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Showing posts from November, 2011

Holidays at the Harper House or "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Stuffing."

I have posted one of my favorite weird holiday stories at my blog, Nice Girls Don't Write Naughty Books.

We Got Some Nominees Up in Here!

It's been a banner month for the League of Reluctant Adults.
Romantic Times posted their Reviewers' Choice Award nominees. Dudes, the League scored a bunch of nominations!
Best UF Protagonist: Nicole Peeler's TEMPEST'S LEGACY Jaye Wells's GREEN-EYED DEMON Diana Rowland's MY LIFE AS A WHITE TRASH ZOMBIE Jeanne C. Stein's CROSSROADS
Shapeshifter Romance: Molly Harper's HOW TO FLIRT WITH A NAKED WEREWOLF Michele Bardsley's MUST LOVE LYCANS
Paranormal Romance: Michele Bardsley's NEVER AGAIN
Congratulations to all the nominees, both Leaguers and non-Leaguers alike. For the complete list of nominations, check out the Romantic Times site.
Also, as some of you know, the Goodreads Choice awards is also going on. Kevin Hearne's HOUNDED made it to the semi-final round. Richelle Mead's SUCCUBUS REVEALED made made it to the final round of the Best Paranormal Fantasy novels of 2011.
But this is only a hint of things to come. I predict that 2012 will be the yea…

Snow White and the Competition

It seems like when Hollywood comes up with a big idea, more than one studio wants in on the action. The latest "competing" movies seem to be the Snow White movies. Two of 'em. One dark and gritty (Snow White and the Huntsman), the other more of a parody (Mirror, Mirror).

Competing evil queens: Charlize Theron vs. Julia Roberts. (Frankly, I think Ms. Theron easily edges Ms. Roberts out in the "fairest" category).

Competing Snow Whites: Twilight's Kristen Stewart vs. Some Actress I Don't Know.

Between the two of these, and based on the trailers, I'm more interested in Snow White and the Huntsman. However, the director of Mirror, Mirror is responsible for one of my favorite, visually stunning movies of all time, The Cell. So we'll see.

Based on these trailers, which do you think will be the winningest version of Snow White in 2012?



What Next?

Soooo... NaNoWriMo is now halfway through. This is my first time. Yes really. I was a NaNoWriMo virgin until this year.

Why?

Because I didn't even know there was such a thing until after my first novel was published. And then I found that I was usually in the revision process when everyone else was diving into their NoWri and heading for the 50,000 word finish line, recorded in diligent little blog posts and complaining. This was before Twitter and G+ of course. And maybe even before FaceBook. Yes, it's been such a short time and so much has happened....

What hasn't changed is this: it's still a process which results in (we hope) 50,000 words of story recorded for whatever posterity you choose to reference. Well, it might be more if you've been extra busy and very very clever, not to mention a fast typist with a lot of time on your hands. (And if you are any of these, I hate you.) In A Month! (Yeah, That's a lot in not a lot of time and don't believe anyone w…

Dr. Peeler's Five Laws of Nanowrimo!

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Howdy folks! I'm doing Nanowrimo this year, and I thought I'd share my thoughts on how to engage with National Novel Writing Month successfully.

"But you haven't even finished successfully, Dr Peeler," readers may be thinking. "You are only halfway done!"

This is true. But what I've noticed these first two weeks is that Nanowrimo is mostly what writers do, when they're on deadline. A few thousand words a day is not much for us, especially if we write genre fiction. On Twitter, writers with contracts for 3-4 books a year (a pretty standard number for those who actually make a living writing) often talk about writing five thousand or more words per day.

And that's partly why I like Nanowrimo as a learning experience for aspiring writers. It's nice to think of writing as this wonderful enterprise where one sits in a puddle of sun, scribbling and laughing and eating bonbons. The truth is much uglier, oftentimes a bit smellier, and definitely in…

Writing for Myself

One of the interesting things about being published is that your words aren't always your own. Or your time, really. Before I had a contract I could write whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Silly stories, or smutty bits of fanfic, huge posts in online role-playing games - the writing was "just for fun." Except when I got serious and started pushing toward what I needed to do for publication.

And the thing is, I got my contract very quickly. A Brush of Darkness was my first real attempt at getting published (though I hadn't really meant it to be - it was supposed to be my "learner" book. Fate is odd that way, I suppose.)

But one of the trade-offs to that is that I don't have a trunk full of additional manuscripts I can pull from. I'm writing as I go - which means contracted work comes first, even if I get struck with inspiration for something else. And clearly, every author is different. I'm a slow writer and I've got all that "Real J…

To err is who man

We all make typos. There's no getting around it. If you're human and type a lot, you will make typos. That's what beta readers and editors are for. Plus, in this day and age, you've always got a spellchecker handy to flag your mistakes for you. It's kind of hard to let a typo slide if Microsoft Word tells you in red that you spelled something wrong.

Unless, of course, your typo isn't misspelled. This is a problem I have all the time. When I'm typing quickly, I substitute words that sound like the word I intended to type. It's like my brain is hooked on phonics. And I don't mean I have a homonym problem. I know when to use they're and their, cast and caste, etc. No, I substitute words that sound *like* the word I intended--but not exactly like it. Like so:

I arrived at seven on the doubt.

Yeah. I probably don't need to tell you that I intended to use "dot" there. This one's obvious too:

Our leaves depended on it.

That doesn't mak…

Best Names Ever

So I'm watching American Horror Story, and I have to say, the show has become addictive. It's unflinchingly dark, and extremely violent. I absolutely love what the writers are doing with the characters of Violet and Tate. And here's something that I thought was tres cool indeed:

Tate + Violet

Taint + Violent

See that? Isn't that AWESOME???

What other couple names from books, television shows, plays or movies can you think of are either intentionally or accidentally awesome plays on words?

The Story Muse

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In one of the more haunting issues of The Sandman by Neil Gaiman—#17 to be exact—there is a character named Richard Madoc who becomes cursed with more stories than he can possibly write down. Instead of facing writer’s block, he’s dealing with writer’s diarrhea, and he goes quite batshit as a result. It’s a fabulous issue, and completely terrifying in many respects to any author. I recommend it—as I recommend that whole series.

I have not yet achieved Richard Madoc’s level of batshit. But it does seem that I’m getting more ideas for stories than should be allowed. I’ve started several different ones in the past couple of weeks, all of them shiny and new, when I should be working on the book that’s under contract. I’ve been working on it too, of course—but the ideas keep coming. Since I’m kind of a slow writer, I get excited by 2-3,000 words per day when that’s pretty meh for most writers. (I tried writing with Nicole Peeler once. That was an exercise in humility. She wrote like 1,500…

Three things I never in my wildest dreams thought I'd need as a novelist

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Up until recently, the profession of novelist really hadn’t changed, well, for eons. In fact, until the past decade, it was a pretty backward-looking profession, which was something that made me eager to join it. 
Budding scientists and engineers aspire to do new things, but for most of my youth, I aspired to be like writers who lived decades before me. My picture of success was pretty old fashioned: a stack of books, and I would build that stack by working hard. And my computer was just a souped-up typewriter.

The last thing I thought I would want or need as a writer was a crystal ball! Who cares about the future? Que sera sera, biotches!   
Hah. That has totally changed. I've never been more obsessed with predicting the future as I am today as a writer of novels. I change my mind every other day about what my priorities should be in this crazy new climate. New and different things are important. Nobody agrees on anything except that things are changing. Will I make a decision today…

Write naked if you have to!

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We've made it to November. Whew! That means it's time for... NaNoWriMo! National Novel Writing Month. If you've got the novel-writing itch, then scratch it with NaNoWriMo.

This year I’m an official participant because I need to finish a work-in-progress. Right now, I’m what is charitably called “in-between-contracts,” which in industry parlance means I got bupkis in terms of book contracts.




This year my publishing credits were limited to a short story in the mystery anthology, You Don’t Have A Clue, and an essay in the collection, An Elevated View--Colorado Writers on Writing.







Since my last contract I’ve been fielding proposals--the first three chapters, an outline, and a synopsis--in hopes of scoring an advance before I have to write the whole manuscript. I got nibbles on three proposals with this caveat: the editors want to see the completed manuscripts. Ugh. So enough pounding my pud, time to finish one story and send it off. That’s where NaNoWriMo comes in. Do or die, bro…