Wednesday, February 29, 2012

DOUBLE FEATURE VISITING DIGNITARIES

Okay guys, life occasionally (oh, who am I kidding, FREQUENTLY) gets away from me.  I've been working really hard on scheduling the Visiting Dignitaries.  Lots of e-mails, lots of talks with old friends and new ones.  Pull out the calendar and write down the dates.  Fun, not to hard.

And then (cue danger music)

The dog (who spends most of her time in the office) decided to chase the cat across the desk and corner him.  They were just playing.  The animals are fine.  My calendar -- not so much.  February and March don't exist.  I have a ten month calendar--starting in April. 

Which is how I ended up with two people scheduled for today, Leap Day.  So I'm calling it a Leap Day Bonus.  You are going along with me on this.  Right?  I said RIGHT?

So, for our first guest I am proud and pleased to introduce the lovely, talented (and possibly shizoid--just kidding folks, but she does have work with a number of pen names).  JADE LEE.  (Cue the applause).

Our second lovely guest is a friend from the convention circuit and a wonderful author of short fiction.  She is also the voice of a redhead, from the apocalypse.  Give a HUGE WARM WELCOME folks to RHONDA EUDALY!



Riff This... By Jade Lee


Ever get up and try to be funny? Really clever, cute, and funny? Lots of people do because they’re naturally delightful. My brother-in-law for one. He’s hysterical which is good because he’s in advertising. For me to be clever and funny/delightful, I need (a) coffee and (b) someone to play off of. Another person who can sparkle back at me. And I need rhythm. Dialogue rhythm, setting rhythm, alcohol rhythm.

Which is why–in my split personality–I am funny as Kathy Lyons for my Harlequin Blazes. They’re short, sweet, contemporary, and I can set up a situation and just riff. Those are my funny books, written mostly in the afternoon, and with a large sense of the ridiculous. My historicals as Jade Lee are dark, sensuous character stories of people struggling in a difficult time. Jade is SEXY (and yes, I managed to find a way to be sexy first thing in the morning. Well...after my latte). But when my editor asked me to bring my Kathy Lyons humor to the regency for the new series, I thought she was...well, joking. Jade Lee was serious. She wasn’t...oh right. She’s not really a person. She’s ME and I can be funny. Or so I promised my editor.
It took me a LONG time to get the right note. A long, struggling time of bad jokes, worse puns, and really nothing at all delightful except for when I hit the delete key. Apparently, I sucked at HISTORICAL funny. And then I remembered something really key. I remembered all those regency romances from when I was a kid. The ones that were sweet and funny and could still manage sexy. It’s what brought me to the time period in the first place. So I embarked on a remember-why-you-love-the-regency campaign. I found it. In lots of places. And, I have to admit, in writing a lot of bad words until I found the right ones.
I’m happy to say that I think I succeeded. Publishers Weekly said I had charming verbal fencing, clever retorts, and an entertaining read. WOO HOO! But that’s not what really counts. What counts is what YOU think is funny. So click on this link [http://jadeleeauthor.com/books/bridal-favors-series/wedded-in-scandal/wedded-in-scandal-excerpt] and you’ll get one of my most favorite scenes in the book. Someone who comments on this excerpt will get a free copy of Wedded in Scandal! And for those of you who feel left out, click on this link [http://jadeleeauthor.com/engaged-in-wickedness-free ] and you’ll get a free e-copy of the prequel novella Engaged in Wickedness.

So....you tell me. Did I succeed in being funny? Or do I need to get some more alcohol and try again? PS. You can also tell me what books you run to get your love of the regency back!


AND NOW  --- RHONDA!



I want to thank you for having my as a Visiting Dignitary. Though, seeing some of the other dignitaries here, I have to admit I don't feel very "Dignified". I will do my best to entertain you - or at least sound coherent.

For those who don't know me, I'm Rhonda Eudaly. I've done a lot of short fiction work both in print and online. I'm moving into longer work. I'm best known for my collaborative work, The Four Redheads of the Apocalypse with Yard Dog Press. I write the character, Zoe - who is Death. What most people don't realize is that I do write more than humor fantasy. I have a wide range of stories, including one really dark Science Fiction piece which was part of a Bram Stoker nominated anthology in 2006 put out by Apex Book Company.

Now that you know a little bit about WHO I am, let's talk about more about what and how I do what I do. All writers get the "how do you get your ideas" questions. But I've also been asked "HOW do you become a writer?" almost as much. The really simplistic answer is: apply behind to chair, write a story, finish the story, and submit the story -- even though there is so much more to it these days. A writer isn't a JUST a writer any more.

I've spoken and written about the "American Idol Effect" (or if you're "of a certain age", the "MTV Effect") for writers where NOW it's not enough to write a brilliant story writers are now required to market, promote, have an active online presence and even (sometimes literally) sing and dance - and that's if you're traditionally published. If you choose self-publishing you have all that PLUS editing, proofreading, and actually PUBLISHING added on.

It can be a tedious and daunting task to figure out the time management aspects of what constitutes a writing career. But we have an outlet. We have CONVENTIONS. This is a marketing/promoting outlet that lets writers get out among their fellow writers, editors, and readers. Even as we sit on panels talking about various aspects of writing, we are recharged creatively by being among people who think we are the universe's MOST SPECIAL OF SNOWFLAKES. And that can be exhilarating (and a bit embarrassing if YOU are trying to be a fan and have a book signed, and you're pulled out of said line to sign one of YOUR books for someone else - but embarrassing in a cool way).

However, Special Snowflake Syndrome (as fun as it is) has a shelf life of 3-5 days (depending on the length of the convention). It's like Cinderella's dress and coach - it expires when you pull back into the driveway of your home. We all want to still be that Special Snowflake even after the convention - but it's hard to hold on to that when sorting laundry and putting unsold books back on a shelf.

And that's the reality of writing. Depending on how many conventions or If you're on major signing tours - a writer like me spends at the most 10% of the year in the Special Snowflake Zone. The other 90% of the time is dealing with the "chore" part of this industry - writing, typing, market research, editing, and market research. We are feeding families, housecleaning, and paying bills -- just like everyone else and it's a hard thing (sometimes) to readjust to - because we all want to hold on to the Special Snowflake feeling.

So if you think you're not getting anywhere in your writing, keep at it. Keep plugging along in that 90% or so range, because for what it's worth? Those times when you're in the Special Snowflake Zone? It really does help motivate you (well, me) to keep moving forward. To keep producing new material to keep the buzz going with the loyal fans and to bring in new ones. It makes it all worth it.

14 comments:

jackie b central texas said...

I do believe that Wedded in Scandal is going to be a rollicking good time, you have managed to mix the humorous with the sexy quite well and judging from the way you had a table full of folks laughing back in November at Readers and Ritas your venture into the "lighter side" of Jade Lee will work just fine!

Rhonda Eudaly is an author new to me, it is nice to find out more about her and maybe if I am lucky will get a chance to meet her at one of the "Special Snowflake" events if she ever comes to the Dallas area conventions that I manage to attend.

Thankful your calendar came up with twice the fun today, maybe the dog and cat actually did you a favor Cie!

jacabur2008(@)gmail(.)com

Tammy S said...

I agree with jackie b - the cat and dog actually did you a favor today Cie (but don't tell them).

I've read Jade Lee before and really liked them. As for Rhonda, she's new to me as well, and I'm writting her name down to see what I can find next time I hit the bookstore.

Jade Lee said...

Well, hello Jackie and Tammy (and of course Cie!) Thanks for the lovely comments and I hope you remember to pick up a free copy of Engaged in Wickedness. (It's the prequel to Wedded in Scandal). The link is in the blog. And thanks again!

C. T. Adams said...

Hi guys! Jade -- thanks so much for coming by and being a guest. I really appreciate it!

Jackie, Tammy, thanks for commenting. It's always important to hear from the readers.

I am NOT telling the dog and cat they did me a favor. Chaos WOULD ensue. LOL.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Jade. I met you in New Orleans when you come to SOLA as guest speaker, and after the meeting at lunch. I still remember your advice (admonisment?) when I said I wish I could write as well as you. You said, never to compare myself to anyone because I was me not them. That my voice was distinct, mu style my own. Thank you for that advice. And, you did a great job with Wedded in Scandral. It gave me a chuckle I greatly needed this morning.

Rhonda, I'm pleased to meet you. Special Snowflake is a wonderful thought. I hope to meet you face to face one day and to read your work soon.
Charlotte Parker

Jade Lee said...

Thanks Charlotte! And well...did you start writing your own brilliant stuff?

pillowtext said...

Whoops, sorry. Commented on the wrong post before.

Humor fantasy? Definitely something I should start on; I never even knew this genre existed but here we have two authors who write under that category. Will hit the library on my spring break.

Thanks for the two visiting dignitaries!

xdcfxs (at) yahoo (dot) com

*yadkny* said...

Hi Jade!!

I love that you have a split personality thing going on as an author:) There are times I want that short, sweet, contemporary with humor and other times I crave that "...dark, sensuous character stories of people struggling in a difficult time." I'll definitely be checking out your stories:) I loved all of the back and forth character dialogue in your Wedded in Scandal excerpt.... I think you can consider it a success:) Thanks for the prequel novella Engaged in Wickedness! I usually go to Lorraine Heath for my regency fix, but I am definitely adding these to my wishlist!

Hi Rhonda!!!

It is nice to "meet" you! I look forward to checking out your work and you definitely offer some very sound advice on the writing front. Have you always known you were going to be a writer?

yadkny@hotmail.com

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