If you checked out my blog last week you all know that I spent the weekend in beautiful, Sunnyvale , California. Which by the way wasn't so sunny! I found out when I got there it's just a clever name!
I went to an awesome workshop, THE FIRE IN FICTION, by, Donald Maass. This man is truly amazing. Not only did my brain hurt from everything he'd taught us throughout the day, but my gut was sore as well. Boy did he kept us laughing. I only hope that I will retain most of the things I learned that day! So much good stuff!!!
After my wonderful weekend,I headed home. About an hour before I arrived, my husband called to check on my whereabouts. He also tells me that I received a letter in the mail. FROM HARLEQUIN!!! I almost choked on my gum! "Did you open it?" I asked nervously. But of course he hadn't. And he wasn't home either so there was no knowing what the contents of that letter held. Lucky for me, my daughter was home, so I immediately called her giving her strict instructions to carefully open it.
She read the letter and with every word the first sentence held, my heart began to sink into the pit of my stomach. It was a letter indeed, but not the one I'd been waiting for. It was my first REJECTION! I did well as she read what they had to say. No water works. No cuss words. Not really anything at all. Just silence as I listened to her read. I even agreed with much of what the editor said was wrong with my work.
The hardest part came on the drive home when I had to call my hubby back and give him the news. Guess I wasn't going to be the next Nora Roberts like I'd thought. It was just me by myself on that long ride home. The more time I spent with myself the harder I started to cry. Funny thing is a couple of weeks prior to this I felt the rejection coming. Not because I didn't think my work was good enough. No. I could just feel it in my bones. Something wasn't right.
The minute I walked in the door, I went straight to the kitchen counter where "The letter" sat folded on top of it's envelope. It was the strangest thing... though I already knew what it said I had to see it for myself. Read it with my own eyes. Unfortunately, it was still a REJECTION!
The hardest part about being rejected was not the actual rejection. It's that empty confusion. That, "what the hell do I do now?" moment. I felt like a fifteen-year old girl who's boyfriend had just broken up with her. Essentially that's what happened. We broke up. Me and the potential publisher, that is.
Since I had mailed in my requested manuscript two months ago, I'd been this giddy little girl, so excited about the publisher who may like me. And now that I know it's over between us, I'm trying to figure out where do I go from here. Do I throw away the last five-years of my life? Shove Morgan Ranch in a closet and move on to the next set of characters? The next story? Or do I go back to the drawing board and try to reshape this manuscript back into something that publisher's will be fighting to buy? The answer sounds simple, but really it's not.
I've spent the last twenty-four hours trying to put the brakes on the wheel's that are spinning in my head. A hundred different scenarios have come and gone. And still the only answer I have is that I am not giving up. I just don't know what direction I'll be going. For someone as anal as me that's hard. I'm a very scheduled person. I have to know how things are going to turn out. What exactly I am doing at all times. This whole, I don't know what to do now thing doesn't sit very well with me.
This isn't the end of the writing road for me. In fact it's only the beginning. Rejections are part of almost every writers journey. Most writers get many of them before they sell their first book. I hope I never get another, but I'm sure this won't be my last. So tell me... have you been rejected? What did you do? Where did you go from there? Have any advice? Leave me a comment and let me know where you think I should go from here.
Thanks for stopping by Micole Writes Romance.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
If you checked out my blog last week you all know that I spent the weekend in beautiful, Sunnyvale , California. Which by the way wasn't so sunny! I found out when I got there it's just a clever name!
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
I am so excited to introduce you to my Spotlight Author this week, MELISSA MAYHUE. Melissa has been a very important part of my writing career! The two of us met about four years ago through some mutual writing friends. We connected from the start. Unfortunately, I have never had the opportunity to meet her in person, but we have chatted on the phone and have corresponded through emails, IM’s, chats, Myspace, and Facebook.
She is such a delightful person. And she has helped me through many of the up’s and down’s of the writer’s life over the last four years. Probably more than she’s wanted to! (wink) Sorry, Melissa. But she really does have the best advice. You’ll see for yourself soon enough. So grab your snuggie, a warm cup of tea and sit back and enjoy our interview.
Here’s a quick Bio, for those of you who are new to Melissa…
MELISSA MAYHUE began her writing career in 2005 after a vacation to Scotland and a hike on the Black Isle inspired her with the perfect setting for the characters running around in her head. Her resulting debut novel, THIRTY NIGHTS WITH A HIGHLAND HUSBAND, won the Holt Medallion and Book Buyers Best awards in 2008 and made the finals of the Colorado Book Awards.
Since then, her imaginary world of Faeries and Mortals has continued to grow. A HIGHLANDER’S DESTINY, fifth book in her award-winning Daughters of the Glen series from Pocket Books, hit shelves in January 2010 with the sixth – A HIGHLANDER’S HOMECOMING - on sale February 2010.
Married and the mother of three sons, Melissa lives in beautiful Northern Colorado with her family and menagerie of pets.
You can visit her on the web at: www.MelissaMayhue.com
Now, let’s get down to business.
MB* What inspired you to write about time traveling faeries?
MM* In 2005 my family traveled to Scotland on vacation. While there, we hiked back into a wonderful place called The Fairy Glen, just north of Rosemarkie on the Black Isle. Sitting there, next to a little waterfall, surrounded by the forest, it felt like the perfect magical setting for the characters I’d been dreaming of writing for years. And because it was The Fairy Glen, I had to incorporate Faeries! As far as time travel? Well, I always loved those stories so it only made sense for me to write what I love.
MB* If you had to pick a favorite book of this series which would it be and why?
MM* While my first book will always have a special place in my heart – because it was my first! – my favorite book is always the one I just finished!
MB* Do you ever read your own books after they have been published?
MM* Not straight through, cover to cover. Sometimes for appearances I’m asked to read bits and pieces out loud and I’ll skim through the book to find a good spot to read. But I don’t sit down and read the book again at that point. Why not? The original manuscript I submitted to my editor I’ve read through multiple times. After revisions, there’s another read through from start to finish. With the line edits, I do another read through and then the galleys come and that’s another read through. So, by the time the book hits shelves, I have read through it a minimum of five or six times.
MB* I ask this question to almost all of my guests. Do you suffer like I do from what I like to call the 1st love syndrome? This is where you’ve connected with a character so much that you’ve had a hard time letting them or their story go.
MM* I think that’s standard operating procedure for any author! You invest months of your life into getting to know that character, so it’s hard to move on. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy writing the stories of characters who’ve already shown up in my books. It seems easier to pick up a new story with a character who isn’t a total stranger!!
MB* How long was your road to publication?
MM* I count my blessings daily that I was so lucky in getting published quickly. I finished my first book – Thirty Nights with a Highland Husband – in August, 2005. It sold in February 2006. Sometimes I have to pinch myself at my good fortune.
MB* Can you give us an idea of how long a completed manuscript takes you from start to finish?
MM* In the beginning, it varied. My first book took three months. And while that sounds really fast, it’s important to understand that the characters had already been running around in my imagination for years before I actually set pen to paper. The second book took a year! Now the standard for me is six months.
MB* Do you have any advice for us aspiring authors?
MM* Write!!! Write the book that’s inside you. Don’t let anyone talk you out of what you want to have happen in your story. There are always well-meaning people who are quick to tell you all the things you can’t do and why you can’t do them. But the bottom line has to be if you’re telling the story that’s in your imagination and it’s one that YOU like… someone else will like it, too. And never, ever pass up an opportunity to tell someone about your story. You never know when it will be the right person at the right time to help you see your book in print.
MB* Often time’s writers describe writing a love scene like being an intruder in something so very personal. Do you feel this way and how do you get through the dreaded love scene?
MM* I don’t feel like an intruder. I feel more like a choreographer! Love scenes were torture for me in the first couple of books. I kept having all those “What will my ______ say?” moments. You know the ones… fill in the blank with mother, neighbor, kids. [I found Godiva chocolate ice cream worked well to sooth my jangled nerves!] Now I just write
MB* Tell us about Melissa Mayhue. Who is she? What does she do when she’s not time traveling with her characters between centuries?
MM* After I finish each book, I give myself two to three weeks to play and have down-time. That’s also time for the next book to begin bubbling in the back of my mind. During that time, I do all the stuff I didn’t do while I was writing… clean the fish tank, experiment with recipes, sew, needlework, video games, read.
MM* Reading [obviously!], sewing, crocheting, working in my herb garden, genealogy, video games, collecting antique British tea cups and saucers and reading cookbooks!
MB* What are you reading right now? If nothing at the moment then what do you like to read when you have time?
MM* I have a stack of ToBeRead books at least two feet tall!! I read a variety of books, but mostly all romance [I like my Happy Ever After fix!]. Waiting for me right now are several historicals and some urban fantasy reads. Though I love Scottish historicals and time travels, I generally don’t read those because I don’t want to inadvertently color my stories with other people’s ideas.
MB* What does your family think of your job?
MM* They’re very supportive. My sons tell everyone their Mom writes romance and so does my husband.
This is just for fun…
MB* Cat or Dog?
MB* Sunny or Rainy days?
MB* Milk or Dark Chocolate?
MB* Love letters or Roses?
MB* What is loaded in your i-Pod right now?
MM* Nicholas Gunn and the soundtrack from The Thirteenth Warrior [it’s what I listened to as I finished up my last book!]
Thank you, Melissa for stopping by Micole Writes Romance and chatting with me. And thank you guests for taking a few minutes ot of your day to check out my blog.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Just writing to let you know I will be away for the weekend. Part of being a writer is honing your craft, and that's what I will be doing! I am so excited to have the opportunity to go to a Donald Maass workshop this weekend!!! I will fill you in on all of the details when I return. Don't forget to check back on Tuesday for my Spotlight Author interview with my good friend, Melissa Mayhue! Have a wonderful weekend friends.
Oh and I almost forgot, I will be announcing the winner of Tawny Weber's autographed copy of YOU HAVE TO KISS A LOT OF FROGS!!! It's not too late to get in on the contest. Just post a message on Tawny's interview and you may be the lucky winner.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Welcome back to Micole Writes Romance. It's time for another SPOTLIGHT AUTHOR INTERVIEW! I am so excited to introduce you to my new friend Tawny Weber.
T-Micole, thanks so much for having me here to visit! I’m Tawny Weber and I write for my absolute favorite Harlequin line, Blaze. My favorite line used to be Temptation, but then it closed and I simply followed all my favorite authors on over to the hot fun of Blaze. My first Blaze, Double Dare, was out in May of 2007 and it’s been an amazing ride ever since. I live in N. California with my hottie hubby and two fabulous daughters and am an active member of RWA, having served on almost every board conceivable, as well as President, VP and Secretary of various chapters. Again, I really appreciate the invitation and a chance to talk about my latest Blaze, YOU HAVE TO KISS A LOT OF FROGS!!
M-Wow Tawny, sounds like you are a very busy woman! I'm currently reading, YOU HAVE TO KISS A LOT OF FROGS, for the sake of our readers who haven't had the chance to read it yet or run out and buy it, can you give us a little teaser?
T-YOU HAVE TO KISS A LOT OF FROGS is a part of the Blazing Bedtime Story, Volume III anthology. I had so much fun with this story – I took the Frog Prince premise, and asked myself what kind of trouble a horny toad would get into And voila... I ended up with this story.
Sebastian Lane is a reporter who specializes in sex. Sexy stories, that is. Until one of those stories gets a little too personal, when a witch curses his performance skills and causes his... well, lets just say special talent... to shrink. The only way to break the spell is for him to put a woman’s needs before his own. In an effort to escape the stress and problems this curse is causing, he heads up to a cabin in the woods where he finds co-worker and the daughter of his boss. The Princess, as he calls Jordan, is everything Sebastian’s always avoided. Sweet, vulnerable and the kind of girl who expects a tomorrow. When she sets out to seduce him, they are both in for quite a few surprises.
T- I really enjoyed writing the story and giving this well-loved fairy tale my own little twist.
M-You can tell when reading it that you enjoyed writing the story. This book is a must read! If you haven't purchased it yet, make sure you add it to your list.
What do we have to look forward to from Tawny Weber in 2010?
T- After this month’s Blazing Bedtime Story, I have another release in September with Blaze called, RIDING THE WAVES which is a wonderfully fun Forbidden Fantasy about a woman who sneaks off to have a wild no-holds-barred fling, only to have the hot, sexy younger man she got wild with turn up as her new partner when she gets home. And then in December I’ll be a part of the Blaze Christmas Anthology with Kate Hoffman and Rhonda Nelson. I’m finishing that story up now.
In addition, I’m doing quite a few workshops and events – a couple with the Yosemite Romance Writers, as a matter of fact (great group! I’m really looking forward to it). I can always be found on my blog at www.tawnyweber.com/blog or blogging monthly at the Romance Bandits and the Blaze Authors blogs.
M- Oh, I can't wait for either one of the new tittles to hit the shelves! Very excited about the meeting you'll be guest speaking at as well!!!
Okay, I have to ask... Have you ever felt so connected with one of your characters that you've had a difficult time moving past their story?
T- I do tend to feel a strong connection with my characters, some quite a bit more than others. Most will have at least one or two of my own characteristics or foibles so that adds to the connection. But I can’t say that it’s ever slowed me down much. I’ve never been able to create a character based on someone else. For instance, I never cut out pictures of actors or stars to represent my characters because I can’t quite get past the fact that those pictures are real people who already have their own story. Instead I pull a little bit of this and that, him and her, this trait and that to build the basic internal and external conflict I need –from there the characters tend to write themselves and insist on their story being finished.
M- Where does your inspiration come from?
T- Everywhere. I know people say that all the time, but its true. I might get a story idea based on a song or a magazine article. A commercial or a snippet of conversation I overhear. I used to start all of my stories from characters. As I’ve sold more stories, I’ve learned to start with a premise. What if... What if gets me a ton of ideas, and from there its as easy and as difficult as just making the characters fit (usually more difficult than easy, but I keep telling myself, someday...)
M- How many books do you have under your belt?
T- YOU HAVE TO KISS A LOT OF FROGS is my 7th published book. I sold the 6th manuscript I’d written, back in May of 2006.
M- How long was your road to publication?
T-It took me 4 years from the day I decided I really wanted to try and write (and joined RWA to prove it and push myself) and the day I sold. That seems like a really short time, looking back. But in the moment, it felt like forever. I had a ton of contest wins, 3 Golden Heart finals and a lot of successes along the way that kept me motivated until I got that call.
M- Do you have any advice or writing secrets for aspiring authors?
T- I think the best advice I ever received was to never give up. Just keep learning, adapting and growing as a writer and the success will happen.
M- What is your favorite thing about writing romance?
T- The love story. I love love. I’ve always read romance and have a strong belief in the magic of the genre and what a wonderful sense of optimism and joy it brings to readers. To be able to do that –to offer readers a smile, a hope or just a good time, that’s amazing to me.
M- When you aren't writing steaming hot romances what do you do in your spare time?
T- I am a lifelong crafter. I scrapbook, I alter anything that can be glued and recently I started knitting. I love color and texture and these are great ways to play with that.
M-Where do you see yourself in five years?
T- Writing. Still for Harlequin Blaze, and maybe branching out a bit. But definitely writing what I love and enjoying every second of it.
M- I know what you mean. I couldn't see life without writing!
Okay, this next part is a little something that I like to do just for fun!! I call it the Fast-Five!!!
M- What's loaded in your i-Pod right now?
Jingle Bell Rock .38 Special
Here Comes Santa Claus .38 Special
O Little Town of Bethlehem Terri Clark
Silent Night Sarah McLachlan
I'll Be Home for Christmas Sara Evans
Let's Make a Little Christmas Tonight Phil Vassar
Merry Christmas from the Family Montgomery Gentry
O Come All Ye Faithful Martina McBride
Christmas Time Again Lynyrd Skynyrd
Run Run Rudolph Lynyrd Skynyrd
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Lynyrd Skynyrd
Jingle Bells Kenny Chesney
Santa Baby Kellie Pickler
Please Come Home for Christmas Keith Anderson
Silent Night Johnny Cash
Do You Hear What I Hear Carrie Underwood
Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town (Single Version) Bruce Springsteen
Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town Brooks & Dunn
Winter Wonderland Brad Paisley
I Wish Everyday Could Be Like Christmas Bon Jovi
The Little Drummer Boy Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
Away In a Manger Blaine Larsen
Let It Be Christmas Alan Jackson
M- Blue eyed or Green eyed hero?
T- Mmmm, I love green eyes.
M- Country or Rock’n’Roll?
T- I love both but if I had to pick I’d say 80’s hair band rock.
M- All time favorite movie?
T- I only get one? Pirates of the Caribbean.
M- Would you rather have an admirer serenade you or send a love letter?
T- Definitely a love letter. I’d laugh and probably insult the admirer if he tried to sing :-D
M- You are too funny, Tawny. Thank you so much for being one of my SPOTLIGHT AUTHORS!
T- Micole, thank YOU for having me. This was so much fun
Tawny and I would both love to hear from you. Please leave a comment for either of us! Thank you for stopping by and spending time at Micole Writes Romance.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Congratulations to our winner, Laura Hartness of The Calico Critic Blog. She was the lucky winner of Sharon Lathan's autographed copy of, My Dearest Mr. Darcy. Thank you for stopping by. I hope you enjoy your new book!!!!
Make sure you all check back on Tuesday when I will have an interview with Tawny Weber!!! Can't wait very exciting!!!
Thursday, January 14, 2010
It's that time again... hard to believe a week has already passed!! Here I am writing my second well I guess third blog entry. I can't tell you how hard I have worked to make everything go smoothly, yet I have still had numerous problems such as the disappearing photo of Sharon's book cover. Sorry Sharon.
The good news is that after a lot of cuss words and few phone calls to my trusty friend, Sarah, I fixed it. Which leads me to my next thing... I never gave a shout out to Sarah Simas, who helped me get this blog off the ground. Without her I would still be wandering around wishing I had a blog. So hears to you Sarah... thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!
And while I am handing out thank you's, I need to give a big Thank you to my first Spotlight Author, Sharon Lathan. What a wonderful interview that was. Don't forget the contest to win the autographed copy of her newest book, My Dearest Mr. Darcy is still going. You have until Friday night at midnight. But you must post on Sharon's interview comment page please. There was a little confusion yesterday and that's okay. :)
Now that I have my thanks you in order, I would like to get onto my post. Believe it or not I actually have something to talk about. If you are a personal friend of mine you will already know this story, but I hope for my sake you will suffer through it one more time. Just kidding.
Maybe you're wondering why I titled this blog Star Struck? Let me explain. These last couple of weeks I have been working diligently to make sure I have a wonderful list of Spotlight authors to interview for my blog and to make sure my readers are happy. I have contacted many authors, a lot of which I have never met in person. A lot of which are New York Times Best Selling authors and if they are not, they are well on their way. Talking to people that you put a level above yourself is not easy. Thank the lord for email. If I would've had to speak to these people in person it never would have happened. I am much braver when it comes to email. Thankfully everyone that I have contacted has been very gracious.
My story tonight has to do with a different sort of start struck.
A little more than a year ago, I was desperate to meet none other than, country music star, Gary Allan. Well, to be more truthful, the desperation actually began a few years back.
My sister in-law and I had been labeled "groupie's" by our children. Groupie's! Can you believe it?
I admit we've made our way to a few concerts, but I think we failed to meet the true definition of a groupie. Def: a fan of a rock group who usually follows the group around the concert tour; We have never followed any of our favorite singers (as much as we would like to) on their entire tour. We have simply caught up with them when they've come into town! Okay, maybe we caught up with them when they were in the next town, too. But never for the entire tour. That is where the fine print comes in and we are clearly not "groupie's!"
Through out the years the two of us have met many of our favorite country music stars. Someday I will share those stories with you as well. I'm sure you can't wait! (wink) I have pictures with many of my favorite hunky country singers, but there was just one that was missing. The one of me and Gary.
My sister in-law and I have taken road trips to Hollywood, House of Blues to get this picture. And off to Fresno twice, but came back empty handed every time. It wasn't until June 2008 when my favorite country music station KJUG brought him to meet me at a little thing called Jug Fest.
When they announced Gary would be their leading act I did a happy dance! It must've been fate! Just picture the sparkly stars in my eyes. They were there, I promise! So I checked the Gary Allan website daily for meet and greet opportunities. I am not ashamed to admit I am a fan club member. (Okay, maybe a little embarrassed, but not ashamed.) Every time I checked, nothing. And then one day there it was. Meet and Greet with Gary Allan. I have never typed my name and hit send so fast!
I went through weeks of sleepless nights while I waited for my response. And then finally one morning, I wake up and it's there in an email! Fate. Right? I was actually getting to meet Gary Allan all by myself. That could only mean one thing.
HE LOVED ME!
Let's fast forward now...
JUGFEST was here. The sun was shining, it was hot. When we arrived I found out that Gary wasn't doing meet and greets. But I had my email confirming our meeting. Still, they said NO! My heart was crushed. I was devastated. What happened to fate? There must've been some confusion. He must not have known it was me, Micole Black that he was meeting.
Where there's a will there's a way. I found someone who knew what they were doing. Someone who hooked me up with Gary's road manager. I was told to meet up with him at eight o'clock that night. Oh my gosh... the meeting was on again!
I went through the rest of the day. My heart in my throat. I was afraid to meet him. What if he wasn't a nice guy? What if he didn't meet up to my expectations? And then the worst thought of all came to mind... What if he was a really nice guy? What if when he saw me, he fell head over heels in love with me and wanted to take me away? What would I tell Jason and the kids? Guess I'd figure it out. (wink)
Eight o'clock rolls around. It's time to meet with the road manager. So I left my friends watching Clay Walker and I trek my way through hundreds of people to the merchandise table where we were supposed to meet. A little whistling, a little toe tapping and then the pacing starts. Where was this guy? Then my heart sunk into my chest. What if I was in the wrong place? What if I'd already missed meeting him? Oh my gosh... not another concert that I was going to have to leave with out that damn picture. Tears started to well up in my eyes. Then I see it. Gary's big black bus pulling into the concert grounds behind the stage. HE HAD ARRIVED!!! Within a few minutes the road manager had arrived and finally I was on my way to meet my man.
I was so nervous. What was I going to say? I had to have something to ask, something to say. Something witty that would make me stand out from all of the other fans he'd ever met before. Something that would make him remember ME forever. Sometimes things don't always happen the way you plan them.
It went something like this...
Imagine someone who'd just drank five energy drinks, had a couple of candy bars, and washed them down with a Mt. Dew.
"Hi Gary, this is the fourth concert of yours that I've been to. You are so great in concert. I'm sorry I haven't been to more of them. I would've but I'm married and a mother of three kids and my husband doesn't like me to travel that much."
OH MY GOD!!!!! Somebody give her a tranquilizer! What the hell was that? And yes, I said all of those crazy things. Probably more that I've blocked out. I'm married??? I am a mother of three??? What the heck? This was the guy that was supposed to fall madly in love with me and whisk me off to some tropical island where he hid me away from everyone and everything. How was he going to do that when I was scaring him off rambling about my HUSBAND and KIDS? Not just kids... I told him I had three! Geese! I was so tongue tied I almost forgot to get that picture I'd been waiting for four years for! But I got it!!! Yep I got it alright.
My teenage daughter's first response to the picture was that he looked scared. I argued, explaining that look in his was not fear, but in fact it was pure astonishment--dibelief. He could not believe that he was actually standing next to me!!! The woman he was madly in love with! The one he'd been waiting for. Yep he'd finally found me. That was the look in his eyes.
Well my friends, I have had some time to look at the picture... and I do believe after reading this story he is scared to death!!! Wouldn't you be??? Take a look for yourself and tell me what you think? Is that love in his eyes or is he looking for a security guard with his peripheral vision?
The three minutes I spent with Gary were great, but not enough. I am very happy for the three I did get, but never satisfied. I would love to spend a day with him. Just to see how he really is. Thank you Gary for the time... I hope I didn't scare you too much! If we ever get the chance to meet again, I promise not to be such an idiot.
So readers, how many of you have had an experience like this? I would love to hear about it. Leave me a comment in my box. Please tell me your story. Thank you for spending time here with me on my blog. Come back on Tuesday, January 19, for my interview with Tawny Weber.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Welcome to my first Spotlight Author interview. I am so excited to introduce my friend, Sharon Lathan. For those of you new to her works, here's a little tid-bit of information...
About the author: Sharon Lathan writes best-selling stories that follow the Darcys of Jane Austen’s Pride And Prejudice after their marriage. Her newest book, My Dearest Mr. Darcy, is the third volume in her Darcy Saga series, after Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One, and Loving Mr. Darcy: Journeys Beyond Pemberley. In addition to her writing, she works as a Registered Nurse in a Neonatal ICU. She resides in Hanford, California in the sunny San Joaquin Valley. For more information on Sharon and her saga, come to her website at: www.darcysaga.net
About My Dearest Mr. Darcy: Darcy is more deeply in love with his wife than ever. As the golden summer draws to a close and the Darcys look ahead to the end of their first year of marriage, Mr. Darcy could never have imagined his love could grow even deeper with the passage of time. Lizzy is full of surprises. She is unpredictable and lively, pulling Darcy out of his stern and serious demeanor with her teasing and temptation. Looking ahead and planning for celebrations and life events large and small, Lizzy can still catch Darcy unawares when he least expects it.
Now for the interview…
1. For those up and coming Sharon Lathan/The Darcy Saga fans, give us a description of what your books are about.
My sequel gives lovers of romance, and especially great literary couples like Mr. Darcy and Lizzy Bennet, what they presumably imagine happening after turning the final page: the happily-ever-after life. I follow Mr. Darcy and his bride through the initial weeks into months as they learn to bond as a married couple, live within the society of the Regency Era, and experience the normal and extraordinary happenings of life. The plot is thematic; a saga-based tale heavy on the belief that a marriage can be passionate and contented with the bond growing stronger over time rather than the opposite. Here is a tasty sample from my latest novel, My Dearest Mr. Darcy –
He paused inches away, not touching for several seconds, and then reaching leisurely to her hair and began removing clasps and pins. Each tendril fell into his hands, slipping through caressing fingers. He toyed with curly tresses, pulling them gently as if springs, releasing with infinite care one by one the secured clumps of hair until wildly free over her shoulders. He uttered not a word. Lizzy panted in short spurts, a hazy part of her brain wondering how he consistently found ways to excite her to unimaginable heights by the simplest tasks. Now he laced long, slender fingers through the roots of her hair, massaging firmly over her scalp from nape to crown, only then lifting the heavy locks off her neck and combing tenderly until tangles unraveled. A dozen times he repeated the activity with studied meticulousness. Her lustrous hair crackled through his fingers, the varied hues of brown glimmering in the light with lavender rising to assault his nostrils.
2.What inspired you to write The Darcy Saga?
I was introduced to the world of Austen when I saw the 2005 movie adaptation of Pride and Prejudice starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen. I was utterly entranced! That began a search for everything Austen and Regency. Eventually I discovered the world of online fan-fiction and read the various offerings primarily searching for a sequel. In time I realized that I had my own sequel playing as a movie in my head. My vision was of their marriage and when I never did find precisely what I envisioned in any of the fan-fiction I read, I took the plunge and began writing it myself.
I was inspired by the beauty of this timeless love story and desired to keep these characters alive. Mainly I wanted to give them the good life and blissful marriage that I believe Ms. Austen planned for them. I also fell in love with the time period and wealth of history. The more I learned about the era, the greater the urge to write this story.
3. How long did it take you to write the first book?
Loaded question! Originally I was writing chapter-by-chapter and posting onto my online website. I had no concept of the monster epic I had created until I looked into publishing what I figured might be one book. I was very wrong! At that time, some 10 months after starting, I had enough for 3 whole books. Crazy, isn’t it? So, I figure I wrote what is now Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy in 2 or 3 months. I sure wish I could say I maintained that pace!
4.What are the titles of your Saga?
The first is Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One. It begins on the afternoon of their wedding and proceeds through the first five months of their honeymoon. Loving Mr. Darcy: Journeys Beyond Pemberley follows immediately after the first as the Darcys travel to London and other parts of England in a series of adventures. My Dearest Mr. Darcy concludes the initial year of their marriage and sees the birth of their first child.
5. What do we have to look forward to from Sharon Lathan and her Darcy Saga in 2010?
Sharon will continue to be hard at work! Even as I type this, my editor is finishing up the initial edits for my fourth installment in the Saga. Romancing Mr. Darcy will be released in October. It immediately follows after My Dearest Mr. Darcy, but the pace picks up considerably and secondary characters play a larger role. The novel spans just over one year in the life of the Darcys, now joined by their firstborn. There will be a fifth volume, but it is not quite finished and will come out sometime in spring of 2011.
All is not lost for lovers of my Darcy Saga, however! In November of this year Sourcebooks is publishing a Darcy Christmas anthology. I have written one of the novellas, Reflections of Christmas at Pemberley, that offers snippets of holiday celebrations over 25 years with the Darcys and their ever-expanding family. I am very excited about this!
6. If you had to pick one character in your books, who would be your favorite? And why. Or if you don’t want to pick a favorite… which one do you connect with the most? And why.
I do have several favorites for various reasons. I really love Darcy. In fact, now that I think of it I tend to prefer my male characters to the female! Weird. My Darcy is a wonderfully complex character. He is the epitome of a manly man: strong, domineering, protective, capable, intelligent, passionate, virile, and so on. Yet he is also reserved, sentimental, sensitive, devoted, and possessing of a wry humor. I have often said that I relate to him far more than Lizzy because I too am somewhat shy and uncomfortable in crowds, preferring solitude and quiet.
Of course I love Lizzy as well. But my absolute favorite character is one completely created by me. Dr. George Darcy appeared in Loving Mr. Darcy and instantly stole my heart. He is simply amazing! He is supremely intelligent, eccentric, very funny, and so much more. You just have to read the books if for no other reason than to meet George!
7. Any advice for us aspiring authors?
Oh man, where to start! First off, keep writing! Do not give up or let anyone say you cannot do it. Persistence every step of the way is the key. Learning craft is great, but mostly you need to trust in yourself. Trust in the gift that is inside of you; that gift that gives you ideas and is your voice.
Think long and hard about who you are as a writer. You need to comprehend and embrace your style, be confident in the type of writer you are and the stories you want to tell. Think of your name and your writing as a “brand” that encompasses your website, logo, blogging, and everything else. It is a total package presentation that will aid tremendously when you are published.
8. What is your favorite thing about being an author?
Hands down it is the pleasure others receive while reading this story.
I love writing. I love my characters. I love the life I am giving them. I love the research. All of it is fantastic, even when faced with the hurdles that want to make me rip my hair out!
But the very best part is when satisfied readers write to me, or leave a glowing review, and I know that all the hard work has paid off by bringing happiness to someone else. That is why I write this story and that is the real pay off.
9. Now tell us a little bit about Sharon. Who are you? What do you do when you’re not writing hunky heroes and romantic love stories?
Ha! When you put it like that it is difficult to fathom why I would want to do anything else! By profession I am an RN and for 25 years I have worked in a neonatal ICU. It is the job that pays the bills, but I truly do love working with the babies and can’t imagine ever not being a part of that world. I am a happily married wife with 23 years of mostly-wedded bliss as a further inspiration to writing this love story. My “kids” are now 21 and 17, so parenting is not the huge role it once was, but you know, children always need their mommy! I try to be a housekeeper as well, but that role has sadly slipped in the past few years. LOL! Thank goodness my family is extremely supportive. Just don’t look closely into the corners or under the couch, okay?
I read as much as possible, watch way too many TV shows, play a few mindless computer games, and think I need a 12-step support group for my Facebook addiction. Once in a while I manage a movie and lunch with my girlfriends or dinner with my hubby, and we frequently jaunt to Disneyland, but I am finding that time for much of anything else is next to impossible!
11.What does your family think about you becoming a published author?
My son is 17. This means he is very proud of his mom but far more interested in the X-box! My daughter loves that she can scan my books at her job in Target, is happily reaping the benefits of all the romance novelists I now know, is also extremely proud, but refuses to read my books because, “It is icky to read a sex scene written by my mom!” Point taken.
My husband is far more effusive than me on the subject! He is my agent, manager, fan groupie, shoulder to cry on, romantic inspiration, and cheerleader all rolled into one. In no way would I still be standing and sane if not for him.
12. How long was your road to publication?
I know I will get tomatoes lobbed at my head, especially when I say that at the time it seemed to take forever. I was completely ignorant of the business and when the query process dragged on and all I got were rejections, I felt doomed to failure. Time stretches when fraught with difficulty. And even after I received “the call” there were delays and issues.
Now I realize that the pace of how it all transpired was incredibly rapid. Ridiculously so, and believe me, now that I am aware of how blessed I have been, I am pinching myself and thanking God on an hourly basis. OK, from roughly the month I began writing until the month my first book appeared on a store shelf, it was exactly 3 years.
Go ahead, toss the tomatoes!
13. Any other events or appearances coming up?
Well, this Saturday – Jan. 16 – I will be giving a speech to this wonderful group of romance writers. The Yosemite Romance Writers group. Ever heard of them? LOL! I will be talking about the highs and lows of the publishing road. I hope all my YRW friends will be there. I promise to make it fun!
I recently sat with a reporter from the Fresno Bee for a feature that will print in the South Valley “Talk” section either this week or next. I am not sure as yet. That was lots of fun! Be sure I will be sharing it on the loop once it finally comes out.
My virtual blog tour continues with me guest blogging and interviewing all over the blog-o-sphere through to the end of Jan. Dates and links can be found on my website. Sourcebooks is giving away whole sets of my novels, so it is worth following me around!
Lastly, I will be talking to the Visalia Network for Women at a luncheon on Jan. 28. I am very excited about that!
Okay here is your fast five. Answer these next five questions with a quick one-word response.
Me answer in one word? Micole, do you not know me at all?!?! OK, I’ll try….
Dark or Milk Chocolate? Either!
Early riser or night owl? Night owl, totally
What song is loaded on your iPod right now? None. How sad is that?
Hamburger or Steak? Steak
TV Show that may not be your favorite, but it stops you in your tracks and you can’t walk away from if it’s on? Scrubs or Friends.
See, I knew I couldn’t do it! Micole, thank you for hosting me today, and for honoring me as the first ever guest on your fabulous new blog! I am so happy for you in taking this step. Great things are in store for you, my friend, I just know it! It has been a pleasure being here today. To help support Micole in her new venture, and as a small token of thanks, I will be giving away one signed copy of My Dearest Mr. Darcy. Simply say hi or ask a question of me or Micole, then check back on Saturday to see if your name was drawn. What fun!
Thank you so much Sharon for visiting Micole Writes Romance and for being my very first Spotlight Author. I wish you great success!!! Sending lots of hugs your way!! Now please remember friends, in order to be entered in the contest you must send either Sharon or I a comment on my blog comment page and you must also be a resident of the United States.
Thank you for stopping by.
Posted by Micole Black at 12:00 AM
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Finally, I’ve made it to the world of blogging! Can you believe it? I have to say it’s something that I’ve dreamed about for a very long time. I know crazy right? But I have. I guess it makes sense being a writer that I would want to have my very own blog where followers can just click a button and step into my world. Read what interesting or not so interesting things are going on in my life.
Here you will get the opportunity to meet the characters that run through my mind and the pages of my manuscripts. You’ll become acquainted with the towns I have created and get some insight into my stories.
At least once a week you’ll get a peek into my random life, like it or not. Hee hee hee. I have reserved Tuesdays for my author spotlights. This is where I will be introducing you to my published author friends. You’ll get a glimpse into a writer’s life and get to hear about their new and upcoming books. You never know, there may even be contests to win free stuff. So you will have to tune in often to see when that is going on.
I hope you enjoy what I provide for you here on my BLOGSPOT and will become one of my followers. Feel free to comment when you can. I love to hear from everyone. I am like a junkie when it comes to mail. The more I get the more I want. But please no hate mail. Nobody prospers from that.
Thank you for stopping by. I am sending virtual hugs your way.
Posted by Micole Black at 12:00 AM