Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Message From Above

I sent an email to one of my favorite romance authors, Pam Rosenthal, and she wrote a very gracious reply. It was so nice of her to take the time to answer. If you haven't read any of her books, you are missing out on some of the most gorgeous writing in romance today.

From The Bookseller's Daughter:

Such a jumble, such a torrent of sensation. And such a mystery, for she couldn’t think how they’d come to be in each other’s arms in the first place. It didn’t seem quite accurate to say he’d “swept” her into his arms -- or, for that matter, that she’d “rushed” into his embrace. If there had been a crucial gesture, a shy or importunate first touch, she couldn’t specify what it had been or who had made it. The embrace had simply -- happened, like a bolt of summer lightning.


OK, your turn. Tell me about an author I *have* to read...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

On Endings

By the end of a well-written romance novel you should be gobbling up the pages like they were cotton candy that would stick to your chin if you didn't melt it with your tongue fast enough. I just read Eloisa James's Kiss Me Annabel and I'm still savoring the spun sugar. Once I got to that ending, I didn't care that the conflict was slightly manufactured, or that certain parts of the plot felt improbable. I didn't care because she made me believe that Ewan and Annabel shared the transcendent kind of love we are all searching for. And she left me wanting more, left me with a terrible sweet tooth that only she can satisfy. Damn her.

I could just give up writing right now. Or I could work even harder to discover the elusive recipe for eliciting that kind of emotional response from readers.

Can you tell I'm still working on the ending of my book? It's just that I want it to be perfect. It has to stick to the editor's mind enough to make her pick up the phone. It has to leave her with a mouth full of melting sugar and a craving for more.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

da da da da DA DA

The Muzak version of the theme song from Chariots of Fire is perpetually playing in the hallways of the hotel I'm living in. At first it just drove me crazy. Now I've decided that they're featuring it especially for me as I sprint to the finish line of my self-imposed writing deadline.

The music will swell, the crowd will roar, and I will click the send button. Victory shall be mine!

Harold M. Abrahams: If I can't win, I won't run!
Sybil Gordon: If you don't run, you can't win.

Monday, January 08, 2007

The Fifth Ring

Yes my friends, I am in the fifth ring of Rewrite Hell. I am guilty of Wrath and Gloom, and for those sins I should be punished.

At first the task of rewriting seemed straightforward enough. Add more historical detail, keep the tone consistent, decide whether the piece was full on Erotica or merely Very Sexy historical romance. I set out, like every naïve pilgrim, thinking that even though the path prove stony, I could surmount any trial with the help of my trusty pen. But then that pen led me astray. It veered off into the path of Wickedness. It started writing new characters and crossing out whole chapters. It introduced emotions and new conflict that were completely inconsistent with the earlier version. In fact, it decided to write an entirely new piece. Hence my descent into the fifth ring.

I have to finish this and send it off. I've been stuck here too long. I know parts of it are so much better than the original, but that does me absolutely no good until the damn thing is finished. Oh Wrath! Oh Gloom!

Have any of you been led astray by the very pens you trusted? How did you regain control? Did it work out in the end? Please tell me there is a path out of this hell...