Lisa

What are editors and agents looking for?

Oh captain! My captain!

O-Captain-My-Captain

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So You Want To Make A Living Writing? 13 Great Truths

Bob Mayer

IMG_1494This is the flip side of my 13 Harsh Truths post of 29 April.

It’s a great life. I’m my own boss. I wear shorts and t-shirts to work, which is in my house. I sit at my desk with a great view of the TN River with a blank stare, drool running down the side of my mouth, and I’m working. Well, not really. Because no one’s paying me for my great thoughts. They’re paying for my writing.

I’ve been doing it for over a quarter of a century and here are some Great Truths I’ve learned about making a living as a writer.

  1. You can. You constantly hear “No one makes a living writing novels.” I’ve heard it for decades. In 2012 I was at a conference where I gave a keynote, then was listening to another keynote speaker saying “Don’t quit your day job”. And it started…

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So You Want To Make A Living Writing? 13 Harsh Truths.

Interview with author of Contemporary Romance

Her Royale Masquade opRight,3_AA300_SH20_OU01_
Today I’m interviewing Natasha Moore. Her book, Her Royal Masquerade is a contemporary romance and was released on October 21, 2013.

Describe the genre of this particular title. Is it the only genre you write in? Her Royal Masquerade is a contemporary romance, a contemporary royal romance if you want to get a little more specific. I’m having a lot of fun writing this series, but it is not the only genre I write in. I’ve written the odd futuristic or fantasy or paranormal, but I mostly write contemporary and I always write romance.

1. How did you come up with the title of your book or series? Her Royal Masquerade is book #1 in the Her Royal Romance series. The series name is pretty self-explanatory. Book #1’s title comes from the opening premise – the heroine masquerades as her princess cousin when she attends the ball where she meets the prince.

Book #2 Her Royal Bodyguard was released on New Year’s Day and again is self-explanatory, it’s the story of a princess protected by a sexy bodyguard.

Her Royal Bodyguard8_PIkin4,BottomRight,-70,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_

2. When did you start writing toward publication? I’ve been writing forever, but first got serious about it in the early 90s. I had several complete manuscripts requested by Harlequin, but eventually they were rejected. I took a break from writing for about 6 years when my kids were teenagers and were in every activity imaginable, on top of a full-time job, the writing just wasn’t happening. In 2002, I started focusing on my writing again and signed my first contract in 2006.

Voluptuous Natasha MoorePIkin4,BottomRight,-52,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_

3. Do you have any rejection stories to share? Too many to count, was my first thought. LOL I’ve been writing and submitting for a long time and those first few rejections were completely heartbreaking (although I know how lucky I was to have a full requested from my first query ever!) Don’t get me wrong, they still hurt after 20 years, but I’ve developed a thicker skin and I rarely cry, but usually still indulge in wine and chocolate. And then re-think my plan for the book.

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4. Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract? Don’t give up. I know it’s cliché, but you need to hear it over and over again. There are plenty of people who want to write who WILL give up, so if you really want this, and you don’t give up, you’ll be ahead of the game. Also, be open-minded about genres and markets. You know all those rejections I mentioned. Most of them I was able to tweak to target other publishers. And they sold.

Birthday Girl Natasha Moore,BottomRight,-64,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_
5. Who or what inspires you? Other writers. Other books. Some because I didn’t like them at all and strive to be better than that. Some because of how utterly awesome they are and I strive to be half as good.
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1. Can you share two/three fun facts about yourself? I used to sing in a women’s barbershop chorus and even in a couple barbershop quartets.
In another life, I’d have loved to sing & dance on the stage. Instead, I have to enjoy from the audience.
I love to visit new places but hate to travel. I wish Scotty could just “beam” me wherever I want to go.
See Me Natasha Moore278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-64,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_

2. What’s next for you?
I will be releasing books #2 & 3 in Her Royal Romance. Book # 2 Her Royal Bodyguard will be released early in 2014. Her Royal Mistake, book #3, will be out later in the year.
I will have two releases from Samhain Publishing in 2014. Playing for Real will be out in Feb and The Cottage Next Door in Sept.

BOOK BLURB
Time is running out for Prince Vittorio. His father’s health is failing and he must find a royal bride. Fast. He’s never forgotten his glimpse of a beautiful Scandinavian princess and lures her to his Mediterranean country with an invitation to his father’s birthday ball. He’d planned to propose a marriage agreement as cold as her icy reputation, but then he discovers she’s as colorful and warm as a summer sunset. The heat between them flares red-hot and when she allows him to seduce her, Vittorio sees his future unfolding just as he had planned. But what he doesn’t know is that the woman in his bed is not a princess at all.
The last thing schoolteacher Mia Holmberg expects when she masquerades as her royal cousin is to be swept off her feet by a charming prince. The incredible night in Vittorio’s arms is like a fairy tale come true, but she’d never want the life of a real princess, with all its pomp and politics. Knowing they can never have a future together, she slips out of his bed and back to reality, where she belongs.

But Vittorio discovers the deception and kidnaps Mia back to his palace, demanding she be his mistress until the real princess appears. Despite her attempts to stay aloof, Mia soon learns there’s more to the prince than arrogance and attitude, but now she’s in danger of falling in love with a man she can never have.
Excerpt

Mia’s skin tingled as Vittorio continued to play with her hair and softly brushed her face with his once again. They were barely moving, not doing much more than swaying in each other’s arms to the rhythm of the music. His breath was warm along her cheek. He murmured a few words she didn’t recognize. Soft words with a silky, sensual feel to them, just like the lips that were now teasing along her jaw line.

Her breath caught when his lips found hers. He drew them lightly across hers, not a real kiss, but the hint of one, the promise of more, if only they weren’t in the middle of a crowd. Mia shifted in his arms, moving her body against his. She found his hard erection and her body softened, moistened.
What was she doing?

“Hot,” she gasped, stumbling out of his embrace. “So hot. I’m sorry. I need some air.”
“Of course.” Vittorio wrapped his arm around her waist and the couples on the dance floor stopped and parted for them. He led her to a French door in a bank of floor-to-ceiling windows that opened onto a softly lit patio.

Mia rushed over to the waist high railing constructed of rough-hewn stone like the rest of the palace. Darkness had fallen while she’d been inside. Lights from the towns around them sparkled below. Stars in the inky sky twinkled above. Once again she had the feeling of stepping into a fairy tale.

The air was warm, even outside, with barely a breeze to lift the moisture from her skin. She took a few decidedly un-princesslike gulps of air, trying to calm the edgy arousal that burned within her.
“Are you alright?” Vittorio asked. He stepped up to her and the heat from his body didn’t help her at all. “Do you need to sit down? Something cold to drink?”

“I’ll be okay. Just give me a minute. I guess I’m just not used to the climate here.” She was so hot. She began to tug down one of the opera-length gloves. Would it be a serious breach of conduct if she whipped them off and threw them over the railing?

“Allow me,” he said, his voice suddenly a little deeper, a little slower than it had been a moment before. He took her hand in his, stretched out her arm in front of him. He ran his free hand up, starting at the palm of the hand resting in his. Slowly, so slowly, he moved his hand up her arm. There might as well not have been the fabric of the glove between them, she felt his touch so strongly. When his fingers reached the top of the glove, he didn’t immediately begin to remove it. Instead, he teased the bare skin of her upper arm with his fingers. “So soft,” he whispered, holding her gaze. He swept his hand up to her bare shoulders and cupped her neck, skimming his thumb along her collar bone, just above the diamonds Birgitte had trusted her with. “This beautiful necklace is not half as lovely as you,” he murmured.

She couldn’t speak, could only offer a shaky smile in response. He was holding her hand, her throat. Could he feel her trembling beneath his touch?

“But you are hot. It is our weather, no doubt. I can help you with this problem, I think.” Vittorio began to slowly peel the glove from her arm, dragging his fingers along her skin as he did. He focused all his attention on her arm, as if it were the most important thing to him at the moment.
What would it be like to have that single-minded attention focused on her while making love? Even as Vittorio stripped off her glove, her body heated further with the image of his long, powerful frame moving over her, entering her.

Mia imagined he would take command of her body, ensuring that he pleasured her with all the skill he surely possessed. She couldn’t help but wonder if he would look as amazing out of the expensively tailored clothing as he did at this moment. Of course, he would. Everything about Vittorio was first class. He would fit right in with Birgitte. Mia wasn’t close to being in the same league.
Vittorio began to strip off the second glove, giving it every bit as much attention as he had given to the first one. His fingers strummed along her arm as he tugged at the satin. Her newly bared arm hung at her side, her fingers closed into a fist so she didn’t reach out and tangle them in his thick hair.

“Don’t you have breezes in Mezzano?” she asked, her voice rough with desire. She hoped he would think it was the heat that affected her so. He still held one of her hands in his. She lifted the other hand to wave in front of her face, trying to stir the muggy air.
“Ah, my poor cara. It is still and humid this evening. Be assured we have our share of wind and rain.” The second glove was off now and Vittorio released her hand. How ridiculous it was to feel bereft at the loss of his touch. He folded the gloves and tucked them into the pocket of his jacket.
Mia lifted her heavy hair off her neck to try to cool off for a moment. Maybe she should have worn it up. “I know I should enjoy the warm weather. Right now in Stagatland I would have to be bundled up in a coat and scarf and boots to stand outside.”

Vittorio swept his gaze over her. “And it would truly be a shame to cover the amazing view I have at this moment.”

She let her hair fall down her back. “I suspect you have had a lot of practice with those charming lines,” Mia said, letting the amusement show in her voice. Still, she soaked up the compliment, let the pleasure flow over her like a warm spring rain.

He took her hand, lifted it to his lips. This time the kiss to the back of her bare hand sent fireworks bursting through her system. “It’s only the truth, Birgitte.”
Hearing her cousin’s name fall from Vittorio’s lips was like a handful of snow smacking her in the face. Of course. She had to remember she wasn’t Mia Holmberg tonight. She’d almost forgotten she was playing a part. Still, she lifted a skeptical brow at his words, they were so foreign to those she usually heard.

“You will find that I always speak the truth,” he said. “I despise lies and deception. I have heard and seen too many of them during my years in the palace. Too many people say one thing to my face and another behind my back. I speak only the truth when I say that I am so glad you accepted our invitation to my father’s birthday celebration and that I find you incredibly attractive. I would never lie to you.”

Mia shuddered at his words. She couldn’t let him discover her deception. He would never understand.

MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Natasha Moore fell in love with the written word as soon as she could read. As she grew up, she discovered romance and now enjoys the chance to add some extra heat to her stories. She writes sexy contemporary and erotic romance because she believes that stories of love and hope are important, and that there’s nothing better than a happy ending. She lives in New York State with her real life hero who is happy to tell everyone that he’s her inspiration.
How can my readers buy your book?
Her Royal Masquerade :
Amazon
B&N
Apple
Kobo

You can find more information about Natasha Moore and my book, Her Royal Masquerade by visiting my website, http://natashamoore.com or my blog at http://fierceromance.blogspot.com.
Twitter https://twitter.com/natashamoore
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/natashamooreauthor
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/natasha_moore
Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Natasha-Moore/e/B004HX3QEI/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1387570208&sr=1-2-ent
Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/natashamoore144/

Thanks! Natasha
Thank you!
Lisa xxx

If you have any questions for Natasha please post in the comments.

#menage #HOT #eroticromance #Paranormal Buy here – http://www.amazon.com/Wicked-Wonderland-Lisa-Whitefern-ebook/dp/B009H6WAXI/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1385634902&sr=1-1-spell&keywords=LisaWhitefern … … 4th for Best Paranormal Romance in Passionate Plume award
Larger version of Wicked Wonderland banner
or http://store.samhainpublishing.com/lisa-whitefern-pa-1737.html

Some Important Websites for Fiction Writers.

To make this blog a little more helpful and comprehensive, I thought I should include some links to other sites that are really helpful for writers.

Here is Fiction Factor- A great free online magazine for writers. http://www.fictionfactor.com/

Here is an amazing blog about how authors can and should use social media for promotion. http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/about/

Brenda Hiatt

The site Brenda Hiatt’s Show Me the Money is the only one of its kind that I know of, that attempts to give information about income from romance writing. It is somewhat out of date though, so I would say the money is maybe slightly better than the site indicates, for some successful publishers.
I have heard that it is the median that is the more accurate representation of what you can expect. Her information is only as accurate as the information sent to her, so it's up to authors to keep her informed of sales data.
http://brendahiatt.com/show-me-the-money/

Emily Veinglory talks about erotic romance publishers here. She attempts to give at least a vague indication of the money that might be made. Again she only has a very small sample. She can't be expected to be that accurate, and she relies on authors to send her information regarding sales. So please send info on your novels to Emily Veinglory.
http://www.eroticromancepublishers.com/
Father of Dragons

Writer Unboxed- Another great blog about the craft and business of fiction

http://writerunboxed.com/

Here is a good short explanation about who the Big Five (formally six) are.  http://www.criticalpages.com/tag/the-big-six-publishers/

And a blog by David Gaughran about a sad, dark, underside to the publishing world. http://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/2013/05/04/the-author-exploitation-business/

Here is another very important blog worth reading along these lines.
http://blog.emilysuess.com/author-solutions-inc-employee-cries-scam/

November 11th-18th I was interviewed at http://fierceromance.blogspot.co.nz/ where I'm giving away a copy of the novella Waking the Witch.

#menage #HOT #Paranormal #MMF #bisexual

 

Books by Lisa (click links to purchase)

 

Paranormal Romance

The Seven Secrets of the Fastest Selling Paperback of all time. And a little more market news.

Breaking News for me! lol My novel Wicked Wonderland is up for Best Paranormal Romance in the Passionate Plume awards this year. http://www.passionateink.org/contests
Available for sale here! http://store.samhainpublishing.com/wicked-wonderland-p-7081.html

Maybe you’ve already read too many blogs about why 50 shades is so popular, but here is my perspective
There are several reasons for FSOG’s massive market appeal.

1. Billionaire/ Glamor ( long history of appeal in romance)
which combines with
2. Twilight connection after huge success of Twilight. (Readers get to see Bella and Edward have detailed sex and even better it’s light BD/SM sex!)
3. YA (young adult/ chick lit type) writing style that is easy and fun to read.
4.Sweet virgin gets corrupted and loves it. (long history of appeal as a romance trope)
5. Pretty Woman updated — Ana gets a LOT of cool shit, but it’s not just fashion and cars, there’s modern techno gadgets in there!
6 Dark, dangerous, tormented man meets Cinderella (huge history as a best selling theme in romance.)
7. A mystery….why is Christian 50 shades of fucked up?

And some market news…..
Harlequin Digital First is looking for Dystopian, and Alternate History novels of 70 thousand words or more and these could potentially go to print.
Stories should be inspired by the phrase “What If?”

What if the course of history had turned out differently? What if the world as we know it came to an end? What if humanity faced an apocalypse—and lived? This line is not intended for young adults. Romance or romantic elements are welcome, but not necessary. Books and films fitting this category might include: 1984, Brave New World, The Day of the Triffids, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Road, I Am Legend, V for Vendetta, The Book of Eli, The Walking Dead, Fringe.

As these stories should be rich with detail and these worlds highly developed, submissions should be a minimum of 70,000 words.

How to Submit:

Please submit only completed, fully polished manuscripts along with a query/cover letter and synopsis. In the subject line of your query, please type the manuscript title, your name and the genre of the manuscript. Queries must include the following and will not be reviewed if any piece is missing:

In the body of the email: a brief, introductory query letter including genre, word count and a short description of the book, as well as pertinent information about the author, including both legal name and pen name, full mailing address, and any writing credits.
As an attachment: the full manuscript saved as an RTF, DOC or DOCX file, with file name TITLE_MANUSCRIPT where you substitute your book’s title in place of TITLE.
As a second attachment: A 2–5 page synopsis of the book, detailing character development, plot and conflict/story resolution. Attach as an RTF, DOC or DOCX file with file name TITLE_SYNOPSIS where you substitute your book’s title in place of TITLE.

Please be sure to put the following information on the first page of all files: manuscript name, author pen name/legal name, email address, full mailing address, phone number, genre and word count.

Submissions should be sent to Submit_HDigital@Harlequin.com.

http://www.harlequin.com/articlepage.html?articleId=1734&chapter=0

Harlequin Digital First are also looking for EroticVacation Romance, contemporary erotic stories taking place while characters are on vacation.
HarlequinEroticVacation

Can one vacation change your life? HarlequinEroticVacation is all about exploring what can happen when you go on holiday and leave your inhibitions behind. Whether the hero or the heroine is traveling to an exotic resort for singles or going on an exciting adventure trek or completing a dream trip to Europe, the possibilities for romance are boundless. We’d love to see erotic romances where the hero and/or heroine are reaching outside of their comfort zone, and encountering love in exotic or faraway locations in the process. Characters can be tourists or ex-pats, guides or tour operators or resort staff. Stories can be novella length but must end happily—not necessarily with a proposal, but definitely with a promise that the relationship will continue beyond the holiday.

Word count: 15,000-50,000 words.

Sensuality level: Very high—these are definitely very hot romances. Sexual chemistry should play a large part in the development of the romance.

Films: Romancing the Stone, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Under the Tuscan Sun, Before Sunrise.

Mary’s Menage Whispers Blog has moved. To read reviews of a wide range of menage novels please click below.
http://marymenage.wordpress.com/2013/05/20/marys-menage-whispers-blog-moved-welcome-to-my-new-blog-2/

#bestselling #bestselling novel

More calls for fantasy fiction. These places take unsolicited manuscripts

 
The Romance Reviews

Who are some good publishers looking for fantasy, sci fi and speculative fiction right now?

Baen Fiction

http://www.baen.com/submit.asp

Why do I have reason to believe Baen might be a good place to submit? Mainly because of some of the high quality authors that have books with Baen such as

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Preferred length: 100,000 – 130,000 words Generally they are uncomfortable with manuscripts under 100,000 words, but if your novel is really wonderful send it along regardless of length.

Due to receiving too much spam Baen now has an online submission form.

Tor—- Tor has a huge name. The problem with TOR is they will only let you submit novel submissions via snail mail which is not something I can see myself doing from New Zealand. However there is no doubt it would be amazing to have a book accepted by TOR and they do accept unagented submissions as long as you send by snail mail.

TOR I suggest  including an online submission form for your novels like so many other publishers are doing now, or you risk possibly missing out on some great manuscripts from places like Australia and New Zealand because the postage costs are prohibitive for people in these countries and others.

TOR is also interested in short fiction! And they DO allow you to submit short stories under 12,000 words via email. Don’t query, just send your story.  http://www.tor.com/page/submissions-guidelines

JournalStone Publishing

I can’t say I know much about this publisher but it does at least make explicit in it’s terms that it is not a subsidy or vanity publisher and puts no costs on the authors and it has a nice professional looking site.

I must say I’m a little more wary since the recent contract drama hit the internet regarding a certain press. With all the competition for good manuscripts out there I suggest to publishers that they put royalty rates and terms up front on their submission guidelines to attract savvy authors.

JournalStone Publishing is looking for fantasy, science fiction and horror

http://journalstone.com/journalstone-publishing/

Do you write fantasy romance or fantasy erotic romance? You might consider http://www.resplendencepublishing.com/7.html

They are looking for all kinds of romance including fantasy romance and fantasy erotic romance but word on the street is very erotic titles such as menage sell best here. They have hit the best seller list at All Romance Ebooks with some of their titles.

 

Omnific Publishing

http://omnificpublishing.com/index.php?main_page=page&id=2

Omnific publishing will consider fantasy with romantic elements althought they would prefer fantasy romance with a strong romance plot. Omnific has had at least one book hit the NYT best seller list.

Link to my erotic paranormal menage romance novel about half-fae  Wicked Wonderland :-)

The Magic of Animated Christmas Movies

The Magic of Animated Christmas Movies

If you were a child of the ‘70s, you’ll remember a time when there were no DVDs to watch at home, so if there was something special on TV, it was more exciting than it would ever be in this day and age.

How excited my little sister and I were by all those animated Christmas movies full of magic and wonder, that only came on TV on Christmas Eve.

I guess those stories are really ingrained in my psyche, because my first ever published story was one of those Christmas tales, and it appeared in the children’s pages in our city newspaper when I was 10 years old.

When I conceived of my eroticnovel Wicked Wonderland, I also wanted to capture that magic. I wanted to capture it in an eroticromance.  The three goals I had for Wicked Wonderland were to write a magical paranormal Christmas story, an emotional romance between 3 people in a ménage, and an erotic story hot enough to jingle sleigh bells and curl your mistletoe!

For those of you wanting only market news  info from my blogs (shut up about your new release and your childhood, Lisa and give us the market goss!) I introduce to you  Riptide Publishing.

Riptide Publishing is a boutique purveyor of some of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, genderqueer)  fiction, romance . Created by experienced M/M authors who were hungry for more favorable contracts, editing, marketing support, and royalty rates, Riptide Publishing seeks to fill a critical niche in the LGBTQ market: quality books, pristinely packaged, that will satisfy readers’ desires for rich, plotty, well-edited stories for which the author is fairly paid.

LeftHandofCalvus_600x900

Although Riptide is an invitation only publisher for general submissions they give authors the opportunity to submit to Open Calls so you can get your foot in the door. Once you have a story accepted to one of their open calls you become an in house author. Their royalty rates are very good and they have some very fine authors  so Lisa Whitefern recommends this press.

Agents and Editors Wish Lists

Click if you wish to buy Wicked Wonderland my erotic  menage novel about bisexual  half-fae who fly around the world in Santa’s sleigh delivering sex toys while being pursued by an evil force bent on their destruction.  🙂

Today I’m posting some agents and editors wish lists that I’ve hunted up, but please realize, just because your idea isn’t on an agent or editor’s wish list certainly doesn’t mean the agent or editor might not LOVE to have it.  Agents say they are constantly surprised by what they fall in love with. That being said, reading editors and agents wish lists is pure fun.

They are fun because they give us an idea of the kind of topics that people in the publishing industry think might sell. They also might give any of us ideas for a future book!

Kate Schafer Testerman with KT Literary is looking for
brilliant, funny, original middle grade and young adult fiction.
Both literary and commercial; witty women’s fiction. Quirky is good.

Alicia Condon ekensington‘s Editorial Director  is looking for 60,000-word contemporary romance with Alpha heroes or small town settings and high concept single title contemporary romance. She will also look at paranormal and fantasy romance, romantic suspense, historical romance, young adult paranormal romance of 80,000 – 100,000 words).(Click on her name for guidelines and contact email.) Do not send full manuscript.

Lucia Macro is crying out for contemporary romances of approximately 50-60,000 words. for Avon Impulse both funny novels and intense and dramatic ones. She’d love military men, cowboys, billionaires and other tropes.

Rochelle French of Entangled’s Dead Sexy Romantic Suspense catagory romance line wants to see:

  • A caper with quirky characters and a strong romance
  • A cozy romantic mystery that starts with a bang
  • A small town romantic thriller
  • A category length romantic suspense with a strong winter holiday theme for next winter.
  • Traditional tropes (best friends to lovers, reunion romance, marriage of convenience, intimate strangers), while exploring the depths of the human condition as the suspense and romance build.
  • Plotlines outside the usual realm of category romance, such as amateur sleuth, hard-boiled detective, cozy mystery, medical/science, contemporary gothics, super-sensual thrillers—as long as the story has a strong, committed DEAD SEXY romance

Submissions for the Dead Sexy editors can be sent directly to deadsexy-submissions (at) entangledpublishing (dot) com ATTN: Rochelle. Check out the Dead Sexy submission guidelines for specific instructions!

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