Tuesday, February 3, 2009

And the Beat Moves On

After much vacillation and hemming and hawing, the Mavens have concluded that it's time to formally close down Ye Olde Blog. While none of us have given up writing, we've reached a point where it's time to move on.

And so, it is with deep gratitude that we say good-bye to our stalwart MaveFaves and let you know where to find us on the Interwebs in the future.

Erica Ridley

Maven Erica RidleyThe author of Too Wicked To Kiss, which will be a March 2010 Kensington Zebra release, can be found at her website at http://www.ericaridley.com/ and her blog at http://www.ericaridley.com/blog/.

Carrie Ryan

Maven Carrie RyanYou can find Carrie, author of the forthcoming and much anticipated The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Delacorte, March 10, 2009), at her blog (http://carrie-me.blogspot.com/) and her website (http://www.carrieryan.com/). Oh, and check out her starred review in today's Publishers Weekly. Go, Carrie!

Jackie Barbosa

Maven Jackie BarbosaJackie can be found at her website (http://www.jackiebarbosa.com/), her blog (http://jackiebarbosa.blogspot.com/) and on the Aphrodisia Authors blog on the 25th of each month (when she a) remembers and b) has time, which so far hasn't been often, but she's working on it).

Darcy Burke

Maven Darcy Burke2008 Golden Heart Finalist Darcy can be found at her website (http://www.darcyburke.com/), which she keeps updated with all the latest and greatest news.

Lacey Kaye

Maven Lacey KayeOur resident process engineer, inventor of "geek lit," and author of Romance with Color can be found at her website and blog at http://laceykaye.com/.

We'll be keeping the site up for the foreseeable future, just in case any of you is overcome by a sudden, irrepressible urge to reread our old rantings and ravings...er, that is, pearls of wisdom. Thanks for joining us on this incredible adventure in writing, and for letting us share our lives with you (and yours with us). We've truly appreciated it.

Last one out...please turn out the lights :).

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Out with the Old

Maven Erica Ridley I've had my old laptop for... wow. Since the days floppy drives were considered indispensable. And although technology continued passing it by, my laptop never let me down. It continues working like a charm, except... Well, except the case is cracking. And pieces are starting to fall off. And the hard drive is so small, I have to delete old emails in order to receive new ones. And--

So finally, after year(s) of suspecting I needed a new laptop (and much ridicule from my friends, who insisted I needed a new laptop) I finally ordered a new one. Overnight shipping and everything. Went all out.

(Natch, there's a part on backorder, so who knows when it'll arrive...)

How about you? Do you write on a desktop or a laptop? Old or new? Or maybe an Alphasmart or handwritten on paper? Ever think about upgrading? Or are you an upgrade junkie?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Maven Darcy BurkeHappy New Year! The ends of my hair are currently singed as I burn through my WIP. I'm in that great almost-done phase where you can hardly do anything but sit and write. Like reading a good book that I simply can't put down. Except of course the writing takes much, much, much longer than the reading. If only it were the reverse.

My biggest challenge with this book is writing a truly Alpha Alpha male. I mean, he's entitled, he's arrogant, he likes violence, and he treats the heroine like a sex object for the first half of the book. I love him! But, sometimes it's hard to write him. I've been stuck the past few days on a pivotal scene. He exposes his vulnerable side to the heroine and then in the next scene he's all nice and...bor-ring. And I really need that first scene. So, I thought, "What does a guy do when he says or does something humiliating?" Pretend it never happened and act like a total jerk to the person who might've witnessed said humiliation. Voila, unstuck.

Been stuck lately? What'd you do about it?

Update: Last time I blogged (uh, way too long ago), I'd just found my long-lost Danish cousins. I'm now in frequent contact and even talked to Paprika on the phone last week. Despite the lost years and never meeting, the connection between us is so strong. I can't wait to meet them in person and hug them tight!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Anti-Resolutions, Take 2

Maven Jackie BarbosaA little over a year ago, I wrote a post about my New Year's Anti-Resolutions. (If you want to see why I make anti-resolutions instead of resolutions, go here.)
Oddly enough, I was just about to take off for a vacation in Yosemite when I posted; this year, I've just gotten back from one! (Wow, did we hit it just right! The three days we were in the park were gorgeous and sunny. The day we left, it had started to drizzle--and there's nothing I hate more than rain on top of snow!)

Anyhoo, on the heels of Maven Erica's goal post (haha, I made a pun!), I thought it would be fun to revisit my 2008 Anti-Resolutions to see how I did. Here are the things I promised to try not to do.

1. Enter a slew of contests.

Did all right here. I only entered four contests in 2008, and of those four, I didn't final in two and won my category in the other two. Winning was nice validation, but I have to say that I got a lot of valuable information from those non-finals (including that a non-finaling manuscript can be the one that sells, lol).

2. Start manuscripts I can't seem to finish.

The jury's still out on this one. I started at least four (maybe five) manuscripts this year that I didn't finish...YET. But that doesn't mean I won't/can't finish them. It's just that the ones I've got out there right now are of the "it's not time to try to sell these" variety, which means they're sitting on the shelf pending a better moment.

We'll have to put this one in the "wait and see" category.

3. Put on ten pounds.

Definitely achieved. As far as I can tell, I didn't put on any weight in 2008 and, while I didn't get the 10 I gained in 2007 OFF, I held steady. Good enough for me.

4. Come up with another pseudonym.

So far, so good, but if I do finish one of those "not time yet" manuscripts, I might really NEED another one (esp. since one is middle grade/YA).

5. Open my mouth and insert my foot--at least not repeatedly!

Okay, still working on this one. I do think I'm getting better--or maybe my friends are just getting more tolerant. Either way, this is the hard one for me because I so often tend to speak without a filter. I have a thought or an idea and I just blurt it out. It's in my nature. Doesn't mean it's a good thing, though, or one I don't have to try to improve. But hey, I'm only 44. God isn't finished with me yet ;).

What's New for 2009?

This year's Anti-Resolutions, in no particular order, are as follows.

I will not:

1. Waste so much time on the Internet. (Notice I didn't say I won't waste any time on the Internet. That would be impossible!)

2. Allow myself to fall so far behind a deadline that I have to neglect my family to meet it. (Yeah, this was bad in 2008.)

3. Try to write a book without writing a blurb first. (Yeah, doesn't work for me. Even when I have a synopsis. Go figure!)

4. Get more cats. (We picked up four in the past year for a total of five. One more and I suspect I will be officially considered a cat lady.)

5. Spend every writing moment doing everything but write. (Yeah, corollary to #1, but still, important!)

And, with that, since this is a writing moment, I'd better get cracking!

YOUR TURN: Got any plans for things you won't be doing this year? Or things you will? Tell all. The Mavens want to know!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Call Story

Maven Erica RidleySo, I was sitting at a tall table in a tiny internet cafe in Arenal, Costa Rica watching a cow cross the road, when Gmail was so kind as to drop an email from my agent, Lauren Abramo, into my Inbox.

[begin complete and utter paraphrase with shameless abuse of poetic license]


I left you messages on all forty-eight of your phones and yet I haven't heard from you. What could possibly be more important than the super-exciting thing I'm killing myself trying to tell you?? Call me before I shank you!

Love, Lauren

[end complete and utter paraphrase with shameless abuse of poetic license]

Hmmm, I thought to myself. I *could* continue to drowsily stare at the cow crossing the road. Or... I could call my agent.

Seeing as how AT&T charges $2.29 per minute for international calls from Costa Rica [$?#*@!] I fired up my good buddy Skype on my laptop and placed me an international call faster than you can say "VOIP".

[begin complete and utter paraphrase with shameless abuse of poetic license]

L: Hello?

E: Hey, Lauren, it's Erica.

L: Hey, Erica! Long time no talk. What've you been up to?

E: Oh, you know. Ate some beans and rice. Drank an Imperial. Watched a cow cross the road. You?

L: Oh, you know. Crossed tall buildings in a single bound. Shot spiderwebs out of my wrists. Sold your book.

E: SQUEEE!!!!!

L: SQUEEE!!!!!

E & L: SQUEEE!!!!!

[end complete and utter paraphrase with shameless abuse of poetic license]

There you have it--my two-missed-calls-one-email-one-cow-and-an-emergency-voip-chat call story.


Special thanks to my uber-massive support group: the Mavens Darcy, Lacey, Carrie, and Jackie, Kel & Manda, Janice, PCubed: Jean, June, Elissa, Cheryl, and Linda, all my TARA sisters, Cheryl, Julie and Virginia for never being too busy to answer my questions, and of course Karen and Diana, whose (utterly perfect) initial reaction was, "I told you so!"

Monday, January 5, 2009


Maven Erica RidleyCan I get a SQUEEEEEEE?!?!?!

I am pleased, thrilled, utterly apoplectic to announce that my superstar agent Lauren Abramo just sold my superstar Regency-set gothic TOUCHED to Kensington in a two-book deal. Yayayay!!!

It will be arriving at a bookstore near you in the next 18 months. More details to come (including "call story"...)


Special thanks to my uber-massive support group: the Mavens Darcy, Lacey, Carrie, and Jackie, Kel & Manda, Janice, PCubed: Jean, June, Elissa, Cheryl, and Linda, all my TARA sisters, Cheryl, Julie and Virginia for never being too busy to answer my questions, and of course Karen and Diana, whose (utterly perfect) initial reaction was, "I told you so!"

Manuscript Mavens

Manuscript Mavens