Monday, June 30, 2008

Lighting the Dark Ages but first, ACK!

Today I'm going to list some of my Dark Ages/Saxon/Viking reference books, but first, a moan of dismay. I was trying to find out if the new BBC Robin Hood, featuring my man Richard Armitage, was going to have a third season. So I googled once I am spoiled! I now know how the second season ends.

Okay, first? I think it's a trick. But if it's not, well, at least I'll get to see RA in the throes of emotional turmoil and that should be something.

Although I haven't yet seen Season Two (soon, soon, the DVD shall be mine!), I still think they need a strong foil/feminine counterpart to Sir Guy, with Other Woman going after him while he's going after Marion. Sadly, this is not the Sir Guy of Gisborne Show, so the focus must be elsewhere, but if it were up to me, I'd not only have the Other Woman, I'd have him seriously tempted by her. Yet deep in his heart, he knows Marion would be better for him -- she'd bring out his good, redeemable qualities, while Other Woman would bring out the bad/ambitious side (but with great sex implied). Love vs. lust: what's the Guy to do? And maybe Other Woman could be hedging her bets and putting the moves on Robin at the same time. She could claim she was doing it to further Sir Guy's interests, should she be caught.

Sheesh, somebody stop me, because I don't write that show!

Now, should somebody watching Robin Hood be inspired to write their own story, set a little farther back in time, here are the books I own that I used for THE VIKING and THE SAXON.


THE ANGLO-SAXON AGE, C. 400 - 1042 by D.J.V. Fisher


THE VIKING by Bertil Almgren et al, published by Crescent Books, NY

THE ANGLO-SAXONS, edited by James Campbell


Tomorrow: The Restoration Library of Margaret Moore

Sunday, June 29, 2008

My Medieval Research Books

Somebody asked me the other day about research, specifically what I use when I'm researching my books, and do I have a history degree? I get asked the former quite a bit, and I suspect lots of people assume the latter.

For the record, no, I don't have a history degree. English Literature was my major, because hey! A degree for reading? I am so there....

As for research, I started writing pre-internet, so while I certainly use it, especially for "quick bits" like what a plant looks like, or dates, I use books more. Over time, I've gathered quite the collection. Here are the ones I use for my medievals, with the ones I tend to use most first. However, I've consulted all of these to varying degrees, and have also gotten and returned others to the library.

LOST COUNTRY LIFE by Dorothy Hartley (absolutely one of the best for me -- it's about how folks actually did things, organized by months of the year)

LIFE IN A MEDIEVAL CASTLE by Joseph and Frances Gies

LIFE IN A MEDIEVAL CITY by Joseph and Frances Gies

LIFE IN A MEDIEVAL VILLAGE by Joseph and Frances Gies

MARRIAGE AND THE FAMILY IN THE MIDDLE AGES by Frances and Joseph Gies (yes, changed the order of the names on this one -- wonder why? And yes, apparently I buy any book they write -- because they're good!)

CASTLE by David Macaulay

LIFE IN THE CASTLE IN MEDIEVAL ENGLAND by John Burke (this one is past my usual setting, but interesting nonetheless)


A MEDIEVAL BOOK OF SEASONS by Marie Collins and Virginia Davis

THE ENGLISH: A SOCIAL HISTORY, 1066-1945 by Christopher Hibbert

MISTRESS, MAIDS AND MEN: Baronial Life in the Thirteenth Century by Margaret Wade Labarge

A SMALL SOUND OF THE TRUMPET: Women in Medieval Life by Margaret Wade Labarge

FOOD & COOKING IN MEDIEVAL BRITAIN: History and Recipes by Maggie Black

A MEDIEVAL HOME COMPANION: Housekeeping in the Fourteenth Century, translated and edited by Tania Bayard

THE OXFORD HISTORY OF BRITAIN: THE MIDDLE AGES by John Gillingham and Ralph A. Griffiths

MEDIEVAL WOMEN: A Social History of Women in England 450-1500 by Henrietta Leyser

ENGLISH WEAPONS AND WARFARE 449 - 1660 by A.V.B. Norman and Don Pottinger

THE COUNTRYSIDE OF MEDIEVAL ENGLAND, edited by Grenville Astill and Annie Grant

WOMEN IN ENGLAND 1500 - 1760: A Social History by Anne Laurence

(Clearly, I have a lot of books that focus on women in medieval times. I don't think it's any mystery why.)

MEDIEVAL PANORAMA: The English Scene from Conquest to Reformation by G.G. Coulton (this was published in 1938 and was, I believe, a school textbook. It's interesting to see how the perceptions on some aspects of English history have changed over time.)

THE MEDIEVAL VILLAGE by G.G. Coulton (Like the previous, somewhat outdated, but still useful)



THE KNIGHT IN HISTORY by Frances Gies (hey, what happened? Has Joseph died? I'm going to have to look this up now!)

THE FOURTH ESTATE: A History of Women in the Middle Ages by Shulamith Shahar

GROWING UP IN MEDIEVAL LONDON: The Experience of Childhood in History by Barbara A. Hanawalt (I haven't actually used this one much, but if I ever decide to write another medieval YA....)


A HISTORY OF PRIVATE LIFE: Revelations on the Medieval World, edited by Georges Duby, translated by Arthur Goldhammer (this one has a lot about the society of countries other than England, and also tends to be too late for my time period, but fascinating nonetheless)

CASTLES AND CASTLE TOWNS OF GREAT BRITAIN by David Mountfield (one of those books I got from the sale table and never regretted -- it has blueprints, for one thing!)


CHRONICLES OF THE AGE OF CHIVALRY -- The Plantagenet dynasty from 1216-1377: Henry III and the three Edwards, the era of the Black Print and the Black Death ("eye witness" testimony), Elizabeth Hallam, General Editor

ENGLISH CASTLES by Richard Humble

THE HOUND AND THE HAWK: The Art of Medieval Hunting by John Cummins (I got this at The Cloisters in NY -- everything you ever wanted to know about hunting in medieval times.)

PEOPLE OF THE PAST: THE NORMANS by Patrick Rooke (a kid's book - you never know where you might find some interesting tidbit left out of more "serious" histories)

SAXON AND NORMAN LONDON by John Clark from the Museum of London




THE HOUSEHOLD KNIGHTS OF KING JOHN by S.D. Church (this one was really fascinating -- knights were also what we'd call civil servants.)

I also have books on medieval Scotland and Scottish history, Dark Ages and Vikings, Elizabethan England (although I've never set a book there), Restoration England, Regency England and Victorian England, as well as several that are general, like EVERYDAY LIFE THROUGH THE AGES. I'll list those books another day, because whew, baby, this list is long.

But as I said, I prefer books for reference and I've been writing medievals for a long time, so my library has grown through the years. I always try to use some new bit of research in every book -- but only if it fits the story!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Contest Post Mortem

So I did some thinking about the contests I ran last week, and here are my conclusions:

1. I can't compete with US authors when it comes to using books as prizes. The cost to me is simply not comparable. To illustrate:

To mail from my home in Toronto to British Columbia: $11.35 (includes tax and fuel surcharge)

To mail from New York to California using the media mail rate, which is not available in Canada: $2.23.

Same book, same rate, $9.12 difference.

Just fyi, it's cheaper for me to mail a book to Finland ($5.75) than it is to another province in my own country. What is up with that?

2. The first day had the most entries.

3. Timing was an issue for some people.

4. There was a lot of work involved besides simply setting up the contest and coming up with questions, like buying the envelopes, addressing them and getting them to the post office.

My conclusions:

If I do another contest using books as prizes, it will be one day only, there will be a draw aspect (meaning it won't necessarily be the first person who answers who wins), and it would be better to have one large prize (like a set of books) than several smaller ones.

I already do one draw a month from among my newsletter subscribers for a $25 electronic gift certificate from Amazon. That's fast, it's easy and there's no postage. I may decide to do something like that from my blog. The only problem with that, unfortunately, is that winners won't necessarily buy my book.

And of course, there's always the perennial conundrum: Does doing something like this actually lead to more readers and better sales?

I have no idea. I do know I had more hits to my blog, though, so in that sense, the contests were effective -- which is more than I can say with certainty about some other forms of PR.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

From Boston...

We made it to Boston, despite having to drive through a terrible downpour and then having to actually drive through part of Boston. Oh, the excitement! Not as bad as the last time we drove here, when the Big Dig was in full swing. You think you've seen controversy on the Amazing Race? Oh, baby, they had nothing on us! I think the kids may still be traumatized...

We spent today walking around, seeing the sights of the Freedom Trail. Now we're waiting for the rains to end, then it's off to the ol' ball game. Then it's the long drive home.

I've been doing plenty of thinking when not peering through rainy windshields and wandering the streets of Boston. Conclusions to come.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Gone thinkin'

Ever wonder what it's like being the child of a writer? Well, for one thing, books are very important, as you can see from this picture of my slumbering son.

Now I'm off a short holiday to Boston. We'll be driving, which means a lot of hours in the car. Which means plenty of time to think, because even I cannot gab for that long.

One subject I plan to consider is this blog. I'm going to continue it because I enjoy it, but that doesn't mean there aren't things to think about when it comes to content, etc. Is there anything you'd like me to talk about that I haven't? Do you prefer blogs about writing (how I do things, why I do things)? The writing life? Research and fascinating facts I dig up? Now's your chance to let me know. Either leave a comment or email me at

I'll also be doing a contest post mortem. What worked, what didn't, what I should do differently next time, if there is a next time. A contest involves a lot of extra work and expense, so I don't think I'll be doing them often -- at least not involving mailing of books. My draw is easy, because I can do it all online, so I'll be keeping that going.

And of course, I'll be thinking about stories I might want to tell as I enjoy the lovely scenery of upstate New York.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Contest

ETA: Friday's contest is now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered this, and the other contests I had this week.

It's time for the final contest of the week.

The first, fifth, tenth, fifteenth and twentieth persons who correctly answer the question below will win an autographed copy of A LOVER'S KISS, coming soon from Harlequin Historical.

Send your answer to

What two things did Sir Douglas Drury get during the Napoleonic war?

Once I announce here that I have five winners, the contest will be closed.

Please note that you must answer the question correctly to be eligible and that previous winners this week are not, although if they're subscribers to my email newsletter, they're still eligible for the monthly draw for a $25 electronic gift certificate from Amazon.

My Contest Rules

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Selling a book is like setting out across a storm-tossed sea

Claire Delacroix has written one of the best analogies for a career in writing I've ever seen over on her blog, Alive and Knitting. She likens selling your first book to setting out to sea in a dingy. I also like how she contrasts that with the prevalent notion of a writing career she calls the Escalator Theory.

I'm going to play a little with her comparison and liken being unpublished to standing on the shore. You see the sea, and you think, "Yes, I'd like to go for a sail. I can build a boat."

So you start building a boat. First, you have to decide what kind of craft -- kayak? Whaler? Man o' war? Then you need some plans (like an outline, or synopsis). And then you start to build. Some days, everything fits together beautifully, other days, nothing works.

Sometimes people get so hung up on the color of the sails, they don't see the leak in the hull. Sometimes, people start planning a fleet before they've even finished one vessel.

But let's say you build your boat and whoo hoo! You get to launch it. As Claire makes so very clear, you're only at the beginning at the voyage, and there's a lot that can happen.

No wonder there are days I feel like somebody should start calling me Lovey....

Thursday Contest

ETA: Wow! I already have my winners, so this contest is now closed. If you don't hear from me, you didn't win, so please try again tomorrow, when the winners will be the first, fifth, tenth, fifteenth and twentieth people to send me the correct answer to Friday's contest question.

The answer to Thursday's question was Viscount Adderley. I also accepted simply viscount, as well as lord, since he's addressed as Lord Adderley in the book.

I told you I was going to post at a variety of times, so this contest is for the night owls, early birds, or those who live in a far away time zone.

The prize is an autographed copy of KISS ME QUICK, the first book in my Regency series that introduces Sir Douglas Drury, hero of the upcoming A LOVER'S KISS, and his friends. While KISS ME QUICK is still available in ebook form, it's no longer available in print.

To enter, send an email to

containing the answer to the following question:

What is the hero's title in KISS ME QUICK?

The first five people to email me at with the correct answer will win.

Since I'm waiting until just after midnight my time to post this, don't expect me to announce my winners for a few hours. I need my sleep! Once I announce here that I have five winners, the Thursday contest will be closed.

My Contest Rules

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wednesday Contest Posted

ETA: I have my four winners, so this contest is now closed. I'll be notifying the winners shortly. If you don't hear from me, you didn't win, so please try again tomorrow and Friday. There will be new prizes and questions to be answered.

The answer to Wednesday's question below was E, all of the above.


Medieval: a whole bunch for Harlequin Historical , Avon, and HQN, most recently KNAVE'S HONOR (still available)



I'm back, so it's time to post today's contest. The prizes today are autographed copies of THE DUKE'S DESIRE, the first Regency-set historical I wrote for Harlequin Historical, and A LOVER'S KISS, coming from Harlequin Historical this summer.

To win a pair of books, you must correctly answer the question below. Please email your answer to

The first four people who answer correctly will win.

Wednesday's contest question is:
THE DUKE'S DESIRE and A LOVER'S KISS are set in the Regency period of English history. What other time periods have I used as settings for my books?
A) Dark Ages (for the purposes of this contest, this means prior to 1066)
B) medieval
C) Restoration England
D) Victorian England
E) All of the above
F) None of the above

When I have announced that I have four winners on this blog, the contest will be closed. There will be a new contest tomorrow.

A reminder: I'm aware my readers are in different time zones and countries, so I'll be uploading contest blogs at various times this week, to try to make it a more level playing field.

My Contest Rules

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Wednesday Contest

Just FYI and sorry, folks, but something's come up, so the Wednesday contest will be posted later than I intended.

But unless something else unexpected comes up, there will be a Wednesday contest!

The Zen Of Weeding

I don't know what happened. Maybe it was the hot, dry summer last year, followed by a long cold winter with tons of snow, but our lawn is a mess, with lots of bare patches to really make it attractive.

We also live in an area where cosmetic pesticides (as in, weed control for the lawn) are banned. That means the weeds are having a field day.

So I've been going out every morning to pull weeds. At first, I was grumbling. I am no gardener, and weed-pulling is rather like vacuuming to me -- there's always more and places you missed.

However, as I was sitting on the dew-damp lawn at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, with the silence broken only by the birds singing, it suddenly dawned on me that I should embrace the weeding.

After all, I grumble all winter about being cooped up inside. I really moaned and groaned this year. So what if gardening is like housework outdoors to me? The key word shouldn't be "housework" -- it should be "outdoors".

Yep, I had a nature-induced epiphany, and I've been not just tolerating, but enjoying, the weeding ever since.

What about you? Are there jobs you hate/hated, but have come to enjoy?

Tuesday Contest

I have my five winners, who will be notified by email. This contest is now closed.

New contest tomorrow, for A LOVER'S KISS and the only other Regency I've ever written for Harlequin Historical, THE DUKE'S DESIRE.

Today's contest is for a pair of autographed books, KISS ME QUICK and A LOVER'S KISS. I have five pairs to give away.

There are the two questions that must be answered correctly in order for you to be eligible to win. The first five people to email me at

with both correct answers will win a pair of autographed books.

If you enter and don't hear from me, you didn't win. Please try again tomorrow, when the prize will be another pair of autographed books (A LOVER'S KISS and my only other Harlequin Historical Regency to date, THE DUKE'S DESIRE).

Please note I will be posting the contests blogs at different times this week, in order to give people in different countries and time zones a chance, as well. Once I have announced here that I have the winners, this contest will be closed.

Here are today's contest questions:

1. In KISS ME QUICK, what career does Lady Diana Westover want to pursue?

2. In A LOVER'S KISS, what did Sir Douglas Drury do during the Napoleonic War?

Remember, you must answer both correctly to be able to win.

My Contest Rules

New day, new contest, but first some clarification

After yesterday's contest, which was over when I announced I had two winners, I need to make some clarifications:

When I announce here that I have the winners for that day's contest, the contest for that day is closed.

I'm aware I have readers in different time zones and countries, so I will be uploading the daily contests at different times of the day, to try to make a more level playing field. So I'll be uploading today's contest later today.

To be eligible to win, you MUST answer the questions COMPLETELY and CORRECTLY. If you don't, you aren't going to win a prize.

I had been emailing every entrant. However, I had more responses than I expected, so I will now only be emailing the winners. If you enter and you don't hear from me, you didn't win. You may continue to enter the contests according to the rules (one entry per day or per contest).

I've posted my contest rules on my website.

As noted in my rules, previous winners will not be eligible for any of my contests (except the monthly draw from among my newsletter subscribers) for six months.

Monday, June 16, 2008


THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED. I will be uploading a new contest with new questions on Tuesday, June 17.

Edited again to add: This was Monday's contest. I wrote this post yesterday but didn't post it until this morning and forgot to change the date. Sorry for any confusion! There'll be a new contest *tomorrow* - Tuesday, June 17.

ETA: It's barely 11 a.m. and I've already got my winners, and then some! If you didn't win today, come back tomorrow, when I'll be offering autographed sets of KISS ME QUICK and A LOVER'S KISS.

And remember to answer the question if you want to win!

Now that I have copies of my August Harlequin Historical, A LOVER'S KISS in the house, it's time to give some away!

To begin a week of contests, I'm starting off with the best prize of all: an autographed set of the first three books in my Regency series that include Sir Douglas Drury and Lord Justinian "Buggy" Bromwell.

To win one of two sets, send me an email at

listing the name of the heroine in each book. The first two people to send me the correct answers will win.

You are allowed one entry per day. A new prize will be offered every day this week (June 16 - 20).

KISS ME QUICK begins the series. It is now out of print, although available electronically.

KISS ME AGAIN features the Honorable Brixton Smythe-Medway, who also appears in A LOVER'S KISS. I have very few copies of this book left.

Fortunately, KISS ME AGAIN is available to order in paperback and ebook form from Avon Books and Amazon.

And last, but by no means least, A LOVER'S KISS, which will be hitting shelves soon!


Friday, June 13, 2008

He's in my hands at last!

It's been about six years since I first imagined Sir Douglas Drury, baronet and barrister, and at last, I have him in my hands. Yesterday, I received my author copies of A LOVER'S KISS.

To say I'm excited is putting it rather mildly.

I'm thinking some contests/giveaways are in order...

However, first I have to decide what exactly I'll be offering, because I'd like to include some of the previous books that have Drury as a secondary character, and I need to see how many copies I have. And then exactly what I'll do. I also have to take into account the fact that I'll be out of town from the 22nd to the 27th. (We're going to Beantown to watch a game from the Green Monster -- if you're a baseball fan, you'll know what I mean. If not, here's an explanation.)

Check back here Monday to see how you can win some free books.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Revisions are like cleaning...

As I was doing my major basement cleaning, including delving into boxes unopened since The Dawn of Recorded Time, it occurred to me that revisions are kinda like cleaning.

See, I've cleaned that room before. In over twenty years, I should hope so! However, when it comes to some of those boxes, I've obviously either left them where they were, or just moved them to another place.

When it comes to revisions, you can do what I did -- just move stuff around -- or you can delve into the depths and really make some changes.

I think the general tendency, when first given revision suggestions whether by a critique group or editor, is to think the reader just didn't get it. You merely need to make something more prominent -- move what you've already got around a bit, doing the equivalent of the quick and easy tidy.

And sometimes, this is indeed all that's needed. For instance, when I first submitted TEMPT ME WITH KISSES, the editor had a problem with the hero. She couldn't quite put her finger on it, though. So I went back to the manuscript and called her about two hours later. I said, "He gets too happy too fast." She said, "Eureka!" (or the equivalent).

The first thing I did was take out every time he smiled for about the whole first half of the book. I did a few other things, I think, but this is the one that stands out, because it was easy -- the equivalent of the quick tidy.

Sometimes, though, that's not nearly enough. You need to open up all the boxes, take a good look at what you've got, keep some and throw out the rest. I've done that plenty of times, too, as agonizing as it is. In one of my first books, THE SAXON, there was a secondary plot that my editor felt threatened to take over the story. I could have tried to move it around, or trim it down. Instead, I cut the whole thing out. It was painful and I had to make other adjustments, but I could have been toting those boxes from shelf to shelf and still had the same problem. Better to get rid of the boxes entirely.

Now that I've gone through all the (real) boxes in my basement, I've got the material I want to keep all in one place, in better storage containers, and gotten rid of ton of unnecessary stuff that was just taking up space. In the same way, doing a major, deep revision can yield a stronger, tighter, better story than if you just move stuff around.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

From the archives....

I believe I've mentioned I'm doing some serious cleaning now that the book is in the hands of my editor and I await her reaction.

I've even (finally) tackled some of the boxes that have been in the basement and unpacked since we moved to this house.

In 1984.

I've been making some fascinating discoveries, including photos from my theatrical career. I should explain something. I've always had short hair, except for when I was about two and later in Grade Six (found pictures of that, too, but they are too distant and out of focus). There always seemed to be a lack of males in many of the productions, so given my short hair and also being skinny (which meant lacking much in the way of other feminine physical attributes), I often played male roles.

I wonder: is that why I tend to think of heroes first when it comes to imagining characters? And since a lot of these roles were historical and the costumes were cool, is that another reason I choose historical romances??

At any rate, here's me as Thurio in Two Gentlemen of Verona.

And as a peer in Iolanthe.

I wasn't always a guy, though. I don't quite recall what this number in a university musical was about, but I believe I'm supposed to be a very excited bride.

These shows were created in a rather interesting manner. The writer would ask what interesting/unusual things the performers could do and then incorporate them into a script. I could twirl a baton, so voila! Ah, fun times, fun times! It's rather amazing I managed to graduate with distinction considering how much time I spent rehearsing.

And just for something completely different - or to illustrate how one person can be involved in two very different things... This is me taking a break during Basic Training.

I've also found one of my very first query letters, to Karen Solem, when she was in charge of Harlequin Historicals. It's dated July 14, 1988. And oh, dear, I made the novice mistake of basically writing a five-page synopsis into a single-spaced letter.

What's really funny/ironic? Guess who my agent is now?

And the response? From her assistant at the time: a form letter, with a note saying that it's not the time period they're looking for. If I want to try another one, they'll be happy to look at it. I still have the original guidelines, and they do say between 1700 and 1900. Ooops. But that's not the end of the story. The book I was pitching was A WARRIOR'S HEART, the one I sold to Tracy Farrell in 1991. I also found a copy of the query letter I sent to her, dated Dec. 1, 1990. I note it's only one page, and there's only a paragraph about the book.

But that's because I was sending her the entire manuscript. By then, I had made some contacts in the company, and another editor told me they were in serious need of manuscripts at Harlequin Historicals and to send mine. So I did, mentioning that editor in the very first line of the letter. And the rest, as they say....

Sunday, June 08, 2008

I'm feeling suddenly cool!

And I don't mean from the new air conditioning, as delightful as that is.

No, I feel like I just got asked to sit with the popular kids at school, because Wendy, the Super Librarian knows I exist. I visit her blog just about every day and consider her a big name in Romance Blogland.

And she knows I exist!?!?!!!

I'm gobsmacked because I figure I'm kind of invisible on the internet. My books are rarely mentioned on boards or discussions. It's like there are the big names, and then...I'm in my own little corner in my own little chair (extra points if you can hum that ), talking to a very small (but fabulous) group of readers.

So I assumed that while Wendy the Super Librarian might have heard of my books, she wouldn't care too much if I visited her blog. Turns out she was "floored" I did.

Well, I was just as floored she knew about mine! And mentioned my name.

That's putting a little extra spring in my step as I go to clean out the basement, having cleaned out the garage yesterday, I can tell ya.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Interview with a Porcupine

Yes, it's true. I've just been interviewed by the inimitable Jaunty, the porcupine, over at the Sisterhood of the Jaunty Quills blog. Ever wondered what a porcupine in a Zorro mask looks like? Now's your chance...

Have a great weekend, y'all. Our new air conditioning should definitely come into play and whoooo hooooo! Bring on the humidity, Ma Nature! I'm ready for ya now!

(In the interests of the environment, our thermostat is set at about 75 degrees. We may go higher, but for the first little while, we thought we'd start there.)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Writing and Other Work

Now that my book is done, I have a looooong "to do" list of all the various and sundry things that need to be done around the house.

I always notice the difference between that sort of work and writing.

Let's say on the list I have (as I do), "Clean windows." After I've cleaned the windows, I can check that off the list. It's finished. I don't have to think about it any more. I never think "Oh, gee, I wonder if I should have used a different glass cleaner. Maybe another kind of rag. Did I miss that tricky little spot in the upper right corner? Are there streaks I'm not seeing? What will the neighbors think?"

When I'm writing a book, however, I never really feel anything is completely finished. I can't simply put a check beside something like "revise Chapter Seven." I'm always wondering if I should have done something differently. Did I choose the right series of events in the right order? Have I made the conflicts clear? Are my characters understandable and well motivated? Will some reviewer think the story stinks?

That's why it's actually kind of enjoyable to have jobs to do like "clean the windows" and "organize Christmas wrapping paper into new storage containers" (which I did yesterday).

Not necessarily as much fun as writing, but it's nice to be able to check things off a list because they are done.

Sunday, June 01, 2008


I finished my ms. about an hour ago. Whoooo hoooo!

And I are exhausted. I simply don't sleep well when the book gets to this stage. I'm too worried I'm forgetting something, or missing something, or I'll find some huge problem on my final read-through.

Speaking of which, what is it about Chapters 6 - 10? Why must there always be a part in one of those chapters that requires a bit of serious revising? I swear it happens every single time...

Actually, I do have a theory. In those chapters, the relationship between the hero and heroine is moving from the first impression stage to the deeper knowledge phase. The meet and often erroneous initial assessments have passed, and now it's time to start setting the groundwork for the long-term relationship.

In other words, there's some pretty important stuff going on there. However, it's also pretty important stuff than may have to be changed as I progress through the rest of the book. What I thought needed to happen in Chapters 6 - 10 for the original ending I envisioned may not be what needs to happen when I actually get to The End. A lot can change from synopsis to finished manuscript.

So yep, a whole lotta revisin' going on in Chapters 6 - 10.

But for now, THE WARLORD'S BRIDE is done! And I really like it!