It’s been pouring here in Northern California. We’re in a drought situation, so we really need it, but it’s no fun driving in the rain. I love hearing the rain on the roof when I’m snug and warm at home.
Of course extreme weather can offer some nice opportunities for romance. I have a scene in Rarer Than Rubies where the main characters are stuck in a little hut during a monsoon rain. Talk about setting the mood. It worked perfectly for Trent and Reed–it was their first time together, way back when. In Snow Job, my two boys are stuck in a cabin for Christmas when the power goes out and they have to keep each other warm. Then Zack and Monty go a few steps farther and it’s sizzling!
What kind of weather do you think makes the best setting for romance, and why? Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of your choice of Rarer Than Rubies (hot in Thailand) or Snow Job (Christmas in a cold climate).
I got a lot of entries for the title contest for Precious Gems Series book 4.
Thanks to everyone who submitted a name. After brainstorming with beta readers, I’ve got some new options and selected the most relevant of the entries from the blog and Facebook. (Expect an email if you won a prize)
So, now it’s time to vote.
And there is a giveaway here too. First, vote in the poll. Then, leave a comment telling me which title you like best. I’ll randomly select at least one commenter to win an e-book from my backlist.
Read the blurb, then select the best titles that fit with the blurb, not just the best-sounding title.
Reed Acton has something more difficult to face this time around: a visit from Trent Copeland’s parents. He’s less equipped to handle hugs and holidays than the Taliban or international art thieves. When he’s assigned a case to track down a set of gold Babylonian artifacts looted from the Iraqi National Museum after the 2003 fall of Baghdad, things start to look up. The investigation takes him and Trent to Istanbul and then to an army base on US soil where Reed has to confront the worst demons from his past–his own parents–in order to find out which soldiers have been selling off the smuggled items.
It’s the end of September. You’ve got about a month until NaNoWriMo starts. Seems like plenty of time, right? Some of you are wondering why I’m already talking about NaNo when it doesn’t even start until November 1.
Because writing and finishing a book takes more than just the 30 days you’re planning to spend working on it during November. If this is your first time considering doing NaNoWriMo, or you’ve tried before and didn’t quite make your 50k, stay tuned because I’ll be sharing with you my tips, advice and some tricks to help you be ready to start writing on November 1, and to get 50k (or a finished story) by November 30.
Take the quick poll below so I can see what your biggest concerns are about participating. I’ll be addressing as many of these as I can before and during November, to help you hit 50k.
What makes me an expert, you may be asking. And that’s a great question. I’ve been doing NaNo for about ten years now, and have hit the 50k goal every year. Most years I’ve finished an even longer novel by November 30. And these novels have been contracted and released by a publisher—not self-published. (Bound for Trouble was my 2013 NaNo project.)
I’ve collected the worksheets and techniques I use for developing a novel into an easy-to-use novel planning kit, How to Be a NaNoWriMo Winner.
Giveaway: Leave a comment for the chance to win a copy of my book How to Be a NaNoWriMo Winner
A few days ago we had a lively discussion on my Facebook page when I posted this:
Choose one: firemen or cowboys
The results skewed toward firemen until the voting deteriorated into firemen-cowboys or space cowboys, and quite a few other interesting comments and reasons for voting one way or another.
Since my original goal was to find out what kind of men you like to read about, I really wanted an either-or choice. But it’s not that clear at all, and maybe you’d like some combination of two in one man.
So, I’m expanding the discussion to a poll. With a bonus poll for how you’d like to pair up your heroes in gay romance.
Feel free to leave comments about why you made your choices! That’s just as important as which men you love to read about.
Which couples sound like fun? I didn’t have patience to put in all the combinations, so if there is one you are dying to read about, add it. One new couple per line.
And who should we pair up the alphas with?
Which pairing do you most enjoy reading?
Another in my ongoing series of questions about what you think about reading, writing, and buying books.
Reviews are definitely dangerous territory for an author, so today I’m actually stepping back and taking my author hat off. Today I’m just a reader.
I read a lot of reviews. It’s far more important now because there are just too many books out there to know which ones I’d like, or to avoid the ones I won’t like. I hate having to rely on other people’s opinions, but there’s no other way. Even when I’m on Goodreads reading my friends’ reviews, I shape my reading choices around what others are saying.
So, as a reader, I have certain expectations in a review, especially from a review site. The main job there, and the reason they get free books is for a real review of the book. One of the sites I usually love has let me down lately. The last review I read there contained 10 sentences of plot summary and about 1.5 sentences of whether the “reviewer” liked the book. (.5 of one sentence referred to plot) and actually told me nothing at all about why the reader liked it.
The book got 4 stars, so I assume she liked it. Or is 4 the new 3, which means the book was okay but I didn’t like it enough to pay attention to anything that you might want to know about it.
Another review gave a different book 3 stars. That reviewer gave a glowing report of all the things that made the book great. If that’s a 3 she must have multiple orgasms when she reads a 5-star book. I immediately bought the 3-star book!
I expect certain things from a review when I’m trying to make choices about how to spend my very limited time and money choosing books. I’ll bet you’re the same way.
Take the poll and let me (and reviewers) know what you want.
And then please leave a comment about what you DON’T like to see in reviews, so reviewers know that we’re not going to take it anymore! Maybe I’m a bitch, but if a review doesn’t give me the info I need or fails to mark a spoiler, I vote it down on Amazon or comment about it on GR.
I know I’m not alone in wondering why some choices I made as a writer didn’t go over well in a book. The betas didn’t mention it; the editors didn’t have an issues; but when the reviews started, people didn’t hold back in why they hated something I’d written.
I’ve had characters cheat (though not on each other), tried something different with the timelines (as in Memento), had bisexual characters with girlfriends, and had a really terrible MC who changes a lot for the other, just to name a few and these didn’t go over so well. There was a long well-thought-out process for every single choice, though whether it matters to readers is quite another issues. I’ll be exploring the reasons behind some of these particular choices in future posts and a longer article, so stay tuned for that. But enough about me.
In the meantime, I’d like to get some feedback from other authors about difficult choices they made that generated some unexpected reader backlash. I will be getting the reader perspective in a future survey, too!
Survey link opens a new window. Results will be compiled offline and not displayed here.
Thanks for participating!
Forgive me cheating a bit with a poll today. I’m deep into a major rewrite of Sex, Lies & Wedding Bells, and haven’t had time to be online much. I will be back this weekend, with news, excerpts and maybe a sneak peek or two.
What influences you to buy a book?
This is the magic question for authors and publishers. We try so many different ways to tell readers about our books, but which ones really work? That’s what I’m trying to figure out. Whether you are a reader or an author, please let me know what influences you. I will compile the results into a later post with some discussion.
I would love to see a lot of reader comments on the topic. What’s the best way for us to give you the information you need to make a decision? Or would you rather get information from friends, peers and “neutral” sources?
Leave a comment about any of these issues for a chance to win an e-book from my backlist.
For the most important factor, I’m trying to go beyond cover, blurb, and except, since we know those are important. Which of these social and external factors most affect your decision?
[BTW, “other” in the following poll stems from people combining several items into one, so it doesn’t reflect a true most important factor. I’ve disabled the option to add your own answer, but if there is one specific thing I haven’t mentioned here, please leave a comment.]
Which is the most important influence for you?
What keeps you from buying a book?
There are plenty of books we don’t want to buy, for a variety of reasons. Why might you decide not to buy a book, besides the obvious that you aren’t interested in the subject matter? Please add your own answer if it’s not listed and feel free to add comments, rants, raves, etc. I’m even more interested in this topic!
What turns you off about a book? (choose all that apply)
Should legalizing same-sex marriage affect readers and writers of gay romance?
As of today, lawsuits have been filed to lift bans on same-sex marriage in every state where such bans exist and have not yet been declared unconstitutional. Nearly half the states allow same-sex marriage, and another dozen or so recognize out-of-state marriages. It’s an amazing turn of events in the past year or two, with approval by the general population at well over 50%, according to polls.
Statistics aside, the world is changing dramatically for same-sex couples. With that change, there are new pressures and expectations on men and women in relationships. When the idea of marriage seemed impossible, many couples never even considered it. I expect in some couples there are disagreements now that they can get married.
The shift in options for gay couples is something I think should be incorporated into the stories we write about gay couples. Until recently, many stories focused on getting couples together for sex, or for HFN, without much thought to what that future might look like.
In traditional romance, the heroine’s goal was finding a husband, because writers thought that was what women wanted and thus wanted to read about. That has changed quite a bit over the years, but there is still a lot of emphasis on finding the right man to settle down with in one fashion or another. In our gay romances, for the most part, the characters rarely seem to have such goals in mind. To be honest, a lot of stories center on guys hooking up in different ways, with little thought to a relationship beyond the physical.
So, now that marriage is a very real option for almost every couple in the US, I wonder how authors will incorporate it into their stories. And what do readers want or expect in this regard.
I think it will be interesting and exciting to explore how each man in a couple might have differing views on marriage, and how those will affect a relationship, both long and short term. Not all gay romance stories try to depict the lives and issues of real gay men, and not all readers want realistic depictions.
What do you want to see? Please join the discussion with your comments.
Same-sex Marriage & Gay Romance
If you got a contract or self-published, congratulations! Please leave a comment about where/when your book is coming out!
If you’re still working away at it, or have given up, this should be a great motivator to keep writing! Considering signing up for the Newsletter to get tips and information on how to finish and revise your novel.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.emlynley.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/em-only-bent-con-hat.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]EM Lynley is a multi-published author of 9 novels and two dozen shorter works of fiction as well as How to Be a NaNoWriMo Winner. Her 2013 NaNo Novel Bound for Trouble has been contracted by Dreamspinner Press for a July 2014 publication date. She also runs Smooth Draft Editing, offering a range of services from proofreading to developmental editing and coaching for writers. Visit her Amazon Author page, or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org[/author_info] [/author]