Dialogues With The Devil (Conversation With A Literary Agent: Selling Your Soul)

Layout 1Me: “It is (“air quotes”) ‘a warm, witty’ novel; friends-on-an-adventure facing insurmountable odds.”

Devil: “Is there an alien in it?”

Me: “Yes, but . . . “

Devil: “Science Fiction.”

Me: “No, but . . . “

Devil: “No Sci-Fi for me.”

Me: “Me neither . . .”

Devil: (Recorded message) “Thank you for considering Us for submission of your manuscript. ’Twill be a frigid day, yada, yada . . .”

Me: “It’s not Science Fiction! Not that there’s anything wrong with that . . .”

Devil: Cloven hoof tapping impatiently.

Me: “Think of it as a coming-of- (voice lowers to whisper) space- (louder) age story!”

Devil: “SF.”

Me: “No, not at all! Geez. I do not write erotica. I wish I could. I mean there is romance in there, and a few NSFW scenes that while gratuitous, certainly do serve to move the story along.”

Devil: “Fantasy.”

Me:  (Considering) “Maybe.”

Devil: Static on line. Rustling sounds. “Crackle, living, fantasy, world.”

Me: “Hey, now. That whole sci-fi fantasy world doesn’t have to be riddled with monsters, or zombies or vampires, or Woolite®-sponsored underground silo sagas. Hugh Howie would love Ros. search

Me: “Hello? Are you still there?”

Ros was taped before a live studio audience. For a transcript of the show, please visit Ros. And is it just me, or has anyone else wondered about that dystopian Woolite® tag line, “No clothes left behind.”

Mr. Howey, Woolite® called and wants its unmentionables back.

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Dear George R. R., Please Don’t Read This!

Dear George R. R.,

Please do not read any farther. (Note: I Grammar Girl Googled farther vs. further. Now both words are stuck in my head and neither sounds real.) If you do need to take a quick break from getting on your giddyup for The Winds of Winter (2015? Really?) you may want to check out what your fans are saying on Goodreads.

Game of Thrones photoI, on the other hand, obviously have plenty of time to kill. Thanks to some crazzzzy Amazon algorithms, we were hanging out—Cheers from Ros.

Give my best to Jon Snow! See you soon—Game of Thrones, Sunday, March 31st!

Happy Birthday, Marian Keyes!

Goddess Marian Keyes

Happy Birthday to Marian Keyes, Best Author on The Planet! Only 3 more days to her new novel, The Mystery of Mercy Close, and I 5-Star recommend her Mammy Walsh family history!

I fangirl double-heart Marian Keyes because her books shine with the magic of laughing at the sadness of life.

I dedicated my novel, Ros, to Marian Keyes—#FREE this week.

To Marian Keyes—and to the Marian Keyes in every woman—that smart, funny, sad, put-upon, brave part of your soul that makes this world a brighter place.

The World’s Worst Novelist?

My novel Ros shows up next to Irish author Amanda McKittrick Ros, and her book, Irene Iddesleigh. Ros self-published in 1897, and her reputation as the world’s worst novelist is being remembered at the Celebrate Literary Belfast festival later this month, (Awful Author Addicted to Alliteration Achieves Acclaim Again!).

Amanda McKittrick Ros

This teacher/novelist/poet provided hours of entertainment to fellow writers—an Oxford literary group, which included C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien, held competitions to see who could read her work the longest without laughing. When a critic sarcastically called it “the book of the century,”  Ros suggested he was so hostile because he was secretly in love with her.

“. . .He found himself, altogether unconsciously, clasping her to his bosom, whilst the ruby rims which so recently proclaimed accusations and innocence met with unearthly sweetness, chasing every fault over the hills of doubt . . .”

Neither Pretty Nor Profound

I don’t know why I like to write.
I say stupid things.
I do embarrassing things.
I cheat in yoga.
I drink a lot of coffee.
My bra and underwear don’t match.
I may slightly exaggerate situations to make myself look better.
Eleanor Brown’s reasons for why she writes is an Ode to Awesomeness, an iambic pentameter of epic proportions, a pretty, profound, pied piper potpourri of prose, containing secrets of the universe, including the key to writerly wisdom . . .

I am one flawed human being.

Such a Pretty Word…

Schadenfreude

Say that three times fast, and then pretend you’ve never felt it.
Schadenfreude \SHOD-n-froy-duh\ noun:
 A malicious satisfaction obtained from the misfortunes of others. OK, that’s a little harsh and I am not proud of myself, but I was feeling the sting of a crappy review, and to make myself feel better I clicked over to my very favorite author, the goddess herself, Marian Keyes.

Goddess Marian Keyes

Say what? Imagine my surprise to find she received TEN one-star, really mean reviews, à la: “Why??” “SO disappointed,” to “Was this gobshite even edited?”
Mean reviews, like TMZ, are really funny. (Except when they’re not.)

One of my favorite historical fiction novels, The Botticelli Secret, also received its fair share of dings. I think the author, Marina Fiorato, is brilliant, with the most amazing voice for dialogue. Not everyone agrees: From “Do not buy this book!” to “Silly and shallow!” to “I feel angry and cheated and tore off the cover and threw it away!” to having vendettas out against the people who had the nerve to recommend it, “I’m looking for the sweet little old lady at the bookstore who convinced me to buy it: what lies beneath that nice lady persona?” mean reviews are, if nothing else, passionate.

Schadenfreude comes from the German, Schaden, “damage” + Freude, “joy” — and can apparently be abbreviated as TMZ.

Yes, I am damaged goods…but misery does love company.

Meet Ros…

I always knew Ros would be a tough sell, but she has good intentions…

She has been compared to a cross between E.T. and Starman, but ultimately, she’s women’s fiction…with a hopefully-ever-after ending, dedicated to my idol, Marian Keyes.

If I haven’t lost you yet, please check out author Vaughn Roycroft’s brilliant review of Ros!

I would love to hear what you think!

(Marian Keyes, where are you?)

PS: Oh my gosh, you’re still here? Why don’t you go click the “Like” button on Ros!

Is Your Kindle Making You Fat?

I was going to go with an eOrgasms article to spice up this dreary winter day, but I sat in front of my computer for such an embarrassing length of time, nothing came. Har har. (I wish I could write erotica…I hear it pays well.)

I apologize–this is strangely personal for someone you’ve never met. Let me digress. I grew up in Ennui, Ohio. (Which is a joke.) (Because it gives far too much credit to my hometown.) Back then, I would have traded clear skin for being fat in a heartbeat. Well now, the joke’s on me–I can eat exponentially greater quantities of potato chips when I read on my kindle, than while fumbling with a paperback book. That’s not to say I haven’t fumbled a bit with my Kindle–we’ve been to third base, (thanks to an overambitious, delicious, non-nutritious reading feast that included a glass of wine). Salty fingers are no friend to the digital domain, either, (orange-colored crumbs are even worse) but have no fear, a toothpick combined with a napkin serves as a tiny magic wand, erasing the evidence.

Thanks to a steady diet of so many new books to explore,  I do try to limit my grazing while gazing…feeding while reading…glutton on the button…


“Oh, dear God, please let this woman write better novels than blog posts,” you may be thinking. When updating my blog, I fear no one really cares about what an author has to say; whether or not I donate spare change to street musicians or have pet names for family members. My husband informed me he wants to be known as “Director,” (he does direct TV shows) but you’ll be happy to know I shined him off by directing him to “Direct this,” while grabbing my own arse. As for my kids, I could full out ID them by their cell phone-slash-social security numbers for all the impression I make on them–they never notice anything I do.

Back to me. Focus. I like to write because I say really stupid things. I do embarrassing things. I am a shit-talker. Guilty of Schadenfreude. I cheat in yoga. My bra and underwear don’t match. To add insult to injury, my kindle is making me fat.

Misery loves company, as they say–won’t you join me?

Ros

Book Club in a Box…and a Bag!

Call me unimaginative, call me a Virgo with a stymieing need for order and control, just don’t call me late to the “monthly wine-swilling club where we pretend to discuss books we read.” (Call-out quote from Ros.)

I’m partial to stories that have built-in food themes for book club picks, and while my novel, Ros, hasn’t been recommended for any book club (yet! A girl can dream…) I offer up an easy presentation, using only ingredients found in Ros–including Cinnamon Pop-Tarts. Enjoy!

Dialogues With The Devil

(Conversation With A Literary Agent: Selling Your Soul)

Me: It is a warm, witty (hopefully, though God alone knows how many of us try to pass off the unfunny by calling it warm and witty) novel; friends-on-an-adventure facing insurmountable odds…

Devil: Is there an alien in it?

Me: Yes, but…

Devil: Science Fiction.

Me: No, but…

Devil: No Sci-Fi for me.

Me: Me, either.

Devil: (Recorded message) Thank you for considering me for submission of your manuscript. I kindly ask that you refrain from darkening my doorstep in the future.

Me: It’s not Science Fiction! Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

Devil: Cloven hoof tapping impatiently.

Me: Think of it as a coming-of (voice lowers to whisper) -space- (louder) age story!

Devil:  SF.

Me: No, not at all! Geez. Never. I mean there is romance in there, and a few NSFW scenes that while gratuitous, certainly do serve to move the story along…

Devil: SF!

Me: No! I do not write erotica.

DevilStatic on line; indeterminate rumbling that sounds a lot like “Maybe you should.”

Me: Who’s to say this didn’t really happen? Or that it won’t happen? The whole sci-fi world doesn’t have to be riddled with Stephen King monsters, or werewolves or vampires. Sookie Stackhouse would love Ros!

Devil: Dial tone.

Me: Oh, Ros. I miss you so. I mean, I would miss you if you had actually…Oops. My lips are zipped.

Ros was taped before a live studio audience. For a transcript of the show, please visit Ros!