Hey there, everyone! Well, my fantasy novel Fallenwood is Decadent Publishing's Read For A Cure book for October. This means that all publisher proceeds will be donated to the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life for the month of October. Please help me to spread the word! And if you haven't read Fallenwood yet, I encourage you to. Not only will it benefit Relay For Life, but I LOOOOOVE feedback, good or bad, and I absolutely love hearing from people who've read it. :)
Hey there everyone! Thanks for joining me at this stop of Decadent Publishing's Worldwide YA Blog Tour!
Well, lately there have been a lot of changes to the writing "landscape", from the conclusion of the movie versions of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, to Borders closing their doors, and books moving to an ebook format. Would any of us have seen these things coming ten years ago?
It's left me wondering what will happen to the YA market and where it's headed. The ebook market has opened up the world of writing and publishing to new genres and styles. This is a very exciting thing for a writer. If I want to someday write a fantasy/sci-fi combo (Oooh, I can hear the booing and hissing from traditionalists of both genres!) I might actually be able to find a market for it. Before the advent of ebooks, it would have been considerably harder because I would need to show that traditionally there's been a market for it, which there hasn't.
Anyway, let's talk about movies. To me, it seems like fantasy has been a big thing movie-wise in the past several years. Audiences latch on to the "next big fantasy series" whether it's Lord of the Rings or Twilight or Harry Potter. (You could argue that Twilight isn't fantasy, and if you do, I won't hold it against you. It's ok. I consider it as part of an umbrella genre that encompasses a lot of things).
That being said, fantasy seems to be both popular and needed in today's world. Fantasy is something you can immerse yourself in, and not have to think overly hard about. That's not to say that fantasy writers don't have to put in effort - we just have to put in a different kind of effort, spread it around to different areas. As a writer, I don't have to explain the workings of creating a fireball (although it would be interesting to try and I might give it a shot one of these days). But all I really have to do is invoke the "m" word ("magic") and roll with it. All the reader has to do is sit back and watch the magic happen. It's like creating a literary fireworks show.
I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments! One lucky winner will be entered to win a copy of my fantasy YA novel Fallenwood!!!! Come and share in the magic!!!
Woo Hoo! I get to kick off Decadent Publishing's Worldwide YA Blog Tour!
Today is the first day of the Blog Stomp, and it kicks off over at Decadent Publishing's blog, Daily Dose of Decadence! So head on over there and I'll tell you the rules of the game and how you can be entered to win the Grand Prizes!
Also, every comment left at the Decadent Blog will give you a chance to earn an ebook copy of my fantasy YA novel Fallenwood!
I love the art of Arthur Rackham. When I saw the watercolor image below in a textbook, many years ago, it intrigued me.
Such romance! Such Old World charm and fantasy awesomeness!
Then I learned that it was an illustration of a story recorded by the Brothers Grimm, called The Old Woman In The Wood.
The story is about a young woman who travels with the family she serves. There is a carriage accident, and she is the only one who survives. So this dove comes to her and gives her a key that unlocks trees where there are goodies and yadda yadda yadda - lots of crazy stuff happens that doesn't make much sense. The main characters - actually all the characters - are unnamed in the original story, which is only two pages long and leaves you going "Whaaaaa.....?"
So my newest project is to write a retelling of the story. So far, it is proving to be both easy and challenging because of the sheer amount of plot holes in the original story. I've gotten it to 3k so far, and my goal is 20k.
Wish me luck!!!! :)
Anyway, it's something to keep me occupied while I wait on grades for my class stuff....so I don't go crazy. Eeeep!
You know, it's that thing I didn't think I could fall into
Because I supposed my heart was dead,
Beaten to death by stupid little boys
And then peed on.
The opposite of hate,
The cure for rage, that fierce state of being
That lingers forever shadow-like if not erased by something.
It's like a drug that makes you a crazy masochist,
So I apologize in advance
For the chaos I'll unleash -
It's nothing personal, it's just...
Well, you know, love.
That's right -
Go back to your cubicle box!
For this is the Mail Room
And you have no power here.
I am its magistrate -
The date stamp, my scepter.
With hospitality and kindness,
My will be done.
You will see.
This humble Mail Room
Will become Jamaica.
My post today is titled "Where do the lines go?" because that's a question I've been asking myself and my world as of late. What I'm really asking is, "Where do the roads lead for me, as an English major seeking my master's degree?"
From what I've gathered, you need a Ph.d. in order to teach as a professor at a 4 year university. With a master's degree, I could teach at a community college. One problem with that though - the community colleges in my area are not currently hiring English professors. My current professor tells me that this is the situation all across America, and I wonder why. After all, our schools are not hurting for students.
But at any rate, the current system of things seems to be rendering a degree in English to be a relatively useless thing. So what am I to do once I get my degree?
Same thing that I've been doing thus far, exhausting as it's been - fight the good fight, and keep writing. I'm gonna take the advice of a song by B.O.B. - "You just gotta keep screamin' 'til they hear you out."
Hello there everyone! Welcome to the New & Improved "Dusty Rose" blog, named after the tavern in Fallenwood.
I have copied all of the old posts from the old blog and have them archived on this one, so the old blog is no longer needed and I will now be able to set up blogs ahead of time to post on certain days.
Whew! Archiving was a lot of work. I am tired now. Me go sleepy sleep...
Today I'm blogging about a topic that's near and dear to my heart.Ok, not really, but it is on my mind a lot.I'm talking about genre labels.Those of you who follow me around…You're out there, right?You're not just figments of my overactive imagination?No?Right.Good.Moving on.You fans know that a while back I did a blog post about genres, because my books tend to straddle two or more.
Today I'm thinking more about the tags that get slapped on to clarify the genre label.Quite often, they're considered genres of their very own, although the definitions of those genres are even less firm than those of the 'normal' fiction genres.I'm talking about things like LGBT, Women's, Interracial, Black, Hispanic, Multicultural, or Military.
I understand completely why they exist.If someone is in a special interest group (sorry if the term offends, I'm not intending to), they might want to read a book that appeals to them based on that special interest group membership.If someone is looking for some particular aspect to the fiction they're reading, maybe because they just had someone added to their life who belongs to the special interest group, it helps them find it.Makes perfect sense.I can even see where the core of each of them is.For example, a book which explores the problems a couple has because one of them is Black and another is Asian is pretty clearly Interracial Fiction.If both of them are men, and they deal with the problems of being gay as well, it's also LGBT Fiction.If one of them is a CPO and the other is a Master Sergeant, you can pretty clearly see the Military Fiction angle.
Now, at this point the debate is 'is it Interracial, LGBT, or Military Fiction'?No matter which one you place it in, the other tags pretty well apply too.However, if the core of the story is how these two guys fight Space Vampires who want to take over the world, and eighty percent of the whopping big hundred fifty thousand word tome are spent slaying he immortal extraterrestrial evil, it's straddling SciFi and Fantasy.But do the tags still apply?You've got thirty thousand words, a solid novella, of dealing with issues.The tags are still pretty clearly appropriate.
Now, let's assume some of that exploration of problems winds up on the cutting room floor.There's still some of it there, but now it's just a brief nod to the fact that there is a problem.Now you've got a book about gay military action heroes named Petty Officer Washington and Master Sergeant Ta.They're still gay.They're still soldiers.They're still an interracial couple.But now those things are window dressing.They're not going to be treated insensitively, at least probably not, but they're not going to be explored very much.
My thought on the matter:if you're in the service, or gay (or especially both), you probably want to see this book, or at least be made aware of it.If you don't like Space Vampires, you probably won't read it, but if you *do* like Space Vampires, you're probably tired of the gay guys being the no-sexual-tension friend and comic relief for the butt kicking suburbanite teen aged white girl.You want the hero to be someone, well, like you.
OF course, sometimes it backfires.Sometimes someone who isn't familiar with genre conventions will pick up the book because it says 'Black' on the cover and say "Petty Officer Washington uses magic powers to fight the Space Vampires!Magic Negroes are offensive to Black people!"So you don't want to over use them, either.
So, tell me, tell me, one and all, when do you think special interest tags are appropriate, and why?
If you liked this (Hint: if you read this far, you liked it*, you hated it**, or you have a text addiction***), you can find all four of my books at www.decadentpublishing.com.They're a mix of pulse pounding action, sweet romance and funny bone tickling comedy.One of them has a Hispanic Cop (Road Mage).Two of them have a half-breed Black / Jewish Female Military Engineer ("The Strange Fate of Capricious Jones" and "A Christmas Evening Vigil").And one of them (Fae Eye for the Golem Guy) (What Not to Fear will soon make it two!) has Gay Fairy Godfathers.And none of them were written to be Special Interest Fiction.Even if they might be.J
*If you liked this, you'll like them.Trust me.Would I lie to you?
**If you hated this, buy one of my ebooks, print it out, and burn it in effigy.You'll feel better.My first print release will be along soon.Buy one of those and burn it in effigy, too.You'll feel even better about that!
***If you have a text addiction, my books are an excellent word-count-per-dollar value!
Check out Robert Roman's work at Decadent Publishing!!!
Hey there everyone! Today we've got guest author Deena Remiel, blogging about romance and her children!
Romance and My Children Don’t Mix
Just last week I wrote about how my husband and I have scarred our children for life by kissing in front of them. Well, this week’s escapade at the mall takes the cake as the all-time fry-the-brain-cells moment in our family’s history.
Let me begin by telling you that I’m attending the Romantic Times Convention in LA. Every night there’s one kind of ball or another with different themes. One may dress up to go along with those themes. And here, my friends, is where things get funky. So, I’m attending a Vampire Ball hosted by Heather Graham, among others. I’m such a fan, I can’t wait.
Well, I need a costume! I decide to go into Frederick’s of Hollywood for a corset. I try on a few, settle on one, and I am feeling fantastic! Never mind that I can’t breathe. Who needs to breathe? As long as I look good, I can breathe later. I come out of the store and meet up with the rest of the family who was shopping in stores of a much gentler nature.
Youngest reaches for my bag and proceeds to look inside. “What did you get, Mama?” she asks.
“A corset,” I respond.
“What’s that?” Youngest asks.
“Isn’t that one of those things you wear and your boobs get all smushed up?” Eldest chimes in.
“Uh, yeah,” I respond and giggle since Hubby is listening very intently.
“Ew! That’s gross, Mom!” Eldest shrieks and laughs.
“What? It’s a costume and it’s beautiful. I bet Daddy will like it,” I say defensively, trying hard not to laugh at my daughter’s pruned up face.
“Mom! Stop!” Eldest screams.“You told me Pot fries the brain cells. THIS has completely fried my entire BRAIN! Just don’t say anything more! Don’t!”
I sigh and shake my head, then laugh hysterically. It seems my eldest daughter just can’t stand anything having the least bit to do with romance and her parents. Our kissing grosses her out, our saying mushy things to each other makes her want to hurl, and now provocative clothing on her mother is frying her brain.
God help me when she has her first real romance!Even Hannah, my heroine’s daughter in Trinity, is more accepting of romance than my own daughter. She actually would love to see her mother and Michael kiss and even get married! Speaking of Trinity, at least I can rest easy knowing that the lovey-dovey ick factor will keep my kids from sneaking peeks into my book. Yeah, neither daughter is ready for any kind of romance novel, YA or adult.
So, to keep peace in the house, I promised them I wouldn’t wear the corset in front of them. I wouldn’t talk about it around them either. I must lead a clandestine life until they are young adults who can appreciate romance and all that goes with it.
Yeah, romance and my children… they don’t mix.
Thanks for the awesome post, Deena! Everyone - check out Deena Remiel's Brethren novel series. The first book, Trinity, is releasing from Decadent Publishing on March 22nd!!! Evil better run - because the Brethren are coming!!!
Hey there Maureen. Thanks for joining us! Please tell us about yourself:
I noticed on your website that you mention 2nd chances. What does this mean to you and what influence does it have on your writing?
Well, I am the recipient of the ultimate second chance. I suffered sudden cardiac death in April of 2007 and only through the swift action of my husband am I still here. At the time I was pretty much sleep walking through life, a bit frozen with depression…writing, but convinced that I could never attempt to be published as one rejection would see me shrivel up and die.
Ha! Then I nearly died. After some therapy, I realized that I had faced the worst thing life could do to me…rejection was nothing! And I began to celebrate my second chance. I believe in as many chances as one needs, that chances continue to come forward in your life and everyone, bloody absolutely everyone, deserves how every many chances it takes. I’m proof of that! And chances are certainly what my books are all about.
I thought I saw on a blog post that you have a Kraken collection. Is that true?
Oh, yes! I have many krakens! Stuffed krakens, a hand puppet, a beautiful ornament, tablets, jewelry… I’m thinking I need a tattoo! When a kraken plays cupid in your premier book, they become quite important. And, of course, on the group blog I’m part of, the kraken follows the ship around since we feed it inner critics on a regular basis. I highly recommend tossing you inner critics overboard at every opportunity!
I saw on your web site that The Kraken’s Mirror is now available in print. Is this your first print book so far? What are your feelings about being a printed author?
The Kraken’s Mirror is my first book, both e and print! And as much as I love my e-reader, and I read mostly e-books…there is something quite magical about having a book to handle. And I look forward to giving one to my Mom!
I’ve got to ask the question – If you had to be stuck at sea with a pirate, would you take Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow, or would you fight me for Orlando Bloom as Will Turner?
Will is all yours, Leslie. I’d take Jack. He’d be more entertaining and prone to moments of brilliance! Like when he tipped the boat in the third movie…that was inspired! Though given a real choice…I’d probably opt for Barbossa.
Is The Chameleon Goggles a sequel to The Kraken’s Mirror? If not, do you have a sequel planned?
Yup, and I’m hoping Decadent wants The Chameleon Goggles. It’s set in the same world, with the same characters, but a different romantic couple. And an invasion from a steampunk world! The kraken proves pivotal in this book.
I hope to see a third and final book in the series. The Pirate Circus!
Do you listen to music when you write?
When I remember my headphones and bring them to Starbucks…I listen to my music. Otherwise it’s what they are piping into the café. When I get to listen to what I want… Right now it’s Abney Park, and the soundtrack from Sherlock.
Thanks for joining us!
My pleasure, Leslie! Let me add that I love to interact with readers, or just about anyone. Friend me on Facebook, follow any of the blogs I wander on, check out my website. Talk to me!
Treated by our youth-oriented society as invisible and sexless Emily Pawes attends a pirate festival to recapture the make believe magic she knew as a young woman. She wins an interesting bit of booty at a bric-a-brac stand. The Kraken's mirror is a magical portal and transports her to a land of Hollywood piratitude, where swashbuckling heroes own iPods. With little choice, she embraces the madness, deciding she’ll play pirate until she figures out how to get home. Or wakes up in a padded cell.
Instead of men in little white coats, she encounters the handsome Captain Alan Silvestri. He is a man haunted by a strange curse. Good luck is his to command, but it comes at the cost of any place to call home or people to call family. Resigned to die shunned by all, forced to sail every three days, he begins to dream of a special woman.
When they meet, sparks fly, passion flares. He needs her to be free, but more than that, he needs her to be whole. They set sail, uncertain of who has control of the wheel, seeking to defeat his curse of good luck and discover all the Kraken’s mirror plans for them.
Hey there everyone! Today we've got Olivia Starke as our guest author, and she's talking about the importance of exercise for writers.
Today I thought I’d blog on something that every author should consider adding to their writing program: a good exercise program. Working out may not be everyone’s cup of tea, maybe you hate physical exertion, but not only is exercise good for depleting those naughty fat cells, it’s an excellent way to increase brain power! Science has shown that increased blood flow to the brain raises cognitive abilities, and we writers need all the brain juice we can get when battling literary befuddlements.
Stress is a big part of our lives, and for authors who are meeting deadlines and struggling with dead end plots, we can burn out pretty quickly. Next time your head is spinning in circles, grab the dogs (or kids) and head outside for a play session. Exercise doesn’t have to be an agonizing hour on a treadmill—fresh air and sunshine with those you love can work miracles for that wayward muse inside us all. Play Frisbee or catch in the park, climb the monkeybars, swing, or anything else that brings out the kid in you and lose track of time like a five year old. I admit I love running and my Brazil butt work-out DVD, but I also make sure to mix it up with hiking with the dogs to get some fresh air. I also recently purchased a kayak and am super excited to try it out when the weather warms. Heck, I was even involved in a bellydance troupe, and it kicked my butt even though I never once felt like I was exercising.
Variety is the spice of life, and our bodies were designed to move, so try to find different ways to play that bring you joy. That’s the trick with exercise, may it a playful session. Not only will your body love you, your muse will, too!
Coming soon to the Decadent Publishing 1Night Stand series:
Ashley Adams is tired of being called Mom by her twenty-something year old coworkers so she decides to join a dating site headed by Madame Evangeline. When she is paired with a hot twenty-six year old named Justin, sparks fly as soon as they step into the elevator of the posh hotel. There is something magical in the chemistry between the two of them, but there is something more to their physical union. A secret that Justin must wait for Ashley to discover for herself
Hello!And thanks to Leslie for letting me crash her blog for the day!I’m dedicating this blog today to letting everyone in on a secret – the sequel to Blood Moon is in the works!Right now, its got a crappy title, so I won’t bother mentioning it. (No really – I’m not sure what I was thinking when I wrote that at the top of the screen).
If you read Blood Moon, then you are certain to have met Thaddeus. He’s a secondary character with a flair for the dramatic. And I love him to pieces. So this time, the second book is about him. There’s even a third book half plotted about Aaron, which I hadn’t intended, but cropped up while I was making notes about Thaddeus.
Writing a sequel is more difficult that I imagined it would be. It’s taken me a long time to get started because I had this mental block about writing a story with my two MC on the outside, rather than the inside. It stumped me far more than it should have. But I finally sat down and forced myself to map out a plot. And with that came the strange twist of fate where I introduced Julian Thessangelos, Thaddeus and Lawrence’s father.
I did not plan for him to enter the scene, but he insinuated himself there, and now he’s made himself one of the biggest plot points. It’s his nature, I guess.
But here is the problem – as much as I adore Thaddeus, I love his father even more. And his father is bad. We’re talking the kind of villain who really should die at the end. But I don’t want to kill him. So for now, no one knows how this book will end. Because Thaddeus and Lawrence have managed to escape Dad’s radar for a long time.
But things are about to change, and they’re going to have to deal with each other.
What can I tell you about this book? You’ll still love Thaddeus. You’ll love to hate Julian. And there will be more magic, a little more darkness, and a great love story.
I’ve included a page from the beginning – something to whet your appetites.
They all moved forward as a tall, raven haired beauty dressed in an impeccable suit got out of the car. She wasn’t just graceful. She flowed.
“Thaddeus, how lovely to see you again.” She said. One red-tipped hand waved in the air.
Thaddeus teeth clenched. Wherever Serena went, disaster followed in her elegantly managed wake.
Lukas folded his arms across his chest, a growl rumbling around them as her high heel touched the bottom step. She paused, her smile brittle. “I thought you’d be a little more accepting of a guest.”
“Where did you get that idea?” Lukas asked. “What do you want?”
Serena examined her fingernails. “Thaddeus and I need to have a word. If you’d prefer, we can just take a stroll around the grounds,” At Lukas narrowed gaze, she huffed. “Or the parking lot. Whatever.”
He turned to Thaddeus. “Your choice.”
Not really. Thaddeus thought. She’ll just find a way to get me alone and no one will like that.
His fists rubbed the side of his pant leg. “Let’s walk, shall we?”
Serena waited for him to get to the bottom of the steps before curling her arm around his elbow. She flashed a flirty smile over her shoulder.
Thaddeus wanted to groan. Ella was back there watching somewhere, he knew it. And there’d be hell to pay later.
“Start talking, Serena.”
“Julian sent me,” she sniffed. “Otherwise I wouldn’t be within a hundred miles of your god-forsaken little backwater.”
Thaddeus tried to be cavalier, though his blood turned to ice. “And what does dear old Dad want?”
“The same as always, darling. You.”
“Well, there are some things he just can’t have.”
Serena was silent a moment, then stopped abruptly and jerked his arm. “Listen to me, Thaddeus. I don’t like your father any more than you do, but I know when to fight him and when to give in. Take a piece of free advice: he’s let you slide in the past, but whatever is going on this time, he won’t take no for an answer.”
He crossed his arms. “That sounds an awful lot like a threat.”
She laughed. “Not from me, you idiot. He’s planning on coming here himself.”
Hello there everyone! Today we're featuring Leanne Dyck's novel The Sweater Curse!
Aspiring knitwear designer Gwen Bjarnson is stuck in Purgatory. To escape, she must re-examine her life, journey through her past and right a wrong. But which wrong?
Young and in love, she works to establish her career except fate has different plans. One rash act and she loses everything. Never resting, always seeking, and yearning for what she can no longer have, Gwen faces the truth: if she remains, others are destined to die.
How will she solve the mystery before it is too late?
The earliest impressions my mind retains are a patchwork of senses: the smell of bread baking, the wet tongue of a farm dog, and the crunch of autumn leaves. These memories are seductive. I could get lost in them.
I must focus on cold hard facts.
Place of birth: Blondous, Manitoba.
Date of birth: April 14th, 1988.
I was born into a world of big hair, padded shoulders, and disco. Freaky.
Two years after my birth, we entered a new decade, the 90's. At twelve, we were in a new century--the twenty-first.
Dead at the age of twenty-five.
The Sweater Curse: A Modern Edda
Leanne Dyck has crafted a tale as exotic and existential as Danish author Isak Dinesen's. Her novella begins in a Ship-of-Fools fashion, with a bitter voice in some mysterious waiting room beyond the grave. The speaker, Gwen Bjarnson, returns to her childhood years in Blondous, a small town in northern Manitoba with a major Icelandic population. Her sweet and easy-going father is a simple farmer, but her mother is an ambitious doctor bent on pursuing her career.
Gwen finds solace in the love and care of her Auntie Oli, who shows her the art of crafts. "Knitting wove us together." But dark forces will take the family from their safe haven to Vancouver, where her storyteller dad falls quickly into alcholism. Stubbon but vulnerable Gwen is torn between two worlds, the tradition of her common-sense, hardworking forebearers and the demands of the modern life with its soul-crushing and superficial definition of success. To marry? To go to university? To become a fashion designer and as master of wools, colours, and patterns? Or to drown one's sorrows with liquor and the "sweet breath of Mary Jane"? In the creative atmosphere of Kitsilano, where "anything goes", love may come to Gwen, but is she ready to receive it? Temptations come at a price.
Overhanging this brooding and complex story is the time-honoured tale of the Sweater Curse. Knitting a sweater for a man who is not yet a husband will bring tragedy. Creating modern characters against the fateful background of the sagas, Dyck gives them free will to choose their own destinies. This book defies genre definitions as it finds its unique place on the fiction shelves. Here's hoping Leanne Dyck returns many times to the intriguing roots of her family's past.
Valentine's Day often brings up the power of chocolate for me. Your significant other brings you flowers and candy, just sweet little tokens of affection. But for some, its velvety smoothness can mean much more. It could signify love, comfort and laughter. It’s also featured in movies and in television shows. It’s also apparently mentioned in music as well, but we aren’t going there. For me, it means a lot that my husband goes out his way to a packed Fannie May candies and picks up my favorite—dark chocolate covered caramels. To me that is love—and that’s also paying attention. It has also proven to increase libido. Personal quote: Please don’t inform any shady characters that I will follow a trail of chocolate…anywhere. One of my favorite writers JoAnn Ross has said on her website that “she dearly hopes editors never discover that she'd write for chocolate.” But she is just joking…isn’t she?
The History of Chocolate
Delicious, delectable, soothing and, yes, American. Chocolate was a New World discovery, one of the most sought-after treasures brought back to Europe from the brave new land across the Atlantic. Cacao, from which chocolate is created, is said to have originated in the Amazon at least 4,000 years ago. The Aztecs were so enthralled with the bean that they attributed its creation to their god Quetzalcoatl who, as the legend goes descended from heaven on a beam of a morning star carrying a cacao tree stolen from paradise. In fact, the Aztecs valued the cacao bean so much that they used it as currency. Chocolate on TV The closer’s Brenda is famous indulging in chocolate treats in almost every episode. Chocolate in movies You know the answer to this one… Chocolat. If you’re single, buy yourself a box of fine chocolates, you will need them and buy or rent it. Then indulge in the hotness that is Johnny Depp.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) Also Johnny Depp and chocolate.
(I don’t think I will ever recover from writing this blog.)
Like Water for Chocolate (1993)
This article is actually from the NY times
Chocolate once offered simple pleasure and easy choices: plain or with almonds? Milk or dark? Now, from many perspectives — including controversy about some aspects of its production — chocolate is viewed as a far more complex food.
Fine chocolate now shares the status of wine and cheese: connoisseurs have learned to taste differences among producers and even among cacao growers, with single-plantation and single-origin chocolates emerging from Indonesia, Venezuela and the Cote d’Ivoire. (The Theobroma tree, from whose seeds chocolate comes — Theobroma is Greek for “food of the gods” — grows in hot humid climates within 20 degrees of the equator.) Click on the link to read the rest of the story. http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/c/chocolate/index.html
Alas there is a chocolate.com. Have funhttp://www.chocolate.com/ My hypothesis is that the world’s favorite sweet treat plays more of an important role in Valentine's Day than we think. Is it more important than love? For some that may be true… One lucky commenter will win, you guessed it… A heart shaped box of Fannie May chocolates.
Hello everyone, and welcome! Today, our guest is Rose Stadler, author of the novel Family Reunion.
Well, let's get started! Rose has answered ten interview questions for us.
For this I chose Family Reunion because it was a fun, silly book to write. My other books have a more serious nature, historical fiction, truth and fiction combined. I call it faction. There always has to be an element of truth when you write fiction, and you have to research as seriously, because just when you think you have it right, someone will call you on it. Ask me more about it later.
1.Is there a message in your work that you want readers to grasp?
Family Reunion is a light-hearted look at Kallie McGill,a boring accountant until she attends a family reunion. In the time it takes for a tornado to sweep in, her life is changed. Granny is swept up, an old toothless guy steals her purse and her gay cousin's lover is up a tree. Later, after she wipes the baby goop off her hair, she goes to a bar with the intention of forgetting her soon-to-be ex husband. That's when she discovers that her wallet is missing. The bar is now a biker bar and she finds herself ass down on the barroom floor, surrounded by bikers who eat their weight in human thigh bones every day. Not only is Uncle Morty missing somewhere in the tropics of Columbia, her Aunt Celeste is lost in the jungle wearing her Jimmy Choos. I wanted people to laugh reading it as much as I laughed writing it. Don't take yourself so seriously. A good laugh is good for the soul.
Here I threw in ATF, undercover cops, bikers, a stray dog, hot and heavy sex, Columbian drug lords and the MS-13, one of the most brutal gangs in the world.
2.What genre is your favorite to write?
I'm not terribly good at romance because, perhaps, I was a sensible social worker all my professional life, therefore, I'm too practical for the Mr. Rights. I can change my own tires if I have to... besides, my characters turn into sluts on page three.I've tried my hand at romance, but I keep tripping over dead bodies. I like the complex w plots of mysteries. I also like writing when I don't particularly have a road map. Like taking the dog for a ride and yelling “Road trip!”It has to work together in the end... but mysteries are my favorite.
3.What are your current Works In Progress?
Interesting question: right now I'm trying to sell four novels and as if I had the sense God gave a goose, I wouldn't have started another. Got up one morning after a 2am dream, and started writing. What if Cain's daughter married Job's son?Now I have Cain's Daughter (working title only) with a female villain... I may change that, depends on what happens next. She's just been kidnapped out of her condo while getting dressed. She's wearing a skirt, a red camisole, gray stockings and heels, and a bathrobe. The wind off the Atlantic is harsh.... and damnit, if she was going to be kidnapped before breakfast, she would have worn long-johns. The idea is to keep the reader guessing on every page. That's the good thing about mysteries.
4.Tell us about your most recent book.
Family Reunion is the most current on the market. It's a fun book and some of the reviews are saying, “I laughed so hard my face hurt.” I like that. Also on the market are 1) The Confederette, 2) Parallel Lives, 3) Lock, Stock and Wine Barrel and 4) Release Your Inner Bitch. (non-fiction, because bitches don't get abused.) The review for The Confederette ranged from “That blankity-blank author should be hung. My great grandfather fought in the Civil War and he would never have raped a woman. That woman should be horse-whipped.” to, “If you liked Cold Mountain, you'll love The Confederette.”
5.How did you come up with the title?
Titles find me. With The Confererette, I wracked my brain day after day, then one day I was watching a parade and the announcer was talking about drum majorettes.... and bang, ettes... female. I wanted my readers to know they were dealing with a strong female character post Civil War. Lock, Stock and Wine Barrel (children of Lebensborn - - Hitler's breeding camps) my main character was an army nurse, and when they leap-frogged in Italy (Anzio - - along the mountain ridge) they had to pull up stakes every time. They moved lock, stock and barrel (gun terms) but I threw in a wine barrel - - thus Lock, Stock and Wine Barrel. With Release Your Inner Bitch it was easy. As a social worker, I had worked in a shelter for domestic violence. We had a young mother, beautiful as a dove with a voice like the morning sun, terribly abused. I was trying to get her ready for court, and she kept saying that she would pray for her husband, and I wanted shake her until her teeth rattled. I made her stand up and yell at me.... then I said, “be a bitch! Tell me to go to hell!” Finally she did.Yay....
6.What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?
Don't be a wimp. Tell people up front that you're doing research on whatever. Everyone I've met has bent over backwards to help me. I acknowledge them in writing and make sure they get a copy of the book at my expense. Another thing: Don't expect everyone to love your work. With The Confederette I had to kill a horse in order to move the plot in the right direction. Horse lovers hated me, offered to pray for me and sent me information from PETA.
7.Where and when do you write?
I often get up at 3 a.m. My most creative time is in the morning. After that, there's dishes, phone calls, marketing, sending out queries, the left-brained stuff. I can edit in the afternoon, but I slam down thoughts at first breath.
8.How do you overcome Writer's Block?
Writer's block is an excuse for not writing. When I get stuck I use clustering to get me moving. Take one word.... anything... rain, and see where it takes you. I taught fiction writing for 20 years and students would always say, “I'm stuck.” So what do you do when you get stuck in snow and ice? Get out the salt... sprinkle it around your tires. Words are the salt. Sprinkle them around your word-tires and move it.
9.Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers? If so, what are they?
Don't ever give up.... avoid the nay-sayers (doesn't matter who.... spouse, lover, friend, agents who reject you). Do not stop learning your craft, anddo not give up. When you die... and you will, the Goodwill truck will back up to your front steps, and everything you own(ed) will either go to the kids or charity or get sold at the next rummage sale. Don't let your stories be sold along with old coffee cups. Your writing is your legacy. Keep it alive.
10.Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Yes, if you love or hate my work, let me know. If I made you laugh or cry, tell me. If you threwmy book across the room, or wept for hours... tell me. If it gives you nightmares, tell me. If you laughed so hard you peed yourself, tell me. My readers are my reason to keep going when I feel like quiting, and every author asks, “what the heck am I doing this for? Darn, I could have been happy measuring men's inseams...”