Valentines talks at Penrith Library

On 14th and 18th February I’ll be giving a talk on “A Day in the Life of a Romance Writer” !

Details are:

Monday, 14th February @ 10.30am
Penrith City Library, 601 High Street, Penrith
Bookings: (02) 4732 7891

Friday, 18th February @ 6.30pm
Penrith City Library, 601 High Street, Penrith
Bookings: (02) 4732 7891

So if you’re in the Sydney area, I’d love to see you.  Come along and say hi, ask questions and talk to fellow lovers of the romance genre!

My goals for 2011

Reading: MaryJanice Davidson’s Undead series (hail, Queen Betsy!)
Watching: Rex the Runt (hilarious claymation series by Aardman)
Listening to: Creeping in my Soul by Cryoshell

And so, with a new year, come the New Years Goals.  Not resolutions, because they suck and I just don’t like the implications of the word.  Much rather work around ‘goal’.

This time last year I wrote a post about what makes a goal a goal, specifically a SMART goal.  Make it Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.  And as I look back on those goals, I see I didn’t exactly achieve all of them 🙂  Which is okay, because I at least attempted them.  So on that basis, here are mine for 2011 (yes, some are  ’10 rehashes!):

Writing/Sales

  • I’ll write and submit two books aimed at Desire by the end of the year
  • I’ll finish rom com short story/novella by June
  • I’ll finish first draft of erotic space opera and pitch it at RWA’s August conference

Promotion

  • I will post to my blog at least every two weeks
  • I’ll design and print postcards for my new book coming out in March/April
  • I’ll work on new promo products for ARRC in March, RWAC in August
  • I’ll revamp my website

Craft Education (developing/strengthening skills)

  • read up/find out more about effective marketing strategies
  • I’ll make a dent in all those unread how-to books on my shelves!

Reading

  • I’ll read at least two new-to-me authors
  • I’ll read at least one unread how-to

Outreach (helping others)

  • I will judge at least one RWAust contest
  • I will read for RWAmerica’s RITA contest
  • I’ll be more proactive with offering to read my critique group’s work
  • I’ll refine and finish my “Pain Free Plotting” workshop in preparation for speaking engagements
  • I’ll approach local schools. libraries and community centres to offer writing/educational workshops

It may look like a long list, but really, some of these things I’m either already doing or just about done.  The big challenge is writing those books!

Do you have any specific goals/plans to achieve this year?  I’d love to hear them!

Books, books, and more books

Reader and writers have a thing for books.  Yep – the feel, the smell, the way they look all lined up on their bookshelf.

I adore books – always have.  And as most authors will tell you, we were readers before we were writers.  But my shelves doth overflow and increasingly, I’ve forgotten which books I do have and end up buying the same ones (especially when they reissue and slap a new cover on them!)  Which was why, a while back now, I took up friend Denise Rossetti‘s recommendation to get onto GoodReads.

It’s kinda like a virtual bookself.  But more than that, you can post reviews, friend people and exchange comments about my favorite topic – books.  I’ve recently become a GoodReads librarian (ah, ha!  One more childhood dream come to fruition!)  and I can add new books, cover art, details about a book, etc.  And best of all, it keeps my list of to-be-reads in order!  Go on over and check it out.  And while you’re there, send me a friend notification!

the ebook revolution

One Saturday, I read an article in The Australian, our national newspaper, about ebooks, their availability (or lack thereof) and the technology involved in reading them.  Basically, the overall tone of the article was yes, they’re here, but you can only read them in PDF, the ereaders are expensive ($1000+) and there’s nothing much worth reading on them anyway.

My response?  I wrote a letter to the editor (which wasn’t published, surprise!).  Here’s what I wrote:

“Rosemary Sorensen’s article on the rise of ebooks failed to mention what me and my Australian writing colleagues have known for years: ebooks can be bought cheaply, the reading software comes in other easy-to-read formats than just pdf, and ereaders can be had at a decent price.  In less than ten minutes,  I’ve bought ebooks from http://www.deisel-ebooks.com, http://www.eharlequin.com and http://www.fictionwise.com in either MSReader (.lit) and Mobipocket (.mobi) format, then synced them up with my HP Ipaq PDA or BeBook (the latter costs around $359).  The iPod Touch and iPhone also have two free apps allowing you to read ebooks on both devices.  When it comes to ebooks, the issue amongst authors is not about availability or format – it’s piracy, which hurts both authors and readers.”

Since writing that letter, my pre-loved iPod Touch arrived from an eBay seller and I just loooove it!  Wireless technology rocks 😀  It took me less than 10 minutes to select the latest Jennifer Rardin and Megan Hart books on eReader, buy them, then click on my eReader app on the iPod, enter my email and password, then sync them down to the iPod.

What I want to know is… why aren’t journalists actually doing their research before writing an article?

Aussie Romance Readers Convention ’09

whew!! Just as I was packing to leave for Melbourne and Australia’s very first ARRC, the copyedits for my  third book, The Magnate’s Baby Promise, arrived on my doorstep.  Of course, they were dutifully packed and I got a bit of reading done (but not much – my roomie Sandra and I have a tendency to… well… talk a bit.  And laugh.  A lot.)  Now I’m home from a most excellent weekend and back in the swing of things.  I’ve posted a summary of the ARRC  at the Desirabelles blog, but I’ve downloaded p2210018some happy snaps here for you to enjoy.

Me and Anna Campbell (who’s wearing my top from Macy’s!!!  Of course, I can’t wear mine when Anna does, so it’s only seen the light twice since I bought it).

p2210023Me and newest M&B Medical author Sharon Archer.  When she sat to talk to me at the booksigning, people thought she was Samhain author Jess Dee because Jess’ books were on the table in front of her.  So naturally, conversation morphed into just what kind of medical procedure the hero is giving the heroine on Jess’ sexy cover… and then we just had to take a photo 😀

p3300001The panel for “Aussie Voice – why the whole world loves our accent.”  L-R:  Melanie Milburne (Harlequin M&B Presents and Medicals), Michelle Douglas (Harlequin M&B Sweet), Dorchester author and scriptwriter Jane Tara; Avalon author Elisabeth Rose and me.

p2210025p2210009

 

 

 

 

 

Above left: The gorgeous Jane Tara (L) and my travelling buddy and fabbo crit group gal, Jenny Brassel (R).  Above right: me and Annie West at Saturday’s book signing.

p2210006The hilarious author panel from “This one time… at band camp”, which was basically anecdotes and quips about how their stories came to be.  The audience were in stitches the whole time, from Amy’s “hair mousse up the bum” (a patients’ not hers!) to Liz’s party for a visiting fruit fly while she was working in the Antarctica.   (L-R): Liz Maverick, Amy Andrews, Mary-Janice Davidson and Susan Grant (Bek from the ARRC committee is at the back).

p2210020Denise Rossetti (left) snapping me snapping her.

p2210011The queue for Sherrilyn Kenyon’s book signing (right), with my roomie Sandra taking centre stage.

So a great time was had by all (despite breaking my favorite pair of shoes), our overseas guests were revered as Gods (as they should be!) and I struggled back home with an overstuffed suitcase that was busting at the seams.  Roll on, ARRC 2011!