Saturday, February 27, 2010


Writers have deadlines. Why are they called deadlines? Who was the genius who thought that term up?

Actually, that’s not a rhetorical question. According to The Maven’s Word of the Day:

The word deadline first appeared as an American coinage that referred to the line around a military prison beyond which soldiers were authorized to shoot escaping prisoners. According to Lossing's History of the Civil War (1868): "Seventeen feet from the inner stockade was the 'dead-line', over which no man could pass and live." This use is also found in Congressional records as early as 1864: "The 'dead line', beyond which the prisoners are not allowed to pass."

Dead line. As in dead at this point. As in cease to exist if you go THERE. Dead. Line. Deadline.

Hmmm, even though it really does feel like that at times, I am willing to bet very few authors actually DIE if they miss a deadline. So what else could it be? More Maven wisdom says:

The other possibility is that the deadline we know today as 'a point in time past which something will not be accepted' comes from an early 20th-century printing term. In the years before the first citation of deadline referring to a point in time, there are citations for deadline meaning 'a guideline on the bed of a printing press beyond which text will not print': "Make certain that the type does not come outside of the dead-line on the press" (Henry, Printing for School & Shop, 1917).

As a writer, you will always have deadlines. At first they are self imposed. You *WANT* to finish that story and have it ready to go by a certain date. If that doesn’t happen, you feel like a loser but you live. There is no sentry waiting to fill you full of lead, just a nasty wave of self-disappointment. (tastes like feet, blech)

Then you sell and, suddenly, the deadline carries more weight. You don’t get to define it anymore. There is no leisurely flipping around the manuscript looking for flaws. Nope. Your editor is waiting on that story and you have a concrete date. Copy-editors and art departments are waiting on you. You are under the gun now!

Fine, you make that deadline but there is more! Now you have a second story with a whole separate deadline. You are writing one, editing the other and oh yeah, did I mention promo? (Little things like waiting until the last minute to do that guest blog post you didn’t forget but have been putting off really jerks a knot in things). You can almost feel the deadline pressing down like iron bars.

Do that for several books.

Wow, you are in demand now! You have enough oomph behind your name to sell on proposal. Easy street, right? Wrong! Now you have a date pre-set but no real story started, just a promise and an outline. You are bound by legal issues tighter than handcuffs. If you screw up a date, you might as well pucker up and kiss your career goodbye. (with tongue)

And what about your readers, your fans? By this time, you have some. Even if it is just one woman’s library group that meets every Wednesday for prune juice and raisin cookies. They are waiting for your latest! You owe them and don’t want to let them down. *CRACK!!* Get to it!

Don’t get sloppy or lazy. That is one way to kill your writing career. (public nudity while eating Cheetos in Wal-mart is another)

Keep doing this, over and over and over. The glamorous life of a writer. It’s not all champagne and caviar. But who wants old grape juice and fish eggs anyway? Gimme a cold cup of coffee, a soft pair of pajama pants and a deadline, then watch me make magic.

I am a writer. Deadlines are my life. And I love it. I am actually on a deadline now.

The sequel to MYLA BY MOONLIGHT has been contracted by Carina Press. Titled SALOME AT SUNRISE, it is slated for a June release. So while I tappity tap tap my edits and work on the final book in the trilogy, leave me a comment(with your email addy). I will swing back by and choose one person to win a free copy of Myla by Moonlight.

You can read blurbs, excerpts, free reads and generally just play around on my website. Enjoy! *puts nose back to the grindstone*

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wicked Wednesday - Minx Malone

Hi guys,

I've been working on the sequel to my contemporary novella Beg For It (Ellora's Cave) for awhile now. I couldn't quite get a handle on Italian smooth talker Andre Lavin.

Let me know if I finally got it right in my Wednesday Work in Progress.


Ask For It (excerpt)

“I’m not sure about this new slogan.” Andre Lavin rubbed his hands roughly over his face trying to erase a week’s worth of stress. He was so tired he almost felt intoxicated but seeing his dream come to life was worth a thousand sleepless nights. “Living the Lavin life. It sounds like a ripoff of a cheesy pop song.”

James Lawson, owner of Mirage Advertising Agency, patted him reassuringly on the shoulder. “No worries. I’m sure we can come up with something that suits you better.”

Andre swallowed a grunt of disagreement. He wasn’t so sure. He’d already seen presentations for two alternate slogans and they were no closer to capturing the essence of what he was about than the current one. He’d been waiting his entire career to launch his international campaign and he wouldn’t see it derailed now. His debut had to be top notch. His success had been too hard won for him to chance botching things now.

“I have the production figures. We’re in good shape.” Jason Gautier, his business partner and best friend appeared at his left side. His blond hair was cut into a short spiky do, more for ease and comfort than style. His friend had been accused more than once of having a calculator for a brain and a cash register for a heart. Success was his life’s blood. It was one of the things they had in common.

“Fantastic. Do we still have that conference call with the bank this afternoon?”

“Actually there was a mix up. We’re supposed to be on that call in about ten minutes.” At his glower, Jason shrugged apologetically and crossed his arms. “Don’t shoot the messenger. How do you want to handle this?”

“Gentleman, I think I have a solution.” James waved over his assistant, a young woman with short dark hair and flashing blue eyes. He whispered something in her ear and she turned and sashayed off.

He stole a quick glance at the watch on his wrist. “The conference room isn’t booked for this afternoon, so why don’t you take your call and then come back around 3 o’clock. I’ll have our designers rearrange their schedules to accommodate you.”

“Great, that’s…” Andre trailed off as something passed his vision. A petite girl wearing an oversized monstrosity of a sweater. Her dark hair was bound back tightly into a bun and she moved like she was in a rush, her slim legs carrying her quickly behind the reception desk. She turned and her delicate profile came into view. His mind registered recognition at the same time as his body. He cursed softly and turned away slightly, giving himself time to calm down. His reaction made him feel like a lecher, especially since from a distance she looked more like a fairy child than a grown woman.

She was assisting the designers with the campaign and ever since he’d first seen her a month ago he’d been battling this borderline obsession. He knew her every expression, the way she tilted her head when she was listening or pursed her lips when she didn’t agree with something. Her skin was very pale and it made her look even more fragile. She was delicately built, petite with slim hips but something about her manner told him she had a backbone of steel.

He turned at the sharp nudge in his side. Jason lifted his eyebrows in inquiry before stretching to see over his shoulder. Andre stepped forward blocking his friend’s view of the girl. He wasn’t sure what drove the protective instinct but in that moment he didn’t want his friend even looking in her direction. It was like letting a wolf loose on a lamb.

Ok so that's just a little taste of Andre, a character that I love to write. He's driven, he's perfectionistic and he's about to be swept off his feet by a woman who's nothing like what he expects.

Hope you enjoyed the sneak peek. Now back to your regularly scheduled lives :)


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wicked Wednesday - KyAnn Waters

Wednesday Work in Progress.

I envy those writers who can sit down to the computer, know their story, pound out the words and finish what they start. Nope, that's not me. For every story I finish I probably start 10. I'll get a few words or a few pages then the story fizzles and I want to write something else. I guess you could say I am a bit A.D.D when it comes to writing. I don't think I've ever finished a book where I didn't change at least one character's name at least one time. But my bad habits can sometimes work in my favor. When I'm stuck and not sure what to work on next, it's those past stories I go through to find my inspiration.

As I share my work in progress with you, the names, places and title will most likely change. :)

Beautiful Storm - contemporary short story - nearly complete
(unedited - first draft)

Adrian Beck sat on the beach, tunneling his toes into the warm white sand. The full moon pulled the tide in and called him to the sea. Here, in the tropical breezes of Long Caye, the stress of the city couldn’t find him. Self-imposed exile suited him well. Post 9-11 New York couldn’t compete with Belize Island. Perhaps nothing ever would. There was the crux of his problems. Once he’d lost his firm—lost everything, including those most important to him—he hadn’t felt the same zeal for life. He didn’t see the beauty in buildings anymore, didn’t want to.

The prodigy Adrian Beck, a winner of the American Architecture Award, was burned out. He’d closed his firm, what was left of it after the Trade Towers came down. He hadn’t wanted to rebuild, not after losing so much.

Closing his eyes, he let the balmy night air surround him. His open shirt billowed in the gentle wind. The crash and roll of the waves lulled him to a place where he embraced solitude.

Last week he’d received a phone call. Isa Clemet, developer of luxury casino resorts wanted a meeting. No amount of negotiations would get him back, but that didn’t seem to stop the tenacious billionaire from insisting on a face-to-face meeting. He chuckled. Post 9-11 merges with post Katrina. Not funny, but he couldn’t help seeing the humor. Clemet Casinos wanted to build on the coast in Biloxi, Mississippi. Ms. Clemet wanted the best—she wanted Adrian.

Too bad. Adrian had no intention of giving up his private piece of paradise.

Moonlight shimmered off the cresting waves. Tropical breeze coming off the sea cooled his skin. The salty tang on his lips did make him long for a woman to hold, to kiss, to spread her smooth legs and slide his restless cock into her hot welcoming sheath.

Adrian cursed. How long had it been since he’d had someone special in his life? Three maybe four years. Since before he came to Belize Island to escape the real world.

Gulls rustled in the leaves of the tropical foliage. The spongy sand popped and whispered to him—taunted him. Adrian had always compared a woman to the ocean. Sometimes she could be as fierce as a tropical storm, unpredictable and dangerous and other times calm and wet, like sailing on a cloudless day.

Adrian leaned forward and rested his arms on his bent knees. Movement on the water caught his eye. Silver shimmer stretched into the horizon. He squinted. A swimmer. Long limbs broke the surface. And if he wasn’t mistaken—a woman—swam closer.

A wave caught her and brought her to shore. She stood, a nude goddess born of the sea. His heart pounded. She emerged from the tide, water sluicing over her arousing form. He followed a bead of moisture down her face. Sculpted eyebrows arched over wide almond shaped eyes. At this distance, he couldn’t make out the color, but her skin was bronzed by the sun. Raking her fingers through her hair, she combed her long wet tresses away from her face. She paused and stared at him. Full luscious lips titled into a soft smile. Not a joyous grin, but a sinful smirk that hinted at mischief.

I'll be back later with another excerpt from my BDSM work in progress.

Happy Hump Day,