Monday, May 30, 2005

Let them speak!

The other day, I was reading Morgan Hawke's blog (great blogger on writing, especially erotic writing) and she wrote on POV. She made a good point about writing in your character's voice and not your own.

This is something I think every author struggles with. I know I have.

At RT 2003, I went to the session on Erotica. Robin Schone, the goddess of romantica, talked about language used in writing romance and erotic romance. And she said it must fit your character. One of her own characters, a male prostitute, she said would never use manhood about his penis. He'd use cock. That was the way he spoke and it wouldn't make sense for him to use anything else.

It made so much sense to me, it was the beginning of the lesson, but was something I still had to mull over in my writer's brain. I didn't use certain words. My characters up till that time didn't either. They hadn't pushed to.

And then, I created and wrote a character, who stood up and said, "Uh-uh. I won't use manhood. I use cock." I sputtered and argued. But to no avail. He won. The character, god bless Viktor, made me realize I had to go with my character's language, even if it wasn't what I would say. I had to keep my character's voice honest or they'd never come across as I wanted them to. That included the language, be it cursing, sexual words, or even every day banter.

My writing has strengthened in letting my characters loose. All of my characters have unique voices that I hear when I write them. Staying true to that voice makes anything I write about them truer and stronger. Which is golden to any writer.

So let those characters speak. Don't hold them back with reins of your own voice. Let them be true to themselves.

May the muses be kind

Friday, May 27, 2005

I have been tagged

Total number of books I own: I'd guess probably around 1500-2000 or so. I have two huge bookshelves that are mostly full of my books, plus there are some assorted kid's books around the house I count as "mine." The dh is refusing to buy me anymore bookshelves *grumbles*.

Last Book I Bought: LOL the last book I bought was actually an e-book, "In Heat" by Leigh Wyndfeld. The last paper book I bought was Robin Schone's "The Lady's Tutor" to send to a friend.

Last Book I Read: Kiss of Shadows by Laurell K. Hamilton

Five Books That Mean A Lot To Me: Only five??

1. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson: My father was not a person who read for fun. This was one of only a handful of books he read. I have the book he read as a child and that I read as a child, so it's rather special to me as he shared the love of that book with me. (The other book he read was by Rudyard Kipling, that one's special too, but Treasure Island just stands out to me. I can't wait till my oldest can read it).

2. Night Pleasures by Sherrilyn Kenyon: I had just gone to the beach, read several romance novels, getting back into the genre again after many years absence and said, "I can write these!" I went to the bookstore, the dh and I were celebrating my birthday. I was wandering through the romance section, touching books *g* and I found this book that had an interesting cover. I liked the blurb on the back, so on a whim, I bought it. Read it in one night. Loved it. Saw it mentioned this website in the story and decided to see if it was real. It was. And in picking that book up on a whim--I met some of the best people in the universe and found out so much to improve my writing. Not to mention Sherri inspires me with her creativity, her writing, her sweetness, and her marketing skills. Had I not picked up that book, I'm not sure I'd be where I am, getting a book published and writing the next one. It will always hold a special place in my heart.

3. The Lady's Tutor by Robin Schone: I'd read romances and sensual books, books I thought were hot, and then I read this one. This book has become my gold standard of romantica or erotic romance. It melts me everytime I read it, and I've read it five times *blinks*. I love the characters and don't want the book to end. What sensual writing *dreamy sigh*. It inspires me to shoot for hotter writing and deep storytelling in my own books.

4. The Stand by Stephen King: I read this as a preteen and as a teenager, and this was one of the books that made me say, "I want to do that" as far as writing. He presents characters, defines them in a small amount of time, kills some characters off just as he makes you care about them, and ties together a whole bunch of storyline threads. Stu Redman was my idea of a hero and still is. I used to read it at least once a year and everytime I read it, I found something new I hadn't picked up on before. I probably should read it again, it's been a while.

5. Mrs. Mike by Benedict and Nancy Freedman: I had to look up who wrote this book and one of the first entries on google called it a "sacred keeper." Yep, that's what it is to me. I also didn't realize it was written in 1947 and is still in print. Wow. It's based on a true story of a woman who goes to Canadian wilderness to live as she falls in love with and marries a Canadian Mounted policeman. I read it first as a preteen and fell in love with the book. It has humor, it can still make me laugh outloud. There is a lot of drama. And it can still make me cry no matter that I know what happens. It's about a girl who transforms into a woman during the course of the story. And Mike is one of the sexiest heroes *dreamy sigh*. Yep, a sacred keeper.

Hmmmmmm, I have to tag someone. I'm tagging Paula and Jenn.

May the muses be kind

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

I'm easily amused

Somehow going to google and yahoo and seaching for "Mechele Armstrong" and seeing my web site come up first gives me such a thrill. Just like going to the Virginia Romance Writer's web page and seeing my name listed as of today...another thrill. Two of my favorite authors have agreed that I can link to them on my web page. Seeing their names there, more excitement. I'm liable to bounce myself loose when "Blood Kiss" starts getting promoted and gets a cover.

*the snoopy dancing*

Sunday, May 22, 2005

"I do not!"

So my husband told his friend at work about my first novel sale. The guy said, "She writes porn!"

Of course, I huffed and said, "I do not!"

He was kidding of course but it got me thinking. Do I write porn?

I'm sticking to my huffy, "I do not!"

Do I write sex scenes? Oh yes. Are they explicit? Yeah, I guess they are. I don't leave the reader at the bedroom door and I do use words like "cock," "clit," and it is obvious they have sex, it's spelled out. And both heroine and hero enjoy it. But I don't think that makes it porn.

To me, porn is sex scene after sex scene. And there's no plot. You don't get to know and love the characters. There's nothing but sex.

And that's not really something I like reading. LOL I have actually said "there's too much sex in there" about a book, which was something I never thought I'd say. But if I'm reading and it's to the point I don't care who the heroine is having sex with, it's not a good sign. I need to care. I want a story I can sink my teeth into. I want characters I live with and don't want to leave at the end.

And that's what I'm trying to create as I tell my tales.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

*does a snoopy dance*

I am doing quite a bit of bouncing.

At RT, I pitched to an editor, and they asked to see the full manuscript, which I e-mailed off last week.

On Tuesday, I received a letter stating an interest in contracting e-book rights to "Blood Kiss" and also got the contract. Today, I sent it off.

This is such a wonderful opportunity. I never expected it, figured I had a while yet to beat the bushes.

I have forms to fill out on cover art!!! To give them information for designing the cover. I have an editor who's been assigned to me. I'm so excited!! And nervous and terrified and happy.

I did have to laugh. Good things are always tempered for me. The day I got the contract, I was walking around in a jubilant daze, going, "I am author, hear me roar!" I got a critique back on another work, full of red and blue. And got back a synopsis for said other work, saying "it needs work." LOL great way to come down off writer's cloud nine.

I have to take this chance and run with it. I figure I only get one shot at this. So I'm plunging into not just being a writer...but being an author head first. I'm sure the water is deep, but with the support of a number of good friends, I'm sure I can keep my head above water.

May your muses be kind and have chocolate

Monday, May 16, 2005

I have joined the wonderful world of Blogging

Hopefully soon, I'll have something to report *grins*. Lot's of new stuff to get started working on.

Signing off