Monday, December 26, 2011

It's Release Day!!



So, today is the official release day for Going the Distance! Yay!!! I really love this story and truly hope you will too! And to make things even better Evernight is having a Boxing Week sale until Dec.30!!! 30% off all e-books!


After an exciting week of blog hopping, I've randomly drawn the first winner for an e-copy Going the Distance and the winner is: Wanda F. Congratulations!

I've got another contest happening over at my friend, Colin F. Barnes' blog...go check it out...leave a comment (and email address) and you're entered to win an e-copy of Going the Distance!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Guest Post: Author Keri Lake: My Decision to Self-Publish

I'd like to welcome author Keri Lake to my blog this week. I wanted to explore the topic of self-publishing and thought it would be a great idea to get the perspective of someone who has decided to take that journey. I have to say that Keri's post is a truly inspiring one and has given me a lot to think about. So without further ado:




A little over a year ago, I would have laughed at the idea of self-publishing. No way. No how. There really is a stigma associated with it: a guarantee of crappy, pointless writing that lacks everything a real book should have. I follow enough blogs to know what a good portion of the writing community thinks about it. On one side - those believing that they’ll revolutionize the publishing industry. On the other – the second half of writers hating the first for killing the quality of published books. It’s controversial and touchy and one side doesn’t seem to be capable of changing the other’s mind.

So where do I fall?

Well, I guess somewhere in the middle. You see, I didn’t get in to self-publishing to become the next Hocking. In fact, I really hadn’t planned to publish this book at all in the beginning. It started out as a story for my sister; a sort of outlet to the sadness I felt when she moved out of state for a job. But right around the same time I was writing this book, I was dealing with something else – a monster growing inside of me, getting bigger and bigger with each passing day – I was hating my job.

For those who may not have this experience, being the daughter of a business owner is absolute hell. Why? You’re never satisfied with the status quo. And I come from generations of entrepreneurs. My grandfather owned a business (was a Chemist too), and so does my brother. All three of them built their businesses from the ground up. It was amazing to watch my father go from selling products out of our garage, to owning a warehouse and showroom; to see my brother, tucked away in a corner of his 500 sq. ft. apartment with his computer, move to an entire suite in a commercial building. No bosses. No corporate BS or politics. And I wanted this too. The need coursed through my veins, wild and unruly. If they could do it, so could I.

So I decided to start my own business. I bought my LLC, DBA and domain. I researched vendors and had a couple lined up to drop-ship my products. This was it. I was going to leave the world of working drone and become my own boss. Take a risk. Leap without hesitation.

…problem was, my heart wasn’t in it.

I sat down with my brother. It was one of those long, drawn out conversations where the coffee percolates into the late hours and before you know it, the sun’s going to be coming up soon…and you’re still talking. He asked, “Why not sell your book?”

“What?! My book?? Yeah, right. Self-publishing? No thanks.” <
But somewhere between little sleep, too much coffee, my brother’s words playing over and over in my head, I woke up the next morning and decided to do it. He was right. Could I be any more passionate about something in my life? I loved writing, and I had been telling stories since I could first talk.

I finished the book, which was actually the third novel I’d ever written, and sat down with my brother again to come up with a marketing game plan. The cover had to be catchy, but I’m a simple girl. I’m easily drawn to covers with clean, uncluttered images. The website had to be an extension of me and what I love to write – very dark and a bit mysterious. For the book trailer, I wanted the same dark theme, but I wanted it to play like a movie in the viewer’s head, because that’s the way this book has played out in mine. My brother designed all of these.

Finally, I decided that I wanted the interior, the story itself, to be as good as possible. I’m not an editor and I’m a horrible grammarian. When I write, the words simply tumble from my head to paper without much thought. I don’t outline or do anything truly organized. I sit and write – that’s all. It’s a stress-reliever for me. So after my own obsessive sweeps through the MS (which probably didn’t amount to much since it’s darn near impossible to find EVERY flaw in a story you’ve read over and over), I hired an editor.

The truth is, the book probably could have been better if I’d had a team of professionals who’ve been in the business for years working with me, telling me what to cut and what to keep based on innate knowledge of the market. I would probably reach more people. I’d have someone to consult and bounce ideas off of. I could proudly boast an official badge of publication.

I’m still learning, not just the business, but how to become a better writer. Perhaps this book will be the way I imagine Johnny Depp feels, watching episodes of 21 Jump Street. If so, I’m glad. It would mean my writing improved with time.

Readers will find flaws. They will have opinions about what I should have done differently in the story. Some will hate it, others may love it. But writing was only part of the reason I decided to self-publish. Someday I may submit my work to a traditional publisher. I’m certainly not against them. But for now, I can say I did something I set out to do. I built something from the ground up. And for me, that alone has been worth the risk.

You can find Keri Lake at:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Trailer

Goodreads

Amazon

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Chance to Win! Going the Distance




I've never actually participated in a blog hop before but since this one popped up on my radar and just happened to coincide with my latest release, Going the Distance, I thought there never was a better time to try it out.

In an effort to keep you lovely readers hoping along the chain I thought I'd just keep it short and sweet.

The prize up for grabs is a sexy contemporary erotic novella called Going the Distance and is the second in the Cupid's Conquests series at Evernight Publishing.




He’s been in love with her since they were teenagers, Steph Randall, the most wanted woman on the planet. Pierced by Cupid’s arrow as teens, Ronan fell hard for Steph, he had plans for them, even bought a ring, only to discover that her ambition was stronger than their love. Cupid had failed to win her heart and join the couple. Now Cupid needs to fix things, an incredible boon if he can succeed. All he has to do is show Steph what she is missing.

As an award-winning actress, Steph has a mind of her own and is blinded by her ambition. Yet, for all her money and fame, the only time she truly finds peace is when she is in Ronan’s arms. She thinks that all she needs is a friend with benefits, but with a little Cupid intervention, Ronan suddenly finds that he can’t tolerate it any longer and Steph is forced to choose. What will she risk losing for her ambition? And what is Ronan willing to give up to get his girl?

Contest: To win an e-copy of Going the Distance, all you have to do is leave a comment here with your email address! That's it! Easy peasy! I will draw a winner at the end of the hop!

So go on, leave a comment then be on your merry way to the next blog!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Guest Post by Anne Michaud: Goth at Heart

I'd like to welcome the lovely, Anne Michaud to my blog this week. Once again, Anne and I have decided to do a little tandem posting about something we both have intimate knowledge of...being goth! You know, wearing black and being evil? Well, if you don't know, then keep reading, cause we're about to enlighten you!

Although we grew up in different provinces, Anne and I have discovered that there really was a lot of overlap in our youthful experiences of being goth and it was more than just a clothing choice. So if you're interested in learning a little bit about Anne, myself, and what it was like being a part of the goth underworld, then keep reading!

Anne: The Crow – In high school, a guy said: hey, did you know The Cure is playing a song in that movie where the dude died while shooting? Then, rumors about NIN covering a Joy Division's Deadsouls reached my little town, and before the movie was out, I knew it'd be major. And it was, enough for me to bare the insignia on my lower back, and to see it 13 times in a movie theatre, buying it when it came out, and being outraged by the sequel and TV series. I still NEED to find that cookie jar with Eric Draven sitting on a tombstone, even if my tattoo has faded with time.

Angie: The Crow - Such a tragic movie, for a number of reasons. I've watched this film a million times and always pause at the part where Eric gets shot...wondering if that really was Brandon Lee's final moments (the actor was killed on set). I love this movie and not just because NIN has a song, an amazing song, in it. I, too, was outraged at the sequel and TV series, there just couldn't be a follow up to such a great film!

Anne: Bauhaus - The first time I heard Bela Lugosi's Dead, I was in a cemetery. We had a party in a close-by house, and someone pumped the volume. The bright moon, the cold tombstones, the crunchy grass – and that scratchy guitar. And then I saw Peter Murphy in a video, falling in love not only for his sharp profile and croaky voice, but forever believing he is the Lestat Anne Rice had written about.

Angie: Bauhaus - I have to admit, not a huge fan...but I do like the song Bela Lugosi's Dead...truly the epitome of gothiness. I remember the first time I heard this song, I was at a bar downtown Toronto (underage) called The Sanctuary...there to watch some banned NIN music videos...the song is so hauntingly beautiful that I actually stopped to listen before heading into the dungeon to view my beloved Trent Reznor scream his lungs out singing Wish.

Anne: Anne Rice – I oh so wanted to be part of this dark world of debauchery, where Man hid the animal within, to be chosen by Louis, Armand – but mostly Lestat. Can I be your Tough Cookie, you fucked up vamp? A rockstar drinking blood, wearing capes and black nail polish, unforgiving and unforgotten (please bite me, dear sir). Vampire don't exist, but whenever I read Rice's prose, for a very short while, I believe they do.

Angie: Anne Rice - I love Rice's books. She made me believe in vampires (seriously, for a while as a teenager I truly wished I was being stalked by a Lestat like character who wanted to make me an immortal) I not only enjoyed reading her books, but as an aspiring writer she really helped open up new worlds of possibilities to me in my creative endeavours. I actually got a chance to speak with her at a book signing in Toronto once...she told me that she loved my hair and that I was very "decadent" looking...which to a goth is the best possible compliment you could ever get!

So there it is! Not enough? Oh well, luckily for you, Anne has a post on her blog with three more gothly things we talked about...check it out!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

7 Things You Don't Know About Me!

So I was nominated for another one of these sugary sweet awards…this time it’s called One Lovely Blogger Award…and as you all could probably guess, I won’t be posting the picture…this time it’s just too darn pink! So if you want to see it then you can scroll through the chain that begins for me with the folks who nominated me, Lisa and Heidi (actually I think there might have been one other person who nominated me some time ago, but I can’t find that post so if it’s you…thanks, whoever you are;-)

I’m supposed to share 7 things about myself…so here goes.

1) Partly as a big F.U. to a certain someone and partly as a classic Angie move, I wore black and orange striped tights under my wedding dress and flashed the them during the photograph and garter belt portion of the evening.

2) I could, have, and would again, eat an entire package of bacon all to myself. Disgusting, I know, but I love greasy pig ;-)

3) I stopped writing for five years after receiving a major rejection in university from the creative writing program that I so wanted to get accepted to. Turns out that it was a blessing in disguise…getting into that program would have crippled me both creatively and with regards to my future career.

4) I am very flexible…did years of gymnastics as a kid and then years of yoga pre-children. Being extremely bendable is very good.

5) I have been told that when I give my opinion I punctuate it with a silent, don’t effing argue with me tone and look. And usually people heed that warning. Well, the smart ones do anyway.

6) My husband built me this incredible writer’s loft in the attic of our house and I think I’ve only spent maybe two hours actually writing in it…I do most of my work on the couch or in my bed…shameful, I know.

7) I don’t have any brothers or sisters, but I do have a cousin who I am very close with. She and I have perfected a F.U. laugh…when someone says something stupid, unkind or ignorant we have this chuckle...to the unsuspecting person it just sounds like a normal, short, laugh, but dear couz and I both know exactly what it means when we hear it…which then makes us laugh for an entirely different reason.

So that’s it…more facts than you really need to know about me. I’m going to opt out of the tagging portion of this award…I think the chain needs to stop with me…I’ve nominated enough people for other awards in the past month or so and would probably be testing the boundaries of what is blog acceptable if I pass this one on to anyone else.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

An Expert’s Take on Writer’s Block

A couple of months ago I had an opportunity to (once again) hear the amazingly talented, Kelley Armstrong give a reading and Q & A session at Toronto’s Word on the Street Festival.

Now, I’ve seen Kelley do readings before and I’ve been to quite a few Q & A sessions with her, but there were a couple of things she said this time around that really resonated with me. I know I’ve talked about writer’s block before and my feelings haven’t changed about it…I don’t think it exists with regards to the “muse” and all that, but I wanted to share Kelley’s opinion on battling writer’s block as I felt she really nailed the causes and solutions for it.

What Kelley said:

1) Never sit down without a plan – She told us that she never sits down to work without knowing exactly where she is going in a ms. She said that she always has a direction and if she gets stuck then she takes a break, goes and does some brainless task and lets her mind fix the problem. Like me, she said that she doesn’t do a detailed outline but definitely knows where she’d going before she actually starts writing anything.

2) Don’t let fear take control – She says that sometimes writer’s block can be caused by folks getting scared of the what if’s…like what if this sucks and what if no one likes it and what if…you get the point. Kelley said: you can’t fix a blank page. If you don’t write something you have nothing to work with…and no matter how bad you think it is, it’s probably not that bad….and if it is, well, then that’s what revising is for.

She said a lot of other things too…but these two points really stuck with me and validated what I already believed about dreaded writer’s block.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Cupid's Conquests



Some of you may already know this, but about a month or so ago, my writer friend, the talented Seleste deLaney gave a few of us a heads up about a series she had pitched to Evernight Publishing revolving around the adventures/misadventures of Cupid. Her novella, GunShy released a few weeks ago.

So after giving it some thoughts, I wrote up a story idea that had been rolling around in my head for some time (like years actually) about a rock star and his true love...only to discover that my story's premise was almost identical to the one Seleste had written.
(Uncanny coincidence).

I really wanted to be apart of this series, however, so I quickly went back to the idea well and pulled out one that I'd just recently been mulling over. After a few weeks of writing, editing, rewriting...I present you with: Going the Distance...to be released sometime in January!!

And on top of that I just got my cover art. Check out the awesome work of Dara England.



Thursday, October 27, 2011

This is Halloween!




Halloween is my favorite...FAVORITE...holiday of the year! I love everything from carving my pumpkins to dressing up to going trick-or-treating with the kids and all that is in-between.

I love this holiday so much that my house is decorated for Halloween all year...because everyday is Halloween ;-)






These two pictures are my kitchen...I'm almost certain that whoever installed these cabinets intended the top part to be used for boring plants or something...not in the Addams' house though...



This is a picture of the china cabinet in my dinning room...my prized Wicked Witch dolls along with other Halloween themed goodies.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg...I've got touches of Halloween everywhere in my house...including on my body...6 of my tattoos are connected in some way to Halloween.

So everyday truly is Halloween for me...I live it, breath it...wear it...get totally excited (beyond reason) when I see all of the fun new Halloween goodies I can buy to adorn my house.

I'll be watching The Nightmare Before Christmas (a tradition at my house) while I carve my pumpkin (hopefully with my daughter this year). I'll be roasting the seeds, baking some pumpkin shaped cookies and eating loads of candy with zero guilt.

There you have it...a tiny glimpse into the real world of Angela Addams...hope you all enjoy Halloween as much as I do!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Chatting with author Colin F. Barnes



Today I’d like to welcome author Colin Barnes to my blog. I thought it might be interesting to get a male perspective on erotic romance, since most times it’s the women who are discussing it.




Colin surprised me by reading two of my erotic romances, Assassin and The Temptress…very different pieces for him to wade into the erotica waters with. I asked him a few questions and here’s what he had to say:

1) What preconceptions did you have about erotic romance before you’d actually read any?

I’m quite open minded, so I wouldn’t say I had a lot of concrete preconceptions. There are quite a lot of different flavors of erotic romance, and some seem to be more interesting than others. For example, the very romantic types make me think they are going to be quite stereotypical with the muscular alpha male being all-heroic, and the fluffy female protagonist being all weak and ‘swoony.’ For more erotic based stories, I thought it would mostly be explorations of female’s fantasies. I certainly didn’t have any overly negative preconceptions.

2) What (if any) new understanding(s) do you have now that you’ve popped your erotica cherry?

I have to be honest; I did once read an erotica book many years ago. It was a Black Lace book about a girl who got it on in graveyards. It was fun but poorly written. As for reading The Temptress and Assassin, both very different stories, I’d say that I appreciate that there is more than just the sexual element explored, especially in Assassin: we see a deep and potentially complicated relationship between the two lead characters. If you took the sex out of the story, it would still hold up as a concise narrative, so I suppose I understand that erotica needs story to support and enhance the sexual/romantic angle, as opposed to it just being there to give space between the sex scenes. Character is also important. I wasn’t expecting the characters to be particularly fleshed out and three dimensional, but was pleasantly surprised to find they were.

3) There is much debate about whether or not erotica is actually porn for women. Would you liken it to porn? Why? Why not?

Well, my own in-depth research has shown that most women do watch and enjoy pornographic material. Not usually to the same extent as men, but it isn’t uncommon. However, women being naturally more empathetic than the male species would probably be more attracted to erotic literature as opposed to dodgy graphic videos. I would call erotica porn for women, but that isn’t to denigrate erotica. It serves two purposes from what I can see: the first being that it supplies an engrossing story and interesting characters, and it stands up as a narrative piece, the second is that does provide the fantasy and sexual relief that porn does for men. I certainly don’t see that as a bad thing.

Where it differs is in the quality and thought behind it. Clearly, erotica is more than just the sex, whereas porn films/magazines is solely sex. So, erotica is an exalted form and has genuine artistic merits.

4) Is there something you think could be done better/more male-friendly?

I’m not so sure the genre has to cater for men specifically. That could potentially weaken the appeal to women if it was masculinized. I’m not one of these people who screams for equality in all things, and I have no problems with certain genres or certain titles aimed at particular demographics. If an author wanted to reach more male readers, then that would be a different issue, and I suppose the main thing that could be done would be a different cover style and blurb content.

Most covers of erotica are quite similar in that they feature a pair of semi-naked people, the man usually has muscles on top of muscles, and the woman in something silky/lacey. Again, nothing wrong with that, but it won’t attract that many men to it. So I think, if attracting more male readers was the aim, then a different approach to the cover art should be the main focus. I can’t comment on the story, as I’ve not read enough to say whether or not they won’t appeal to men.

5) I’ve been told that men are more visual than women. How do you think that plays out when reading erotica?

I’m not sure if that is true. I don’t think the differences are necessarily between being more or less visual, but in pacing. Men are more impatient than women and want to get to the point a little quicker. I’m sure most women have had that experience ;) In all seriousness, from my own personal point of view, I’m likely to be just as interested in story and character than I am in well-described visual scenes of sex. It’s all important, every element must be balanced and crafted to produce a high quality whole.

6) What impact does POV have on your reading experience when it comes to erotica?

A great deal. A male reader is going to find it more difficult to empathize and get engrossed in the story if it’s in the 1st person of a woman. It’s just too much of a jump to relate 100%. If it’s in a more distant narrative, then it’s not so much of an issue, but I’d suggest that for male readers, they are more likely to get engrossed in a book if it’s with a POV they can either relate to or are interested in. That could be a female protagonist who isn’t say an overly emotional internal character. If she is bombastic and has certain male traits, then it makes the relating to the character easier.

7) Often (always) in paranormal romance/erotica, the hero is given certain "attributes" that are very unlikely in real life. As well as the "enlarged" descriptions is the theme of hyper-stamina…what are you thoughts on this? Do you think it would be a deterrent for male readers to read such exaggerated proportions and expectations?

I've got mixed feelings about this. Part of me thinks it's not a good thing to have these exaggerated attributes as it gives some people false expectations and could potentially distort their view of reality. Similar to how the 'enlarged' physical attributes of porn stars and photoshopped magazines covers can effect expectations of viewers.

But, then another part of me thinks that the people reading these books are intelligent enough to realize it's fictional and fantasy, and it would be wrong for me to say that there should be some kind of dumbing down or rationalizing of the characters.

As for it being a deterrent for male readers, then I suppose it could be. Not through feelings of inadequacy, but through a sense of 'typicalness' it's unoriginal and expected, but then it has to be remembered that these stories aren't usually aimed at male readers.
I would however say that I think this applies to exaggerated female attributes too. It's a little stereotypical to read of tall, slim, big-busted blondes. I personally would like to read more realistic protagonists, but I'm not the typical audience.

8) In your opinion, why do you think erotic romance is so popular among the ladies?

What a question! I could put myself in real trouble with this one. I hate to presuppose someone’s motivations let alone an entire sex. But I’ll try. I think it’s a couple of things. The first is probably because they crave the romance/erotica as they aren’t getting it from their partners (or lack of partner) and want to delve into a world where they can fantasize. And secondly it’s a tribal thing. Women want to read other women; they want to relate, to sympathize. We know that women like to gossip (I believe that might even be a science fact) with each other, and reading romance is an abstracted version of that.

I’d just like to add that I thoroughly enjoyed reading both The Temptress and Assassin, and on the back of reading your books I’d definitely be interested in reading more erotica in various forms/subgenres.

Thank you for the opportunity to be a guest on your blog, it’s been fun ☺



Colin F. Barnes is a dark fiction writer from the UK specializing in Science Fiction, Horror and Thrillers. He likes to take the gritty edginess from his surroundings and personal experiences and translate them into his stories. He is currently working on an anthology of horror stories in his 'City of Hell Chronicles' setting after recently debuting with a crime anthology titled 'Killing my Boss' that he co-authored with best selling author Mark Yoshimoto Nemcoff.

Website
City of Hell Chronicles
Killing My boss
Twitter




Thursday, October 13, 2011

Guest Post: Tammy Crosby and The Art of Writing Erotica




I'd like to introduce you all to my good "virtual" friend, Tammy Crosby, a great pal with a wicked sense of humor.

Since Tammy is known for her amazing beta skills, I recently asked her if she wouldn't mind taking a look at a new project I've been working on. It was her first ever experience reading erotica and one that she probably won't soon forget.

I thought it might be fun to get her take on the Art of Writing Erotica and, true to form, what she came back with is not only entertaining but thought-provoking as well. So without further ado...


Hi ya! So my awesomesauce tweeper pal Ang asked if I’d like to do a guestpost on her blog. Once I figured out what that was (and realized Angie is a much faster runner than I am) I succumbed, I mean, er, agreed. The real challenge of course was what to discuss. *chuckles* Seriously, it’s me people, we know that’s never really a challenge where I’m concerned. The thing to talk about on an erotic blog is sex of course! ;)

Newbie writer that I am, I have hoards of questions. Let’s face it, erotica is a dicey genre for an author to write in. First thing that pops into my mind is: Is it just me or do you assume if you write a sex scene that EVERYone who reads it assumes that must be exactly what you do? Makes me blush writing a mere passionate embrace let alone a hardcore pelvic bumping steam scene. *shudders* I mean no matter how warped, twisted, and physically impossible it may be…I’d always feel like that’s what people really thought I did. How do you deal with this? Is it difficult? Does it sometimes get to you? How does this translate to building writing vs work vs home relationships?

If we tell someone we write young adult no one judges it, but if you say you write erotica suddenly people are looking at you strangely. What must it be like to write in a world with these sorts of precognitions? Told you I had questions.

This is one genre I know I’d never be comfortable writing in. I’ve been reading some of Angie’s work and I still can’t get my toes to stop blushing. But, since you all know I’m the queen purveyor of telling everyone to push their writing boundaries, my own blog will feature a steamy little flash piece this week. It isn’t a full out erotic piece by any means, but it’s definitely a piece that has stretched my skills as a storyteller. It pushed me to be BOLD which inspired my latest #tammyism – Bold risk brings bold confidence!

I hope all of you readers here today share your own thoughts on the topic of ‘Writing sex’. Please tell me I’m not the only one who struggles with this.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Perception of Skill and Bias

I’ve been thinking a lot about reputation and how it can bias us into doing or believing things about a person. I know for a fact that a person’s reputation can carry them far both positively or negatively…like someone with a good reputation might not have to jump through as many hoops in order to prove themselves whereas someone with a bad reputation many never get that chance at all.

I guess it sucks in a way, but we really are a society built on judgment and perception, whether right or wrong.

Applying this to the world of writing, I’ve been wondering whether bias really does cloud our judgment when it comes to buying books or following certain authors. I mean, how many times has a novel been hyped up only to fall short in the quality department? How many authors have you followed dogmatically, buying book after book…even if those books haven’t been all that great in years?

Personally, I believe that perception and bias does cloud our judgment. At least, it clouds mine. I might say that I’m not going to buy the next book in an author’s series because the last one was crap, but I don’t mean it…I ALWAYS buy the next book (with very few exceptions).

The only time it doesn’t seem to work on me is when a new book gets a lot of hype. I hate being told what to do. Hate it to such a degree that I usually do the opposite…juvenile I know, but that’s the way I work. My friends and family have learned to make suggestions instead of demands = they get better results that way ;-D

So what do you all think? Does bias impact your buying habits? Do you fall for the hype or revolt against it?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Paying Your Dues

This week I've decided to open discussion on a topic that could create a little bit of debate. I'm not trying to cause a riot or anything, but after spending considerable amount of time busting my butt to get somewhere in this crazy publishing world, I've collected a few pieces of wisdom that I feel are vitally important when it comes to retaining one's sanity.

I call it "paying your dues" because I really feel like this journey is one that requires a certain amount of "blood, sweat and tears" (pardon the cliche).

1) Dealing with rejection: It’s gonna happen, it’s part of the process, but if you cut and run after only a few, well, in my opinion, you haven’t put the necessary time in. I’m not saying you have to martyr yourself, but in my experience many writer’s feel this process is a badge of honor…I mean, it does and can get to a point of ridiculousness, but accumulating rejections, within reason, is part of the learning experience.

2) Critiquing and being critiqued: That’s right, you do actually have to let someone other than your family or friends read your stuff. It’s difficult and stressful and you probably will hear some criticism that you don’t really want to hear, but it will help you grow as a writer. (Yes, even the crappy crits can be useful…they can teach you what not to do when critting someone else) And that’s the other half, critting others helps you grow as a writer as well. Believe me, you’ll learn a lot from seeing what others do well and not so well.

3) Time and commitment: Good things come to those who wait? Well sometimes…I’ve been reminded repeatedly that in this crazy publishing world nothing happens quickly. (Well, okay, sometimes there are cases of certain author’s getting caught up in a whirlwind of excitingly fast writing=landing dream agent=mega deals, but it doesn’t happen that often. So patience is definitely key.

4) No easy paths: There really is no easy journey when it comes to writing and everyone’s route is very different. What happened in one way for one writer doesn’t mean it will happen for you the same way. Trust me, I know this intimately…things don’t always pan out the way you want or expect them to either…and although we might get vile and pukishly green with envy, it is a fact, your future success is not marred or mirrored by anyone else’s.

So those are my little gems of wisdom. Got any you'd like to add?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Talking About Love with Author Jennifer Wylie



Jennifer Wylie
Author of:
Short stories; Jump, The Forgotten Echo,
YA short story series: Tales of Ever Info and links here!
and novel Sweet Light
My work is available at Amazon, OmniLit, Smashwords and Barnes and Noble

Visit my website or my Blog
You can also follow me on Twitter!

“Wuv, true wuv that bwessed awangement, that dweam within a dweam.”
-Priest- The Princess Bride.
One of my most favorite movies of all time. This is one of my favorite quotes too (next to “As you wish.” of course!) Yes, I'm an uber romantic. So, lets talk about Love since that is a big part of what romance is.

Love is a funny thing. It's also such a general word. There are so many types of love, between friends, family, lovers, and so many levels of it. It can change over time. You fall in, you can also fall out. It can pull you in and spit you out.

Love is everywhere in “real life”. It's part of what makes us who we are. Everyone has a desire to love and be loved.

I think every book needs to have a little love in it somewhere. (Particularly books which take place over a period of time.) A story with NO love at all seems flat to me. It is a major part of how people interact, we love people, we search for love (and I'm not talking about this always being in a romantic way). Romance, even a little, even if it's hinted at, adds extra realism and spice to any story.

In my debut novel Sweet Light, the main character Shara finds herself falling in love when she least expects it. (Isn't that always the way it is?) She is a healer, and that David is her patient doesn't help her confusion. She struggles between following her heart and doing what is expected of her. Just when things seem to going well she must face the arrival of her old lover. Finding she still has feelings for him tears her apart. On top of this, she discovers that her best friend, and David's cousin, is in love with her. When things go horribly wrong between her and David, she has to search her heart and decide on who she truly loves and who she will choose.

Love is never perfect, or easy. It can be cruel and threaten to break you. Sometimes you have to make a choice. When those choices are hard, you can only hope you make the right one and deal with any consequences.

Though a fantasy, set in another world, Sweet Light is also full of romance. I hope readers will enjoy following the strings of love which wind around Shara and cheer for their favorite hero.

Love can be irrational. It can make you do crazy things. Trying to hold on to love, you may do things you never imagined you would.

Lust of course... is a whole 'nother story...and I'll leave that for another time. :D

What would you do for love?


Author Bio:
Jennifer Wylie was born and raised in Ontario, Canada. In a cosmic twist of fate she dislikes the snow and cold.

Before settling down to raise a family, she attained a BA from Queens University and worked in retail and sales.

Thanks to her mother she acquired a love of books at an early age and began writing in public school. She constantly has stories floating around in her head, and finds it amazing most people don’t. Jennifer writes various forms of fantasy, both novels and short stories. Sweet light is her debut novel to be published in 2011. She currently has a number of short stories published as ebooks thru Echelon Press and available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and OmniLit.

Jennifer resides in rural Ontario, Canada with her two boys, Australian shepherd a flock of birds and a disagreeable amount of wildlife.



Sweet Light Ebook Available at:
Omnilit
Smashwords
Amazon
B&N
Jennifer Wylie Website
twitter: @jen_wylie
Goodreads
Facebook fan page
My blog

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What would you sacrifice for love?

So, a couple of weeks ago I mentioned a movie that I really love called Kissed. Now, Kissed is a love story, but it’s not the conventional type of love story. In fact, most people would think it very disturbing and downright offensive. It does contain sensitive issues and is not for the conservative types. But I’m not going to talk about the plot of the movie again, instead I want to focus on the theme of the movie: Sacrifice.

What are you willing to sacrifice for love?

I find some of the most romantic plots carry with them the theme of making the ultimate sacrifice. What I find most romantic is whether or not the hero is willing to die for his true love. Romeo and Juliet had it. Beauty and the Beast had it. Kissed had it (big time).

Every time I read or watch a plot unfold that carries with it this battle I find myself thinking, holy cow, it must be love if he is willing to die for his one and only. Now, is this a little juvenile? Perhaps. Is it twisted? Yes, maybe. But there’s a reason why this theme is perpetuated and spans centuries – people eat it up.

There’s something so…utterly romantic about a man who is willing to give up his life for a woman…which is so bizarre because if he dies then what is left? A broken woman with no hope of repair. It doesn’t make sense, I know this, and yet I totally love this kind of story. I mean, usually the hero doesn’t die, but it’s the fact that he’s willing to that gives me the warm and fuzzies.

Am I twisted? Is this a wacky expectation of romance? What do you all think? What would you sacrifice for love?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Minions of Misery

After my mini-rant last week regarding a certain pukishly cute blogger award (yes, that is a word), the lovely Anne Michaud suggested that we should come up with a more "Angie friendly" one. So with the help of Tammy, the super idea master, Ren, the name giver, and the amazingly talented image creator, Imran, we present you with:

The Minions of Misery Award.





So this is how it works…I’m going to share one dark book, one dark movie and one dark secret…and then I’m going to tag other goth-worthy folk to continue the fun!

Without further ado:

One Deliciously Dark Book: The Book of the Damned by D.A. Fowler: This book scared the crap out of me when I was a teenager. It’s classified as horror and is very dark and very disturbing…it’s also hard to find because it’s been out of print for a while. This is a book about a book that curses the people who read it…ingenious really…at one point I actually tossed the book across the room because I was so freaked out that I was going to start hallucinating like the characters in the novel.

One Devilishly Dark Movie: Donnie Darko – I guess I could have gone with some horror flick or something gothic and animated but I love this movie. It has disturbingly dark themes that incorporates fantasy and sci-fi in a very cool way. Plus that freakin’ guy in the bunny costume is creepy as hell.

One Sinful Little Secret: I’ve got a big tattoo of Jack Skellington on my thigh…and if you don’t know who that is, well, you’re just not goth enough I guess.

So, on to spreading the goth love around...I nominate:

Tammy Crosby- who, although is not a goth, is an honorary one and she'd back me up in a bar fight (see link above)

Darke Conteur - a fantastically cool lady

Krista Walsh - A cute little goth girl who has a "thing" for ravens.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Seriously Cute Blogger Award? Seriously?

Okay, so I was nominated for this Seriously Cute Blogger Award by two people…Anne Michaud and Colin Barnes…and I know I’m supposed to post a picture of the darn award somewhere here, but I just can’t. Can’t. Won’t. Isn’t going to happen. The picture is just too darn cute and goes against all things anti-nauseating about my blog, so if you want to see it then go to Anne’s blog…she’s cute, so it’s okay for her to have the silly picture posted.

Anyway, on to my 5 choices of books/movies/tv shows my brain has consumed in the past 12 months.

1) Kissed: Don’t judge…it might sound very disturbing and I guess it is considering it’s about a young woman’s love (and I mean LOVE) for her clients, who also happen to be dead. Yes, I’m talking about necrophilia and yes, that’s wrong, but this movie is one of the most romantic films I’ve ever watched…well, romantic in a Romeo and Juliet kind of way…you’ve got to watch it, and stick with it to the end, to see what I’m talking about.

2) Sophia by D.B. Reynolds: The fourth book in Reynolds’ Vampires in American series, this was one of the best…I mean, they’re all good, but this one was so good that I read it almost in one sitting…and with two kids at home, that’s saying a lot.

3) Frostbound: The Dark Forgotten by Sharon Ashwood: This is the fourth of Ashwood’s Dark Forgotten series and probably one of my favorites. It tells the story of the hellhound Lore, alpha and pack leader and his unlikely love, a vampire named Talia. This love story is exhilarating and the characters are awesome. This series is a must read not only because of it’s unique world and captivating characters but also because Ashwood is a fellow Canadian.

4) The Legend of Sleep Hollow: Yes, that’s right, the one with Johnny Depp – It’s dark a la Tim Burton which means there’s blood, gore, beheading and all around a great story. I love this movie for it’s ability to gross me out and give me a laugh. Definitely worth a viewing.

5) My So Called Life: Ah, teen angst at it’s best. How I love this show. Poor Angela Chase and her unrequited love/requited love affair with Jordan Catalano – so heart wrenching at times. I recently rewatched the entire season (yes, sadly, there was only one) and remembered why being an adult and doing cool adult things is a lot better than my idealistic memories of what it was like to be a teenager in the 90’s

So, it's my turn to tag someone for this supremely puke worthy cutie, cute award...here are my choices, in no particular order:

TJamesWriter
Danica Avet
Jen Wylie
Selestial
Sean Hayden

Go forth, my lovelies, and propagate this disgustingly cute award.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Unexpected Insight into the Publishing World

Thanks to my parents and their wonderful ability to make friends wherever they go, I was unexpectedly treated to a two-hour conversation with someone who not only worked for one of the big deal, holy cow, publishing companies until quite recently, but did so in a majorly important capacity. I can’t and won’t divulge who that person is or where exactly they worked so you’re going to have to trust me on this one. What this person had to say not only confirmed some things for me but also reminded me about a few things that we busy writers sometimes forget. So, in summary (with permission, of course):

1) Don’t expect instant success: I know we all want to be the next (insert famous author's name here) and make millions, but for first time authors this is very hard to do. It usually takes three to four books to really launch a successful career…the publishers know this and take it into account when they are considering a new author. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t exceptions to the rule, but for the most part building a career takes some time, especially in fiction.

2) Genre fiction is NOT dead: Nor will it be for the foreseeable future. Vampires, witches, werewolves, whatever…paranormal is still selling well and pubs are very interested in finding new voices and new talent. (Whew!)

3) You probably won’t have a ton of input on your book covers: So try not to be a prima donna about it. As much as your ms is your baby and all, you really need to trust those who know what they’re talking about where book covers are concerned and avoid being viewed as “difficult to work with.” By no means are you supposed to lay down and take it however it comes, but be professional about any concerns you might have and be sure to listen to those in the know.

4) Self-promotion is very important for new authors: Especially with regards to tapping into small communities. That’s where you’ll build your loyal fan base, in small towns and cities where they may or may not have heard some buzz about you. Get into your local papers and bookstores as well…make yourself available and be prepared to market yourself. If people don’t know you exist, how will they ever find your books?

5) Agents and their reputations are very important: I know that this won’t be a favorite to some, but this person did confirm that having an agent is really important in helping to get your foot in the door of the big pubs. This person also stressed the importance of having an agent who is known and respected. Although there have been a few instances where writers were discovered in the slush pile, it really doesn’t happen that often – the pubs rely on the expertise of the agents to bring quality work to the table.

6) For those of us in Canada: The Canadian Market is very small and often quite difficult to break into (especially if you’re writing genre fiction). Sometimes it’s easier to get a deal outside of the country first and then approach the Canadian pubs.

And finally, most importantly, (in my opinion)

7) You need to let things happen as they happen and not rush the process. It was stressed several times to me during our conversation that things take time in publishing…time to write, time to perfect, time to learn and grow, before you even get to the submission stage. It is very important not to jump ahead of yourself and skip some steps because you’re so eager to get your book in print. (Something that I personally struggle with quite a bit.)

And that’s that. Maybe not groundbreaking in the sense of hidden secrets on how to get published, but definitely very important information to be reminded of and to reflect on.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Guilty Pleasures

Okay, okay, so I'm not talking about all the freakin' romance that I read, or the copious amounts of chocolate that I ingest...I'm talking about the guilty pleasures that could be considered a personality flaw.

I have this problem...I love...and I mean love...all forms of confrontation...I get so excited when I know a fight (verbal usually) is about to happen. So much so that my heart pumps harder and I get so giddy...even better when I'm the one doing the confronting or when someone works up the nerve to confront me. A good friend told me the other day that I get this look in my eyes that scares the poop right out of her.

It works for me at my job...which I'm still not going to tell you about (pen name and all) - I've been told that I can be intimidating...which is very effective in managing all kinds of people. It's a descriptor that I've been labelled with from the time that I was a teen (although then I think it had more to do with wearing all black and sporting many tattoos= goth to the extreme).

The funny thing is that I don't get angry...just excited...and I don't lash out at people, ever, I'm not an attacker...I just don't like to see injustice done and will fight for the underdog (or encourage them to do it for themselves). I also don't like incompetence and would rather a job done right, with dignity and honor. I expect people to be honest with me too and call me on stuff when I need to be checked.

But if you attack me...well, I come out swinging...and if it's bad enough...I will go for the throat.

Now, when I was talking to a colleague this week about it, she told me that it's not that I'm scary or mean (because I'm not) it's that I'm honest with people and don't usually sugar-coat problems. I call it as I see it. I don't like bs - be straight with me, no matter what it is you have to say. How else can I change or grow as a person if I don't know what the problems are?

So does this make me a bad person? If so, does it mean my friends and I are all bad people? (I tend to surround myself with like-minded folks) What's the general consensus....do you prefer the truth or would you rather be told everything is fine when it's not?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Great Love Affairs

Since I've been working on an old ms lately, a paranormal romance that I wrote last year, I've been thinking a lot about all of those memorable hook-ups between hero and heroine that have inspired me and my writing. I thought I'd make a list of the top 5 great love affairs in the world of fiction.

1) Mr.Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet: Truly amazing union and really one of the most inspirational love affairs that I've ever read. I don't know if it's because of the long chase, the misunderstandings, the covert heroism, the pride or the prejudice (sorry, I couldn't resist), but this is one of those pairings that always comes to mind when I think about sweet romance to the extreme.

2) Wrath and Beth: For all you BDB/J.R.Ward fans, these two really heat up the page with their passionate love affair. Wrath is the typical brooding, badass vampire warrior and Beth is a take no crap kind of girl who seems to be perfect for him. They come together in a gripping instant attraction kind of way and stand by one another even in the worst of times. This couple is one of those ones who make me want to reread the series (or at least their books), especially for those torrid love scenes - wink, wink!

3) Raphael and Cyn: For those of you who haven't read any of D.B. Reynolds books...what the hell is wrong with you? Her first in a series of 8 (I believe) titled Raphael, introduces us to the amazing world of vampire lords and the humans who love, serve, protect them. These two have their issues, as strong willed characters would, but their passion is explosive and their love is eternal. I love how these two come from such independence and strength (sometimes stubborn to the point of personal injury) and work to mold together into a cohesive pair. Definitely ranking with the best of the romantic leads out there.

4) Elena and Clay: Okay, Kelley Armstrong fans out there - these two are one of my favourite couples, even if they aren't vampires ;-) Both bitten werewolves, they each bring their own kind of stubborn strength and electricity to the relationship. Again, it's not all sunshine and roses for these two, but that's part of the allure, I think. What really builds this relationship up for me is that they know each other so well - their connection really translates onto the page in a very realistic way. They might not always get along, but that's what makes their love affair so great.

5) Mac and Barrons: Now some might think that these two were never meant to be together and Moning definitely made us work for it when she started this couple down their path to hell, but in the end their love affair was totally combustible...hot, hot, hot! But not only that, because of everything they go through together, there is also a strong connection that makes their unspoken love for one another so believable. They change (or at least Mac does, Barrons kind of "modifies") and grow in order to envelop one another in this solid unity where you just know they've got each other's back no matter what.

As I'm sure you've noticed, most of my list is comprised of paranormal couples...which is mostly what I read these days. I'm sure there are other great couples out there - what are some of your favorites?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Life Advice and Other Things

I thought this week’s post might be best used as a reflection on some of the life advice I’ve gathered during my time chasing my writing dreams and goals. Now, I’m not talking life advice in general, like how grooming your eyebrows can transform your face in both good and bad ways or how it’s easier to get things you want when you’re nice about it. I’m talking about writing advice, you know, usually the last question in all interviews that authors do?

So, here’s my summary of five key pieces advice I’ve gathered and want to pass along to you.

1) If you don’t use it, you could lose it: This is something I’ve very recently experienced myself – when it comes to writing, practice is key. If you don’t exercise your ability in different ways, like writing 3rd person when you’re used to writing 1st person POV for example, then you could find yourself very rusty when you want to make a switch – so don’t let yourself stall in any one area for too long –even if it’s just for practice or experimentation, it can’t hurt to explore other ways of doing things.

2) It’s not personal – really, it’s not: I know that’s a hard one to swallow because we often get really close to our work, but when dealing with professionals in this industry, a rejection or critique is not meant to hurt your feelings, it’s meant to make your work better. Now, I’m not saying that there aren’t cruel people out there ready and willing to crush you at the first chance, but I’m not talking about those people – I’m talking about the professional, respectful people, like the ones I’ve met in my own writing group or my agent and various editors – it’s these people who are trying to help you.

3) It never hurts to ask: As long as you’re respectful and polite about it, it doesn’t hurt to put the request out there and ask for what you want, especially if you offer to reciprocate in some way. What’s the worst that can happen? Someone can say no. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know if someone is willing to help you out or not.

4) You can’t give up: No matter how hard it gets (and trust me, it can get pretty hard) you can’t walk away from your dreams. Your chance might be just there, a fingertip away, but if you give up it will never happen. So find some trusted people to talk you off the ledge and keep going.

5) There’s always something to learn: If you think you’re flawless or that you don’t have anything more to learn, then I pity you. There’s always something to work on, improvements can always happen, especially if you’re experimenting with writing styles and breaking through your own boundaries. You need to put yourself out there, get critiques, have betas read your stuff – go to classes, research, explore and keep an open mind.

That’s it – my five top pieces of writing advice. What about you all? What helpful gems have you picked up along the way?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Techno Saturation and Author Interactions

Continuing with my technology discussion from last week - I wanted to focus this week's post on how technology has made authors more accessible to fans.

When it comes to celebrities, I don't really get star-struck. With the exception of Trent Reznor (NIN), I rarely get tongue-tied or awkward if I encounter someone famous. (Living in a big city for a decade meant that I did have some encounters with celebrities over the years.) But when it comes to authors, all bets are off! I get so excited when I have an opportunity to meet authors whose work I love that I often say and do stupid things.

With technology making authors more accessible to readers, the amount of interactions I get to have with my favorite authors has increased dramatically (of course, the awkwardness factor decreases when it's not a face to face interaction). From twitter chats to forums and emails, I have found that many of today's authors are making themselves more available to their fans. Which in many ways is really great. Not only does it show appreciation toward fans, but it also helps aspiring writers see that whether you are just starting out or are supremely successful, we all face common struggles and road-bumps that get in the way of our work. What comes to mind in this regard is a post I read from one of my favorite romance writers who admitted to having hit a major snafu in her current ms and was having trouble getting the motivation to continue. A sentiment most aspiring writers have felt at some point.

So being more accessible makes authors appear more in tune with their readers as well as more like "real" people with "real" problems. As great as it is, I can see how being so available can be a problem as well. For example, some fans not being able to draw a line between appropriate and inappropriate requests and behaviors - or perhaps feeling so comfortable with an author that, if ever there was a face to face interaction, assumptions are made and the level of familiarity is too high.

Although I think it's great to have a window into the lives of many of my favorite authors, I wonder how much is too much? What do you all think? Is reader/author interaction a good thing or bad thing? Is it possible to have moderation in this techno saturated world?

In other news, I also have an interview up at the wonderful Anne Michaud's blog - go check it out!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Technology and Writing

When I look back through my writing portfolio (which is basically a collection of everything I've ever written)I am always struck by how much of it is handwritten vs. typed. Obviously, I don't want to date myself, but when I was a kid (some years ago) computers were considered a luxury - some even thought them a fad. My parents bought one and I mainly played games on it and did all my creative writing in my scrawled, difficult to read, cursive.

Once I went off to university, my parents got me a state-of-the-art electric typewriter (woo hoo! Soooo fancy ;-) on which I did everything (usually only once because the editing feature was limited - it's appalling what I handed in to my professors!)

Now, I do everything on my computer - from outlining to writing to editing -I rarely see a printed hardcopy of my work anymore. Sometimes I will brainstorm on some sticky notes, but usually I use my iPhone for that now.

So I've been looking into buying some writing software. Currently I use Word and am quite happy with it, but many people have been telling me to get Scrivener. I've checked out the demos that show how versitile Scrivener is and it looks amazing, but I'm wondering if I'll actually use the many features (so many that I fear I'll get too distracted by them and not get any writing done) or if I'll revert back to Word as a simpiler choice.

So I'm asking for input - what kind of writing programs do you all use? What would you recommend?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Happy Canada Day (Yes, I know it's tomorrow!)

Since I've got a busy weekend of family fun I decided to post the winner of June's e-copy of Ghost Bride - The winner is... Anne Michaud! Congratulations Anne! Please send me a quick email (angelaaddams@live.ca) and let me know what format you'd like Ghost Bride in (PDF, HTML, MobiPocket or LIT)

This is going to be brief because, like I said, I've got a jam-packed weekend ahead of me but I've just gotten word that my beta is only ten pages away from being done my ms!!! Yippy! That means that I can finish editing, do one more (maybe two) editing sweeps to clean up the last little uh-ohs and then I'm done!!!!! My plan is to send of the final version to my agent by the second week of July!

The feedback I've gotten so far (from betas) has been very positive and very helpful so I'm pretty exicted to get the ms into my agent's inbox. This version is a winner folks, I can feel it!

Anyway, Happy Canada Day to all - enjoy yourselves this weekend!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Writer Intuition vs. Self Doubt

Having been working on my rewrite for some time, I've become very familiar with the evil voice of self-doubt. It's that nagging little annoyance, barely above a whisper (most times) that tries to convince you that you SUCK as a writer. No matter how many times I speak to successful authors and hear them say, "Oh yeah, that voice...yep, it never goes away," it still manages to kick me in the gut and make me feel bad. But what I wanted to talk about this week was the difference between knowing something is bad because your writerly intuition is telling you it is vs. thinking something is bad because that nasty little voice of self-doubt is convincing you it is.

And trust me...there is a difference.

I don't know where writerly intuition comes from: if it's learned and developed or if we're born with it, but like other forms of intuition, it's easy to ignore. What I've learned over the past little while is that ignoring it can be just as disastrous for your ms as it can be for other areas of your life.

What I know for certain is that I need to trust my gut a little more than I have been. Almost from the beginning I've had troubles rewriting the opening of my ms. Actually, that's not true, the opening was great (for a while) it was the chapter two/three slump that was dragging me down. I knew it was too much info dumping - I knew it dragged horribly and that it was really quite bad. I knew in my gut that it would have to go, I just avoided doing it for several versions of this ms. My reasons ranged from trying to please other people, to being too lazy (that's a tough one to admit), to just not knowing how to fix the problem.

Part of this writing journey I'm on is learning to do some hard things to my ms and after working on this rewrite - creating version after version, I've finally figured out not only how to fix the problem but how to do it in a way that strengthens my ms. So, I finally did it. I got rid of the troublesome two chapters - cut them right out like a moldy chunk on a piece of cheese. I must say - although it stung at first, it really was quite liberating.

Now when I read the newest version I'm not getting that pause/sinking feeling of writerly intuition saying "this is bad, this is bad". Instead I'm flowing through, without any snags, and it feels great! And that's how I know for certain that what I was hearing was not self-doubt blasting away my confidence but actually my instincts warning me that what I was doing was not working and needed fixing.

What about you all? Do you listen to your intuition? Have you had to make some hard cuts/decisions about your work?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Born to Be

I was over at my parent's place this week (getting a much needed break in the babysitting department) and discovered that my mom had several large envelopes filled with my old school stuff. Not only were there many examples of my non-artistic abilities and horrid class pictures but there were also report cards spanning my entire educational experience. What I found really interesting were the comments on the report cards detailing my ability to write creatively.

Now, I've always known that my need to write started quite young but to actually see it documented by my teachers was amazing. Starting from the time that I began stringing together sentences (about Grade 2/3) my teachers always made mention of my enjoyment where creative writing was concerned. It was really amazing to see - a documented map of my journey as a writer. I have some of my earliest pieces tucked away in a portfolio but I didn't realize that my desire to write was witnessed by so many people - I thought I was just a solitary thing.

The funny thing is, I don't really remember ever talking about it with my teachers until high school. Sure, I attended writing workshops in elementary school and even won some awards because of my writing but the only memory I have of these events is in the bits and pieces my mom hid away for me.

It got me thinking - where did this creativity come from? Was I born with the need/ability to write fiction? Does it strike everyone and only some of us pursue it?

It was a lovely boost to my confidence and being somewhat superstitious, I'll take it as a portent of sorts - perhaps it really is my destiny to succeed in this crazy publishing world.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Patience is a Virtue?

I've heard that saying a million times but never really had to wait and be patient as much as I have now that I'm a part of this crazy publishing world.

I'm the type of person who likes to go, go, go - you give me a job or make a request, I do it right away -usually this works well for me but when it comes to writing, not so much. This is especially true with editing and revisions - taking your time is definitely necessary and yet I am constantly feeling this crazy urge to push through and get it done.

For example, right now I have my newly revised ms out with two different betas and I've managed to bully one of them into sending me the chapters as she gets them done. I know this might be a supremely stupid thing to do because it seems like it would make more sense to wait and see what problems my betas flag in the ms as a whole. And yet, here I am, editing away before she's even done reading the whole thing.

I've tried to occupy my time with other things I enjoy - spending time with my family, reading, exploring some other writing ideas but I'd say at least fifty times a day I'm thinking about the rewrite and wondering when I'll get a free chunk of time to work on it.

Once again, I found some great advice on literary agent Rachelle Gardner's blog(she seems to be totally in sync with my crisis modes) It's so true that this writing journey I'm on is filled with many, many examples of what Rachelle points out - waiting, more waiting and even more waiting, stress, more stress, tons-o-stress. It's a challenging industry, but no one said it was going to be easy.

After reading her post I remembered that I went into this knowing it would get tough at times, knowing that things would be out of my control, knowing that I really need to chill out and relax - give my betas and myself time. This dream means too much to me for silly mistakes - mistakes I will make if I rush my work.

Am I going to stop this round of edits? No, but I will give my beta the time she needs to get the rest of my ms done -I will retract my demand for chapter by chapter emails. Besides, she's given me enough to work with in what she's sent me so far.

What about all of you? Are you able to wait patiently or do you go crazy when things don't happen quickly? What mistakes have you made by rushing into things?

And finally - I've drawn a winner for the month of May - thank you to everyone who commented this month. The winner of an e-copy of Ghost Bride is: Danielle La Paglia! Congratulations! Please email me at angelaaddams@live.ca so I can get some info from you.

For the rest of you - I'm starting another contest for June - same rules as before -comment and be entered to win an e-copy of Ghost Bride!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Stupid People and Other Things

Even though I'm not at work right now (maternity leave) I do hear a lot about what is happening there and I still get really stressed out about some of the stupid crap people do. I can't stand stupid people - I have very little time for them and even less patience. I especially hate stupid people who have no ability to self-reflect and therefore do not know that they are, in fact, stupid.

I'm not talking about arrogant people - you know, the ones who think they're good but aren't - I'm talking about the ones that people say are "so nice" or "super sweet" and therefore can get away with a ton of crap on that excuse alone. I know it was a stupid mistake but he meant well...grrrrr!

Okay, so now that I've gotten that out of my system on to other things. I've finished my latest draft of my rewrite and I feel really great about it. It's with a couple of beta's right now and there's still some editing to do but all in all I feel that it has vastly improved.

And, there's one week left in this month's contest for an e-copy of Ghost Bride - all you have to do is leave a comment any time this month and you're entered to win.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Writing as Therapy

This week marks the anniversary of one of the worst days of my life and it got me thinking about how writing could help me cope with what I experienced. I thought I'd start with this post and see where it takes me.

Almost a year ago, I lost someone who I'd known for some time. I can't tell you a lot about how I knew this person, other than that I worked with him (I want to keep my day job concealed.) but I can say that his death was very unexpected and very untimely. It was also a terrible, terrible shock. I'd just been talking to him the day before and he'd made some comments to me - seeking reassurances about some plans he had for the future and then the next day he was dead. No future. No plans. Just dead.

He was a vibrant person and I when I saw him ( and I would see him every day) he would always be smiling and he would always take the time to stop and chat with me, even if it was only for a few moments. His death left a huge hole at my work - it was such devastating loss.That day there were so many tears shed - the weight of sorrow palpable.

I've had a difficult time making sense of his passing. I've never had to mourn someone who hadn't died of old age. I've been very lucky that way. When I think about what happened, what the world lost when he died, I feel like someone is kicking me in the gut - like someone is taking my breath away. I still have the occasional dream about that day and I wake up sobbing. I'm told that it's normal to grieve in this way. That the mourning process has it's ups and downs - that there aren't neat and orderly stages to go through and then you're done. It is getting better. I am moving on - it's just taking more time than I thought it would.

Now that a year has passed, I find myself wondering if I should document what happened - use it as a kind of catharsis for me - maybe it would help me to stop dwelling and perhaps could help other people who may be experiencing the same thing. Or maybe I'd just write it for me, to get it out of my head. Either way, I know that at some point I will have to write it down - it's in my nature to write. It's what I've always done to purge my feelings.

So I ask all of you out there - do you use writing as therapy? Has writing your thoughts down ever helped you cope with a difficult situation?

Friday, May 6, 2011

How The Voice Reminds Me of Publishing

As promised, I've drawn a winner from last weeks comments (well, actually my daughter pulled the name out of a hat) and the winner is: Falcata Times! Congratulations! Send me a quick email at angelaaddams@live.ca so I can get you your copy!

I have to admit, although I'm not a huge tv watcher - I've recently discovered a new show that really caught my attention for a while - The Voice - a competition type show where music industry hotshots pick from a group of singers to vie for the coveted superstar status of their mentors - the catch is that the coaches/mentors can't see the singers when they are auditioning - it's called a blind audition - no judging based on looks!

The reason why I found this so interesting is that it's a lot like the publishing industry. Writers who are looking for representation go through a similar "blind audition" when they send off their multiple query letters and sample pages, being judged for their writing talent and potential as opposed to their personality and looks. Everyone has a shot as long as they can write, just like on the show.

What really struck me was the idea that out of the 32 hopefuls, only one will actually get a recording contract even though they are all very talented. It's an interesting parallel to all of the writers out there who are after the same prize - getting a publishing contract.

I wonder if viewers would be interested in a competition where writers pitched their work to agents or publishers. On second thought, probably not - it wouldn't be as exciting - although it might be interesting for someone to put together a documentary on a writer's path to publication. I know I would watch it.

New contest starts today: Comment any week during the month of May for a chance to win an e-copy of Ghost Bride!

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Winner, An Interview and A Review!

Wow what a week! Not only did Kate and William get married but I've drawn a winner for a free e-copy of Ghost Bride! I know, I know, it's all so exciting!

I'm really not a huge royal family fan but I have to admit while I was up feeding my son at holy crap in the morning, I did tune in to the news channel to watch part of the ceremony. I also waited around to watch the first kisses. Very romantic!

Anyway, enough of that, on to the winner for the month of April - Thanks to everyone who commented on my blog posts this month - the winner for April is...Pat Hollett! Congratulations Pat! Send me an email at angelaaddams@live.ca so I can get some details from you.

For the rest of you - I've got a quickie contest starting tomorrow - it will last until next Thursday at midnight - all you have to do is comment on my review or interview over at Bea's Book Nook (she's posting it Saturday morning) or post a comment here and you'll be entered to win an e-copy of Ghost Bride. I'll draw the winner for next Friday's post.

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Paranormal Posers

I was talking to a fellow writer the other day and the conversation took an interesting turn when she said to me, "Well it's not like you're a paranormal poser - you actually write this stuff cause you like it!"

Her comment struck me as insanely hilarious at first and then I started to mull over the truth behind her words and asked her in turn, "So you can tell when a paranormal writer is faking it?"

Hell yes! After I asked the question I realized that it's something I can do as well...recognize when an author has jumped on the paranormal bandwagon and is writing about vampires, werewolves, whatever, for the wrong reasons. I have a pile of books from several authors that I just couldn't read all the way through. Books where the characters are so wooden -not because of poor writing but because the author was writing them without a true understanding of the genre. Thanks to my friend I now have a term for them - the paranormal posers: writers who only write suparnatural stories because it's the hotest thing around at the moment.

Now, I'm not saying that you have to have a lifetime of experience with liking paranormal related things but I think it certainly helps. I've always loved all things paranormal. From watching the Hilarious House of Frightenstein to reading The Good Little Witch, over and over again, my childhood was filled with a love for ghosts, witches, vampires, whatever; as long as it was weird and scary I was totally into it.

So does it bother me that there are a few authors out there who have suddenly switched genres in favor of the popular paranormal? Sure, I guess it does, but only if they are doing it for the wrong reasons. And even before my friend pointed it out to me and gave it a name, I realize that I certainly can tell when they are doing it for the wrong reasons.

So what do you all think? Can you see through the paranormal posers? Does it bother you as a reader? What about as an aspiring author?

Don't forget about the ongoing contest to win an e-copy of Ghost Bride - all you have to do is comment this month for a chance to win!

Friday, April 8, 2011

And the Winner is...

In celebration of the release of my newest novella Ghost Bride I am giving away some e-copies and the first winner is ...T.Crosby! Congratulations! Send me an email at angelaaddams@live.ca so I can get some format details from you.

Now for the rest of you...a new contest begins today and will run for the rest of the month. The more times you comment this month the more times your name will go into the hat for a free e-copy of Ghost Bride!

I thought I would make this week's post very simple - I'm looking for some information from you as readers. I've got this character who is buzzing around in my head (I'll be devoting a post to him next week actually) and I'm struggling a little because he seems like a bit of a douche. My question to you all is, can you have a hero who isn't the greatest of guys? Is is possible to be the hero but not be lily white and perfect?

I say yes - I kind of like that about some of the heroes I've come across in my reading adventures - not all saintly - you know, with mixed up morals at times and a rough past to overcome. But what do you all think, can you trust a hero who might not make the right decision all of the time?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Characters, Characters, Everywhere!

Okay, more like a character...as in one character is everywhere! A few weeks ago I wrote a post on authors who talk to their characters...or rather, their characters talk to them - something that I still don't understand completely...but I think I can appreciate the concept a little better now...You see, I have this character that has popped into my head and he won't go away. He doesn't speak to me and I don't have a story for him, all I have is him, what he looks like, what he acts like, what he will sound like...but that's it. He stands in my mind with his arms folded across his massive chest wearing a black wife beater and cargo-like pants (you know, the ones with the big side pockets), his hair is styled into a short blue mohawk and he looks downright pissed. I don't know what his name is, don't know where to put him even...but I do know that once the right story hits he'll be making an appearance as a reluctant and very messed up hero. He's not perfect, in fact, he's a jerk most of the time - at least that's how he is presenting himself in my mind but I like him all the same and I believe my readers will too...if, I can find him a plot.

It's a really strange experience for me - totally new way for a character to come into existence in my mind. In fact, every time I think about writing - which is a lot - he's there...waiting...watching...I just have to give him a story.

Have any of you had this happen before? Got a character who needs a home? A hero who is so present that he invades your thoughts?

Am I going crazy?

Don't forget about the ongoing contest to win an e-copy of Ghost Bride - all you have to do is comment any week this month and your name goes in the draw! The more weeks you comment, the more chances you have to win. I'll be drawing a winner at the end of April!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Release Day!!!

It's release day for Ghost Bride and in celebration I'm starting a contest for a chance to win a free e-copy of my newest novella! All you have to do is post a comment this week for a chance to win! I'll draw a winner next Friday. (Please be sure to leave an email address so I can find you!)

Here's a sneak peak at Ghost Bride...enjoy!

Ghost Bride by Angela Addams
Chapter One



Dasha knew she was dead. That was not the issue. It sucked, yes, but she wasn’t confused about that part of her afterlife. What she didn’t understand was why she was trapped in her home, roaming the rooms and halls, unable to remember how to leave or where she wanted to go.

Nor could she figure out why she was alone. Isn’t there supposed to be a welcoming party or something? Her parents, her grandparents, her other dead relatives waiting for her on the other side? And if there wasn’t going to be some kind of after-death party for her, shouldn’t she at least be able to see the living? Rattle some chains, knock some books off shelves, moan and creak to scare the living heck out of people? A good old-fashioned house haunting at its best. Isn’t that supposed to be one of the pluses of being a ghost? But no, there was nothing, only dreadfully boring nothing and nobody.

Where is Emma? Dasha moved for the millionth time into her kitchen, searching for some trace that her sister was still there, living in her home, mourning her death. Emma, had moved in with her five years before, living in and caring for the worn-down old country home as if it was her own. So it would stand to reason that Emma, at least, would still be there after Dasha’s death. And Dasha so wished she could see her sister, let her know that she was okay, although admittedly ready to bang her head against the wall in an attempt to bring some excitement to her afterlife. She was bored and she was lonely. It wasn’t like she had access to television or books. It was only in a fit of emotion, usually rage, that she even managed to pick something up, let alone gently open a book and start reading. So here Dasha remained, trapped and dying of boredom. How ironic.

She remembered her death in a vague sort of way: the rush of headlights, the crushing metal, the agonizing pain, and then nothing but darkness. Until—what seemed like an eternity ago—she found herself back at home, lying on her bed, perfectly fine, except for being dead.

She scanned the perimeter of her house from the kitchen window. Everything looked as it should, with tall, mature trees lining the property and her immaculate flower bed brimming with all kinds of beautiful flowers. It was comforting that everything looked the same, that the outside world was still there. The only problem was, she couldn’t figure out how to get out of the house to enjoy it. Every time she tried to grip the doorknob, she couldn’t. It was as if her hand were coated in some slick grease that prevented her from getting her front door open.

If this is some kind of punishment, it’s working. “I’ll repent all you want. I’ll do whatever you say. Just let me get out of this house,” she called, her voice echoing off the walls, knowing that no one could hear her but making the vain attempt all the same. All sense of embarrassment at talking to herself had disappeared long ago. In fact, it was the only thing that kept her sane. Or as sane as you can be when you find yourself dead and alone and talking to yourself.

She had forever been a homebody. She loved quiet things, reading, tending to her garden, studying for her college courses. When she wasn’t at her job she was in the library or at home, working at one of the few pursuits that brought her joy and a sense of purpose. She didn’t have a lot of friends, only her sister really, and her sister was so very different from her. Emma was always out and about, partying and having fun, constantly trying to convince Dasha to venture out and let loose once in a while. She didn’t remember exactly where she’d been headed when she died in the car accident, but she had a sense that her sister had finally won because she’d been on her way out for a night on the town.

Dasha mourned her passing. Lamented what she was missing out on now that she could no longer participate. She desperately wanted to be able to speak and have someone—anyone—answer. But she knew she had to accept the situation, work through the grieving process, and deal with the facts. Ever the practical girl. She was dead and damn angry to feel so helpless and trapped, but there was nothing she could do about it. She’d tried to leave the house, several times; finally she admitted defeat and clung to the hope that something was going to happen for her or to her to change her current state of limbo. What she wanted now, above anything else, was a chance to experience something, anything, beyond the walls of her house.

So she was left to marinate in her own thoughts all day and night. Trapped, not only in her house, but in her mind where she reflected on all of the opportunities she’d passed up, all of the chances she’d had to get out in the world and live like her sister had been doing.

Dasha had been a part-time student, taking random courses, mainly in literature, but had never actually committed to anything that would lead to a degree. She’d had a part-time job working at a used bookstore that brought in the other wallflowers of the town, people who hardly even acknowledged her when she rung up their orders. She didn’t travel, she didn’t party, she didn’t socialize. When she wasn’t at work or at school, she was at home and that was it. A boring life that she thought she’d been content living, even with Emma’s constant nagging that she needed to get out and enjoy the world. But she realized now she’d thrown away her one chance at living. She’d missed out on so many opportunities that could have been exciting and fun, all because she wanted to stay in her comfort zone.

What bothered her more than she would ever admit out loud—not that it mattered anymore if she did admit it out loud—was the fact that she never experienced the one thing she had always wanted to do before she died: feel the hot passion of a torrid love affair. One of her greatest disappointments at finding out that she hadn’t survived the car accident was that she had died a virgin. Why hadn’t she ventured out more? Taken her sister up on the many blind dates she’d arranged? At twenty-one, she had yet to find the perfect man to give herself to. She hadn’t wanted to give up her virginity to just anyone. She’d been waiting for Mr. Right.

Dasha knew she was unusual that way, and that her virginity was probably more of a defense mechanism than anything else. She hid behind her virtue as if it were a shield protecting her from talking to men. Most girls her age had had sex in high school, but she was shy and awkward and hadn’t bloomed until she’d graduated and moved on. By the time she started college, the guys were very interested in her, but she was too unschooled and unsure and ended up coming across as the inexperienced knob that she was.

She slammed her hand down on the kitchen table, the sudden burst of anger and disappointment giving her a rare moment of physical contact, satisfied when the wood groaned under her palm. Those moments of tangible connection gave her more hope than anything. If she could only master her ability to touch, maybe she could figure out a way to leave.

But for now she drifted from room to room, floating—or so she assumed because she couldn’t feel the floor beneath her feet—through walls and furniture, mumbling to herself and hoping. A pitiful sight to be sure, so clich├ęd, the discontented ghost, moping and moaning her afterlife.

With a deep sigh, she moved back to the foyer, ready to do her circuit once again when she heard the unmistakable sound of footsteps across the hardwood floor above her. Her heart kicked up a notch and sudden excitement flooded through her with intoxicating effects. Someone was walking upstairs.

Emma, finally. Renewed hope ripped through her as she tore up the stairs, certain she would finally be able to see her sister after who knew how long a wait, determined to make her presence known in whatever way she could. Dasha didn’t care if she scared the wits out of Emma with her thumping up the steps, because indeed she was thumping for once; it would be worth it if it meant no more endless days and nights of unremitting nothing.

She hit the second floor with a wide grin on her face. As she rounded the corner of the hallway, she opened her mouth to call out, heedless of whether Emma would be able to hear her shout.

Her stomach plummeted; her mouth clamped shut. The noise of footsteps was not coming from her sister.

Before her stood a man.

Tall and brooding, his dark eyes cutting through her, she raised her hands as if to ward him off and took a tentative step back.

He moved a step forward. She froze again, her eyes wide with fear, her gut roiling. She tried to shove the panic away, but couldn’t quite release the anxiety of finding a strange man wandering around her upstairs. Was he here for her? She sighed at her stupidity. Of course he’s not. I’m dead.

A rolling wave of calm passed over her, pushing aside the panic from moments before. He can’t see me. It’s just a fluke that he’s looking this way.

The tension eased from her shoulders as she moved to make her way back down the stairs. It was disappointing, to be sure. She really did want to see her sister, but seeing anyone at this point in her confinement was exciting. She paused, dared another glance in his direction, and did a double take. His gaze was still riveted on her as if he could actually see her standing there. She cocked her head to the side, a flutter of fear, excitement, something, passing over her as his dark eyes slowly shifted down and then back up her body, making her suddenly feel like she stood before him naked. A pulsing warmth rushed straight to her core and she staggered under its power. What the hell?

He took a step toward her. Her heart thudded with a flood of mixed emotions, but she didn’t move. Nothing she was feeling at the moment was terribly bad. Exciting, heady maybe, but not bad.

“Dasha?” His voice was deep, just as she would have expected coming from such a large man.

She closed her eyes, took in a few deep breaths, willed herself to think clearly. He didn’t just say my name, did he?

When she opened her eyes again he was standing so close that she could see the light shadowing of stubble on his chin, could smell his scent, a musky maleness mixed with a woodsy aroma, oddly appealing. A strange sense of calm fell upon her. She was not freaked out in the least at having him so close to her, so in her personal space. Her body tingled at his proximity as her stomach fluttered.

“Dasha?” He whispered her name this time as he raised his hand to brush away a strand of hair from her face and God, she could feel him do it. His hand touching her cheek sent new tendrils of excitement through her.

She closed her eyes again as a wave of dizziness passed over her. She couldn’t explain it. She wanted to reach out and caress him, this stranger, this man who knew her name. Somewhere deep down she knew that if she reached out, if she touched him, she’d graze his skin, his hair—she’d feel him. Seconds after the thought, his lips were on hers, firm, full lips that pressed against hers with an urgency she had never experienced before. She was compelled to return it with the same intensity and she did, with relish.

“My sweet Dasha.” He moaned against her mouth as he gripped her waist, pulling her closer to him.

He broke the kiss to brush light kisses along her cheek and she sighed contentedly, lulled by the sudden, explosive pleasure that such a simple touch could have on her, and from a stranger no less. She’d been unable to feel anything in her afterlife for so long that she’d forgotten how much she needed to be touched, to be caressed. He pulled away and she stared in awe at him.

“Who are you?” she whispered, her heart still racing, her mind reeling, tears burning her eyes with the intensity of it all.

He smiled down at her, his perfect white teeth framed by his generous mouth. “My name is Cole and I am your husband.”