Somehow I managed to end up between the pages of The Kelsey Review again! This time it’s an excerpt from one of the books I’m throwing out there for your approval, The Heiress of Bearberry. You can take a look right here at this site, or you can click on this link for a nifty turn-by-turn version of the 2013 edition of the literary mag. It’s chock full of all kinds of talent from Mercer County, NJ (that’s New Jersey’s capital county for those left unawares), from photos to original artwork, to poems and short stories and of course, excerpts from soon-to-be-sold novels extraordinaire. Who knows where it may lead? Last year I was lucky enough to get nominated for a Pushcart Prize, for a my short story “Hawks” in the 2012 edition. Pick up a copy and you can say you knew me when!
Laugh if you want, but you have to start somewhere. For those aspiring writers out there don’t discount your local press. A publishing cred is a publishing cred, and people do read these things. Plus it’s still a bit of a thrill to have someone think what you write is worth reading. And the more that you put yourself out there, the more of a junkie you become. What was it Dorothy Parker said…? “I love writing, but I love having written better.”
Well said, Dottie, well said.
It has, hasn’t it? I mean it’s been soooo long I’m back to wearing shoes! Truth–I wore my first pair since May yesterday, and today me and the husband even went to DSW and dumped $168. (If you have to ask, sweetie…) Anyway, I suppose you’re just dying to know what I’ve been doing. Well, not writing, if you must know, which is extremely bad when you’re a writer. But I’m also an instructor of writing, or as my still outstanding college loans keep reminding me, at the university level, and four classes and two graduate mentees have really kept me from doing much else. But don’t get me wrong–I love teaching, but I also love writing, so now that things have calmed down, I’m almost back to my former and soon-to-be-current career. And I’m kickstarting it by co-hosting a workshop at the Connecticut chapter of the Romance Writers of America’s annual Fiction Fest this weekend at Mystic.
I’m really looking forward to it, not only to get back into the mix, but to take some really great workshops with some really great writers. You see, writing is just like any other profession, and then again, it’s not. Like any, you have to keep up with current trends and who’s doing what out there in the world, especially because writers do so much of what they do alone. But every once in a while we come out of our cave and seek out our own species, and I promise to bring back a report and as many photos as I can sneak without using my camera as a social weapon or a third-person filter. Writers live a lot of third-person reality, and every now and then we have to get out into it. Really! Continue reading Holy Cats! It’s been a long time!
The Connecticut Romance Writers Fiction Fest 2013 will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2013. The keynote speaker this year is 6-time RITA Nominee, Winner, and NY Times Bestselling Author, Roxanne St. Claire. We’ll also be welcoming Jim Azevedo from Smashwords for a double session workshop, and life coach/organizer Lisa Lelas.
The all-day conference will be held at the luxurious Hilton Hotel in Mystic, CT. Just tell them you are with the CT Romance Writers (or give them the code “CRWA”), and you will receive the discount room rate of $169.
Fiction writers of all genres, but especially romance writers, are welcome. Once again, the conference will feature workshops on craft, industry, and the writer’s life. (Follow the workshop link to see the full program.) We will have an exciting raffle, an editor/agent hot-seat luncheon (where THEY get to answer YOUR questions), and a few surprises. In addition, editors and agents will be available for pitch appointments. Stay tuned for the workshop schedule and complete list of agents and editors. This conference drew 160 participants last year, so be sure to register early to reserve your spot!
See you there! Gwen
That’s right! I’ll be on “Conversations with Klarque” on the Survival Radio Network blog talk radio Sunday, July 28 at 4:00 PM EDT. I have no idea what I’ll be talking about, but the gracious Mr. Garrison has assured me I won’t make a fool out of myself. So all I have to say is PLEASE dear sir–be gentle with this media fledgling! I have NO idea what’s going to happen, no idea what he’s going to ask me, but hopefully he’ll stay within the world of writing (or politics, I’ll allow that!)
So don’t forget to tune in at www.conversationswithklarque.com, or call 917-932-1078 if you’d like to put me on the spot. BIG fun!
Here they are! Fresh off the press from HarperCollins Avon Impulse, and ready to attack your bookcase. Now of course you thought Andy was hot when he was smoking up your Kindle or Nook. But just imagine what he can do when your holding him in your hot little hands! Smell the fresh ink! Swoon over his picture (suitable for framing). Highlight the “good parts.” Scads of things you can do once you buy your own copy. But didn’t you mention “free?” Of course I did! There’s no one putting nothing over you! So how do I get one? you may ask. Well jeez! Wasn’t I just about to tell you?
You go here to enter the raffle for one of FIVE autographed paperback copies. The giveaway is ON NOW but the Rafflecopter takes off on July 21, so enter early and what the hell–enter OFTEN! And don’t forget to stick around long enough to “Like” my Facebook page!
It’s Release Day for paperback Wanted: Wife! As you may have gotten from my post yesterday, there’s nothing like seeing your work in old-school print–that is if it’s old school after all. It just feels too new and fresh. As of this morning, Amazon already had almost exhausted its stock, so it must be selling somewhere. Just like the U.S. Treasury when it runs out of money, I just suppose we’ll have to print more! I received a nice little shipment of books from Avon’s own Carly Bornstein yesterday (thanks, sweetie!) and I took one of those copies around to my local Barnes & Noble’s Community Relations Manager, Susan Hogan. I thought if I brib–er, gifted her a copy, she might be persuaded to stock a few on her shelves. Turns out she already had some on order. Hey! Wasn’t that nice! And she also went a step further saying she’d like to have me do a book event. Well! Way more than I expected. So we’re looking at late summer/early fall, you know, right around the time it hits the New York Times list. I will most definitely keep you posted.
Many thanks to all the usual suspects who brought this day around–editor extraordinaire Tessa Woodward, my most glamorous agent, Marisa Corvisiero, Avon indispensables Carly Bornstein and Caroline Perny, fellow writer, beta-reader and head-smacker (when necessary, which is often) Linda J. Parisi, and all those wonderful people out in the dark. From my desk to yours, thank you.
I’m sitting here with my head in a towel, just out of the shower, writing this. The immediacy of tomorrow just struck me and I had to make note of it, as it’ll be the first time I’ll see my fiction in print–in print the old-school way that is, how every writer still works to see themselves. Although print these days may seem quaint, it’s a technology that’s survived five hundred years and there’s a reason for that, to get it in down in writing denoting a seriousness, the permanence of ink still resonating. With so much of our documents now virtual, it’s a charge, at least to this writer, to heft her own book in her hands, a tangible confirmation of her creative ability. I’m sure most other writers feel the same, at least most of the writers I know do, although there are some who don’t and that’s fine. But there’s just something about books in general that get to me. It’s the smell of ink and paper and the space they occupy, whether in a bookstore yet to be adopted, or packed into your own shelving, indicating a concrete database of accomplished cultural knowledge. I have five tall, crammed bookcases myself, a compendium of the varied aspects of my life, from my undergrad and graduate studies, to textbooks I use for teaching, signed books by favorite authors from my bookselling days, my reference for research, the non-fiction feeding my political bent and inner historian, to rows and rows of fiction as varied as James Joyce, Mark Twain and Dorothy Parker to Diana Gabaldon, Lisa Klepas and Khaled Hosseini. And now one more, decidedly personal.
Which you can buy by going right here. I see a space on your shelf it’d fill perfectly!
I’ve been getting some great responses to Wanted: Wife and quite frankly, it’s floored me. It’s one thing to have your friends, your agent and your editor think you’re worth the ink or pixels, but they’re hardly for whom I’m ultimately writing. The real gauge of a writer’s success is what the readers think, and you may be saying “Oh yeah, that’s what she says now.” But it’s the truth, and those who forget that do so at their peril. True, all books are ultimately subjective, but if I’m producing what the marketing promised, then I suppose I’m fulfilling my end of the bargain. I’d like to think you agree I am and if I’m not, please let me know. Really. (And that’s not just because I’m needy. I’m NOT! Okay, I am. So indulge me before I cry.)
On the other hand you’re only as good as your last book. So if I want to keep going with this writer thing and eventually lose my day job (“day job” being a relative term in professor-land), you have to constantly exceed the bar. So that’s what I’m working on now, the follow-up to Andy featuring his younger brother, Marcel. If he turns out half as “swoon-worthy” as Andy (not my term, but a popular readers’ descriptor) I’ll be in the ballpark. A revised sneak-peek is attached at the top, and a big hint of what it’s about at the left. Let me know what you think.
And yes, that’s me aboard the A.J. Meerwald, New Jersey’s official tall ship, which is visiting up and down the state’s coast this summer, as well as Philadelphia and New London, CT. Visit www.ajmeerwald.org for the 2013 Public Sail Schedule. Now excuse me while I crawl back into my head and get to work.
Let’s face it, no one really cares about me when there’s a cute cat involved. This picture of Gracie was taken almost two years ago when she could still tuck herself in a little corner of one of my bookcases. Of course, it’s not happening anymore. But she still sits where she damn well pleases. Anyway…
It’s Week Two of the release of Wanted: Wife (hold on; shilling right here), and so far, so good. I’ve been getting some pretty positive reviews from bloggers–check the REVIEW page on this site–and from what’s been posted on Amazon and Goodreads. But I still feel like it’s too early to tell, as I’m sure unless you’re a reviewer (or know me personally) the last book you buy still has to mellow on the TBR pile for a little while. I mean, really–isn’t that mandatory? Anyway, I am looking forward to what the people who actually paid good money for the book think, too. Oh, be honest. I can take it!
As of this writing, this week’s blog tour still has a couple more days. It’s been great so far, thanks to the lovely ladies of Literati Literature Lovers, and this is coming on the heels of Avon’s Launch Week Blog Tour. But we’ve got another fun time coming up the pike in the weeks leading up to the paperback release of Wanted on July 2. Can’t say what it is now but yo! it’ll involve a whole lot of Jersey for certain.
But the really exciting news this week was being contacted by Klarque Garrison, who invited me to be on his show “Conversations with Klarque.” We’ve set up Sunday afternoon, July 28 at 4:00 EDT, and I’m not ashamed to admit I’m a little scared shitless. But hey, at least I’ll be quaking in the comfort of my own home, and being radio, you won’t be able to see me doing it! Even so, I had a nice dose of conversing with Klarque over the phone just the other day, and he immediately put me at ease, so I think I’ll survive!
While everyone has their go-to favorite romance authors, there’s nothing like discovering a great new writer. Today Avon editor Tessa Woodward is here to share her enthusiasm for Avon’s hot new star Gwen Jones, whose debut contemporary romance Wanted: Wife is available now digitally and in print this July. Read on to learn a little more about this title and how Gwen got her start.
I cannot tell you how excited I am, as her editor, to be introducing the absolutely fabulous Gwen Jones to you! An Avon Impulse debut star, Gwen’s first book for us, Wanted: Wife, is on sale now!
From the first moment I got manuscript in on submission, I knew I had to publish this book. I mean, it couldn’t have a more fun premise! it’s the story of Andy, a gorgeous, alpha guy with a charming French accent who advertises for a wife … on a utility pole. And Julie, the reporter sent out to cover the story, who just happens to be the one woman who perfectly fits the bill! But Julie and Andy have to learn to live with each other as husband and wife … in the wilderness … without phones … (I, for one, would not survive that!) and they’re each carrying around some pretty big secrets. Hopefully their insane chemistry will get them through it.
It’s a funny, sweet, quirky, romantic, sexy, outstanding love story. And I’m so glad to be able to share it with you. Gwen Jones is the real deal, and I hope you enjoy her writing as much as I did.
– Tessa Woodward