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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Lookie! I'm SO EXCITED!


I just received this today. Is it GREAT news, or what?!

[COMMENTS IN BRACKETS AND ALL CAPS ARE MINE]

I am FAMOUS ARTIST (Name removed to protect the innocent) [HEH, YEAH. AND MY NAME IS NORA ROBERTS], I am an artist [ISN’T THAT NICE? MY MOTHER IS AN ARTIST. I LIKE TO THINK I’M A BIT OF AN ARTIST MYSELF. WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE MY WORK? MAYBE WE CAN WORK SOMETHING OUT, YOU KNOW, INSTEAD OF SCAMMING PEOPLE, YOU CAN SELL A REAL ARTIST’S WORK AND MAKE MONEY...NO, I SUPPOSE THAT WOULD BE MORE DIFFICULT THAN SENDING OUT THOUSANDS OF EMAILS AND COLLECTING MONEY HAND OVER FIST FROM UNSUSPECTING SUCKERS.]. I live in United Kingdom, with the love of my life my husband, and also with my children [AW...ISN’T THAT SWEET? DID YOU KNOW THAT ALL THE FOLKS YOU’RE SCAMMING PROBABLY LIVE WITH THE LOVES OF THEIR LIVES TOO? AND CHILDREN? WOW, WE HAVE SO MUCH IN COMMON. I FEEL LIKE WE’RE FRIENDS ALREADY. NOT.] . It is definitely a full house [I CAN RELATE]. I have been doing artwork since I was a small child [SEE? ISN’T THAT WEIRD. ME TOOOOOO! YOU’RE FIBBING RIGHT? I'M GETTING THE WARM FUZZIES. HAPPY SIGH]. That gives me about 26 years of experience [WOW, IMPRESSIVE. NOT.]. I majored in art in high school and took a few college art courses. Most of my work is done in either pencil or airbrush mixed with color pencils. I have recently added designing and creating artwork on the computer. I have been selling my art for the past 5 to 6 years and have had my work featured on trading cards, prints and in magazines. I have sold in galleries and to private collectors from all around the world before I met my husband.[BLAH, BLAH, BLAH...I’M GETTING BORED HERE. PLEASE GET TO THE GOOD PART OF THE SCAM. I KNOW YOU’RE IMPOSSIBLY RICH AND SUCCESSFUL. AND THERE WILL BE GOBS AND GOBS OF CASH COMING MY WAY...YAWN...] I was very lucky to have a husband within the same field (artist).[SNIFFLE, SNIFFLE. I’M ALL CHOKED UP. HOW ROOOOMANTICCCCC] And both of us have combined in the arts work with versed ideas, which has made our work prosperous and I feel fulfiled. [I WANNA BE FULFILED. WHAT’S IT FEEL LIKE? I DO KNOW WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE FULFILLED, BUT NOT FULFILED. DOES IT HURT, THOUGH? CAUSE I’M NOT INTO PAIN. OKAY, A LITTLE PAIN CAN BE FUN...OH, TMI?] We are always facing serious difficulties when it comes to selling our art works to Americans, most of them are always offering to pay with a US POSTAL MONEY ORDER, which is difficult for us to cash here in United Kingdom. [REALLLLY? HOW TERRIBLE FOR YOU.]

[AND NOW WE GET TO THE SCAM...]
We are looking for a representative in the states who will be working for us as a part time worker, someone who would be helping us receive payments from my customers in the States. [HMMMM...LET ME THINK ABOUT IT. NO.] I mean someone that is responsible and reliable [YOU’RE SO KIND. LAVISHING ALL THESE LOVELY COMPLIMENTS ON ME. HOW’D YOU KNOW I’M RESPONSIBLE AND RELIABLE? SOMEONE TOLD YOU, RIGHT? WAS IT MY GREAT AUNT MATILDA? THE SWEET LADY IS ALWAYS LOOKING OUT FOR ME. BUT THE ANSWER IS STILL NO.] and we are willing to pay 10% for every transaction, this would not affect your present state of work. [OOOH 10% COULD ADD UP TO OODLES. I’M SO IN. NOT.] The cost of coming to the States and getting payments has been very expensive, although we working on setting up a branch in the States. So we need a representative in the United States who will be handling the payment aspect for now as I said earlier. These payments would come to you in your name via FedEx or Usps from my business partners, so all you need do is cash the Money Order in your bank, deduct your percentage and wire the rest to me here via Western Union Money Transfer or Money gram Money Transfer. [WOW, THAT SOUNDS TERRIFIC! I GET THE CHECKS. I DEPOSIT THE MONEY AND ONLY THEN DO I WIRE TRANSFER THE REST...HOW COULD IT BE A SCAM?] All transfer fees should be deducted from the money before sending it to me. [YEAH, YEAH, I GOT IT.] But the problem we have is trust, although we have our way of getting anyone that gets away with our money, I mean the FBI branch in Washington gets involved. [OH YES, IT’S SO IMPORTANT TO HAVE TRUST. AND SOMEONE WHO’S WILLING TO KEEP THEIR MOUTH SHUT AND NOT PASTE THIS BULLSHIT ALL OVER THE INTERNET SO THAT THEIR SCAM IS RUINED AND THEY HAVE TO SPEND TEN MINUTES COOKING UP SOMETHING ELSE.]If you are interested, please provide this information bellow as this asures [WHAT’S ASURE? MEAN? IS IT ONE OF THOSE STRANGE BRITISH SLANG WORDS? YOU KNOW, LIKE “TAKE THE PISS”? I STILL HAVE A HARD TIME WRAPPING MY BRAIN AROUND THAT ONE. HOW CAN “TAKE” MEAN DOLE OUT? SIGH. THOSE BRITISH PEOPLE...]our partnership and also reply via this email: bethyarts@yahoo.co.uk [SORRY, NOT YOUR GIRL. I NEED MY MONEY. YOU KNOW, TO FEED ALL THOSE KIDS.]

[GETTING SERIOUS HERE FOR A MINUTE: FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO DON’T KNOW HOW THIS SCAM WORKS, I’LL EXPLAIN IT. THERE ARE MANY FORMS THIS CAN TAKE, INCLUDING A SCAM TO SHIP PURCHASED PETS FROM STATE TO STATE. IN SIMPLE TERMS, THE CHECKS SENT TO YOU FROM THE SO-CALLED “CUSTOMERS” ARE BOGUS, BUT THEY TAKE A WEEK OR TWO TO BOUNCE. BY THE TIME THEY DO, YOU’VE ALREADY WIRED GOBS OF MONEY TO THE SCAMMER AND YOU’RE COOKED. DON’T FALL FOR THIS IN ANY FORM! IT SEEMS LEGIT, SINCE YOU’RE RECEIVING THE CHECKS AHEAD OF TIME. THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE ARE FOOLED EVERY YEAR. SPREAD THE WORD! IT’S A BAD SCAM.]

posted by Tawny Taylor at 10:48 AM | 2 comments

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Blog Review! Literary Sass



Link: http://literarysass.blogspot.com/

I took a gander at this snarky review site and LOVED it! It's like Mrs. Giggles with a potty mouth, LOL.

The monikers the reviewers use (Book Whore, Bibliophile Bitch, Lit Wit) are delightfully fitting, and the rating system adds to the charm (1 Shot: A toast to a great book; to 5 Shots: Fucked up and blurry eyed...barely finished).

These ladies dish out the snark with pizzazz, and I fully expect to someday be on the receiving end of their worst :) However, since Ellora's does not allow us to send our books for review on our own and this site doesn't accept hard copy submissions, I'll have to get my kicks from reading their reviews of others' books for now. (disappointed sigh)

If you can take it, and you have a book published, I recommend you submit something to them for review. As they say, any publicity is good publicity :)

Note: I'm gathering from their "Suck it up, Sissies" post they're having trouble getting material to review. I think it'll just take some time. I don't know how long they've been around, but I think the word will eventually spread and they'll be overwhelmed with requests.

My rating: I give them an 8

posted by Tawny Taylor at 7:51 AM | 2 comments

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Fashion for writers

I have found THE PLACE to get the perfect t-shirt. I'm serious here. But the t-shirts aren't...They're LOL funny!

Check it out...http://www.cafepress.com/TheWriteSnark

My Fave? I think it would have to be:

Which one's your fave?

posted by Tawny Taylor at 10:46 AM | 3 comments

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Need a Slogan for your site?


Try this: CLICK HERE

Type in a keyword and hit "sloganize".

What did you end up with?

I got "Where's the Tawny?"

Uh...Oy...Let me try that again.

Attempt Number 2 (keyword: Sassitude):

"You Like Sassitude. Sassitude Likes You."

{cringe} Do I dare try it again?

Attempt Number 3 (keyword: Erotica):

"Nobody Better Lay a Finger on my Erotica"

Bwahahahahahahaha!

Come on! Give it a shot! I doubt you'll get anything useful, but what the hell? It'll be fun.

posted by Tawny Taylor at 8:18 PM | 28 comments

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Like I needed a new addiction!


Thanks to Marianne Mancusi, author and marketing guru (yes, Marianne, it's all YOUR fault, grin!), I've discovered MySpace.

OMG, it's another world out there. It took me an entire day to create my page. And now I'm over there making "friends", checking out everyone's space, and discovering a ZILLION new books to buy.

Have a MySpace page and want to be "friends"? Here's my url: http://www.myspace.com/sexandthesingleghost

Stop by or send me an invite!

Tawny

posted by Tawny Taylor at 8:44 AM | 2 comments

Friday, June 23, 2006

Check out these books!


By my pal, Cassidy Kent...



SUNSET KEY
Publisher: PHAZE

Freesia Daniels, personnel specialist and consummate planner, wasn't prepared to get the boot from her company for possessing a heart. When she decides to return home from Boston to the sunny beaches of Key West to lick her wounds, she discovers her heartbroken past has finally caught up with her in the form of Zachary Gray, her childhood sweetheart.

He lures her to his island getaway and lands them smack in the middle of a raging hurricane. Lightning doesn't often strike twice, but this storm might give them both a second chance at love.



SANTA'S HELPER
Publisher: AMBER QUILL PRESS

When Manhattanite CEO Noel Ford decides to adopt a letter addressed to Santa Claus, he never expects to end up escorting sexy single mother Maura Kelly around the city on Christmas Eve. Because of her son Kyle’s selfless wish for her to find love again after her husband’s death, Maura agrees to spend the day with the handsome stranger, against her better judgment.

The spark between Noel and Maura is immediate, but the distance between Park Avenue and the New Jersey suburbs is immense. Are their two worlds too dissimilar to merge or will they be able to bridge the distance with love?

posted by Tawny Taylor at 6:13 PM | 0 comments

Thursday, June 22, 2006

TGIF and For Kicks...

Let's write some back cover copy!

Aw...come on! It'll be fun. Promise! And it's a great way to stir those creative juices.

I'll give you a title and cover, and you write the copy. Post it in the comments. Keep it under 200 words and make it compelling. Take your cues regarding genre from the cover and title. It's pretty wide open. You'll see what I mean :)

Enjoy! And can't wait to read your posts!












Ready?








I so love doing this to you folks...




















posted by Tawny Taylor at 7:15 PM | 2 comments

Blog Review Snarkling Clean

Bwahahahahhahaha! OMG, if you haven't been over to Snarkling Clean, head over there now! But make sure your mouth is empty or your keyboard and monitor are protected. OMG, hilarious.

A link: http://snarklingclean.blogspot.com/

So, what's the story? Well, they look like they snark about a great variety of stuff, from hideous swimwear to book titles. How I adore a good snark! Looks like I'll find plenty here. I'll definitely be back for future doses.

My rating: 8 Would've been higher, but they're not really giving visitors a "service" like Crabby Cows or Evil Editor. It's just snarking for amusement, which is not necessarily a bad thing :)

Enjoy!

posted by Tawny Taylor at 10:54 AM | 4 comments

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Yes, this is for real...

The listing below is copied from an eBay auction. An agency called the Westwood Literary Agency has decided to auction off their services to the highest bidder. OMG, tell me it isn't true!

Below is the actual auction listing...with a few additions. "Translations" in purple, all caps and in brackets [] are mine. Enjoy!

Don't believe it's for real? Check it out for yourself! CLICK HERE Or read about it on Writer Beware.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Bid for a literary agent for your manuscript

[HEADING IN RED. HOW APPROPRIATE.]

As a UK literary agency, we are offering you a one-time chance to get your manuscript noticed [ISN’T THAT KIND OF US? YOU’D BETTER HURRY, OR YOU’LL LOSE THIS AMAZING OPPORTUNITY!]

NO READING FEE OR ANY OTHER COSTS FOR YOU INVOLVED [UH...OUTSIDE OF WHATEVER ATTROCIOUS AMOUNT YOU HAD TO BID TO WIN. BUT THAT DOESN'T TECHNICALLY QUALIFY AS A "READING FEE" RIGHT?]


We are offering this chance because

a.) we are taking in new authors, [TRANSLATION: OUR AD IN THE BACK OF WRITER’S JOURNALS AREN’T DELIVERING ENOUGH SUCKERS ANYMORE SO WE’RE HUNTING FOR GAME IN A NEW JUNGLE...]

b.) we are dissatisfied with the quality of the current manuscript submissions and [YES, AND SURELY, IF YOU ARE THE WINNING BIDDER, YOUR MANUSCRIPT MUST BE OF TOP QUALITY BECAUSE YOU’RE RICH...RIGHT?]

c.) we have decided to try this as a new marketing technique to attract new talent [TRANSLATION: SEE ABOVE. THE RESULTS FROM OUR TRADITIONAL ADVERTISING EFFORTS ARE PETERING OUT, THANKS TO ALL THOSE FRIGGIN’ "WRITERS BEWARE" SITES...SO WE’RE FORCED TO TRY SOMETHING NEW.]


FOR INFORMATION ON OUR AGENCY, PLEASE VISIT US ON
www.westwood-agency.uk.tt
[SEE? WE HAVE A WEBSITE. THAT MAKES US LEGIT. EVERYONE KNOWS THAT]

Please note: this is not a scam. [AND IF YOU BELIEVE THAT, WE HAVE SOME PRIME REAL ESTATE TO SELL YOU...]Upon winning, you will receive a revision contract [NOTE: REVISION CONTRACT. NOT CONTRACT FOR REPRESENTATION. OUR ATTORNEY TOLD US TO WORD IT THAT WAY TO AVOID LAWSUITS], free manuscript revision and will work together with us towards improving your manuscript to make it more appealing to potential publishers [TO THE BEST OF OUR ABILITEE...ER, ABILETE...ER ABILITY], after which you will be taken into the client database for a whole year [YES, YOUR MANUSCRIPT WILL BE PROVIDED WITH ITS OWN SLOT ON OUR ENORMOUS DATABASE SO THAT IF--ER, WHEN--EDITORS COME KNOCKING ON OUR VIRTUAL DOOR, THEY CAN FIND YOUR MANUSCRIPT...YEAH, RIGHTTTTT] and your manuscript will be made available to publishers in the UK and the US. [SURE. IT’S AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE, BUT IT’S NOT LIKE WE’RE GOING TO ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING TO LET ANY PUBLISHERS KNOW ABOUT IT...LIKE PICK UP THE PHONE AND CALL THEM. WHAT DO YOU THINK WE ARE? A LITERARY AGENCY? OH, YEAH. HEH HEH. BUT WE’RE STILL NOT GOING TO CALL THEM. OR EVEN STUFF COPIES IN ENVELOPES LABELED WITH THE WRONG EDITORS’ NAMES AND MAIL THEM TO EVERY INAPPROPRIATE HOUSE IN THE US AND UK. THAT COSTS TOO MUCH MONEY. WHICH MEANS WE WOULDN’T BE ABLE TO GET THE NEW ASTON MARTIN WE’VE BEEN LUSTING OVER.]


If this is what you've always dreamed of, this is your chance to become a published writer. [AND AS IS THE TRADITION OF ALL GOOD SCAMMERS, WE REALLY ENJOY TAKING ADVANTAGE OF PEOPLES’ DREAMS]


Terms and Conditions:
Bids will only be accepted from authors who have a finished or nearly finished manuscript written in English. [BECAUSE THE INTERN WE HAD WHO SPOKE SPANISH WENT TO WORK FOR A REAL LITERARY AGENCY]Poor grammar or spelling mistakes will not be corrected [BECAUSE THAT WOULD REQUIRE US TO ACTUALLY KNOW WHAT WE’RE DOING] and we reserve the right to terminate our agreement at any time upon which a full refund will be provided. [IF YOU CAN CHASE US DOWN...WE GET A NEW PO BOX EVERY MONTH.]

The highest bidder may cancel this agreement within 7 days of winning and a full refund will be provided within 2 business days. [AGAIN, IF YOU SEND US A LETTER VIA CERTIFIED MAIL ON THE FIFTH SUNDAY OF FEBRUARY, DURING A FULL MOON. AND ONLY THEN IF WE FEEL LIKE IT.]

As a fiction and non-fiction agency, we accept most genres. [BECAUSE IF WE LIMITED THEM, THEN WE WOULDN’T FIND ENOUGH SUCKERS--ER, CLIENTS] Please feel free to contact us in advance with any queries. [AND CHECKS MADE OUT TO CASH AND PAID IN US FUNDS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME]

Payment: [THE GOOD PART]

Payment must be made within 5 days of winning the auction. [SO THAT WE CAN START ANOTHER AUCTION AND TAKE SOME OTHER AUTHOR WANNA-BE FOR A RIDE] You will hear from us within 1 business day [BECAUSE WE CAN’T WAIT TO GET OUR HANDS ON YOUR MONEY--ER, MANUSCRIPT] to give you instructions with regards to how to send your manuscript [WHAT THE HECK DO WE NEED THAT FOR? OH, YEAH.]. Should you wish to prepare it in advance, please make it double-spaced and prepare a detailed synopsis. [WE DON’T BOTHER WITH MORE SPECIFIC DIRECTIONS BECAUSE WE DON’T INTEND TO READ IT ANYWAY.]


Please email us with questions.
We look forward to hearing from you soon. [BID HIGH AND BID OFTEN!]

posted by Tawny Taylor at 9:18 PM | 4 comments

Monday, June 19, 2006

Happy Dance!

It took me a several months, but I've found a fantastic agent.

This was a VERY trying experience. I didn't want to make a hasty decision, but being an impatient person by nature (I want everything to happen NOW! LOL), it was HARD to wait and let every agent have time to review my submission. Now that I look back, I know it was worth it, as painful as it was (agonyyyyyyy). I am confident I have chosen an agent who has my best interest at heart, who will take the time to build my career, and has no qualms about delivering frank but well-meaning advice. She's fabulous. Has great energy. I'm confident our partnership will take us somewhere great!

I get lots of emails asking for advice on selecting an agent. I tell everyone it's very difficult finding the right agent. It's like finding the right spouse. There needs to be chemistry. There needs to be trust. I recommend folks take their time and make a good choice, not just jump at the first offer that lands in their laps. Know there are benefits and drawbacks to ANY agent you choose, regardless of their name, experience or status in the industry. Sign with a newbie agent, and you'll face certain challenges. Sign with an established power-player and you'll face an entirely different set of challenges.

Do you need an agent?

That depends upon your goals and where you are in your career. If you have a few epub books under your belt and are looking toward NY for your next submission, then I'd say you're ready. If you're getting "Dear Author" rejections from epubs, then it's too soon. Hate to be harsh, but that's the way it is. Getting an agent is tough, even for NY published authors. Getting an agent as an unpubbed author, who is getting rejections from epubs...close to impossible (notice, I said "close"). If you haven't submitted to an epub and have no measure of your work's saleability, then join Romance Divas or some other group, enter a contest, get some honest feedback.

Next, how do you find agents to submit to?

I recommend authors start with RWA's list of "recognized" agents (assuming they aren’t able to get personal recommendations/referrals from friends). Note: I wouldn't blindly trust that every agent on that list is good. DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Find current clients (and past clients if you can locate them), contact them, and ask for their opinion. Do a Google of the agent's name. Look at Publisher's Lunch (Click Here) and see if they have sales.

Have they had any sales in the past six months? No? Warning flag. See their names on blogs, mentioning "past troubles" or vague references to problems? HUGE, blinking warning sign. Move on.

Next, after you're done your research, generate a short list of agents and arrange them according to first, second, third choice, etc. based on what you've learned. Submit multiple queries. There's no law against it. You'll be agent-hunting for years if you don't. As soon as you get back a rejection or two, send out a few more queries until you've exhausted your list.

If you get more than one request for a partial, mail them out simultaneously, letting the agents know they're multiple submissions. It's proper etiquette and your honesty will be appreciated. Also, be truthful about the status of the project. Don't say it's complete if you've only written half of it, assuming you'll have plenty of time to finish it! That little white lie may sprout huge shark teeth and chomp you to bits. It's happened to too many authors to count. It's Murphy's Law. Tell an agent the book is complete, and watch him/her call a week later and a request the full. You'll be rushing to fill up those remaining 200 pieces of blank paper, and the book will suck, and you'll get a rejection, and you'll blow your chance with the agent of your dreams.

When it comes time to make your final choice, it gets a little more difficult to give advice. Like I said above, every choice will have its good points and bad. Your job is to know what they are and to carefully weigh them. In the end, you’re the one who will have to work with this agent, to put your career and money in their hands. Don’t take this decision lightly. Yes, agents usually have a clause in their contracts, allowing you to sever the relationship at will, but that doesn’t make the process painless. Signing with the wrong agent can cost you months of frustration, OR WORSE. DO NOT SIGN with an agent if you are not 100% sure. I guarantee you’ll regret it.

Questions? Comments? Post them in the Comments and I'll respond.

posted by Tawny Taylor at 9:31 AM | 6 comments

Friday, June 16, 2006

Missing Child!

I'M POSTING THIS AS A FAVOR TO A FELLOW ROMANCE AUTHOR, MARJORIE JONES. IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION REGARDING THE MISSING GIRL BELOW, PLEASE CONTACT THE AUTHORITIES IMMEDIATELY!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is NO hoax... this is MY daughter. I am on my way to the sheriff's office so they can disect my computer and maybe crack her yahoo codes and see who she's been chatting with and such.

MY DAUGHTER IS MISSING

CLICK HERE TO READ DETAILS

PLEASE FORWARD TO THIS TO ANYONE YOU CAN! OTHER LISTS, FRIENDS, FAMILY. SHE'S BEEN GONE FOR MORE THAN 12 HOURS AND SHE COULD BE IN DANGER! PLEASE PASS THIS ON!



Marjorie

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NOTE: IT'S BEEN MORE THAN TWENTY-FOUR HOURS NOW. THE LINK ABOVE HAS THE MOST CURRENT INFORMATION. I CAN ONLY IMAGINE HOW WORRIED MARJORIE IS AND I HOPE AND PRAY HER DAUGHTER RETURNS HOME SOON.

TAWNY

posted by Tawny Taylor at 11:00 AM | 2 comments

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Everyone's Blogging These Days

Just about every day I learn about a new publishing pro throwing up (ewww!) a blog (not throwing up, LOL) and inviting folks over for some fun. Who was the first, I wonder? Was it Miss Snark? I digress...

There are those who prefer to be anonymous: Crabby Cows, Evil Editor and the infamous Miss Snark. And then there are those who don't: Kristen Nelson, Deidre Knight (aka Knight Agency) and Jessica Faust. You take a blog-about and you're sure to find more. I just can't think of their names right now. But they're all dishing out their brand of advice. The anonymous ones tend toward the bust-a-gut hilarious while the non-anon are more seeeeerious. But they all present opportunities to learn.

What's happening where? I'll give you a rundown. Heck, I'll even do a mini-review :)

1. Evil Editor
Evil Editor is what I believe he claims to be--an editor. Whether he edits for a small inde publisher or a larger house is up for debate. But his answers to certain questions posed make me believe he is (or was) with a big house. Today he's answering some (if you ask me) really obvious questions ("What's a query?") but, regardless, there's fun to be had and if nothing else, you want to head over there to read the one about the poor guy in Poland who seems to be living in a grey box or something and can't buy stamps. Overall, Evil's blog rocks. He is extremely responsive (wonder if his boss knows what he's doing all day? Hee!), provides a much needed service by critting query letters, and makes you laugh until the tears are flowing. I give his blog an 8. Yay, Evil!

2. Crabby Cows
The Crabbies are three editors, two from the US and an editor for a magazine in Great Britain somewhere. Definite spew alert there. They are a RIOT! You never know what's coming next. Today, they critiqued a SPAM message and I about died. They've run several extremely helpful writing games--a first scene, Flash 500 and Micro 100. Their crits are sometimes very snarky and other times quite kind. But they always deliver helpful advice and feedback. They've recently slowed down the pace a bit, and we don't see much from Crabby #2 and Grouchy Goat, but this blog still rates a 9. I LOVE this blog.

3. Miss Snark
IMO, The Snark is an icon. In my internet travels, I haven't met too many writerly folks who haven't heard of her. She dishes out wisdom with a healthy dose of snark every day. Today, she's fielding a question about handshake deals with agents. I highly recommend this blog. It's entertaining and informative..................Whoops, sorry. Was distracted by something on her blog. 9

4. Kristen Nelson
I have to laugh at her subtitle: "A VERY NICE LITERARY AGENT INDULGES IN POLITE RANTS ABOUT QUERIES, WRITERS, AND THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY" Yeah, I suppose she has to be polite, since she's not anonymous. LOL I'm quite certain she does want a career.

For those who don't know, Kristen Nelson is indeed a literary agent. I've queried her several times. She keeps turning me down :) Today (or rather yesterday), she blogged about Name Dropping, specifically, citing someone who is not a current client in a query...as if that might help you. It amazes me what some of these agents/editors have to deal with. Can you say "Common sense?" Duh. So, her blog is tame in comparison, but it's still helpful and interesting. It also seems to be updated frequently. Being partial to snark,however, I give this one a 7.

5. The Knight Agency
To be honest, this one has a more "promo" feel about it than the others. The posts are short and are usually announcing an upcoming chat or client event. I rarely visit. It's not updated daily. It's a little "yawn", although Tuesday she posted about a chat with St. Martin's editor Rose Hillard (Friday, June 16). The chat itself should be informative. For details on the chat, click the link. My rating: 5

6. BookEnds (aka Jessica Faust)
This one is brand-spanking new. Jessica is co-owner (I think?) of BookEnds Literary Agency. I've submitted to her too. She turned me down :) Today, she's posted a list of red flags that indicate an agency that might be on the shady side. It's useful info for newbies. Yesterday, they had an interview with a client. It's too soon to tell if the blog will end up being more of a promo tool or a writer's resource blog. As it stands now, I'd give it a 6.

7. Jet Reid Agency
This one I discovered through Evil Editor. I haven't heard a lot about this particular agency, so I won't make a stupid ass of myself and question its reputation. They must be good. They're in NY. Anyway, they don't appear to post everyday (bummer) but the rejection letter from a rejected author is fun (see the "Does David Letterman..." post). I've wanted to write one of those but would NEVER have found the guts to mail it. A woot, woot to that author, LOL. He has some gonads :) My rank: 6

You see a theme here? I do believe that an agent/editor can be more helpful (and of course more honest) when they go "undercover" and hide their identity. I also think they're looking to the blog as a different sort of tool. Rather than using it for promo, they're using it to deliver information. And that I can appreciate!

Okay, so there you go. The dirt on a few of the more well-known publishing blogs out there. Happy Reading! And if you know of any publisher/editor/agent blogs, please put them in the comments! I'd love to check them out, maybe do this review thing again. It was kinda fun :)

Oh, and for bloggers, here's a great link on how to build traffic: Click Here

posted by Tawny Taylor at 8:56 AM | 6 comments

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Looks Can be Deceiving

Because I look like your typical suburban housewife, I take great pleasure in telling people what I write...and then watching their reactions. I've been fortunate. I have yet to have someone get really nasty or judgmental. Most people are a little surprised, but pleasantly so. And I've had a few suggest I write *their* story and then proceed to show me why...

I must say, kink runs amok in suburbia :)

Writers, have you had any interesting reactions from people when you’ve told them what you write? Unpleasant? Share! I’d love to hear!


posted by Tawny Taylor at 9:25 AM | 7 comments

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Writer Babes and page proofs

This has been a crazy 24 hours! The kiddies were their absolute worst yesterday, I felt like I couldn't breathe, my chest was so tight, and (of course) there were gobs of things I needed to get done. The hubby took the kiddies to the doctor and they came home with the pink bubble gum stuff. I went to the doctor and came home with some heavy duty cough medicine and some antibiotics.

I still managed to put up the main page for the new "Writer Babes" site (aka Erotic Romance Authors). We're still working on the url. I also made a new blogger template to match. I feel such a sense of accomplishment.

I also received the page proofs for BEHIND CLOSED DOORS. This is a three -in-one anthology with Jodi Lynn Copeland. We're hoping it'll be available in print in August. I'll be proofing that over the next few days. Plus I'm working on the second book in my shapeshifter series. And pulling together a proposal for a new series aimed at NY publishers...and the hubby wonders WHY I'm at the computer all the time?!

I'm tired...

posted by Tawny Taylor at 9:31 AM | 4 comments

Monday, June 12, 2006

Ack! I have no voice

I'm sick. {sniff, sniff} and have no voice. Literally. I can't talk over a whisper. It's Sooooo frustrating. I guess this is my body's way of telling me I need to slow down. Heh. Like that's gonna happen.

But I am going to try to stay off the computer a bit. It'll be hard. I'm seriously addicted. But I'm going to make an effort. Today we have to take two of the kiddies to the doctor. They both were up crying all night. Being sick is rough. Nursing sick kids while your sick is misery.

I. Want. To. Sleep....

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

posted by Tawny Taylor at 12:20 PM | 1 comments

Friday, June 09, 2006

TGIF!

I'm sleep deprived, having been up all night taking care of sick kids. But at the same time, I'm giddy. Things are happening. Finally! I'm breathing a little easier again. It feels goooooooood.

While I was up with the baby, I did some thinking. Really deep thinking. About writing. About my strengths and weaknesses. What I want from my career. You know, I thought I knew the answer to that. But in reality, I didn't. I had a hazy picture of what I wanted to accomplish but no idea, really, how I'd get there.

Now that I've started exploring this stuff, I feel a new sense of direction. And I'm excited! There's a new project I may tackle, that I'm hoping will be IT, the one that might get me where I'm wanting to go. It's an exciting time!

And so, fellow authors, I challenge you to sit down and look at your writing. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What books have done the best for you and why do you think that is? Where do you see yourself in the marketplace? What do you want readers to think of when they read/hear/see your name? And then how are you going to get there?

Have a great weekend!

posted by Tawny Taylor at 9:06 AM | 5 comments

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Crabby Cows and "knowing" an editor

I recently took up a challenge. I made my first attempt at a 500-word flash fiction piece.

How and why did I do this? I am, after all, a novelist, not a flash fiction author. I don't do short fiction. I can't do short fiction. Well, that's what I though when I started.

You see, I tried this because of those Crabby Cows. Their blog is more addictive than Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Therapy. Even though I don't post often, I find myself going over there reading...and laughing hysterically...and then reading more. And then the cows posted a message about The Challenge. This game would supposedly tell an author how far on the writer's journey they'd traveled...and how far they had yet to go. GULP!

I'd read the posts based on the first writing prompt and started to wonder if I could write anything but crap in less than a half hour. And write anything but crap in less than 500 words.

Wow, it was TOUGH!

Since I wanted to give myself the best shot at writing something that wouldn't be torn to shreds--or worse, yawned at--I read over all the entries from the first prompt. Then I looked at the comments. From those, I got a "feel" for Crabby #1's likes and dislikes. Crabby #2 is harder. She hasn't liked much.

Then I opened my Word file and read the second prompt.

I knew I didn't want to write something ho-hum and ordinary, so I immediately threw away the first five concepts that came to mind. I figured if an idea came to me too easily, it would probably come to a half dozen others as well. Also, since it seemed the Crabby Cows were not fans of chick lit or my brand of romantic comedy, I knew I needed to write something different. Something deeper and darker. I wrote the scene, which was over 500 words, of course. Then I cut and cut and cut until it was within the wordcount limit, closed my eyes, and sent it off.

It did surprisingly well, at least with Crabby #1. I've yet to see what Crabby #2 and Grouchy Goat will do with it, if anything. (Curious? It's Flash 500 Entry #20)

What did I learn from this? Plenty.

1. That even though I've set about establishing myself as an author of sassy, sexy paranormal romances, it's good to try something new and different every now and then.

2. That it pays to "know" an editor before submitting. I think this applies to all submissions, whether you're sending a story to a magazine or mailing a novel to Harlequin. Reading multiple examples of work the editor has found worthy of publishing will help you get a feel for their likes and dislikes. What tone does the work have? What is the pace like? What is the subject matter, plot and theme? It's a little more difficult to get a handle on editors from NY houses. You really have to dig to discover who their authors are, which books they've acquired. But IMO the effort is worth it.

This brings me to another thought. I hear plenty of authors who say they don't read once they start writing. They can't enjoy reading because their "inner editor" ruins it for them. Or they're afraid of copying another author's voice or style. I think this is tragic. More than ever, it's important to read when you're building your craft. If you read widely enough, you'll absorb something from every author and work. Over time, you'll find our voice. IMO, the more you read, the faster this will happen for you.

3. I still have A LOT to learn about the craft of writing.

Thank you Crabby Cows, for a fabulous opportunity! Looking forward to the next challenge you throw before your cowlets. Raising glass of Wild Turkey Here's to the day when "Crabby Cows" are on the Acknowledgments pages of published novels.

posted by Tawny Taylor at 8:34 AM | 3 comments

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Apologies and other stuff

Hey blog world! I've been neglecting you and I apologize. It's been a crazy few days. Whew! A writer's life is never dull, I'll say that.

So, what's been keeping me from posting? An almost-2-year-old who refuses to stop putting little dangerous, sharp objects in his mouth, for one. I swear, this child COULD find the proverbial needle in a haystack. And once he'd found it, he'd stick it in his mouth. Despite practically sucking the carpet off the floor with the Hoover, the child still finds things to put in his mouth. Gahhhhh! When will it stop? When, when, when?!

I've done no writing since Friday. Must get back to writing. I'm starting to twitch :) The good news is I finished designing the postcards for the big mailing I'm doing. For those who don't know, Romantic Times has the program where you can ship them promo stuff and they'll distribute it to their 700 "Bookstores That Care". The cost is $100 plus the cost of whatever promo goody you buy. Not bad if you're doing postcards. I got 1k postcards from Vista Print for less than $100.

Here's a link: RT Special Mailings

Today, my goal is to start plotting the second "Beast" book. I want this one to continue the story started in number one, so I'll need to go back and read all my notes on number one to get myself back into the story and figure out where it's headed. This is my first attempt at a more serialized-type of series, where the books need to be read in order. It's going to be a fun challenge!

Off to plot...

posted by Tawny Taylor at 9:39 AM | 4 comments

Sunday, June 04, 2006

New FREE serial story!

I'm working on a special treat for folks who like free stuff. It's a free serial story revolving around Tawny and Sydney and their coffee shop, Under Ground Joe's. The shop's clients are all kinds of paranormal creatures, characters from my books, my friend's books, anyone who cares to have their character make a guest appearance. Sound like fun? I hope so! I'm getting the page design done today and am hoping to post the first chapter this week.

Tawny

posted by Tawny Taylor at 10:52 AM | 4 comments

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Calling unpublished authors with thick skins!

I discovered a new blog yesterday and is it ever fun!

Check it out: http://www.crabbycows.blogspot.com/

We have two editors who call themselves "Crabby #1" and "Crabby #2". They're currently critiquing submitted opening scenes, up to 500 words. But come Monday, they're going to be starting a new contest. It looks like they'll be providing a prompt and will be asking authors to submit 500-word scenes for critique.

Don your rhino skins and give it a shot! I guarantee you'll learn something if you do.

Moooooo!

posted by Tawny Taylor at 10:09 AM | 4 comments

Friday, June 02, 2006

Whoo hoo! I typed "The End!"

Yesterday was very productive. I finished up my WIP, MARK OF THE BEAST, (on schedule!)and turned it into my Ellora's editor. It'll take a few weeks to hear back from her on whether it's a go or not, but I'm hopeful.

I also finished up an article for September's issue of RT magazine and sent that off. Fingers crossed it'll make it into the magazine. I'm not confident on this one, but figured I had NO chance at all if I didn't send it in. So...here's hoping it makes the cut.

Ahhhhh...pressure off my shoulders.

What's next, you ask? I'm already pondering book two of the "Beast" series. (I suppose I need to come up with a better series title than that, eh? Taking suggestions!) I'm thinking book two will be "Stroke of the Beast" or "Touch of the Beast". I'm not sure yet which one. Any thoughts? Book three's gotta be "Kiss of the Beast", so I guess I'm trying to lead up to that one. Touching usually comes before kissing, right? LOL

So, TGIF! Happy Friday and all that. I'm going to have a low-key weekend. Work tomorrow and the Paperbacks book club. Those are always fun. Sunday's family time. Then Monday, it's back to work. What's everyone else doing this weekend?

posted by Tawny Taylor at 8:13 AM | 3 comments
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