Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2006

Featured Post

Writing from the Dark Side

Heh! I started out calling this blog post "Blogging from the Darkside" and then went to "Writing from the Darkside" and then went on to finally arrive at "Pubbing from the Darkside".  This little tidbit of information should be able to give you a little hint over what has been happening at the Oliver Homestead since I last posted.

Big News! I am part of a great collaboration with a collection of Writers who decided that if a romance book should be done, it should be done by us! Hence, the beginning of what is now know as Welcome to Serenity Harbor, Maine.

This is huge! This is ginormous! All of the books are set around the fictional coastal Maine town of Serenity Harbor. We didn't limit genre, only that their characters fall in love in Maine.

For me, this was a return to something that I love... well, yes... it was a return to writing. I've blogged a little bit about some of my struggles with illness that left with being unable to write for a whi…

Vast Explorer II

Vast Explorer II
Originally uploaded by sharp bokeh. Pirates and the ocean... they are inseparable. I've been fascinated by both since my earliest memories and somehow they always creep into my writing in one form or another. Anyway, a year or so ago I read a book called EXPEDITION WHYDAH by Barry Clifford and Paul Perry about their adventures excavating the wreck of the Whydah that went down off Cape Cod during a hurricane in the early 1700's. This is the stuff of dreams, chasing something that no one else believes exists or thinks is possible... but then, isn't that what makes a dream a dream. Anyway, I found this picture of the Vast Explorer II, originally from South Bristol, Maine (not too far from my neighborhood) when I was doing some research. She's a 65 foot fishing boat that was rigged to bring up treasure. She is now worn, she's seen much better days... but she's still proud. There's a lesson there somewhere... Enjoy...

Pay it forward... Random Acts of Kindness

My mother was a firm believer in committing random acts of kindness. The idea that it only takes a moment to do something nice for someone else without thought of recognition or repayment. I was having this discussion with my husband last night. I told him that if I won the lottery I would use the money to commit random acts for others like... paying to have a tank of oil delivered to someone who can't afford it. Buying groceries and having them delivered to an elderly person who lives on a fixed income. Or buying out the entire Christmas Tree lot and then having them give the trees away.

While it would seem that I wasn't the only one embracing the holiday spirit with a thought toward others. Celeste Gleason, author of the upcoming All Falls Away from Signet in January is running a contest on her site called Pay it forward.


She is challenging others to commit random acts in honor of the season and you can win a super prize package as a great motivator. While you are there check …

Pay it forward... Random Acts of Kindness

My mom was a huge believer in random acts of kindness... those little things that people do everyday without thought of recognition or repayment. This would be a way to Pay it forward. Give something to others, whether it's a helping hand, a uplifting moment, or something that is more valuable then money. I was actually talking to my husband about this last night. I told him that it would be fun to win the lottery and then use the money to do these little random acts. Pay someone's oil bill. Have a bag of groceries deliveried to an elderly person whose living on a fixed income. Buy out the entire Christmas tree lot and then give the trees away...

Anyway, you get the picture... but I was very surprised to see that Celeste Gleason was doing a Pay it forward contest on her site.

For All the World to See: Pay it forward...and Win a Venator Survival Kit!

It seems that she thinks very much along the same lines that I do. If you would like to enter follow the link and check it out. And …

Wisdom fueled by massive quantities of caffeine...

Life according to Gilmore Girls:
Luke: "Crazy town... they should all be medicated complete with pingpong tables and puppets."

Believe it or not, I can relate to this. I've talked before about the great talk that I went to from Jenny Crusie about putting community in your books. This would be a prime example and one that illustrates that community is nothing more than extended family. Good or bad, crazy or sane, shifty, straightforward, loving, cynical, smart, competitive, sneaky, and sometimes even a little too close for comfort. I remember saying to a friend of the family that I missed living in my old home town. I missed the fact that just across the street was someone who had known me all my life and that they knew me... the good and the bad and sane and the crazy. She reminded me that sometimes when you live in that kind of place that people know more about you than they should. But then, that comes with a family as well.

All this rambling has a purpose. Your family is…

And another one

Okay, we've got another one and yes... I'm starting to become obsessed with where my book is showing up. I found a great way of tracking it by going to fetchbook.com where they compare the prices and places available of my books. As a thrifty New Englander I'm all for finding a great price.

Here's the latest place:
Biggerbooks.com

Nice site. I was quite impressed with it.

I'll update more as I find them.

It's starting

Happy Turkey Day to everyone. I hope you had an enjoyable and filling day. I spent mine with my family and my Dad, his friend and my sister and nephew. We ate too much, laughed incessantly, and I gave my dad the copy of the book so he could see that it was dedicated to him. That made the day the best ever.

Well, it's starting... already I'm beginning to see my book pop up on the various online booksellers and it has me completely, utterly shaken. Not even seeing my book in the beautiful 4-color covered arc (advanced reader copy) could make me as happy as I was seeing my name next to my book available for advanced purchase. Granted, there are no photos of the cover yet, no snappy reviews, but it's a start and I'll take it.

So far it's shown up on the following sites:

Barnes and Noble
Borders
Buy.com
Books a Million
Amazon.ca (the Canadian version)
Amazon.de (not sure, German maybe?)
And a couple of sourcing sites for books. If you spot it on another site please let me know a…

Tis' the season...

Things I'm thankful for...
In no particular order...

Sneakers. Believe it or not, after standing in heels (even low ones) putting sneakers on feels like floating on a cloud. Thank you, thank you, thank you and my feet thank you...

A good cup of coffee. Yup, I'm one of those addicts who loves a good cup of coffee. I like it even better with the extra cream and sugar and while there are those out there who believe that this is sacrilege I think that a coffee without cream and sugar is like a Christmas tree without ornaments. Pretty to look at, but missing that something special.

Good kids. This goes without saying. It also is very nice to hear words from their teachers such as genuine, honest, and not afraid of a challenge. But I'll add a few of my own. Determined. Intelligent. Empathetically. Loving. And mine.

My Marriage. Again. Goes without saying much. But for someone who firmly believes that you are where you are supposed to be in your life for that particular time... I am t…

What a day...

I had a surreal sort of out-of-body experience tonight. Okay, so let me regress a little in my story....

I'd had one of those day. You know the kind where you are sure that you are leaving work with a lot fewer strands of hair then when you went in? Granted, I asked for this job... I really did, but because I care so much about the people that work for me I sometimes have a hard time separating it when they have problems. And... I work with teenagers alot... does that explain the hair falling out? Anyway, I came through the door to find that my much awaited ARCs for Obsidian had arrived. Finally, my name on an actually book. It was my justification for all those years spent plugging away at the computer. Finally, I could say at the holiday dinners, "Yes, I've actually been doing something all these years." The covers are wonderful. The books are wonderful. I read through some of the pages and it was as if I was looking at someone elses book and I ACTUALLY LIKED IT. At…

BookEnds, LLC — A Literary Agency

BookEnds, LLC — A Literary Agency

I just came back from the NJRWA conference. Yup, I drove my big ole' Dodge Durango (which by the way is a lovely shade of Patriot Blue Pearl) all the way to Iselin, New Jersey and back. We left at the ungodly hour of 5 in the morning. Yes, there is a 5 in the morning. And we arrived around 1pm after the fifteen bathroom stops required of four women in one vehicle with a lot of liquid.

Anyway, I had a lovely appointment while I was there with an agent. Now, this is only the second agent appointment that I've ever had and I was scared to death.

For those of you who don't know what an agent appointment is... you sign up to get 10 or so minutes with the agent of your choice (hopefully) and then you wait until your allotted time, introduce yourself, slip into the chair in front of the agent/editor and pitch your book. Some take notes with them, some like me prefer not to have the added stress of trying to find their way through notes when they hav…

IT'S HERE...

WoW!
Just in case you haven't heard the shouts of joy from your corner of the world... here is my cover for my January release from Five Star Expression and it's beautiful! Believe me, the picture doesn't do it justice. There is such depth to the pictures that it's truly a beautiful cover. The cover Gods were good to me and in thanks I offer great amounts of chocolate as an offering :)

There is still a quote that is going to go on the cover, but basically it will remain the same. You only need to read the book to realize just how well the cover fits, both in tone and content, or how much it makes me think of home.

Enjoy!

Teagan

I have a confession...

...I've become a Sci-Fi channel junkie. This is a new addiction. Up until recently the only show that I watched continually on the channel was the Ghost Hunters show. But they've added some interesting new shows to the line up this years, shows that make a writer like me say "OOOOOOHHHHHH!".

Dead Like Me... a show about the grim reaper. Sounds uplifting, doesn't it? It's about a girl who is killed when a piece of the space shuttle (a toilet seat) falls from space and hits her. Instead of moving on after death she becomes a part of a group of grim reapers whose job it is to collect souls from those are newly deceased. Doesn't exactly sound like light entertainment, but there are so many great facets to the show and so many possible opportunities for the characterst that I am literally kicking myself and wishing that I had somehow seen this kind of story.

The second show that I've seen bits and pieces of is Dark Angel with Jessica Alba. Despite the fact t…
Like the cover? If you're as intrigued by the cover as I am then check out the blog entry below for an interview with Silhouette Intimate Moments author Susan Vaughan!

Credit where it is due...

I firmly believe in promoting great stories when I read them. This time the credit goes to Susan Vaughan for her latest release DEADLY MEMORIES, a Silhouette Intimate Moments August release. And because I love to know just what motivates authors to create their stories I asked Susan if she would be kind enough to give us a few answers.


Thank you for coming along for the ride, Susan. You newest book, DEADLY MEMORIES is set in Italy. Ahh the romance of Venice, the wonderful food, the beautiful architecture crowding the canals filled with gondoliers… or are they the guy's guiding the boats with the funny hats and striped shirts? Anyway, what is it about the location that urged you to set your book there?
Hi, Teagan. Thanks for interviewing me about my book.
Venice, huh? You're probably expecting me to say that I'd met my own hero there and wanted to remember it in a book. Or that it was the romance of the ancient city, the canals, the history, the architecture, right? The truth …

Guess What?!

I am participating in a blogging experiment hosted at dearauthor.com. To enter the contest, put up this blurb, image, and trackback and you are entered to win the following prize package.
$200 Amazon gift certificate
Signed copy of Slave to Sensation
New Zealand goodies chosen by Singh
ARC of Christine Feehan's October 31 release: Conspiracy Game You can read about the experiment here and you can download the code that you need to participate here.

SLAVE TO SENSATION
Nalini Singh Berkley / September 2006

Welcome to a future where emotion is a crime and powers of the mind clash brutally against those of the heart.
Sascha Duncan is one of the Psy, a psychic race that has cut off its emotions in an effort to prevent murderous insanity. Those who feel are punished by having their brains wiped clean, their personalities and memories destroyed.
Lucas Hunter is a Changeling, a shapeshifter who craves sensation, lives for touch. When their separate worlds collide in the serial murders of Changelin…

And just because I thought you might like to see my inspiration...

This would be Gabrielle Byrne, and the picture that was my inspiration for the latest set of books. He looks dangerous and yet intriguing. Handsome and yet, a bit rough around the edges. And that voice, hmmm.... There is just something about an Irishman...

Age and Inspiration...

First, Happy Birthday to me!

Okay, so I have been hard at work writing on two manuscripts at the same time. I don't have a name for this series, but I have been keeping in the back of my mind. Of course, they all have the prerequisite Irishmen in them. Some women prefer a man in a kilt, I prefer one with a brogue. Not that there isn't something to be said for a nice pair of knees :)

I am also working on two books at the same time, something I've never done before and I find quite challenging. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, especially someone who is a newbie, but the process does work in this case since the books are tied together. And, of course, both of them have an Irishman in them.

RWA was last week and though I didn't attend it does always have me thinking about the past conferences that I've attended. It's rather ironic that I went to so many of them before I sold and now that I have I haven't participated. Also, I have the propensity for attendin…

And just because I was surfing and found this tidbit..

This just goes to show that being different and from Maine isn't always a bad thing. If fact, it probably saved this lobster from being the main course at Cook's Lobster House. Courtesy of National Geographic and a Stueben, Maine fisherman...

Ancient irish text found in bog...

just in case you haven't seen the article, click here

The idea that this leather bound book could be found intact is absolutely a miracle. It dates to 800-1000 and was left open to a page describing in Latin Psalm 83. Psalm 83 I read is about Israel, a rather timely passage I think. And it's as if someone were reading it, studying it, and set it aside, only to lose it for a very long time... Perhaps, they went off in search of a cool drink, or maybe it was an itinerant priest, studying the words and was set off by a band of druids who were fighting to keep Christianity at bay on the Isle (okay, so that is my imagination fully at work). Or perhaps, they had a premonition that it would someday become a headline on Yahoo!. But the idea that out of those deep, dense, oxygen deprived peat bogs have come some of the worlds most celebrated artifacts is amazing. (think bog man... the poor man whose throat was slit and dumped in a bog centuries ago)

Of course, a text emerging from Irela…

Fears...

This was preempted by a talk given by Marley Gibson from the New England RWA chapter on Networking. It was a wonderful talk in which I learned a great deal about seizing opportunities when they are presented to promote yourself. I highly recommend it if you get a chance to hear her speak.

Okay, if there is any one subject that most writers are qualified to speak on it is the subject of fears. After all, we deal with them daily with our characters and we deal with them daily with our own personal writing fears. I don't know of any writer who doesn't have at least one fear directly related to their writing and if they tell me they don't then I want to know what kind of medication they are on because I need to go get some. Any time that we as writers put anything out there for others to see we run the risk of rejection, the fear of being rejected... whether it is by a critique partner, an editor, agent, or the general public when our book hits the shelves... we have all exper…

Anonymity and Book Promotion....

First, my daughter just asked me if anonymity was the same thing as that sea creature. I think she meant the sea anemone.

Anyway, have I mentioned that I have a background in promotion and event planning? Yup, that would be me. I spent several years working for a non-fiction book publisher who paid me to travel endless miles across the country, sleeping in beige hotel rooms and eating food that you can acquire from the vendors at the shows while you are on the run looking for the crate that had the most important part of your display booth... all while pushing their books!
Don't get me wrong. I LOVED it! The first booksellers show that I attended was the Northern California booksellers show in San Francisco. Can you think of a better place for an initiation? In the course of five days I went from being the young girl who had never been out of the state of Maine by herself to a traveler who could handle a mob of people. I met tons of people who were avidly interested in the product t…

Inspiration

True inspiration can come in any guise. I've been known to find ideas from the back of cereal boxes, but I think that there is a definite difference between inspiration and story creation. I tend to think of inspiration as not a specific idea, but the thing that sparks us to sit down and do the writing. It isn't necessarily that twig of a thought that gives us our "aha" moment, instead I think of it as that swelling within us. Inspiration is that need that rises, setting our minds in motion and propelling us forward. Inspiration is a muse set to entice us. It is that heady feeling of being in the "zone" while we write. It is that time when we feel as if we have truly managed to get the words onto the page. Inspiration is adrenhaline for the creative soul, our food to fuel us... making our hearts beat faster and allowing us to block out everything around us.


Now, that said... it has been two months since my last blog entry. During that time I managed to survi…

Obsidian Update...

So, just in case you are wondering what happens after you sign that contract, let me tell you where I am at... two months after signing the contract.

Well, I have done a round of edits on the book and pushed to get them in as early as possible. I made a real conscious effort when I decided to pursue being published that I would do two things... 1) I would try to be a reliable and easy author to work with (i.e. getting in before deadlines, listening to advice with an open mind, and trying not to bug the editors badly) and 2) that I would push myself beyond my boundaries. What has this got to do with publishing? Everything! First, as a new author you must push yourself beyond your traditional comfort zone to take on the task of learning to write romantic fiction (or whatever genre you want). Once you have been doing this for awhile you begin to push yourself by entering contests for feedback or even sending in queries to editors and agents. Not an easy thing when you feel as if your stom…

Familiarity breeds...

well, sometimes it can breed a whole lot of things that we aren't sure that we need or want. Such as those people that you treat nicely and are rewarded with a snarky attitude or even lewd suggestions. But sometimes familiarity breeds success... And in the case of Jenny Crusie and Bob Mayer they are reaping the benefits of familiarity in droves. Last year at conference time they decided to start a blog and sites dedicated to their new venture of tandem writing of Romantic Adventures. As they said during a talk at the NEC conference, no one was quite sure what was going to happen with a book written from a male and female perspective alternatively. But since both had a strong readership already the idea of combining their efforts and promoting their difference became the linchpin in their successful book launch of Don't Look Down.DLD, as they affectionately call it, hit the NYT list at #21! Nothing to sneeze at especially when you add to that the fact that this is basically an …

Guardian Angel

Clearly, someone up there is looking out for me. Someone decided that if I was ever going to get this book to the shelf that I was going to need an angel. And in this case, they sent me Julie. Julie is my editor assigned by Tekno/Five Star who is helping me with the edits for my book. What she deserves is a medal the size of Ohio, but what she gets in it's place is a very grateful author. You see, somewhere along the way in my writing career I listened to all of the rules that I was told and I started trying to implement them to make my writing stronger. Some of these rules were the result of college writing classes. Granted, my professor was wonderful and encouraging, but she was a "literary" writer (and I don't mean that in any kind of sarcastic way as some writer's do). And she wanted me to learn the rules well, constantly pushing them into my already overloaded, too-old-for-college-but-gonna-do-it-anyway head. I bow to Ann Wescott Dodd, you taught me to perse…

State of Mind... or is there a mind at all?

Okay... well, in a short amount of time (mainly about a week) I got the email from Tekno Books that they wanted to buy my Romantic Suspense Obsidian, I got the contracts in the mail and sent them back, and I got my advance check. What a whirlwind this has been. Oh, and I can't forget the lovely email I got from the editor working on my book, a publication date of January 2007, and a deadline for revision of June 5. Phew!

My other book, The Three Truths of Katie Talmadge which I actually sold first (last August) is due out in July 2007 through Wings ePress. This one felt like it was a long way off. With a July publication date I felt nowhere as scared as I do with the deadline for Obsidian. I'm so new to all of this. I have good friends who have published and I have quietly listened and questioned as they went through their own journey of discovery, but this... this is a whole NEW kettle of fish...

I'm not sure what it is that has me scared. I've been writing for 12 years…