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Thursday, July 24, 2008

New Title, New Projects, New Outlook on Life!

Week Ending July 27th - A little late this week, but was finishing up the edits on my new historical novel and just finished late yesterday...and man, am I beat! This is the sequel to Centurion and we have a new name (drum roll please!). We are calling it: THE EDGE OF HONOR. I wanted something that was a little more indicative of the book and this one is all about the thin line between cowardice and honor. Can't wait for it to come out in August!

In other news, we figured out what that fellow was arrested for last week (the one standing outside my house). Apparently, it was burglary. We're very glad they got the guy.

Because of that incident, DH and I have been having long discussions about moving. We've been in our current house for 13 years, which is a long time for us. Now, we're contemplating a move to get a little further out of the city. Beaverton used to be so safe, but, with urban sprawl and all, we're thinking it's time for a move. An opportunity has opened up and we may be pushing along soon.

Fellow Stonegarden author Bob Morgan and I did a signing at the Tacoma Borders Books last Saturday and it was a resounding success! I sold about 12-13 books (all Starsight - they couldn't get Centurion in on time) and I think Bob sold about 10-12 (maybe more). I'm going back up there this Saturday to do a signing for the Cup of Comfort series with fellow "cupper" Maureen, who has a fabulous contribution in the Cup of Comfort for Horse Lovers. I'm really looking forward to that. In addition, Borders has invited me back to do a signing in September with my Rose City Romance Writers authors and in December when Starsight II and The Edge of Honor both come out. Jesse up there is a real sweetheart and their crew is wonderful.

I'm also working with Erika over at Barnes & Noble Lloyd Center to possibly do a series of book fairs for two high schools. This will be a great way for the schools to make some money and gives me an opportunity to work with the kids. I'm very excited about this!

I'm planning a new event over at Coffee Time Romance for mid-September which should be a blast. It will be all about historical romance, how to write it, how to research it, and how to make it come alive on the page. More about that later this month.


I've also been invited to participate on a panel at Romantic Times BOOKreviews' Booklovers Conference in April. The panel is called "Multiple Names, Mulitple Genres Or Will The Real Author Please Stand Up?" We will be discussing what it is like to write across genres. I'm so excited to have been invited and am really looking forward to it!

Having finished four books this year, this is the first time I'm actually "between books" since January of 2007. Yep, I've been on a deadline for over a year and a half now. Man! It's a little weird actually having some time to myself...I actually watched a little TV last night (ok, Nova Science Now, but I like that program!). I'm a bit at a cross roads right now. I've got several project to work on, but don't know which one I'm going to do next. Here's the lineup: The Gladiator Prince (another historical in the Centurion series), Keenan's Dilema (erotic comedy/paranormal), Lord Bennett’s Inn (ghost story), The God Wars (prequel to Starsight series), The Restless Seed (sequel to Starsight series), or Arpeggios In The Dark (YA (maybe) Sci-Fi). It's so hard sometimes to know which way to go. I know some writers would kill to have so many choices...this can be a double edged sword, especially when you get more ideas that pop up. Another project I'm contempating is based off a wonderful article sent to me by one of my new author friends, Margaret Donsbach called The Scholar's Supernova about the supernova of 1006 (link below). If you get a change, take a look. This is such a fascinating idea for a book, I'm finding myself unable to resist, so we'll see. ~LOL~
http://www.blogger.com/post-edit.g?blogID=7552102136363823605&postID=8494080065953484692

Otherwise, just plugging away...Have a great week! Minnette :)

Minnette Meador

My worlds...real or imagined...

NEWSLETTER
Minnette's 2008 Releases: Starsight, Vol. I, The Centurion & The Queen, The Edge of Honor (August 26, 2008), Starsight Vol. II (November 8, 2008), A Cup of Comfort for Single Mothers "Sunday Breakfast"


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

When life is more interesting than fiction...

Being a fiction writer, most of the excitement in my life happens between my ears. Not so today.

I was sitting at my computer working on edits, when three cops appeared outside my window with shotguns. No kidding. Got my heart thumping, I can tell you. They had a dog with them who was obviously following a scent. They walked passed my window, across the street, and between two of the houses on the other side. You never know what you'll do in a situtation like this, so I surprised myself by locking the doors and closing the windows...86 degree in Beaverton today, so it wasn't very comfortable. But I'm glad I did. When I finished, I looked out of my picture window and saw a young man standing no more than five feet from me, hiding behind my house and staring at the receeding police. I had that heart thing again, only faster this time. I stood very still. If he had looked to his right just at that moment, he could have shook my hand. Yikes!

The young fellow then sprinted across my side street and disappeared between two houses, away from the cops.

Well, I didn't know what to do. I wanted to get the cops and tell him where he was. The kick ass heroine reared her auburn head and I found myself outside, heading toward the police. Fortunately, the spunky side kick smacked me soundly and a bout of common sense overwhelmed me. I turned on my heel and headed back into the house. Then I called 911.

I told the very nice lady on the phone what I had seen and then answered about a hundred questions about the guy, what he looked like, where exactly I was, etc. All the time, I'm watching out the window to see if the cops showed back up. By the time I got off the phone, it had been about three or four minutes. I assumed the guy was in Pittsburgh by this time.

A couple of minutes later, there are four cops with shotguns in their hands and the dog outside my window. I opened it and pointed to where I had seen the guy disappeared and they rushed across the steet. The next thing I know, they're shouting, "Down on the ground! Get your hands up! Don't move!" The guy was across the street hiding behind my neighbor's car.

They took him away and I spent the afternoon pacing through my house. If I ever doubted I was a real writer, I don't anymore. The first thing I did was let my author friends know what just happened for moral support, and then outlined my next project based on this event! Wow!

I'm exhausted and my sweet husband keeps calling me a hero...he also keep hugging me and making sure I'm ok. If this is how a hero feels, I'll have a lot more sympathy for her in my next novel!

Eight Things I've Learned About Writing

1. Writing is 10% writing and 90% editing. Edit 'til you can't stand the thing, then do it three more times. Then have someone else edit it and then go through it three more times after that. You should be there when you start to change words BACK to what they used to be. Here’s a good example; I edited this email for three hours before I was almost satisfied. You know you’re a writer when...you edit your IMs and text messages...

2. Get yourself a critiquing partner and a set of beta readers (family does nicely, especially if you have older kids...they do owe you; friends and co-worker are always good). LISTEN to what they have to say and be prepared for criticism. That’s what you don’t pay them for. A critiquing partner is absolutely an imperative and there are lots of groups out there that can help you find one...http://www.critters.org/ comes readily to mind, but there are many out there. Check in your genre. Or join a writing class in your community...that’s where my fabulous, wonderful, adorable partner came from.

3. Take classes, join associations, join groups, get involved in the writer's community (it's huge) and contribute to it. Harder to do than you think, believe me.

4. Be prepared to spend every waking hour on your dream and even some of your sleeping ones. The muse doesn't rest...at least until you need her, which leads me to...

5. DON'T RELY ON THE MUSE TO HELP YOU. (S)he will always let you down when you need her/him most. Being a published writer does not take inspiration, it takes dedication. You cannot wait until the art moves you...art is a lazy, drunken sod sometimes and it’s up to you to move it along. Hardest thing to do as a writer is to keep going. There are lots of tips on how to break writer’s block out there. The best advice I ever received? Get off your ass and hit those keys (or move that pen, if you’re a purest) - who cares what you write, just write.

6. Be kind, be loving, live well, and treat others well. When you critique someone or even give them an opinion of their work, keep in mind yours is (or will be) in another's hands one day. Creation is a fragile thing and easily destroyed...look at an egg sometime. I know; I shelved writing for twenty years because of a criticism. I regret it to this day.

7. You must develop a thick skin for this business...the whole “slings & arrows” thing. Not everyone is going to like your work....not everyone appreciates the hours that went into its creation...not everyone is kind. A gentle grace is needed to be a writer, I think...swear and punch through walls when you get home, but keep in mind it’s only one person’s opinion. You can choose to agree...or not. Did I mention this profession takes a bit of ego, as well?

8. There is no reward without sacrifice. When you see your name in print, the paperback crushed in your trembling hands, I promise, it will be worth all the pain. All you have to do then is write the next one...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Muse-ical Rants

Ok...I admit it...I'm terrible about keeping up my blog. But the excuse is legitimate...I HATE talking about myself. So I've decided it's not about me, it's about my characters, my books, and that wacky playground I lovingly call my brain. So, I am going to attempt posting more regularly... here goes...

WEEK ENDING JULY 20TH

I am working on final edits for Starsight II (coming out in November) this week. This book is so much better than the first one...it is darker and deals with Joshan, Sirdar, and the nature of darkness and light. It also introduces the "gods," who will become more prevalent in later books. Trenara the Starguider is magnificent, plus I found out with this book that I write a decent battle scene...four, actually. Who knew? Must be those past lives impinging on present time...~GRIN~ Derrick Freeland is working on the cover and it promises to be even more spectacular than the last one (I'll post sketches as we go along)...I'm so excited about the release from Stonegarden in November!

Breton & General (out in eBook August 26th & print in November from Resplendence) will be coming back from my wonderful editor Tuesday or Wednesday with the first round of edits. I am contemplating a name change for the book and have been smacking my brain around about it. Best I can come up with so far is Marius & Delia. ~Yawn~ But I'll keep plugging away at it. Any ideas will be appreciated. Breton deals with themes like betrayal, allegiances, and impossible odds (of course), but also with the nature of courage. Just as a point of interest, this book sparked a new character and a new sequel that I'm very excited about; Thane is a Trinovantes Prince who is captured after the Boudicca revolt and forced to be a gladiator. He actually fights Marius in the arena in Breton. He is a wonderful character and the new book will be about his escape and search for his daughters who are taken to Rome as slaves, and a female slaver (maybe) who helps him find them. It will probably be called The Gladiator Prince, but I won’t be able to work on it until I get a couple other projects done (more to come on those).

Oh, I've updated my website this week to make it look more "professional". Take a look and let me know what you think: Minnette's Website. This was a lot of fun to do, but really digs into my time, so I've got to be careful; I get absolutely sucked into these things!

Otherwise, I'm doing a chat 7/15 on Enduring Romance with some other lovely Resplendence writers, which should be a blast, having lunch with a researcher on Thursday (I LOVE my researchers - they make me almost legitimate), and have a book signing at the Tacoma Borders on Saturday (7/19) with Bob Morgan (wonderful urban dark fantasy writer and fellow Stonegarden Author). I'm also organizing a couple of signings with the Rose City Romance Writers, which I am excited about. The first one I'm organizing is on Saturday, August 9th at the Lincoln City book fair.

I have a new fan site over at Facebook for anyone interested. If you would like to become a fan and/or have a fan site yourself, let me know!

Personally, I've become thoroughly addicted to my fairy on Facebook this week...and that's about all the time I've had for a personal life, oh, except Nova on Tuesday night...my little addiction.

Have a great week! Minnette :)