Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Rules of a Romance Novel

I am half way through the final book of The Curse Keepers Series by Denise Grover Swank and I am digging it. It is good so far. Action packed just like I like em. I love it when the characters have to work for their happy ending. 
Did you know, if a book does not have a happy ending is cannot be considered a romance? This is somewhat logical in form, but not all great romances have a happy ending. Look at Casablanca, if it is not a romance how else would you classify it? Or the story of Cleopatra, even Romeo and Juliet, neither of these have a happy ending but are still considered romantic in nature. One of my favorites, Camelot, one of the most romantic stories of all time is not considered a romance because Guinevere winds up in a convent, while Lancelot and Arthur go off to war.
Now if we really want to analyze the structure of modern day romance, let’s talk about LGTB romance. Many times these titles are not even categorized as romance. They are subjugated and broken off into their own little genres, happy ending or not.
Another rule is the “only have eyes for you” scenario, there cannot be another love interest in the story so that eliminates the love triangle.
Another apparent rule, that I was surprised about, is POV, apparently we shouldn’t care what the hero thinks as the POV of the heroine is the focus. Personally I am going to snark at this rule, as I am a reader who likes to know what is going on in the hero’s head. I want to know that he is holding back and why or that he is pining for her. That to me is one of the best parts of a romance novel. What is not said between the two characters and that only the reader knows.
I know, I know, how I dare snub my nose to the romance gods! Well, sorry, I am a reader and a writer. I write what I want to read. Sometimes it includes the “rules” and sometimes it doesn’t.

True love doesn’t always play by the rules, why should I?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Zombieland of Book Titles

So I was watching Zombieland, great movie, and I was inspired! If you have never seen the movie, zombies have taken over the country and four survivors meet and travel together, kicking serious zombie ass. The main character makes this list, the rules of how to survive Zombieland. So I thought why not make the ‘rules’ of picking a book title.
Okay here we go, in particular order, feel free to add on…

Don’t be cliché but don’t be too abstract - One of my pet peeves is when a book has a title that says one thing and content that is another. You can always tell when someone is overly dramatic with the title…you know what I am talking about.

Google it before you choose itperfect example, my first book is entitled Serenity Lost. Well there are several challenges here, apparently there is a rock band by that name. There is also the television show Serenity. So every time you type in Serenity Lost all of this other stuff comes up. Then there is the second book, Veiled Deception, yeah…there is another book with the exact same name and by a bigger author. Suck!

Hook ‘emYour title is as important as the blurb or the cover itself. It needs to grab attention and work with the cover to make you want to pick up the book.

Don’t pull your hair out, it will comepicking a title can be one of the most frustrating parts of the process. Sometimes I have the title before the book, other times the book remains untitled until the very last moment. Either way, you will find it, and sometimes in the most unexpected ways. It is different for everyone.

Make sure you love itIt is your book, your name, your heart and soul. Do not skimp on the name. It is a representation of your work. (no pressure or anything…lol!)

Be prepared to change itIt will happen. You will have the PERFECT title and then someone says no. Or you have to take the one book and make it into three. This has happened to me twice now! Lol! Trust Me turned into Serenity Lost, Veiled Deception, & Jaded Promises. Dead Air turned into Shockwave, Backlash, & Fallout.

All of this is nothing you don’t already know. Writing a book is not an easy thing to create and build. It takes blood, sweat, tears, passion, and heart. Number one rule, above everything else, go with your gut it will never do you wrong.

Friday, March 6, 2015

For Fun -- Baby It's Cold Outside

Baby, It's Cold Outside 

I really can't stay - Baby it's cold outside
I've got to go away - Baby it's cold outside
This evening has been - Been hoping that you'd drop in
So very nice - I'll hold your hands, they're just like ice

My mother will start to worry - Beautiful, what's your hurry?
Father will be pacing the floor - Listen to the fireplace roar
So really I'd better scurry - Beautiful, please don't hurry
Maybe just a half a drink more - Put some records on while I pour

The neighbors might think - Baby, it's bad out there
Say, what's in this drink? - No cabs to be had out there
I wish I knew how - Your eyes are like starlight now
To break this spell - I'll take your hat, your hair looks swell

I ought to say no, no, no - Mind if I move in closer?

At least I'm gonna say that I tried - What's the sense in hurting my pride?
I really can't stay - Baby don't hold out
Ah, but it's cold outside

I've got to get home - Oh, baby, you'll freeze out there
Say, lend me your coat - It's up to your knees out there
You've really been grand - Thrill when you touch my hand
Why don't you see - How can you do this thing to me?

There's bound to be talk tomorrow - Think of my life long sorrow
At least there will be plenty implied - If you caught pneumonia and died
I really can't stay - Get over that hold out
Ah, but it's cold outside
Oh, baby, it's cold outside

Oh, baby, it's cold outside

written by Frank Loesser in 1944

Frank Loesser (June 29, 1910 – July 28, 1969) was an American songwriter who wrote the lyrics and music to the Broadway hits Guys and Dolls and How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, among others. He won separate Tony Awards for the music and lyrics in both shows, as well as sharing the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the latter. He also wrote numerous songs for films and Tin Pan Alley, many of which have become standards, and was nominated for five Academy Awards for best song, winning once, for "Baby, It's Cold Outside".

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Sky’s the Limit for Superheroes

A common saying for those who are driven to do all they can. The ambitious of the species often live by the saying, and theoretically it is true. Theoretically. As an author I am always pushing myself to be ahead of the curve, to not rest on my lollies, and keep moving. I am all about momentum. I know if I want to be a success there is never going to be a time where there is nothing to do. There are always new opportunities for growth and if you do not grab them when they appear you will miss out.  I think we all live by the same philosophy but then there is reality. I am human. You are human and there are only so many hours in the day. So many projects one can work on until things fall apart.

I got an email with an amazing opportunity this evening. One that I would gladly hop on to if I had the time to commit to it. Unfortunately, there is no way, with my current schedule of projects. I must say I am really disappointed as I would have loved to been a part of such an amazing opportunity. Not only to sell books, but to work with someone I really respect. So much so, I want to send them an email stating how much I want to participate. 
So is this an opportunity lost? It might feel like it right now, but I have to trust in the choices I have already made.

Could I try to do it by spreading myself so thin that I lose my mind and then fail miserably? Sure but I do not want to do that. If I were to sign on to this project (or attempt to, there is no guarantee that they would even accept me) I would want to give it 110% and I just do not have that much to give.

Sometimes it is better to walk away and this is a hard thing to learn. Sometimes you have to just say no, because it is not the right time. I don’t want to say no, I personally want to do it all! I admit it, I want to do it all, but I can’t. No matter how much I want to be superwoman, I am not.
If I build it they will come – If I keep steady and move forward the opportunities will come and next time I might be able to grab it.

Everything happens for a reason there is a purpose to everything and I need to trust that and myself.