Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tipsy Tuesday

Ah, the elusive query letter. That one-page introduction of you and your book to your editor or agent of choice. What elements will knock the socks off the recipient and make them salivate to be the one to read your baby?

Check out Nathan Bransford's post Anatomy of a Really Bad Query Letter. Good stuff here.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Man Meat Monday

Just a reminder that you still have until the 31st to enter the Deliciously Naughty Writers' holiday contest for a chance to win lots of neat prizes. Our website has the details.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Friday Funny


Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tipsy Tuesday

Today's tip: If you can get a guy like this to be your Christmas tree, take him up on it!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Man Meat Monday

Did you know Santa has a brother? His name is Kevin:

Ho, ho, ho indeed...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Funny


For some time many of us have wondered just who is Jack Schitt? We find ourselves at a loss when someone says, "You don't know Jack Schitt!" Well, thanks to my genealogy efforts, you can now respond in an intellectual way.

Jack Schitt is the only son of Awe Schitt. Awe Schitt, the fertilizer magnate, married O. Schitt, the owner of Needeep N. Schitt, Inc. They had one son, Jack.

In turn, Jack Schitt married Noe Schitt. The deeply religious couple produced six children: Holie Schitt, Giva Schitt, Fulla Schitt, Bull Schitt, and the twins Deep Schitt and Dip Schitt.

Against her parents' objections, Deep Schitt married Dumb Schitt, a high school dropout. After being married 15 years, Jack and Noe Schitt divorced. Noe Schitt later married Ted Sherlock, and because her kids were living with them, she wanted to keep her previous name. She was then known as Noe Schitt Sherlock.

Meanwhile, Dip Schitt married Loda Schitt, and they produced a son with a rather nervous disposition named Chicken Schitt. Two of the other six children, Fulla Schitt and Giva Schitt, were inseparable throughout childhood and subsequently married the Happens brothers in a dual ceremony. The wedding announcement in the newspaper announced the Schitt-Happens nuptials. The Schitt-Happens children were Dawg, Byrd, and Horse.

Bull Schitt, the prodigal son, left home to tour the world. He recently returned from Italy with his new Italian bride, Pisa Schitt.

Now when someone says, "You don't know Jack Schitt," you can correct them.

Crock O. Schitt


(Remember: laughing lowers the blood pressure. My Friday Funnies are, therefore, a public health service...) :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Did You Hear?

Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic recently performed the first ever nearly total face transplant on a patient with severe facial deformities. The patient received 80% of a donor's face. (Her injuries were so horrific that she lacked a nose and palate, and could not eat or breathe on her own without a special opening into her windpipe. So this was much more than just someone who wanted a little work done...)

A face transplant.

A face transplant.

It is the first facial transplant known to have included bones, along with muscle, skin, blood vessels and nerves. The woman received a nose, most of the sinuses around the nose, the upper jaw and even some teeth, said Dr. Frank Papay, the clinic's plastic surgery chief.

"This patient exhausted all conventional means of reconstruction, and is the right patient," lead surgeon Dr. Maria Siemionow said at a news conference. So many disfigured patients are stuck "in their houses who are hiding from society," afraid to go out, she said. "Our patient was called names and was humiliated. You need a face to face the world."

So she got a face transplant. How cool is that? I just get chills every time I read a story that seems so sci-fi. The future is here, folks!

A face transplant. Huh.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tipsy Tuesday

One of the writing-related blogs I routinely visit is by Jossey-Bass Executive Editor Alan Rinzler. (Jossey-Bass Publishing (in San Fransisco) is an imprint of John Wiley & Sons of New York. Rinzler's long career also includes jobs at Bantam Books, Rolling Stone Magazine, and Simon and Schuster.) In Rinzler's words, his blog is his "take on the challenges and opportunities writers face in the world of digital and print book publishing, the mysterious process of acquisition, development, sales, and marketing, how agents and publishers conspire and compete behind the scenes to find the best new authors, and other special features." Posts range from how to write an attention-getting book proposal to developing a selling “hook” and building your author platform.

His most recent post speaks to book covers--what goes into selecting them, who gets to weigh in, and things an author can do to help. Check it out here.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Man Meat Monday

My. What a big...belt buckle...you have...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Love Romances Chat

Join me today from noon to 6 p.m. EST over at Love Romances Cafe--I'll be chatting with readers, sharing excerpts, and there might just be a chance for someone to win a signed copy of DARING THE MOON...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Funny

We are in trouble...

The population of this country is 300 million.

160 million are retired.

That leaves 140 million to do the work.

There are 85 million in school.

Which leaves 55 million to do the work.

Of this there are 35 million employed by the federal government.

Leaving 15 million to do the work.

2.8 million are in the armed forces preoccupied with killing Osama Bin-Laden.

Which leaves 12.2 million to do the work.

Take from that total the 10.8 million people who work for state and city governments. And that leaves 1.4 million to do the work.

At any given time there are 188,000 people in hospitals.

Leaving 1,212,000 to do the work.

Now, there are 1,211,998 people in prisons.

That leaves just two people to do the work.

You and me.

And there you are,

Sitting on your ass,

At your computer, reading jokes.

Nice. Real Freakin' nice.

LOL Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tucson Festival of Books

Those of you who live near enough to Tucson to make a trip here, mark your calendars:

March 14-15 on the University of Arizona campus, the city of Tucson is holding its first Festival of Books. Some of the featured authors include Vicki Lewis Thompson, Diana Gabaldon, Father Andrew Greeley, J.A. Jantz and Elmore Leonard just to name a few. Over 300 other authors are participating. Including yours truly.

On Saturday, March 14, I along with fellow ero-rom authors Jill Knowles and Anastasia Rabiyah will host a panel on "Turning Up the Heat: The Spicier Side of Romance". In a room that seats 100. (Yep, my knees are already shaking...)

Leading up to all of this, the Pima County Library is working with my local RWA chapter and has put together several free workshops in various libraries in town. As part of the Amore and More! sessions, three of us (Laurie Schnebly Campbell, Jill Knowles and me) will speak on January 31, 2009 from 1:00-3:00 at the Himmel Park Branch Library. Our topic: It's Not Your Mother's Romance Anymore. We'll discuss how romance novels have changed over the years, what the various sub-genres under the greater romance umbrella are, and how they differ from each other.

Stay tuned for more details the closer we get to the events.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Tipsy Tuesday

Literary Agent Nathan Bransford's doing it again. (You'd have thought he'd learned his lesson the last time...)

He's running his First Paragraph Challenge. The prize up for grabs? A chance to have your work (either a partial or a query) critiqued by Nathan or a 15-minute phone conversation with him.

Head on over to his blog for details. And do it now--the deadline for entries is Thursday 4 p.m. Pacific time.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Man Meat Monday

It's a cold, rainy morning here, the kind of morning where you should just stay in bed...

Yeah. Now that's what I'm talkin' about...

Saturday, December 06, 2008

First Reviews for DARING THE MOON

5 Blue Ribbons from Romance Junkies!

"Daring the Moon is Sherrill Quinn’s first novel in a dark and seductive new series, and what a stunning debut it is! From the very compelling first paragraph to the shocking conclusion, Daring the Moon is an exciting new take on the werewolf legend. The best way I can describe the tone of the novel is modern gothic, with a heavy dose of sensuality guaranteed to leave the reader breathless. Author Sherrill Quinn draws the reader in with her lush, descriptive language and intriguing characters. I’m very excited about this new series, and I can assure other lovers of paranormal romance that they will be delighted with Daring the Moon and will definitely want to add it to their keeper shelf."

Full review: http://romancejunkiesreviews.com/artman/publish/paranormal/Daring_the_Moon.shtml

And from Genre Go Round Reviews:

"Taite as a woman in peril from a supernatural beast makes Daring the Moon a fun paranormal romantic suspense. She carries the load holding the fast-paced story line together while two males “want” her... Sub-genre readers will enjoy Sherrill Quinn’s fun werewolf romantic suspense."

Full review: http://genregoroundreviews.blogspot.com/2008/11/daring-moon-sherrill-quinn.html

To read an excerpt, click here. You can also pre-order from Amazon.com, Borders.com, and Books-A-Million.com.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Friday Funny

The man who smiles when things go wrong has thought of someone to blame it on. (Robert Bloch)

Never take life too seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway. (Anonymous)

Girls are like phones. We love to be held, talked too but if you press the wrong button you'll be disconnected! (Anonymous)

A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing. (Anonymous)

When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That's relativity. (Albert Einstein)

I think animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers. (Anonymous)

It is impossible to travel faster than the speed of light, and certainly not desirable, as one's hat keeps blowing off. (Anonymous)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

My Dragon Guys Stay On Top

So to speak.

DRAGONHEAT was Amber Heat's #2 best seller for the month of November.

DRAGONFIRE came back onto the Top 10 list at #8.


(Visit my page at Amber Heat for excerpts or to buy.)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Tipsy Tuesday

I am generally a good cook, though I don't do anything fancy. Love to eat; hate the clean-up. But I do have a couple of tips for you:

1) If you leave the Parmesan out of Turkey Tetrazzini, it still tastes yummy.

2) If you leave the rice out of rice pudding, it still tastes yummy. And it's not always obvious what's missing. Case in point--several years ago my mom made rice pudding. She and my dad came over to my house for dinner (I lived with my sister at the time), and Mom brought the dessert (leftover rice pudding). As she's dishing it up, she says, "There's something different about this, but your dad and I can't figure out what it is. C (my sister) had some when she stopped by at lunchtime, and she can't figure it out, either." I took one bite and said, "There's no rice in it." The was dead silence, then uproarious laughter. Yep. Mom had left the rice out of the rice pudding. But it was still yummy.

3) If you leave baking soda out of your biscuits, they do not still taste yummy. They're as hard as hockey pucks that even the dog won't eat.

Those are my tips for the day. Have a good one!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Man Meat Monday

Can I just say...


Friday, November 28, 2008

Friday Funny

Turkey Hunter's Tale

Tommy and Billy were discussing the their latest turkey shoot. Tommy says emphatically, "I am never going to take my wife Laura shooting with me ever again!"

"That bad, eh?" enquires Billy with a smile.

"Yeah, she did everything wrong, got nothing right. She chattered too much, constantly disturbed the undergrowth, loaded the wrong gauge shot in the gun, used the wrong luring whistles and worst of all," bellows Tommy, "she shot more turkeys than me!"

All I have to say is... You go, girl! LOL

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tipsy Tuesday

According to Publisher's Weekly:

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has asked its editors to stop buying books. Josef Blumenfeld, Vice President of Communications for HMH, confirmed that the publisher has “temporarily stopped acquiring manuscripts” across its trade and reference divisions. The directive was given verbally to a handful of executives and, according to Blumenfeld, is “not a permanent change.” Blumenfeld, who hedged on when the ban might be lifted, said that the right project could still go to the editorial review board. He also maintained that the the decision is less about taking drastic measures than conducting good business.

“In this case, it’s a symbol of doing things smarter; it’s not an indicator of the end of literature,” he said. “We have turned off the spigot, but we have a very robust pipeline.” The action by the highly leveraged HMH may also be as much about the company's need to cut costs in a tight credit market.as about the current economic slowdown.

While Blumenfeld dismissed the severity of the policy, a number of agents said they have never heard of a publisher going so far as to instruct its editors to stop acquiring. “I’ve been in the business a long time and at a couple of houses I worked at, when things were bad, we were asked to cut back,” said agent Jonathon Lazear. “But I’ve never heard of anything so public.” Lazear added that, in the past two weeks, business has been more “sluggish” than it had been all year.

Another agent who had also heard about the no-acquisitions policy at HMH called the move “very scary” and said it's indicative of an industry climate worse than any he’s ever seen.

Thus far one agent has confirmed that at least one of his manuscripts has been declined at HMH per the policy. But perhaps an editor at the house put it best; in an e-mail, the editor mentioned the policy and added, “Who knows what’s next.”

At my local RWA chapter meeting on Saturday, agent Jessica Faust of BookEnds, Inc. spoke briefly about the economy and how it may affect the publishing industry. Her take on things is that the fiction publishers she deals with right now have not announced any cutbacks in their monthly publishing slots (i.e., if they normally print 3 romances, 2 mysteries and 4 sci fi books, they're still doing that same number), but they are being more selective in what they're buying.

What does this mean for writers? That you need to write a better book than the next guy, pure and simple. And that you shouldn't give up. It can still happen for you.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Man Meat Monday

This is one of my favorites. Growwwwf!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Funny

One day a father gets out of work and on his way home he suddenly remembers that it's his daughter's birthday. He goes into a toy shop and asks the sales person, "How much for one of those Barbies in the display window?"

The salesperson answers, "Which one do you mean, sir? We have: Work Out Barbie for $19.95, Shopping Barbie for $19.95, Beach Barbie for $19.95, Disco Barbie for $19.95, Ballerina Barbie for $19.95, Astronaut Barbie For $19.95, Skater Barbie for $19.95, and Divorced Barbie for $265.95."

The amazed father asks, "It's what?! Why is the Divorced Barbie $265.95 and the others only $19.95?"

The annoyed salesperson rolls her eyes, sighs and answers, "Sir, Divorced Barbie comes with: Ken's Car, Ken's House, Ken's Boat, Ken's Furniture, Ken's Computer, one of Ken's Friends, and a key chain made with Ken's balls."


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Why Having An Agent Is A Good Thing

There are some writers out there who believe that they don't need an agent. And, in my opinion, if they're going to stay strictly in the e-pubbing field, they might very well be right. (Although they do need someone else--someone who's been there, done that--to look over their contracts before they sign them. Even e-pub contracts have legalese and confusing verbiage.)


What if you've set your sights on print publication? What if you're looking toward New York?

It's my observation--and belief--that an agent is not just someone who vets your contracts for you. S/he is not just someone who gets you a solid advance for your first novel. H/she is your partner--someone who will help you think about what your strengths are as a writer, and how to develop those strengths moving forward. How to write the best books you can.

On top of that, a successful, experienced agent (and hopefully that's the kind you're looking for/dealing with) knows the market and has the right contacts in the industry.

But it is true, too, that a bad agent is worse than no agent. So make sure you've done your research and make a wise selection.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tipsy Tuesday

I'm about a week late in passing this info on, but I guess that's what happens when I only do tips once every seven days...

Amazon has announced the Second Annual Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Competition--a contest intended to identify the "next great novel."

Here's how the contest works:

Entries of unpublished, English-language, fiction manuscripts will be accepted from February 2, 2009 until February 8, 2009 or until 10,000 entries have been received, whichever comes first. The contest consists of four judging phases by expert reviewers, publishing professionals, and Amazon.com customers.

Initial Round: Expert reviewers from Amazon will select 2,000 submissions from the 10,000 initial entries based each novel's "pitch." (So you really need to know how to write a gonga pitch...) The 2,000 entries will then be rated and given two excerpt reviews from Amazon Editors and Amazon Vine Reviewers.

Quarterfinals: Excerpts of the 500 are displayed on Amazon.com along with the reviews from the previous judging round. Publisher's Weekly will read, rate, and review the 500 remaining full manuscripts.

Semifinals: Penguin Group (USA) will read and rank the 100 semifinalists, taking into consideration the reviews from the two previous judging rounds.

Finals: The three remaining manuscripts will be reviewed by industry experts, including authors Sue Monk Kidd and Sue Grafton. Amazon.com customers will select the Grand Prize Winner, who will be announced on May 22, 2009.

So, gentlemen (and ladies), start your engines. For more information, go here.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Man Meat Monday

What is it about this picture that just makes me go guh?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Funny

Got this from my Uncle O.

LOLLOL. How true!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Release Dates

January 1, 2009
Available at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and bookstores near you!

It takes a lot to ruffle Taite Gibson, investigator with the Pima County Attorney's Office. But the enormous, snarling werewolf that's stalking her through the streets of Tucson? Yeah, that oughta do it. Those terrifying attacks convince Taite to seek out Ryder Merrick, a reclusive British horror writer reputed to know everything about werewolves, including how to kill them. Turns out he also knows how to leave her shaking with desire...

On his remote private island, Ryder can live safely with the beast inside him, unable to harm others or himself. Then Taite arrives, her lush, sweet scent and gorgeous curves tempting him to give in to every wicked hunger. And as a full moon rises, the only way to keep Taite safe from the evil that's followed her here is to convince her to trust in an attraction that's deeply dangerous, and wilder than she ever guessed…

January 2, 2009
Available at Ellora's Cave

Talon, an Angel of Retribution, is sent to find and either return a repentant leader of the Brotherhood of the Red Claw--an angel who was both friend and mentor--or pronounce judgment and kill him. Along the way he must fight off gargoyles and protect the human female they've targeted.

Raegan Stark, a no-nonsense homicide detective, is stunned to find out that angels are real. As well as arrogant, bad-tempered and sexy as hell. She has to learn to hold her own against this very hot angel while staying one step ahead of their enemies.

Talon finds something he never thought he would--love. And Raegan finds out how bad an angel can be, and just how good bad is...

March 6, 2009
Available at Ellora's Cave

Angelique Chadbourne had been trapped for 10 years in a loveless marriage while her wastrel husband chased after prostitutes in the East End of London. Now, in 1888--two years after his murder--she has ended her period of mourning and is ready to live life on her own terms. And a big part of that is learning what passion is all about. For that, she needs Harry Atherton, the Duke of Sexton or, as he is notoriously known in upper society, the Duke of Sex.

Harry has always had his eye on Angel, thinking her to be the perfect woman to be his wife. She's beautiful, gracious and intelligent--just the sort who would fit in his household and provide him with an impeccable hostess. To find out she also has hidden passions she wishes to pursue is the sugar in his tea. He's never been one to let an opportunity pass him by, and he's not about to start now.

Oral sex, anal sex and a menage e trois round out Angel's education, but there's evil threatening her. Jack the Ripper is in their midst and it's only a matter of time before he strikes again.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

I'm forgoing Tipsy Tuesday today to say Thank You! to all our veterans. I'm able to enjoy a multitude of freedoms because of the men and women who have served our country so selflessly. So...

Thank you!!

(Well, come on. What else did you expect from me? I am serious in my sincere gratitude. I just can't pass up an opportunity to post a picture of a hot guy.)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Man Meat Monday

Look at the width of this guy's pecs. Growwwwwwf!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Love Romances Cafe Chat

I'm chatting at Love Romances Cafe today from noon to six p.m. EST. If you'd like a chance to win an Advanced Readers Copy (ARC) of my upcoming Brava novel DARING THE MOON, come on over and play with me!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Friday Funny

If you've been reading my blog long enough (or if this is your first visit here you're about to find out) you'll know I've been in the Human Resources field for a long time. Colleen Love sent me this via email and I just had to share:


Too hoom it mae cunsern,

I waunt to apply for the job what I saw in the paper. I can Type realee quik wit one finggar and do sum a counting....

I think I am good on the phone and I do no I am a pepole person, Pepole really seam to respond to me well. Certain men and all the ladies.

I no my spelling is not to good but find that I offen get a job thru my persinalety.

My salerery is open so we can discus wat jou want to pay me and what you think that I am werth. I can start emeditely.

Thank you in advanse fore yore anser.

hopifuly yore best aplicant so farr.


BRYAN nickname Beefy

PS: Because my resimay is a bit short - below is pickture of me

Employer's response:

Dear Beefy - I mean Bryan ,

It's OK honey, we have SPELL CHECK!!!

See you Monday.

LOLLOL I would sooooo want to respond that way. (Thanks again, Colleen!!)

Thursday, November 06, 2008


DRAGONHEAT remained the #1 best seller at Amber Heat for the month of October! W00t!

To read an excerpt or buy, click here.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Tipsy Tuesday

I'm in the process of reading Stephen King's non-fiction look at the horror industry, Danse Macabre. It's insightful and full of dry humor. And has some darn good tips.

Here's what I've gleaned so far:

"What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work and study, a constant process of honing."

"Discipline and constant work are the whetstones upon which the dull knife of talent is honed until it becomes sharp enough, hopefully, to cut through even the toughest meat and gristle. No writer, painter, or actor--no artist--is ever handed a sharp knife (although a few people are handed almighty big ones; the name we give to the artist with the big knife is "genius"), and we hone with varying degrees of zeal and aptitude."

"To be successful, the artist in any field has to be in the right place at the right time. The right time is in the lap of the gods, but any mother's son or daughter can work his/her way to the right place and wait."

"Refining talent is merely a matter of exercise. If you work out with weights for 15 minutes a day over the course of ten years, you're gonna get muscles. If you write for an hour and a half a day for ten years, you're gonna turn into a good writer. But, I hasten to add, only if you have the talent there to begin with."

"Whenever I run into someone who expresses a feeling along the lines of "I don't read fantasy, or go to any of those movies; none of it's real," I feel a kind of sympathy. They simply can't lift the weight of fantasy. The muscles of the imagination have grown too weak."

Good stuff, eh? And I'm not even halfway through yet...

Monday, November 03, 2008

Man Meat Monday

I love the lighting on this black and white pic, the way it makes the shadows play on his body.

Yeah, that's it. Has nothing to do with the fact that he's nekkid...

Saturday, November 01, 2008


Got this from my Uncle O in an email--while it's not something he did, I can very well see him doing something like this...

Yesterday I was at my local WalMart store buying a large bag of Purina dog chow for my loyal pet, Peaches, the Wonder Dog and was in the checkout line when woman behind me asked if I had a dog.

What did she think I had, an elephant? So since I'm retired and have little to do, on impulse I told her that no, I didn't have a dog, I was starting the Purina Diet again. I added that I probably shouldn't, because I ended up in the hospital last time, but that I'd lost 50 pounds before I awakened in an intensive care ward with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms.

I told her that it was essentially a perfect diet. And that the way that it works is to load your pants pockets with Purina nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry. The food is nutritionally complete so it works well and I was going to try it again. (I have to mention here that practically everyone in line was now enthralled with my story.)

Horrified, she asked if I ended up in intensive care because the dog food poisoned me. I told her no, I stepped off a curb to sniff an Irish Setter's ass and a car hit us both.

I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack he was laughing so hard. WalMart won't let me shop there anymore.

Better watch what you ask retired people. They have all the time in the world to think of crazy things to say.

-- Thomas D. Blackwell, Jr.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Funny

A cabbie picks up a Nun.

She gets into the cab, and notices that the VERY handsome cab driver won't stop staring at her.

She asks him why he is staring.

He replies, "I have a question to ask you but I don't want to offend you."

She answers, "My son, you cannot offend me. When you're as old as I am and have been a nun as long as I have, you get a chance to see and hear just about everything. I'm sure that there's nothing you could say or ask that I would find offensive."

"Well, I've always had a fantasy to have a nun kiss me."

She responds, "Well, let's see what we can do about that: #1, you have to be single and #2, you must be Catholic."

The cab driver is very excited and says, "Yes, I'm single and Catholic!"

"OK," the nun says. "Pull into the next alley."

The nun fulfills his fantasy, with a kiss that would make a hooker blush.

But when they get back on the road, the cab driver starts crying.

"My dear child," says the nun, "why are you crying?"

"Forgive me but I've sinned. I lied and I must confess, I'm married and I'm Jewish."

The nun says, "That's OK. My name is Kevin and I'm going to a Halloween party."


Thursday, October 30, 2008

My Dragons Are Doing Well, Thank You

DRAGONHEAT was the #1 best seller in September and the #5 best seller overall in the third quarter at Amber Heat.

DRAGONFIRE, it's prequel, had new life breathed into it and picked up the #9 best seller slot for September.

Thanks to everyone who purchased them!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tipsy Tuesday

Show, don't tell. If I had a nickle for every time I've heard those three words... Well, I wouldn't be rich, but I'd have more money.

There are many ways to show your reader what's happening (versus telling her via exposition). Sometimes exposition is necessary, but sometimes it isn't.

For example:

I saw the look on my husband's face and waited for the explosion.
"Are you kidding me?" he asked, his face turning beet-red. "What was she thinking?"
There was the problem. Our oldest daughter seldom thought before she acted. It was almost as if she had an allergy to common sense. "She didn't mean any harm," I defended.
"She never means any harm." He shook his head. He loved the girl, I knew, and was as deeply frustrated by her actions as he was baffled.

Now, how about something like this:

"Now, Charlie, don't get mad."
"Are you kidding me?" His face turned beet-red. "What was she thinking?"
"Well, that's the problem. She doesn't think." I shrugged. "It's like she's allergic to common sense. But she didn't mean any harm."
"She never means any harm." He shook his head. "I love her, but by God she frustrates me. I just don't get it."

See the difference? Sometimes it's just a little thing, but it can get across the same information by showing, not telling.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Man Meat Monday

Are words even needed?

I don't think so!

(Thanks to Colleen Love for the pic!)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Funny

How to be cruel to old guys:

AARP Eye Chart

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Maverick and the Maiden

This is just so disturbing on so many levels...

I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tipsy Tuesday

By the very nature of the calling, fiction writers are liars. A good fiction writer, therefore, must be a good liar. Specific, concrete details in a story, as every good liar knows, is what's needed to persuade your mark (or your reader) that what you're telling them is the God's truth. If you provide your reader with a variety of sensory details and let them draw their own conclusions, they will be participants in your story and not merely observers.

And then you'll have 'em. Janet Burroway in her book Writing Fiction calls this significant detail. Significant detail is the sort of detail that means both what it says and also more than what it says.

If you want to write fiction, you not only have to mean what you write, but mean more than you write.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Man Meat Monday

Sometimes the view from behind is just as lovely...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday Funny

Back in 1990, the Government seized the Mustang Ranch brothel in Nevada for tax evasion and, as required by law, tried to run it.

They failed and it closed.

Now we are trusting the economy of our country to a pack of nit-wits who couldn't make money running a whore house and selling booze?

This is exactly what I'm talking about...

The Mustang Ranch is back in private hands and open for business once again.

For those Gentle Readers who may be less-worldly than others, the Mustang Ranch was, at one time, the largest brothel in Nevada as well as being the first licensed bordello in that State.

However, while interesting, this is not the part of it's history that is really fascinating. What we're interested in is this little tid-bit buried way down in the article: after several years of tax shenanigans by the owner, the Mustang Ranch became the first (Official. Licensed.) brothel run by the United States Federal Government.

They lost money.........LOST MONEY!

Let us allow that simple, yet profound, truth sink into our synapses, shall we?

The Federal Government of the United States can not run a bordello and make money.

One cathouse. Just one. Not "one in every state". Not "one whether you think you need it or not". Just one single legal bawdy-house with an already-established customer base.

And they couldn't keep it out of the red.

Now, this is just my opinion, but if your money-handling skills are so poor that you can't even make a profit selling sex, then you have absolutely no business getting involved in more complicated financial areas.

In other words, if "Slam, bam, thank you ma'am, here's a hundred bucks" is too complicated for you to make a profit, then you might just want to keep your meat- hooks out of, say -- health care.

So, the next time some bright-eyed little bit starts chanting about "Universal Health Care", I'm going to loudly and firmly opine that until the Federal Government is capable of running a profitable brothel ... they've got no business trying to run my health care...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

New Review for WICKED OMEN

"A dark, passionate story that enthralled me from the first page!"

"Wicked Omen took me on a passionate story through Sparta, thousands of years ago. Ms. Quinn brings the Sparta legends and battles to life with brilliant descriptions and fast paced action. Kalla is a strong and admirable woman who has known many hardships. She is now faced with the possible loss of her family and the fact that she has fallen in love with the enemy. Nikoloas is a dark, warrior vampire, with an unbelievably tender side that touched me to the core. I was deeply touched by each of these people and was hoping that all would turn out good for them. I will be looking for more from Sherrill Quinn and looking forward to reading more of her vampire romance!" (Melissa, ParaNormalRomance.org)

You can read the full review here.

Read an excerpt or buy here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tipsy Tuesday

Today's tip: You need to network. Just like in any other profession, it's important to establish relationships with people in your industry--other writers, editors and agents. Is it easy?

Hell, no. I remember the first meeting I went to of my local RWA chapter. I knew absolutely no one. Taking a deep breath, I told myself to put my HR hat on and pretend it was a business meet and greet, and do what I did at those. So I started walking up to strangers and introducing myself. (And that was very, very difficult, believe me!) After about the fourth person looked at me like I was a crazy person, I gave up and went to an empty table, put my stuff down and sat down, figuring I'd talk to whoever else decided to sit at my table. Thankfully, the group proved to be a very friendly, open one, and I've made a lot of friends in the three years between then and now.

I've also had opportunity to talk to senior editors (from Harlequin and Silhouette) and well-established authors (Vicki Lewis Thompson, Roz Denny Fox, Brenda Novak and others). It's been invaluable!

So, if there's a local writers group you can join, please do! And I hope your experience has been as good as mine!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Man Meat Monday

I have the day off work today and, while I should be working on my next book, this is what I want to be doing:

Although if this was in my bed, sleeping would probably be the last thing goin' on...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday Funny

A lady goes to the bar on a cruise ship and orders a Scotch with two drops of water. As the bartender gives her the drink she says, "I'm on this cruise to celebrate my 80th birthday and it's today."

The bartender says, "Well, since it's your birthday, I'll buy you a drink. In fact, this one is on me."

As the woman finishes her drink, the woman to her right says, "I would like to buy you a drink, too."

The old woman says, "Thank you. Bartender, I want a Scotch with two drops of water."

"Coming up," says the bartender.

As she finishes that drink, the man to her left says, "I'd like to buy you one, too."

The old woman says, "Thank you. Bartender, I want another Scotch with two drops of water."

"Coming right up," the bartender says.

As he gives her the drink, he says, "Ma'am, I'm dying of curiosity. Why the Scotch with only two drops of water?"

The old woman replies, "Sonny, when you're my age, you've learned how to hold your liquor. Holding your water, however, is a whole other issue."

~ * ~


Your sweetie says, "Let's go upstairs and make love," and you answer, "Pick one; I can't do both!"

Your friends compliment you on your new alligator shoes and you're barefoot.

A sexy babe catches your fancy and your pacemaker opens the garage door.

Going braless pulls all the wrinkles out of your face.

You don't care where your spouse goes, just as long as you don't have to go along.

You are cautioned to slow down by the doctor instead of by the police

"Getting a little action" means you don't need to take any fiber today.

"Getting lucky" means you find your car in the parking lot.

An "all nighter" means not getting up to use the bathroom.



You are not sure these are jokes!

LOL! Happy Friday!!

Thursday, October 09, 2008


Here's my cover for my Victorian suspense novella:

I love the shadowy Jack the Ripper in the background! *shiver*

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Tipsy Tuesday

Above all else, a writer is a storyteller. Once you have a firm handle on grammar/punctuation basics, it's up to you to write the story. One that will keep readers spellbound. It's a complicated mixture of plot, interesting main characters, setting, pacing and dialogue, as well as subplots and secondary characters.

And flowing beneath all of that is the writer's determination and instinct. You have a specific story to write, and you have to believe in it, in yourself, in your ability to write it. Then you have to rewrite it until all of the ingredients I mentioned above come together in the perfect mix.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Man Meat Monday

Slicker than a greased pig ...

And lots prettier, too!


Friday, October 03, 2008

Friday Funny

I greatly fear I'm fast approaching the age where this kind of thing may become a problem...

An elderly couple had dinner at another couple's house, and after eating, the wives left the table and went into the kitchen. The two gentlemen were talking, and one said, "Last night we went out to a new restaurant and it was really great. I would recommend it very highly."

The other man said, "What is the name of the restaurant?"

The first man thought and thought and finally said, "What is the name of that flower you give to someone you love? You know... The one that's red and has thorns."

"Do you mean a rose?"

"Yes, that's the one," replied the man. He then turned towards the kitchen and yelled, "Rose, what's the name of that restaurant we went to last night?"

~ * ~

A senior citizen said to his eighty-year old buddy: "So I hear you're getting married?"


"Do I know her?"


"This woman, is she good looking?"

"Not really."

"Is she a good cook?"

"Naw, she can't cook too well!"

"Does she have lots of money?"

"Nope! Poor as a church mouse."

"Then why in the world do you want to marry here then?"

"Because she can still drive!"

~ * ~

Three old guys are out walking.

First one says, "Windy, isn't it?"

Second one says, "No, it's Thursday!"

Third one says, "So am I. Let's go get a beer."

~ * ~

A man was telling his neighbor, "I just bought a new hearing aid. It cost me four thousand dollars, but it's state of the art. It's perfect."

"Really," answered the neighbor. "What kind is it?"

"Twelve thirty."

~ * ~

Morris, an 82 year-old man, went to the doctor to get a physical. A few days later, the doctor saw Morris walking down the street with a gorgeous young woman on his arm and a wide smile on his face. A couple of days later, the doctor spoke to Morris and said, "You're really doing great, aren't you?"

Morris replied, "Just doing what you said, Doc: 'Get a hot mamma and be cheerful.'"

The doctor said, "I didn't say that. I said, 'You've got a heart murmur; be careful.'"


Have a great Friday!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Free For All

I really have nothing blindingly witty to say today. I have an early day at work, so I'm just gonna leave y'all this:

I love the lighting on this pic.

Yeah, that's it. The lighting...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tipsy Tuesday

Many newbie writers ask "What's the secret to getting published?"

I have the answer. Are you ready?

There. Is. No. Secret.

Every agent and editor you ask this question to will have the same answer as me. There's no secret. What there is is this:

Good writing.

Good storytelling.


The second you think you know everything you need to know about how to write a good book, turn off the PC and give it up. Because you've just lost the drive and professionalism it takes to be a success in this business.

Always keep learning. Always look for better, smarter, fresher ways to tell your stories. Always do what you'll say you do when you say you'll do it.

And this is key: learn grammar and punctuation basics. Editors will work with you on correcting poor grammar and improper punctuation, but you really don't want them to have to focus on the minutia. You want your editor to focus on the plot, on the meat of the story, so it will be the best story it can be by the time it makes it into the hands of your readers. So learn the difference between further and farther, when to use lay and lie, and where commas should and shouldn't be placed.

Good writing. Good storytelling. Professionalism. Not secrets, just common sense.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Man Meat Monday

Hm. I wouldn't mind wandering into my bathroom first thing in the morning and finding this...

Saturday, September 27, 2008


From Lacey at Romance Junkies:

"Wicked Omen is one delicious tale. Ms. Sherrill Quinn pens a wonderful paranormal romance set in a very intriguing world. I love the character Nikolaos. He is strong and brave, a true warrior who fights for what he wants. I also liked his interaction with Kalla and their relationship. This is one hot book; chock full of steamy sex scenes that are sure to leave the reader panting long after the final page is read."

You can read the full review here.

To read an exerpt or buy, click here.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday Funny

In these uncertain economic times, I received these investment tips from a cousin:

Be aware of the next expected mergers so that you can get in on the ground floor and make some BIG Bucks. Watch for these consolidations in 2008.

1. Hale Business Systems, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Fuller Brush, and W.R. Grace Co. will merge and become: Hale, Mary, Fuller, Grace.

2. PolyGram Records, Warner Bros., and Zesta Crackers join forces and become: Poly, Warner Cracker.

3. 3M will merge with Goodyear and become: MMMGood.

4. Zippo Manufacturing, Audi Motors, Dofasco, and Dakota Mining will merge and become: ZipAudiDoDa.

5. FedEx is expected to join its competitor, UPS and become: FedUP.

6. Fairchild Electronics and Honeywell Computers will become: Fairwell Honeychild.

7. Grey Poupon and Docker Pants are expected to become: PouponPants.

8. Knotts Berry Farm and the National Organization of Women will become: Knott NOW!!!

and finally --

9. Victoria's Secret and Smith & Wesson will merge under the new name: TittyTittyBangBang.

Laughter now more than ever is important! Hope you enjoyed these. :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008


From Tanya at Joyfully Reviewed:

It Takes a Thief or Two proves that just because you think you know someone else’s type or what they think about things doesn’t mean you are right. More times than not, you are actually wrong, as with Jessica in this story. Ms. Quinn does a fantastic job weaving in the matchmaking grandmother and the apprehensions of all three people into a wonderfully erotic story. The twist of the twins’ link only made the story hotter for me. It Takes a Thief or Two is a rapid-paced story that will definitely help you warm up on a cold day.

You can read the full review here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tipsy Tuesday

As I've mentioned in at least one post here before, in 2007 I wrote over 500,000 words, most of which have been (or will be) published. This year I'm on target to have written roughly 350,000 words by years' end. Not quite as...intrepid as last year, but still nothing to sneeze at.

How do I do it, you ask, plus work an outside job?

Here's my tip for the day: I treat my writing like a job, and you should, too. It's not a hobby for me. It's not something I do because I have to be creative. I do it because I'm determined to make this a career. I can't wait for inspiration to strike; I park my butt in the chair and write. Just about every day.

Of course, I don't have children or a husband to distract me, so I realize my situation is different than many other writers'. But I will say this: you must set aside specific time to write, and demand that your family and friends respect that. Ask your spouse to watch the kiddies for an hour or two each night so you have uninterrupted writing time. Non-writer friends might call, knowing you're home, and ask you to do something/go somewhere. Learn to say no.

Listen. You have to want this. You have to want to write more than you want to go out with friends, more than you want to watch the latest TV show, more than just about anything. Because once you're under deadline contractually, it's a world of difference than when you're just writing in the hopes of being published.

Editors are people, too, and understand when kids get sick or the husband loses his job and/or you have to go to work to make ends meet. But they're business people as well, and if they have authors who don't meet deadlines, well, after very much of that those editors will be in the unemployment line. Understand that. Publishing is a business full of business people who have a bottom line to meet.

My final thought: Sometimes the only thing that separates a published writer and an unpublished one is persistence. Park your butt in the chair and write. Every day.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Man Meat Monday

It's the beginning of a work week, so how 'bout a hard-workin' man?

I think he might be just as good at startin' fires as he is at puttin' 'em out...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday Funny

That Jerry Seinfeld is one funny guy. Check this out from his 1998 HBO stand-up comedy special I'm Telling You for the Last Time:

But men and women will never understand each other, we all know that. It's just not gonna happen, just forget it. I know I will not understand women. I know I will never be able to understand how a woman can take boiling hot wax, pour it on her upper thighs, rip the hair out by the root... and still be afraid of a spider. I'm not spending any more time working on that.

(He's right, you know. Although I'm not one of those women who keeps waxing--I tried it a few times with different products, but nothing is worth that kind of pain, so it's the old razor for me until I can afford laser hair removal...which may be never.)

He goes on:

I bet women would like to know what men are really thinking, the truth, the honest truth of what men are really thinking. Cause I could tell you. Would you like to know? Alright I'll tell you. Nothing. We're not thinking anything. We're just walking around, looking around. This is the only natural inclination of men. To just kinda check stuff out. We work because they force us to but other than that this is the really only thing we wanna do. We like women, we want women... but that's pretty much as far as we've thought. That's why we're honking car horns, yelling from construction sites... these are the best ideas we've had so far.


(Oh, and have you seen the new commercial Jerry and Bill Gates are in? Funny stuff!)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Almost Friday

I sometimes think that Thursday is my favorite day of the week, because of the anticipation of the next day being Friday and the last day of the work week. *sigh* I don't know what it is about this week, but I can't wait for it to be over. At least today I'm only working 4 hours today, so that's not too bad.

I'm fine tuning the plots of my 3 urban fantasy books and hope to get the final proposal to my agent by the end of next week. I had sent her the synopsis of book 1 with short premises for books 2 and 3, plus the first 3 chapters of book 1 to see if she thought it would fly. She had questions and comments, of course, and so I'm working on making my world as clear as possible, the over-arcing plot solid over the 3 books, and trying to cut out some of the exposition in the early chapters. A first book set in a world vastly different from the real world always requires a certain amount of exposition, but too much can slow down the pace, and if that happens in early chapters you risk having readers not finish the first book, let alone buy any books set in the same world.

So that's what I'll be working on this afternoon when I get home from work, and tomorrow afternoon, and this weekend...

No rest for the wicked, eh?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tipsy Tuesday

Well, it's another Tuesday, and another day for a tip.

I read a few agent blogs, most regularly Nathan Bransford, and in the last day or so he's posted about something I've observed in writers (including myself from time to time) that just drives me crazy.


In part, Nathan wrote: But perhaps the most dangerous period where impatience can affect your judgment comes when you are offered representation and are trying to decide on a course of action.

By the time an author is offered representation, chances are they've been working at it for years and have been dreaming about it for longer. Every cell in their body will be shouting, "Take it! Take it!!!"

Oy. Is that the truth! You've labored over a book (or books) for years, finally have honed your craft to the point that you're not just getting routine rejection letters, and when that one lone agent says, "I'm interested in representing you," you shriek to high heavens, dance a frantic Snoopy dance and rush to the phone to call all your friends. (What? That's what I did...)

But...you have to make sure that agent is a good fit for you. (Thankfully mine's a great fit!) Which means, hopefully, that you didn't send out queries to agents you really didn't want to work with.

The important thing to remember is to do your homework and take your time. Know what you want and who can best provide that to you.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Man Meat Monday

Okay, that shirt can come all the way off any time now... So can the jeans.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

New Release - DRAGONHEAT

DRAGONHEAT, the sequel to my top-seller DRAGONFIRE, is available now at Amber Heat!

Nikolai Zelenka and Rainer Batsakis are sent by the leader of their dragon clan to find out what happened to a geneticist working for them. They meet the scientist's sister, Deirdre "DeeDee" Adair and immediately recognize her as their mate.

DeeDee doesn't need dragon DNA to know she's wildly attracted to both men. But first she has to understand--and accept--them for what they are. And they must protect her against the dragon hunters who are after her...

~ * ~

Nikolai's stance became ultra-alert, his nostrils flaring and eyes narrowing. His gaze slid past her to the large curtained picture window on her right. "Get away from the door," he ordered in a low voice.

"Now, listen here," she began, only to be cut off when he charged toward her. Eyes wide, fear closing her throat, she still managed a squeak of alarm and depressed the button on the pepper spray. The stream soared over his shoulder to land harmlessly on the carpet. God, he was fast! He grabbed her and moved behind the sofa. He pushed her to the floor and slanted his big body over hers, his large hands cradling her head.

At the same time Rainer turned off the lamp. She heard him moving, his heavy boots squeaking as he crawled past her on his way to the picture window.

Heat from Nikolai's body seeped into her, tempting her to stroke her hands along his lean sides. Ay-ay-ay. Get a grip, girl. Now's not the time to be lusting after him, though that's an interesting development. She wiggled a bit and the bulge pressing against her abdomen hardened even further.

Just as the thought that he might be planning to rape her killed the burgeoning lust she was beginning to feel, loud pops filled the air. Staccato in rhythm, it took a few seconds for her to realize it was weapons' fire. "Someone's shooting at us!"

"No shit, Sherlock," came the muttered reply from the man crouched beside the window.

Ass, she thought with some heat. "I've never been shot at before, you putz."

"I have." His voice was still as low as before.

"Can you see them, Rainer?" Nikolai lifted his head. He rose up onto his elbows and stared toward the man by the window.

"No. Dammit."

DeeDee twisted her neck to get a better look at what was going on. She could barely make out Rainer as he crouched by the window, peering out through the curtain.

"I told you it was too dangerous to entrust information like this with humans." Rainer's deep voice had a decided bite to it.

She blinked. What did he mean, give it to humans? As opposed to...what? Monkeys?

More gunfire erupted and Nikolai dropped back down onto her. She heard the breaking of glass, the shattering of ceramic, and shards of the table lamp rained down over her. Well, mostly over Nikolai, since he was still smashing her into the floor. His warm breath wafted against her cheek, sending tiny shivers up and down her spine.

Contrary to the strangeness of the situation, the man on top of her felt...familiar.


"Fuck this." Rainer's voice was harsh. "I'll be right back."

"Be careful." Nikolai tipped his head up. Though he looked at his friend, DeeDee was enormously aware of just how very close that luscious mouth of his was to hers.

Rainer headed toward the kitchen in a crouching run. Then Nikolai looked down at her. In the darkness of the room she couldn't make out very many details, even as close as his face was, but she could see the light amber of his eyes.

Wait. Amber? Hadn't his eyes been...brown? Or maybe hazel?

"Stay down." He pushed away from her, pausing with his knees bent and his palms planted on the floor on either side of her shoulders. "I mean it, Ms. Adair. Stay put until we get back."

From outside came the sounds of men's shouts and a roar like a fierce wind, but different somehow, a sound that she couldn't quite figure out. Seeing that Nikolai was waiting for her response, she gave a nod. If people were outside firing guns toward the house, she wasn't a fool. She was much less likely to be hit by a bullet if she was flat on the floor.

He leaned down and for the briefest of moments his lips touched the corner of her mouth. Then he was gone.

Copyright 2008 Sherrill Quinn. All Rights Reserved.

DRAGONHEAT - available now at Amber Heat!

What reviewers have said about Dragonfire:
"5 Hearts!...This is a powerful story with excellent dialogue and characterizations..."--Dee, The Romance Studio
"5 Lips!...Sherrill Quinn has written a perfect shapeshifter novel...A story you simply must read...Sherrill Quinn does not disappoint!"--Tara Renee, TwoLips Reviews
"5 Angels!...I loved this book. From the first page till the last it captured my attention...I hope Sherrill Quinn continues to write Dragon books and I would definitely buy them if she did. I look forward to reading more stories by her."--Ashley, Fallen Angel Reviews

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Free Speech...Everywhere

A recent article in Publisher's Weekly deals with free speech issues outside of the US:

Nineteen organizations involved with free speech issues have signed a statement sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee asking them to support the Freedom of Speech Protection Act of 2008 (S. 2977). The bill would prohibit foreign libel judgments from being enforced in the U.S. if the speech would be protected by U.S. laws. The bill was introduced after a series of libel judgments were handed down against American authors in foreign courts where speech does not does not have the level of protection it does in the U.S. Earlier this year, New York State passed a law, The Libel Terrorism Protection Act, that prohibits the enforcement of a foreign libel judgment unless a New York court determines that it satisfies the free speech and free press protections guaranteed by the First Amendment and the New York State Constitution.

Chris Finan, president of American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, one of the 19 groups to sign the statement, said the so-called practice of “libel tourism” “is a serious threat to American writers and publishers who face the nightmare of defending themselves before unfriendly courts where their books were never published.” Finan said the statement was sent to the Judiciary Committee with the hope that they will act on the bill before the current session ends. Finan noted that the New York bill moved quickly so it is possible Congress could pass the legislation in the current session.

The world keeps getting smaller every day, and our laws need to keep up. What do you think?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday Funny

Here's a set of five Bud Light commercials--the last one is my favorite!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Here's the cover of book #2 in my Sassy Devils series with Ellora's Cave:

Is that not the sexiest thing you've ever seen?!? (The release date has yet to be determined--I haven't even started on edits yet.) But, wow. The artist--Philip Fuller--did a wonderful job!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Tipsy Tuesday

On Thursday last week I briefly discussed the situation when a prospective agent requests you to do a revision. Let's back it up a bit today and talk about why you need an agent.

Simply, agents can target the editors who are best suited to publish your work and who are, therefore, less likely to reject it. If the agent has a good working relationship with these editors (which, let's face it, they do or they wouldn't be in business for very long), the editors will trust the agent's opinion about the book they're trying to sell, and will in most cases be willing to read the manuscript within a matter of weeks. (Versus being stuck in the slush pile for months and months and months.)

An agent will navigate the contract waters for you, taking on what could be a somewhat adversarial process and free you up to focus on the creative end of things. (Of course, I'm not saying that you shouldn't read that contract word for word--and make sure you understand every last option clause. But your agent can get the kinks worked out so that you don't have to worry about much of the process.) Plus for the agent it's a much less emotional thing, and editors prefer working with someone who's going to be calm in this process.

Even if you've met an editor at a writers' conference and that editor requested your manuscript, you still need to get an agent. By all means, submit the manuscript to the editor, and then use that request as leverage to get an agent on board.

Do your homework, though. Don't just grab a list of editors and start down the list alphabetically. Find out which specific editors handle the type of stuff you write, make sure they (and their agency) are reputable. If an agent wants to charge you anything up front, run. Run as fast as you can. They only thing they should "charge" is the standard 15% on what you make. Nothing should be asked for up front. If a prospective agent asks for a reading fee, or an editing fee, or any kind of fee... Well, like I said. Run.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Man Meat Monday

Cowboy butts drive me nuts...


Friday, September 05, 2008

Friday Funny

Check out this commercial. Funny stuff!

I'll be at a writers' retreat this weekend, so no blog until Monday! Have a great weekend.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

When Prospective Agents Ask For Revisions

One of my critique partners, SC, started working with an agent several months ago, and before this agent actually agreed to take SC on as a client, she asked her for rather extensive revisions to her book. This agent was one that SC really wanted to work with, and the areas in the book she was asked to revised weren't out of line, so she agreed. Even as she said to us that the agent had recently blogged about how she *never* took on clients after she'd asked them to revise a book. But SC knew the revisions would make her book stronger, so she did as requested.

And was promptly picked up by the agent.

Agent Nathan Bransford blogged a week ago or so about agenting and revisions, and he had this to say (in part. You can read the entire blog about "Exclusives and Literary Agents" here.):

Revisions: I don't generally ask for exclusives at the partial or even full manuscript request phase. But there is one situation when I often will. And that's during a revision.

It's very time consuming for an agent to read partials and fulls, although I see it as going with the territory. But a revision with a prospective client takes time-consuming to a whole new level. It means a serious commitment on the part of the agent without a sure prospect of success, it means committing to reading a manuscript multiple times, taking notes, thinking about the manuscript during most waking hours, and for me it means writing 10-20 page e-mails full of suggestions on each draft.

I don't know if there would be anything more gut-wrenching than to embark on a time-consuming revision to improve the manuscript only to have an author take that improved manuscript to a different agent who gets to benefit from my hours of hard work. Quel horreur! The mere thought of this happening gives me dry heaves.

Fortunately this hasn't actually happened to me, but just to make sure we're all clear what a full manuscript revision means, I often ask for an exclusive before embarking on a revision, and I think this is fair. When the author is done, if either of us aren't happy with the manuscript or how we've worked together in the process then we're still free to go our separate ways, but while we're working on that revision we're going steady, pinning each other, and any other serious dating metaphor you can find. If we are happy with the manuscript at the end, then it's time to move on to formal representation and submissions.

So, my point is, if you've been lucky (and talented) enough to garner the attention of an agent, listen to him/her. Don't do something that will, in your opinion, ruin the book. But do try to take an objective look at it and, if it's something that really should be done, then do it.

An agent wouldn't make the suggestion just to make the suggestion. They have better things to do with their time.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Tipsy Tuesday

In recent days there has been another example of an author behaving badly, which I'm not going to go into on my blog here. All I want to say about author behavior is...

Be professional. All the time. But especially in public forums. Ever heard of the word "cache"? It means that what you put out in cyberspace stays there forever...

Along these lines, here are my tips for the day:

Be emotional about your work, but not about the business. Because it *is* a business. Emotion in a book is necessary; whining to your editor is not. (Whining to readers is even worse. First, because they can't do a damn thing about it and, second, it's not their problem. Don't try to make it so.)

Build relationships. Send cards (or emails) and say thank you to the people who help you. Even reviewers who don't "get" your book should receive a "thank you for your time" note from you.

Treat your writing like a professional. Don't pull the kind of crap that would get you fired from an employer who gives you a weekly/biweekly paycheck--which means, meet your deadlines, accept constructive criticism, and do what you can to make your boss (i.e., your editor) look good.

Treat your readers with respect--even the snarky ones. Be accessible. Be polite. And, even though I'll sound like a broken record, be professional.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Man Meat Monday

Happy Labor Day!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Chatting At Love Romances

I'm chatting with readers at Love Romances Cafe today from noon to four p.m. EST. Come on over and join in the fun!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday Funny

Some wisdom from Maxine:

Happy Friday! Have a great Labor Day weekend.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The 800-Pound Gorilla

In the last week or so has come more news about Amazon--first, it bought used book dealer AbeBooks.com and, second, it is getting ready to buy Shelfari, a book/reader/author networking site. The official announcement on the Shelfari deal is expected any day.

You can read more about it here.

When will Amazon feel they're big enough? And once they stop, will anyone be able to do anything except roll over and take it when Amazon roars?

Is this a bad thing? Or a good thing?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tipsy Tuesday

On Saturday, my local RWA chapter had our monthly meeting and best-selling author Christina Sky spoke to us about using Christopher Vogler's The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers. (This book is based on a memo that Mr. Vogler wrote while analyzing scripts for the Walt Disney Company in the '80s.) She had a lot to offer, and I took notes like a crazy person. While I have read The Writer's Journey (and have a copy on my bookshelf in my home office), I don't usually consciously follow it when I'm plotting a book.

At various times during her talk I found myself thinking, "Oh. I don't do that...(maybe I should?)" or "Oh, I did do that..."

I do agree that Vogler's book is a must-read for writers. And if you follow his guidelines, your story will be that much stronger (and better). So if you haven't read The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, you should.

And, as always, use what works for you and toss out the rest.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Man Meat Monday

I think words are unnecessary...and sometimes overrated.