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Shiloh Walker

An epic sort of weekend

I almost sold out of books. But if you’d like a signed copy, Turn The Page has these…

epic weekend, stock at TTP

I signed with this lady. Do you recognize her?

signing

If not, look at the books in front of her or click on this picture.  This is like… a romance writer’s dream.

And if that wasn’t enough…this lady bought my book and had me sign it to her. Cuz she likes me. Like…seriously.

Eloisa James

That’s Eloisa Frickin James…and she likes my books.  She had me sign it to her. Seriously

I just wanna swoon from all the happy.

When you get offered a contract…

getting published

Sometimes I get asked what’s the first thing a writer should do when they get offered a contract.

Besides dance. I mean, c’mon…you got offered a contract.  That’s cool, right?

Of course it is.

But after you get done dancing, if you don’t have an agent and have no desire to get one, find an attorney who specializes in contracts, preferably publishing contracts.  They exist. Contracts are getting more and more convuluted and they were never simple to begin with.

Typically, you can get a contract reviewed for about $250 and while that sounds painful, you’d rather spend that $250 than spend years wishing you hadn’t gotten it reviewed.

Once you get it reviewed, talk to the pubs about whatever suggested changes the lawyer suggested and there should be be some things.  The contract is a business agreement between you and the pub and while most of them are fair enough, the contract is going to be written to benefit the publisher more than you. The lawyer (or your agent) is there to make sure you get it to where it benefits you as much as possible.

And you might end up having the lawyer tell you to run like hell. If you do…run like hell. There are other publishers. There is self-publishing. Don’t get screwed over in your determination to get published. The internet is full of stories of authors who wished they’d paid better attention to those contracts.

One place to consider checking out for possibly sketchy publishers… Writer Beware.

No rest for the wicked

I finished up a side project and edits all within the past week.  My brain is tired.

The MartianI haven’t had a day off in over two months.  If it’s not writing, then it’s editing.

I decided today that I’d take a day off.

The monster and I went out to breakfast and then to see The Martian.  It was excellent.  Also, we went somewhere that had pumpkin french toast. That was also excellent.

Then we went to find him a tuxedo or a suit.  Used, mind you.

Why?  Well, he’s going to be Lurch for Halloween. His sisters will be Wednesday…(s). From the Addams family.

Later, I plan on going to church, then having a glass of scotch and vegging out. Tomorrow, I will dive back into work and probably start on Ruined, the next Wrecked book and work on Kit, and another short story and probably some side projects that have been keeping me busy.

Sometimes, though, have you to let your brain rest. I’m also planning on watching more of The Walking Dead (I’m a late comer there and I love it) and maybe snuggling up with my guy.

FYI, if you haven’t seen The Martian…go see it.

Trainwrecks, Writers and Storytellers

My kids and I were talking about writers and books and trainwrecks the other day.  Trainwrecks as in the kind of books that we sometimes find ourselves reading that we keep asking ourselves…why am I reading this….

Specifically, my kids and I got to talking about trainwrecks.

Let me explain what a trainwreck is…They are the books that riddled with plotholes or characters that just don’t make sense.  In romance, sometimes the hero is a total ass.  I don’t mean alphahole.  I mean an ass.  The heroine is BEYOND TSTL.  There are things tripping us up every other line.

And yet…these books can sell.  And sometimes, we love them.  It’s confusing.  I told my kids that I think I had the answer to this figureed out and it’s pretty simple.

I think, basically, there are three kinds of writers.  Now there are going to some variations and ‘subsets’, so to speak of these writers, but these are the ‘core’ types of writers.  Maybe the ‘archetypes’ of the writers out there.

You’ve got trainwrecks, writers and storytellers.

trainwrecks

The trainwrecks are the ones who can produce trashy crack.  It’s the why am I reading this…type of book. You can’t put it down.  You might want to, you might not.  Maybe it’s a ride on a rickety roller coaster and you’re loving it.  Or maybe it’s just a trainwreck and you want to look away and can’t.

You might even be one of those people who love trainwrecks.

The point is, that a trainwreck book is one that you know is flawed like hell but you can’t stop reading it.  Whether or not you’ll read another book by that author? Who knows.  Some trainwreck authors only have a few books in them and then they just…disappear. Some keep putting out trainwrecks and sometimes the writing improves, other times it doesn’t…the characters don’t grow, the stories don’t evolve.

You love them…until you don’t.

These writers don’t know much of anything about the craft of writing. Which is fine, because we all gotta start somewhere and we tend to start out crawling.

Of course, the key here is that you gotta start to walk at some point.

They never learn to walk, per se. They don’t try to grow their craft.

Writers

Writers probably make up the biggest group.  They can tell a story.  That story may hold your interest, but you may or may not go back and buy more from them.

More, they tend to improve over time.

Some may be bigger names, some of them may be smaller names…some may never even get published.

But they try to grow. They either consciously or unconsciously work to improve and their stories get better.

Storytellers

These are the magicmakers.  In my book, these are the people like Lynn Viehl, Nora Roberts, Linda Howard, Ilona Andrews, Nalini Singh and some of my newest favorites… Peter Clines and Marc Greaney.

They have it down and a lot of them just come by it naturally.  That doesn’t mean they don’t work at it, because they absolutely do, but I think there is an inborn gift for storytelling that some people just have.

They have it…and they work.  If you have that talent and then you push yourself, you create a story that is just magic.

Storytellers have that cracktastic appeal that a lot of the trainwreckers do, but they also understand the craft of writing and they work to improve.

They left crawling and walking behind a long time ago–they were probably born to fly.

These are the storytellers.

So… that was the dinner conversation a few days ago.  And that was one of the more normal ones.  You should hear us when we talk about things like… what if everything was made of strawberries…

RT Wrap up

Honestly, I dunno how thorough this will be because my brain is mush from RT.  I do remember some things…

 

I stalked Larissa.  I saw copies of Reaver.  Dear Larissa…why don’t I have Reaver? (I thought I saw Revenant but it was Reaver)

I had beignets and cafe au lait and regular coffee will never taste the same.

Again, why don’t I have Reaver?    ETA: Sad sigh. The REV threw me.  I want REVENANT and I thought I saw it.

I saw Ilona & Gordon Andrews and I heard after I’d gone there were BURN FOR ME samplers, so I was sad.

My ankle, which I’d hurt a while back, was killing me by day 2, and I limped off and on (more on than off as the con went on).

Again, why don’t I have Reaver?  (ETA: FYI, I still think I should have Revenant.)

I saw Nalini Singh and she has the prettiest damn pink purse, which I want.

Nalini, why don’t we have Bluebell yet?

We had an epic and awesome social media panel and FYI, Jaye Wells really knows how her stuff, so if we ever do this, I’m volunteering her as moderator.  I also threw stuff at people.  It was chocolate, though.  People seemed to like it and the room was almost full.

I stalked David Morrell and got my husband a signed copy of one of his books–that’s the dude who created RAMBO, guys… RAMBO!

I’m still hung up on Reaver (that hot R angel) & Bluebell. why…..

I ate more food than what seems humanly possible.

There is too much alcohol available and too much yummy food and I crashed my first ever party…because Cara McKenna made me.  Megan Mulry and Anne Calhoun and Jeffe Kennedy and Sasha (twitter, @Caribbeanaccent) had rented this house and I kid you not, it was like this epic bordello that was just a little too much and tried to be fancy and elegant, but went over the line in the best possible way and it was awesome.  Cara dragged me in and I said I was crashing but I’d leave if they’d just let me pee and they said no, I could stay.  The caterer redefined barbecue.  I think angels sang when I took my first bite.

Then there was the street performer.  She all but turned the world inside out with her violin and I don’t know if I’ve ever heard anybody play so beautifully.

I also had beignets…I mentioned that right?  Drool.  I haggled at the French Market and I met a bunch of lovely new readers and I signed quite a few books at the bookfair.

For me, I had fun.  There was an issue with a couple of booksellers, but that was the booksellers, and I ranted in private with a member of the RT staff.  I met lots of lovely readers, which really, is the point of the signing.  I hate that so many had to wait so long.  I had to bail early because of my flight.  But I had a ball.

Altogether, RT 2014 was lovely.

Now… my favorite pic…

New Orelans | Pic is mine

Twenty Eight Days to RT…and Counting.

I refuse to believe that’s how much time we have.  I also refuse to look at a calendar, for fear that number is right.

Are you going to RT?  If you’ve never been, there are some things you need to know.

You don’t get a lot of sleep.  You walk a lot.  Cons are notorious for making people sick.  Food is often a) forgotten b) expensive c) both.

In the spirit of things, I decided to do an RT Survival post.  We see a lot of these this time of year.

I decided to do my own.  Cuz I’m lazy and this is easy and I got books to write.

So my suggestions, in no particular order:

  1. Comfy shoes…remember, you’ll walk a lot.  If you can do cute & comfy, go for it.  I’m more for being comfortable, though.
  2. hand sanitizer…that little kind you can throw in your bag.  If you’re flying, you might want to just buy some and throw them into a ziploc bag to keep in your suitcase, but trust me, you want hand sanitizer.  You will shake hands, you touch things, you will pick things up and as much as it pains me to say this, people don’t always wash their hands. You might be in a bathroom where the soap has run out.  You want hand sanitizer.
  3. Motrin…you’re going to be a place packed with lots of people and many are excited and talking loud, plus you’ll be on your feet a lot, often with little sleep and running on caffeine and often little food.  Mortin or Tylenol or your preferred method of alleviating pain is a wise choice.  Also, if you’re up late and drinking?  Yep.
  4. Water bottle…handy to keep in your convention bag. Keep it full and drink, so you don’t get dehydrated.  That also helps fight the creeping crud.  If you are gonna be up late and drinking? Keep hydrated with water throughout helps avoid hangovers. 😉
  5. Speaking of drinking…if you’re out and about…watch your drink.  While absolutely in a perfect world, you should be safe to go out with friends, have a few drinks and have fun, it’s not a perfect world. You can find tips on staying safe in social situations at RAINN.org
  6. Leave room in your suitcase…yeah, yeah, I know most of us are going to try and pack as much as we can so we aren’t lugging a bunch around, but if you’ve never been to RT, then you might not know about the swag.  There are totes a plenty given away.  Books. Pens. Bookmarks. Etc.  You’ll need room somewhere for that stuff.
  7. snacks…I mentioned that we don’t always have time to eat, right? Plus food isn’t always the cheapest thing to come by.  Taking some of those meal bars, trail mix, etc can cut down on how many meals you have to buy.  You can also find friends that you can maybe go together in on ordering pizza and that sort of thing.
  8. Emergen-C…if you can take it, it can help booster your immune system so you can avoid the creeping crud.  Cons & conferences are notorious for this…people are in closed areas and the fact is, we rush around, we don’t eat enough, we don’t rest enough and other factors contribute to that lovely thing we call the creeping crud.  Emergen-C can help.

Tips offered via twitter!