Thursday, August 29, 2013

Do You Write Series Romance?

So You Think You Can Write is gearing up again for 2013, and it's a great opportunity for one of Harlequin's nineteen category series lines.

But do you write series? And should you, if you want an opportunity to be in front of 50 NYC editors from Harlequin?

Something to think about, but take it from someone who thought she could do it. Think twice if you don't read a lot of category. Do you love to read category? Then definitely try your hand and write and enter!

Is all you read single title? Think again. Some authors think it might be "easy" to break into category and then turn that into a single title career. But it's not simple to break into category. It takes a very special set of skills that happens to be quite different from those needed for single title.

There are some very specific requirements for category, and if you regularly read them, you'll know. For one thing, hero and heroine must be on the first page together, or very shortly thereafter. There is very little room for unique and quirky secondary characters. The storyline stays very tightly around the hero and heroine and their goal, motivation and conflict. One editor even opines that the hero and heroine should never be apart (in the entire story) for more than two scenes.

Categories are also shorter, ranging from 55,000 words to about 60,000 with the exception of the new Heartwarming line (75,000) and Superromance, the highest word count category.

If you think you can write category, there is no better opportunity coming around than So You Think You Can Write 2013. Good luck to all who enter!

And after you do, you know where to find me. Drop on by, I'll pull up a chair and you can tell us all about your experience.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Release Day!

Okay, so not my release day. I had you there for a minute, right? Not mine, but the release day of someone who I've known and loved all his life - my little brother, writer Vince Font. So he's not so little anymore. Yes, he's bigger than me. All right, he's younger than me.

Let's rewind back to 1985. Remember the 80s? Big hair, VCRs. I took Vince to see the movie The Falcon and the Snowman starring Timothy Hutton and Sean Penn. Not necessarily my favorite kind of movie (you might have heard I like romance), but I was being the good big sister. I had a driver's license, you see. Let's just I'd had my license for years. I did say my brother was younger than me, but you don't have to know by how much! Enough said.

The movie made an impression on young Vince, though I didn't know that till many years later. Now fast forward to 2010. Vince and his beautiful wife Jane were hosting their online radio show, Prog'opolis. A frequent listener and fan of the show turned out to be Cait Boyce, the wife of Christopher Boyce. Christopher. In other words, the real-life Timothy Hutton! You know, from the movie.

I'm sure you can imagine a few interesting conversations ensued after my brother found out that information. Cait and Christopher are fascinating people, and let's just say Christopher has led the kind of life that Hollywood likes to memorialize.

This book, like the first movie, contains controversial material. We may not all agree on everything, but given the recent news on Edward Snowden, let's all keep an open mind. Of course, you'll have to read the book to do that, and find out what happened to Christopher after he went to prison and how he met Cait. In other words, this is the sequel to The Falcon and the Snowman. And yesterday, Amazon rated it as the #1 bestseller in its category.

So long story short (yeah right), my part in this release day was driving my brother many years ago to see that movie. So take heart, when you wonder what you may have accomplished in your life - maybe it was just having the driver's license. You never know. I'm sure happy that I did.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Brave New World of eTextbooks

My youngest son attends a private high school and for three years I bought hardcover textbooks, scouring the Internet for the best prices. Lots of good sites popped up for second hand books and we did that most of the time. At the end of the year I'd even get some of my money back by turning around and re-selling said books on said same Internet. Of course, I never did seem to get back what I paid, but hey, it was something.

Last year when my son's school announced they were "moving to iPads" I wasn't quite sure what that meant. All I knew was that said son suddenly needed an iPad. Son: "Darn it, mom, the school says I 'have' to get an iPad for next year. I know, bummer."

Long and short of it, the school went all high-techy on us - imagine that, a school in the middle of Silicon Valley. This year, my son's senior year, all books are "apps" and ebooks.

Now I'm no stranger to ereaders (I've got a Kindle) and I'm on board with all that even though if you ask me there is still that something about holding a shiny new paperback in your hands. Still, the fact that I've got over 200 books on my Kindle is sobering. I could go anywhere with my Kindle and always have something to read. This is all to say that I'm pretty high techy myself, thank you very much.

But last night I ordered son's textbooks - or apps, I mean. Not having any Apple products myself (Steve Jobs just rolled over in his grave)though I live just south of "Apple Land" I'm not entirely familiar with apps. I just know that you get them for your phone or pad and they do something. Apparently these apps I bought for my son are now going to teach him something.

And while all this makes sense on one level (textbooks are so heavy many kids start visits to the chiropractor at an early age) I don't know, it's just a sad day for books. Sooner or later books made our of paper are going to be some rare kind of beast, like the 8 track player. I'm keeping some of mine, no matter what.

But in case you think everyone is going quietly into the night, under books for my son's Trig class was a note: SEE TEACHER FIRST

So, there might be one paper book among the bunch. And, there is always Art class.