Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Fresh Start in July

For many, the month of June has simply sucked; whether it be from doctor's appointments, or threats of trademark lawsuits, it's been a month to forget. I know that quite a few of my fellow authors are looking forward to a fresh start in July.
Perhaps that's why it's so fitting that July is when we celebrate Independence Day. Maybe I've been watching the hummingbirds that dart in and out of the sprinkler too long, but I feel that July will better.
First off, I have redecorated my bedroom with a new bedspread ensemble in lavender. I bought this ten piece set that included decorative pillows, from Anna's Linens for $30. A good price for something fresh and lightweight. Does anyone else find optimism in doing something as simple as redecorating a few items in a room? I know that for my mom, new throw pillows on the couch usually do it for her. Of course, some fresh carnations weekly also help.

Writing wise, I intend to start work on a new book. I'm not sure what I'm in the mood to write, but I'm sure it will be spicy. Must be a side effect from these 110 degree days. I still have the sequel to Love's Demon Ways to continue, and I have a futuristic/space opera book that I'd really love to finish. Ah, so many choices.
What are everyone's plans for July? Will you be making a fresh start?
Mary

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The 4 Steps to Take After Submitting a Book

You've submitted your book, now what?
I've submitted my newest book to a publisher, titled Bet on the Lady, and so now is the waiting game. I'll let you all know how it goes, but this moment got me thinking about the next steps in the process. How many new writers sit back with a sigh of relief and wait to hear a yea or nay back? I know I did as a newbie. But truthfully, now is the time to finish tying up the loose ends of your project.
It's time to get ahead of the work to be done if a publisher accepts your book. Below are a few key things that you'll want to have written up while your book is away at the publishers.
1.      Blurb – You've done the synopsis, so now it's time to get that blurb done while the story is fresh in your mind. It may take weeks or months to hear back from a publisher. Have the blurb written up and it'll save you time and panic.

2.      Tagline – This is typically a single sentence teaser of approximately 25 words or less.

3.      Cover Art – Eventually, your book will need a cover. Start thinking and writing down key components of your story that you might want shown on the cover, such as background setting. Take note of the physical description of your hero and heroine to convey later. Is there a certain cover or cover model that you like? Why not note the link in case the cover artist asks for an example.

4.      Excerpt – Pick your excerpt. Different publisher want different lengths, but an average of 100-200 words is a good place to start. You can always add to it or shave it down as needed.
Having these four things written up and ready to go will not only please your editor, publisher, and cover artist, but will benefit you as well. It takes a lot of the immediate stressing from you when the cover artist and such contact you. You're ready to go and that "may" get you an earlier release date. No guarantees, but it never hurts to be prepared.
So, I have my Tagline and I've written up my blurb for Bet on the Lady. This week, I'll be looking at the story to see what excerpts I might want to use. I have some great ideas for the cover art, and will need to get those written up this week as well.
After all this is done, I will continue work on one of my other WIPs. That way, I don't drive myself nuts worrying that the publisher hates the story. Lol. I think we've all been there before. It's good to keep the mind busy, so your thoughts don't turn on you. J
Does anyone else have any suggests on these 4 elements? Feel free to comment with great places to find cover art, or any other tips I may have neglected.
Mary Corrales

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Dirty Friday!

Happy Friday! Let's celebrate with a dirty little quickie to get you off to your weekend right. WARNING:  Adult Sexual Content. Enjoy!

SWALLOW
            "I'll drink until one of us is under the table," Bree declared.  
            "Fine, shots it is then." Tony motioned the waitress over and ordered them ten shots each of bourbon.
            The waitress returned in no time with dark amber liquid filling small glasses. Bree stared down at the shots and smiled. "You don't know what you're in for, lover."
            He grinned. "I think I can deal with anything you got, and still handle my liquor."
            "Are you inferring that you have the upper hand on me?"
            His eyes briefly traveled over her breasts, hidden from view by a dark blue t-shirt. The v-neck showed a considerable amount of cleavage as she wasn't a small busted woman. "Yeah, I can handle you, all right."
            Then their game began in earnest.
            By shot number four, she was grinning ear to ear at him. Oh, he thought her well and truly tanked, but not so. She felt the alcohol for certain, but she wasn't drunk yet. It just relaxed her enough to concede the shot game to him while still ensuring her own victory.
            "Ready to give in," he asked.
            Bree nibbled her top lip and then slowly slid under her side of the table. He didn't try to stop her, knowing by the slowness of her descent that she was doing it on purpose.
            He laughed when she disappeared completely. No one saw her as the long table cloth hid her from view. "I guess I win."
            She put a hand on each of his knees. "Yes, I did."  She reached forward, popping the top button of Tony's jeans. His whole body tensed. She wondered if he'd let her do what she intended.
            A pair of shoes to her left proclaimed the arrival of the waitress. Was she busted? "Can I get you anything else, sir?"
            Tony's voice came out smooth. "No, thanks. I think I'll just nurse the rest of these shots." After the waitress left, he said, "Damn. I didn't know what I was going to have to say if she asked about you. You better come up before I finish nursing these four shots."
Bree smiled. Without hesitation, she reached for the zipper of his jeans. "Sip slow. You'll know when I'm done."

Mary Corrales  ;-)

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Reason to Leave the Writing Cave

Romance authors love to spend their days writing. It's a perfect day when the pages fly by, the plot is ever deepening, and the sex makes us hungry for more.
I've experienced those days and they are magical. It's as if we enter our writing cave and step into the world of our books. Time has no meaning. I've gone several hours without food or something to drink when my fingers and imagination work together.
An interloper will receive a snarled welcome if they interrupt this time of creativity. Especially, if it's for something like dinner or sleep. Sex? Well, yeah, you might be able to coax us out for that, but only if it involves a back rub first. We like those. *cheeky grin*
Yes, authors can get lost in their own minds. That's why it's so important to have a support system. We need the family member that asks where dinner is, or better yet, to let us know that dinner is ready. Sometimes just a phone call that forces us to stand up and stretch our legs is good. 
Of course at the time these are interruptions might not be appreciated, but life isn't about living in your imagination. It's about living your life by succeeding at your chosen profession, and sharing those triumphs with family and friends.
One of the best times I ever had involved putting everything on hold for a Christmas party at my day job. I'd just sold my first book, was doing promotion work on the groups and elsewhere and thought it such an unnecessary intermission to go and socialize—even with friends. I'm not a social creature to begin with so staying home and working on the computer suited me just fine.
Instead, I went to the Christmas party and guess what? I ended up having an impromptu book signing. Several co-workers had bought my book and wanted autographs. The honor nearly brought me to tears. That's when I realized that life needed to be more for me than non-stop writing and publishing.
Celebrate your life and your chosen profession as an author by socializing. Go out with that friend to dinner or drinks. Spend the day at the mall with a family member, shopping and people watching.
Don't just let your characters experience the things you'd like to do…go do things for yourself. Just as we create characters, let us allow those characters to inspire us to be bold in our lives, to live without regret and experience the fullness that life has to offer.
What brings you out of your writing cave?
Mary
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Thursday, June 14, 2012

What does Flag Day mean to You?

Today is Flag Day; a day to celebrate our beautiful red, white and blue. Those stars and stripes are an inspiration to those in the U.S. and all around the world.
There is a reason that we give flags to those new residents of this country as they take their oath of citizenship. There is a reason that we drape the caskets of our honored soldiers with a flag.
The U.S. stars and stripes is a symbol of hope when we are lost and afraid, a symbol of freedom to those who've known only oppression, and a symbol of an honorable life to those who we mourn as fallen heroes.
Our flag is not just who we are as a nation, but a promise to the world that so long as those glorious colors fly high in the sky, we are unbreakable. We may squabble as individual states, but as a nation we stand proud, always ready to defend and protect.
So this Wednesday June 14, 2012, I will wear my Betty Boop t-shirt that has an American flag as the background to show my pride and joy in my flag and my country.
What does Flag Day mean to you? How will you celebrate Flag Day?
Mary Corrales


Monday, June 11, 2012

Does Submitting Get Easier?

No, we're not talking naughty sex today. Of course, you all know that's a subject, I can't stay away from for long, so you're all forewarned. Lol. Instead, let's talk submitting a book to a publisher.
It's that time again when I've finished a new novella and I'm just one, well written, synopsis away from submitting the story to a publisher. This new story is a contemporary romance with comedy, but more about that in a future post.
Recently, I saw a tweet on Twitter from a well established and successful erotic romance author, who was nervous as he made it through the first round of submissions at Ellora's Cave. Now, I might understand my own nervousness, as I consider myself still young as a published author, but him?
Why would a well established author be nervous?
Then I realized that no matter the success of the author, we all have that same fear of rejection. These are our creations, our masterpieces that we send into the world to be judged and hopefully accepted. We worry, is this story good enough? Will readers like it?
We, as the authors, are already bonded with the story and characters, but publishing is a business.
Publishers look at a book and decided whether Readers will like the book. Will this book sell well? Is this an author that might be good to work with? I'm sure there are dozens of other considerations a publisher might think over, those are just my personal few insights.
I know my time of nervous waiting is coming, when I've submitted my novella and I have to see whether a published will take it or not.
I know that should it be rejected, I'll hope for comments as to why, at the least. Not every editor that rejects a story will say why, but regardless, I'll send a quick thank you for their time and consideration. Common courtesy goes a long way in this business.
So next time you feel nervous about submitting a story to a publisher, remember that every author has been in your shoes. We've been, and will continue to be rejected, but perseverance and professionalism doesn't allow us to quit.
This is the life we've chosen. Our muses, our characters, they all must have their voices heard. We must respect our given talent enough to be brave and submit our work.
The only time I will ever embrace silence in my mind is when I'm dead.
Until then, I'll coax and prod my characters to tell me their stories in hopes of sharing these adventures with you, the romance reading community.  
My best to authors and readers alike!
Mary

Monday, June 4, 2012

Welcome to the Romance Author Lifestyle.

I am Mary Corrales, author and lifetime reader of romance novels. It is my greatest pleasure to create this first blog of my own after guest blogging for so many years. Believe me when I say, that I love every moment of guest blogging as I've met great readers through the comments on other blogs, and now it's time for me to venture out on my own. This blog is a work in progress as I'm just learning to use blogger on my own, so please be kind. :)

What is the Romance Author Lifestyle? I intend this blog to be about what we as romance authors experience; the triumphs and lows, the dreams and defeats, the parties and booksignings. The journey from reader to published author is a hard road with many pitfalls, but perservance can win the day.

I hope to share with you a little of the greatness that comes from living this lifestyle and why we choose to write in the wee hours of the morning or on napkins at lunch. It's the glorious addiction of delicious heros and passionate heroines.

Come and journey with me!

Mary Corrales

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