Thursday, December 16, 2010

As You Wish

I have a cover (squee!)
As You Wish, April 2011, Tor Books.
--Gabi

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Getting In Touch With Your Inner Pirate

Getting In Touch With Your Inner Pirate

by Brenda Schetnan/Molly Evans

Who doesn't love a good pirate story? Unfortunately, they've been pretty scarce until the Pirates of the Caribbean 1-3 sailed across the big screen in recent years. These movies have been very successful. Though fun to watch, there are things to be learned from each of these movies that can help improve your writing, things that will help bring out the inner pirate hiding inside of you.

Lately, I've been watching the movies while wearing a pirate medallion, skeleton earrings, and saying "arrr" a lot. I've even made myself a purse from pirate fabrics. So what, right? What this has done has enabled me to get in touch with my inner pirate and this hopefully translates to my writing.

What can we learn from watching POTC over and over? Aside from the obvious-Johnny and Orlando are totally hot-writers and pirates have many things in common. I've listed a few of them below. See if you can discover others hiding within you.

--Be passionate about everything.

--There must be something worth dying for, worth claiming as your own, and worth giving up your old life/habits for.

--There must be action, there must be sweat, and even a few tears.

--If you're afraid, you can't show it. Never let the enemy see fear in your eyes.

--Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. If none are coming, you need to make something happen to change your current situation.

--Honor and integrity do not come without a price.

These are values not often taught in the film industry, but are embraced by the outlaws of society-the pirates.

As writers, how can we use these teachings of pirate characters?

For one, dress the part. I find when I wear my pirate attire, minimal though it is, I take on an entirely different attitude than my usual charming self. I'm bolder, more daring, and take more risks in my writing than usual.

Adventure and discovery: A pirate captain is always on the lookout for some new, undiscovered artifact, treasure, jewel or booty. Discover a new layer in your story that has been hidden. Is there an adventure for your characters to be had that deviates from the original plan you had mapped out for them? Can you take them through waters previously uncharted in your synopsis? (And don't forget about some unplanned booty!)

--Permit yourself to be wild and uncharted, fierce and deadly, in your writing.

--Learn to sail foreign waters. You may find success outside your comfort zone.

--Take no prisoners.

--Throw your hat in the air!

--Laugh, even when you're fighting the bad guys, enjoy it.

--Drink lots of rum. (Well, in moderation anyway)

--Lie on a beach once in a while and soak up the sun. (We all need more Vitamin D, anyway)

--Curse a lot when things go wrong

--Raise a ruckus when there are things to celebrate-even the small stuff.

--Never, ever make a deal with a sea monster.

Being a pirate is mostly about attitude and making other people believe you're a pirate. Didn't Jack Sparrow introduce himself as Captain Jack Sparrow each and every time? He always corrected those who didn't address him properly, and other characters started to do it as well. Even without a ship we believe he is Captain Jack because he makes us believe it with every breath he takes. Even without a contract you are a writer. It is your job to make us believe it. Not that you have to go to the lengths Sparrow does to get what he wants, but get used to thinking of yourself as a writer.

I just really wish I had his compass.

Other things to learn from pirates:

The art of negotiation is truly an art and it's never the same twice.

There are very few rules to being a pirate. Forget the rules and write.

Evolution of Character. Will Turner changed the most in these stories, but he still always maintained his honor and his integrity. Even though he became an undead creature enslaved to the sea for an undetermined period of time, he was still totally hot and totally true to his cause.

May the trade winds always keep you on the right course. May there always be enough rum, and may there always be enough booty (whatever kind you like) to satisfy you.

So put on your pirate hat, crank up the POTC soundtrack, and get in touch with your inner pirate.

ARRRRRRRRRRR!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

SALE! Shea Berkley to Variance Publishing

Great news!  Shea Berkley announced she has just sold her traditional epic fantasy to Variance Publishing!

Torrein: Age of Fear will be released November 2011.

Congratulations, Shea!  Torrein has been added to our Sales list on the sidebar at right.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Interview with Belle Sloane, Author of Sweet Charity

I recently interviewed author Belle Sloane on the release of her first published novella, Sweet Charity. Prior to selling her novella, she also sold two erotic short stories, and her contemporary paranormal, The Guardian, is being made into an audio book by Siren Audio Studios.

Belle has been a member of LERA (Land of Enchantment Romance Authors), the local RWA New Mexico chapter, since 1996. She says it was one of the two best writing decisions she ever made--the other being joining an incredible critique group. Belle describes her background as “an Army Brat who grew up moving back and forth between the Washington DC area and Germany.” She moved to Albuquerque after grad school.

Belle has been writing seriously since 1998. She also loves to cook (Julia Child is her idol), has a passion for jazz (Diana Krall is one of her favs) and also has a paper fetish. She loves card making and paper art. Of her hobby, she says, “When your main outlet for creativity takes months to complete, it’s nice to create something beautiful in 30 minutes.”

Q. Belle, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to do this interview for NM Romance Writers. Let’s start with your motivation as an author. What inspired you to write Sweet Charity?

I’d taken a break from rewrites of The Guardian, and my good buddy Tami Sinclaire suggested I write some spice. The LERA Rebecca contest was coming up and I decided to give it a go. I wrote the first 30 pages basing it loosely on the backdrop of the first book I wrote (which will remain in the garage forever) set in ABQ in the early 1900s. I loved the hero of that book, Dillon Ramsey, and was thrilled to give him another chance to come alive. Oh and it was released September 1st, by the way. Ha!

Q. Can you tell us the level of steam of the story (sweet, spicy, steamy, erotica)?

It’s erotic. Very hot.

Q. Do you have a blurb you’d like to share?

After the death of her parents, Charity Blythe finds herself trapped in a loveless arranged betrothal set up by her guardian. Her intended is a selfish, thoughtless man who sends her to a physician because he’s unhappy with how she responds to him when they attempt relations. Dillon Ramsey, MD helps her unlock the secrets of her body. Through that self awareness Charity has other realizations as well. Through her mouth watering interactions with Ramsey she finds her way back to the strong, assertive person she was before her parents’ accident.

Q. Very intriguing! Tell us a little about your main characters.

Charity grew up a spunky independent gal. When her parents were killed the year before, she was swallowed up by her grief, a shadow of her old self. She wants love and passion and forever after, but knows she has given them up for the practical arrangement made by her aunt, her guardian. Her aunt has tricked her into believing that is the only way to get her inheritance.

Dillon is the physician that her intended, Edwin, sends her to for consult, because of her perceived lack of responsiveness. He has avoided relationships since his fiancé left him at the altar two years ago. Once he meets Charity, he has to rethink that whole no more serious relationships thing.

Q. Describe the world or time period where the story takes place.

It takes place in Albuquerque 1910 when New Mexico was still a territory. Albuquerque had a lot going on back then. The population grew in leaps in the early 1900s because of all the people coming to NM for TB treatment.

Q. Were there any parts that were difficult to write?

Since I’m devoted to writing the kind of spice for readers who enjoy erotica, as well as women who don’t normally seek out this kind of stuff, I tried really hard to walk on the edge of really sexy without going over the top. I think that was my biggest challenge.

Q. Do you have a blog or web site related to Sweet Charity or your work?

I have a blog, it’s http://www.bellesbuzz.blogspot.com/. Since I’ve yet to dive into the whole website thing, I’m attempting to make my blog as much a website as possible. I have a Facebook page as well.

Q. Are there any reviews of Sweet Charity as yet?

I’ve been sending out tons of review requests but haven’t heard back yet. I’m excited to see them, whether they are positive or negative.

Q. I think the cover art for Sweet Charity is gorgeous. Can you tell us a little about the cover creation process and/or the cover artist? Did you have input into the design?

Thanks so much, I really lucked out. I think it’s perfect. When you sell to Red Sage, they request that you fill out two forms--one on bio stuff, excerpts, quotes, etc. The other one asks for information/ideas on what you’d like for your cover. It’s pretty neat. Writers don’t usually get much input on covers. I just love Cat Lovington’s cover for The Cowboy Way, so I made suggestions consistent with that type of image. The final cover is actually the third version. Every incarnation was sent to me to see what I thought of it, and if I had any suggestions.

Q. That’s wonderful they included you in the cover art creation process. Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about Sweet Charity?

Along with all the spicy fantasy, I worked hard to instill the fun regular guy and gal experiences into the characters. I think that softens a lot of the intensity that many people associate with erotica.

Q: Is there a sequel/s is the works, or what’s your next project?

Sweet Charity is a stand alone. The one I’m working on now is set in Tombstone, AZ in the 1890s, in a bordello. I’m still working out some of the plot points, but I think this one will be longer than Charity. It’s a fun story, with some serious and surprising triumphs in the end. I love that.

Q. It sounds like you have a great follow-up story in the works! Can you tell us about your journey to get Sweet Charity published? You mentioned you got a request from a contest win but then had to hurry to finish the novel, is that right?

Well, as I said I’d written about 30 pages when Theresa Stevens, then of Red Sage, requested the full MS, through our Rebecca Contest. You can imagine--I was thrilled and terrified at the same time. But, I was determined to get the book to her in a reasonable amount of time. So, I wrote constantly. One weekend I wrote from 5:00 am to about 11:30 or 12:00 noon. It was the most incredible experience. The words just poured out of my head in an unending stream. I couldn’t type fast enough to keep up with my thoughts. That’s never happened to me before. Sure hope it happens again. :) I finished the rough draft in a month, an amazing first for me. I sent it in, and about a month later I got an offer. It was a great feeling. Something I’d waited for, for over a decade.

Q. For other writers out there, please tell us a little about your publisher.

Red Sage Publishing, Inc. is a house that produces erotica only, in both eBook and paperback forms. It was established by Alexandria Kendall in 1994. The first anthology of their Secrets volumes was released in 1995. It’s a great company to work for. One the many things I appreciate about them is that when you email with a question, you hear back very quickly, within hours sometimes. If people want to know specifics about Red Sage, (passionate wisdom :) ) just email me at belles@bigstring.com

Q. Now tell us a little more about you. First of all, are you a pantser or plotter?

I used to be a panster all the way. But over the last five years I realize I’ve started writing the first 3 – 4 chapters then going back and working out a lot of story stuff before I go any farther. I guess I’m a combo.

Q. Where’s your favorite writing space—home office, kitchen table, Starbucks, library?

I have a writing space in the back of the dining room. In fact I occupy the whole back wall of the room, situated right next to a big brick fireplace. Very cozy.

Q. Any favorite TV shows or films (past or present) that inspire you?

I love romances, comedies and thrillers. But that’s not where I get my writing ideas. I get my inspiration from places. I know that probably sounds odd. I’m an incredibly visual person. I’ll drive by or visit a place, and have a day dream/fantasy about the people living there and what they are trying to accomplish or how they lived 100 years ago. Like the castle in the town where I grew up (Heidelberg, Germany) was the location of the first draft of the paranormal with Siren Audio Studios. I just started imagining this 300 year old (hot) wizard guy visiting the gardens at night, and wondering what would he strive for? What would be missing from his life? Once my imagination catches on to an idea, it’s off and running.

Q. Do you write to a soundtrack, household chaos, or do you prefer quiet to work?

I get up a 4:30 every morning and write in the dark, the only light coming from my computer screen. Complete silence. I started writing early in the morning back in the 90s when I decided to get serious. At that time I was a total night owl, and boy was that first month hard. Now, I look forward to it, I still have kids in school and a menagerie of critters. Early morning is the only time for peace, and minimal distractions in our house.

Q. Do you have an agent and how did you chose him/her?

No I don’t have an agent, but I guess it’s something I’ll need to do eventually. I’m a rebellious by nature, and the thought of having TWO people (editor, and an agent) telling me what to do is a bit overwhelming.

Q. Any advice for aspiring authors that you can share?

Never, never, never give up.

Q. Thanks, Belle, for sharing your writing experiences and adventures with us, and for telling us about your exciting new release.

Sweet Charity is now available from Red Sage publishing (click like below). An excerpt is posted on the site.

~~ * ~~

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Desert Rose Golden Quill Winner


Special congratulations to Shirley Raye Redmond. 

Her regency ROSEMARY'S GLOVE made the finals in the Desert Rose Golden Quill Contest this month. 

The novel also won the 2009 NM Book award in the romance category!

Congratulations on your successes, Shirley.

Shirley Raye Redmond
www.readshirleyraye.com

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Weekend Fun

I'll be at RomCon this weekend in Denver. I hope to meet some of you there. In any case I'll be posting a report of the conference when I'm back. Hope you have a great weekend.
--Gabi

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My Cover Is Done!


Hey Ladies~~~

After three different incarnations, here it is and I couldn't be happier with it.

The cover for Sweet Charity.

I haven't been given a release date yet, but I will post it as soon as I know anything.

Happy reading,
***Belle

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Book signing on April 10th!

Celeste Bradley, Amanda McCabe, Laurel McKee, and Lydia Parks will be signing books at the Borders at ABQ Uptown in Albuquerque, NM, on April 10th starting at 2:00. Drop by and say hello! Oh, and feel free to buy a signed book, of course.

Here's a riddle for you: how can all four of these authors sign when there will only be three people behind the table??

Sunday, March 7, 2010

2010 Rebecca Contest

LERA announces its 2010 Rebecca Contest.

Submissions will be accepted between April 15, 2010 - May 15, 2010

More details will be posted soon on the LERA website.

~*~

Monday, February 22, 2010

Interview with Donna MacQuigg

Today we’re interviewing author Donna MacQuigg, who’s been a member of LERA (Land of Enchantment Romance Authors) since 1994. Donna’s latest book, The Dragon’s Secret will be released in May 2010.

NMRW: Thanks so much for agreeing to do the interview, Donna. I like to start out with a little about you. Where are you originally from?

Donna: I’m a second generation native of New Mexico.

NMRW: Do you also have another profession besides writing (a day job)?

Donna:  I’m retired from dental practice management.

NMRW: What is your spouse or partner’s name, occupation, how many kids, etc.

Donna:  He’s retired APD, Jim MacQuigg. My daughter, Beth is a 1st grade teacher in Edgewood, and my son, Donald is an auditor with an Albuquerque accounting firm.

NMRW: Do you have pets, or a favorite or special pet?

Donna: Yes. Tony – a Chihuahua and Tessa – standard poodle

NMRW: How long have you been writing and what got your started?

Donna: Since 1993. I helped my daughter who had an English assignment which asked for a paragraph describing a character. We got an A. I think getting a new computer also helped. It made writing easy with spell-check and a built in thesaurus.

NMRW: Where are you likely to be when you’re not writing?

Donna: Outside, either playing with the dogs, my daughter’s horses, or tending to my garden.

NMRW: Besides writing, what else are you known for?

Donna: I built a pretty good reputation for dental practice management when I was working and when I retired, I tested and got my commercial drivers license and drove 18 wheelers with the hubby for awhile. I actually got “the call” selling my first romance while at a truck stop in California.

NMRW: Can you tell us what inspires you to write?

Donna: I started reading romance when I was in 7th grade and read every chance I got. After I got that A from my daughter’s English teacher, I decided to try writing my own. I had a romance on my lap that I used to format my manuscript since I didn’t have a clue how to punctuate dialogue or any of the basics used in writing a novel. I finished my first 400 page manuscript in 90 days, and actually landed an agent with it. By the time I published my first medieval romance in 1999, I had written four more novels and had at least a dozen ideas outlined.

NMRW: Do you have any "practice" novels or stories hidden away in your basement or trunk?

Donna: I have about 250 pages of a paranormal that I really need to finish, but I just don’t like the idea of killing off my heroine to be with her lover who happens to be a ghost. I’m open for suggestions on how to end this other than starting a fire with it.

NMRW: What writers clubs, associations or groups did you join before you were published? Were any of them particularly helpful? Have you ever founded, chartered or served as an officer for any club or group?

Donna: RWA and LERA. LERA was very helpful. As a newbie, it was great meeting other authors and listening to them share their expertise. Later I joined in and gave a few presentations on weaponry, and since I raised horses, threw some equine information in for fun. As VP in 1995, I chaired LERA’s very first romance conference. It was a two day affair and lots of work, but tons of fun. We had Agent Meredith Bernstein, Editor Lucia Macro, authors Leigh Greenwood, and Diana Gabaldon as speakers.

NMRW: Do you have a favorite author (or authors) that inspires you or who you idolize?

Donna: Owen Wister, author of The Virginian, and in romance, Judith McNaught and Kathleen Woodiwiss.

NMRW: Where do you do most of your writing? (Home office, living room, Starbucks, in the front seat of your car, etc.)

Donna: I’ve always had a home office just because we had an extra room in our house, and since 1984, have always owned at least one computer.

NMRW: What romance genre, subgenre or niche genre is your “specialty?” What other genres do you/or do you plan to write?

Donna: Historical romances are my favorite. My first were medieval then I branched out to historical westerns. I’ve also written a cowboy-contemporary and lastly a historical fantasy set in Wales.

NMRW: Are you a pantser or a plotter? Right-brained or left-brained?

Donna: I’m definitely a pantster. I will jot down an outline, so to speak, but it’s usually not formal and it’s usually handwritten on the lined pad on the desk next to my computer. I have scraps of paper with names, dates and important research scattered around as well. I never found it beneficial to chart things out. I am too busy writing. I will also write a scene out of context if the mood strikes me and work it into the story at a later date. I don’t set aside a specific time to write or set a specific word count. I find that letting my muse dictate my writing schedule works best for me.

NMRW: On average, how long does it take you to write a novel from first word to market draft? How much time do you invest in research?

Donna: If I’m possessed by a story in my head, I can pound out 400 pages in about 3 to 4 months. However, to turn out a polished, marketable manuscript and still maintain some semblance of family life, I’d have to say between 6 and 12 months. I love research, especially history, and have an extensive library of my own ranging from medieval times to the 1800’s. I can honestly say I don’t read history books from cover to cover, rather I search out the era I’m writing about and glean all I can from certain sections in several different books.

NMRW: Which sections or scenes do you find most difficult to write? What makes you laugh? Cry? Crazy?

Donna: I like to have a little humor in most of my stories, and the same with crying, although I’m not so sure I’ve brought many readers to tears. I’m pretty certain I made a few editors cry over my grammar and spelling. I’m easily frustrated when I can’t find the correct terminology for something I’ve put into my story such as a type of coach or a piece of medieval armor or clothing.

NMRW: Do you utilize a support group--critique partners, beta-readers or peer writers--when you’re working on a manuscript? (Feel free to plug their work!) How did you get started working with them?

Donna: I did extensively for years before I was published. It was one of the perks of belonging to LERA. Later, I worked alone for quite awhile until I attended the Desert Dreams Conference in 2005. I met Kathryne Kennedy in an elevator and we became the best of friends. That was before she published The Relic’s of Merlin series, which I edited (puffing out chest) and now she has a huge contract with Source books, and I help edit all of those, too. I also have a wonderful CP that I just recently acquired, and she’s been very helpful, especially in spelling and grammar since those are my weakest areas.

NMRW: What is the most valuable reference book you can recommend to other writers?

Donna: The Synonym Finder, by J I Rodale.

NMRW: When you face adversity with your writing, what keeps you going?

Donna: This is a good question and one I thought I’d skip, but changed my mind. It’s easy to write when everyone around is supportive, but quite different when they aren’t. The important thing to remember is who are you writing for? In my case, I write because I love it, not because I need validation, although it’s nice when it happens. I’ve been lucky with my editors. All of them are supportive and encouraging. Nothing helps an author more than to have their editor call and ask if you’ve written anything new.

NMRW: Have you published novels, e-novels and or short stories? When was your first book published? What are the titles and genres/subgenres and who published them and when?

Donna: My first book, a Scottish medieval was released in January of 2000, followed by a second English medieval 2001. Both were with Kensington. I next published with Five Star Expressions and they published three western historical in 06, 07, and 08. A Five Star Expression Contemporary in 09 and my historical fantasy is due out in May of this year. I have also had 3 of my previously published acquired for e-books.
NMRW: Are you open to other writers contacting you by email with specific questions or to seek advice?

Donna: I’m always available to other writers, especially if they have questions about weapons-both modern day and in historic. I’ve raised, trained and bred Arabian horses, and ridden all over New Mexico on trail rides, and shown extensively. One spring, I helped deliver 23 foals, so I have some knowledge on that as well. I’m happy to answer questions about horses, their behavior, conformation/ anatomy and the gear a rider needs as well as saddles and tack.

NMRW: Thanks, Donna, for taking time out from your day to do this interview and answer the questions. I’ll look forward to the release of The Dragon’s Secret in May.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Contest News

Recent contest results for New Mexico romance writers...

~*~   ~*~   ~*~


Sherri Buerkle tied for 2nd in the Young Adult category with Mist on Water
Laurie Green tied for 2nd in Paranormal/TT/Futuristic category with P2PC 

~*~   ~*~   ~*~


Laurie Green finaled in the Specialized category with Outer Planets

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Any other New Mexico romance writers who are contest finalists or placers?  Let us know so we can share the good news! 

Monday, February 8, 2010

Interview with Sarah Baker

For our first New Mexico Romance Writers blog interview, we have Sarah Baker, aka Sarah Storme (romance), S. H. Baker (mysteries) and Lydia Parks (erotica/erotica romance). Sarah is a former president of the local RWA chapter in New Mexico, LERA (Land of Enchantment Romance Authors) and has been a member of the group for approximately eleven years.

NMRW: Sarah, let’s start off with a little about you. Where are you originally from?

Sarah: I grew up in New Orleans, but as a government employee, I've lived all over the place from Alaska to Georgia.

NMRW: What brought you to NM?

Sarah: Work. I'm a civil engineer for the Feds.

NMRW: How long have you been writing and what got you started?

Sarah: I've been writing novel-length fiction since Thanksgiving of 1997. (I know because I checked my spreadsheet. What can I say? I'm an engineer.) I started out writing short stories on the Internet for fun in the early 1990's when the Net was young. One of the people who read my work was a New York editor, and she suggested I write a romance novel. Good thing I listened to her!

NMRW: Where are you likely to be when you’re not writing?

Sarah: Asleep, at work, spending time with my family, signing books, or talking about writing.

NMRW: Any favorite TV shows or films that inspired you or your work?

Sarah: Forever Knight, a vampire show before its time, got me started writing short stories. I've had vampires hanging around since then.

NMRW: Do you have any "practice" novels or stories hidden away in your basement or trunk?

Sarah: Oh, yes, I have quite a few hidden on my hard drive. My second novel was the first one published, but not before I'd written several more, many of which haven't sold.

NMRW: What writers clubs, associations or groups did you join before you were published? Were any of them particularly helpful? Have you ever founded, chartered or served as an officer for any club or group?

Sarah: The first group I joined was the Land of Enchantment Romance Authors (LERA), our local chapter of the Romance Writers of America (RWA). At my first meeting, I found out about 4 or 5 major things I was doing incorrectly. If not for LERA, I can't imagine I would ever have been published. I've been fortunate enough to serve as President, Vice President, web mistress, conference chair, and contest chair (twice). I'm now the Ex-President.

NMRW: Do you have favorite authors who inspire you, or whom you idolize?

Sarah: I have several authors who seem to think I'm stalking them. Does that count? First, there's James Lee Burke, who writes the very best Louisiana I've ever read. He writes the good and the bad, and pulls no punches. I always hear people I know in his dialogue. And then there's David L. Robbins, who is an absolutely amazing writer. The first book of his that I read, Last Citadel, took my breath away at least a dozen times during every chapter. The man knows how to build characters! But I'm inspired by nearly every author I read, and I read a lot. We have amazing, inspiring authors all over the place in New Mexico.

NMRW: What romance genre, subgenre or niche genre is your “specialty?” What other genres do you/or do you plan to write?

Sarah: My most popular books are erotic romance/erotica starring vampires and shape-shifters, but I also write contemporary romance and have a mystery series set in the 1920s in southwest Louisiana (The Dassas Cormier Mystery Series). At the moment, I'm working on a romance set in the distant future, and have a proposal out for a sci-fi vampire. I'm willing to try almost anything, except maybe historical. I love to read historicals, but my memory isn't good enough to write them.

NMRW: Which of your main characters is your favorite and why?

Sarah: I have a few main characters I really like. In the mysteries, it's Dassas Cormier. He's such a charmer, and has a good heart. My favorite vampire is either Nathan Cotton (from the Nathan Cotton series of erotica, published by eXtasy Books) or Griffin (from Shadow Lover published as a Nocturne Bite). They're both full of attitude, and each discovers a soft spot for a special woman. Oh, and then there's Sam and Allie in The Long Way Home, Diana and Thad in Strength of a Promise, and Lizabeth and Jeremy in Carved in Stone. Okay, I'll admit I have special feelings for most of my characters. Once they start talking in my head, which is required in order for me to write a book, they never completely leave me.

NMRW: Do you have a favorite line or lines from a past or upcoming book that you’d like to share?

Sarah: One of my characters once told me, "If you ain't havin' fun, you're just wastin' space." I've taken that to heart.

NMRW: When you face adversity with your writing, what keeps you going?

Sarah: A quote from the movie Galaxy Quest: "Never give up, never surrender!" That's a wonderfully inspirational movie.

NMRW: What’s the one thing you’re most proud of related to your writing?

Sarah: I'm most proud of the letters I've gotten from readers who've told me that my writing made a difference in their lives. I can't think of anything more important than that.

NMRW: Have you published novels, e-novels and or short stories? When was your first book published? What are the titles and genres/subgenres and who published them and when?

I've written everything from short stories to novels for a few publishers. My first book, Emily, Again (a romance), was published by Warner Books in 2001. I have erotic romances published by Kensington's Aphrodisia, Silhouette's Nocturne, and eXtasy Books, romance with Five Star, Echelon Press, Zumaya Publications, and Awe-Struck Ebooks, and mystery with Zumaya Publications and Echelon Press. I think that's it.

NMRW: Do you do book signings? How often? Do you travel to other areas or stay close to home?

Sarah: I love to do book signings, and I enjoy talking to writers groups. I'll be talking at the Southwest Writers conference in Albuquerque in February, the NOLA Written in the Stars conference in Louisiana in March, signing books at Borders in Albuquerque in April, talking at a Southwest Writers meeting in May, and talking to the local Sisters in Crime group (Croak & Dagger) in September. At least, that's my schedule so far.

NMRW: Any advice you can share with aspiring authors?

Sarah: Not everyone who wants to get published will, but you'll definitely never get published if you give up. Furthermore, if you don't love writing, find something you truly enjoy, because writing isn't always easy.

NMRW: Do you have an upcoming release? What is the expected release date and who is the publisher?

Sarah: I have a few things in the works. I just turned in a very hot fireman novella for Aphrodisia (Kensington), and a shape-shifter set in New Mexico for Nocturne Bites (Silhouette). I don't have titles on either, because we haven't even started revisions. They will most likely come out in 2011. Also in 2011, I expect the fifth volume in the The Dassas Cormier Mystery Series (by S. H. Baker), "The Cold Hand," to be released. I'm worried about that one. It looks like one of the major characters is in jeopardy. (sigh) I also have a few other proposals out there, but I'm not ready to talk about them just yet. Because 2010 looks like it might be a little slow for me, I have more time to run around and participate in writers conferences and author events, so that's a good thing.

NMRW:  Do you also have a website, Twitter or Facebook presence? How active are you?

Sarah:  I have several websites and social networking sites:

http://www.sarahstorme.com/
http://www.sarahstorme.blogspot.com/
Facebook: Sarah Hanberry Baker
Twitter: sarahstorme

http://www.lydiaparks.com/
http://www.lydiaparks.blogspot.com/
Facebook: Lydia Parks
Twitter: LydiaParks

http://www.shbaker.com/

As you can see by the dates on my blogs, I'm not as active as I should be. My goal this year is to focus down to a few key sites and keep up with them. I plan to use my blogs in place of newsletters.

NMRW: Any last thoughts you’d like to mention about you or your work?

Sarah: I can't tell you how fortunate I feel to be a published author. One thing I've learned, though, is that you never stop learning. I hope that in some way I'm able to help others find their paths to their dreams, because there's nothing like it.

NMRW: Thanks so much, Sarah, for taking the time out from your very busy schedule to do this interview for New Mexico Romance Writers blog.  We very much appreciate you sharing your experience and knowledge with other romance writers in New Mexico.  We'll look forward to your upcoming releases.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Rebuilding

I just built a new web site. Building something new is an interesting idea right now. Two night ago, my mother's condo was destroyed in a fire (read: she left the building with nothing but what she was wearing. No shoes). Don't worry; she has insurance, and everything will be replaced. My mother doesn't care a lot about "stuff".This is the third time in her life my mother has lost everything: first time was when she left Hungary with nothing but the clothes on her back and my father; second was when my father died and within the space of a year she was robbed and then her house was seriously damaged in an earthquake; and now this.

But all the photos, mementos, and tangible memories are gone. We'll be able to replace some things, but the beret my father wore (they all wore berets in Eastern Europe then) when they left Hungary is gone, as is my baby book and the old family photos. But they aren't important. She is safe and unhurt. And we will rebuild.

That it happened in the same week as the Haiti earthquake puts many things into perspective. But they will also rebuild. With help and money and other aid, but I have no doubt they will rebuild. That's what we humans do. These trying times bring out the best and worst of human behavior.

I choose to focus on the best.

And rebuild.
--Gabi Stevens