Monday, September 26, 2011

To Write or Promote--That is the question.

I've been deep into my next story, and feeling guilty for not doing more to promote BBB. What is more important for my career plan, doing guest blogs or getting another title published? It's the writer's chicken and egg question. (And that whole thing just blows my mind.) If I write it they will come, right? (No sexual pun intended.) I am a big fan of Field of Dreams. Build a baseball field in the middle of Iowa and people will just wake up one morning, get in their cars and drive straight to the cornfield to watch the ghosts of Baseball's past play ball. Yeah, uh-huh, right.

Word of mouth sells books, or so I've read about a million times. But you have to lead the mouths to the story before they can start yakking right? (No offense dear readers, I'm sure you don't yak.) I read The Tipping Point, a few years back and found it fascinating. It starts with a few people thinking something is cool, nerdy shoes for example, and then a few more people decide the same thing, and then something miraculous happens, and it becomes a major trend. (Okay there is more to this, as 'what's his name' did write a whole book on the subject.) I enjoyed the book. When his next book came out I picked it up at the bookstore, read a few pages, and wasn't wowed. I left it on the shelf. My daughter read an essay in school written by the book's author. She said he was whining about all the reasons his second book didn't succeed. He blamed everything except THE WRITING.

So, the moral is: If I write it WELL they will come. Unless of course, they've never heard of me or my story, in which case I should be out there PROMOTING. Sigh.

I know, no one ever said this was going to be easy.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Well Behaved Woman Never Make History---as published on Sizzlin Hot Reviews

Marilyn Monroe was just beginning her film career, in the early fifties, when nude photos of her were ‘leaked’ (anyone else envisioning a man with a wet spot on his trousers?) These photos ended up in the first edition of Playboy magazine. This should have been the kiss of death for an actress during a time period when women were usually depicted with a smile on their face, a broom in their hands, an apron on over their prim cotton dress, and a pair of simple black pumps on their feet (ever done housework in heels? What’s that--- only when you’re in the French Maid costume? Yeah, I thought so.)
Seriously, I believe that what saved Marilyn’s career was not the changing times (remember, the photos turned up in the first Playboy) but was due to her reaction to the photos. She did not hide her face in shame. None of that ‘fallen woman’ crap for her. Marilyn took ownership for what she’d done. No excuses just yep, that’s me. (It kind of reminds me of Hugh Grant on late night television sheepishly admitting that yes he was guilty of lewd acts in a car with a streetwalker. Confession is good for the soul, and apparently, the ratings as well.)  
 More recently there have been several attempts by others to follow in Marilyn’s footsteps. However, nude photos aren’t enough anymore. These days it takes a sex tape (leaked of course) for the semi somebody’s to become, well, reality stars. Isn’t that everyone’s dream? For Paris Hilton, it wasn’t enough. (Seen her face on a tabloid lately? Me neither.) While researching this deep, thought provoking, article, I looked up Kim Kardashian. I even forced myself to watch the first ‘free’ minute of her sex tape. OMG! Enough said. (If you know my real name please don’t tell my mother about this. Or my kids.)
Anyway, the point of all this is…oh wait, was I supposed to have a point? Let’s see, I started with the title, Well Behaved Women never make history, because of, oh yeah, because of Betty Walker, the heroine in my novella, Betty Being Bad. Betty wears a nightshirt with this motto on it. Her lover (a bad boy himself) assures her that she doesn't have to worry about being well behaved.

Recycled Blog---This one appeared at Book in it Reviews

For me the best part of writing is getting the chance to be someone else for awhile. It’s like acting but without the paparazzi. And believe me you wouldn’t want to see my beach body plastered on the front of a tabloid while you’re standing in line at the grocery store (not unless you need some diet incentive.) The cool thing is I get to be both the man and the woman in my stories. Does this make me bi-sexual? Shhh…don't tell my husband.
No really, I enjoy being the hero. For years I was afraid to write from the male point of view because I thought I’d get it all wrong. Now I realize that men are just like us, but with penises. Okay, not really, but there are similarities. Such as, they like their penises and so do we. And isn’t romance really just a matter of how we get the key to fit into the lock? I always put the key in upside down first and then I have to turn it over. Maybe it’s good that I’m female. Then again, I guess that’s better than putting the key in the wrong door. Uh, honey?
Anyway, I had a lot of fun writing Betty Being Bad. I got to be Betty Walker, sexy, independent, antique store owner, and her reformed bad boy lover Carson Wells.  Now I have to admit, I’ve never been in prison. I couldn't steal a crumb without being overcome by severe guilt spasms, which reminds me, I really should pay back Plaid Pantry for the three penny candies I hid in my sock when I was six. Even so, it wasn’t hard for me to imagine being locked up. In a way we are all prisoners of our own fears, shames, and desires. To exist in polite society (put down the cell phone and ask yourself, is there really such a thing anymore?) we have to rein in and edit everything we say (unless our first name happens to be Snooki.)
            Seriously, when Carson is released, so am I. When he corners Betty in her store and insists on making good on the fantasies they shared in the prison visitation room, I’m right there with him, feeling his pent up desires, emotions, and that oh so powerful need for release. And then I get to be Betty too, on the receiving end of all that lust. Whew, is it getting hot in here?
            This is why it’s best to write erotica when alone, with the blinds closed. The ‘acting out being your characters’ thing can get a bit awkward to explain if you’re caught. Oh, is my face red? I hadn’t noticed. (If you’re over forty five you get to blame hot flashes.) It’s also why I prefer romance over other genres, horror for example. I don't want my hubby coming home to find me sharpening the kitchen knife with an evil gleam in my eye. I’m sure he too, would rather find me red faced and panting. And if he’s imagining me looking like Angelina Jolie, and I’m picturing Brad Pitt, so what? At least they’re married.
            So, close the blinds, turn on the fan, and visit Betty and Carson at Red Sage Publishing.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Gotta love ED commercials

Watching TV last night when one of those commercials came on. Remember when 'those' commercials were for tampons and pads? Pretty young women doing gymnastics with stupid smiles on their faces. Uh, huh, sure." Now we have ruggedly handsome men in their fifties and sixties, doing studly things, while an announcer gives us this warning "For erectile disfunction lasting more than four hours seek immediate medical attention." It's the 'immediate' part that gets me. If the situation doesn't become urgent until the four hour mark, does that mean that three hours and forty-five minutes is perfectly okay? I'm having this vision of a studly guy sitting in his four by four in the hospital parking lot desperately tryig to alleviate the uh, 'situation' before he has to walk into the emergency room sporting a woody, and tell the woman at the desk what his problem is.
"Come on over here sweetheart and let me save you a few hundred dollars. I'll fix you right up for 50 bucks."   

Thursday, September 1, 2011

What Blogging and Graduation Speeches have in Common.

So, I've been perusing other blogs lately. I'm not actually sure if  'perusing' is the right word but I like the sound of it. Say it out loud with me, perusing. Anyway, I've been reading other blogs and I've come to the conclusion that blog writing is a bit like speech making. Ever sat through an excrutiatingly long graduation ceremony? How long does it take before your mind begins to wander?  If they start with something funny, or profound, I'm good for a couple of minutes. Then I start to notice things: the baby three rows away gurgling and drooling on Mom's new dress, the Grandpa asleep with his mouth wide open, the guy in the suit, glancing around to be sure no one's watching before he slips his used gum under the seat, that sort of thing. I will admit, I've never been a good listener. This is either due to a case of undiagnosed ADD or an intense need to be constantly entertained. Whether it's a speech, a blog, or fiction, it has to grab me from the first word, and hold me captive, gasping for air, until the last word--- or it has failed. This may sound a bit harsh (is that you I hear, snoring in the back of the room?) but really it's what writers must strive for. Boredom is the enemy, and we must fight him with everything we've got! Ice pick anyone?