Thursday, April 29, 2010

The selling of Gwenna

Last night I spent more than two hours designing and laying out bookmarks in Paint Shop Pro. They have been ordered. I've also ordered postcards, magnets and a couple of posters. If anyone wants some great Gwenna swag, let me know because in a few weeks, I'm gonna have it spread around. I'm certainly going to have it up for grabs at the wine and cheese party at Con-Txt. I gotta say that the sexy cover art by Renee looks spectacular. I'll be really curious to see how the posters come out.

And speaking of the wine and cheese party-- since I get paid tomorrow (a concept that fascinates me no end...) I'm going to start purchasing wine and some other goodies (like chocolate) and get that set aside for now. This way I'm not killing myself getting things the week of the convention- or the night before I drive down to the convention. Go me.

I swung another interview- this one at Jesse Fox's blog. Jesse had already filled her interview schedule for the year but has generously agreed to do a special edition for Lost and Found when it releases. I'm thrilled and appreciative.

My editor pointed me a huge WWII convention that's driving distance for me to attentend. Not only can I get a look at B17s but I'll finally be able to find some veterans to interview and maybe use as a military advisor. It's the first weekend of June and for now, it appears my husband and I will be going. Note, it's worth checking out that link if only to see the 'nose art' on the aircraft behind the veterans. I'm a HUGE fan of WWII aircraft nose art.

I continue to slog through line edits on Lost and Found. It is my goal to have at least 90-95% of them done by the end of this weekend. (Ideally, I'd like to have them ALL done.)

On a totally unrelated note- but I find I can't resist well- noting it- it snowed today in Lake Placid. Today. I only live 3 1/2 hours southwest of Lake Placid. On the good side- my lilacs are blooming.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Juggling game

My line edits came back a few days ago on Lost and Found. They are a little intense so I've once again made the decision to back burner VN2 and my various other Gwenna Projects. Actually I've decided to keep it back burnered, regrettably, until L&F is through the entire editing process.

I despair at ever finishing VN2. It's like a stepchild, always pushed aside for the others who appear more important. I continue to worry that once I do get it done, I won't be able to sell it anyway.

All of this blows my self imposed deadlines out of the water. But since I work a full time job, and will be returning to my part time job in a few weeks, I find myself with a whole bunch of writing projects and too little time to work on them. I'll do what needs to be done on L&F and so that it is at its best for release and move forward from there.

But, that doesn't mean I can't research. I still need a lot of background on my WWII story- Melody Blue. And if I'm going to do Imperial City right, I still have a lot of work to do research wise on the Battle of Hue and on the city of Hue ot begin with. Not to mention the Marines. So I may not be making any word count, I will be making headway.

Authenticity is everything to me. Not being there is not an excuse for not getting it right.

In regards to Imperial City- I haven't even started to put the characters together. let alone an outline and framework. But I have decided that one will be a Combat Artist. These men (and later some women) are unique to the Marine Corp and their work is stunning and often stark in its realism. The works from and of Vietnam are incredible.

Other updates:

The coverart for Lost and Found is being featured on my editor's blog.

My wine and cheese party at Con-TxT for L&F's release is going forward. I'll have an autographed copy of Elle Parker's book- Like Coffee and Doughnuts to give away as a door prize.

Promotion and marketing has come to a bit of stand still. But I'm still looking and booking where I can. I need to get my postcards and bookmarks ordered as well. I may do that today.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Little things

I haven't got a lot of progress to report on my various Gwenna projects. But I have just turned in the the paperwork for Lost and Found that includes the excerpts, dedication and various other little details that has had me by the throat for the last couple of weeks. I had no idea how hard some of that would be to wrap my head around. In the end, I hope I picked good excerpts (with the help of my editor) that will make people want to read about a Vietnam veteran and a former Marine. These aren't young men I'm writing about, but rather guys with some background and history. Time will tell, I guess.

I'm still looking around and working at booking more interviews and promotion as well. That never seems to end. Everytime I see someone who has had an interview, I trace it back to the blog to see if my book would be a decent fit or not. I'm currently waiting on two to write me back.

My husband brought me back a stack of magazines that are all about WWII. I'll pour through these for background on Melody Blue. I already found one article on the B17 in England in the pile so score for me!

Other than that, I have little to add. I will be digging back into VN2 this week with the idea that I want to get as much of the first draft done by May 17th as I can. We'll see how that goes.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Writting M/M and the military

I like writing romances based in the military, romances between men. Especially during times of war, such as Vietnam and WWII. When you look at it, some of the closest and strongest relationships are those formed between these men in the simple act of trying to survive day to day. Survive the enemy, incompetence, exhaustion, loneliness and often just themselves. In Vietnam, so many young men were drafted right out of high school- seventeen, eighteen, nineteen years old. We tore them away from everything they knew, gave them a gun and sent them thousands of miles away. More often than not, to die. It's well documented just how vicious and determined the Viet Cong and the NVA were.

Under these circumstances, I can't help but want to write about it. About something that back in Vietnam and WWII was considered a mental disease- certainly not a sexual preference. It could never be considered love- not between two men. Really. Right?

I'll interview anyone who's been in the military with experience especially in Vietnam and WWII. It's as important to me to get the language, military culture and feel for the area as it is to building believable characters that I want you to fall in love with. Everyone knows what jarheads are, but those same jarheads referred to the Army infantry soldiers as dogfaces during Vietnam. (So did the Navy.) There was no love lost between them, they were and still are extremely competitive. And well the Navy and Marines- my friend who works as a contractor for the Marines say that they refer to themselves as the "Men's Department" when put together with the Navy.

It's not just the language, although in Vietnam, the GI slang is rather colorful. :) Understanding what it's like to be on a firebase as opposed to a regular military base, what it's like to fly in a "slick"- a Huey helicopter, the feel of the jungle, the color and heat and insects. Did you know the soil in Vietnam is red?

I've interviewed several former vets who served in Vietnam, and a few from WWII. And although I'll tell them that I'm gathering background for a novel, which is the truth, it is unwise for me to say that it's for a romance between two men. It's just not wise or prudent- however regrettable it is. And that's the rub I guess. But I'll keep trying to find men who served and want to tell their stories. They are amazing stories to hear.

And because I want to make my stories that much more "real" for you, whether I pin you down in the middle of a firefight or have you riding in the back of that slick as the wind washes over you. It's a helluva rush, don't you think? :)

Saturday, April 10, 2010


With Lost and Found coming out here in a little over two months- I started to order some promotional items. These came in yesterday.
Are they not so cool? Big huge THANK YOU to my editor, Cyn, who pointed me to these. Not only are they camo (how perfect is that?) but I could get my url put on them. :)

I'll be ordering from too, probably next month. Postcards with the cover art for sure, but I need to look into how everyone makes bookmarks out of the postcards as well. I'll also look into other things, like matchbooks possibly.

Once Lost and Found is released, I'm going to put the first chapter up at D Renee Bagby Presents First Chapters blogspot. It's for romance writers only and they don't seem to have a problem with M/M. Which, btw, is a subject for possibly my next blog entry- researching and interviewing the military for M/M romances.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

wine and cheese party

I guess I'm going full steam ahead and doing a wine and cheese party for the release of Lost and Found. Why not, right? I'll be at Con.Txt the weekend leading into the release and since I'm driving down, I can bring everything I need.

The lovely Elle Parker, has graciously agreed to let me give away one of her Like Coffee and Doughnuts (signed) books as a door prize. This is a magnificant book to be giving away. She's going to send me stuff for goodies bags to mix in with my stuff.

I just ordered camoflauge pencils with my website url on them too- these are just way too cute and I love it. I owe thanks to my editor, Cyn, for that one.

I've got some other things in the works for this as well, so hopefully this will come together okay.

Anyway, I returned the next round of edits to my editor, who's been caught up on the flooding in Rhode Island. I think we are still on track for the June publication date.

I've also finished my second job until May 17th. With that in mind I'll get back to all the various Gwenna Projects with an emphasis on VN2. I've had to push back my self imposed finish date until end of April.