Monday, November 29, 2010

Writing Romance Is Like...The First Day of Kindergarten

It's the last stop on my blog tour!! Whew! It's been fun, though!

So, a quick review of what's going on (ie, how you can win stuff):

Every commenter gets entered for a chance at a book from my backlist. And if you really want to have some fun: follow me around to all the stops on the schedule (on my website) get the answers to the questions (on the form on my site) and then e-mail them to me by December 15th to get entered into a drawing for a $50 gift certificate to, or Yes, you can still get in on this--- just go back through the posts and answer the questions!

And finally…
Writing Romance Is Like… The First Day of Kindergarten: everything is fun, colorful and exciting… and it quickly becomes apparent you have no idea what you’re doing.

I’d been a part of RWA (Romance Writers of America), on the loops, working with critique partners, reading, going to meetings, etc. for a long time before I even tried too hard to get published, so I thought I knew some stuff about the publishing business.

I was wrong.

Well, I knew some stuff. Like how to format a manuscript (basically, check the publisher’s website), how to write a synopsis (not that they were great, but I knew the basics), what WIP and CP and H/h meant. But wow. It was like learning to tie my shoes all over again once I was published.

The cool thing about comparing writing and publishing to Kindergarten is that the bottom-line for me in both is/was the same: having fun.

I don’t have to do this. Well, I mean, I’m not doing it to buy groceries or anything. I’m doing it because I love it and I was fortunate enough to find an editor and publisher that liked my stuff enough to put it out there. And I’ve been fortunate enough, so far, that there are readers out there who like my stuff enough to buy it. But the bottom line for me is-- this is fun.
(Okay, I wouldn’t say synopsis writing or turning edits around in 48 hours is fun. Oh, and not-great review are not fun. But overall, this is the most fun I’ve maybe ever had).

I get to tell stories. And people read them.
That’s right up there with eating cookies, taking naps, and (my personal favorite) playing at recess. After all that’s where you get to laugh and have a good time with new friends! (which means all NNN activities are like recess… )

And just like that first day of Kindergarten, the day your first book is published, your life changes. There’s no going back. Going to Kindergarten meant riding the school bus, learning to count past twenty, sitting quietly…I hadn’t done any of that before. Becoming a published author means no more getting around to that chapter whenever I feel like it, no more excuses for not understanding publishing contracts and no more talking about someday and what if.

But why, in either case, would I want to go back? There are challenges ahead—algebra and physics and new characters and new love stories and … and even more fun!

Thanks for being a part of my ride so far!!


And a final excerpt from the book that started it all!

No Matter What

“Everything that goes on in this house or on these grounds is my concern. You could have left a note.” Though his voice was low, his tone indicated a clear underlying irritation.

“A note about what?”

“Where you were going, what time you’d be back.” His exasperation came through distinctly.

“Are you always so nosy?”

“Are you always so sneaky?”

“Sneaky?” She stopped the cocoa preparation and turned to look at him squarely.

“You slipped out of the house tonight without a word to anyone about where you were going.”

“I didn’t realize I was under house arrest. I have things I have to do. And I did not ‘slip out’.”

“A million dollars is a lot to pay for an eight hour work day.” He lifted the coffee cup that she hadn’t noticed until that moment.

She felt a wave of indignation wash over her but she held her expression stoically. “This is not exactly a typical business arrangement.”

A long silence followed her statement.

“You’re right.” His words took Jaden by surprise. “For instance, any other time I hire someone, I ask a lot of questions about them personally as well as professionally. I like to know about their families, their interests and hobbies. Their habits. I should have asked more questions about you. My primary concern at the time was that I hire the best therapist for Emily.”

“You did.”

“Yes, but I didn’t think beyond the therapy sessions. I didn’t fully consider all of the things you would mean to Emily besides being her therapist.”

Jaden frowned, wishing she could see his face more clearly. “What do you mean? And what did you mean by ‘their habits’?” She wasn’t sure why but she felt offended by the comment now that she replayed it in her head.

“I expect Emily will get very attached to you. You are a young, intelligent, successful woman and Emily will likely look up to you.”

“And that concerns you.”

“Frankly, yes.”


He came to his feet in one quick, fluid movement. “Because it’s one in the morning and you’re just getting home.”

Let him guess and assume about what you were doing. Make him a little crazy for a change.

“I don’t like that you’re assuming the worst about me. I haven’t given you a reason not to trust me.”

He took a deep breath. “Okay, then, I have only one question for you. Where were you?”

She swallowed hard and tried to get a grip on the thoughts and responses that were stumbling over one another in their haste to make it to her mouth first.

“I was out, Adam. That’s all you need to know.” She added a flip of her hair to emphasize how casual she was about the whole thing.

“Jaden…” He took a deep breath and she saw him consciously work to unclench his fists. It struck her how personal her name sounded from his lips even when he was frustrated. That only increased her aggravation.

His voice slightly calmer, he spoke again. “It is important to me. At least tell me that you weren’t—”

“What? That I wasn’t…doing drugs? Drinking all night at the bars? That I’m not a call girl in the evenings when I’m not at the hospital? Smell my breath, Adam, if you don’t believe me. Diet cola was the strongest thing I had tonight.”

He came toward her quickly and she tipped her chin up to meet his gaze. He leaned in, braced his hands on the counter behind her on either side of her hips and took a deep breath.

She held hers. Having him suddenly this close was overwhelming and she fought to remember what they had been talking about.

He reminded her quickly. “How about all of the above?” His voice was lower now, huskier, and his eyes studied hers closely. “How about reassuring me that you wouldn’t dream of doing any of those things?”

She didn’t like that he doubted her. She wanted to stomp and yell and demand that he believe in her. But at the same time, this might just be perfect. She’d been off-balance since meeting him. He shook her up, as much as she hated it. Clearly her conduct during off-duty hours interested him, and worried him. This might be her chance to turn the tables a bit. Not that getting a man like Adam off-balance would be easy. But it would, very likely, be fun.

“I’ll tell you this much. Drugs and prostitution aren’t my thing.”

He pressed closer and she felt the edge of the counter against her low back. Perhaps it was her decision to try to overwhelm him for a change, but for the first time, when he got close to her, dropped his voice low and looked at her like he wanted to make all of her fantasies come true, she reveled in it.

She found the scent of his cologne and the warmth of the arm braced on the counter beside her appealing rather than aggressive. In fact, this close, she found that his blue eyes, swirling with emotion, were impossible to resist. He was a passionate man. He cared about his daughter, his household, and stood firm in his convictions. It was his unflinching devotion that made her want to know more about him. For instance, what else stirred Adam Steele’s passions?

“So tell me, what is your kind of thing?”

The huskiness in his voice made her nerve endings dance.

She studied his full lips for a long moment before her eyes traced his strong jaw shadowed with dark stubble. Eventually, she moved up slowly to again meet the midnight blue eyes that seemed to pierce straight through to her soul.

“Arrogant millionaires, evidently.”

As his lips met hers, she momentarily stopped disliking anything about him.


Zina said...

thanks for another great excerpt. I had to go into my ebooks and nook to see if this one was waiting in my TBR pile and I'm sad to say I don't own this one so now it's going onto my TBB sticky note. I enjoyed the blog tour and peaking into what makes you tick and write.

Cara Bristol said...

Yep, like starting Kindergarten, one has no idea of the long journey ahead. But it is fun!

Great blog tour!

Cindy said...

Loved following you around on your tour! Right now I'm fanning myself after reading that excerpt!

cbandy10 (at) hotmail (dotcom)

Sarah said...

This has been a great blog tour - thanks! Now, can I go back to Kindergarten? ;-)

Debra St. John said...

Oooh, great excerpt.

And I love the analogy. Being a published author was a whole new learning curve.

Cathy M said...

Hi Erin,

Just popping in to say hi. You picked one of my all time favorite excerpts to share, man, I loved this story.

Really enjoyed all your blog posts during your tour. Always found something to chuckle about.

Erin Nicholas said...

aw, thanks everyone! It's been fun seeing some of the same faces at the stops-- THANKS for following me around!

This story is special to me in lots of ways, so I love hearing that it's made it into other hearts too! :)

PG Forte said...

Great tour, Erin! And I think you really nailed it with this post (yeah, again, although the puppy one is still my favorite). Writing is definitely like Kindergarten is (or should be!): new things to learn, a little bit scary and a whole lot of fun.

Anonymous said...

Great post. Can’t wait to read the next ones :)