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!
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
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?
Mused by Sherrill Quinn at 6:15 AM
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
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
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
'Hi honey, this is Daddy. Is Mommy near the phone?'
'No, Daddy. She's upstairs in the bedroom with Uncle Paul.'
After a brief pause, Daddy says, 'But honey, you haven't got an Uncle Paul.'
'Oh yes I do, and he's upstairs in the room with Mommy, right now.'
'Uh, okay then, this is what I want you to do. Put the phone down on the table, run upstairs And knock on the bedroom door and shout to Mommy that Daddy's car just pulled into the driveway.'
'Okay, Daddy, Just a minute.'
A few minutes later rhe little girl comes back to the phone. 'I did it, Daddy.'
'And what happened, honey?'
'Well, Mommy got all scared, jumped out of bed with no clothes on and ran around screaming. Then she tripped over the rug, hit her head on the dresser and now she isn't moving at all!'
'Oh my God!!! What about your Uncle Paul?'
'He jumped out of the bed with no clothes on, too. He was all scared and he jumped out of the back window and into the swimming pool. But I guess he didn't know that you took out the water last week to clean it. He hit the bottom of the pool and I think he's dead.'
Even longer pause...
Then Daddy says, 'Swimming pool? Is this 486-5731?'
'No, I think you have the wrong number...'
Mused by Sherrill Quinn at 6:10 AM
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Not sure I spelled that title right, but... The news yesterday in the entertainment world (confirmed by one of the show runners) is that this is the last year for Stargate: Atlantis to be on TV as a series.
Fans at Gateworld went crazy. Crying and moaning and calling MGM and SciFi names. Really bad names.
Now, I'll admit that I'm disappointed. SGA is my favorite show, and I'll be sorry not to have the opportunity to drool over Joe Flanigan every Friday night. Er, I mean, watch a show that's such a fine example of science fiction. (And I *do* like the show for more than just Joe. Really. It's Stargate--funny, irreverent, full of cool VFX and great character moments.)
They say there will be at least one SGA movie probably some time in 2009. I hope there's more, like they've done with SG1.
But I'm not going to lose sleep over it or go around gnashing my teeth and cursing the network and production company. It's just a TV show, for crying out loud. Not worth angsting over, in my opinion. So I'll enjoy the rest of the season and see what the new Stargate show (Stargate Universe) is all about. Who knows? I might enjoy it even more...
But I will miss John Sheppard and Rodney McKay.
Mused by Sherrill Quinn at 6:08 AM
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
One way you can make your fiction seem more real--in other words, draw your readers into the world you've created and make them care about your characters--is to give them a sense of time and place. Do it well, and you'll take your readers along for the ride, giving them an escape from reality. Do it not so well, and you take the chance that your exposition will prompt them to pass on your next book.
So, how do you do this? Use sensory details. What does your point of view character see? What does he smell? Hear? What's the temperature--is he hot or cold (or, like the Baby Bear's porridge) is he just right? Giving snippets of your character's daily life can give the reader information about his socioeconomic status and relationships, as well as his mental/emotional state. Is he happy with his lot in life? Or does he want more?
If you fold these kind of things into your story in dribs and drabs (not in one long info dump), you make the world you've created a much richer place, and your readers will love you for it.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Coming in September from 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...
DRAGONHEAT - coming September 14th from Amber Heat!
Friday, August 15, 2008
A koala was sitting in a gum tree smoking a joint
when a little lizard walked past, looked up and said, "Hey Koala! What are you doing?"
The koala said, "Smoking a joint, come up and have some."
So the little lizard climbed up and sat next to the koala where they enjoyed a joint.
After a while the little lizard said that his mouth was dry and that he was going to get a drink from the river.
The little lizard was so stoned that he leaned too far over an d fell into the river.
A crocodile saw this and swam over to the little lizard and helped him to the side. Then he asked the little lizard, "What's the matter with you?"
The little lizard explained to the crocodile that he was sitting smoking a joint with the koala in the tree, got too stoned and then fell into the river while taking a drink.
The crocodile said that he had to check this out and walked into the rain forest, found the tree where the koala was sitting finishing a joint. The crocodile looked up and said, "Hey you!"
The koala looked down at him and said,
"Shiiiiiiiiiiit,dude... How much water did you drink?"
Mused by Sherrill Quinn at 6:11 AM
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Check this out: now available for pre-order at Borders.com and Amazon.com!
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....
Something thumped against the front door. Ryder grinned at the picture in his mind of Taite slamming her balled-up fist against the unforgiving wood. Another thump and a pithy comment. Then more thumping.
Cobb’s footsteps sounded in the foyer and the front door squeaked open. “Yes?” his employee asked in a bored, unwelcoming tone.
“Hi.” Taite’s voice was bright and friendly in direct contrast to the dark comments muttered at his door mere moments before. “My name’s Taite Gibson. I’m here with Declan—”
“Mr. Merrick is not at home to visitors, miss, which I believe he made very clear to Mr. O’Connell when he called.” The door squeaked again and Ryder knew Cobb was about to close it in the woman’s face.
He sighed at Cobb’s stubborn insistence on maintaining their privacy, even after Ryder had told him not to. When he heard a thud, he cracked open the door of the study to see Taite standing with one hand planted palm-down on the front door.
“Wait a minute. Please,” she said, her smile still in place. “We’ve traveled all day.”
“I’m sorry, miss. But if you leave now you’ll reach St. Mary’s before dark. It’s not convenient for Mr. Merrick to have visitors at this time.” Cobb’s voice was cool and polite, but Ryder heard the underlying thread of steel. The little man didn’t look like it, but he was quite the watchdog.
Even now, he chose to disobey Ryder’s instructions in an effort to protect him. Cobb went on, “As I have said, Mr. Merrick is not available.”
“But we’ve come all the way from the United States to talk to—”
Without a word or even a change of expression, the short, balding man closed the door. Ryder fully opened the study door and leaned one shoulder against the sturdy frame.
When Cobb turned, he caught sight of Ryder standing in the doorway of the study. At Ryder’s raised eyebrow, Cobb said, “This isn’t a good time, you said so yourself.”
“I also said they’d have to at least stay the night. The sun will be fully set in another hour—I don’t want them trying to get back to St. Mary’s in the dark.” Ryder knew he was making a complete reversal in what he’d said earlier.
He wasn’t sure why but, even knowing he couldn’t have her, he needed to meet this woman. Nodding toward the front door, he said, “We’ll just have to be sure the basement door stays locked at all times to avoid awkward questions. Let her in.”
The older man sighed and turned back to the door. Pursing his lips, he swung open the door and stepped back as Taite’s raised fist nearly caught him on the nose. “Come in, miss,” he said in a long-suffering tone. He waited until she’d picked up her suitcases and walked into the house, then he went out and collected the other two suitcases Declan had left on the small portico.
Coming back inside, Cobb set the suitcases down and closed the door, shutting out the cool November wind.
Ryder could see the flecks of gold in her dark eyes, could smell her beguiling scent so much more clearly. Her lips were slightly parted, showing small, white teeth, and he clenched his fists against the desire that slammed into him with the force of a gale.
God, she was lovely. Why couldn’t the person with Declan have been a man? He wouldn’t have been tempted by a man. Oh, his condition would still flare but, without sexual arousal, it would have been…manageable. Throw his hard dick into the mix and he wasn’t so sure he could maintain control.
But as great and as immediate his need of her was, she was off-limits. He didn’t trust himself with her, not with the time of his Change so close. More determined than ever to get her and Declan off the island in the morning, he moved forward.
Daring the Moon - copyright 2009 Sherrill Quinn. All Rights Reserved.
Available now for pre-order (w00t!) at Borders.com and Amazon.com!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
One of the pieces of advice most writers hear often is "avoid cliches." They're tired and overused. (Of course, the reason they're tired and overused is because, many times, they, well, work.) But too many cliches can be a sign of lazy writing and/or a lack of creativity. And they're soooo hard to avoid sometimes.
Here are some examples that you see especially in fiction writing:
- He took great pride in his accomplishments.
- The stage was set for her plan to move forward.
- The bonds between them were unbreakable.
- It was a mistake she would regret for the rest of her life.
- He was bored to tears.
- It was time for her to deal with harsh reality (or the bitter truth).
- It stopped him in his tracks.
Anyone have any other examples?
Monday, August 11, 2008
Saturday, August 09, 2008
Friday, August 08, 2008
Here's to all of us over 40:
A woman over 40 will never wake you in the middle of the night and ask,'What are you thinking?' She doesn't care what you think.
If a woman over 40 doesn't want to watch the game, she doesn't sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do, and it's usually more interesting.
Women over 40 are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won't hesitate to shoot you if they think they can get away with it.
Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it's like to be unappreciated.
Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over 40.
Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over 40 is far sexier than her younger counterpart.
Older women are forthright and honest. They'll tell you right off if you are a jerk, if you are acting like one. You don't ever have to wonder where you stand with her.
Yes, we praise women over 40 for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it's not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed, hot woman over 40, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some 22-year old waitress.
For all those men who say, 'Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?', here's an update for you. Nowadays 80% of women are against marriage. Why? Because women realize it's not worth buying an entire pig just to get a little sausage!
Mused by Sherrill Quinn at 7:10 AM
Thursday, August 07, 2008
MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD
My friend S and I went and saw The Dark Knight last week. First of all, let me say...
What a terrific movie. Lots of action, yummy Christian Bale, and Michael Caine, as always, was perfect as Alfred. Heath Ledger repeated history by having the Joker steal the movie away from Batman (which is exactly what Nicholson did to Keaton in the first Batman movie).
Someone please tell me why, at the end, Batman has to be Gotham's fall guy? Why did he have to take the blame for the murders that Harvey Dent committed? Couldn't they have just said that the Joker killed those people, or some nameless criminal must have done it? Other than that the writer(s) needed this plot device to set up the next movie, someone please 'splain it to me, cuz I don't get it.
Really. I don't get it.
Someone please explain.
Mused by Sherrill Quinn at 5:57 AM
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Before any of my manuscripts pass in front of an editor, they've been thoroughly critiqued by my kick-ass critique group. Here's my advice for the day: have someone other than your best friend, sister or mother read your story. While they may very well be more than qualified to provide helpful critiques, the odds are higher that they're more biased than they are qualified and may not be as honest as you need.
The solution? Get into a critique group with people who are writers, preferably those who write (or at the very least read) the type of story you've written. If your town has writing groups that meet (like the Society of Southwestern Authors or Romance Writers of America here in Tucson), join them. Take advantage of the fact that there are lots of other people in the same boat as you.
Having said that, keep in mind that it's your story. Once you get past the "remove this comma" and "it should be they're, not their" and the comments start dealing with scenes and story elements, take what you can use and leave behind the rest. If someone thinks you need to lose a scene and you want to keep it, then keep it. (Of course, be prepared for your editor to tell you that the scene doesn't work and please get rid of it. At that point, unless the scene is extremely pivotal to your plot, say goodbye to it.)
One thing is true. While you can rely on others to make your story better, you can't rely on others to make you work harder or feel better about your work. No matter how many times or how many people tell you your writing is brilliant, it never will be if you don't believe it is. (Without an ego, of course. It's entirely possible to think that you're a good writer without being egotistical about it. No one likes a diva.)
Mused by Sherrill Quinn at 6:21 AM
Monday, August 04, 2008
Saturday, August 02, 2008
My blog was erroneously classified by Blogger's automatic spam-finder as a spam blog, and I couldn't post a blog yesterday until late in the evening. I figured I'd just wait and post today. So...
When I die, I want to die like my grandfather--who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car. --Author Unknown
Advice for the day: If you have a lot of tension and you get a headache, do what it says on the aspirin bottle: "Take two aspirin" and "Keep away from children." --Author Unknown
Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so? There's a support group for that. It's called EVERYBODY,and they meet at the bar. --Drew Carey
The problem with the designated driver program, it's not a desirable job, but if you ever get sucked into doing it, have fun with it. At the end of the night, drop them off at the wrong house. --Jeff Foxworthy
If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant's life, she will choose to save the infant's life without even considering if there is a man on base. --Dave Barry
My Mom said she learned how to swim when someone took her out in the lake and threw her off the boat. I said, "Mom, they weren't trying to teach you how to swim." --Paula Poundstone
A study in the Washington Post says that women have better verbal skills than men. I just want to say to the authors of that study: "Duh." --Conan O'Brien
Why does Sea World have a seafood restaurant?? I'm halfway through my fish burger and I realize, Oh my God.... I could be eating a slow learner. --Lynda Montgomery
If life were fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be dead. --Johnny Carson
Sometimes I think war is God's way of teaching us geography. --Paul Rodriguez
My parents didn't want to move to Florida , but they turned sixty and that's the law. --Jerry Seinfeld
Remember in elementary school, you were told that in case of fire you have to line up quietly in a single file line from smallest to tallest. What is the logic in that? What, do tall people burn slower? --Warren Hutcherson
Bigamy is having one wife/husband too many. Monogamy is the same. --Oscar Wilde
Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress... But I repeat myself. --Mark Twain
You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, My God, you're right! I never would've thought of that! --Dave Barry
Do you know why they call it 'PMS'? Because 'Mad Cow Disease' was taken. --Unknown, presumed deceased
Everybody's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer. --W. C Fields
Have a great weekend!
Mused by Sherrill Quinn at 10:02 AM