April 30, 2012

Conflict and Chemistry

Yesterday, as I sat in the jurors waiting room doing my civic duty and reading most of the day, I read the second book in the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy by E.L. James.  I'm not a big erotica fan, but this author's quick rise to stardom has been fascinating to watch. Almost like the "Twilight Series." I read the first book, and I have to admit I enjoyed the characters tremendously.

April 26, 2012

Liese Sherwood-Fabre on How My Children Became Bilingual




How My Children Became Bilingual

I met my husband when I was studying at the National University in Mexico City one summer. One day on a city bus, I recognized another woman from the school and struck up a conversation with her. She was planning a birthday party and set me up with one of her boyfriend’s friends. Four years later, I married my one and only blind date. I was still in graduate school when we married, and my husband wanted to pursue an MBA while I completed my doctorate. Because he had to sharpen his language skills to pass his English test, we spoke that language at home. When the children came along a few years later, we found ourselves drifting into English out of habit.

Early in our marriage, my husband and I jokingly worried our children would speak Spanish like me and English like their father. Since we primarily spoke English as home, we truly didn’t have to worry about that language, but they might have not developed their Spanish skills had we not moved out of the country when they were still young.

April 24, 2012

Get to Know: Karina Fabian & Live and Let Fly


A Big PP Welcome to Karina Fabian as she kicks off her Live and Let Fly Tour!

Karina Fabian
After being a straight-A student, Karina now cultivates Fs: Family, Faith, Fiction and Fun. From an order of nuns working in space to a down-and-out faerie dragon working off a geas from St. George, her stories surprise with their twists of clich├ęs and incorporation of modern day foibles in an otherworld setting. Her quirky twists and crazy characters have won awards, including the INDIE book award for best fantasy (Magic, Mensa and Mayhem), an EPPIE award for best sci-fi (Infinite Space, Infinite God) and a Mensa Owl for best fiction (World Gathering), and top placer in the Preditor and Editor polls. In May 2010, her writing took a right turn with a devotional, Why God Matters, which she co-wrote with her father. Mrs. Fabian is former President of the Catholic Writer’s Guild and also teaches writing and book marketing seminars online.


April 19, 2012

Meandering Down Memory Lane

This is my last full week at home on maternity leave, and I’ve been a crazy person. All the projects which have sat around for a year (or more) as they waited patiently for me to “get them done while I’m on maternity leave” are now looming over me, accusing me of being a serial procrastinator. The clock is ticking on my time off, and I’m suddenly gripped by a manic compulsion to wrap up all the half-finished jobs.

April 17, 2012

Newbie's Guide to Writing: How to Finish The Damn Book

by Michelle Miles

Last month, I talked about finishing the damn book. I hope that post motivated you to get out of your own way and start writing to the finish line. Part of writing is the ability to complete a project, edit it, submit it and move on. But if you’re having difficulty finding a way to finish that book, the maybe you need some help. Don’t be a fence-sitter. Here are five tips to help you jump off that fence and get back to the keyboard.

1. Treat it like a job. You want to write. You call yourself a writer. But it’s the last thing on your to-do list every day. This does not a writer make. I realize how difficult it is to carve out that writing time when you have a full time job, a family, etc. When dance classes and sports take over your life. When you have to answer for The Man from 8 to 5. But if you never treat it like a job, your future career, you will never make it a full time job. Even if you only write 15 minutes a day, you should be doing it every day.

2. Set yourself a daily goal and stick to it. Figure out what your schedule is for writing. Do you write best in the morning? At night whenever the household has gone to bed? Carve out that time and stick to it. For me, I write on my lunch hour at work. I take my lunch every day and sit in the restaurant in the building and hammer out the words on my keyboard. Maybe that doesn’t work for you. And if not, you have to figure out what does. Most important: try to do it at the same time every day. It will be a way to train your brain when Creative Time is.

3. Make your writing time sacred. Tell the family to bug off while you write. Okay, maybe not in so many words but you get my drift. Tell them this is your dream and you will do anything to follow it. Don’t feel guilty for not spending every second of every day with the husband and kids. They’ll understand and get it. The point is, don’t allow anyone to interfere with that sacred writing time, be it 15 minutes or 60 minutes.

4. Allow yourself to write crap. If you’re just starting out, know that your words are not golden. In fact, they most likely will suck. It’s okay to suck. You will suck until you learn the craft. You will suck right now but probably not later. Tell yourself this is okay. Puke out those words on the page and keep going. You can always edit it later. If you keep writing and working and learning, you will get better. I promise!

5. Don’t stop believin’. Journey said it best. Don’t stop. Ever. Believe in yourself. Believe in your writing and never give up. No matter how many rejections you get.

Michelle Miles writes contemporary, paranormal and fantasy romance. You can find out more about her books at her website and follow her on Twitter @MichelleMiles.

April 12, 2012

Get to Know: Tonya Kappes

Welcome, Tonya, to the PP!! and congratulations on The Tricked Out Toolbox.







We can't wait to get to know more.



Seriously, do you see those snuggy commercials?





As a matter of fact, someone gave me a snuggy as a joke for Christmas. . .and one size does not fit all. I began thinking about this concept and how it relates to marketing and promoting books.

April 10, 2012

MOOD MUSIC by Kathy Ivan

Do you write to music? I normally don't. With my day job as a medical transcriptionist, I have headphones on pretty much all day long, with doctors droning on and on about diseases and procedures and all manner of things medical. So when it comes time to write, I like the sounds of silence around me. But, I do like to set a mood to get me ready to write.

But for some reason I've been really paying attention to the words of songs recently. Some songs seem like they're just words and music strung together to a tempo or beat that gets your feet moving, but doesn't really inspire anything more. Other songs can tell complete stories within a short 4 minute span of time and capture the imagination.

I'll be honest, most of the time I'm listening to country music. Occasionally will throw in some older rock (60s and 70s stuff mostly). But I've got a real soft spot for a man who can belt out a great song. (Don't get me started on the old musicals--Give me Howard Keel any day of the week and I'm a happy, happy girl.) Combine the tune and the words all coming together to tell a story and my mind begins forming all kinds of ideas for novellas, books, or just individual scenes. Somehow it all works.

A favorite song (and singer) of mine is this: (Not the greatest video but just listen to that voice and the words--the song is wonderful)

April 9, 2012

Kathy Ivan AWARDED for Desperate Choices


CONGRATULATIONS TO PLOTTING PRINCESS,
KATHY IVAN! 

Joyfully Reviewed named Desperate Choices best picked by reviewers as 2011 best read!!!

April 6, 2012

PP AWARDED SUNSHINE AWARD!

Patti Yager Delagrange nominated the Plotting Princesses blog the Sunshine Award. We are honored she thinks so highly of us!


Here's a few THINGS about the PP GALS:

Favorite Color:  The glittery colors of silver and gold like on our tiaras

Favorite Book:  We love all books, who could pick just one!

Favorite Food:  The PP gals love food, wine, and especially chocolate.

Favorite word: All words are wonderful.  A favorite word is "published." 

Favorite Flower: We adore flowers, especially when given for a writing milestone.

Best Experience: Seeing our "babies" published.

Thank you, Patti, for nominating us!

April 5, 2012

New Princess Here!


Hello! *waving* Thanks for having me on the blog today. As one of the newer Princesses, Kathy sent me some interview questions to help me get to know all you loyal Plotting Princess followers! Yay for interview questions. Here's hoping my answers are interesting, if not charming.

How did you get from your day job to writing romance?
I’d always written, here and there. But I started, devoting most of my free time to my demanding characters, about 2 1/2 years ago. Writing helped me through a period of transition and grief – it helped me cope in a productive way.

What are your three favorite books of all time? I’m going to mention my 3 favorite romance novels – I have too many books that I loveOutlander – Diana GabaldonHeather and Velvet – Teresa MedeirosLily of the Nile (Song of the Nile too) – Stephanie Dray – she’s up for a RITA this year by the way (fingers crossed)

Morning, afternoon, or evening person?As a mom of four – I’m an ANYTIME writer.

Music--with or without? What kind?I believe in the power of a book soundtrack. For my Hollywood Contemporaries – I stick with Nora Jones, Michael Buble, that kind of stuff. For my Romantic Fantasies I use movie soundtracks – Gladiator, Immortals, Spartacus, you know, epic, moody stuff. I need music to really hammer out the pages.

First or third POV?Interestingly enough – contemporary in 1st and fantasy in 3rd. Don’t know why – it’s just worked that way so far.

April 2, 2012

What Kind of Stories Do You Like To Read?

As a writer, I'm often asked how I get my ideas. I wish I could say, a bolt of lightening jolts me out of my everyday life, and I'm delivered a brilliant idea with a full blown plot. I can't say that's ever happened to me, and usually my plots evolve. I get a small germ of an idea and then I start trying to figure out how to express that thought, what kinds of characters and what turning points are going to express my theme. And theme...that doesn't usually appear until after the first draft.

But the reason I tell you this is because I recently realized that many of my stories are about brides or weddings. Here, are just a few of my "Bride" stories. There is A Scarlet Bride, The Burnett Brides - The Rancher, The Burnett Brides - The Outlaw, and The Burnett Brides - The Marshall. I also wrote The Wanted Bride, which I hope to have available June 1. It seemed like an appropriate time of the year for that book.




It kind of surprised me that I'd written so many stories about brides. Then I remember the series I wrote based on three women who all learn they are married to the same man within the first five pages of the book.
Recently, I've been tackling a secret baby book, and I thought that was different for me, until I realized that I'd already written one secret baby book.

Many times as a writer we're looking for unusual plots, but find we're writing the same plots with a different twist. According to one book I read there are only twenty plots in the world and all of our stories are based on these twenty plots.