now featuring it on my blog as a serial book...one chapter a week! (Talk about torturing your readers!!)

Anna: My first romance was ‘Paws for Love’, about an ex-business woman who runs a cattery and who has to go back to work in business to save it. The hero is a customer and the owner of the business she joins. Very Special Edition , complete with nasty ex-girlfriend, an even nastier ex-husband, a pair of cute old ladies and some fun cats.

Nancy: If we're moving beyond the crayon stage, the first
story I remember writing was science fiction about a girl who saved a Mars colony from alien attack by building a giant space mirror. Highly improbable, dreadfully flawed science, and a definite wish fulfillment heroine, but I enjoyed writing it. My first complete book-length fantasy was about mages saving a kingdom threatened by dark magic.

Jo: When I was fourteen I wrote a story about a high school reunion. Of course, the heroine had turned from ugly duckling to beautiful swan and the hero was immediately attracted to her, wondering how he’d missed her clever wit and graceful beauty ten years ago!

KJ I’ve always loved books that can make me laugh, so I tried my hand at a romantic comedy about a flagging furniture company headed by an feisty wheelchair-bound octogenarian. A romance bloomed between his designer granddaughter and a Greek marketing guru they hired to rescue the bottom line. Needless to say, that novel will never see daylight—too many references to Cleopatra couches and tiger-striped lamps. Also, Grandpa completely stole the show! But the experience of writing was so much fun that I was hooked.

Joan: Does a parody of “The Little Matchstick Girl” called “The Little Flashlight Girl count”? No? Ok, well my first focused manuscript was my 2006 GH entry Roman historical, “The Patrician’s Desire.” It was my learning manuscript and it took a while to get it molded into shape. I had to…the hero Jared wouldn’t LET me put him under the bed :-)

Cassondra: The first story? Oh, man…I dunno if I can remember back that far. I remember one in the sixth grade. It was based on one of the color plates in my Literature textbook. A couple of guys from pre-Revolutionary War days. They were in a canoe and it looked like they were running trap lines (for fur trade) and I wrote a story about them. After that, there were too many to count. Focused, book-length fiction? It was the story which, after a whole bunch of incarnations, became the manuscript that finaled in the Golden Heart.

Jeanne picked up the mimosa that had suddenly appeared in front of her. Man, those cabana boys could be sneaky. “Wow, those all sound great! Hmm…since it’s late and I have a mimosa and you’re all taking a break, let me give you another question. Let’s talk about the really yummy stuff. Who is your favorite hero, in film and why?

Caren: My favorite film hero is Brendan Fraser's Rick O'Connell in the Mummy movies. He's smart, funny, handsome and swashbuckling PLUS he loves a strong woman. How could I resist?

Suz: My favorite hero in films would be Clive Owen as King Arthur. Oh mama. Makes you want to go all medieval, doesn't he? Strong, handsome, honorable...and boy can he wield a mean sword!

Anna: Oooh tricky question – my instinctive answer is Cary Grant in pretty much any movie. But, I think it should be Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp in ‘Tombstone’. A great flawed hero, who tries to do the right thing, even when the odds are against him. I love all the different facets we see of him – brother, family man, husband, gun-slinger, marshall, boy in love. .

Nancy That's a toughie. Clive Owen as King Arthur, Viggo
Mortensen as Aragorn, Christopher Reeve as Superman, Errol Flynn as Robin Hood. I can't really pick. For me, a hero has to buckle a mean swash, as it were, and all of them do. The one exception to the swashbuckling mode would be Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch. Fits all other criteria and was a fabulous dad. And a crack shot when the need arose.

Jo: Way too many to list, but among the top ones are George Clooney (a classy and classic media presence), Gerard Butler (when he’s fit and trim not carrying fifteen extra pounds), and Shia Labeouf (okay I just want to pinch his cheeks and feed him cookies).

KJ: Harrison Ford as Richard Kimball in THE FUGITIVE. The hero had to conquer unbelievable odds (who’d believe that a one-armed man killed his wife???) and he used his ingenuity and intelligence to solve the mystery of the killer. Brilliant writing and plotting coupled with stellar acting from Harrison.

Joan: There are a LOT of heroes from big screen (and little screen) who are favs but when you think about the genre I write in it would have to be Daniel Day Lewis in LOTM. He had everything and the buckskins too, to make a woman fall at his feet….or jump over his shoulder to be carried away from danger…or to his lair :-)

Cassondra: It depends on the day. Today it’s probably Viggo as Aragorn. I like Bill Pullman in “While You Were Sleeping” too. He’s kind of earthy in that movie. Most heroes I fall for are that way. Tomorrow I’ll like somebody else though. I’m like Joanie in that Daniel Day Lewis in LOTM always comes out in the top two. Always. On any day. I don’t much like him in any other films, but he rocked that role.

“Wow, those are all great picks,” Jeanne sighed as Sven came out of the shadows and started massaging her shoulders. “Thank you Sven, that right shoulder...ahhhh, yes. Oh, sorry. Okay, new question, same vein. If you had to cast a current or past star as the hero of your WIP, who would you pick and why?”

Caren: The hero of my WIP (which is more a Mess In Progress now) would be perfectly portrayed by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Oh, yes, I DID go there!

Suz: The hero for my current MIP is Shemar Moore. In fact the moment I thought of this hero, I knew Shemar was my inspiration. Love him on Criminal Minds and he can so bring Gabe Danville to life.

Anna: I’m battling with that at the moment. Normally, I have the hunk all picked out. This time, it’s more difficult. My heroine has been likened to Detective Beckett in ‘Castle’. I think I see my hero as kind of Eastern European in looks – like Viggo or Travis Fimmel from The Beast or one of my fave footie players – Nemanja Vidic.

Nancy Also a tough question for me, as I don't ordinarily do this. The hero of my WIP exists in my head, and I don't generally put anyone else's face onto him or onto the heroine. That actually interferes with my vision of the character since the face tends to bring with it the tendencies of the last character I saw that actor portray. However, for purposes of this one blog, I'd pick Christopher Reeve, who's closest in appearance, though not a twin by any means, to the hero I'm working on now.

Jo: Actually, I had my middle son in mind when I wrote Tucker Gage, the haunted Marshal in my historical suspense-thriller WEAK FLESH. Take a look at Tyler with his son Barett and you’ll see why!

KJ Clive Owen. He’s action-oriented, rugged, yet sensitive—and that accent! Do men like him really exist???

Joan: Well, my current WIP is a paranormal and Matt Bomer fits the bill nicely for my image of Ruarc. Mischievous, sensual and ……sigh...magical.

Cassondra: Hmmm. I’m writing in a new-to-me genre right now, and I guess Viggo would fit best, but he really doesn’t look completely like the hero. Nobody does. I don’t know who would look like the hero…he’s sort of a combination of Viggo’s scruffiness mixed with a young Harrison Ford mixed with Brendan Fraser mixed with a 30-year-old Jon Bon Jovi. But way more heroic than any of them. (grin) But I DID find a guy who looks like the hero of the second book in my romantic suspense series. Saulo Melo with about three days worth of beard and longer hair. Slurp.

Jeanne, blinked her eyes, back from the happy place she’d gone to thinking about heroes “Yes, I can see alllll of that. Hmmm. Okay, next question. I think I know the answer, but ya’ll always surprise me. What genre do you say you write, and if there's more than one, what are the others? What genre would you never want to write?”

Caren: Um...I write humorous contemporary romance and some women's fiction. I would love to write mysteries, but I don't think I'm clever enough. I could never, ever write my all-time favorites - Regency- and Victorian-set historical romance. Too much historical detail required!

Suz: I write several genres, American Historical, Western Historical Eroticas (The Surrender of Lacy Morgan has won two erotica contests), Contemporary, Romantic Suspense (both KIDNAPPED and HUNTED finaled in the Golden Heart). Lately I've been playing with a series about nurses and another book for a Contemporary Christmas Fantasy. I don't write Paranormals or YA books. Only because I don't think I could world build for fantasy that well.

Anna: I write contemporary category romance – Special Edition/Supers – like my two GH finalists ‘Love by Bequest’ and ‘Mortgaged Hearts’. I have written a contemporary single title – ‘Gay by Day’ – which did really well in contest, but sadly was a casualty of a changing marketplace and the demise of Queer Eye. I’d planned the second book, ‘Going Straight’ too, which would have been a lot of fun and involved one of my fave progs, Trick my Truck. I also write category romantic suspense/Intrigue and am keeping my fingers crossed for In Safe Hands, which is under editor review. My latest, Past, Imperfect, is more likely to be single title romantic suspense with a time travel element. I would never want to write Inspirationals or erotica, and I’d be uncomfortable with a dark paranormal. I’m unlikely to write anything Scottish or Irish I wish I could write romantic comedies – but I’m not funny!

Nancy: I write romantic suspense, historical and paranormal
romance, and genre fantasy. They're all heavy on boom of some kind or other, and I like action. If we're talking romance alone, I don't have the right mindset for inspirational. I wouldn't want to write literary fiction because it seems to me more focused on beautiful words and sentences and artistic structure than on plot and story and because the endings are so very often dismal. And I'd never want to write horror.
Again, not the right mindset! The current WIP skates the paranormal romance/urban fantasy line.

Jo: I write historical, romantic and mainstream suspense, I’m thinking of dabbling in young adult, and I’d never, EVER want to write sci-fi.

KJ: I write international thrillers. My father worked in telecommunications and I moved a lot while growing up and every country was a different adventure. The travel bug bit and I still love exploring new parts of the world. The combination of intrigue and exotic locales fires me up!

Joan: Historicals are my first love and yes, I bucked convention and dared to set them in Rome. I think there is a great amount of interest among readers for a variety of historical settings. My newest venture, and one that I’m very excited about is a paranormal series with yes, you guessed it, an Irish flavor. I don’t see me writing RS…boom scares me as do maniacal villains…and inspirational.


Cassondra: Until recently I’ve always written romantic suspense, which for me, actually tends more toward the thriller in some manuscripts. But last fall I plotted one historical that I’ve had percolating on the back burner for a long time. I’m now writing a futuristic series. I could absolutely not write romantic comedy because I’m just not funny in that way. Nor could I write inspirational because I can’t keep my characters from doing the nightly naked two-step before the end of the manuscript. I’ve tried. They just won’t cooperate.

An evil grin creased Jeanne’s face.” Of all the research you've done for your writing, which research is most likely to get you in trouble with the FBI? (Or your mother?)”

Caren: I go down a lot of rabbit trails when researching. I was doing a lot of research on the war in Afghanistan and skirmishes the US Marines have had with terrorist combatants. I'm sure I'm on a bunch of watch lists now!

Suz: In my second Romantic Suspense book, HUNTED, I had a scene where the heroine has to know how to field strip a Glock, recognize a shotgun behind a door ambush for the hero and be capable of assembling bombs. Between the online research and my conversation with a local police officer, I'm pretty sure the local and federal law enforcement groups are watching me closely!

Anna: LOL – they’re probably watching me right now! I’m researching murder, poisons, forensics and security devices. I’ve previously researched hockey (up close and personal - oh yeah!), domestic violence and abuse, identity theft and fake identities. I had a lot of fun researching the New York Marble Cemeteries, which will feature in Past, Imperfect, using Google Earth.

Nancy The research most likely to get me into
trouble with the government would probably be the blogs I read on terrorism and the Google searches on various types of weaponry and explosives, but I try not to visit websites where the actual bad guys gather. My mom's dead, so I don't need to worry about her opinion, but I don't think she'd like the weaponry and terrorism research either. When I earned my yellow belt in karate, her response was, "Well, you be careful." So she might worry about these interests.

Jo: Oh, nothing I wrote would get me in trouble with my mother. She was as game for something quirky as anyone. The FBI, hmmm, I really want to stay clear of three-letter acronymic government organizations – IRS, FBI, CIA, DHS – those fellows can really make your life miserable, so I fly very low under the radar in my research.

KJ I wouldn’t be surprised if I have been red flagged for my intensive research on sniper rifles, the French Foreign Legion, and anything that goes boom—in another life, I would have loved to have been a spy!

Joan: Well, I have no idea what the FBI would think about it but my mother would be horrified to know I’ve, er….(sorry Mom) researched …um, stuff in the Kama Sutra. Hey! Just trying to get a er, grasp on things :-)

Cassondra: Hmmm. This is a tough one. All the government agencies have already looked up my fanny with a microscope a few times and I think they’ve determined that I’m not a threat. Except the IRS. I do not want their attention, so I behave myself and do regular sacrificial ceremonies in worship of my accountant.

I will say that I’ve recently begun trying to find out how to poison somebody and how much of a given drug it would take to commit suicide or kill someone, and I’m having trouble because I can’t get any pharmacists to cooperate with that, and I really do need to know this stuff. Honestly now. Look at me. Do I look the least bit untrustworthy?
I’ve interviewed everybody from the head of the regional drug task force to the doc in charge of a drug rehab to the FBI’s expert on gangs and occult practices. I sleep with my own resource for weapons, explosives, and black ops, so anybody who makes a list already knows me well. If I ever disappear, y’all send help. And three or four good lawyers.

“Banditas,” Jeanne said, draining her third mimosa, “It’s got to happen soon! You’ve got great stories, industry smarts and the drive to get it done. Not to mention the considerable support of the rest of the Bandits and the BB’s!”

Thanks, Duchesse!” Joanie said, Googling Irish male models. “Now, we gotta get back to work.”

“Right,” replied Jeanne, weaving out of the room.

A loud boom sounded as she closed the door. “Shite, will ye get that blathering mess out of here!” Shouted an Irish accented voice. Another yelled “Rabbit! Somebody catch that rabbit!”

Jeanne smiled. Man, she couldn’t wait for these books to come out!

What about you? What questions would you like to ask the AYU Banditas? About their work, their stories?


147 comments:

mariska said...

do you know the AYU means in my language ?

Joan said...

She who gets the GR first?

Helen said...

Congrats Mariska have fun with him

I loved this post and finding out what everyone is writing.
I so want to read all of your books Ladies I love your posts I am reading Refuge by Suz at the moment and can I say how much I love this story Nathan is one fantastic hero and Laura is such a beautiful heroine.

I just want to add the saying that Jo has already made
Don't ever give up Ladies because I truly want to read your books.

Question ?
How hard is it to keep writing when no one seems to want to buy one of your books do you feel the need to try a different genre or keep writing what you know so well and have done heaps of research for?

Have Fun
Helen

Buffie said...

Love, love, love this post!!! Great job in spotlighting each of these authors!! Of course I love all the research they are doing and would gladly like to donate my services. You ladies know I love to research too ;-)

Suz, I love that you see Shemar Moore as the hero in your WIP. I love him! He is such a fabulous actor and dang fine to look at too :-) I have loved him since he played Malcolm on The Young and The Restless.

I'm looking forward to reading each of your books!! Maybe 2010 is the year!

Christie Kelley said...

AWESOME interview, Jeanne! I think it's so important that our AYUs get all the attention they deserve. Everyone of them will have their book covers up on the sidebar soon, I just feel it coming.

Gillian Layne said...

Ladies, this should go down as a Top Ten bandita post, if such a list exists. Love to hear what ya'll are up to!

All you "boom" ladies, keep the faith. I love reading suspense/adventure/paranormal novels. Shouldn't the FBI have a pink file somewhere, or maybe when your names pops up on their computer, a little heart flashes to let them know "oh, yeah, the romance ladies are just trying to find another way to kill off the bad guys." :) Maybe you should invite them all to Nationals.

Suz, as someone who likes to start and finish novels in the same evening, your once a week story is killing me (in a very good way.) Is your American historical set to a specific time period, or do work in a variety of centuries?

Anna, so glad to see Cary Grant named as a hero model. Have you seen People Will Talk? One of my all time favorites, for the amazing dialogue as well as his acting.

Ladies, the biggest struggle I face is the balance--normal aging family health issues, kids too close to college, day job that tends to creep home with me--and thinking if I gave up writing time, I'd be bringing in even more money to help pay for, well, everything. So how do you balance your time? And how do you decide when to move from one story/genre to another?

Off to fix a cup of hot tea, as I can finally breath again (spring colds stink).

Suzanne Welsh said...

Okay, Mariska, I'll bite...what does AYU mean in your language?

Suzanne Welsh said...

Aw, thank you Helen! REFUGE is such a dear story to my heart. It's been fun torturing....er...sharing the weekly chapters with everyone! **and isn't Nathan just scrumptious?**

Suzanne Welsh said...

Buffie, I was having a critque lunch with my CP, Jo Davis, and we got to talking about this book...and when she asked me to describe Gabe the hero who is the former slave and one of the five blood brothers in my Western erotica series, Shemar was the man who popped into my mind. Until that very moment I hadn't realized how much I'd based the character on him, but YEP, he's a fabulous inspiration!

Gannon Carr said...

Love the interview, ladies! And I highly approve of all the men you mentioned for inspiration as your heroes. Talk about a major hunk fest!!

I know that in the not too distant future, I will be at my local bookstore seeing all of your books on the shelves. :-)

Joanie, I think now is a great time for a Roman setting. The new series on Starz, Spartacus: Blood and Sand is very hot....in every way! Bwahaha!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Gillian,

I'm glad you're enjoying REFUGE. The American Historical series of REFUGE and RESCUE is set in 1880-1882, around the assassination of President Garfield. I'd love to do colonial and antebellum books, too, but right now the print publishers don't take on too many of those as they feel there is little market.

Now, maybe if I added in Vampire slayers and zombie hunters they might have a chance. *choke*snort*

But seriously, one of the reasons I am doing the weekly blog story is to prove that there are readers who would buy these books if the publishers would buy, print and market them...that and I'd hoped to showcase my writing, as well as share these stories with y'all.

Joan said...

Good morning everyone!

Isn't Suz's REFUGE brilliant? She is one savvy, if not torturous putting only one chapter up a week, author!

How do we keep going? For my part, it is sheer stubbornness. I want this, I'm working hard for it and I won't stop until I get it. I may be chocolate TOXIC by then, but...

I don't go to a different sub-genre to keep inspired. I can only write the stories inside. I have the three completed Roman manuscripts (Damon and Bran are both in the GH)and ideas for future Roman stories.

But right now, I've segued into paranormal world based on Irish mythology. I think it's a new twist on things and LOVE writing it!

Joan said...

Hey Buffie the Birthday Girl!!!

Thanks for your offer for research assistance. I hope you do not have an aversion to loincloths or soft, black leather pants.

Hmmmm???

Joan said...

Thanks Christie!

From your mouth to the publishing god's ear!

I'd love to get a cover as wonderful as yours!

Joan said...

Awww, thanks Gillian!

I thought a little spotlight on us AYU's (I hope it means stupendous, wonderful, talented, hot ladies in Mariska's language)would be fun.

And yeah, isn't that mean (and incredibly clever) of Suz to keep us coming back?

Balance is hard sometimes. I recently had a spate of family and friend health issues which occupied me in many ways. The dreary weather? Induced more naps than hands on keyboard.

But my Irish boyo is turning up the steam and I've been making record progress (by Joanie standards, LOL) on the first in this series.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Thanks Christie! One of the great things about being a Bandit is the support our published girls give us! And I'd love to have a cover to post on the side bar!!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Joanie, I love your Irish mythology series...y'all, this is going to be some serious sexy stuff!!

Joan said...

Gannon!

Thanks for the Roman shoutout. I've been watching Spartacus and while I cannot argue the....wonderful views of training gladiators, I'm put off by the graphic violence.

I know, I know one of my heroes is about to be crucified.

But that slo mo blood fest is so gratuitious.

Only in recent episodes, has the characters story started to really come out! Cannot WAIT for them to rebel.

Joan said...

But seriously, one of the reasons I am doing the weekly blog story is to prove that there are readers who would buy these books if the publishers would buy, print and market them...

And I THANK you Suz!!!!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Gillian,

Recently I've rearranged my life so that on Thursdays I can babysit my three grandkids all day. It helps out my working daughters and gives me lots of bonding time. But it also takes away an entire day of writing.

Working nights, I don't have a set writing time, but it comes in fits and starts. A few hours here, a few there. I do try to write something daily. Since both of my CP's are pubbed authors currently working on contracted work, I try very hard to keep pace with them or at least finish a book in nine months, (I figure my patient's have a nine month time limit, so should I...hehehe). This year I'm hoping to have finished the newest erotica and worked up proposals for the nurses' book and the Christmas story.

Deb Marlowe said...

How wonderful to get a glimpse of what you lovelies are working on!

I cannot wait until I'm cracking the spine on the first book from each of you! And then on to many more!

Joan said...

Joanie, I love your Irish mythology series...y'all, this is going to be some serious sexy stuff!!

Aww, thanks Suz! I'm working on it!

Magically delicious, one might say :D

Joan said...

Hi Deb!

Thanks for stopping by! You're lucky in that you get to hang with Caren and read all her fabulous stuff....

jo robertson said...

Uh, I definitely want to know what AYU means in your language, Mariska. I scroll down and see if I can find the answer. Congrats on getting the rooster today. You and Lime seem to have a little war going over the wily wooster.

jo robertson said...

Great post, Joanie! Thanks for putting it together. Such a nice view of our AYU's, of which I sadly am one. But hope springs eternal, right?

jo robertson said...

Helen, isn't Suz's story great! And what a brilliant idea to post it online so everyone can read it in installments.

jo robertson said...

LOL at your idea, Gillian. Instead of a "watch list," we boom ladies are on the FBI's "romance watch list"!

jo robertson said...

Okay, Mariska, you'd better weigh in and tell us all the secret of AYU. I have a feeling it's very naughty.

I'm off to Marine World (Six Flags) with grandkiddies today, so don't ya'll have too much fun in the Lair today.

I want to add my congrats on a brilliant post, Joan. You've done us AYU's proud!

Kirsten said...

Hi Banditas! Jeanne, what a fabulous blog. I just love putting our AYU Banditas in the spotlight.

You know, I sold a book a LONG LONG time ago (that STILL hasn't come out), but I hardly feel published. I've garnered a string of rejections on my romances that's a mile long. And that's the crazy thing about publishing -- you never feel safe. You publish, but you don't know if you'll ever publish again. You know you've got skills, but it takes the unique combination of skills, hard work, determination, AND luck to get up on the shelf.

So really, while I understand how and why we categorize our AYUs in a different category, in many more ways there's nothing that separates us as writers. Writers write. Some also have the blessing of getting a publisher to pay for their work. But unfortunately, that may or may not mean much of anything at all...

Caren Crane said...

Congrats, Mariska!

Helen, you are so sweet. I know you would love to read our books and, believe me, we would love for you to read them!

It can be tough to keep going, especially when it's hard (often) or the mailbox is flooded with rejection letters. It's so hard to capture an agent or editor's notice in the first place, much less captivate them with your sparkling prose. *g*

The other Banditas, particularly my sister AYUs, help me lurch back into the chair and try, try again. And again. And one more time. Having wonderful Bandita Buddies like you, dear Helen, really helps as well!

Caren Crane said...

Gillian, what is this "balance" you speak of? *g* We often complain (to each other) about our dreaded day jobs, the demands of kids and family and the general lack of hours in the day.

There is never enough time to do everything and I often feel I am doing many things poorly. *shrug* It goes with the territory, I'm afraid. My best advice to anyone who is struggling to find time to write: lower your standards for non-essentials like housecleaning and the quality of your family's diet. You'll find hours you didn't realize you were wasting! *g*

Caren Crane said...

Buffie, I have all my digits crossed that 2010 will bring lots of great news to the Lair. It's already better than 2009, believe me!

Be careful about offering yourself up for research, though. You never know what sort of bizarre things you may be asked to find out...

Caren Crane said...

Gannon, I TOTALLY AGREE that it was high time for the Romans to storm into romance fiction! I have long been a fan of Joan's (since 2005, I believe it was) and she is way overdue for a contract. Surely Spartacus will be good for more than eye candy! *g*

Addison said...

What a great post today! And like everyone else, I can't wait to read these books. Awesome plots & yummy heroes - every single manuscript sounds fantastic!

Happy Weekend!
Addison

Caren Crane said...

Jo, have a blast at Marine World! I am blowing off my RWA chapter meeting to retrieve my older daughter from the SAT. I'll be so glad when we're past all this stressful college prep/application/selection nonsense! Note to self: check with Beth to see how bad the whole senior year thing is these days. I haven't had a senior since the 2003/2004 school year!

Caren Crane said...

Oh, Kirsten, you always make me feel less alone in my struggle. It's so sad and true about the whole writer's journey. "Published" seems to be a transitory thing these days. Still, with all your talent and that of our other authors, I have no doubt there will be many, many more contracts and great books to pluck off the shelf and read!

Caren Crane said...

Addison, thank you for the vote of confidence! I hope you enjoy the almost spring-like weather. Here it is rather warm and rainy - very spring-like!

Cassondra said...

OMG. WHAT IS THAT???? *squints at the light streaming in the kitchen window*

AAAAAH! It's the SUN!!!! I am up WAY too early.

Joanie, this post was a great idea! Clearly, you had some kind of recorder going when Jeanne came snooping around.....

Cassondra said...

Helen, you are such a sweetheart. And you know, in one way it's not hard. I wrote my first book length manuscript just because I had a story to tell--with no serious plan of shopping it to New York. The story was just there, and screaming to be told. That was a long time ago though. The stories still come, and some days I think, "yeah, I'd write this down even if I wasn't trying to sell." Then other days come and I think, "NO FREAKING WAY would I keep doing this if I were not trying to sell." I'm wishy washy about it that way.

As to what I write and the market? I absolutely do not switch genres because of market at all. However, I do try to look at every manuscript idea and judge how high-concept it is, and its general marketability. I also try to make sure I structure it so that it works for the market where it fits.

But in the end I write what comes to me because that idea is something I fall in love with. And that means I'm writing romantic suspense in a glutted market, but that's okay. I do it because that's just what I do.

I've had this idea for a futuristic romance for a while now, and it feels right to write it right now. Fortunately, futuristic seems to be finding its way at present, so maybe this one will strike the right chord. We'll see.

When I sell, I'll be more constrained to writing what the editor or agent wants to see next, but it'll still be something in my stack of ideas that has been waiting on the back burner. That's the thing about writers. We almost always have more ideas than we can get written. I, for one, am just not fast enough to keep up with them.

Cassondra said...

Gillian Layne said:

All you "boom" ladies, keep the faith. I love reading suspense/adventure/paranormal novels. Shouldn't the FBI have a pink file somewhere, or maybe when your names pops up on their computer, a little heart flashes to let them know "oh, yeah, the romance ladies are just trying to find another way to kill off the bad guys." :) Maybe you should invite them all to Nationals.

Aw, thanks Gillian. No matter what genre I'm working on, it seems to have boom in it no matter what. SNORK on bringing the FBI to National.

Suz, as someone who likes to start and finish novels in the same evening, your once a week story is killing me (in a very good way.)

HAHAHA!!! This is why I am NOT even touching Suz's Refuge until she gets it all up there. Once it's all up there I'll be on it like a dog on a bone. I have enough angst in my own manuscripts without waiting all that time to see what happens in hers.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Morning, everyone!!! Love this post, don't ya'll?? Grins.

Mariska, I agree w/ Joan, it's got to be "She who gets the GR," right? Snork.

I'm with Helen, I want to know if you ever want to try something different (genre-wise, when you get frustrated.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Gillian said: Shouldn't the FBI have a pink file somewhere, or maybe when your names pops up on their computer, a little heart flashes to let them know "oh, yeah, the romance ladies are just trying to find another way to kill off the bad guys." :) Maybe you should invite them all to Nationals.

SNORK!!! I love this!! The Pink Files....heeheehee

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

BTW Gillian, great question. I'm looking forward to hearing the answers...

Cassondra said...

Buffie said:

Suz, I love that you see Shemar Moore as the hero in your WIP. I love him! He is such a fabulous actor and dang fine to look at too :-) I have loved him since he played Malcolm on The Young and The Restless.

Isn't he just the hottest thing on two feet? This visual of a hero, all by itself, is enough to make me want to read her story. Slurp.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Buffie! Happy Birthday!

Cassondra said...

Hi Deb Marlowe! *sips coffee and waves madly, squinting even through sunglasses*

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Joanie...loincloths? Oh, yeah. I'm there. Grins.

And tell us about your sexy Irishman.

Gannon said: I know that in the not too distant future, I will be at my local bookstore seeing all of your books on the shelves. :-)

Ohhhhh yeah, Gannon! I'm right there with you. In fact, I've already talked to my local bookseller about doing a Romance Bandits display. Grins. She was up for it...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Ahhh, Suz. Fisrt Jake Westbrook in your post last week (sorry I didn't get by to comment, but I read it realllllly late...niiiiice!) and now Shemar Moore. You are SUCH a woman after my own heart.

And Nathan? Pitter-pat and grrrrr!

Cassondra said...

Jeanne said:

Hey Buffie! Happy Birthday!

It's Buffie's birthday? OHHHHH! Happy Birthday, Buffie!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

JT wrote: Magically delicious, one might say :D

Oh, SNORK!!! Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

JT to Deb: Thanks for stopping by! You're lucky in that you get to hang with Caren and read all her fabulous stuff....

So true, JT! Deb, Caren's gift for humor is so fabulous. Do you just LOL when you're reading her stuff?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Kirsten said: Hi Banditas! Jeanne, what a fabulous blog. I just love putting our AYU Banditas in the spotlight.

I just wandered in, Kirsten. Grins. Now, thanks to Sven, I'm a bit more relaxed and thanks to the Mimosas, I have a bit of a headache, but it's cloudy today and raining like a monsoon, so that's helped. Grins. Seriously, JT is the genius behind spotlighting our fab Bandita Sisters, so give her the kudos. :>

BTW, you're so right about writers. We write. And pubbed or unpubbed, it's always about the next (or first) contract, which is something that never goest away. (Unless you're La Nora or La Campbell, I guess. Grins.)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Carne said: My best advice to anyone who is struggling to find time to write: lower your standards for non-essentials like housecleaning and the quality of your family's diet.

SNORK!! Oh, and just get used to this, because when you're on deadline, you need to do this too. You might as well go ahead and start experimenting with the feel of it. Hahah!

As a friend of mine says: "Dusting is NOT one of my priorities. Writing IS."

Joan said...

Kirsten,

One of the valuable gifts you pubbed Banditas give us is the gift of perspective. Even with being in the business of getting published there still is....way back in our little AYU minds...the sense of when we sell "Whew..that's over".

And we know it is not. We can not rest on our laurels....our determination just goes to a higher level....as does our neurosis :-D

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Cassondra said: Joanie, this post was a great idea! Clearly, you had some kind of recorder going when Jeanne came snooping around.....

Heeeey! I wasn't snooping! I was...defending the Lair from potential intruders with my Diet Coke. (fewer calories than C4, as Joanie says.) :>

I know, I know. I was forgetting in my tired, overwrought state that the Lair defends itself. Heck, that puck-chasing dragon alone would be enough to keep the majority at bay. And the stupid ones? Well, the dragon needs to eat, right? *evil grin*

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Allllrighty then.

I see my breakfast cereal hasn't not been enough to fuel my fingers.

Caren, I am aware that your name is not Carne. *eye roll* And Suz, I also know that first is NOT spelled fisrt or however I spelled it. Yikes. I need more offee-c and perhaps some lnuch to go with it.

Deb Marlowe said...

Joanie--yes! I love nothing better than when Caren asks me to read her pages! She has a sparkling, smart, Southern voice that I cannot get enough of.

Plus, I get to hang with her when we can hammer time out of our busy lives too! I'm a lucky girl!

Anna Sugden said...

Aww Helen, I can't wait for you to have our books to read too! You're such a wonderful BB!

It can be very hard to keep going with all the rejections. I think near misses are the hardest of all - that's when your book gets passed up and passed up and falls at the last post.

We're luck that our fellow Banditas are here to cheer us along, kick us in the pants when we need it and remind us that it is okay to take a break from writing if your heart's not in it. Sometimes, you need that break and that perspective, to be able to gird up your loins and forge forward.

The truth is, we can't give up *g*. There is always another story to tell, another piece of research to do, another character to meet. Amd, even if we try to stay away, our little creative minds won't let us!

Sometimes, too, a change is as good as a reat. Trying something different can recharge the batteries and give you some useful insights.

Anna Sugden said...

Happy birthday Buffie - and amen to 2010 being the perfect '10' for us AYU's!

Anna Sugden said...

LOL on the pink file, Gillian. I'm sure there should be something like that. I know I wonder about who's tracking all my research on how to kill people *g*!

Oh yes, another Cary fan. I've seen all his movies at some point, but I don't remember People Wil Talk. My favourite is a tie between The Philadelphia Story and Charade, but I also love My Favourite Wife and The Awful Truth.

Balance? What balance? I don't even have to battle with a day job and/or kids and I can't seem to get the balance right! What I have learned, is that if I want people to take me seriously as a writer, I have to take myself seriously as a writer and make my writing time sacrosanct (but then, I don't watch a lot of TV or things like that).

The idea to try another genre came about because one of my writer pals (aided and abettted by certain other writer pals *cough* Tawny *cough* Beth *cough*) suggested I try writing RS, because that's what I love reading. She said that I knew those books inside out, so why not try writing them. And ... she was right. (But, don't tell her *g*)

Anna Sugden said...

Gannon - you know us - we love to do research to make you all drool *g*.

Anna Sugden said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Addison - hopefully that chink of light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter for us! (And isn't a train LOL)

Anna Sugden said...

Thanks, Deb - it's a dream we cling to - the sight of someone reading one of our books. I know that we're all so close and one day soon we'll have good news!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Well I was here early then real time got in the way and I am just now making my way back.

I guess most of the questions have been asked but one, is there anything the BB's can do to help our favorite "Gems". Words of encouragement you know you all have. Is there anything else we can do to aid you in your quests?

Jane said...

I thought I knew all the Banditas so well and come to find out that you all probably know how to get rid of person without getting caught.

Gillian Layne said...

Suzanne, you are a sweetie to take care of your grand-babies. And I know it must be a huge relief to your daughters.

Joan, did you know PBS (well, our PBS station) has been showing Ireland all morning? It's so beautiful it makes my chest ache. So easy to believe magic exists there.

Thanks for the "balance" advice, ladies. I really have no problem at all letting the housework go...;)

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

GREAT POST, Joanie! And what a wonderful way to spotlight our AYUs (Where is Mariska with that definition?!?!).

This business is so fickle and you are all GREAT WRITERS, so I know it will happen for all of you! Unfortunately, the timing has to be just right... :-P Kirsten is sooo right, just because a writer gets one contract is no guarantee of anything! We are ALL in that boat -- just gotta keep ROWING!

Gillian, what a GREAT IDEA! Maybe we should have a poll to identify the Top 10 Bandita Posts. I'm thinking Cassondra's post about truck balls will be on that list. LOL!

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Deb (Marlowe),
Yes you ARE LUCKY to get to read Caren's manuscripts and to hang out with her.

I'm very lucky to have Jo-Mama as my CP. Thanks to her, my modifiers never stay misplaced and my participles never dangle. ;-) But her stories are always FASCINATING! She's such a smart writer, I just know she's right on the verge of selling.

Oh, and her son is even cuter than in the picture, and polite! LOL!

AC

Buffie said...

Hey Buffie the Birthday Girl!!!

Thanks for your offer for research assistance. I hope you do not have an aversion to loincloths or soft, black leather pants.

Hmmmm???


Nope, Joanie, no aversion at all. I'm game for anything. Bwahahaha!

Buffie said...

Jeanne said:

Hey Buffie! Happy Birthday!

It's Buffie's birthday? OHHHHH! Happy Birthday, Buffie!


LOL, thanks ladies! Actually, it was Thursday, but I try to stretch it out as much as possible!

Kim Howe said...

Hi everyone, thanks so much for joining us today!!!

Helen, great question, one I ask myself regularly. :) I was lucky enough to study with NYT Bestseller Steve Berry and he worked for ten years to get published--part of the problem was his genre (adventure thrillers with a historical element a la Davinci Code) wasn't selling well during the time he was writing. Then along came Dan Brown who broke open the genre. As soon as Davinci Code skyrocketed up the lists, publishers were looking for similar-styled thrillers to feed a hungry public. Steve had several ready to go and his career took off. He'd had the ten years to hone his craft, develop his storytelling ability, and he'd proven his strong desire to write novels for a living because he never gave up. I found his story inspirational.

Nancy said...

Emerging from revision heck, finally, to stop in and am absolutely gobsmacked at the response, and on a Saturday.

I guess this is what happens when you're late to the party, you end up behind! Joan, you did a fabulous job of putting all this together. I love the graphics, especially my boom. *g*

Mariska, congrats on the rooster.

Nancy said...

Helen, thank you! We aren't going to give up because there is no quitting in the Lair. AC said so, and since she was waving her crop at the time, I took her very seriously. :-)

Sometimes it's hard, yes, but every bit of encouragement along the way helps, and we have a wonderful support system here. I think that's key, having people who support you. My husband and son are behind me, which really means a lot. I'm determined not to let them down.

The other banditas, pubbed and AYU, and all our buddies who stop in, as you so faithfully do, are a tremendous morale booster.

Contests can be helpful, too. I found an agent last year, which was a huge boost, and her confidence bolsters my own.

So you grab what you can and just keep going. :-)

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi guys -

Sorry I'm so late to the party. I was waylaid by a nasty virus that I hope has disappeared. I have no doubt that we'll soon be shouting that one of these fabulous AYU authors has been offered a publishing contract. There's just too much talent and dedication here not to persevere. Can't wait to see their new covers up on the sidebar.

Nancy said...

Hi, Buffie--I hope you're right about 2010!

I didn't know about Shemar Moore on Y&R. I first saw him on a fabulous but short-lived super-heroine show, Birds of Prey. He played a cop and was pretty cool!

Cassondra said...

aka Dianna said:

I guess most of the questions have been asked but one, is there anything the BB's can do to help our favorite "Gems". Words of encouragement you know you all have. Is there anything else we can do to aid you in your quests?

The thing youall don't realize is that you are a big part of the reason we keep writing.

Every time I blog or post here in the lair, y'all are here to encourage and hang out and party and celebrate with me. You WOOOOT over our accomplishments, OOOh and aaaah over our covers and heroes, mourn with us for the losses and tough times. You laugh with us over the silliness of it all. YOu tolerate our craziness and as yet, you have not called the police or the men in the white coats.

So many writers work and work and work, with no sense that they'll ever have an audience for the words they write. But as I'm writing, I think of you all. Even if you haven't gotten to read the books yet, YOU ARE MY READERS. I picture your faces and your names, and know that you are who I'm writing for.

Youall have no idea how powerful that is or what that means.

Nancy said...

Gillian, I had to laugh at your comment about the FBI. One of my great disappointments last year was not getting to take the KoD chapter tour at Quantico. The Feds let them shoot ANYTHING THEY WANTED. How cool is that?

As for balance, it's hard. I have some of the same issues about work and money that you do. I once made a very, very nice salary. We're okay, though, and at this point, going back to my old career would require investing a fortune in continuing ed courses.

As for switching genres, I've always gone with what inspires me. Right now my choices, on my agent's advice, are governed by the need for follow-ups to the mss. in circulation and by the desire to hit something that's maybe open in the market, but something I like.

I would never write a particular subgenre because it was hot, but I'd look for something that excited me in subgenres that aren't glutted. For example, Victorian is hot now, but it does nothing for my imagination, so I'm unlikely to go there.

Good luck with your choices and the juggling!

Cassondra said...

Jane said:

I thought I knew all the Banditas so well and come to find out that you all probably know how to get rid of person without getting caught.

Jane! I am shocked and chagrined that you are just now finding this out! (grin)

Nancy said...

Christie, thank you! The Lair-mates is one thing that really keeps me going.

Nancy said...

Suz, I love Colonial America, too, and I'm not going there for the same reasons you aren't.

Maybe someday. *sigh*

Nancy said...

Hi, Gannon. Thank you for the vote of confidence.

Yeah, Rome seems to be heating up. Maybe that will seep into publishing soon. Joanie's guys are great heroes.

Nancy said...

Joan wrote: But that slo mo blood fest is so gratuitious.

Yeah, what is it with guys and slo mo blood? Even comic books have big blood splatters in the air. And so many boom movies have it, too. Good thing I have a fast forward on my remote!

Nancy said...

Deb Marlowe, thanks for the encouragement.

And congratulations to you. Don't you have a novella that finaled in a contest recently? Tell us about that!

Nancy said...

Kirsten, you've really had to hoe the patience, row, but the wait is coming to an end. I'm eager to read this book. I'm also confident that others will be. It's tailor-made for the fandom community.

I'm also confident that the Kirsten Scott canon will grow by leaps and bounds once Delacroix Academy hits the stands.

Nancy said...

Caren wrote: lower your standards for non-essentials like housecleaning and the quality of your family's diet.

Clearly I am on the right track. *g*

Nancy said...

Cassondra wrote: AAAAAH! It's the SUN!!!! I am up WAY too early.

LOL! I must admit to being astounded by the time stamp on your post!

Anna Sugden said...

Dianna - you're the sweetest! I think Cassondra said it perfectly - coming here and responding to hat we write is the biggest boost we can get! What could be more inspiring than the thought of being able to come in here and shout about having sold to all of you and know that you'll be hooting and hollering!!

Nancy said...

Suz, I really admire you for putting Refuge out there. I'm with Cassondra, though. Once I start reading, I want to be able to roll on through.

Anna Sugden said...

We're not just pretty faces, Jane, LOL.

Helen said...

I have just gotten up here in Oz it is around 7-00am Sunday morning and I loved all the posts.

Way to go Girls keep on going and I say write from your heart and I am sure this year I will get to hold your books in my hand.

I am off to lunch with the Romance reading Ladies today and we will be sure to have desert at The Lindt Cafe so lots of chocolate.

Have Fun
Helen

Joan said...

Whew, back from a day with a friend where we encouraged and bolstered and ate our faces off in chocolate :D Right, Lisa?

Anyway, thank you all so much for your cheering on words about my Roman boys. One thing is that many books set in Rome are a)Inspirational/Roman Christian or b) gladiators.

Those are wonderful aspects but my three speak to the everyday kind of Roman with heroic journeys to travel.

As to my new Irish boyo's Jeanne....well suffice to say they have the world--and their hearts--to save in a magical battle for dominance.....and they look good in black leather pants :-)

Joan said...

Hi Addison! Thanks for stopping by!

ALL of our BB's are SO special to us!

Joan said...

See, Dianna! That kind of support means SO much to each and every one of us. I agree, Cassondra summed it up well. We aren't in print YET, but we have our readers there ready to spur us onto the NYT list!

Thanks for being there!

Joan said...

Gillian,

I'll check that out! I figured they would be soon....

Alas, my hopes to return to Ireland this year were dashed by the (&^% economy and the PBS series I bought years ago...on VHS...is no longer an option.

But I have pics....LOTS of pics especially of me looking for the Fae Prince. Won't tell if I found him our not ;-)

Tawny said...

What a FAB and awesomely fun interview!!! I loved reading about your first stories and am right here grinding my teeth impatiently waiting to celebrate all of your sales!!!!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Sorry I popped on early this morning then disappeared, but last night was the middle of my three nights in a row at work...even us vampires need to sleep!

One of the things I loved about this posting of Joanie's is how ecclectic our group is. The ideas, genres, stories and even heroes are such a fun, mixed bag!

Nancy said...

Anna Sugden wrote: What I have learned, is that if I want people to take me seriously as a writer, I have to take myself seriously as a writer

A friend of mine with her own freelance business gave me this advice when I first left the work force. She said the PTA, the boy's teachers, and my entire family would consider me available, that if I didn't draw lines and stick to them, there'd be none. And she was right.

But I think this can be a hard lesson for women to learn. We try so hard to smooth the waters.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Nancy said: Suz, I love Colonial America, too, and I'm not going there for the same reasons you aren't...

I would love to see readers start requesting stories from publishing companies...any American historical period, Joanies Roman time period, futuristic thrillers, etc. With the internet readers have more contact with the publishers these days instead of just the sales numbers.

(Yes, I'm not above blatant suggestions...no hints here, y'all!!)

Nancy said...

Jeanne, sorry your day started with a headache. And rain. Seriously yucky.

You and AC and Kirsten make a very good point. You wrote: And pubbed or unpubbed, it's always about the next (or first) contract, which is something that never goest away.

I do think there's a tendency among AYU writers to think making the leap into the big girls' sandbox will automatically cause the sun to shine, the flowers to bloom, and the NYT list to beckon.

Thanks to the candor of the pubbed banditas and my other pubbed friends, I've come to realize that the big girls' sandbox has its own set of problems. As I bop merrily along in the Wars of the Roses, I don't have to worry (yet) about how many my last book sold, and will this one meet expectations, and how can I make this one sell even MORE copies.

Nancy said...

Addison, thanks! I hope your weekend is fun, too.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Nancy and Cassondra,

You have about 8 more weeks before all of REFUGE hits the blog. But I think you'll find enough significant romance, suspense and history to keep you glued to your computer! You'll have to let me know what you think of it when you get a chance to read it.

When it's finished, I might just post the sequel...RESCUE

Nancy said...

Jo, have fun! I'd love to see your face when you see the comments that've racked up in your absence. :-)

I won't be the only one gobsmacked, maybe.

I love that word. It's my new word. I heard it on Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares.

Nancy said...

Dianna, I don't really have words of encouragement. I stick upbeat magnets around to counter my natural glass-half-empty tendencies, but I don't look at them much.

However, I do remember what a pubbed friend told me long ago, that the only way to fail is to quit because as long as you're still trying, you haven't failed to achieve publication, you just haven't succeeded, because success or failure is judged at the end of the road, not in the middle.

As for what you can do to help--that's such a sweet offer, and you're already doing it. I can't put it better than Cassondra did. Putting out a post and seeing people respond to it is an indicator that we really CAN write our way of a wet Kleenex. Every comment is another light pointing to the end of the tunnel.

Nancy said...

Donna, thanks for your faith and encouragement!

I hope you feel better soon.

Nancy said...

Jeanne wrote: I'm with Helen, I want to know if you ever want to try something different (genre-wise, when you get frustrated.

Had to grin at this one. I write enough different genres already, so I don't feel tempted to try something new. But I might switch from one ms. to a another just to clear out my brain at times.

Nancy said...

Jeanne wrote: Heck, that puck-chasing dragon alone would be enough to keep the majority at bay. And the stupid ones? Well, the dragon needs to eat, right? *evil grin*

Uh, I just heard a big, loud burp out in the Lair. Saw a flicker of flame, too. And Sven said something about "nasty ribcage lying around."

I don't think I want to know.

Kim Howe said...

A big thanks to Joan for putting together this fabulous blog. Not sure what your weather is like, but in Toronto we're having such strong winds and pelting rain that my satellite internet keeps going out. Spring is coming in like a roaring lion!

Nancy said...

Jane wrote: I thought I knew all the Banditas so well and come to find out that you all probably know how to get rid of person without getting caught.

Indeed, as my buddy Teal'c would say. If you get caught, what's the point?

Kim Howe said...

The economy is picking up quite a bit in Canada. I'm hoping that NY is starting to kick into gear and that will lead to more sales and opportunities for the AYU Banditas. Let's hope 2010 brings more good news!!!

Nancy said...

Hi, Kim--I didn't know Steve Berry had to hang in quite so long. That's a handy reminder why hanging in matters so much. He'd be a lot poorer today if he'd given up!

Nancy said...

Oh, Helen! Did you HAVE to taunt us with the Lindt Cafe? *sigh* Sounds yummy.

Have fun--

Nancy

Nancy said...

Hi, Tawny--I hope the day you can do all that reading is rapidly rushing toward us. :-)

Nancy said...

Kim, our satellite went out in torrential rain last night. I hope your weather clears up!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Cassondra said: As to what I write and the market? I absolutely do not switch genres because of market at all. However, I do try to look at every manuscript idea and judge how high-concept it is, and its general marketability. I also try to make sure I structure it so that it works for the market where it fits...

This is pretty much my threory, too. What is being published today and on the shelves right now is what was hot in the market one to two years ago. Changing genres just to fit what's hot doesn't gurantee you can fit what the publishers are buying.

Our job right now is to write exceptionally good stories, but finding someway to make them unique and catch the eye of the savy editor who goes..."You know I think this might be the book that brings back the medieval romance, the western romances, the American romances, or really puts the BANG back in romantic thrillers!

As for why I have so many genres under my belt? :) :) :)

I bore easily and find I write better if I have more than one project going at a time. Different genres keep my brain from confusing which story is which!!!!

Nancy said...

Suz, one thing I've learned is that the market changes. At a pace that sometimes seems glacial, true, but it changes. Colonial America will come back. It just may take a while.

catslady said...

Wow lots of great stuff here. Would you all do it over again the same way or would there have been things you would have changed along the way?

Nancy said...

Hi, Catslady--If I had it to do over again, I would try to become educated faster about where the line between genres is--how much romance can go in a book shelved in fantasy, and vice-versa.

I'd also pay more attention in historical to which periods were selling. I don't regret writing Restoration, though, since my '06 finalist, my ticket into the Lair, was Restoration.

I do still love that story. Maybe someday . . .

Cassondra said...

catslady said:

Would you all do it over again the same way or would there have been things you would have changed along the way?

Wow That's a tough one.

Some things I would change and others I wouldn't. I would still write my same stories, because they're ME. But the ones I would change--like finding a fantastic plot brainstorming group to help me move faster and help me get unstuck when I hit a bad spot, etc--are not necessarily ones I COULD change--because with the plot group for instance, I didn't know those people, and you have to have just the right ones for you. Not everyone meshes. NOt sure that makes sense....

One of the important things you learn along the way is that the journey is about the journey--not just about the destination. So if I'd changed the journey I would not be the same person. Still, there are some things I would do differently if I could.

One thing I would change is that I wouldn't let discouragement stop me from submitting, which it has at times in the past. That's the only big no-no.

Another thing would be to not let discouragement stop me from WRITING. That one I still struggle with. Being able to shut everything else that's going on in life OUT for a while and get back into the story is the hardest thing for me.

Joan said...

Tawny,

When I sell I will let you dance in some kickin' heels for me...

Because, yanno...3 inches and I'm done :-)

Joan said...

Catslady,

What a fantastic question!!! Lesse....the only thing different I would have done was to spend MORE time up front remolding that first story.

I was learning all along both craft and industry but kept editing instead of doing what a note on my computer now says...."Write now, fix later"

Though, if I hadn't spent so much time on Jared he might not have finaled in the '06 GH...and I would not have become a Bandita!!!

(swoons)

Nope, wouldn't have done anything different :-)

Christine Wells said...

Just wanted to stick my head above the parapet of the writing cave and give a loud cheer for our wonderful AYUs! I can't wait to see all your books on the shelves. Thanks for the fun insight into your writing and Jeanne, great interview!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Nancy wrote: Jeanne, sorry your day started with a headache. And rain. Seriously yucky.

Actually, it started at 3:45 when the power went out due to the wind and the kids crawled in bed with us because it waz scarifying. That's two adults, two kids and two dogs. Queen size bed. Um....no. So I took the little one back to his bed...and thus progressed from there. Ha!

The headache's only virtual - all those mimosa's you know - but the rain was real enough. Grins.

Leavened all that rain by going to a writer's get together. Ahhhh, creative energy. Ahhhhh, an estrogen fix! Ahhhhh!

mariska said...

i know i know, i'm always comes at the end *grin*

I'm having my breakfast right now, Fried Rice or Nasi Goreng in my language.

So AYU means Pretty, beautiful. it always use to a Girl or a woman.

so we can say 'Looks Joan is so Ayu today : )'

Anna Campbell said...

Wow, look at all these comments! This is such a party!

Loved the interviews. We should do this more often! One thing I love is that I almost always find out something new about people who I think I know pretty well.

AYUs, I can't wait till you're published so the world can read your wonderful stories!

Joan said...

Awwwww...Mariska....you are so sweet.

I think that sums us all up save for, er, p226 :-D

Enjoy your breakfast! I just had pancakes for dinner!

Joan said...

Really Anna?

What was something new you learned?

Curiosity, don't you know....

:D

Nancy said...

Hi, Christine--Glad you could pop out, and thank you!

Nancy said...

Oh, Jeanne--3:45 a.m.? Ouch!

And I'd rephrase your description slightly to make that two TALL adults.

I hope you get plenty of sleep tonight. :-)

Nancy said...

Mariska, glad you could stop by at the beginning of your day.

And thanks for the definition. :-)

Nancy said...

Anna C., thank you! Glad you made it by. This was a fun blog to do, and I love the way JT put it together.

Nancy said...

Jeanne, I forgot to say thank you for supplying the questions JT used for putting this together. Great job!

Louisa Cornell said...

Stopping by after one of THOSE days at work to say this is a FABULOUS interview. I LOVED reading what everyone is writing and everything else about the fantastic AYU Banditas!!

What is WRONG with the publishing world? These all sound like such great books!!

I know it is just a matter of time before every single Bandita has her name in lights on the sidebar!!

Joan said...

Thanks Louisa! And waiting with baited breath for your own debut!

Sorry about THAT kind of day at work......

Nancy said...

Louisa, thank you. I echo Joan--we're waiting for your books, too!

MsHellion said...

LOVE the AYU author spotlighting! Brilliant stuff!!!

What's your favorite kind of heroine to write?

And what's your CORE story? (Do you have a CORE story?)

Joan said...

Hi MsHellion!!!!

Hmmmm....core story huh? I think for my three Roman mss. it was trust. Each hero had to learn to trust in someone and that someone was the only one...the only woman they ever could.

It was funny. When I started out writing I was determined it would be my heroine's story. Not. Each one of my boys stepped forward and in a very Alpha way said "Mine".

As to heroine's. Strong women who can take care of themselves (NOT the traditional "kick ass" as that feel harsher to me) but one who through their own life experiences and sheer determination have what it takes to get the hero through. She does not take any guff off him and he LIKES that.

Deb said...

Another fun post in the Lair! I read it earlier this morning, but this is the first chance I've had at the computer. (When hubby is home, he is on ALL the time playing in/at his Evony World.)

Thanks for letting me be a part of the Bandits and Banditas and Friends. I've enjoyed getting to know everyone, from authors to bloggers to friends.

Joan said...

Hi Deb!

Glad you could make it back! Suggestion: Seperate computers LOL

However, having recently discovered Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook...I can relate.

We're so glad to have you with us!

Cassondra said...

Hellion said:

What's your favorite kind of heroine to write?

I tend to write very damaged heroines. My heroes are damaged as well, but often, less so than the heroines. The heroines are stong but often are not aware of the depths of their own strengths because of their pasts. My heroines can usually kick some butt of their own, because they have to be in order to be a match for the kick-ass heroes I write.
:0)

And what's your CORE story? (Do you have a CORE story?)

Hmmm...that's a toughie. I write redemption stories usually, or as a derivative of that, sort of "coming out of the dark" stories. Trust/betrayal is often the theme. Those three ideas get juggled and sometimes one comes out the main core of the story, sometimes another, but most of my stories can be narrowed down to those three things.

I write neither light nor funny, unfortunately. I would love to be able to do funny, but I write way too dark. Happy endings of course, but getting there is not easy for anybody involved.

Joan said...

The rest of the "beautiful" Banditas may be up later but I moved my clock ahead and immediately became exhausted LOL

So, I'm for bed after teasing Ruarc into mischief. Thanks to EVERYONE who came to see what we AYU's are up too....

Next trip to the Lair? Secret Passageways of the Cabana Boys!

limecello said...

This is such an adorable post! I don't have questions - and it's a bit late for that anyway, but - aweee.
Also - for some reason this post made me think of the Diamonds Down Under blog.

Nancy said...

Hi, Ms. Hellion--

My favorite heroines to write are strong but vulnerable. I love my kick-ass spy, but she's more physical than most of my heroines.

I guess my core story is healing, the healing power of love and acceptance.

Nancy said...

Deb, glad you made it back! We enjoy you, too.

Nancy said...

Cassondra, I can't do funny, either. I can do wry and snarky, but it's not the same. I wish I could.

Nancy said...

Limecello, glad you made it over today.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey, Ms. Hellion...it's still Saturday here in Texas.

My favorite heroine is the every day girl or woman who finds herself in a difficult situation and realizes she has more courage and life skills than she ever suspected to handle the hero and the problem.

Brent said...

In relation to the satellite internet troubles, I am just curious to what provider you have. I have been researching providers. So far, I have heard that Wild Blue is the the best. Any input?