Saturday, May 30, 2009

Romance In The Backseat

As I mentioned earlier in the week, I participated in a Round Robin short story at Romance In the Backseat. Kristan Higgins did the first segment. If you want to read the whole story (and I recommend reading the whole story) then click here.

If you only want to see my segment, it is here.

Enjoy and happy reading!


Friday, May 29, 2009

In Over Her Head by Judi Fennell

My fellow GCCer Judi Fennell's latest book In Over Her Head hits stores on June 1. Judi was kind enough to stop by my blog and answer some questions about her life as an author and her new book.

Tell us about your latest book.

When Erica Peck, one terrified-of-the-ocean marina owner, finds herself at the bottom of the sea conversing with a Mer man named Reel, she thinks she's died and gone to her own version of Hell. When the Oceanic Council demands she and Reel retrieve a lost cache of diamonds from the resident sea monster in return for their lives, she knows she's died and gone to Hell.
When they escape the monster and end up on a deserted island, she amends her opinion - she's died and gone to Heaven. But when Reel sacrifices himself to allow her to return to her world, she realizes that, Heaven or Hell, with Reel, she's In Over Her Head.

What pulled you into this story, and as a writer made you think ‘I have to write this’?

I was looking for a new fairy tale to twist (after Beauty and The Best, Cinda Bella, Fairest of Them All) and I got the idea to do The Little Mermaid but make HIM the Mer. Once I started, the story and characters took over. When I got to Chum I was laughing so hard I knew I had to finish it, even if people looked at me funny when I told them about my "little talking fish" story.

Tell us about your writing process. Do you outline or are you more organic?

Total pantzer. I've had to come up with synopses for the partials, but the stories have definitely changed. Heck, they change as I write them. I think we're going down Road A, then wham! A character says something or does something and we're off on Tangent B. It's fun while it reveals itself, but it can also be a bit scary as you're trying to meet deadlines: will this all work out or am I writing myself into a hole. I've found that if I let the characters be themselves, it does work out in the end.

What is a typical writing day like for you?

There's no typical day for me. I'm a wife, mother, president of my local chapter, employee, friend, volunteer, etc. It's a juggling act to keep all the balls in the air and sometimes they might get dropped, but I try to pick them up as fast as I can and get them dancing. My husband is incredibly supportive and the man can do laundry, cook a great meal, yardwork and clean like nobody's business. He's my Prince Charming.

If you could only own and read 5 books for the rest of your life, (excluding your own) what five books would you choose?

I can't pick. I just can't. That's like making me pick between my children. Can't do it. I love to read and would always wonder what I'm missing. Torture.

For you, what is the most difficult part of being an author?

Sitting. Seriously, it's painful. I've joined the gym to get some exercise and my husband bought me a top of the line massage chair for Christmas. Of course, here it is, June and the thing hasn't arrived. We ended up canceling the order and are looking for a new supplier. I want that sucker!

What do you love about being an author?

I love being able to tell my stories. I love having people telling me they were entertained by my screwy sense of humor. I love hanging out with other authors because they "get" the people talking in your head.

What’s next for you?

Books 2 and 3 are scheduled to release in November 2009 (Wild Blue Under) and February 2010 (Catch of a Lifetime) and I'm working on the proposals for more stories under the sea.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Round Robin Short Story at Romance In The Backseat

Wow. The universe is an amazing place. So remember how I mentioned that I adore Kristin Higgins? She is one of the authors that helped me make a return to my original love (the pun isn't intentional) romance fiction. Just the other day I got an email from Terry Kate the creator of the website Romance In The Backseat. Seems RITBS has an ahem 'short story' (which is rapidly turning into a book) going. Terry invites authors to write 750 to 1000 words as part of the story. Terry asked me to do a segment and guess who has written two parts of this short-story-turning-into-a-book project....hmmm? Kristin Higgins. Uh-huh. So now I can say I've written a story with Kristin Higgins. That's right, little old moi. Just knocking around some ideas with my best-selling author friends. Oh..and their are others...other authors that are just as magnificent; Megan Crane, Cat Johnson, Allie Boniface, Toni Andrews. My portion posts on Saturday be sure to check it out here.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Blessings Come in Strange Packages

Friday I got what most, including me at the time, would consider bad news. But over the weekend I dissected this bad news and realized that the news is truly a blessing in disguise.

As many of you know, before becoming a writer I was a motion picture agent and before that an attorney. I am licensed to practice in Illinois and in Colorado. In January of this year I decided to study for and take the California Bar Exam. You need a 1440 to pass and the pass rate in California is atrocious. In fact this February it was 30%...that's right, 30% of the people taking the exam passed.

And, I was not one of them. I received 1436.

I passed the written portion but stumbled on the MBE. At first I was sad, upset, and frustrated. I studied so very hard for the exam. I knew that I hadn't practiced law in 8 years and put forth a very dedicated and strenuous effort to pass. So when the results posted on Friday, I was upset that I could work so hard for something and not get what I wanted.

But then it clicked.

I did get what I wanted. I've been asking for guidance, for a sign. Something that let me know that I was going the right direction with my life. I even asked for good news on Friday. And I got it.

Here was my sign, that my life is on the right track. I came to California to work in entertainment and be a writer. And I am a writer. I make my living as a writer no matter how posh or how meager. I have a new book. I have a dozen meetings lined up with film executives. I have a great screenplay that is close to having some amazing attachments and I am getting ready for television pitch season. How many more signs could God possibly give me that I am meant to be a writer? Well, I guess one more...and it came on Friday. Sometimes you really have to be smacked on the head to see what's right in front of you.

So, if I ever truly want to practice law again I can move back to Colorado or Illinois. But I have my sign now, that while I live in California I am meant to write.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

This gets a hard R rating.... But is toooo funny to pass up.
Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Wow, Nike does it again... Loved this.