Diamond Jubilee at Romance at Random

"The gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge." Albert Einstein

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Captive Review from Leilani Loves Books

This will be a very brief post, as I just have to share my good news! A fantastic new review for Captive is up on Leilani Loves Books. Click on over (the link is embedded in the 'Leilani Loves Books' in the previous sentence) to read it and share in on my moment!


Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Branding Scramble

A few days ago I was interviewed at the Romance Books R Us blog. I found this quite exciting, yet cringe-worthy. “Cringe-worthy?” you might ask. Yes! Exciting because I need to get my name out there. Cringe-worthy for the same exact reason--I’m getting my name out there.

Reviews affect me the same way, even fantastic ones. These are precious manna, more precious than gold, and just as hard to come by when starting out. I also have to take the bad with the good, and this phenomenon is something every author will contend with sooner or later. Make peace with it and move on.

I don’t think it will come as a surprise I’m an introvert by nature. Privacy is a way of life for me. Whether I’m putting a request, or excerpt of my work out there, I’m also putting something of myself out there right along with it. Writing can be a lonely business, but promoting is the exact opposite to me. Just like any other product on the market, my work is a ‘good’ that I want people to buy. Now, more than ever, authors have to do their own promo, essentially selling (branding) themselves, not just their work.

It’s never too early to start building a name for yourself as a writer. Many of these opportunities will not just fall into your lap, and you’ll have to actively seek them out. This endeavor takes time, and for me, practice. Time away from writing and revising. Learn to accept these facts and start now, so it won’t be so overwhelming later.

Take author interviews --opportunities like these are great because other readers and writers learn a little bit about you and your works. Even if you’re not a published writer, you can still be interviewed as an aspiring writer at many sites.

A good idea is to compile a list of review and interview sites to have available. Once you’re published, you don’t want to be scrambling to find that info. Also keep in mind many of these sites are back-logged, so request early and expect a ‘No’ or two.

Make connections and build networks. Online friends are much more likely to help you when your promo comes knocking on their door than a stranger would be. The same goes for groups. Don’t just be a drive-by shooter with your marketing. Get to know the people in the group whenever possible. Of course, this means you’re going to have to pick the groups best suited to you. Otherwise, you’ll spend twenty-four hours a day running around the internet. If you have time, start a blog or join one to guest blog.

The twenty-four hour scamble on the net--I already feel that way sometimes. But I trust in the end it will all be worth the while. What are your takes on promoting yourself? Is it something that excites you? Does it cause dread to fester in the pit of your stomach? Or is it a love-hate relationship?

Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: Maggie Smith / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Romantic Roots

When I was a girl, my sister and I spent summers as latch-key kids. We woke each weekday morning at 10:30 or 11:00 a.m. (How we slept that late I’ll never know.) The first thing we did was turn on the TV with a press of a button on the actual television set and tune in to The Young and the Restless at 11:00, followed by All My Children at 12:00, Days of Our Lives at 12:30, One Life to Live 1:00, Another World 1:30 and General Hospital at 2:00. At 3:01 p.m. we would scramble like hell to clean the house and do our chores before Mom and Dad came in from work at 5:00.

All day long we engrossed ourselves in soap operas. Some of which overlapped. Without the benefit of Tivo or even a video recorder in the early days, it could be a true dilemma with far reaching consequences to decide which show to watch. What if Hope had gotten shot the day before on Days but Jessie was professing his love to Angie on AMC. How could you choose?

These were the glory days of daytime television with an abundance of heroes to go around.

Does anyone remember Rick Springfield as Dr. Noah Drake, or Michael Damian as Danny Romalotti? What about Jack Wagner, John Stamos, Peter Reckell, Peter Bergman…etc.?

These guys were my first introduction to romance, and they were excellent teachers. In fact, now when I need a great hero name or a mental picture of a character, I check the ranks of daytime television. Not always the best actors but certainly some of the prettiest. I still smile when I think of Steve “Patch” Johnson calling Kayla “Sweetness” or a leather-clad Bo Brady with Hope in a wedding dress on the back of his motorcycle after saving her from marriage to the evil Larry.

Sadly, the daytime serials of years past are fading away as reality has set into the minds of the American population. Fantasy and romance are no longer in vogue. Snooky and The Situation take focus over The Quartermain and Horton Clans. My beloved soap operas are a dying art form. Many have been cancelled and more are in jeopardy.

In truth, I haven’t watched soaps for decades, but I do revisit those tantalizing nineteen eighties hay-day plotlines for inspiration. I fondly reminisce over favorite couples and kisses, and revel in the unbelievable twisting plotlines that stretch the suspension of logic passed imagination. I mean how many long lost kids, mothers, sisters, lovers, brothers can one person have? Stefano DiMera has died and been resurrected so many times he makes Jason and Michael Myers look like lightweights.

But the true staple of these stories was the romance -- the heart-pounding, knuckle-biting, will-he-kiss-her suspense that is the essence of our addiction. The soap opera more than any other medium has the ability to capture epic romance that literally spans decades.

This addictive romantic core is what enthralls and drives us romance lovers to read, watch, and write new stories.

Today in my first blog post ever -- I want to pay homage to the romance genre that, for me, started it all.

Thank you, daytime TV, for the hours of guilty entertainment and education in the art of romance. May my own work strike as definitive a chord with others as yours has with me.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Welcome to Lisa and Kary’s Escape into Fantasy blog!

This is our first post. We plan to blog about all things writing -- fantasy and romance included. That’s the genre we’re both writing in now, so it holds a special place in our hearts.

Tag along on our journey as writers, whether you’re a reader, writer, or none of the above. We’d be glad for the extra company. After all, the greatest adventures are those that are shared. And romance writing is all about the journey and, yes, the fantasy.

No matter the subgenre in romance, the author takes you into his/her own world, with larger-than-life characters guiding the story. This world becomes your world while you’re in between the pages, or in the case of an e-reader, the page turns.

Join us and escape into fantasy!