September 26, 2013
Hello, again, everyone.
Last time I blogged, I questioned whether blogging was on life support. You all responded with a resounding NO! I also told you what I like to see when I'm reading the blogs I personally follow, but I'd like to find out what YOU want to see when you're reading a blog.
What are you looking for? Here are my top 10 questions just for you.
1. Do you prefer more info on writing and craft-related topics or do you tend more toward reader-related stuff like posts on our dogs, vacations, wedding anniversaries, etc.
2. Do you prefer group blogs or are you looking more for individual blog site?
3. Do you follow blogs by your personal favorite authors or is most of your blog reading outside of the author/writer sphere and into other areas of interest?
4. How often do you like to see a blog published? Once a week? Twice a week? Every day?
5. Do you like to see authors post excerpts and/or upcoming scenes from their books? Do you like seeing a separate post whenever a new book is released?
6. Do you prefer an interactive blog where we do things like round robin writing where you as the reader get to participate or would you rather read what others have written?
7. How long do you think a blog post should be? 250 words? 500 word? 1000 words?
8. Do you like blogs to hold contests/giveaways (i.e. copies of books/e-books or gift cards—I'm not talking about huge prizes here those are usually handled outside the regular scope of blogging)?
9. Do you like having guest authors visit and answer questions about their books and where to get but or do you just skip over it when you see a guest author posting?
10. Finally and here's the big one: What would you like to see on the Plotting Princesses blog that we're not currently doing.
Here's you chance. Tell us what we can do to help make the site better, improve the content and keep you coming back every Tuesday and Thursday to spend your time with us. Let me know in the comment section.
Kathy Ivan writes hot sexy romances with lots of suspense and a dash of paranormal. She currently lives in Texas, where she'll do just about anything to avoid the heat. She's currently deep in her writing cave, plotting her next suspense-filled adventure. Her latest book, Losing Cassie, is available now.
September 24, 2013
Road to a Book
I remember the frustration at reading another bestselling author tell the story of inseparable childhood friends who drifted apart through the years and reunited after some personal crisis. As a woman who has maintained friendships with her best friends from school through the decades and across the states, I felt cheated.
So, fingers at the keyboard, I decided to write a book about women whose friendship withstood time and distance. Since I am a total pantser (an author who writes by the seat of her pants), all I knew at this point was that I had to have: at least three friends, a problem, a handsome hero, and a solution that will take 100,000 words to find! Oof I typed!
The fun thing about being a pantser is I'm as anxious to finish a book as my readers because I don't know how things will end until I get there. After months of typing, the input of many a critique partner, beta reader, advisor, editor, and even the occasional bark of approval from my four legged supporters, a book was born.
First title. All for One. Seemed fitting to follow the Three Musketeers, plus one. And the book finaled and won contests under that name. But alas, those in the know insisted the title was too boring. So we moved on to the second title: When the Bough Breaks. Seemed fitting to have a lullaby verse. With that title the book finaled in the prestigious Golden Heart contest. But alas, those in the know insisted it was still not right. Sigh.
Finally, I turned to my Plotting Princess friends. After all, the book is about friendship, support, and happily ever after. And the third and final title: The Champagne Sisterhood. (Tthank you, Liese.)
September 19, 2013
~And I Love Her~
Music and memories go hand in hand. The other day, I clicked on an easy-listening iTunes playlist I'd created, and the Beatles' song, And I Love Her, came up.
Once upon a time, I was a young single chick and was intrigued by several guys. I went on a casual night out with a friend I had stirrings of feelings for. I think he did too, but was afraid to act on them.
So we went to a show, and afterwards, we drove around town with the windows down. I pushed my long hair out of my eyes and let the moment take me away. At the end of the evening, this song came on. He turned to me and sang the whole thing. I part of me wanted to believe this meant more than just singing a song. But I'll never know. He didn't kiss me good night or utter another word. He dropped me off and drove away.
Not long after, I met another who chased me until he caught me. He couldn't and can't sing well, but he tries. LOL
Obviously, this was a strong memory because I remember it blanket-blank years later. And hearing the song makes me wonder whatever happened to that boy and a bit wonders what might have been.
Do you have a song that holds special memories for you?
Vicki Batman has had too much diet Coke today and switched to water while reminiscing over old tunes. Find her at: http://vickibatman.blogspot.com OR at http://plottingprincesses.blogspot.com. Find her funny short story collection, Little Birdie Who…and Other Stories at: Amazon - http://bookshow.me/B00AYOT9GS
September 17, 2013
I was watching a CBS Sunday Morning episode a few weeks ago and they had a spot about how America has turned into a bunch of slobs. I admit I was riveted to the piece because I couldn’t agree more. When did it become okay to wear pajamas and slippers to the grocery store? Or ripped up jeans?
And, along the same lines, there was a photo posted on Facebook of a woman wearing jeans that looked like they’d gone through a paper shredder. I think the comment was something along the lines of how silly she looked and how “fashion went wrong.” The woman also wore one of those tank tops with her bra straps hanging out.
This is a pet peeve of mine. I detest seeing women or girls running around in public with their bras and bra straps showing. This is not a peep show, ladies. It’s not sexy or cute. Please cover up.
And I dislike short-shorts, too. For the very obvious reasons that your butt cheeks hanging out is also NOT CUTE.
And PJs at the store? Come on.
There’s a college course at Notre Dame taught by professor of history and master dressmaker, Linda Przybyszewski, called “Nation of Slobs: The Art, Ethics and Economics of Dress in Modern America.”
The professor is quite passionate about teaching the proper form of dress and is very quietly trying to remove the slobs of America. I applaud her. I applaud that she makes every stitch of clothing she wears and that she uses vintage 1940s and 1950s patterns to do it.
I would totally take this class. I would love to see all her vintage patterns.
September 12, 2013
I love this sign! And what does it have to do with my blog today? Um, nothing much, but it cracks me up and is so true. Rather reminds me of a product I used to use, a shower cleaner where a bottle of cleaner went in a battery-powered holder. Push a button and voila, spray comes out and cleans your shower. Since this meant less work for me, I bought one as soon as it came out. Pretty soon I started noticing a warning on the bottle: This is not a body wash. Nah, REALLY? Can you picture that? Someone jumping in the shower, pushing the button and thinking the chemical cleaner would clean their body? Cracks me up. And what about the Do Not Use In Shower tags on hairdryers? Didn't we learn that electricity + water = very bad in Kindergarten?? Stupidity knows no limits.
Anyway, on to my take on social media. Does it help? Of course it does. Can you find readers in social media land? Sure you can. But this blog is for those of us who get shivers when we think of getting out there and marketing and promoting. Now, I know I'm not the only author out there that has to suck it up and promote even though I'd rather be reading or writing or even hand scrubbing the shower. Lots of other things to do besides try to come up with ideas for social media. And there are plenty of blogs, etc. about what to share/write about in online digital land.
September 11, 2013
And the newest PP is: Barb Han
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September 10, 2013
There’s a revolution going on in the publishing world. In just a few short years, e-book sales, especially in the romance genre, have climbed to almost fifty percent of the market. Brick and mortar book stores are closing, and those remaining are limiting their book shelf space. And authors are proudly publishing their own books.
When I first started writing, self-publishing was called ‘vanity’ publishing. If a writer was desperate enough to see her name on a book cover, she (or he) could pay to have their book printed, and sell it out of the trunk of their car. But these writers were not considered ‘real’ authors. A ‘serious’ writer waited months, years, to hear back from some New York publishing house hoping to win the brass ring—a publishing contract.
I was one of those few. I sold the first book I ever submitted to the first house I sent it to. Lucky? Absolutely. Sure, I had a good book. But I was also in the right place at the right time. A new line was opening, and I just happened to have a book that fit it.
September 5, 2013
The Plotting Princesses welcome special guest,
Jaye Garland, for an author interview today.
Take it away, Jaye!
How did you get from your day job to writing romance? The writing bug hit me when I was a young, stay-at-home-mom, but it didn’t take long to realize I had a lot to learn about getting the story that was in my head down on paper in such a manner that it made sense to the reader. Time passed. The kiddos grew up and one day the Hubster and I found ourselves living in Saudi Arabia. (Houston area is home, and he’s in the oil business.) I turned my time overseas into my very own graduate program on writing. We didn’t have Internet access the first four years, so those How-To books were my lifeline. When we repatriated, I came home with about 12 manuscripts in various stages of completion—and one full manuscript. Then, it was back to the day job. So, I kind of did things in reverse.
What are your three favorite books of all time? Without getting preachy, The Bible is a solid foundation for a good lifestyle. And, the stories are phenomenal. The novel that got me hooked on Romance is The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. You know it’s a good book if you get to read it free, and then go out to buy your own copy. I just finished the ARC for Susan C. Muller’s The Witch on Twisted Oak-- “Could-Not-Put-It-Down.”
Morning, afternoon, or evening person? When left to function on my own schedule [no day job, kids, etc.], I tend to get seriously involved in my personal projects [writing and all that’s related to it] mid-afternoon, and have been known to stay up till 3-4 AM.
Music--with or without? What kind? When I’m cleaning house, I want music--the sound tracks of Quigley Down Under, Medicine Man, and The Last of the Mohicans. When I’m writing, I need vast quantities of solitude.
First or third POV? Third, for both reading and writing. I like the full range of perspective from both the hero and heroine.
September 3, 2013
I’m hard at work finishing up my new Christmas novella. This one is a little different. I went back to my best-selling western series, The Burnett Brides that I had written years ago. The series, set in the old west, is about a mother who has three very stubborn sons who have not gotten married. She wants grandchildren, and they’re not even married. So she pulls some tricks and by the time the third son is married, the children wanted to return the favor of finding her true love. I never wrote that book until now.
Eugenia Burnett (be careful what names you choose in books because they stay around a long time) has sworn never to remarry. She doesn’t need a husband or want one. She’s a free spirit doing what she pleases and doesn’t need a man to boss her around. Yet she’s not given up her matchmaking ways either. Now she’s moved on to the people she knows, and she’s putting widows and widowers together. Until one widower, Wyatt Jones (think John Wayne meets Maureen O’Hara) lets her know in front of a crowded restaurant that he’s not interested in any of the women she keeps sending him except her. He wants to marry her.