Sunday, January 30, 2011


Romance writers take a lot of flack and much mockery. One of my daughter's friends said she thought it was cool that her mother wrote smut, joking I assume. I also assume she'd never read my books which by today's standards contain fairly tame sex scenes. To me, the story and characters are everything, and the sex just something two contemporary people in love would do. And I can handle a little kidding.

But recently something more unsettling happened to me as I attended a meeting totally unrelated to writing. We were there to critique each other's art. When I finished showing my paintings and getting advice, I mentioned my new book, Wish for a Sinner, had come out and passed around a copy. No hope of sales there. None of them bought the first book. For artists, they are remarkably conservative.

Then, the next person took the floor. She announced proudly she had nothing new to show as she had been busy working for the Tea Party and handed around some scribbles from her notebook and a paperdoll she had cut from the page of a book. She said the book was garbage and so she'd cut it up. All this time, I kept my outraged former librarian lips zipped. Furthermore, she said, she'd burned a pile of books she considered garbage in her fireplace. Okay, that set me off. I had to ask why she didn't simply donate them to the library booksale as other people might have enjoyed them since there are all kinds of tastes in reading. She replied she wanted no one else to read them and so what if I thought she was a censor. I said, "Of the very worst kind." "What if someone burned a piece of your work that had taken you months to create, how would you feel?" I asked. She said she wouldn't care if they'd paid the price - but somehow I doubt this.

We live in scary times. I can take some teasing about writng romance where the endings are always happy. I think we need happy endings more than ever when some people believe it is their right to burn books.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Christmas Presents, Christmas Past

Last December, I blogged about what writers want most for Christmas. I got several of my wishes this year - like a computer keyboard that works on both sides so I can now use the cap lock again to type titles. Goals for a Sinner came out in April and people are actually reading my book. Then, Santa arrived again on Christmas Eve and announced that the sequel, Wish for a Sinner, had been posted in e-book form, Fictionwise, and All Romance e-books with the softcover to follow in January. Already elated, I opened my next e-mail from the good women at L & L Dreamspell and found a contract attached for my next book, Queen of the Mardi Gras Ball, a 1920's era historical with romantic elements. Could Christmas get any better?

Yes. Another e-mail informed me that my niece had given birth around eleven p.m. on Christmas Eve, mother and son doing fine. She went into labor at the church service while singing Joy to the World. In fact, her water broke right there in the chapel. Not only will she have a great story to embrarrass her son, but you know it will turn up in one of my books some day.

Right after Christmas, we left for a trip. I left behind my latest WIP, a Regency titled Lion in the Heather, within 5,000 words of completion and a list of things I needed to do as a writer upon return. The list: Order post cards for Wish for a Sinner, Submit a short story to an e-anthology, Fill in Author Profile on Amazon, finally, and oh, finish my book. Day five of the new year. How many of these items have I ticked off - none. Great end to 2010. Slow start to 2011. But I wouldn't mind having another Christmas just like this one.